All posts by Mitch Mitchell

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

Is Social Media Hurting Your Online Business?

As all of you know by now, we had a presidential election this year. It was a major event that, for the first time that I can remember, got more social media attention than at any other time in history, mainly because of sites like Twitter and Facebook.

Talk Nerdy To Me #2
Constantine Belias via Compfight

Because I’m an independent consultant, I knew that I wanted to protect my overall business by not going too far in saying things one way or the other. And I did just that sort of thing until, near the day of the election, I came across this racist video of a small town in Ohio that literally set me off. Even then, I kept my anger in check by only discussing the issue that the video has brought up and nothing else; I couldn’t be faulted for confronting racism when I see it.

During the last few weeks leading up to the election, I saw some things on Twitter that really blew my mind. There were many hateful things said about both candidates, and as long as things stayed on political topics, I didn’t mind. However, when it got personal and racist and downright insulting, that’s where I drew the line. Instead of participating in the hate, for the most part, I just stopped following certain people. The thing is, some of those people were pretty big names, people whose blogs I read and who’s sites I’d visited; one of them I’d even bought a product from. But it was over; I’d lost respect, and it wasn’t coming back.

Facebook is a different animal from Twitter, and yet it’s still social media. There are people who will “friend” you, and sometimes you decide to go ahead and allow it to happen, even if you’re not sure. Most of the time it turns out to be fine, but sometimes, you see people exhibiting behavior that just drives you nuts. People put pictures of themselves on Facebook, which can be fun, but there’s certain behavior that will get people thinking of you in negative ways. I’ve heard the arguments that people should be able to do whatever they want on their own time, and that those “few” acts of indiscretion shouldn’t count against you.

Well, trust me, they do. I remember years ago going to a local networking event and meeting a woman who obviously had too much to drink, and continued drinking, even after her husband showed up. Her spitting in my face and constant touching me certainly didn’t make me a fan of her or her organization, which is one of the largest local bank chains in my area, and I knew that I would never go into her branch again; truthfully, I’ve never ended up going to any of the branches of her chain except one, and that’s only because a friend of mine works there, and I sometimes meet her for lunch.

On Facebook, it might not only be pictures. People will badger you with stupid stuff over and over, and to get away from it you finally just drop them and move on. Luckily, Facebook allows you to drop people without notifying them. Twitter is the same way, although some people have gotten around that by signing up for something, the name of which I can’t remember, but it tells people who’ve stopped following them. Why anyone would want to know when people drop them is beyond me, since there’s nothing they can do about it anyway.

It prompts me to wonder whether many people are cognizant of things they may be doing that may be hurting their business in some way. For instance, going back to Twitter, there was one lady who probably wrote at least 200 posts on Twitter a day, many times one after the other, and I finally had to drop her because it was taking away my enjoyment of the site. She’s actually quite popular, but knowing the type of person she really is has made me decide not to deal with her in any form anymore. There was someone else whose blog I used to enjoy reading, but then he decided to go after someone on Twitter over the course of a few days, and that turned me off and made me go in another direction.

As you look at your websites, and your blogs, do you think there are things there that might be turning off the wrong people? I know a few people have complained about the advertising on my blog, for instance, but this is an internet marketing blog, my intentions have always been well known as far as my intention on trying to make money with this blog, and I talk about all the things that one eventually sees on this blog, so it’s also a testing site. Yet, the majority of my visitors know what I’m doing, are interested in the same types of things, and y’all keep coming back for more (and don’t think I don’t appreciate it either; thanks folks).

But the one thing no one can say about me is that they saw me say anything inappropriate, or show or do anything inappropriate, on a social media site. I tend to be very cognizant of my image; not everyone is. Ask yourself this question today; are you hurting yourself publicly in ways you’re not intending to?


Super Bowl

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Still Losing Affiliates

Back in May, I wrote a post about New York state’s new law to force affiliate programs to start collecting taxes from those of us who market their products, and how I started having affiliates dropping me from their programs. I followed that one up a couple of weeks later with this article talking about how six affiliates had dropped me, and I wasn’t happy about it.

Well, after the initial round, nothing more happened, and I moved on, not thinking about it again. Suddenly, however, this week I’ve had three more affiliates drop me, mentioning this same thing about New York state. All I can conclude is that New York had thought about backing off of it a little bit, but with the big budget crunch because of the failing of the financial markets, which impacts New York more than other states because part of the budget is based on receiving residuals off positive stock market returns, they’ve come on full force and made these demands without reservation.

It puts one in an interesting position. After all, it’s not like I’ve been making money hands over fist with some of these affiliates, and yet I feel as though that next sale might have been just around the corner, and now this. Frankly, I don’t like it one bit, but there’s obviously nothing I can do. Well, there’s also something I have to do, that being going back through all my posts, looking for those particular ads, and removing them. I also have to look at a couple of my other sites and remove those advertisers there. It’s irritating, but if anyone purchases something from them I won’t get paid for it, so why keep promoting them, right?

Yup, it’s tough doing business in New York, no matter what type of business one is trying to do.

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November Report; Be Very Scared

Time for the November blog report, which of course details how this blog did for the month of November. It should be interesting to compare it to the October report, because I added a bunch of programs, but it’ll be interesting for a different reason than one might imagine.

I do want to start with this, though it has nothing to do with the blog. I made just over $42 in general from Adsense in November, which is easily my best month. I made most of it from my medical billing site, which I introduced on this blog in early November. I didn’t quite double my best month to date, but I came very close. So, niche sites can generate pretty good monthly income.

Now, to this blog and its stats, starting with income. For the month of November, this blog earned $20.37, which is up almost $11 from last month. I made $12.00 from Text Link Ads, $6.83 from LinkXL, $1.31 from Adsense, .13 from Kontera, and .10 from WidgetBucks before I pulled it from this blog because it was affecting the speed of the blog. So, it’s going in the right direction, but I obviously have way more work to put into it.

Now, some other stats. Per Google Analytics, I had 1,602 visitors to this blog in November, up 432 from last month, another high for me. Per my ISP, I had 19,105 unique visits, up almost 7,000 visitors from October, which had been my previous high. That’s not so bad, if you ask me. I also added this widget, which you can see to the right, and as of right now it’s saying that this blog is ranked 284th under the category of internet marketing blogs; I’ll take that also. I’m ranked at 119,551 on Technorati, 163,921 on Alexa, and 445,334 on Compete, which I still don’t care about. LOL

So, everything’s moving in the right direction, and I can only have high hopes as we move into the holiday season, but based on my own analysis, December stats usually go down because people are concentrating more on the holidays than on being on the internet reading stuff. Still, I’m happy with the progress, and hope y’all continue helping to support me on my ventures. And I’m really close to post #300, which I’ll hopefully have an opportunity to hit at some point in the next two weeks. I could have hit it by Friday if I hadn’t had to go on the road; the things we’ll do for money.
 

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Time Is Always A Factor

For the next few months, some of you are going to be disappointed, while some of you are going to be extremely happy. The frequency of blog posts are going to slow down a little bit, and it’s possible that I might only be able to get a post in every couple of days instead of my two posts a day pace. One never fully knows, of course, but there’s a reason for it all.

As y’all know, I’m a health care consultant who lives in New York state. As of yesterday I am all the way across the country, Reno Nevada to be exact, where I’ll be working on a long term consulting assignment, which doesn’t include the last two weeks of this month, which is the holiday season. I’m not saying where I’ll be at, but I will say that there’s going to be some major adjustments as it pertains to time.

Time is an interesting thing, isn’t it? For instance, I’m writing this at 6:15 in the morning where I am, but if I were home it would be 9:15 and this would all seem normal to me. In flying here yesterday, I left at 7:30 my time and got to Reno at noon their time, which means my travel day was seven and a half hours. It’s amazing that one can get across the entire United States in such a relatively short time.

But time will play havoc with your life, even while in the same country. For instance, I wanted to order dinner from the hotel last night, but in this time zone it was too early for anyone to deliver, even though at home it was 7:30 in the evening. So I had to alter plans and go to find food. Then I was really exhausted last night and thought I’d go to bed early, then realized that going to bed early here would have had me waking up at probably 2 in the morning here, as I usually only sleep 6 hours at a time, and that wouldn’t do because it’s going to be a long enough day for me today, the first one on a new contract, so I forced myself to stay up until 11PM, which, at home, would have “only” been 2AM, a time I regularly stay up past, but without the “luxury” of flying across the country.

And, now that I’ve flown across the country, I realize that I’m going to have to change all of my time pieces to reflect where I am, since I’m going to be here three weeks, otherwise I’m going to drive myself nuts. This means my watch, my laptop, my Palm, and my phone. Well, actually, not the phone, which automatically reset the time when I made my first call home to tell my wife I was here. When I changed the time in my Palm, I then had to remember to go back in and change all the alarms that I’d set for this upcoming week, which I’d originally set for 3 hours ahead.

But eating is going to be the hardest thing to deal with. Luckily, the hotel breakfast starts at 6AM, so I’ll catch that easily enough. But dinner,… I usually eat dinner around 6PM, but here that’s 3PM, and being diabetic and trying to stay on some kind of schedule, waiting another 3 to 4 hours to eat isn’t going to work for me. So, I’ll have to figure something out there. Luckily, I’m staying in a Homewood Suites, which means that once I find a grocery store, I can at least make some prepared meals, but I’m also going to have to buy containers, disposable ones so I won’t have to worry about trying to transport those things back and forth across the country.

By the way, just to talk about my first day here a little bit, I drove under the famous Reno gambling sign last night, though it wasn’t planned, while I was out on one of my excursions, scoping out where I’ll be working. Oddly enough, for me anyway, I’ll be working one block away from three casinos; ouch! On my drive to where I’ll be working, on one road I passed two casinos, and on another I passed 5 more. For a poker player like myself, this is going to be an interesting place to be on the weekends. Reno itself is very brown; no grass to speak of, or at least no real grass. When you come into town, all you see are mountains, some with snow on them, most no snow, but brown everywhere. How people decide to live in a desert is beyond me, but at this time of the year the temperatures are pretty much the same as where I live. The only difference is that yesterday here the sun was out all day, whereas at home they had a flash snowstorm, then a flash ice storm, and they’ll see very little sun over the next five months.

Anyway, this is my explaining why I won’t be around as much. This doesn’t mean that I may not have one of those creative bursts and write a bunch of articles and future post them; that’s one of the beauties of WordPress, I must say. And, occasionally I may tell a story or two about my adventures here; I hope you won’t mind.


Buy Poker Chips Online

Purchasing An Existing Domain Name

Today was a day of interesting frustration as it pertains to doing some things online. I’m sure I’m not the only one to go through something like this, so I’m sharing my tale with you. On Friday, I purchased an existing blog, which I’ll be bringing up pretty soon. Actually, I’ve already tried bringing it up, but I don’t want to jump ahead in this story.

On Tuesday, someone posted on Twitter that there were two websites that someone was selling for a relatively low amount. I’m the curious sort, so I figured I’d meander over to see what all the fuss was about. Indeed someone had posted on the Warrior Forum that they were selling two websites, and one of them was a blog. This particular blog is something I know a little bit about, but want to know more about, and it was relatively new. The owner had decided he didn’t have enough time to work on these two projects and decided to unload them. I wanted this one, so I wrote him. Actually, I had to write a comment on one of his blog posts, because he hadn’t created a contact page, so I had no other way to reach him.

The next morning, he responded to me and said that no one else had put in a request for it, and if I wanted it then it was mine. I was happy; I figured this would be an easy conversion, it already had a couple of posts, and because he had written basically every 10 days or so I could take some time with it, as it hasn’t really built up any following yet. I finally wrote him and asked if we could take care of the transaction over the weekend, since I was packing so I could go to my mother’s for the Thanksgiving holiday. He agreed, so we said we’d contact each other on Saturday.

Instead, I ended up coming home relatively early Friday afternoon because I had another commitment planned, but that got canceled. Sitting around on a Friday night with nothing else going on, I wrote him to see if he was available, and he was. So, here’s the process of purchasing and transferring a domain name to someone else.

I started off by paying him the amount he’d requested for the domain. He gave me his Paypal email address, so I went into my Paypal account, clicked on the option that said “Send Money’, put in his email address and the amount, and away the payment went. I got an almost immediate notice saying the payment had gone through, so I felt pretty good about that. Then I sent him an email mentioning the payment, and I gave him my GoDaddy account number, since that’s where he’d purchased his domain name. That’s all he needed; he didn’t need my password, which was a good thing. Now, if we hadn’t had accounts at the same place, I’d have had to create one wherever he’d purchased his domain from, and then I could have transferred it to whomever I wanted to at that point.

Within minutes after he’d set the transfer in motion, I had an email from GoDaddy saying there was a transfer in motion, and I had to sign onto the site to accept it, which of course I did. About five minutes later I received an email saying the transfer was complete; it can take up to 48 hours in some instances, so I was pretty happy.

The next step for me was to go to my host and set it up for acceptance of the new domain. As usual, when you do this you get the DNS servers for you to put in where you’ve temporarily parked the domain name, and while you’re doing that your account is being created by your host. I went to GoDaddy and did what I needed to do, then waited. The first notice I got was from GoDaddy saying the nameserver transfer had gone through. I then went back to my host, 1&1, and saw the message that my account had been created and was ready for full processing; sweet!

I went into the domain account, created a directory and set up a password, waited about five minutes for it to be created, then I started loading the database that the guy who’d sold me the domain name had backed up. That took awhile, since it’s a WordPress blog (most of you know it’s an easy process, but can take awhile sometimes). When it was finally loaded, I was ready to go see the fruits of my labor.

This is where the problems started, but they’re not going to be what you thought; don’t jump ahead. I typed the domain name in, expecting to see the blog fully set up, and instead I had this message that said “Error establishing a database connection“; I was not a happy man. I thought that maybe I had done something wrong, and indeed I had, as I hadn’t saved the correct files in the correct place. So I had to load all the files again, knowing that this time around it was all going to be good.

Nope; I still had the same error message, and now I really wasn’t happy. I wondered if I was supposed to run the blog process through the host first, as they have a program which will create a WordPress blog for you on your domain. So I signed into my account and selected that option, figuring that I didn’t mind if it overwrote what I’d uploaded, since I could always upload whatever I wanted to again. This time it was going to work, right?

Nope; it still didn’t work. Now I was frustrated, so I called the hosting company to ask for some assistance. One of the problems you sometimes have with customer service when it’s based in another country is that you may be using the same words, but you’re not speaking the same language. In this case, the person on the other end first said that I’d created the wrong kind of directory, which didn’t make sense since I’ve done this many times before, and then he said that maybe I need to make some corrections in my data.

I took that to mean that I needed to go into my account through my ftp server and delete some files. I ended up deleting all the files, which, unfortunately, takes much longer than uploading them, because you can’t delete a folder until you’ve deleted everything in that folder first, and of course some folders have multiple folders themselves. I spent pretty much just over 3 hours deleting every single file I’d uploaded so I could try the process again.

This time, I decided to call customer service back to ask about this directory thing, which I knew had to have been correct the first time around. I got someone else, still in another country, but we were understanding each other better. He said the directory was fine, but said he didn’t see anything in it. I told him that was because I’d deleted everything in the directory, based on the previous conversation with another representative. He then said the system was showing that the full transfer of the new domain to the new nameservers was still in process, and could take from 24 to 48 hours. I said I thought it had already completed, and he said no; that explains why I couldn’t see anything online. Ugh!

So, I had to upload everything again, and this time I guess I’ll be patient and keep checking over the next 24 to 48 hours. I hope it’s sooner than later, but until I see it for myself, I’m not going to mention the name. But there’s another lesson learned, and now I hope I’ve helped y’all learn a thing or two also.
 

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