All posts by Mitch Mitchell

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

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, 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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Subscribing To RSS Feeds

RSS stands for “really simple syndication”, and basically it gives people an opportunity to follow new content from websites or blogs that are often changing what’s being presented on the site. For instance, if you notice on the top right side I have a little icon giving people the option to syndicate my blog, so that they will be informed every time I write something new. I want people to subscribe to my blog so that my message will spread, but there’s reality that many people may not quite know what RSS feeds are.

The video below talks about it in a little more detail, as well as how to use it witnin Internet Explorer. I use a separate program that’s not associated with my browser called Feedreader to put all my feeds into, and it’s free.

After watching that, I hope you decide to subscribe to my feed; I won’t be mad if you do. 🙂 Meanwhile, I can’t take full credit for finding the video, so I thank Barbara Ling for writing about it on her blog.

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Twitter’s On My Nerve, And I Just Got There!

I’ve been on Twitter for less than a month, and I’m already starting to get irritated with it.

Now, don’t get me wrong. Sure, I came to it kicking and screaming because, like most people, I just didn’t quite get the concept. Basically, it’s fast and immediately blogging, or more like quick notes of what you’re doing at that moment. You’re only allowed 140 characters, including spaces, to say what you want to say; this makes you think just a little bit more concisely, which is hard for someone like me who wants to go on and on.

Once I started, it just grabbed me and I thought it was pretty neat. I found a few friends to follow, and as time went on, people started to find me, people I didn’t know, and that was neat. What happens is that you can follow people throughout the day and they can do the same to you. I’m following 3 or4 more people than follow me, but that’s okay. At least half the time I post a link from a new blog post, whereas 25% of the time I’m putting out a thought, and the other 25% I’m talking to someone.

One of my friends introduced me to TwitterFox, since I use Firefox, so I didn’t have to always sign onto the Twitter site I thought that was pretty good also, until I started getting these strange messages, “rate limit exceeded”, with a different number all the time. I thought that was odd, and asked my friend about it, but he said he hadn’t noticed it, probably because he’s not as anal as I am at looking at stuff. I also noticed that, quite often, the light blue “T” of TwitterFox that’s sitting at the bottom of my browser goes red, and that’s when you know it’s down.

I tried to figure out what the problem was, couldn’t, deleted it and reloaded it, and nothing was solved. I then went to Google and did my research, to see if anyone else was having the same problem. And that’s when it hit me; it’s not Twitter Fox at all, it’s Twitter. It would seem that it’s experiencing the same problems that both Facebook and MySpace experienced with rapid growth, which then brings on server issues. Just this past weekend Twitter announced they’d had a major server crash and were rerouting things, but they never fully shut us down, or so I believe.

So, though I’m still going to be “twittering”, I have to admit that it’s not fun when I go to post a message and everything is frozen. And it doesn’t matter whether I use TwitterFox or log onto the page and try to post something; when they’re down, they’re down, and there’s nothing you can do about it. However, I know the visits to this blog have increased since I hooked up on Twitter, so I’m not going to complain too loudly. They haven’t increased on my other blog, though; I find that interesting.

Anyway, if you ever get the urge to follow me on Twitter, just click on this link. I don’t think I’m going anywhere for awhile. You can learn more about it by checking out this link to eNetworking 101.

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