All posts by Mitch Mitchell

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

9 Reasons You Need To Keep On Writing

This is the 1,649th post on this blog since the middle of December 2007. There are 14 articles here written by other people, which means I’ve written a ton. On my business blog I’ve written around 1,230 articles to this point in 10 1/2 years. I’ve written tons of articles on my other blogs, and for other people’s blogs.

Canon AE-1 (Silver) - Lisa

TempusVolat via Compfight

Why am I telling you this? I run into people all the time who tell me they don’t know what to say or what to blog about? I run into tons more blogs where people either write articles infrequently or have decided to bail, leaving their blogs in the vapid miasma of blogging perfidy; go ahead, look that up. lol
Continue reading 9 Reasons You Need To Keep On Writing

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9 Social Media Mistakes People Make

I like this day for some reason so I decided that instead of a very long post like normal I’d address the overall issue of social media… in fewer words than I normally do.

Social Media v2

Paul Inkles via Compfight

I have to admit that overall I like social media a lot. I don’t love it… mainly because of the bad things about it that irritates my last nerve! I know I’m not alone on this one, but I figure it’s my list of things so I’ll talk about what I believe are mistakes people in general make.

Two things. One, if you’re not making these mistakes then obviously this isn’t about you, but you can still comment because I’m betting some of these things will irritate you. Two, a couple of these irritate me less than other things, but if folks corrected them we’d all be happier and your online life would be better also. Here we go!

1. Add a picture to your profiles.

Really, who do you think you’re hiding from? If I wanted to I could track 95% of you on a bad day, and others can also. If you’re going to be online and want to talk to people add an image. If you want to do business online add a picture of yourself. Logos are at least something but unless people always know your business they’ll do more business with people they like, and they can’t like you without a picture of you.

2. Stop pushing your sales every chance you get.

I get it; you want to make money. So do I. However, no one buys from people they don’t like or know, and if all they know about you is that you’re selling something they’re not going to buy from you because they don’t know you.

Man wearing a NeuroSky device in the demo pit.

kris krüg via Compfight

3. Don’t be a troll.

I hate trolls with a passion. They don’t offer anything worth bothering over, and get their kicks from making others have to deal with them in public. However, sometimes there are unintentional trolls; I came across a lot of them during the 2008 presidential election and dropped lots of people I previously thought I liked online… and never went back. If I did it, others will do it also; trust me on this one.

4. Stop co-opting other people’s messages and threads.

I’ve been putting a lot of content on LinkedIn lately. Some of it is related to health care topics because, when all is said and done, I’m a health care finance consultant. What happens every once in a while is some idiot (aka troll) comes along and drops, in essence, an “it’s Obama’s fault (since I refuse to use the pejorative term for the ACA)… when it has nothing to do with the topic. If you have an agenda, create your own topic and put it there; leave others alone.

5. Stop sharing things that you haven’t verified because they might not be true.

I got into a minor disagreement one night on Facebook because this woman posted something that was blatantly false. She didn’t believe me so I gave her 4 or 5 sources showing her it was false. Instead of believing those she said I was bullying her (she started the thing in my opinion) and would believe what she wanted to believe. If you’re too lazy to check your facts and you get called on it, don’t take it out on the messenger. However, if it sounds outrageous to begin with and you’re posting it… well, just stop doing it.

6. Stop sending stuff out looking for people to participate in something to make you feel good.

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There’s nothing wrong with sharing your stuff with people you know. It’s another thing to share something or create something where, for people to prove how much they care about you, they have to share it or comment or it or do what it says in relation to you. Believe it or not, social media really isn’t all about you… or me (though it should be lol).

7. Know your platforms and what works best on them.

LinkedIn is supposed to be for business. Yet, lately there are a lot of people putting up the same kinds of pictures and jokes that used to be relegated to Facebook, where they actually belong.

LinkedIn is for business. Facebook is for friends & family. Twitter is for immediate engagement. Google Plus is for… well… I’m still not really sure, but I know it’s not for family and not truly for business. But images look great there. lol

8. Just because you like the latest and greatest thing doesn’t mean you need to keep trying to get me to join all of them.

There was a time when I could keep up with all the latest social media platforms, apps and the like; not anymore. Truthfully, I don’t care all that much about them; when I’m ready I’ll find what I need and move on from there. However, I get tons of email from people I know (and some I don’t think I do) introducing me to the newest thing and inviting me to join them there. You know what; write about it on your blog, and I’ll eventually see it.

9. Every once in a while share someone else’s content, comment on their blogs, and talk to them.

I love Twitter because I get to talk to new people all the time. Yet, there are a lot of people I reach out to that never respond. The same happens here and there on LinkedIn and Facebook and even Google Plus. Thing is, I almost never connect with anyone first; people connect with me, I evaluate and make a determination if I might have some common interest with them.

I also try to share what other people do in some fashion. I share things on most of the social media platforms, or I comment on LinkedIn articles and definitely on blogs. Hey, they don’t call it SOCIAL media for their health! If you’re not going to engage, if you’re not going to share… get off social media because you’re not worth the time of the rest of us. Yeah, I said it! lol

There, 9 things… of course, it turned out to be much longer than I anticipated. That’s how it goes sometimes. So, comment, then share, and I’ll see what I can do for you as well. Have a wonderful day.
 

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Because I Wasn’t In The Mood… Skipping Blog Posting Dates

Did you like the post I wrote on Monday? I’m thinking you probably didn’t, since I didn’t have a post go live on Monday.

Minh Vu
Charles Thompson
via Compfight

Usually on this blog I post on Mondays and Thursdays. I did that the two weeks before this one. The week before those two I had a post every day, as I was doing a survey and wanted to try to maximize the coverage as much as I possibly could.

There’s this thing about trying to keep on a consistent schedule so that your visitors will always know when to expect content from you. I’m not going to disagree with that because I can’t say for sure whether or not it’s true. I tend to believe that what’s more likely is people who like your content and visit your blog are more apt to be looking for new content whenever they visit, unless they’re stopping by daily. I know almost no one who’s doing that these days.

I do know a few people who are sticking with a schedule, but it’s a once a week thing these days. My buddy Adrienne has a new post every Monday, but once a month she releases a guest post. My buddy Peter writes a post every Friday, though these days it’s known as the Friday Funnies. So, I know when to check those folks out, and that is the part about understanding when people are releasing content you want to check on.

But what about… well, pretty much everyone else? Is anyone really paying attention to my Mondays and Thursdays? For that matter is anyone really paying attention to my Tuesdays and Fridays when it comes to my business blog?

No, I don’t think so. These days I notice that I get fewer consistent visitors to the blog. If there are more, they’re not commenting so I don’t know about it if they are coming more consistently than I know.

Actually, that’s not quite true. If I believe my Google Analytics then I know that the percentage of new visitors is 58% and returning visitors is 42%. That’s actually pretty good when compared to my business blog, where the percentage of new visitors is 78% compared to 22% for returning visitors.

Based on the comparison of the two, does anyone really think the difference is based on schedule?

I had a post ready to go on Monday… then decided I just wasn’t in the mood to release it. I wanted to make an educational point by not posting it, and then decided to let it sit until next Monday so I could comment on it today.

There’s always a lot of advice regarding posting frequencies, and of course having a set schedule so your audience knows when you’ve got something new coming out. I tend to believe in two things regarding this.

One, unless you’re going to write a lot, it’s better to write as many posts as you can but stagger their release so that you have consistent content going out, rather than having a day where you put out 3 posts and then don’t release anything again for a month.

Two, if you’re not someone who writes posts in advance and you’re feeling pressured to meet a deadline… unless someone’s paying you for it don’t worry about deadlines when it comes to your own blog. I think some kind of consistency is definitely needed if you’re serious about blogging. However, if you want to write a post a day or a post every couple of weeks, or if you usually have a post go live every Monday and Thursday but one of those days you’re just not feeling it… it’s fine. You’re okay; everyone does it.

So, there will be a post on Monday. I’m not guaranteeing a post next Thursday though. Why? I just might not be in the mood. 🙂
 

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Doing What You Should Be Doing

You’re getting a two-fer today and yes, I’m talking about videos. I decided to go this route for two reasons, which makes sense. One, because both videos help me explain my main topic today. Two, because I did the two videos close to two years apart; hey, that’s the best I’ve got. 🙂

In the first video, I question why we don’t do the things we should be doing. Let’s lead with that, and then I’ll come back:
 


https://youtu.be/fxvhkc2QUGg

I hope you’ve watched that video, otherwise some of the rest of this post might not make sense. That’s because, based on that video, I’m going to give 4 recommendations for figuring out how to take action, no matter what it is.

1. Look at your main goal and figure out how to break it into small incremental, achievable actions.

Things often seem daunting when you’re looking at the ultimate goal and start thinking “wow, that’s going to take a lot of work”. Hey, goals take work; that’s life! However, very few real goals can be done in one day. They take planning and then step by step actions.

Think of building a house. In my area, it starts with clearing the land. Then a big hole is dug and fashioned into a basement (I’ve learned that not all homes in the south have basements; just go with it). Then you cement the basement. Then you build the frame of the house, which includes a roof. Next come the outer walls. Once that’s done, for most everyone else you see a house. However, a lot more work has to be done inside, but now it’s easier to get to because the workers are more protected from the elements.

All of these things are done in increments, and I left a lot of stuff out. Still, if it’s your house, you start to swell with excitement with each new addition; think of your goals that way.

2. Find the positives in everything you want to do and only concentrate on those.

If you read this blog or my other blog often enough you know that I always espouse the belief of positive thoughts over negative thoughts. Thus, if you want to learn something, instead of thinking about how hard it is you should be thinking about how good you’ll feel when you achieve it. If you need to lose weight, you should be thinking about your health and, once again, how you’ll feel rather than the work it’s going to take to lose it.

I know a lot of people who say they thrive off negative energy, such as wanting to show someone who didn’t believe in them how wrong they were. I’m not going to deny that works, but it’s not as sustaining as doing things for yourself rather than against someone else’s beliefs.

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3. Think of your own interest rather than someone else’s interest.

This one is somewhat controversial but stick with me for a moment.

I know some people who say “I want to do ‘blank’ to show my kid/spouse/parent that I could do it”, or “I want to do ‘blank’ for my kid/spouse/parent”. In essence, they see themselves as doing it for someone else; that’s not true when you think about it.

Doing what needs to be done is always in one’s own best interest. When you think you’re doing it for someone else, you’re actually doing it for yourself, because “you” want something for a specific reason, even if someone else is involved. You need to keep that in mind because, strangely enough, it turns out that when you really believe you’re doing it for someone else you’re more likely to fail.

I’m not the only one saying something like this by the way. There’s a post by a lady named Gretchen Rubin titled Why I Try Not To Do Things For Others, But Instead, Do Them For Myself, where she talks about finding happiness once she learned this as a concept. Also, a book I’m presently reading called Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do by Amy Morin talks about the concept of taking control of your own actions because they’re really the only thing one can control, and then things will come together for you even if in some way they’ll involve other people.

It might seem selfish, but remember the recommendation on every flight you take: “put on your own mask before helping someone else put theirs on”.

4. There’s always a way to do something you might not believe can be done.

Finally we get to the point where the second video comes into play. Last summer I was having major problems keeping my glucose levels under control; I’m diabetic, in case you’re new here. I knew I had to do something to get it under control because it was damaging my eyes and my feet and probably other things I didn’t know about.

I decided that walking was going to be the way I addressed this problem. Lo and behold, it worked. However, when I started I was out of town on a consulting gig down south. When that ended and I came home… it was cold! Even if we have a few days of warmth here and there in November, it’s starting to get really chilly at that point, and of course December through May… it’s cold and snowy in my area.

Sure, I could get out and walk by bundling myself up, but not only is it somewhat problematic but dangerous, especially once the snowbanks start building up. Less room to walk, cars sliding all over the place… not the best of circumstances, and you can’t go to the lake and walk either. So… see the video, which is fairly brief:
 


https://youtu.be/F346g4FrCTc

Before I made this video I had friends wondering how I was putting in the number of steps I was getting every day. As my buddy Rasheed says, if you really want to do something the universe will help you figure it out. 🙂

That’s what I’ve got for you; so, get going and do what you need to do!
 

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10 Ways To Find Inspiration To Write About In Your Niche

Something that’s rare for me is writer’s block. Whenever I’m ready to write something, most of the time I think of a theme, give it a little bit of thought, and start writing. I’ve got to tell you that feels pretty good.

Knowledge Wall - Transmission Global Summit 2011 - Victoria, BC
kris krüg via Compfight

However, I’m not a machine. Sometimes I’m not in the mood to write on a topic that’s popped into my mind. If I can’t flesh it out I don’t want to put out total garbage. And sometimes I just don’t have anything new; it happens to the best of us.

Every once in a while I just skip a post. Nothing wrong with that except I hate skipping posts on Monday; if I skip the second post of the week I’m okay with it but I hate missing the first one.

Therefore, when I need to find something to write about, I do a few different things. As I said it’s rare, but I have these things to fall back on that I’m going to share with you.

1. Visit some of your favorite blogs and write on something one of them touched upon.

I don’t want you to copy what someone else has said. Instead, either write a post agreeing or disagreeing with what someone else has written. Basically it’s a long form comment that you’re writing for your blog instead of leaving it on someone else’s blog. Just make sure you link back to the other blog; whether you’re yay or nay on what they wrote, they’ll appreciate the link.

2. Visit blogs you don’t normally visit and do the same thing.

In this case, you’re going to throw some love at someone who you might not know. What you can do is go to Google, search for your topic and add “blog” to your search term. There are tens of millions, if not hundreds of million blogs, so there’s probably not a topic you won’t find. As a courtesy here and on the first one, it wouldn’t hurt if you found a way to let them know via Twitter that you’ve talked about them & linked to them.

3. Scan the news for your topic.

If I want to write about blogging, I can bet there’s a news story every single day somewhere about the topic. Often there’s some kind of top 50 or 100 blogs in some category that’s fodder for commentary, especially if I’m not on it… did I just say that? lol Anyway, you can go to Google again, put in your search term, and once you’ve hit search you can choose the news link that’s normally on the same line that images is.

scribblings
Jimmy Hilario via Compfight

4. Write about a book related to your subject.

Book reviews are always pretty cool, especially if they touch upon one of your subjects. Sometimes they won’t, but I write book reviews here when people send me their books. If you’re also creative you can find a way to take a book and turn it into your niche topic.

5. Think about something in your day and relate it to your topic.

I once wrote an article comparing blogging to traveling through airports while I was sitting in an airport in Washington DC on a 3-hour layover. It just seemed to fit, though I’m betting a few people thought it might be a stretch.

6. Write about a favorite fictional or historical person and relate it to your topic.

A post of mine that four years later seems to be very popular is one I wrote on my leadership blog talking about the leadership qualities of Harry Potter; yeah, I’m a big fan of the series. lol Matter of fact, months after I wrote that post I was contacted by en entity in the Philippines and asked if they could use it as an educational article for one of their middle schools; that was pretty neat. I’ve written about a lot of fictional characters and leadership including Charlie Brown and Kermit the Frog; people like that because they can relate.

7. Think about an event that occurred in your life and write about that, relating it to your subject.

Joan M. Mas via Compfight

All of us have something that happens in our lives every day. Often it’s pretty mundane but sometimes there’s a bit of significance in it, along with a lesson. I wrote one of those types of posts in July when I talked about ethics in social media based on a conversation I had with this kid in Germany and his personal attack against Serena Williams that caused a bit of a scandal for a short time after she’d won Wimbledon.

8. Write a compilation post of some kind based on a seminal date or event.

This one should be easy because you might already have all the material you need on your blog. In case you need an example you can check out my post talking about 15 lessons from 1,500 blog posts or 55 tips about blogging which I wrote highlighting my 55th birthday last year.

9. Do an interview post.

By the way, have I mentioned that I’m looking for people to interview me, either on their blogs, podcasts or videos? Regardless of if I have or not, interviewing people who talk about your subject or pretty much anything else always ends up being a double benefit. When people like being interviewed they’ll help you promote your post and if you do it well, which means your questions aren’t boring, it can be pretty cool The thing about them is that the other person is doing all the work, so this one should be easy.

10. Whenever you have an idea, save it in your posts area.

I get ideas at the weirdest times. I get so many that I used to forget a lot of them. So, first I started carrying a 3×5 index card spiral bound notebook so I can write things down when I think of them. Then when I get home I’ll create a new post, pop the ideas in and then save it as a draft. That’s actually where I got the idea for last week’s post about marketing products you didn’t create, as it was on my mind earlier in the week while I was on the road. Ideas coalesce well with reminder words and phrases.

That’s 10 ideas; do you have any others? I hope this helps some of you on your way to continuous blogging.
 

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