All posts by Mitch Mitchell

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

National Diabetes Month

November is National Diabetes Month, and it’s something I care about wholeheartedly. If you’ve gone back into my blog, you know that I’m diabetic, and I’ve written on diabetes a couple of times, including my battles every once in awhile. Luckily, since I’ve been home, I’ve gotten my glucose numbers back under control.

Unfortunately, though I’m not considered an insulin dependent person, I am on insulin, and though it’s not as bad as I’d thought it would be, having to give myself injections twice a day isn’t much fun. I don’t have to start spouting numbers of new diabetics every day. It’s not always something you can easily control, as it runs in my family, but it’s something that we can keep from getting way out of control with knowledge, exercise, and communication.

To that end, I’d like to direct everyone in America to this link of activities taking place across the country this month highlighting this terrible disease. For everyone else, there’s this link talking about World Diabetes Day, which is November 14th.

Can diabetes be solved? Honestly, I don’t know. But I’ll never give up my fight, and I’m sure someone will eventually figure something out, with the help and funds of others.

How Do You Write Your Blog?

How do you write? I find it an interesting question, especially for blogs, because, for most of the time, I tend to write pretty quickly about pretty much anything. I don’t concentrate on length or anything like that; I just write until I feel like I’m done; kind of a blogging Mozart. lol

by Charles J. Danoff

I know that some people take a lot of time to think about what they want to write about, then write it over the course of a few days. I remember Steve Pavlina saying some time ago that he likes to take two or three days putting his posts together, but he tends to write posts between 5,000 and 7,500 words. Of course, he’s not doing that right now, as he’s doing some test with some kind of drink and talking about his results on a daily basis.

Darren Rowse of Problogger fame said he likes to write at least one post a day on all of his blogs, and these days it’s much easier for him since he’s pretty much turned himself into a corporation, so that when he’s on the road someone else steps in to write posts for him. However, if you look back into his archives (which I did, of course), you’ll find that he used to write multiple posts a day, very short posts where he’d state a topic, write something relatively short, then have a link to the person where he got the idea from in the first place.

By the way, I find it oddly comforting that it took him about as long to start getting visitors and readers to his blog as it’s taken for me, and he also had many posts at the time that got either very little or no activity, just as I sometimes do now (although I am pimping this post of mine again because it was pretty personal, and I’m thinking someone should have commented on it for some reason).

Even when I’ve researched something first, I tend to write pretty quickly afterwards. But you have seen some of my really long posts, and every once in awhile I’ll put up something that’s pretty short, just to communicate something. For instance, the day I posted the quick little blurb about the end of BlogRush, which I got to post as kind of a breaking news story (posted after immediately being written by John Reese himself) was one of the shortest posts I’ve ever written, and it still got a lot of comments.

That proved a couple of things. One, current news counts a lot if you can be one of the first to help break the story. Two, sometimes you can spend a lot of time on something, or put your heart into it, and it won’t merit nary a comment; WordPress doesn’t tell me how many page views, so to speak, a post gets (but Google Analytics does, and that’s a shame; y’all go back and read that post!). I wonder if there’s a plugin for that, and if it would separate how many times I saw it myself. And three, sharing information that someone else comes up with can be greatly appreciated, which is why I’m going to share this page that has a lot of information on page rank, something that a lot of you have been talking about a whole lot lately, which means it’s not only something you seem to care a lot about, but also says y’all need to find a new topic (check this one also). 🙂

Enough of this for now. So, how do you write? How do you decide what to write about? How often do you write? Share with us; who knows, maybe there will be a car as a prize for the most creative post,… nah!

Lava Lamp Pens

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Medical Billing Answers

Today I thought I’d highlight one of my niche sites, the type that many people talk about when they say that it’s another way for us to make money online. Oddly enough, I was just online listening to Lynn Terry’s weekly seminar, and she was saying how she stopped telling people about her niche sites and where they were and what they were because people would go by and copy exactly what she had as their own. Well, I’m thinking that, with this niche, there could only be so much copying, and if someone decides to steal the layout and colors; more power to you.

Anyway, this particular niche site is called Medical Billing Answers. Luckily, this is something I know a lot about as a health care finance consultant. I oversaw the billing operation of many hospitals before I went out on my own, and I’ve consulted at hospitals regarding billing and other revenue cycle issues ever since.

The initial issue for this site was trying to write it so that it didn’t overwhelm people. One can sometimes get too technical in their own niche to a point that they can’t communicate with those who aren’t in the field. So, if you go through any of the initial page categories, you’ll find that I haven’t written anything too deep, but hopefully it gets across what these things are.

Where the meat of this site is, though, is in the articles and the answered questions areas. Both of those areas give me the opportunity to add new content on a regular basis, which actually has worked out for me. Not as much for the articles, but people will send me questions, and I can answer them, and if it looks like I can get at least 200 words out of it, then it becomes another article. What it will also allow me to do at some point is make it a part of my consulting business, because I obviously can’t allow one person to dominate my time without getting paid for it eventually, right?

Now, here’s the big thing. This site, out of all my sites, makes the most money in Adsense revenue. Because it’s a niche site, the targeted traffic that this site gets means that I get paid more money if someone clicks on one of the ads than I get on any of my other sites. Supposedly, that’s what niche sites are all about, concentrating on one topic, then hammering that topic to death.

And here’s the neat thing. The world of medical billing online is pretty big, so getting to the top of the search engines isn’t the easiest thing in the world. No, I’m not in the top spot, unfortunately. But here’s where I rank for my top 3 search terms:

Medical Billing Questions Answered:

Google – 51
Yahoo – 12
MSN – 253

Medical Billing Questions:

Google – 149
Yahoo – 43
MSN – none

Medical Billing Answers:

Google – 2
Yahoo – 3
MSN – none

I don’t know what’s up with MSN, but I’m not worried about it. I launched this site at the end of May, so it’s just over 5 months old, still in its relative infancy, and it’s got a lot of room to grow. There’s some people who believe that one shouldn’t launch a website unless you have at least 100 pages of information, and others who believe you need even more. However, I was talking to one of my friends who works for We Build Pages, and his take on it was that if you believe what you have to say can be done in even 5 to 10 pages, then go to it, as long as the page is well optimized. I tend to agree with him on that one, plus I see so many people never start anything or never show anything because they can’t finish, at least in their minds. Think about Microsoft, people; they’ve been messing up for years, but do you think we’d have all this stuff if they had waited around for perfection?

Oh, on the site I also list different books concerning medical billing in some fashion. Many of those are a specific affiliate group I belong to that only deals with medical billing books, so the affiliate payout rate is higher. However, no one has purchased any of those books yet, but they’ll come; I know they’ll come!

Anyway, there’s my one big niche site. I may end up with more if this one succeeds in the way that I’m hoping it will. I’ll just have to think about what niche to talk about next; details, details,…

Virtual Greetings

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CSS In 24 Hours

Although some of my friends might not believe it, I’m not an uber computer geek by any means. I learn what I need to learn, then go about my business until it’s time to learn something else.

Back in 2003, when I needed to learn HTML pretty quickly, I used a program called PageTutor. The fact that I learned HTML in just about 3 hours is proof enough for me to recommend it to people even now if you need to learn it. However, when it came time to learn CSS (cascading stylesheets), I found PageTutor couldn’t quite get me there.

So, I went to my favorite bookstore, Barnes and Noble, and went through all the books there on CSS. And the one I came home with was a champ. It’s called CSS In 24 Hours, and this was just the book I needed to help me get over the hump.

Not only was it quick and easy to use, but he gives you the different codes to use with each step, and you can go online and download templates and other information to help you see what’s going on. The chapters are broken into “hours”, hence the title, but you know I went through it faster than 24 hours. The best thing about a book is that you can go back and look at things over and over if you need to, and with this book, finding everything is simple and easy. Of course, I will make a confession, that being that I never make any websites based on CSS alone. One day I will, but so far, since I’ve noticed how websites with total CSS seem to not always have the same formatting from browser to browser, sometimes even within versions of the same browser, I’ve decided to stick with the

attribute to at least keep the basic format stable.

Anyway, I recommend CSS In 24 Hours for anyone who needs to learn CSS in a hurry, and without much hassle.

CSS In 24 Hours
by Kynn Bartlett

Irritating Popups, Et Al

Okay, now I’m upset with Problogger, of all people. Why, you may ask? Well, it seems that ever since he wrote this post on How To Drastically Increase Subscriber Numbers To Your Email Newsletter, many people went out and took his advice. And that advice was to add one of those irritating pop-in windows where you screen darkens and you get this advertisement in the middle of the page asking if you’d like to subscribe to a newsletter.

Secretaría de Cultura Ciudad de México via Compfight

He said his subscriptions jumped a bunch in only a few days, and that’s all it took. Suddenly, it now seems that every Tom, Dick and Harry has added it to their blog, and man, it’s got to be one of the most irritating things in the world. Of course, these types of things aren’t new, and I even griped about popups before; pop-unders count here also. I even asked at another time how far one was willing to go when it came to promoting themselves.

Oddly enough, it all comes back around to my post on what you’ll do to stomach sales; I guess I could have asked the question “what are you willing to do to irritate people to make sales“. Are the ideas of making sales and irritating people congruent with each other? Is it, in the end, more about conversions than about people?

Of course, while I’m on this particular rant, I might as well add one other thing that irritates me, and that’s media that starts up as soon as I hit a page. I’m not talking about Flash now, because I have to admit that some of those pages are fun to watch. I’m talking about videos that automatically start playing, or sound files of some sort that start playing. Sometimes, you can’t even find where to turn that stuff off, and you just have to turn down the sound on your speakers. It’s one reason I hate MySpace and a reason why I dropped my membership in Black Planet. Both sites take way too long to load, and the sound files are a big part of it. The best thing about the YouTube videos most of us put on our pages is that they don’t just start playing when a visitor shows up.

The biggest problem I have is that I can’t turn any of it off, or stop any of it from happening. I’m running the Firefox plugin Adblock Plus, but it seems not to have the power to overcome any of these things. Heck, maybe it’s just me; maybe I’m too old to appreciate the unasked for media assault on my senses. I just don’t know; what do y’all think?

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