All posts by Mitch Mitchell

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

Hating Spam

I’m starting to feel like a success with this blog. It’s not the subscribers, although I want to thank all of you. It’s not the money that’s rolling in (said tongue in cheek). It’s not how I’m moving up on Technorati or Alexa.

Spam ... it's what's for dinner!
Wandering Magpie
via Compfight

It’s the spam count. I’ve always felt that the amount of spam one receives is directly related to how much activity and prominence your blog must be gaining. I’m not sure if that’s totally true or not, but I can honestly say that I’ve never had more spam than I’m having lately. And it’s a great test of the Akismet plugin, which has been fantastic.

True, it wasn’t all that good on the Russian spam, but I don’t think that any of the spam filters could have caught that stuff initially. And yesterday, myself and a lot of people throughout the blogosphere started receiving some interesting spam that was making it through. However, what I did was start flagging it as spam, rather than just deleting it, and within a couple of hours Akismet had figured it out and no more of those messages got through to my posts. I’m very impressed by that, I must say.

Now, someone needs to explain some of this spam to me. I actually understand the advertisement spam; those folks are hoping that we’ll stupidly buy their spam program, which actually sends your messages and therefore recreates the spam we’re all trying to hide from. I weirdly understand the spam that comes through with multiple links to pharmaceuticals, porn, etc, because those folks also are hoping that enough of their ads will stay on some of those blogs that are defunct, to help them with perceived link juice; suckers.

But the one line Russian spam, along with the one line “I am happily agree with your post; I will come again” posts, or the posts without any real words,… do people really believe all that nonsensical stuff really gets them links on the back end, or that anyone will possibly click on their ads?

I found it really ironic in the wake of yesterday’s new about the shutdown of an internet hosting site known for sending out tons of spam, and how we should have seen it decrease, when exactly the opposite happened. And, it seems there’s really a big economic impact of spam, and not the way we usually think of it. Bruce Schneier wrote in his blog about the economics of spam, where a study was done that determined that, based on volume, even at 0.00001% a spammer could be making at least between $7,500 and $9,000 a day, because it seems there’s always someone who clicks on, then buys, one of these products; wow!

Well, I refuse to be pushed around by any amount of spam that comes this way. Akismet has been my blogging hero for a long time, and I’ll trust it to continue working on my behalf. For those of you who still don’t see spam as being as big an issue as it is (yeah, like there’s anyone out there who doesn’t get it), here’s a little video for your enjoyment:
 

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2014 Mitch Mitchell

Curious About Your Backlinks?

I was reading a post on the Linkers Blog titled Danny, How Many Backlinks Do I Have, and decided it was time to check my own blog just to see how many links I had.

~ lzee ~ not-really-all-here via Compfight

I decided to go through the same steps he did, which means I started at Google, which is always the most imprecise. Google thinks I only have 31 backlinks, so it’s already discounted.

Next, I decided to go to Yahoo. Just so you know, you type into its search engine link:http://www.domain.com, replacing “domain” with your domain. Yahoo said I had 8,696 backlinks; whew! I had to think about that one for a bit, wondering if I’ve really written that many comments, and now that I think about it, probably not, but I’m probably close to it. Because I have many other places I’ve left my link, such as forums and social networking sites. But it’s mainly through blogging and blog comments, so it shows that I’ve been active in my 11 months with this blog.

As I looked down the list of the first 100 I remembered each of the blog titles on all those blogs, so I probably wrote some kind of comment on them; and here I am calling Peter mouthy! πŸ˜€

I decided to check one of those links out, where I commented on the blog Small Business Trends on the topic Ten Reasons I Won’t Use Social Media Sites. My searchr said there were 228 links on this page, but the page only got 62 comments, and to get to that 228 it has to count its own comment links, which are created with each comment that’s posted along with a link to the person’s homepage, if they left one. Since it’s counting those then it’s skewing the stats just a little bit, as there are a lot of other links on the page, but they don’t total up to the 228.

Of course, on this blog, since I have CommentLuv, basically every person that leaves a comment, that has a blog and leaves their address link, gets two links, so I guess it counts. The point is that you’re supposedly getting more link credit on posts that have fewer links that lots of links. I’m thinking that, if you get too caught up on that one, you could end up freaking your mind out. With this tool, you can also check whether the links are nofollow, as well as what the anchor text was on those posts.

Interesting stats, I must say. I guess I’ve had a lot to say, and not only on this blog. I guess I’ve really promoted this blog better than my business blog, which I’ve had for over 4 years but “only” have 4,191 backlinks. I don’t mind; the purpose of the other blog is much different than this one.

How are you doing with your backlinks? Do you care?
 

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2011 Mitch Mitchell

My Website Marketing Book Again

By now, everyone who reads this blog knows I wrote an ebook called Using Your Website As A Marketing Tool. I first wrote about it on this post as a pre-launch. Then two days later I upped the intensity of the pre-launch here. Then it was launch day, and I wrote about it here and on my business blog.

imag0105
Enjoy the puppy;
the book’s there to the left

I didn’t stop there. I had to visit it again here and in August, and again in October. On that one, I even put in the Paypal button where you could purchase the book right from the post, without having to go to the website first.

I’ve made some sales, and that’s not such a bad thing, but I want to make even more sales. A big part of me realizes that the ebook isn’t necessarily for most of the people who come to this blog. It’s for people with little sense of how to use their website to help market their offsite businesses, although it does have some ideas for those who want to market online but may know way less than I do, since I also build websites, so I know a few things on that front. I didn’t turn this into a “building websites” blog, but I easily could have gone that way; I’m just not sure all that many people would stick around to read it.

I got kind of a wake up call earlier today during an online conference I was participating in, and I asked a question about marketing information products and pricing them. The person conducting the seminar told me that I was charging way too little for it, based on what it was, and that I should raise the price.

I’m going to do that; just not today. Of course, digital products have fluctuating prices all the time, so I could raise it now only to lower it at some point in the future. That makes sense, right?

There you go. Will this spark sales over the next couple of weeks? I’m not sure. In life there are no real guarantees except the fact that if you don’t try anything you won’t get anything.

This probably won’t be the last time I talk about it, since I know I’ve alluded to it in many other posts, but I won’t be talking about it again here for the next two weeks. That leaves me a day or two before the month ends to mention it one last time before that deal is gone forever. Pressure; it’s on!
 

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2016 Mitch Mitchell

I Want More RSS Subscribers

I was reading this post on Daily Blog Tips called 50 Simple Ways To Gain RSS Subscribers, and one of 50 points, number 5 to be more specific, said this: Write a post asking for people to subscribe.

dessert
feed on this… πŸ™‚

I had to think about it, and truthfully, I don’t think I’ve ever written a post requesting that people subscribe to any of my feeds. I did write this post on what RSS feeds were, with a video no less, and mentioned that it would be nice if people subscribed to my feed, but I’ve never come right out and asked for it.

So I’m doing it now. For those readers who have no idea what RSS stands for, I recommend you click on the link I just gave you and watch the video I posted, which breaks it down nicely.

For everyone else, though I can’t believe I’d have to tell you why it’s a good idea to subscribe to my feeds, of all things, well, y’all see how often I tend to write. I’d hate for you to miss any of my posts, especially the really poignant and funny ones, just because you happened to show up late. The front page only holds so many posts, after all, and some of my posts only stay on the main page 3 or 4 days.

I’ve given people two ways to subscribe to the feeds, the regular way or by email. The regular way offers different feed readers, one that can be put right into Firefox with an add-on called Sage. Of course there’s always Google Reader, which a lot of people like (sorry, this is gone now…), and I’m a major advocate of Feedreader, the program I use because it’s not dependent upon browsers. There are many other programs, obviously, but I think these three get it done best.

Subscribe to my feed! Subscribe to my feed! Subscribe to my feed! Okay, now I’ve said it, and I’ve written it. And, by the way, this post now has me using 8 of the top 10 recommendations. That’s never a bad place to be. πŸ˜‰
 

What’s Your Market

Earlier today I was at what we call a “mastermind” group. Basically, there’s four of us who try to get together once a month to discuss where we are in our businesses and try to see if we can help each other to stay on target for our business and personal goals.

430
definitely not dinosaurs…

While discussing an idea, one of the participants asked the question “what would our market be.” Truthfully, I didn’t quite understand the question, and went with my gut response, which is usually “why do we need to figure out who our market is?

I come from the school of “just do it“, because one thing I notice a lot of people do is think about something to the point where they eventually don’t do anything. I’m the type who’ll think about something, think some more, then finally come to a realization it’s time to get it done and worry about other things later on.

Later on, we came back to this topic, and I finally said I wasn’t sure what her point was, as in, what she was asking me. She then explained herself, and at that point I started to understand it a bit more. We then talked about the website of mine that I highlighted the other day, Medical Billing Answers, and she asked me who I thought that market was.

I first said almost anyone, which she didn’t like, so I thought about it some more and I said that when the idea first came to me, I was thinking about the medical billing consumer, that person who has questions about their medical bills that can’t find anyone impartial to ask their questions of. Then, after the site was created and some of the articles were up on the site, it turned out that the biggest consumer of my site, as in the people asking me questions, were people who did medical billing, not the consumers. That’s how I came to see that particular site as being for anyone, since obviously I’m not good at deciding who my consumer is.

imag0507

She then asked me about this blog, which she’s never seen, and asked me who my market is, and who my consumers are. I actually drew a blank; I’ve never really thought about it before. I mean, I’ve thought about the topics often enough, but even when I launched this blog and wrote my first post, I talked more about what I wanted to do with this blog than who I wanted to serve, or who I was hoping would visit.

The truth is that I want everyone to visit this blog; is that really too much to ask? lol What types of visitors am I looking for, beyond everyone? Tough question indeed. Let’s see if I can define it with some honesty, since that’s what I’m all about.

First, I’m hoping that some of the visitors who come here are buyers. I’m hoping that some of the things people are thinking about buying are some of the things I talk about, or some of the things I promote.

Second, I’m hoping that some of the visitors who come here are hoping to learn something. I talk about a lot of things that many other folks don’t talk about, or, hopefully, in some detail that they might not go into, such as my post on how to be a prolific writer.

210041
who wants more of this?

Third, I’m hoping that some of the visitors who come here are looking to see how someone else who’s going through the things they’re going through in trying to find ways to make money with their blogs is doing it, and is ready to share in the ride of success; never failure, as any time something doesn’t work, it was just a learning opportunity on the way to bigger and better things. Then again, I’m not big on the word failure, calling it experimentation instead In any case, I share when I make mistakes concerning other things with computing, like when I talked about wiping out all my files and the process I had to go through to recover them; ouch!

Fourth, I’m hoping that some of the visitors who come here are looking to share their experiences with me and with anyone else who reads this blog, because I truly feel that we are a community if we wish to be, and that in every situation, every encounter, that can be shared with someone else, there’s something for someone to learn from.

Fifth, I’m hoping that all of the visitors to this site will find something to entertain them<, to intrigue them, to shock them> and make them think about something they’ve probably never thought about before. To touch their hearts, share something with them that they’ve probably never heard of before, and generally to have fun. If we can’t have a little bit of fun, education, and thinking mixed in, what’s the point, right?

I’ll put this out to you, the readers of this blog. Help me help and entertain you. I don’t know all the answers, but, as you’ve seen, I’ll do some research here and there. How do you like what you’ve seen thus far? Is there a topic that you’d like to see me cover more, or less? What kind of information are you looking for that you might be looking to purchase? What kind of products? What is it that I can help you with? And, what do you think my market is, or should be? Turning it around, what is it that you’d like to help me with?

By the way, I will probably be giving more information about myself over the coming weeks, just to some of you can learn more things about me and all my businesses, because there’s obviously more than my post on about pages covered. Who knows; I just might get to work with you someday. πŸ™‚
 

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