All posts by Mitch Mitchell

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

9 Relationships Between Blogging And Social Media

Blogging was the first social media. Some people might think it was AOL but I’m not sure AOL really counted as social media since it was more of a news and information site. In any case, blogging continues to be the biggest purveyor of social media information, even in the face of sites like Facebook and LinkedIn.

Britain Going Blog Crazy - Metro Article
Annie Mole via Compfight

Why do I say that? If you look at what’s shared most of the time via links it’s one of 3 things; video, news stories of some sort, or blog posts. Huffington Post, in all its glory, is nothing more than a huge blog site; exclusive in its own way, but still mainly a mash of opinions and such.

While blogging can be considered as social media, it’s also different. The idea behind blogging overall is much different.

For instance, I post something on Facebook and I might get some likes. Most of the time, if I get a comment, it’s one line, then on to the next thing.

With blogs, one hopes to build up a community whereby there’s a nice mix of usual visitors with new visitors, with multiple intentions. Some of us just want to espouse our philosophies on things. Some of us want to make money. Most of us want to talk to people, which is why we leave comments open.

With that as a setup, let’s look at this interesting relationship between blogging and social media in the context of being separate entitles:

1. Bloggers promote their articles on social media; social media helps them gain notice.

That’s pretty much how it’s been since the old days of sites like Blogger and diary sites, where the people who promoted you were people who belonged to the same sites. Back in 2004 there were lots of people promoting their blog posts on Ryze; later it became MySpace. Take a look at your Twitter feed one day and you’ll see all sorts of posts going to some type of blog.

2. Social media feeds the bear with blog topics to write about.

I’ve written a lot of posts over the years about all the big social media sites. I got those ideas by participating on those sites. I also got ideas for certain types of topics by reading what people put up on these sites. You don’t always have to think of something on my own… thank goodness!

Pro's & Con's of Social Revolution
P T via Compfight

3. Social media gets more benefit from your blogging than you do.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news but it’s true. This doesn’t mean you’re not getting anything out of it, but social media gets more. Let’s use Twitter as our example.

How many millions of blog links do you think goes through Twitter every day? How many of the people you’re connected to do you think are actually seeing your link so they’ll come to your site for a visit? How many more of those actual visitors are retweeting your post as opposed to leaving a comment on your site?

4. If you want to make any real money, you need to get people from social media to come to your blog or website.

In some ways people are missing the idea behind social media marketing. The idea isn’t to get people to like your stuff offsite; the idea is to find ways to entice people to come to your blog or your website. I’d say your affiliate link but trust me, most of those links and posts are getting ignored.

People hate being sold to blatantly. However, if you write an article about a product you like, then promote it on social media, and make it attractive enough to get people to come to your space, then you have a real opportunity to possibly make some money. Think about why we all hate those people posting links telling us they can get us thousands of Twitter or Facebook followers; it’s not only that we don’t believe them (it’s a scam by the way) but how does that help us?

5. Unless you’re already well known, famous people or people thought of highly in your industry aren’t coming to your blog unless they hear about you via social media.

I’ve had a couple of folks known fairly well online stop by here for a comment or two; it’s rare but it’s happened.

However, I’ve connected with a lot of famous people via social media… and they followed me first! lol I’ve ever had the opportunity to talk to them; that’s pretty cool.

Here’s the overall thing, at least from my perspective. I’ve never really tried to get anything from any of these people and I don’t go out of my way to show who I know and how I know them. In 13 years of being online and 10 years of blogging the only person I ever reached out to for anything was asking Guy Kawasaki to add my business blog to the leadership section of his Alltop site, and that was after I helped edit his book Reality Check (and my name’s in the book; pretty cool!).

The thing is, you can connect with someone via social media in a way you probably won’t on a blog. If you’re genuine they might even stop by your blog or possibly help promote you. Don’t ever expect it though; do your own work.

6. You benefit most from both blogging and social media by sharing.

You might benefit more from sharing things on social media but your blog can get a benefit also. If you mention and link to others on your blog you may get more people to your blog. That’s because a lot of people look at trackbacks for their stuff and sometimes if they see you’ve linked to them they’ll stop by to see what you had to say or share.

Social media allows you to easily share the content others produce. If it’s certain people better known than others it can bring you some attention. If it’s regular folks like you, then they’re more apt to stop by your blog or website to take a look… Some of that depends on…

bloggingdemotivator

7. Blog titles are important; social media is but it’s not always in your control.

Don’t even think about changing someone else’s article title to fit your own needs, even if it’s just to tell people what the article is about. For your own missives, finding creative titles will be productive because that’s what a lot of people are looking for. They’ve all been told that one way to garner trust is sharing other people’s links so they’ll do that, even if they never read what you’ve written. This leads to #8…

8. More people will read your blog posts than your links on social media, even if more people see them on social media.

Isn’t that a shame? I have way more people comment and share my stuff on Twitter and Google Plus without reading it than I get comments on the blog.

How do I know this? I have posted videos that take at least 5 minutes to watch and seen them shared in 30 seconds. I’ve checked viewer counts later in the day and the counts, if I had any views, never match how many times the link has been shared.

On Google Plus, I’ve gotten responses to a link that don’t match up with the article but might match up with the title. Every once in a while I’ll press someone on it and they’ll admit they didn’t read the article. The same happens on Twitter; although I have a couple of folks who’ll retweet my stuff because I’m on their list and they know me, many more share my links and occasionally comment on the title that never come to the blog.

However, if people come to the blog, I can tell who’s actually read the article or not. Some comments aren’t even worthy of keeping and I immediately move them to spam but that’s not the majority of what I get anymore, thank goodness.

What does this mean overall? It means the people you’re really going to reach are the people you can get to come to your blog. Sure, every once in a while you might get some attention on Facebook if you do certain things, but in general people are going to skip it unless you can bring them into your space.

9. Neither blogging or social media is going away any time soon.

As a matter of fact, I predict that both are going to continue growing in some form or another for decades unless there’s some type of world catastrophe; I hope against hope on that one.

Since both are going to be around, both individuals, bloggers and marketers still have time to figure it all out, how to work with each other, how to make each other grow, how to protect each other… well, I have big dreams I suppose.

There are some things that need to stop. Trolling needs to stop. Bullying needs to stop. Revenge sites need to stop. Honesty needs to be spoken of more. There probably needs to be more social progress. The world needs to find better ways to talk to each other rather than at each other.

I don’t have that answer; I’m probably too old and set in my ways for that one. However, when there’s the potential for discourse, I’ll probably be there. I’ll comment on the blog; then I’ll share it on social media.

How will you participate?
 

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Do You Consider Yourself A Writer?

I come across many people who tell me they don’t know how to write. I point out to many of them that they got through school, some of them through college, and I know they had to do a lot of writing then because I had to do a lot of writing. Many people don’t see that as the same thing; oh really?

Writing
Pedro Ribeiro Simões
via Compfight

In school, you had to write to get grades good enough to pass. In business, you have to write well enough to try to get more customers. It may not be a blog post. It might be a short ad or a long ad. It might be a radio commercial. It might even be a flyer that you put on the wall of your own establishment. Everyone knows how to write something, and had to write something in the past; it’s inevitable.

What’s happened is that not everyone knows how to write well. Not as many people seem to pay attention to either spelling or grammar. I see errors of omission on a consistent basis and it’s shocking. If this was someone writing a letter to their friend, then there’s no problem. But is this the type of thing you want your customers to see? I think not.

There are basically two things that can be done to help correct writing issues. One is to hire someone else to do your writing for you. The other is to pay more attention to what’s being written.

For instance, with today’s computers and programs, almost everyone gets notified when a word has been misspelled by some kind of squiggly line. All one has to do is right-click on the word and see what choices are being given for correction.

When it comes to grammar, Microsoft Word has a couple of settings to help check for grammar, but the recommendations sometimes seem a bit stiff. Instead, what I find useful here and there is to read what I’ve written out loud; your ears will almost always hear something that doesn’t sound right.

I know I said 2 things but I’m going to add a third thing; giving more unexpected value! 🙂

The third thing is knowing what you’re writing about. For instance, there are tons of “make money blogging” blogs online but few of them actually make much money. To me, those people have no idea what they’re talking about. If they only talked about what they’ve tried and what didn’t work, like I did when I did my 6-part series some years ago about all the affiliate programs I was on, I’d give them more credence.

If you know your topic and can write about it, then you’re probably going to be pretty good, grammar and spelling notwithstanding. If you know how to tell a story you’ll be fabulous.

Sometimes all it takes is a little bit of time to get things right. Everyone doesn’t have to write like a pro; all anyone really asks for is that you write to be understood. If you’re in business, you have to remember that your words represent your competence in someone else’s eyes. If not, then do your best and your readers will feel it.
 

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Social Media Can’t Be Your Only Marketing

Often I talk about the need for businesses to get into social media so that they don’t get passed by because their competitors have gotten into the business. Whereas that’s true, what can’t be missed is that there must be a real world component to social media marketing.

The Other Cola (Peru)
Geraint Rowland via Compfight

For instance, say you make contact with someone because of your blog. Most probably they’re going to reach you by email or phone if you’ve remembered to add a contact page to your blog, or at least have a link to your business website, which should have contact information on it. This means that you’re following up with people in a more personal manner, whether it’s email or phone or, if you’re lucky, meeting someone in person.

I point this out because if your website or blog is so good that it actually does attract business, what you can’t take a chance on is that people are letdown by what they see once they’ve reached out to you. I don’t hide from anyone that I’m a one man operation, but some companies represent themselves as large corporations and suddenly find that they don’t have either the skills or resources to handle certain types of work that might come their way.

Another thing I’ve recommended businesses should do is follow both their business name and their industry on Twitter using hashtags. Many businesses have done this and have used the customer service potential to their benefit. However, what I’ve also seen is some companies using the opportunity to go on the attack rather than help their customers out, or reach out to a customer, answer the first query, then not follow up with any visible action.

Social media isn’t a game where business is concerned. Irk just one person, the wrong person, and you can believe that thousands will know about it soon enough. And when that happens, it’ll be hard for any business to follow up with all those other people to apologize, if it’s warranted, because they won’t know who they all are.

You can’t avoid social media because whether you like it or not, you’ll be pulled into it if you don’t act. It’s better if you make the decision to do it on your own. But be proactive across the board. Get it as right as you can. Your business will prosper and you’ll thank me later. 😉
 

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How Important Is SEO In Your Blogging Content?

I hear a lot of excuses from people when it comes to why they don’t blog all that often. Although I tend to believe that people have more to say than they think they do, I can understand how someone might think they’ll run out of things to say.

How to seo a website
SEOPlanter via Compfight

What I also hear is that people have no idea how to write for search engines, or the all-important SEO. I thought it was time to address the question of just how important SEO is to your blogging content.

Is SEO important? Yes, it’s absolutely important. How important it is in one’s blogging content is a different question entirely.

There are times when making sure that certain keywords are prominent in a blog post. One of the benefits of blogging is the fact that you’re actually building up prominence for your topics, or keywords that you want to be known for, by having a lot of content rather than having to keep drilling down on specific keywords or keyword phrases. So you shouldn’t have to go out of your way to create those keywords or keyword phrases if you know what you’re talking about.

For instance, even though I’m using the term SEO often in this particular post, if I decided to only use it once in any other post and linked that one time to something else on either my blog or my website, it would have as much power for my website as mentioning it in one post multiple times. The fact is that I have written on the topic multiple times on this blog throughout the years, so I should be covered, especially if someone’s wondering how it might relate to blogging.

In other words, the SEO properties of a blog don’t have to occur all in one post. One can spread out the process via multiple posts. That also means that your content can read naturally for both your visitors and the search engines, which is what everyone wants to see anyway.

Of course you will probably go somewhere else and read where someone has said how important it is to make sure that every single post you write is perfectly optimized. I’ve read lots of blog posts where they’ll tell you how many times you need to use certain phrases, that you need to add H1, H2, H-etc tags, and a whole lot of other tricks. Go find some of the big time blogs and check to see how often they’re employing these tricks within the articles; almost never!

I’m here to tell you that it’s much more important having consistent content than worrying about how you’re writing something. As long issue make it readable for your visitors, make it compelling, and have a style worth reading, your content and your search engine optimization processes will take care of themselves.
 

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Writing Articles That Gain Attention On LinkedIn

Back in March I wrote about a personal social media study I did in trying to increase my overall influence online. I mentioned in that post that I’d started writing articles on LinkedIn, and how it had started bringing me some attention.

Ylva Johansson
Socialdemokraterna via Compfight

At this point I have 21 articles there and I’ve started to see a pattern. There are some things that seem to help determine how many eyes are going to see what you’ve written.

I can’t guarantee that every post you write, even if you follow these rules, is going to get seen by more than 1,000 people like this post on getting unstuck did but there seems to be some rules to follow if you want as many people to see your posts as possible.

First, unless you’re a known entity or someone that LinkedIn has determined is a major influencer across the board, list posts seem to get viewed the most. It’s probably for the same reason they work so well on blogs; people like seeing something that they expect is going to have specific points that maybe they can identify with.

Turns out it doesn’t matter if you use an actual number or write it out as a word, but lists work well. Also, it helps if you bold your numbers in the article, whether it’s the word or the actual number (like I’m doing for this post).

Second, although this goes against the grain of how some people think, longer articles seem to get more attention, even if they’re list posts. My longer articles, which also have been list posts, have more numbers than all my other posts, and if you know me you know that I’m not normally about really short posts to begin with. Substance seems to be a big winner, so if you’re writing a long post make sure you have something to say.

Third, short titles don’t work well either. I’ve never really paid much attention to titles on this blog for every post but I’ve noticed that on LinkedIn you’ll get more eyes if your title is long enough to tell people what you’re writing about.

LinkedIn smurfs
Mark Jen via Compfight

Fourth, write articles where you’re offering something to help others. My posts that have helped someone in some fashion have garnered the most attention. Even on a post like this, where I gave 7 ways to tell if you’re a bad leader, got 400 views because there was a perceived value. Actually, there was a major value in this post but if you’re a bad leader you might not have picked up on it. lol

Fifth, it’s smart to have some kind of picture to put at the top of your article. They give you the opportunity to put a picture with the pixel size of 698×400. Just like with blog posts, images seem to help rather than having a big gap without anything there.

I have tons of pictures so I go through them looking for something I think might fit. Since all my pictures are much larger than that I can crop when I need to before resizing.

Sixth, don’t forget to do the spacing like most of us remember to do when we write our blog posts. It helps with readability.

Seventh, when you’ve completed your post LinkedIn gives you the opportunity to add 3 categories to your articles. However, you have to use the categories they give you if you go that route; if it’s not there then you don’t get to do anything.

I’ve found that the articles I’ve written that get the most attention are those that I haven’t categorized. What happens is that if your article is seen by enough people, and that magic number is usually at least 100 people, it’ll decide where to put it so you don’t have to. Truthfully, that works better anyway, and it takes the pressure off you to have to do it.

That’s pretty good stuff to consider if you’re just starting out or have been thinking about doing it. If I get anything more out of it I’ll certainly write about it here.
 

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