All posts by Mitch Mitchell

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

How Do You Value?

Today I had to take my wife’s SUV to Goodyear for an evaluation of her car battery. Turned out she needed a new one, and when the guy told me $190, I was in shock. He said that Hyundai’s used a particular kind of battery that was powerful, but cost more. Nothing I could do but go ahead and pay it.

At the same time, I happened to look up on the wall and saw that service per hour is now $94 per hour, and that shocked me also. I think the last time I had service anywhere other than my dealership, it was around $60 an hour, and at the time I thought that was kind of high.

Today, however, I started thinking about this concept of value just a little bit more. I wondered why I thought $94 an hour to pay for people to fix my car, which I know nothing about, is too high. After all, for my main business service in health care, I charge at a minimum $150 an hour to do what I do. Some hospitals pay it willingly; others balk a bit at the price until they realize just how much money I’m going to make for them. When you balance $15,000 against the opportunity to make an extra $1 million a year in revenue, it has to eventually seem like a pretty good deal.

Yet, it doesn’t always pay well. I’ve had some big years, but this year, with worries about a potential health care plan, as well as reductions to Medicare and Medicaid, I haven’t worked in that industry all that much. The people who would hire me haven’t quite figured out how to value what I do against what their needs are. When you don’t have a lot of money, and you’re not sure of what someone else tells you are guaranteed results, it’s hard for you to determine just what value really is.

I’ve suffered at times with trying to figure out how to price items I’ve created, along with some of the services I provide. Last week, for instance, I sold my very first Mitchell Manager Training Program online for $39.99. That bad boy is around 150 pages long, and I’m selling it for less than $40. Last year when I was talking with Lynn Terry about my ebook above, Using Your Website As A Marketing Tool, which I sell for $20 based on her recommendation of how many pages are in it.

In a way, this question of value is what I was talking about in my last post about writers lying when talking about secrets. They’re not offering anything new, just saying the same exact thing someone else has said before most of the time. There’s no real value in that; it’s just a waste of our time.

There’s also this thing about how we value ourselves, and how we value others. Value isn’t always about money after all. On my business blog in June, I wrote about a lesson my dad gave me on a personal value issue, and how I was glad to have learned such a lesson even though I was over 40 years old. I’ve also written there on how some people have either positive or negative values, and get to decide which direction they want to go.

So, how do you value yourself? How do you value your time? How do you value the worth of others and what they have to offer to you? How do you value your own products, or services, or anything else you have to offer or sell or even write on your blogs? It’s something to think about as you’re deciding how you want to write your blog, how you want to market your products, and whether the products other people market just might be something you may feel you’ll get some kind of value from.

And it’s something I continually think about as I work on this thing called affiliate or internet marketing. I don’t have that particular answer myself.

The Secret Is There’s No Secrets

Back in March, I wrote kind of a rant post on people who keep writing these posts about driving massive traffic to one’s blog. In it, I griped that these people keep writing the same thing, almost to the point where I wondered if people are just copying what someone else says without putting any real thought into it.

Six months later, I’m still seeing the same kind of thing, only these days people are couching it within the phrase “The Secrets To…” or something like that.

I read a couple earlier today, knowing what I was going to see and was still irked by it. One talked about how to get more visitors to your blog. The other was about how to get free advertising to one’s blog. Both are the same exact things I’ve seen before; nothing new, and not even written all that originally. Like I said, it’s as if people are just copying it from someone else’s site.

Now, I’ll be a little bit fair. Maybe, to someone, this is all new information. It’s just hard to believe, after I’ve been doing this for so many years, that this is new stuff for all that many people, especially the people who are writing it. And, to be fair again, I guess the other problem is that there’s not really much new that anyone can really offer on most of these subjects.

I mean, really, what’s new that someone can come along with to help drive traffic to their blogs anyway? The only things I really haven’t seen much of is sending email to everyone in your email address book asking them to visit your blog, leave a comment, and invite others to stop by. That’s something I’ve done, but only when I feel I’ve written a post that deserves a bit of attention. I’ve never asked anyone to Digg or Delicious or anything else to my posts other than sharing them. I do have that little thing above the comments box where people can do it if they so choose, and I do appreciate it when it happens (though I’m not on Digg or Stumble Upon, so I always wonder how I get traffic from those two places).

The other thing is to try to do offline marketing to see if you can drive people to your blog. I’ve seen postcards sent out to get people to visit websites, but never a blog. I’m thinking the costs of doing it would be prohibitive; after all, those costs are prohibitive when you’re using that kind of marketing for other reasons to begin with.

So, like the myth of “You Can Make 100,000 A Day If You Buy This Program,” the myth of “The Secret Of” is just that; a myth. Now, this isn’t to be confused with something I talk about all the time, that being the movie The Secret, something I’ve mentioned often but never really written about; I’m going to have to get that done soon, probably on my other blog, as it talks about the Laws of Attraction, and I need to have it bringing more people to me than sending people elsewhere.

So, we’re agreed? No more belief in “secrets of” other than what I’ve put below?

The Secret



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TalkBiz News

I’ve been a subscriber of Paul Myers newsletter called TalkBiz for probably 6 or 7 years now. I wrote a review a couple of years ago also, if you want a little bit more on it.

Paul has been in the internet marketing business for a long time, and is obviously very successful. His newsletter is one of those that doesn’t come out more than once a week, and sometimes he disappears for awhile. That’s when you know he’s working on something new. I’ve purchased a few of his things over the years, and they’re all written very well. I’ve even put a couple of things to trial, but we all know I’m the worst internet marketer in the world, so they haven’t worked great for me. Don’t ask me which ones; it’s been awhile at this point. Time gets away from us all.

The best thing I ever learned from Paul was this concept of Thud Factor. The idea is that people in general seem to think that the bigger something is, the better and more valuable it is. That’s obviously not always the case, but it’s a perception many people have. So he talked about ways to combine a bunch of stuff into a package that doesn’t cost you all that much more, and still brings in a nice profit at a sensible price.

And now I’m an affiliate for him, and this is another one I really believe in. If you click on the banner below, it will take you to a signup page for his newsletter. The newsletter is totally free, and I’m of the opinion that this is one you really should be checking out on a routine basis. I read every single one of them, and I can’t say that about all the newsletters I receive. Even his longer posts are easy to read.

As the banner says, this is stuff you need to know; go ahead, subscribe. It’s painless, free, and good.

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Free Running

Some months ago I watched this one particular commercial with interest. There were a few people who were running, but not running like what I was used to. They weren’t running for exercise; they were running for sport, and not on a track.

Free running is what it’s called, and it’s almost like an obsession with these people. Instead of just walking places, they run, but they don’t do it the easy way. Seems the purpose is to challenge their bodies by running, so they’ll climb stuff, jump over stuff, and anything else possible to do, all while keeping in motion. Well, they do stop every once in awhile, but only to execute some of the most physically amazing things you’ll ever see.

This is all based on a principle of Bruce Lee’s about total body control. He didn’t do the running, but many of the body principles he taught are contained within free running. Two things, though. One, this is for young people, because it’s very dangerous; you need a lot of flexibility. Two, it takes a lot of time to work up to it, which is why it’s for young people. I don’t advocate anyone doing this; I’m certainly not going to. But it’s fascinating, and I hope the two videos below show it better than how I’m talking about it.


Big Fitness Equipment

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Internal Server Errors And Plugins

I’ve been having all sorts of issues with my dashboards ever since WordPress 2.8 came about. I also kept having Internal Server Error 500 pop up from time to time. With 2.8, I actually found a fix for it, and that should have been that.

But with each update, that fix wasn’t working so much. None of my blogs worked well after 2.8 anyway, and we had to keep updating. And the WordPress people kept updating every two weeks, and that was irritating because automatic upgrade wouldn’t work for me. When WordPress 2.8.4 came out, I decided I wasn’t upgrading at all; nope, just wasn’t doing it.

That is, until I started reading all the news about blogs that hadn’t updated being hacked into and basically having all content destroyed. Man, nothing will get you moving faster than scary news like that. So, I finally updated all my blogs; one had already been updated when I was hoping to fix something else, but it hadn’t fixed my issue.

Over the last couple of days I’ve been getting that Internal Server Error thing over and over, and never when doing the same thing. I was going nuts, and I was trying to check plugins and even thought about reloading my software. And I was right on the verge of doing that when I decided, based on research, that it had to be the plugins, or at least some of them.

I started with my business blog, which was having the most issues. I turned off all plugins except Akismet. Then I went to the dashboard; it was working perfectly. Slowly and surely, I added one plugin at a time, to see which one would make the dashboard stop working. I was hoping it was only one, and I was hoping it would be WP Super Cache, which I’d just loaded.

Turns out it was WP Super Cache; but it wasn’t alone.I had to kill four other plugins as well. Those were Broken Link Checker, Gravatar, Why Do Work Adsense, and WP Ajax Edit Comments. I couldn’t believe it was all of them, but there it was. The only one that’s really bothering me a lot is Broker Link Checker, because it works great. The others,… well, I’d like to have them, but I really don’t need them.

I turned on WP Super Cache because my blog had been running a little sluggish, and I thought that would take care of it. Turns out it didn’t do anything, as there was another plugin that was recommended to use with it, but it wouldn’t work on my blogs because, supposedly, my host is running PHP version 4 instead of version 5. I might not have the terminology fully correct, but I have the essence and the numbers correct. Anyway, it didn’t work on this blog, so it doesn’t really matter that I’m removing it, for the second time.

I then went to my finance blog and deactivated the same plugins, if I had them there, and went to the dashboard. There was still a problem. I had a feeling I knew what the problem was, and I was correct; my plugin called Backup WP was the problem. It’s the only blog I had it on, as I use WordPress Database Backup on the other blogs, so I’ll just switch to that and things will be just fine.

Then I came to this blog and did the same thing, and there you are; all is right with the world once more. Now, what I want to make sure I say is that I don’t know that one of these plugins may work well on its own, but doesn’t play well with another plugin that I loaded first. However, I loaded the plugins I really felt I needed first, and if they worked, then I moved on to the next one.

Anyway, now I’ll monitor things over the next few days to see if I get that error again. I hope not; this can be quite tiring. Check out your plugins if you have any problems. Deactivate them all first if you need to, like I did the first time around, and if you have no problems after that, you definitely know it’s a plugin issue. Good luck,

Woo Pom Pom Scarf






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