All posts by Mitch Mitchell

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

Update Your Blog Software

Okay, I’ll own up to this; I’m not always on top of things when it comes to doing updates. I love shiny new stuff, but when I’ve got what I want, I’m not always out there looking for the next better thing until what I have doesn’t seem to work anymore.

So, suffice it to say that it took me awhile to update my other blog to the latest WordPress platform. This one was pretty new, since it was created earlier this year, but I believe I only had it for a couple of weeks when there was suddenly an update for it. I didn’t want to do it, but I did the update. I actually talked about it a little bit in a previous post on some things I learned about altering the backgrounds.

WordPress has this one plugin, actually called WordPress Automatic Upgrade, that will automatically update your blog software if you give it that setting, or you can start it on your own when you’re notified that there is an update, and WordPress is good at getting that news out. It will also update any other plugings you’re using if you want it to.

The reason for writing this particular post is because, it seems, many WordPress blogs get hacked because people don’t update them. I learned about this through Chris Jacobson, who linked to another blog called Holy Shmoly that not only talked about blogs getting hacked, but broke it down to explain how.

Frugal is not going out and buying a digital TV because the regulations are about to change in 2009; stupid is not updating your blogging software when you’re warned someone could take it from you. Please, update your software when warned. It will save you a lot of problems later on.

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Google Analytics Works Great

To me, the best way to track the traffic to all my sites is by using Google Analytics. It’s pretty easy to use if you’ve created your own sites. All you have to do is sign up, drop in the code they give you somewhere on each of the pages on your site (or only those you want to track), and you’re good to go.

As an example, I’m going to take a look at one day’s worth of traffic, instead of an entire month. On June 6th, I wrote my second rant against New York state and those stupid internet taxes. I guess it was a passionate enough topic for once because it got over 140 readers; that’s my best day ever for a blog post.

Google Analytics tells me how many visitors I got on that day for all my posts, though I can select just one to see the information on it. It tells me how many page views total, as well as an average of how many pages people read on average, the bounce rate (how many people left my site after the initial visit without checking anything else out), the average time spent on the site, and the percentage of new visits.

It then gives you an overview of visitors, which, for one day, doesn’t really tell me much, and a map overlay, which is really intriguing because you can break it down into countries, then states, and even cities. The folks in Cali seemed to love me on that day. Then you can see the traffic overview and the top 5 pages that were visited on that day, or that time period.

Of course, it goes deeper, as that was only the main page, but I just wanted to give you a flavor of the types of stats you can get. If you’re running an Adwords campaign you can use Analytics to track it for you also. And the visitor numbers are way more accurate and realistic than those numbers your host will give you.

All in all, I believe this is something people should be using, even though I also use Site Meter. This has so much more for you, and it’s free; can’t beat that!


zChocolat.com Home Page

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Alvin Phang Talks Driving Blog Traffic

Alvin Phang writes a blog he calls Gather Success, and he’s another successful blogger who makes great profits from it, and some of his other online endeavors, including what’s probably his best known product, Atomic Blogging.

His latest post is something that I, and many other people, need to always read and be reminded of, called 14 Ways To Drive Traffic To Your Blog. He gives great points, some I’ve seen before, some I haven’t, but all are very good.

One I really like is #2, where he says “Your writing style must have a dash of humor, wit, sarcasm and spoof-ery to it. I don’t think I do this often enough, even if my friends say I do. On my other blog, since its focus is more business related, I know I don’t have enough humor, but on this one, I believe I’m at least somewhat engaging, and sarcastic at times, but it’s hard to say. But I like it, and I need to keep trying to do it more.

Number seven is also one I’ve done, though not all that much lately, that being “Post pictures and videos (if applicable) on your blog. What’s funny is that Alvin doesn’t post almost any pictures, and his videos thus far have been of him, which is probably more what he means, as opposed to my posting things like this (Yoda is the man!):


Finally, #11 is something else I haven’t done at all, but probably could have something that does it for me: Ask your visitors to tag your blog/post if they like what they see. Use del.icio.us, digg, furl, technorati and reddit. On his site, after each post, he has a box asking people to sign up for his blog feed or email updates, but he really doesn’t do what he’s advocating other people do, but then he really doesn’t have do. However, he has made it easy for people to tag him, which I’ve done by adding the possible tags for my blog.

Anyway, please go read the rest of the post; I think it’s pretty illuminating. Yoda likes it also. 🙂

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Number 101; What Have I Done Thus Far?

As the title says, this is post number 101 for me. With my other blog, I’ve always highlighted the actual hundred number, but I decided to do it differently for this one.

Instead, I wanted to take a quick look back at what I’ve done thus far on this blog, and that requires having a full 100 to look at.

So, let’s first look at how long it took me to get to 100 posts. I started this in the middle of December 2007, so basically 180 days ago, just estimating, I wrote my first post, and this means I averaged just over a post every couple of days. That’s not so bad if you ask me; sure, some people try to make sure they post something every day but I do have other work I have to do from time to time that takes me away from blogging. So, I’m pretty content with that for now.

Next, the categories. I try not to add categories all the time, though obviously it happens, but I’ve worked to stay true to what I’d hoped this blog would be about. My top five are:

Marketing – 29

Internet – 17

Blogging – 11

Entertainment – 10

Motivation – 8

I’m pretty content with that also. Of course, a part of me thinks that maybe I should add way more categories, but I keep shouting that voice down. Also, I’ve noticed that this version of WordPress also gives one the ability to add tags, and I think I’m going to stay away from that for the time being also because, on some blogs, it starts looking really messy, and I don’t need messy. If there was more control over how it looked then I might think about it some more.

Here are my favorite five first articles, which I hope you’ll go back and take a look at:


Sean Branagan Talks About Marketing

How Far Are You Willing To Go For Promotion?

Do You Avoid Scams?

Blogging Step One – What To Write About

Publish Your Own Book

Oh, and thus far I’ve earned about $8 from this blog as far as Adsense goes, but it’s the only thing I’ve earned money on so I’m not complaining. I figure it’s still very early, and as visitors grow things can only get better. But I’m going to keep marketing my few affiliate products with every post, and along the right side, because, after all, not only am I trying to inform and entertain, but I’m trying to make money! 🙂


Sports and Team Neckties

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Sean Branagan Talks About Marketing

I went to a presentation here in the Syracuse area today for a series called “Talking Business: A Conversation With…” Basically it’s a monthly interview series with local business people who’ve done well. They’re interviewed by a moderator, then questions are allowed to be asked by the audience.

Today’s presenter was a gentleman named J. Sean Branagan, president of a company called Communigration, which is a PR & marketing firm for technology companies.

I love going to things like this, but especially today I enjoyed it because he talked about his concepts of marketing for small businesses. This is what he does, but those small businesses have very expensive and specific technology, which of course means he’s competing against fewer people for very big dollars, and he has to find ways of standing out from the crowd while still addressing the potential clients needs.

He talked about his process for coming up with the right message to get across. He starts out by writing a 50 word statement of some kind. Then he whittles that down to 25 words. Next he whittles it down to 10 words, and finally he shoots for 3 or 4 words that fully capture just what a company does. His thought is that if you can come up with a way to tell people what you can do for them with a super short statement, and are ready to back it up with more information once you’ve hooked them, then you’ll succeed where other businesses that do what you do fail.

It makes a lot of sense, especially if you pay attention to TV commercials. Nike’s “Just Do It” is probably one of the best known 3-word phrases in the world today. “Coke Adds Life” was one of my favorites from way back in the day. One of our local community colleges has the phrase “We Build Futures” that’s very popular. Remember State Farm Insurance, “Like A Good Neighbor”? And even Mazda’s “Zoom Zoom” stands out; you know what the commercial is about as soon as you hear that, even if you never hear the name of the product.

Can this same model work with an online business? Unfortunately, no one thought to ask this question, including me, while he was up there. I tend to believe that branding of some fashion is imperative to helping one establish an identity of some sort, though. Google’s first page is unique with only their name; so is Yahoo’s. YouTube might have been as popular a site if it had been called “Upload Your Movies”, but it might have been overlooked also. Trying to find a way to capture the eyes and attention of a visitor to your site just may help them stay for a little while, and if it does, you’ll have the opportunity to make money in some fashion, and that’s never a bad thing.

It was a wonderful presentation, and it got me thinking more and more about what I can possibly do to make my sites visually more interesting, as well as finding something more to captivate their eyes. I’m Just Sharing,… heck, I still like that!

George Nelson 1547Color Wooden Ball Wall Clock








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