All posts by Mitch Mitchell

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

Inspiration From Other Blogs Or Websites

Blogging isn’t all about you. Yeah, I know, most of it is, but the truth is that blogging is really about community. And if you know how to use the community, it can bring great benefits. What do I mean?

His Hand
Hartwig HKD via Compfight

It’s rare that I don’t have anything to write about. My imagination is pretty good. But it does happen here and there. What I do when that happens is I go and check out other blogs. I’m one of those people that actually enjoys commenting on other people’s blogs, but in this case it’s not all I’m doing.

Something people don’t think to take advantage of is writing a long piece on their own blog based on inspiration from someone else’s blog. I do that often, and it works really well, even if I comment on someone else’s blog. But the extra step I take is that I’ll link to the article that I’m commenting on.

What that does is brings to my readers attention another blog and gives them a boost, whether they’re ranked higher than I am or not. It gives them a one way link which of course benefits their blog, and it gives me a topic to write on. We both benefit, and I show that it’s not all about me.

And here’s the thing. You don’t have to agree with whatever you’re writing that’s addressing the other person’s blog. I go both ways equally and both serves the same purpose, which is giving me something to write about and the other person a free link, even if they might not see the benefits of my disagreeing with them. It’s a win-win; search engines will love it.

This is a little tip but an important one for many reasons. Give it a try; it’s probably one of the easiest things you could ever do to give your blog more character.
 

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Blogging Bad Habits You Should Try To Break

Can you change your habits? All experts believe you can if you want to change them. I’m one of those people; I hate calling myself an expert most of the time but hey, if I don’t every once in awhile then why would anyone want to work with me?

Oh no, here come the Bloggers
Brett L. via Compfight

There’s a phrase where the number changes all the time saying that it takes “this many” times to consciously do something to change a habit. I’ve tested that one multiple times and have learned that it’s not always true. When it comes to working out, eating better, or generally enjoying yourself, it’s hard to sustain those habits; trust me on this one, unless your life is in danger, it’s not easy to do.

Having said that, you’re probably wondering what I’m leading to. I’m talking about blogging and coming up with content for your blog. I’ve seen a lot of bad habits, some that border on being unethical, some that border on lazy. What are they? In a nutshell, let’s look at these three.

The first, stealing content from other people. What happens is that a person sees an article someone else wrote, copies it, changing a word or two here and there, and sends it out as their own. Sometimes they don’t even go that far; they just copy and paste it, put their names on it, and go about their business.

Bad idea folks. One, it’s smarmy. Two, it could be illegal. Three, it’s definitely unethical. Look at my posts, near the bottom of each one. You see that copyright logo? That means it’s my work; don’t steal my work. And don’t steal anyone else’s work.

There is one time when this might not be so bad, and that’s if you’re stealing from yourself. In that actuality, you’re not stealing, just sharing with a different audience. Online newspapers do that all the time; you’ll notice that they write their own local stories, but other stories are written by national and international outlets. If you wrote something for someone else, ask them if they’d mind if you put it in your own space some months later. They probably wouldn’t care, but only do it if you’re not a prolific writer.

The second, writing sloppily. No one is perfect, but consistently misspelling words you should know how to spell that spell check is telling you is wrong each and every time, not using punctuation properly, and generally writing content that makes no sense… very bad idea.

Finally, the third, which is not being consistent in any way with your content. I hate visiting blogs where I see a post every 4 to 6 months; ouch! I’m not following any blog like that, and I’m not even going to waste my time leaving a comment on it, even if it’s written well. If you don’t care enough about your audience to even try to be regular, why should I? Maybe you’re not prolific enough to write a post daily, but writing at least one post of at least 300 words.. that’s too much of an effort?

That’s all I have for now. I could write a lot more but this one’s already over 500 words. See how easy this can be? If you’re doing any of those 3 things I mentioned above, break those bad habits. Trust me, your business will thank you for it.
 

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Basic Ways People Make Money With Their Websites

Whether you have a business website or are trying to make money off the web, invariably just being online offers you the opportunity to make money in some fashion. Many people have an idea of what making money online means to them, but it’s often a limited view, which you’ll see if you visit “make money” websites or blogs. I’m going to give you some of the basic ways that people make money, whether directly or indirectly, and a general idea of how it’s done; I’m betting most of you know these ways already.

Pretty Penny
JD Hancock via Compfight

One, you can make money by selling products. This is the easy one that most people think of, as you can sell products you make or products someone else makes. Affiliate marketing works well for some people who have niche blogs or websites.

Two, you can make money by selling services. You find this more often with people that offer coaching, counseling or consulting services.

When you think of this model, you have to think both short term and long term marketing. For instance, if I have a link up it means I’m trying to sell short term services; not necessarily that I’m hoping you’ll only use me once and go away, but these are immediate services that I want to be paid up front for.

When you have a business website and you provide services, most probably you’re working on long term services, which doesn’t mean you only offer services that last a lifetime, but are looking to build your authority and presence over time so that you can become known as an expert and thus charge more for your services.

Three, you can make money by accepting advertising. Within this model you can include things like Google Adsense and other pay-per-click (PPC) or pay per subscriber/buyer models. If you have a business website you should think long and hard as to whether you want any type of advertising on your site because there’s the potential of you sending people away. However, if you have other sites like blogs that don’t talk about business specifically, accepting advertising is a great way to build income, but you have to be cautious in how you do it.

Advertising can also take other forms. If you write a blog on a certain subject you’ll often have someone ask if they can pay for a link on an article that pertains to what they do. That’s one of the powers of being a prolific writer; there’s always someone willing to pay for some authority to link back to their site. Being known as a publisher or content curator of original information can pay well.

You need to evaluate your business to determine what your websites goals are. If you’re highlighting your business, then stay away from many forms of advertising. If you’re somewhat flexible, there are lots of options you can explore.
 

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A Video On 5 Tips For Creating Videos

This is something different. I’ve created a video offering 5 tips on creating videos based on what I’ve learned over the past year in creating my own. Trust me, I’ve made some mistakes, mainly because I’ve been spending time trying to get used to the idea of making videos in the first place.

Think Twice About Your Movie Selection
cobalt123 via Compfight

I’ve talked about how it could be a benefit to either your website or blog to help show people what you can do for them. Since that time, I’ve actually had people subscribe to my main YouTube channel, something I never even considered before because, well, I’d never thought about it. This is something else you could look forward to if you have enough people that decide they like your videos and thus want notification whenever you add more.

You might as well get used to the reality that video is not only big right now, but it’s getting bigger. There are more than 3 billion views of videos every single day on YouTube alone; imagine how many there are if you include the other video services, including independently produced videos.

What’s the appeal for a video? Pretty much like audio you can just listen to it, or you can watch and see content you might not see anywhere else. When I do my videos I’m much more freeform than I am when I write, and that’s saying a lot if you’ve seen a lot of things I write on this blog.

There are people way more creative than I am when it comes to doing video. I’ve never learned editing, so when I do a video you get what you get. Other people’s videos might be constructed better, but if I say so myself I think what I have to say most of the time can equal what you’ll see on other people’s videos if we’re speaking on the same topic.

Of course the major thing about videos is that it brings a personable presence that writing can’t do all on its own. It probably explains why TV captures the lives and imagination of so many people, because there’s something intriguing when you can get involved in someone else’s lives and thoughts, even if on TV much of it is fake.

In your own videos, you can do things you can’t do just by writing. There are people who show you how to exercise, how to eat, how to fix things, even how to score high in your favorite video games (I don’t play any lol).

And, as you see here, I’ve written a lot about some positives of video and yet I still have the video below offering even more on the subject. I’m thinking you’re getting double your money for today’s post, and since you’re not paying me anything for this stuff, that’s real value! 😉

So with that, I present these tips to you, and hope you enjoy the video as well, and if you do don’t forget to subscribe or go back through previous videos and see what I’ve been sharing, since I’ve been doing these things for a few years now.
 


 

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Your Business Credibility

One of the best things about advertising and working online is that if something isn’t working, you can change it pretty easily. Testing can take some time, but it’s less expensive than printing $10,000 worth of material, mailing it out to thousands of people, getting nothing in return and having to do it all again.

Wikipedia - T-shirt
mikeedesign
via Compfight

One of the worst things about advertising and working online is when you get things so screwed up that you lose any business credibility you might have had. Sure, many times you’ll get another shot at making a go of things, but you’ll probably never get any of those people back that stopped by, disapproved of what you did, left and talked about it later on.

One Sunday last year I did a Google Hangout with my Hot Blog Tips crew on the topic of writing paid posts and blogging credibility, which I’m sharing below. It’s my position that if people do things that are unethical just to make money that eventually it will kill them and their business prospects. There are a lot of bloggers who write paid posts, or put up posts with someone else’s words, and say a lot of glowing stuff about something they’re not familiar with. Some will be promoting a product using an affiliate link that they know nothing about and writing something overly positive without knowing if it is or not.

When it comes to your business and advertising it online, I feel that what you don’t want to do is say you can do things that you can’t do. At the same time, overstating your capabilities doesn’t do you many favors either. I remember having a conversation with someone a couple of years ago where he said that if you’re asked if you can do something or provide something you always answer “yes”, then you go out and find the person who can really do it. To me, it might be true that you can find someone who can do the work, but if you don’t know that person and they do the work badly, you’re the one who’s going to suffer.

There’s nothing wrong with self promotion. There’s really nothing wrong with a bit of hyperbole, although if you say you’re the #1 whatever in your market I tend to believe you’d better be ready to prove it by showing me something, since I might not even allow you to work with me unless I get testimonials. These days people are more savvy than ever, and they can check everything online. Try to fool someone and it will come back at you eventually. Nothing disappears online; remember that.

By the way, you need to know that if you happen to use words that aren’t your own, sent to you by a marketer that they believe will help you sell their product, that it’s a violation of FCC rules and it could result in both fines and losing your domain; just thought I’d mention that.

Check out the video below, as it addresses this topic with a few more ideas on the subject than just mine:


 

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