All posts by Mitch Mitchell

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

Stuff You Probably Missed

Like most blogs, this one has gone through a bunch of changes since the first post, which was pretty lame; heck, most people’s first posts are pretty lame. My writing style has definitely changed, but it also changed with my business blog. I tend to believe that, as writers and bloggers, we’re allowed to go through style changes, because when we’re true to ourselves, our readers can feel it.

I have some interesting plans for this blog. Some of the things you see on the sides are changing, or have changed, and there’s more to come. I plan on putting together a set of my favorite blog posts, and hopefully continue updating it as I go along. I’ve already mentioned in the last post that I’m putting together a series on writing a book and the rest of the process; the first installment of that series will commence tomorrow morning, while I’m at a meeting; talk about pre-posting. I will probably be putting together a set of all my posts that have some sort of video on them; I’ll need to think about that one a bit more. I’m probably going to be adding something called Scratch Back at some point, which does on the concept of a “tip jar”, where people can pay for a nofollow link on your site to honor your blog or blog posts while advertising themselves and their websites. Of course, I’m getting the idea of this one from Lynn Terry and John Dilbeck (man, I feel like I’m becoming a promoter for John; I think one of you other guys needs to do something special lol).

There’s things coming, and I figure this blog will always evolve. However, even before I hit my regular stride, there were some posts of mine that I thought were either pretty good or pretty entertaining for one reason or another, and pretty much no one except Sire (yeah, Sire got his plug also) saw any of them. Now that’s what friends are for! Anyway, I wanted to highlight here 5 of my favorite posts from early on that you probably never saw, along with 5 of my favorite posts that contained videos. However, when it came down to it, the videos were easy to do, but my favorite 5 has turned into my favorite 7. So, here we go, highlighting 12 posts of mine that I hope all of you will go and take a look at; you can even leave a comment if you wish to. And, along with some other things I’ve done, I’m thinking this is something those of you who have either older blogs or lots of previous content, should do from time to time. Sometimes, it’s hard for our new readers to know what meant a lot to you.

So, here we go:

This was an early post talking about How Affiliate Marketing Works

This was my take on the dust up that came about when Joel Comm released the latest version of Adsense Secrets and along with it came a continuity option that was hidden, which I was glad I read about before I went ahead and bought the book.

Before I started talking more about internet marketing so much, I asked the questionHow Far Are You Willing To Go For Promotion

Later on, I decided to follow the previous post up by asking How Far Will You Go To Brand Yourself> after attending a local marketing seminar

I wrote this gripe post asking Is It Easy To Comment On Your Blog after wanting to post a comment on some blogs and having them either wanting me to register to make comments or search all over the place to see if there’s a way to leave comments.

Of course, one can’t always talk about marketing online; sometimes you have to talk about offline marketing also

This was probably one of those important and oddly motivational posts asking people How Big Are You Ready For, because most people want to be rich, but many people really aren’t ready for it if it came.

That’s the serious stuff; stuff that wasn’t so serious includes:

One of my favorite TV clips of all time was Harry Belafonte on the Muppet Show singing Turn The World Around

I found this intriguing; people always learn things better when it’s attached to music, and that includes Rapping About Web Design

I don’t know how many people remember this little goofy kid who did this screaming rant that he filmed and put up on YouTube when Britney Spears was going through her meltdown phase. I’m betting that you would be just as entertained by watching this

Man, if you needed a boost in the early 90’s, there was no other song that quite got you there than singing 2 Legit 2 Quit

This last one was just so funny that I really didn’t have to write anything, because no one ever saw it coming

There you go; twelve posts of mine that I hope you’ll go back and take a look at. And even if you don’t, I figure I just gave myself some link love; I’d best not hear any of those comments about “loving myself”. 🙂

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New Series – Writing And Marketing A Book

In the last couple of weeks, I wrote two posts that got a whole lot of attention. The first one asked the question How Do You Write, and the second one was a tips post on How To Be A Prolific Writer. Then yesterday, I wrote a post highlighting my book Embrace The Lead. That one hasn’t received any comments yet, and it may not, and because it’s still the same day based on statistics (since I’m on the East Coast and the stats won’t be updated until midnight on the West Coast), I don’t even have any ideas how many people have even read that post, if anyone has.

No matter. My thinking, in looking back at the other two posts, is that it might help some people if I talked about the process of writing my first book, since studies have shown that more than 50% of people who have been asked the question as to whether they’ve tried writing a book answered in the affirmative, but when asked the percentage of those who’ve actually finished writing a book, that figure drops to less than 1%.

People have many different reasons for not finishing books. One reason is that they don’t have the time to consistently work on one. Another reason is that the project gets too daunting; no real direction once they’ve started. Another reason is that they start thinking about how others would view them, or if they’d like their book. Some believe that they don’t have what it takes to really write a book and just stop.

Well, I’d like to help out, if I can. So, I’m going to be writing a series of posts geared towards tips on writing a book. We’ll do things step by step, and I’ll mix in some tales of the process that I went through in first writing my book, then trying to market my book, and then finally publishing my book. This will be real world stuff; no lies, no quick money making, just the honest truth. But it’ll end up being a series, and when I’m done, I’ll be putting all the posts in one place at the top so that anyone who wishes to follow the series later on can do it, just like my series on blogging tips.

So I don’t overwhelm anybody, I’m going to restrict myself to one post a day on the subject, and then possibly one post on another subject on the same day. I don’t really know how long the series will be right now, but I’ll be numbering them as I go along, so everyone will know the order to read them in. I hope they’ll be as entertaining as they will attempt to be informative. And please, if there are any questions on each part, go ahead and ask, but don’t jump ahead; I’ll let you know if you’re jumping ahead at any point.

Stay tuned; there are other changes that will be coming to this blog, as I morph myself around just a little bit. Always in the process of change; better than stagnation at any level.


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“Legitimizing” Spam?

How many times have I talked about spam? Well, let’s see. I talked about dealing with >Russian spam>. I talked about spam that seemed to be coming out of the wood works when I was talking about Compete Rank, and I talked about it a week ago when I talked about hating spam.

SPAM!
Luc De Leeuw via Compfight

I still hate spam, but now I’m seeing a different kind of spam, and if I’m seeing it, I know you’re seeing it also.

I’m talking about a specialized spam that’s advertising software that will send out comment spam. Talk about being bold and upfront about what you are! I even decided to visit a couple of these sites, putting the name of the company into Google first just to make sure they weren’t sites whose purpose was to drop drive-by malware onto my system.

Nope; in their own way, they’re attempting to be “legitimate” businesses by actually having safe domain names, without much contact information of course, and some of them are one page sites where you can click to purchase the software. Most of the sites actually said “send messages to millions of blogs at the same time”; no sir, that can’t be good for anyone.

This left me with many questions that maybe someone else can help me with.

One, uhhh, isn’t spam illegal?

Two, how the heck can the “regular” people who might think to try this stuff actually get away with it more than once, since their ISP would have to catch on? I mean, does the software actually know how to get around that one?

Three, if there’s software that helps explain all the spam we presently get, didn’t anyone deign to teach those who are using it a little bit of proper grammar. I mean, most spam is written quite poorly.

I’m not alone in writing about the topic of spam these days. Most stories are the one surrounding the ISP that got shut down and supposedly reduced the amount of spam by 70%; I didn’t see that. There was even one study that was done by scientists through a seized part of a spammer’s network, where they were able to send out 469 million pieces of spam and only got 28 “attempted sales” (they didn’t actually sell the product since it was a study, so all sales requests were rejected. So, the conclusion was that spammers have to work really hard to make sales, which is why they exist; anyone feeling sympathy for these folks yet?

I like the idea I came up with while talking to someone on Twitter about this yesterday. Let’s find out who they are, and take some sledgehammers, break down the doors, and destroy all of their computers. It might not stop anything, but it would sure feel good for a little while.
 

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Embrace The Lead

I must be the worst promoter in the world. I just realized that I’ve never really talked about one book that’s more special to me than any other book I’ve ever come into contact with.

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Enjoy this pic; the book’s
over there to the left

That would be a book called Embrace The Lead – Strategies for Management in the 21st Century. Why is this book so special?

Because I wrote it; yup, I’m a published author. Of course, I’ve mentioned it briefly in the past, especially when I wrote a post on how to publish a book. It’s self published, but I have an ISBN number, which means I’m considered as much of a publisher as the big boys, and thus I could sell my book on Amazon or Barnes & Noble if I so chose to.

Let me talk a little bit about my book. It’s a book on leadership and management, and in it I discuss the state of business, employees, and management in today’s working environment.

Let’s face the fact that no one is buying the old story about your place of employment being a “family” anymore. The challenges for employers thus has gotten tougher. It was always relatively tough to begin with, because one thing companies almost never invest in is leadership and management training for their managers and supervisors.

Everyone has reported to someone without the skills for the role, even if they had supreme skills to do the task at hand. In today’s world, bad managers have it even harder because today’s employees aren’t going to stick around in fear of not being able to get another job. Even now, in a bad economy, most employees will look for something else and be gone in a heartbreak because they know they can’t trust companies anymore. Without managers who are also good leaders, there’s nothing encouraging them to stay.

In the book I talk about today’s employees; why managers may be like they are; give a breakdown on different employee types; and discuss tips on criteria for becoming a good manager. For anyone who is in a leadership position at their company, or for anyone who’s thinking about it, this book is for you, from someone who’s been there. Did I happen to mention before that I also do leadership and management training, as well as executive coaching? Why yes, in my post on About pages, which was one of my most popular posts at one time.

If you’re interested in learning more about my book Embrace The Lead – Strategies for Management in the 21st Century, click on the link to see more, including testimonials. I also sell it in two versions; the ebook, and the soft cover, which, if you ask me nicely, I’ll even autograph for you when I send it to you. Now, how many other folks are you going to be reading today who’ve written a full book, and not just an ebook? 🙂
 

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Freelance Writing Woes

Only one post on a Monday, which is somewhat unlike me, but I have a good reason. My main computer is down, and I’ve spent most of the day working on it, trying to get it to reboot. Computers; ugh.

Computer Book
Jennifer Chernoff via Compfight

Then again, y’all have read about when I first took my computer to the computer guy and the subsequent visit with him, then again when I was trying to fix my computer and inadvertently deleted all my files while trying to reinstall Windows, then luckily being able to recover all my files. Computer problems are nothing new for me, and I’m still having problems with my computer even now, so I’m on the laptop writing this post as the computer works itself through another issue that I’ll probably write about at another time.

A few days ago, in a comment on one of my posts, I said that I’d love to find a writing gig or two and make some money off that. Well, putting my mind to it, I decided to do some research online to see if I could find someplace where someone was really looking for writers.

I figured freelance writing was the way to go as far as my search term. It came up with over 4.5 million websites; that should have given me a nice grove to pick from. Instead, it turned out to be filled with guppies and nothing else.

First, I’m not highlighting any of the pages I’m going to mention except one. They don’t deserve any links, good or bad, from me because, it seems, even the freelance writing field can be filled with scams, or less than perfect situations.

The first one I went to was freelancewriting.com, which seemed to make a lot of sense to me. It had jobs galore listed. However, it turned out to be mainly categories leading to other sites, which was gravely disappointing.

Starting to write
DAVID MELCHOR DIAZ via Compfight

It got worse when I checked out a couple of the sites that it was linking to for freelance writing gigs. Two of them, online-writing-jobs.com and writingbids.com, were just more direct versions of the first one I mentioned. Instead of them having writing jobs, they linked to jobs listed in other places around the country. Many of the jobs these sites linked to were obviously scraped, because the jobs they were highlighting were from Craigslist.

I decided, since I was on this road, to look at the jobs on Craigslist. A couple of them appealed to me, so I sent both of them email to find out more.

One of them turned out NOT to be a writing gig at all, but some kind of odd deal where you go online and fill out those surveys you usually see on some of the big sites, where they promise you things such as cameras and the like, do everything to get whatever it is they’ll eventually give you, then you sell it to him for $20 and he gets to resell that item on eBay. Not quite a scam, but easily not worth any real person’s time.

The other was indeed looking for writers, but “free” writers, taking the word “free” at face value. Every other listing on Craigslist was, well, less than forthcoming once you clicked on the ad. Now, I didn’t check out every major city, but I did go through ads in my local area and NYC. Very disappointing.

I actually did find one site where someone could write something, but I was kind of disappointed with it also. It’s called Helium, and they’re more of a news site than an actual writer’s site. They do have a section where some people are looking for articles, and the pay ranges from $10 to $200, so I felt it was worth a look.

Even though I ended up submitting an article, there were two problems with this site. One, there aren’t a lot of requests for articles, which is why I could only find one I could submit to. Two, these people request multiple articles for a short period of time, and the only people who know whether or not their article is used is if you get paid.

How does one prove that someone got paid? I don’t know, but the article I wrote, which had to be at least 950 words, was for a shot at $60; not earth shattering, but it would have been interesting. Overall, I’d rather get at least .10 a word, but it was an experiment (I wrote a followup on Helium… it’s not good…).

It would seem that the world of online freelance writing is suspect at best, and hardly the best place to find any work. What one can try to do, though, is go to the Warrior Forum, possibly some other internet forums, after writing a package of articles, and try to market them there. They frown on new people coming in and submitting articles for purchase without at least participating on the forum for a little while. But that gets one into the business of Public Label Rights (PLR), something discussed in the book 20 Ways To Make $100 A Day Online.

There you go. If you’re looking to be a freelance writer, find another way to do it other than looking for websites or Craigslist. I hope I’ve just saved someone major disappointments.
 

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