All posts by Mitch Mitchell

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

Blogging Step Six – How To Start Getting Visitors

Recently I was asked by a friend of mine to talk to someone who’s just started a new blog and hopes to help it spread. I wrote 5 things that I believe are the way to go when you’re just starting out to get visitors to come to your blog. Actually, I believe all of these are good even with existing blogs if you’re not doing them, so I’ve decided to post what I wrote here, with a few modifications of course, and it will be added to my Blogging Tips at the top.



I Want To Explore Time

1. Post each blog article to Twitter. Of course this means you have to join Twitter and have followers who will see those posts, and some will retweet them, which gives them the opportunity to be viewed by a much larger audience. Blogging packages like WordPress has many plugins that can help you automate the process; I don’t know if Blogger allows blogs to do it, in which case you’ll have to copy and paste your link every time, something I don’t have to do. As a sidebar, I hate Blogger! lol

2. Set up both Facebook and LinkedIn to grab each blog post. On FB there are multiple apps that will do it. On LinkedIn, you can set it up within your profile.

3. Comment on like-minded blogs. This one is the most time consuming, but the truth is that, unless you’re already famous, the best way to get visitors is by commenting on other blogs, mainly blogs that are similar in content in some fashion to what you’re writing about. People get used to seeing your name and will follow you back to your blog to check you out. Of course, commenting on other blogs works pretty well also, especially if it’s something else you’re interested in.

4. Add the link to your blog in every correspondence you send out, and of course to your website if you have one. In email, if you send email to someone who opens their mail online, it helps provide a link that, if they click on it, helps build up web prominence a little bit. Of course, being on Blogger, it won’t help as much. However, just to say this, by being on Blogger you’re going to get some random traffic because of that link thing at the top where it says “next blog”, but it’s not targeted traffic so you might not get many comments, or people who will stay long enough to read what you’ve written.

5. Send out one big email to all your friends and business associates, if you’re comfortable with that. Those are pretty much considered “friendlies”, and they’ll visit at least once, and some of them will subscribe and tell others. It’s a great place to start.

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Prioritizing Your Projects

Well, this is rare for me. I haven’t written a new blog post since Monday, and here it is Friday. What’s going on?

I have many projects going on at this time, so much so that I’ve neglected this blog for the time being. As some of you know, I was out of town many days last week, even though I was able to keep up with blog posts at that time. I wrote a few posts ahead of time so I could concentrate on my big paying project.


Time Flies
Time Flies

Well, this week I’ve been working on catching up on all my other projects that bring in money, along with trying to finish up the big project so I can get paid for that and move on. Many of my other projects involve writing, which means research at the same time, and while researching that stuff I was able to keep up, to a degree, with my other blogs in some fashion. But I’ve kind of missed out on this one, so I apologize for that.

However, it brings up the point of how people prioritize their projects. For me, it starts with what’s paying, and how much, and how fast. Just to throw some false numbers out, if it comes down to working on the project that not only pays multiple thousands of dollars, but faster than the multiple hundreds of dollars, even if the hundreds has been more consistent money, I’m going with the big bucks first. Next is the consistent money, because one doesn’t treat anyone as second class clients. After that you take care of yourself, because, if you’re me, taking care of myself could end up bringing in money also.

Right now where I’m lacking is that I don’t have my PDA anymore. It broke, and I haven’t purchased a new one yet. I’ve been balking because when I bought the thing two years ago it only cost me $130, and now that they’ve discontinued it, but still have it on the market, some places are charging upwards of $399 for it; no way! However, I used to use it for all my planning and note taking and portable record keeping and address book, and now I have none of that. It makes doing much of what I want to do harder to keep up with.

How do most of you handle your projects overall, since I assume most of you don’t have a PDA? Or do you just work haphazardly? Something to think about, and I’d love reading your answers.
 

My First Look At MS Office 2007

Three years ago I went to a presentation at a company that was showing some brief clips of the Office 2007 package items. I have to admit that it looked alien to me, and I pretty much told myself that it was something I wasn’t going to be considering at any time soon.

Fast forward to now. I’m presently working on a big project, and, of course, many of the files I received were in the newer format. I actually had the program laying around for about a year that someone had given me, and I figured it was as good a time as any other to load it to see what it was all about for myself. I loaded it into a totally different directory, though, so it wouldn’t erase what I already have.

Then it was time to go, and I pulled up Excel first, since most of what I was going to be doing was on that. I can’t lie; it still looks alien to me. Microsoft decided to go with what they call a “ribbon” look rather than the words we’re used to seeing, and man, was I confused! I couldn’t even figure out how to open a file, so I double clicked on the file and had it ask me if it could connect to this new program, which of course I agreed to.

Working within the spreadsheet itself is just like it’s always been, but after that it takes time to figure some things out. For instance, instead of headings I know very well like “file”, “edit”, and “format”, they now use “home”, “page layout”, “formulas” and “review”. They kept “data” and “insert” and “view”, thank goodness. When you click on one of the headings in Excel 2007, instead of a list of stuff you get the ribbons. But there’s a lot more stuff, and it might not be worded like what you were used to. It took me almost 30 minutes before I could figure out all the basic things I needed.

The same thing occurred with Word, but not to the same degree. That’s probably because I’ve never quite known how to do all those things that Word supposedly can do for you; I’ve always been more of a numbers guy, so I use Word mainly just to write.

I haven’t even tried to open PowerPoint or Access yet; no need, since I rarely use either one. I will say this, though; I do believe that once I’ve had more time with Excel 2007 that I’ll like it just fine. I assume the same might be true for Word 2007 at some point as well. Thing is, there’s supposedly an Office 10 version coming, and they’re not going backwards, which means the ribbon is going to be staying. This is one of those times where we’re going to have to change our technology at some point, kicking and scratching if necessary.

I know many of you have already switched, but I’m betting the majority haven’t, which is why I’m writing this now. If anyone else has positives or negatives they’d like to share, by all means please do. And this points out why it might be a good thing to at least pop in to the webinar I’m doing with my friend Renee, as she talks about Excel 2007.

Microsoft Store

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Sunday Question – How Far Will You Go To Be Successful?

First, I hope everyone who’s celebrating whichever holiday you believe in has a good one.

I have two friends I’d like to talk a little bit about today. Both are very successful people, both are millionaires a few times over.

My one friend is a really interesting case. He has a Ph.D. in Nursing. He owns a hotel, two restaurants, two buildings, two houses in the same city, another house in Mexico, and two other businesses. He might have another house somewhere; I’ve never asked. He works hard and he plays hard. He travels all over the country and lives in hotels most of the time. When he goes on vacation, it’s not to resort cities like Cozumel for relaxation. He vacations hard; he takes 3 week trips and goes to places like the jungles of Costa Rica and Vietnam, or rides rickety trains like the Orient Express into places like Mongolia and many of the former USSR countries. He’s a very engaging guy, very knowledgeable, but sometimes doesn’t know how to turn it off and just relax and talk about other things.

My other friend is actually more interesting, if that’s possible. She was born in another country whose name is no longer known by most people, and came to America with little money and a couple of little kids. She’s had two businesses that made her wealthy, and is now in real estate, where, despite all the troubles the industry had last year, she actually made out very well and had a multimillion dollar year. She has houses in multiple states as well, and is another person who puts in tons of hours working. She also pays for a life coach, very big dollars, who she talks to every day because he holds her accountable for everything she does. And for the most part her work day, every day, runs from 6AM to 9PM.

These two people are driven, that’s for sure. I like both of them; I just don’t know that I could be like both of them. Sure, I want to be rich, but I also kind of want to do it on my own terms. I don’t mind hard work, but I’ve found that, after many years of working a lot of hours for others, that I need a bit more work/life balance. Both of these people are exhilarated by what they do, but I have to tell you the truth; just thinking about it makes me tired.

It begs the question I asked in the title; how far are you willing to go to be successful? In a weird way, I guess I should talk. I’ve been working for myself since 2001, and there are days when I put in 18 hours on the computer. In January and February of 2009, I was working on a project that consumed 20 hours a day, and in one stretch I didn’t go to bed for two days, trying to complete the project on time. I got paid well for that, but I knew that wasn’t a pace I’d ever be able to keep up for long periods of time.

At the same time, there are also some major compromises that one sometimes has to give up to be that kind of successful. I’m not one who genuflects well; I need the same kind of respect that I’m giving, or else I’m out of there. After all, I’m an incorporated business; I’m legitimately the CEO of my company, which has multiple divisions. No, I’m nowhere close to millionaire status, but by title and by having given my own version of sweat and blood to the cause, I feel that I’m at least the equal of anyone else I meet, financial background notwithstanding.

Now to you; how do you answer this question on this Sunday that’s so special for so many, while also being the 42nd year of the assassination of Dr. King?

The Assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King JR.








Is Your Blog Successful? My Version

I’ve often said that you can get inspiration for writing blog posts from anywhere. In this case, I got the inspiration for this post from a blog called One Cool Site Blogging Tips (not to be confused with Sire’s blog tracking site Cool Blog Links, and this post titled Is Your Blog A Failure Or A Success? The conversation on that post wasn’t quite what I thought it was going to be based on the title, yet it made me want to throw the question out to everyone else, so it did its job.

How does one decide to measure success? I think that’s the most important question for everyone to answer for themselves. It all depends on the reason you continue to write your blog. I say that because I started this blog for a much different reason than why I write it now, and as those parameters have changed, so have my expectations for it.

My original reason for creating this blog was so I could say whatever I wanted to say without worrying about being filtered or worried about how it might impact my business. I also had high hopes that I would make some money from it. So, when I first started writing it, half of the posts were geared towards talking about something that I thought I’d make money from, and the other half talking about some things that were on my mind, though not necessarily personal.

At some point, the blog focus changed to talking about affiliate programs, blogging, and writing for the most part. That was fun to a degree, but there wasn’t anything personal in it. Well, I have my writing style, so I guess that was personal, but I almost never talked about anything I was feeling, never taking a real stand on anything, just doing reviews. The thing is, to do a legitimate review takes some time to investigate, and, well, like everyone else I needed to make money, thus I was draining the bank account while doing a lot of that stuff.

Then in September, I changed once more. I decided I was going to start talking about a few more personal issues, more of my beliefs and the like, while still keeping up with some of what I’d talked about in the past. Though I’d still like to make money with this blog, the focus definitely moved from that direction a long time ago. I still put up products and the like, just in case someone has an interest, but mainly I just like to write, share my thoughts, and see how others respond.

So, based on all of that, how successful do I view this blog, which certainly can’t be called a niche blog? Overall I think it’s a fairly successful blog for what it is. I’m certainly not at guru status when it comes to internet sales, but I think I have a nice loyal group of folks I get to interact with here and there. And it’s changed a lot; the people I was talking to a lot between the middle of 2008 through the middle of 2009 has drastically changed. Many of those folks either stopped blogging or their priorities changed.

New folks have come along, in higher numbers yet, and that’s pretty neat. And I know when people comment here, they’re not doing it just to get a link onto a popular blog that offers them nothing except an opportunity to maybe steer people to their blogs by kissing up to the owner of the blog, who most of the time doesn’t even see their responses. Oops, let’s not get into that discussion again! 🙂

Yes, I think this blog is a success, and I’m happy with it. What say you about your blog?

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