All posts by Mitch Mitchell

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

December Statistics Report – Everything

Last month I said that I was going to start giving my entire online profitability, not only the blog, because, well, truthfully, only reporting on the blog ends up being a bit depressing. So, I’m going to not only talk about the blog, but about my online income as well, since my overall goal is to make significant money online, and not only on the blog. Kind of a branching out for me, but hey, if Yan can talk about branching out, then so can I.

So, here we go. My total monthly online intake was $60.22. That’s down from November, but that’s okay because I noticed there wasn’t a lot of activity the last week due to the holidays. I was on a great pace, though. The blog income was $15.75, also down from last month. That might be incomplete, though, and I’ll get to why. I made $12 from Text Link Ads, 10 cents from Widget Bucks, 19 cents from Kontera, $3.00 from ScratchBack (thanks to Dennis and Sire), and 46 cents from Chitika. Link XL is the anomaly here, because it only has a report from November and nothing else, which is odd. I might have to reach out to John to find out what went wrong there, but most probably I didn’t make anything. Anyway, this tells me overall that I’m averaging about $500 a year online, which is more than enough to pay for my online expenses, so I’m seeing that as a positive. But, for those of you who saw my online goals for 2009, it means I have to increase that figure 4-fold. How will I do it? Not sure, but I’ve got a few ideas here and there.

Per Google Analytics, I had 992 visits to the blog this month, which is my first decrease in 10 months, and drastically so. My ISP also reported reduced numbers, down to 16,208. Very disappointing numbers, but the reduction explains why I made less income this month. However, since I still wrote 24 posts in the month of December, I think it starts to validate Peter Lee’s post about commenting on other blogs, since I didn’t get to visit as many blogs and make as many comments as I’m used to doing in December. I do believe now even more than before that there is a direct correlation between commenting on other blogs and the visits you get to your own blog.

It wasn’t all bad news, though. I did finally crack the Technorati top 100,000, hitting 96,562, although, as I check today, it’s done some weird readjustment and I’m now looking at 183,557; can one drop that far in less than a week? Especially when I’ve increased my authority and fans in the same time period? Well, it is what it is for the moment, but that’s really weird. I’d also hit a top number of RSS subscribers as of last week with 55, but today it’s down to 47; I guess I need to make sure to not miss as many days in a row, I suppose.

So, those are the numbers, fresh and honest. This is going to be a tough month because I’ve got some major travel coming up, but I’m going to see what I can do anyway.

Body Pillow Large New York Giants






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My Online Goals For 2009

I see the year 2009 as kind of a bellwether year in my personal and professional life, and therefore I figure I have to have goals that help me get to places I want to be eventually in both of my lives. Though I’m still working on coming to grips with it, I’ll be turning 50 at some point this year, even though, overall I don’t feel any older than 19 or 20, which is what my dad used to say to me all the time. But I am older; I feel it when I get on the floor for something and then have to try to get back up. I feel it in the mornings when my body aches and creaks as I try to get out of bed. I have a disease that I’m fighting all the time and not winning the battle, unfortunately, but I keep working on it, in my own way. Yet I’m always optimistic about life in general and my life, and my mother said she sees that as my strongest point.

So yes, more goals. I’ve been writing goals for years, probably starting in 1999, the year I turned 40, but I didn’t start putting them on the internet until 2006. I haven’t always reached my goals, but I don’t let that stop me from writing them and putting them in public, because one, we still have to have goals, and two, one is more apt to at least give a better effort to goals that they share with others than goals they keep to themselves.

First, I’m going to address last year’s goals, but I’m also doing something a little bit different this time around. In previous years, I’ve only put five goals together, and only written it on one blog, my business blog called Mitch’s Blog. This year, I’m putting the same beginning on each of my three blogs, then I’m putting different goals on each of those blogs, which means I’ll be accountable for 15 goals rather than just five. Talk about pressure! And yet, it’s no pressure at all because I should be able to achieve at least half of them this year, with some renewed faith, more and better planning, and of course all of you looking at me and saying “hey, what’s going on there?”

So, let’s look back at last year’s goals and see how well I did.

My first goal was to lose 25 pounds. No, that didn’t happen, and I’m ashamed that it didn’t happen, but it wasn’t for a lack of trying, at least initially. My weight stayed pretty much the same while I was home at the early part of the year, though I was exercising at least 4 days a week. I continued on my exercise plan and my eating plan, where I had a major change in February that didn’t result in weight loss, but did result in a drastic decrease in my glucose level, which was very important.

Then I started going out of town more, and on the first go-round I started gaining weight and my glucose went out of control. When that contract was over I came home, lost that extra weight and got my glucose back under control again, but didn’t lose any more weight than the bit I’d gained. Now I’m on a new consulting assignment all the way across the country, and even though glucose has gone up I haven’t gained a single pound since I’ve been gone. But I also haven’t exercised. So, I will be working on fitting exercise time in when I go back out of town, and work on modifying how I eat while I’m in a hotel room, especially now that I have a room with a kitchen in it. I’m sending back containers to pre-cook and measure some meals, which I’ve not been able to do before while on consulting assignments, so hopefully this will help me get everything back under control.

My next goal was to get caught up on my taxes. No, that didn’t happen, mainly because my consulting assignments were so spread out that I couldn’t put anything consistent together.

My next goal was to give speaking engagements in five states that I didn’t give one in before. That didn’t happen because the person I’d hired to help me book speaking engagements decided to get out of the business.

My next goal was to finish writing one of the many books I’d started. That didn’t quite turn out the way I had intended, but I did write an ebook on using one’s website as a marketing tool and started selling it online.

My final goal was to find the time to take a 3-day vacation. I haven’t had a vacation since 1998, or taken any real time off since 2001 (when I was still employed with someone else), and I had hoped this would be the year. I get to claim one trip a year as a business expense, but I didn’t get an overnight trip in this year, so no vacation. That’s not good, but I guess that’s my life to date.

Anyway, that’s a quick recap of my goals for last year. At this point, my goals will be different on each blog of mine, and I’ll be giving the links to each blog post so the most intrepid of you can check them all out to see what I’m hoping to do with myself in 2009. A couple will be repeated from what’s above, but not on the same blog; at least not all of them.

On this blog, I’m going to list my top five professional and personal goals for 2009. They are:

1. Earn at least $2,500 online. This is kind of an audacious goal for me, and yet I keep thinking it shouldn’t be this hard to do. When I gave my November report, I only gave the numbers for this blog and nothing else. I think I’m going to change that up for December and ongoing because I’m truthfully not expecting that blog to make that kind of money, though the money it makes I’ll love anyway, but I’d love to get to a point where I’m making enough online income that I really don’t have to do anything else if I’m not in the mood. However, one has to have a starting point, and I figure that since my overall online income for 2008 has increased about 300%, I have shown that one can make some money online, so why not have a stopgap goal that’s possibly attainable if I do a few more things? And the thing is, y’all might benefit from the information if I get there; what’s to lose, right?

2. Revamp my S&S site. S&S stands for Services and Stuff, and it was my dream of having a web portal of sorts that hasn’t done close to what I had hoped it might be. I actually did get an offer from someone to buy it this year and turned it down because I felt there was still some great potential with it. So, I’m keeping it, but thinking about how to change it around.

3. Work my way up to 500 subscribers to my blog. That’s not such a bad goal, even though, to tell you the truth, I’m not fully sure how to do it. I mean, I write pretty good content here, get lots of comments, comment on other blogs, and even wrote a post saying that I wanted more RSS subscribers, which perked up the subscription base a little bit, but then it tailed off again. If I’d put that my goal was 100, that would be a nice improvement, but hey, let’s think big here. By the way, I want more RSS subscribers!

4. Determine at least three series to write on this year. I wrote two series this year that I thought were pretty good, one on blogging, the other on writing a book. The series on blogging got lots of hits, but the one on writing a book didn’t do as well. Yet, I still think both were important. I’m not sure what this year’s series will be on, but I want to have three more sources that show I’m at least somewhat knowledgeable in some particular fields.

5. Get into Technorati’s top 60,000. You know what actually drove this one? It was this post on the top ten black blogs of July 2008. That was the article that made me decide I wanted to have a highly ranked blog, and then after checking out Winning The Web’s Top Internet Marketing Blogs, where I’m sitting at 248 at the present time, I realized that Technorati was my way to work my way up into the mix. Right now I’m sitting on 101,157, which is a nice increase for a blog that’s just past its first year in existence, but I want more. I thought about working it through my business blog, but realized this is really the one where I have a chance to get it that high, and of course with it being my main commerce blog, the higher it’s ranked, the more advertisers of all types might come ‘a-calling.

And that’s that. you’ll have to check out Mitch’s Blog to find out my personal and business goals for 2009. To learn about my financial goals for 2009, you’ll have to check out Top Finance Blog.

So, I’ve stated my goals. What do you think of them? What are your goals for 2009? Share them, if you dare. 🙂

Heroes of the Dc Universe Green Lantern Bust

Price – $59.95






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My New Computer

There are some things you allow others to buy you, then there are those things you just have to do for yourself. This is one of those things I had to do for myself; I finally bought a new computer.

For the back story, my previous computer has been nothing but problems from the day I bought it. That sucker just kept shutting down at the most inopportune times (as if there’s an opportune time for your computer to throw up the BSOD), and there was nothing I could do about it. I took it back to Comp USA, where I bought it, seven times. I’d had it put together there, and I’m not sure but that was probably the biggest mistake of my life. I easily spent over $3,500 on that bad boy, first picking out all the components, then in repair costs and replacement parts costs (even though I purchased a service agreement), and nothing.

Then this summer, I took it to the computer repair guy up the street, and had a couple of encounters with him that ended up with my computer still not working, but now it was shutting down more often, and at more inopportune times. Frankly, with everything I did over a four year period, if I was dealing with real world issues I’d have won the Nobel Peace Prize.

Gateway FX Computer

Well, there’s nothing that a good consulting assignment won’t take care of, and in this case, it’s taken care of my being able to buy a new computer; whew! So, what did I get? I got the Gateway FX Desktop with Intel® Core™ i7-920 Processor, 3 GB DDR3 RAM, 750 GB SATA hard drive, 2.66 GHz processor, 512K ATI RADEON HD 4850 video card, 10 USB ports, one Firewire, dual-layered DVD player/ recorder,… and a host of other stuff that I’m not quite sure what it does, but I’ll learn it. This thing is fast, and it’s stable; man, I’ve wanted that for a very long time. It’s also expandable for two more hard drives and up to 16 GB DDR3 RAM; like I need more storage and more speed and power. Well, in this case, one never knows with me, right? Still, I’m stuck with Vista, but I have to say that, thus far, it’s working well, though there are some minor irritations I’m having, such as it’s working hard to keep me out of files that I’ve always been able to get into and modify on my own. That, and this weird thing of having two Program Files folders, one for 32-bit stuff, the other for 64-bit stuff; weird.

Now, me being me, I had to talk myself out of getting the computer that was one step up, and I’m glad I did. It came with a 2.93 GHz i7-940 processor and 6 GB DDR RAM and 2 GB video memory along with the terabyte hard drive, but when it comes to RAM, it was only expandable to 12 GB RAM. Of course, it was also set up for wireless LAN, and that would have been nice, but since my hub is less than a foot away from the back of my computer, it’s no big deal.

I had to talk myself out of that for two reasons. One is because I also bought the 22″ HDMI Gateway widescreen monitor that’s taken my breath away thus far (once again, having to talk myself out of spending another $150 for 2 inches; that just didn’t seem to computer). Two is because, since I was throwing my money around, I also bought a 42″ Sharp HDTV for the bedroom to replace the best sounding TV I ever had because the remote control wouldn’t work anymore, and it wasn’t the control, it was the sensor in the TV. Have you tried to find an inexpensive TV repairman in today’s world?

Yeah, I was throwing my money around yesterday, treating myself to a late Christmas present. But don’t think I spent it all on me. I took care of my wife before Christmas, the TV is actually more for her than for me, since I spend almost all of my time at the computer, and I’m still going to be giving her more stuff over the next few days to help her take care of some things she’s wanted to do for a long while. I’m a good husband, but she’s a good wife, and knew I needed a new computer. I gave her my old monitor, and man, there’s no real comparison between a flat screen 19″ and one with a big tube in it, is there?

Asus laptop

Of course, the next big electronics purchase for me will need to be a laptop at some point. My poor laptop is moving close to 5 years old now, and I noticed it was struggling last week as I was running it as the main computer. I hope it can last at least another couple of months, as I have some other things to take care of, and then we’ll see what I go with. Right now, I’m leaning towards the Asus Laptop with Intel® Centrino® 2 Processor Technology, red and black colored (I love colors), Intel® Centrino Core™2 Duo Mobile 2.66 GHz, 320 GB hard drive with 4GB DDR3 RAM, and a 17 inch screen. Right now I have a 15.4″ screen, but if you know me you know I never go lateral or smaller, hence the larger screen. Of course, something else might tickle my fancy, as I haven’t ruled out the Alienware n9750 17″ laptop or their new M17 17″, with the 500 GB hard drive, and I’m still kicking myself for not buying, when it was available, the Superman Area 51 laptop; that was really cool!

No matter. With the new speed and no more worries about shutting down, there will be more blogging articles on all my blogs, and everyone will want to buy new computers eventually. Happy holidays!


CoutureCandy $10 Off

Answering Someone Else’s Marketing Questions

One of the best things about Twitter is that, if you’re following the right people, every once in awhile you come across something that just peaks your interest, and then you have to investigate it.

This happened a little while ago when I came across a Twitter post by Dr. Letitia Wright saying that she’d left what was probably the longest comment she’s ever left on someone else’s blog. Me being the curious type, I just had to go see what she was talking about, and I came upon a post by Frank Conrad Martin on his blog Marketing Magic where he asks 30 questions about marketing in general, not specifically internet marketing. Dr. Wright decided to respond to every single question he asked, and I like her answers, mainly because she took the time to answer them. And I pretty much agree with them, but of course I have my own take on them. I hope you go and visit the article so you can read all the questions for yourself. However, I’m going to respond to a few of them here.

1. Why are pigs always smiling and dancing on signs at a Barbecue Restaurant? Does anyone think that pigs are happy about barbecue? This is a good one, something I’ve always wondered when I go to certain restaurants and see the happy faces of what it is you’re about to eat. Frankly, most of the time it creeps me out, but as I thought about it, I figure that it’s a pretty good advertising trick because you easily know what a restaurant’s main thrust is, even if it doesn’t say it in the name. I guess it’s better having the animals smiling than having them look like they want to kick your behind for eating them.

2. Does anyone know anyone who has *ever* purchased an item from pop-up ads? I’ve wondered this one myself. I know Problogger and the like stated that they saw dramatic increases in their newsletter subscriptions once they added that stupid little popup on their sites, but you know how much popups irritate the heck out of me. Yet, those aren’t the only types I’ve seen. Will anyone admit to buying something because a popup or popunder stopped them from leaving a site by offering a ridiculously good offer? Will anyone admit to buying something because, while they were reading an article, one of those floating popups came by offering some other unbelievably good deal?

5. Why is it OK to use stereotypes in ads, as long as the stereotypes are only for white men? Why are men so frequently depicted as inept or clueless in advertising presumably designed to sell them stuff? This is one of those questions that’s only ever asked by the majority of whatever country a person happens to be from. People in general, at least those with any kind of sense of humor, tend to parody themselves. In America, all the ad companies are run by white men for the most part, so who would they be expected to lampoon and not have people picketing outside of their doors? And the writer has this one wrong, or hasn’t he ever noticed how the music in the background is different if the person in the ad is a minority? For a marketing guy to not have figured this one out just kind of amazes me, but it also makes it look like he’s never left the country; for those of you who are in other countries, tell us which group gets lampooned the most where you live. I’m betting it’s the majority male.

8. Does the nudity in European advertising get more attention and sell more stuff than the more fully clad ads in the USA? Another one I obviously can’t answer, but I will admit to being shocked by what advertisers can get away with in other countries that just won’t fly here. Still, it’s an intriguing question overall; does sex on TV really sell more, no matter the country? Do I need to add more pictures of pretty women on my blog to start making some sales (I know Sire’s answer lol)?

9. How much viagra and “male enhancement” are actually sold via spam email? Could anyone *really* trust their credit card numbers to those spam marketers? Once again, you know how much I hate spam, and it’s a question I’ve asked elsewhere, that being just what do spammers think they’re deriving from all that they’re sending out? If you remember, I wrote on a post talking about legitimizing spam where someone sent out almost 470 million pieces of spam email and got 28 people to purchase from them. People around the world have gotten more savvy, and the spammers have gotten more desperate, and this is really a very legitimate question because it shows that, even though we’re all gotten smarter, there are still a few people out there who need more information on how to protect themselves.

15. Why are so many television commercials dumbed down to the 5th grade level of comprehension? Because advertisers have looked at statistics which show that at least half the American population can only read well at a 3rd grade level. You think I’m making that one up? Based on statistics put together by The Informatics Review, in 1995, 41.6% of American patients could not comprehend directions for taking medication on an empty stomach. One in four Americans is a high school dropout. Parents with young children overall read at a higher level than the norm, but only at a 7th grade level. Even Medicare requires any written correspondence for their subscribers has to be written at the level of a 3rd grader. So, this one makes sense because, unfortunately, we’re not a country full of Mensa candidates.

27. Do politicians or their managers *really* believe voters are stupid enough to believe the negative drivel they push late in the campaigns? They do because it’s true, unfortunately. Barack Obama had a double digits lead on McCain until the campaign got ugly, with the Republican National Committee deciding to keep pushing the fact that his middle name was “Hussein” (anyone see the racist intent there?), that he even knew a reverend and a former American “terrorist” (heck, might as well call that one for what it was) and wouldn’t repudiate either as they wanted him to (nope, just saying he disagreed with their positions wasn’t enough for them), and then, when they wanted more juice, decided to try to get people to believe that he wasn’t even American enough to be legally elected. I hate negativity in campaigns, but it works; or did you not see this video from Ohio that I posted back in October?

Anyway, those are the questions I wanted to address, but there are so many more. Please, visit the site, read the questions, do some thinking, and either respond to him or write your thoughts here. I’ve just marketed for the both of us.

Gateway HD2201 22 Widescreen LCD Computer Monitor








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Kontera, Performancing, TTZ – The Update

Back on November 3rd, I talked about adding some new affiliate programs, most specifically Kontera, Performancing Ads, and TTZ Media. I figured it was time for a quick update on these programs, since we’re six weeks away from that time.

To date, I have to say that I’m more than somewhat disappointed by the performance of all of them. Kontera has performed that best of all three programs, as I’ve made,… 14 cents since I implemented it. In case you’re not sure, Kontera are the ads you see throughout the posts with the double underline. I have to say that I’ve taken a look at some of those things by hovering over them, and I’ve noticed that many of them have nothing to do with the word they’re setting themselves against, and some of them don’t make much sense. It’s probably no wonder that they’re not making much, but at least they’re there for now.

TTZ Media and Performancing Ads have made the same amount of money, that being nothing. Each of these programs works differently, though, so the expectation is somewhat different. TTZ Media has ads that somewhat look like a cross between Shopping Ads and Widget Bucks. If you look to the right above the Technorati image, you’ll see the TTZ ad. I need to have more of those, and in more prominent places probably, but it does change with every post, including changing if you visit the same post more than once, so maybe it just needs to be in a more prominent spot.

However, the Performancing Ads program has been the biggest disappointment. What you see on the right, above the TTZ ads, is the affiliate ad for Performancing Ads, and not any of the Performancing Ads themselves. If you saw anything, it would be showing above that ad, as Performancing has you add a widget to your site, and that’s where they would populate the ads of their advertisers. If all was working properly, you’d see two 125×125 ads sitting there, instead, you don’t see anything there, and that’s irritating me. I added it because of a post on John Chow, but I should have read this post by Problogger beforehand, as he mentioned that Performancing had been sold, then made a comeback, but he wasn’t sure if they’d be able to get advertisers for the program again. Even John Chow, the guy whose blog I saw Performancing Ads on, hasn’t made any money from them, even though he’s showing the affiliate ad on his site.

So, the immediate move I’m going to make within the next day or so is to remove Performancing Ads totally from my site. The widget will be gone, and I’ll be popping a different ad in that 125×125 slot. You may even see it gone by the time you read this. I don’t know if the problem is them not finding advertisers, or those advertisers not wanting to advertise on my blog. Since I’m about to break into the top 100,000 per Technorati, I figure I’ve done my part in popularizing my blog in some fashion, and I can’t go blaming myself for everything, so I’m thinking it’s on them. No matter; time to put something new in there to see if it performs better.

Stay tuned, folks; there will be more reviews on some of these other affiliate programs I’ve added in the near future. Nothing personal, Performancing; it’s all business.


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