All posts by Mitch Mitchell

I'm an independent consultant in many fields, so I have a lot to share.

Two Free Programs, Two Great Chess Sites

As the title says, today I’m going to introduce two free programs you might not know about, and then talk about two free chess sites that those of you who like playing chess might enjoy, and I’ll have something else for you at the end.

The first is a free PDF program called doPDF. Obviously what it lets you do is print pdf files from any program on your computer. I’d been looking for one of these for a long time, because the one I had was free as long as you wanted to look at an ad every time you created a pdf. That wouldn’t have been so bad, except it opened up IE every single time, and if I was creating a bunch of pdfs, or needed to make corrections on one, that just got tiring after awhile. Anyway, there are no frills with the program, but at least it lets you save your pdf wherever you want to.

The next program is something from a company called Brothersoft. The program is called Convert MP4 to MP3. Plain and simple, that’s also what it does. Once again this was something I’d been looking for. Through a script from Greasemonkey, which you can use with Firefox, I can actually download movies in an MP4 format from YouTube. However, many times I’m downloading the video because I really want the song, and I’d been wanting to add those songs to my music database. So I found this program, totally freeware, and you can convert multiple files at a time. Works very fast as well, and since the download from YouTube is the highest quality download, what you end up getting after the conversion is high quality as well. That is, as long as the original version was high quality to begin with.

Done with programs; now onto chess. It’s one of the few games I play online, probably because it’s not something that you have to sit down and play live with someone, although there are sites that do that. For both of these sites, you get to make your move, then go about your life until you get an email notification that there’s been a move in a game you’re playing. I love that.

The first site I’m going to mention is called Scheming Mind, and it’s a site created by a friend of mine named Austin Lockwood; I’m not quite sure where he’s from, but the site is located somewhere in Europe. Anyway, it’s a free chess site as long as you play fewer than 10 games at a time. If you want to play unlimited games, it’s only $20 a year, and trust me he’s not getting rich off the site.

Sire and I play here, and I think it works for us because not only can we talk during the games, but every message we write is saved so we can go back and read them again, or address them after a move so we can take some time to think about things. The site also offers multiple types of games and different speeds of games, so that you can have as many as 30 days for each player to make a single move or as few as 5 days. You can join tournaments, though if you’re playing for free you can only join one tournament at a time. You can also ask the site to suggest a player based on ranking criteria, then select someone who they suggest or ask for more suggestions. However, sometimes it’s a hit or miss as to whether you’ll be playing that game, since people can reject you. Overall I love the site.

The other chess site is called Net-Chess, and I like this site as well, but for a different reason. With this site you can play as many games as you want to, but you’ll also find that it can be overwhelming if you’re not paying attention to how you’re joining the games. Every game you get into is some kind of mini tournament. You can decide how many games you’re going to play against each opponent if you create the tournament, or you can join a tournament that fits your ranking; you’ll establish a real ranking after you’ve played so many games.

The overwhelming part is that you might not be paying attention and suddenly find yourself playing upwards of 40 or more games at one time. True, you get to make each individual move at your leisure, but for some folks, like myself, that’s a few too many games at once. I like to have 20 going when I can, mainly because some people won’t ever start the games every though they signed up, and some people will forget, being overwhelmed, and they’ll lose on time. As long as they’ve made 10 moves in the game, if they time out you automatically get both the win and the points, and points are given based on your rank and the rank of your opponent at the time.

There are the two free programs and the two chess sites. The final thing is a little motivational thing from a blog friend named Marelisa, whom I’ve mentioned thrice before, once within a post on great posts, once highlighting her blog on Blog Day 2009, and later on a post on creativity. Anyway she’s got another great post, short by her standards, titled 525+ Bucket List Ideas, somewhat based on the movie The Bucket List. Yeah, that’s pretty comprehensive, but that’s kind of her point, that there are limitless opportunities for all of us to find within ourselves to try if we’re predisposed to do it.

There you go; don’t ever say I don’t provide any value to anyone! lol

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My Gripe With WordPress.com Blogs

Some of you remember back in 2008 when I wrote about my gripe with Blogger blogs, which is owned by Google. Back then, I said my main gripe had to do with trying to write comments on those blogs, where you either had to register for the site so you could get notified of comments, or you could choose one of the other options and never know that someone had responded to a comment.

Now I’m going to gripe about WordPress.com blogs, and I have a minor gripe against them. Once again, it’s the commenting gripe. With WordPress.com, you can comment on the blogs and potentially get a notification. Why do I say “potentially”? Because if you click on the box that says you want to be notified of comments, like you’d do on my blog, you immediately get this email that asks you if you want to subscribe to comments. Well, if you didn’t why would you have clicked on the box?

On this blog, which is self hosted, I already have that selected, so if you get anything in the mail from me it’s because you commented, and you can decide to unsubscribe from comments at any time if you please. On WordPress.com blogs, you have to check the box, so one would assume there wouldn’t be any questions that you wanted the blog comments.

To be somewhat fair, I will say that I know why they do this. It’s a double opt-in system, verifying that the person whose name and email address that’s been used is the same person who actually wrote the post. It’s known as a double opt-in as opposed to a regular opt in because you initially had to check the box to tell the blog that you wanted to get comments. For some blogs where you don’t get a choice as to whether you want to check or uncheck a box, you might still receive a message asking you if you want to subscribe to comments, but in that case you didn’t really opt-in the first time, hence it’s not a double opt-in system. You really wanted to know that, didn’t you?

Anyway, with this system, if it gets a bounced email back, it knows to move the comment to spam. If someone else’s email address was used, certainly that person wouldn’t want to receive any more responses, but in this case the concept is somewhat flawed. At best, if someone forged a person’s email address and that person gets the response, they’d have to follow the link back to the blog, see the posting, and request that it be removed because they didn’t write it. I wonder how often that sort of thing really happens.

In my mind, one uses a double opt-in system if they have an automated email system set up for something like subscribing to a newsletter, since spam email can easily get into that, or some “friends” will do a drive-by subscription as a joke on a friend. But for a blog, I really can’t see the reasoning behind that.

Still, I have to admit that I’m more apt to comment on a WordPress.com blog than a Blogger blog because at least I can choose which of my 3 blogger personas I wish to use. But I must admit that I never subscribe to the opt-in email that shows up. Occasionally, if I’m so predisposed, I’ll pop back to a blog that I’ve commented on to see if it ever got a response, but that’s mainly only for friends of mine. For the rest… I guess it’s a one and done most of the time.

I wish WordPress.com would address that, or at least make it an option for their users. I get that it’s free, but does free mean it has to restrict what some people can do? The fix is probably in the paid version on that site; does anyone know for sure? I will say this; I’m glad it’s in the free software version for those of us who pay for our own hosting.

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2010 Mitch Mitchell

An Interview With Mirko Gosch

You know, most of the time we tend to think that the only people worth interviewing are people who have accomplished great things. I think the interviews I’ve given have proven that not everyone has to be great to be fascinating, or to be able to learn something from.

I was on Twitter one night & saw Mirko’s post saying he could give some advice on internet marketing. I threw out a question, he answered, and it was a good answer. We talked, and he gave me some more answers; all good stuff. I asked him to take the standard interview questions, assuming he was someone who’d made a lot of money, and instead he revealed that he’s in the process of studying before figuring out where he wants to go. But his advice was still good. Thus, this interview:

1. How long did it take you to make your first $10,000 via internet marketing?

Come back in 3-6 months time and I’ll be able to tell you πŸ™‚ I have spent the last 6 months crawling the internet marketing scene to learn, learn, learn. I’ve spend thousands of dollars and thousands of hours to dig deep into the abundance of possibilities to make money online and I’ve only just begun to implement what I have learned. I took the time to weed out the crap of which there is a lot of to be discovered and I am now confident to have found a system to deliver high valuable service and products without tricking people into buying stuff they donΒ΄t need.

2. When you first began, what kind of mistakes did you make that impeded you?

The biggest mistake by far was that it took me 6 months to get myself a mentor to guide me with a proven system. But then you know, it also took time to find the right mentor for me, as what I have written to question #1 applies to this one here as well. There is an abundance of people offering advice and it takes time to check them out before you commit yourself to one person, doesn’t it?

Another mistake I’d like to mention is that due to the fact that I was shining my flashlight into every single corner of this online marketing world I lost my focus and was spinning around in circles trying to absorb all the information available. I subscribed to dozens upon dozens of email lists from marketers and I found myself bombarded with emails every day. More than a single person can read or least of all follow up any of the gazillions of links. So for me it was time to reduce the noise in my email inbox, unsubscribe from the majority and stick only to the very best I had discovered.

3. For someone brand new who has a product to sell, whether it’s their own or not, what are the first three steps they need to do to drive traffic to their product, or is that the most important thing to begin with in the first place?

Talking about traffic, the life-blood of any website offering something to sell, this involves many aspects and I don’t have a short answer to this very good and important question. There is basically three types of traffic: Paid traffic (such as Google Adwords and other forms of advertising on other websites), Free traffic (such as traffic from the search engines, social media sites you engage on, like Facebook e.g, social bookmarking and more) and there is Borrowed traffic (traffic from joint venture partners who have a list of email subscribers to whom they can offer your product).

If you have a product (doesn’t matter whether it is your own or an affiliate product) you first will have to do some deep keyword research using the Google keyword tool or any of the good keyword tool software products to find out if you have a demand for your product in the market. If your search tells you there is a substantial amount of people looking for your kind of product, move on to find a good keyword related name for your blog or website that is still available and register a .com, .org or .net domain. Set up the blog/website and start adding valuable content to your blog. Then use any of the three types of traffic.

4. What’s your general opinion on trying to make money selling affiliate products through companies like Clickbank, Commission Junction, etc?

This is a good way to start making money online as you do not have to handle the product creation part, not the billing part, not the service part nor anything else like that. You don’t even need a website as you can direct the traffic directly to the affiliate offer (e.g. an ad linking to the offer).

But it is a competitive market and you certainly have to learn the basics before you go out and try and make a buck with affiliate marketing.

5. Do you believe an autoresponder is important even for those who don’t have much traffic at the beginning?

Yes, you should start as soon as possible. Your growing list can and will be a vital part of your websites traffic if you manage to build a good relationship with your list. Imagine sending out an email, asking your list to read your latest blog post, asking them questions and so on. If you’ve built up an relationship with your list, people will hop over to your blog. They will leave comments and this will attract other people and Google as well.

6. Do you believe that most people have the opportunity to make good money via their blogs, or do you believe it’s best to have a website, then possibly direct traffic through a blog to the websites?

The blogs (WordPress) are so good and basically easy to handle nowadays that I believe they will replace the majority of websites some time in the near future. Blogs are an excellent CMS (content management system) and I believe you can use a blog for everything you need online. I especially love the fact that you hardly need any knowledge of any computer language to set them up and maintain them.

7. What do you think of programs like Jeff Paul’s Internet Millions that bring a lot of people into internet marketing, promising millions, that don’t really know what the internet is to begin with?

Too much hype for me. I never bought nor liked any of those products.

8. Do you believe the market is getting too crowded, or is there room for everyone to make money online?

There is plenty of room for years upon years to come. In fact there will always be enough room. Mind you; there is a saying, that 95-97 % of the attempts to make a living online do fail. This might sound scary at first but it leaves us with 3-5 % who are obviously succeeding with their efforts.

And this is why I focus on finding out what makes those who do succeed different from the majority and follow their footsteps.

9. Take a moment for yourself; what are you working on now, or what would you like to promote?

Right now I am a proud student of Alex Jeffreys and I am so thankful that with the help of Alex and a great community of like-minded students I have regained my focus. I have my first product – a Alex Jeffreys course on you guessed it, internet marketing – up and running on my blog Easy Cash Webinar. Next and parallel to the ongoing coaching of Alex Jeffreys, I am working on my first own product to be released to the market – for free – within the next 28 days. So make sure to stop by on my blog Mirko Gosch. My blog is there to make a difference and it is a B.S. free area I’d like to invite you to. I am interacting and exchanging a lot with my fellow coaching students at the moment and there will be joint ventures coming up soon I expect.

10. Any final words of encouragement you’d like to give to my visitors?

Go and get yourself a mentor and prepare yourself for success by following a proven system. Make a plan and work on that plan daily. Be consistent and get your stuff out there. It can be done, you can do it but you have to DO it. Take action. If you ever need a helping hand, pop over to my blog. I am German but I will not shoot πŸ™‚

I thank Mirko for sharing that information with us. And lest you think this is just some young guy who hasn’t done anything with his life yet, Mirko’s 41 years old and a lawyer who’s looking at a career change so he can do more things with his life and with his family. So, this is a driven guy who I hope makes it rich so I can play off his fame and tell the world I interviewed him first! πŸ™‚

The Super Affiliate Handbook
by Rosalind Gardner



How To Subscribe To RSS Feeds

You know, it’s possible that this is one of those posts I really don’t have to do, but something is telling me that I need to make sure. What’s prompting it is that lately more than half of the spam I get asks the question “how do I subscribe to your feed.” As simple as it seems, after a meeting I had last Friday I realized that many people really aren’t all that internet savvy, and they might not even know what a feed is to know how to subscribe to it, or even where. Hence, this post. For the rest of you who already know this… y’all don’t have to read this, unless you want to see if I miss something.

You see that symbol to the right? Any time you see that symbol it means that particular website or post has what’s known as RSS, or Really Simple Syndication (sometimes known as Rich Site Summary) feed. In essence, it means you can follow certain websites or blogs that have new content with some kind of regularity in a place other than having to visit that website. You can subscribe to the feed by clicking on that orange button whenever you see it and read it whenever you want to somewhere else. I use a program called Feedreader, which is independent of a browser, and a lot of people use Google Reader, which uses the browser, but groups all the feeds in one place. There are plenty of other options as well.

On websites, you might see that orange symbol in many different places, and sometimes it depends on the browser you’re using. On Firefox, you’ll see that little symbol to the far right of the address bar. On IE 8, you’ll see that symbol on the right next to the home button on the toolbar. On some sites you’ll see that symbol elsewhere, and it might not be the orange symbol. Seems that some sites will change the color of the symbol. If you look on my blog, you see that symbol in the far right column, and underneath that you can decide to subscribe by email, which other sites also. This means you’ll get any blog posts from me through email instead of a reader; many people like that instead. Other sites will do this as well.

That’s pretty much all it takes for RSS subscriptions. And those of us who blog love when people subscribe, as we want more people to read what we have to say. I subscribe to many blogs and news sites, more than 200, although I think it might be time to pare down my list some. We’ll see if I get to that. Any questions?


I’ve Joined A Health Club

In April I asked this question on a Sunday; Do You Take Care Of Your Physical Self? I gave my answers, but I can’t say that I was overly happy with myself and the answers I gave. Truthfully, I think I’ve done a lot of stuff, but nothing close to what I should be doing.

So, I decided to join a gym. Okay, it wasn’t as easy as that. As with everything else in my life, there’s a mini story to it all.

Two Fridays ago my wife came home, upset because her gym was closing, and the one the guy had transferred her account to, since she was paid up through April 2011, was about 20 minutes away, and she didn’t want to have to go that far to workout. For probably the 10th time I suggested she visit the gym I used to belong to for about 5 years in the late 80’s and early 90’s. Back then it was called Sundown; now it’s called Gold’s Gym, and it’s about 5 minutes away, only because of stupid lights because it’s maybe a mile and a half from the house. For some reason my wife has always hated the idea, but this time she was amenable to going to have a look.

As soon as we got there I could tell from the outside that things had changed. There was a sports therapy building next to the gym, but the sports club is where the gym used to be. We walked in and things were drastically different. I learned there had been a fire in 1994, a year after I stopped going, and they changed a lot of things around. It’s way more open now than it used to be, and that’s not a bad thing at all.

This is what you see when you first walk in. It’s the front desk, but it’s also a juice and smoothie bar. You can buy both healthy and non-healthy snacks in the machine, though not too many non-healthy choices are given. You can also buy muscle building stuff that I’m not paying any attention to; I don’t need to get bulk at this point in my life.

The place has a rubber track you can either walk or run on. It has tons of treadmills and walking machines. They have a lot of Nautilus-type machines geared towards building muscle by pushing weights, though some are for toning also. They have a large free weights area, something I used to do in the past but I think I’m going to stay away from them this time around, at least for six months or so. They have workout classes with some of the latest routines like
Zumba; no, I won’t be doing any of that either. Supposedly they might have some stretching classes, but I didn’t see that on the schedule. I really need stretching more than almost anything else. And they have these other machines that work more with your own weight than true weights; my wife and I use those most of the time.

And they have these things, a pool and a hot tub. I don’t swim, and even though the woman told me it was only 4 1/2 feet deep, that’s just not happening. The hot tub might be something else, though. She said it’s kept at 103 degrees Fahrenheit, and my mind can’t figure out if that’s comfortable or not. I love Jacuzzi’s, so I’m thinking I might like the hot tub, which is only 3 feet deep, but I asked if I could wear a shirt and shorts in there, since I don’t have swimming togs, and I’m not sure I want to expose the world to this body just yet; she said yes. Now all I have to do is get over this thing about sharing a large tub, and you can see it’s large, with other people in it; I don’t necessarily roll that way. The woman there said she’d actually walk me into the pool if I ever get the urge, but I just can’t see me getting the urge. Bad memory of pools, and the last time I was in one was October 1976; ugh!

We started with a 7-day pass to see if I’d even go to the club, and I went 6 days out of 7, though a few of those days I barely made 30 minutes, and one day, Sunday, I made 10 minutes because I twisted my knee and it wasn’t getting better trying to walk it off. We then decided to officially join on Sunday, and now we have a contract for a year. I’m going to work hard on making myself go at least 3 times a week, and my wife loves working out, so if I have to wait until she gets off work to go, so be it. But as it gets warm I also know I’m going to want to get walks in at the lake. No matter; I know I need to exercise this summer while I’m home, and if I’m paying for it, I’m hopefully going to get it done.

These days I border between being outright sore and being really uncomfortable. I don’t feel good after working out, and I don’t feel juiced; sorry Zig, but those endorphins aren’t quite popping for me yet. But I’m going to try. I have a guy working with me for 60 days to see if I show measurable improvement; man, I hope something changes. I need to do this; I’m 50 and diabetic, my doctor says I need to lose weight, and I need to help the medication work.

Okay, your turn; what are you gonna do?

Esprit by Spirit ET-8 Folding Treadmill

Esprit by Spirit ET-8 Folding Treadmill

Price – $1804.05


Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2011 Mitch Mitchell