All posts by Mitch Mitchell

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

What Would You Buy?

What would you buy? A follow up question is “what would you buy from me”?

Let’s look at the first question for a minute. As y’all know, this is my internet marketing blog, and its main purpose, after just being an outlet where I can talk about whatever I feel like talking about, is to help me make money. Most marketing experts (I often wonder about the word “experts”, but that’s for another time) say that to understand buyers, you have to first understand what makes you buy.

So, let’s take a look at my buying patterns online. What makes me buy, or sign up, for things online? First, if I can get something online for a significantly lower price, I’ll buy online. Last week I purchased three HDMI cables from an online company for a total of $10 and change plus shipping (man, I wish they had an affiliate program). When I purchased a HDMI cable at the time I bought my blu-ray DVD player, the cable cost me $31, and that was their cheap cable. I’d say that was a significant savings.

I’ll buy something online that catches my mind’s eye and makes me say “man, I’ve got to have that”. As you know, at the end of each of these messages I either have some kind of banner ad or a product of some kind posted. I’ve actually bought a few of those products here and there, stuff I couldn’t find anywhere else without killing myself looking for it, and, well, that’s just not my style.

I’ll buy something online if I can only get it online. I wear Hush Puppies as my shoe of choice. I’ve been wearing Hush Puppies since 1967, the brush suede, and they’ve always treated my feet properly. I can’t find those shoes in any local stores anymore; they’re just not around. So I purchase my shoes online.

I’ll buy some ebooks online if they look like they’ll teach me something about internet marketing in some fashion. The two I’ve talked about most here are Adsense Secrets and Secret Google Tactics. I used to average $3 a month; now I’m averaging $50 a month. Those have worked well for me. And they didn’t cost much at the time; one cost $10, the other $27.

That’s another thing. I’ll buy something that’s not cost prohibitive. By that, I’m not buying an internet marketing course online for $900; just not happening. For me to spend that kind of money, I need to be able to touch it first, see it right in front of me, kick the tires, smell the upholstery,… wait, I changed genres there. Well, you know what I mean. I have spent as much as $200 for items online, but those were things I knew something about, that I’d seen elsewhere, and knew what I was getting.

So, I’ve identified what I’ll buy and why I’ll buy certain things online. Next, I’m supposed to put myself into the mind of potential buyers from me, based on my own triggers, and then determine what will compel people to buy from me. Frankly, that doesn’t translate well from my mind, which is probably why my internet marketing efforts aren’t all that successful; it probably explains the same thing for many of you also.

What’s the biggest problem in the United States today? The economy. People need jobs, or they need ways to figure out how to make money. I wrote about the book How To Make $100 A Day a few times, and I am an affiliate for this book. I bought this book a couple of years ago, and I did latch onto a couple of the items listed. I would have thought this book would have sold at least a couple of copies here and there; who couldn’t use some ideas on how to make $100 a day, right? And, the guy who put this book together, Willie Crawford, has made more than $400,000 off this book that sells for $27; heck, maybe everyone has it already. I mean, this book hits an emotional trigger if ever there was one.

Let me ask this question; what triggers you to buy something online. Heck, for that matter, if you never buy anything online, what repels you from doing so? If you were to want to buy something from me, or any other online marketer, what do you want to see from them? How would you like marketing to be presented to you so that you might at least consider clicking on it to see what it’s all about? Banner ads? Text ads? Personal products from the creator of the website or blog you’re visiting (by the way, you DID notice mine up there at the top left, right?)? More product reviews, non-paid (since I won’t do paid reviews), or testimonials? Hey, why not share; you might discover something about yourself that will help you to make money online, if you’re so inclined.

Or maybe you want more entertainment; how’s about some live Bruce Springsteen to close this out:


Be seen by 1.5 million hiring managers instantly!

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January Statistics Report – Getting Better

Well, finally some better news. The economy of the country might be going down, but the economy of my online internet marketing has gone up. Can’t say I’m rich yet, but it’s going in the right direction, so that makes me happy.

Without further ado, my January cash total was $73.37. That’s the best month since I started keeping and reporting statistics on this blog, so I’ll take that, though I know I had one better month in the summer. This month, I’m going to give a full breakdown of not only those programs I made money from, but those I made nothing from. Here’s the list:

Commission Junction – 18 cents
Google Affiliate Network – 0
Clickbank – 0
Adsense – $55.16
Mining Gold – 0
Startup Rebel – 0
Shopping Ads – 0
Widget Bucks – 15 cents
Solutions Medical Billing – 0
Joel Comm – 0
TLA – $14.60
Kontera – 42 cents
TTZ – 25 cents
LinkXL – $2.50
J-V Network – 0
Share-A-Sale – 0
Chitika – 11 cents

This was my best month ever for Adsense, which pleases me, and I made most of it from my medical billing site, which I’ve talked about before. The rest of the earnings all came from this blog, which means it made $18.21 for the month. Not bad, but now it’s time to change some things around some more.

What am I going to do? Well, the first thing I’m going to do is remove Widget Bucks from this blog, and only use it on my other sites. Every once in awhile this site loads slower, and I think it’s that widget. So, I’ll lose that 15 cents from the blog; c’est la vie. I’m also finally giving up Mining Gold; that’s an affiliate program through Shawn Casey that I actually joined 3 years ago, and I’ve advertised it a few times on some of the posts on this blog, but no longer. I’m also not going to be wasting time advertising Startup Rebel anymore, as it’s pretty much a one trick pony. The same goes for Tweet My Blog, which I didn’t even mention here, because, well, I never got any money from the past when I know people signed up for it through me, and now I just don’t trust them. Outside of those two links, I’m done.

Next, about Clickbank. As you know, in the recommended products to the right there, four of the five items are from Clickbank. Well, I’ll be removing the one link that’s not them, which is for my marketing tool book (no link this time), because I’m going to be listing the book on the left side with my other products. Matter of fact, I’ll be moving my products up the left side more, since those are my creations, and one of the things most “true” internet marketers say is that you should promote your own products first before promoting other things. True, that’ll be my only product that’s related to the internet in any way, but products are products. And I’ll be creating more as I go along. Anyway, I’m going to search Clickbank and add one more product of theirs to my recommended products, then we’ll see where things go. I don’t think I’ve promoted Clickbank products all that well, or probably anything else; I need to work on that.

There is one thing I listed that most of you won’t know anything about. It’s the Solutions Medical Billing affiliate program. They only market medical billing books, and I’ve been marketing those books on my medical billing site only. It seems that, if you find a niche, most of the time you’ll be able to find an affiliate program specifically for it; neat, eh?

And there you go. Some of the other affiliate programs here I haven’t done all that much with, but there will be items rotating on this site as I give other things a try. The latest is a Shopping Ads 250×250 that you see there on the right after the recommended products. Hey, this is supposed to be my internet marketing blog; it’s time I started marketing better.

The Bradford Exchange My True Love Diamond Bracelet






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Top 100 Singers Of All Time

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Something a little different today, although it’s online, so to speak, so it fits the model. Rolling Stone Magazine put together a listing of what they say are the 100 Greatest Singers In History. I’ve got to tell you, I love stuff like this because it invokes pretty good memories, great discussions, and of course we all get to have our favorites and those that we don’t like. Being a former professional musician (I got paid for it, therefore I was a professional), I’d like to think that I have at least some basic knowledge on the subject.

Just to get this out of the way, though, we’re talking about rock musicians. No operatic folks are on the list, which is a shame because if one can’t get Andrea Bocelli or Sarah Brightman in a list then it’s not quite accurate. Also, any list that has Mariah Carey all the way down at #79 tells me that the list is not only not about singers, but that it’s more a list of performers who impress people who like rock than an article about true singers. And come on; no Celine Dion, no Whitney Houston, no Donna Summer,… ugh!

Obviously, I’ve already given some early commentary on this list. But let’s look at the top ten only; if you want to jump right to the entire list, you can use this link to get there.

Going in reverse order, #10 is James Brown. Most people only know the James Brown of Eddie Murphy fame, but when he started out, James Brown had a very melodic voice. Later on he decided to give that up for more histrionics, but no matter. You can’t have a discussion about vocalists in history without James Brown. This isn’t a bad pick.

At #9 on the list we have Stevie Wonder. I wrote in a review last year that Stevie Wonder is the number one pop music genius of all time, and he’s still influencing musicians of today, so there’s no gripe about this pick either.

At #8 is Otis Redding, and if I have a gripe about this pick, it’s that I just don’t see him being in the top ten. His untimely death has probably added way more credence to his importance, but when it comes to singers, there’s so many more who were not only more important, but better singers.

At #7 is Bob Dylan; here’s the big pick that lets us know it’s more about legacy than actual vocal talent. I say this while being a big time Dylan fan. Bob Dylan couldn’t sing his way past the first round of American Idol, let alone be considered a legitimate singer on any list. However, his body of work was remarkable, and he came alone at just the right time to touch upon the psyche of America. His lyrics impressed me so much that I bought his book of lyrics some years ago, just to study the composition structure of them. Top ten in importance, yes; top ten singers, no way.

At #6 is Marvin Gaye, and this is a great pick for the top ten. There were few other natural singers who could compete with Marvin Gaye, and he knew it. Marvin Gaye was so good that he’s the only performer in Motown history who didn’t have to go through “performance school”; of course, it didn’t hurt that he was married to Berry Gordy’s sister either. Still, Marvin Gaye could have made a nun give up her virginity, there was so much sex in his smooth sound. No gripes here.

At #5 is John Lennon, and once again, I have to put him on the list with Dylan; important for the times, but not all that great a singer. His range was limited, and, well, truthfully, I think he had more of an emotive voice with no real range. I can’t think of anyone else who could have brought the kind of power he did to a song like “Imagine”, but he was a great performer, and an even better man, than he was a singer.

At #4 is Sam Cooke, and I’ll say right now that the only gripe I might have here is that I could see him being at #2, except he left this world way too soon. Sam Cooke was smooth, he had range, and, well, he was just likable as a singer and as a man. Well, except for the woman who ended up killing him, I suppose, but even there,… well, we’ll probably never know the real story. Sam Cooke could make you feel good; he could make you cry; he could pretty much do anything he wanted to do with his voice, which is what makes me so impressed with him. It was his voice and one of his songs I thought about the night Barack Obama was elected president, and what it meant to me. Great pick!

At #3 is Elvis Presley, and there’s just no way anyone can gripe about this pick across the board. Elvis was the man, plain and simple, and if he’d known how to take care of himself, he’d probably still be the man right now in his 70’s. Elvis could sing, he had presence, he touched people, and mixed in the middle of a lot of fluff were some pretty good songs. Let’s face a fact here; without Elvis being exactly what he was, a big, good looking country white kid that loved to sing what at the time was termed “race music” and doing those “heinously sexy moves”, we’d have been stuck with Pat Boone’s generic style for the rest of our lives, black music might never have had the opportunity to become as prominent as it has, and music in general would have stagnated. Yes, I think he was that important.

At #2 is Ray Charles, and I love Ray Charles. Though I might not have put him at #2, he’d have definitely been in the top ten. Ray Charles did stuff with music that no one else dared to do, which makes him important, and he did it because of the music, not for any other reason. Ray Charles did jazz, and always considered himself a jazz musician. But he also did rock, pop, gospel, country, and classical, and went to the top in every single genre. Ray Charles also touched people, but oddly enough, according to his own autobiography, he never really understood why, except for the soul of the music. And man, there’s no one who could have taken that soul away. Ray Charles was truly the king of soul.

At #1 is the queen of soul, Aretha Franklin. If you’re not old enough to remember the true power of Aretha Franklin singing almost anything then I feel sorry for you. Aretha Franklin was raw power and emotion; when she went soft, you held onto your own hands because you knew the explosion of emotion was coming. The daughter of a preacher who cut her chops in church, she has earned 21 Grammy awards, was the first female inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and has the best selling gospel album in history, Amazing Grace. All that, and she’s still prominent today, singing at the inauguration of President Barack Obama just a week and a half ago. No problems with the queen being at number one.

And there you go. As I said, something different to talk about, but hey, it’s the day before the Super Bowl, so let’s have some fun here. Now, if I went through the entire top 100, there’s a lot of artists I’d throw out and replace with someone else. But for now, enjoy what’s there, and offer your own opinions; should be fun.

The Essential Barack Obama: The Grammy Award-Winning Recordings








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What’s In A Name?

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From the title of this post, my friend Scott probably thinks I’m going to talk about his site called All In A Name, which you should visit because he’s got a lot of cool stuff which lets you create things based on your name and have them customized in many different formats for you. There’s my plug for the day.

No, what I’m going to talk about today is the names people use when they’re commenting on blogs such as this one. Our friend Sire wrote a post called Commenting 101 – important Rules For 2009. Point number six was this:

Name And Not Keyword! I know that everyone is trying to get maximum exposure for their keywords but I really think that blog hosts would like a name rather than a keyword such as ‘Ultimate Blogging Tips’ when people leave a comment.

I’ve been thinking about that lately as I see some of the names coming through from people where I know, and of course everyone else knows, it’s not their name. Not to call anyone out, but the last ten names that I’ve seen which aren’t really names are: Sire (that one’s a nickname, so it really doesn’t count); Trade Show Guru (although Steve always puts his name after his comment); School Proxys Blog; Boyz II Men; Offshore Software Development; iip; Busby SEO TEST; work at home blog (Peter also always puts his name after his comments); Market Secrets Blogger; and Make Money Online Tips. And, except for the two guys who wrote their names after their comments, and of course Sire, I chose one of the words for each person and used that as a name when I responded to them, to make sure that, when they got notification of a response, they knew it was for them.

There’s always some folks who question this thing as to whether they should be using their real name or using the name of their blogs or websites. Here’s the reality; you should use your name, or nickname, where it says name. Let me ask you this question; what’s more important to you, having people come to your blog via a link or having them see the name of your blog and hoping that they’ll come by?

Now, I actually understand where some of this comes from, and, yeah, I’m going to rant once again about hating Blogger blogs. If you comment on a Blogger blog, you pretty much only have two choices. One is that, if you have a Blogger account of some kind, you can leave your name, and a link to your blog will appear because you’ve created the account, but that’s it. Two, you can decide to leave your name and your URL, but, because it assumes you don’t have an account, you don’t get to leave an email address, and therefore you’ll never get email notification of any responses to your post, or after your comment has been posted. If you’ve chosen the second one, you might be inclined to put the name of your blog instead of your name to try to highlight your link, kind of an SEO trick that I talked about in my post on Five SEO Tips.

WordPress blogs work differently, because they’ll allow you to put in your name, your email address, and your link, which is great because you now know that you’ll have an opportunity to interact more often with a person whose blog you like. And that’s whether you have a blog on the WordPress.com site or your own hosting service. If you happen to visit a blog that uses CommentLuv, like this one, it’s even better because it’ll actually highlight posts for your blog, and if that’s the case, then there’s really no reason to put in your blog or site name because, hopefully, you’re topic will drive people to your site if it interests them, as names rarely do. And, when people respond to you, they don’t look silly or goofy referring to you with something that’s not close to a name.

So, think about it folks; how do you want people responding to your posts, by name or by the name of their blog or website? I guess it only matters if you’re interested in engaging your visitors in conversation, which I am.

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Don’t Do (Insert Here); It’ll Mess Up Your Blog

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Time for a rant of sorts. Once again today, on another blog, I came across a statement that just made the hairs on the back of my neck rise up. Okay, it was on Dennis’ blog, a comment someone wrote on one of his topics, to whit:

remember to put nofollow in them though, keywordrank might suffer otherwize.”

Spelling errors notwithstanding, I am so tired of reading things like this in general, talk about worrying about losing keyword rank, page rank, ‘link juice’, etc. I’m not tired of hearing about it because I see it everywhere; I’m tired of reading about it because none of it is true. Rather, let’s not go out on a limb and say it’s not true; it’s not legitimate enough stuff for anyone to worry about. Yes, I like that better. But I can’t make a statement like that without following it up, so let’s take a good look at it all.

First, let’s look at that particular comment above. Keyword rank is an invalid term; I think what the writer was trying to say is that if you use keyword links and don’t make the “nofollow” that those keyword links will suffer. It’s not true. No one suffers anything from using links within their content, especially if those links help validate the keyword phrases one is hoping to use in their article. As a matter of fact, links highlighting keyword phrases are strong, even if they’re not internal links.

Second, it was a misstatement because that wasn’t the topic of Dennis’ article to begin with. I’ll just say that it was related to looking at what kind of ads might be more recommended, banner ads or text link ads within content. Since Dennis didn’t mention it, I didn’t take his question to mean paid for text links; I took it to mean having affiliate programs that might work as links within the content, such as a link to hard drives if he was talking about hard drives. He might have even been talking about some of the affiliate programs such as Kontera that add links to one’s site.

On the first point, if you add your own links to your content to take someone to a product, that won’t get you into any trouble on your blog. That’s not considered a paid link, per se; I got that from Matt Cutts blog, though I can’t tell you right now which post, as he has so many. Now, if your entire article was filled with these links every step of the way, Google might not appreciate that, but even so, that won’t get you into trouble either. They do know, however, which sites might be paying for links, and if they find those, you might get into some trouble. Or you might not; Google goes looking for overt sales links. They’re not looking for everyone, and certainly not looking at every blog in the world; there’s over 90 million blogs at this juncture. What you don’t do is flaunt paid links in their faces, and of course you don’t irritate someone to the point that they turn into the “link police” and out you.

On the second point, companies like Kontera use javascript in the ads that they add onto your site, and since Google doesn’t track javascript there’s no worry there at all. Heck, you don’t even have any control over where those ads go, so how would you even try to add a nofollow attribute to it?

Moving on, this term “link juice”. How many folks remember my post on January 1st where I did my study of page rank and SEO? I’m thinking that, based on my own study, this thing about losing page rank because of too many links has been outed as invalid. As a matter of fact, SEO practices in general believe that the more related links, the better your website will perform, especially if you can figure out internal linking better. So, having 5 or 500 comments on your blog, dofollow comments at that, don’t hurt you at all.

Now, let’s talk about page rank; what, again? I talked about it when I wrote about “dofollow” blogs, and of course I’ve mentioned it often in passing on other posts. I did another little study, because, after all, I’m the researcher. I went to the all-knowing Google and put in “losing page rank”. You want to know what I found? Out of the top 300 links on Google, only 33 articles on the actual topic were written in 2008. The majority of the articles written on the subject were in 2005; isn’t that fascinating?

It says one of two things to me. One, not as many people really care as much about page rank anymore because, overall, it’s a dying topic. You know where the benefit of a high page rank is? It’s in advertisers who think that actually means something, and therefore want to pay you to place their ads on your site. It’s not in visitors; you don’t get more visitors from having a high page rank. If you get a lot of visitors you’ll have the possibility of obtaining a high page rank, but not the other way around. So, it’s more important, for a blog at least, to write good content, write posts that people want to read on topics they care about, and have a few SEO techniques such as good titles and description tags to help people know what you’re writing about.

Two, overall concern about page rank is dying, mainly because those in the know realize just what I said; page rank and visitors aren’t necessarily tied in with each other. Our friend Sire, who lost his page rank because he writes paid reviews (yes, that will lose you page rank, because it’s easy to track), certainly hasn’t lost visitors to his blog because of it. Last I saw, he had one post that had almost 80 comments, I believe. Our friend Dennis, whom I mentioned above, has a page rank of 3 on that particular blog, but one of his posts, which has received 123 comments, still doesn’t have a page rank associated with it. I’m betting Dennis isn’t crying over that page not being ranked; are you, Dennis?

Anyway, it’s time to bring this rant to a close. Here’s the thing, folks. It’s not about page rank or losing “link juice” or dofollow or nofollow. It’s about finding ways of writing content, or doing some other things that will bring people to your blogs, some of which I talked about when I gave my December statistics, or finding ways of using SEO to bring people to your websites. Worrying about dofollow, link juice, page rank or most of the other ranks means nothing. The one that means the most, at least to me, is how many visitors are you getting, and how many people are subscribed to your feed in some fashion. Everything else; you’re wasting your time worrying about a lot of nothing.

Thanks Dennis, for letting me use you like this; take it out of some of that Scratch Bank love I gave you. 🙂

Palm Tungsten(tm) E2 handheld


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