All posts by Mitch Mitchell

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

Quick Ways To Identify Spam On Your Blog

I can’t believe it’s been more than 3 years since I wrote on the topic of how to identify spam. In that period of time a lot of things have stayed the same while there are some new players in the game that try to trick us all.

No Spam
Thomas Hawk via Compfight

This will probably be a short post from me, which is rare, but I’m hoping to make it easy for everyone instead of getting too deep into the issue. If there’s anything here you don’t understand, leave it in the comments and I’ll give it more time later. Here we go:

1. If a comment doesn’t use your name but calls you something, it’s probably spam. Admin, webmaster, buddy, etc.

2. One line comments are most probably spam unless you know the person.

3. If a comment looks familiar look through previous comments on that same post. Most of the time I recognize that someone has scraped a previous comment but not all the time, and I end up responding to both; ugh.

4. Totally off-topic or not on the topic at all.

5. The comment is way too long. I’ve known a few people who leave long comments but in general most really long comments are spammy sales messages or rants about something totally not based on what you’ve just written about.

6. Questions about your blog in general; not on topic, and please don’t even waste your time responding to this stuff.

7. Female picture with male name, male picture with female name… that should be pretty easy to spot.

8. The email address says “info” or “admin” in it. Not always spam but my policy is it all goes into the spam filter because, unless I know the person, it often means someone’s been paid to leave a lousy comment on your blog & they’re never coming back.

9. Keyword names or somewhat offensive names. I don’t allow either and will just delete the comments without reading them because most of the time they’re spam.

I’ll stop at 9 because that’s one of my favorite numbers and it’s the 9th month. Anyone have any other quick ways to identify spam?
 

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Marketing, Promotion And Video

A couple of days ago one of my YouTube friends shared the link of someone new with me & some other folks. He calls his YouTube page Daym Drops, and he talks about food. Well, that’s not quite accurate; he emotes about food, mainly fast food and different items, though he’ll occasionally break into commentary about other foods such as desserts and comfort food.

typexnick via Compfight

There are a few things that are pretty amazing about this guy. First, he’s got over 100,000 subscribers, and I’m a new one. Second, some of his videos have garnered millions of viewers. Third, he’s funny; that never hurts. Fourth, by doing something he loves and promoting it in his own way, he not only makes a pretty good living via YouTube but was able to turn what he does into a TV show for The Travel Channel; what the hey?

I was thinking once again about this once again, this thing about marketing and promotion. In a way, they’re different as well as being somewhat the same. Marketing is where you find ways to market your business to get people to buy from you. Promotion is where you find ways to market yourself and your competencies so that people will buy from you or hire you.

Daym (short for Daymond) actually stated something that I’ve been doing over the past year. In one of his videos, he said that if you have something you want to say that you should create videos and put them out, and even if you only have a few viewers that you should continue doing it; find something you love to talk about and go for it.

I’m now up to 90 videos on this particular channel, the 90th being below, and many of them haven’t cracked double digits. My other channel does much better because I fill a void that no one else can touch, but I don’t do a lot of those and I need to start doing way more.

Why? Because it’s a niche that I can claim as my own and one where there’s actually the possibility that I could make money off it via people hiring me for my services. That might be a lot easier than trying to get hired because of my personality, that’s for sure. lol

Someone like our buddy Adrienne’s got it right. She promotes herself by also promoting others, is pretty much everywhere, and is now starting to show up on lots of lists regarding bloggers that people should know about. It takes a lot of work and consistency, but that’s really what promotions is all about.

I’m bad at it; what about you? No matter; check out the video or comment based on what I’ve said above. The question you’re addressing… are you promoting yourself enough, are you marketing your business enough, and are you using video in any way to help you along? Here we go:
 


 

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Your Blog Is Irking Me; Check These Gripes Out

These days I’m doing a lot of business travel and this puts me way behind in my blog commenting. Some people may not understand this but trust me, a hotel internet connection that’s only getting 2 MBPS as opposed to the 30 MBPS I get at home is restricting to a power user type like me.

Leave The Kids At Home And Turn Off The Damn Phone!
Bart via Compfight

This week I’m home, and so I decided it was time to try to catch up on a lot of blogs that I’d saved up in Evernote to comment on. And once I started… man, I started seeing all sorts of stuff that’s just irking me to no end. My take on this is that if it’s irking me, then it has to be irking others, even if they decide not to say anything about it.

How many ways have I been irked? Let’s find out:

1. Your share buttons are bleeding into the reading/comment area. Thanks for putting up buttons so we can share your content. For some of you who put it on the side, that bad boy following me up and down the blog as I read is distracting, but I’ll get over that because I know you’re trying to help me help you (sarcasm). But some of you have it so big that I have to keep scrolling more often than normal if I want to read the article in full because it’s blocking the content. I can shrink the page, but at some point I can’t read it, or I’m struggling to read it, and that’s just not going to work for me. So I just go away; don’t leave a comment, don’t pass GO, don’t get my $200. And I might not come back if I can remember who’s blog I was on.

2. Your “next” article pop-ins. Look, I get it; you don’t think I’m going to look at anything else you write if you don’t specifically tell me to do it. So at some point you’ve set your blog up to throw in one of those boxes that pops in at the bottom right to tell me something. Most of the time it’s another article, but sometimes it’s an advertisement or something else you want to share with me.

Even though I don’t like that, at least most of you wait until we get to the bottom of the article before it pops up. I even understand having it pop up before it gets to the commenting area because not everyone is going to comment. But having that bad boy pop up after I hit the scroll area the very first time… stop that! Once again, it bleeds into the content and gets in the way, and some of you nefariously have omitted the X allowing us to close the box, which once again means we have to shrink content drastically if we want to read stuff, being followed by your face and that ever present box. No thanks; killed that article as well.

3. Newsletter pop-ups. Now look, I’ve talked often about how much I hate these things and most of you are still using them because some “guru” said that as much as people complain about them they actually work in getting subscribers. So on this one I’m probably just a hater missing the point. Except… now many of you are popping those boxes up while I’m either in the middle of trying to read your article or starting to leave a comment. Really? Do you hate your own content or the readers so much that you don’t want them to finish reading your articles? No? Then why did I just up and leave because that thing ruined my reading experience?

4. What’s that noise? Did you just have a video start playing advertising something that I wasn’t expecting? Do you have your blog set up to start playing a brief podcast or some kind of music? Didn’t we talk about this a long time ago when I used to tell people how much I hated MySpace (and look what happened to that…)?

Okay, which guru told you to assault the senses of your latest visitors with this nonsense? Did you subscribe to their newsletter that teaches you how to irritate people while taking your money to the bank? I get it; there seems to be a lot of blindness when it comes to blogs and it’s harder to get people to even look at our stuff, let alone click on it. Let me tell you something; the best way to market to people is to hopefully get them to keep coming back for more. If you drive away 99% of your audience the first time, how much do you think you’re going to get from that 1% that forgives you & comes back?

5. What did you say? I don’t want to be the grammar police but I have a few things to say here, and I’ll highlight them:

* The word is “commenters”, not “commentators”; a commentator is a reporter.

* There’s no such phrase as “these ones”; you mean “these” and that word is enough.

* A space between your paragraphs is much appreciated. Heck, paragraphs instead of one long paragraph that goes on forever is nice as well.

* Exclamation points are to be used when you want to show an emotion. Using one in every sentence of every paragraph is a bit too much; if you’re that emotional you’re scaring me. For that matter, even one per paragraph is probably too much.

* Your, you’re, there, their, they’re, our, are, hour, principle, principal, pitcher, picture… do I really have to explain this point?

Time to stop before I get really weird. Truthfully, the grammar part is lower on the totem pole than all the other stuff I mentioned, but since I was on my “irked” rant, I thought I’d pony up a few more things. Are you doing these things? I know you’re not going to fess up so I’ll just say if you are, think about it a bit and then, please, change. If not, is there something else irking you that you’d like to bring up?
 

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Michael Jackson Would Have Been 55 Today

Wow, can you believe it’s been four years since Michael Jackson passed away? Four years and three months, and today he’d have turned 55 years old. Yesterday was the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s I Have A Dream speech and the march on Washington DC, and I tried all day to make a connection between the two things, but it just wasn’t there.

ph-11600

It still freaks me out that he’s gone and that no new music, other than that one song months after he was gone, has been released since. He’s actually still in the news with the lawsuit his family has going against AEG and that’s horrid stuff to be sure. However, I figured that since I don’t want to deal with that I’d instead share some links to stories or things I’ve written on this blog that involve him in some fashion; my own tribute of sorts if you will. I make no promises that the videos on some of these posts are still live; YouTube’s always cracking down on someone. 🙂 Here we go:

Happy Birthday Michael Jackson, written a year before he passed away.

I included a reference to the first live performance of Billie Jean when talking about my top 5 presentations in history; how the heck did I not include Dr. King’s speech referenced above?

I wrote this piece the day after he passed away, after I’d had some time to collect my thoughts.

In this post of my favorite singers, you know who was at the top.

I talked about my thoughts on the 1st anniversary of his passing.

Savorite disco songs? You know he’s in this one. 🙂

Did you know just what kind of impact We Are The World was around the world? Michael Jackson won a Grammy for this.

I asked people during my Sunday Question Series who their favorite entertainer was; yeah, mine’s easy to guess.

Later I asked what people felt was the last great album. Mine is the best selling album in history; now who did that again?

Ah, favorite songs from the 60’s; freaky that the first Jackson Five song that went to #1 was in 1969…

I answered 30 questions about music I liked, and MJ came up more than once.

Finally, I wrote a post about what motivates me and I not only mentioned Michael Jackson but included a video that leads to one of his most motivational songs ever.

There you go, my little tribute on his 55th birthday.
 

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What’s Happened To Clocks?

As most of you know by now, I’ve been spending a lot of time in airports lately. I’ve noticed a bunch of things, which I mentioned in that last post, but one thing in particular brought something home to me.

clock338

What’s happened to all the clocks? There isn’t a single airport I’ve been to over the last 3 years where there’s been a clock anywhere. The funny thing is that airports are big on time. They put up these boards that tell you whether your plane is on time or not. They expect you to start boarding the plane at least 25 minutes before they’re ready to take off, and they’re sticklers with time; you miss getting on before they close that door and you’re stuck.

And it’s not just airports. I’m working these days in an office park for my consulting assignment, and I’ve noticed that there’s not a single clock on any floor. Almost no one has a clock on their desk either. There’s a break room on every floor, and on the first floor there’s a cafeteria where people can get food and drink… and no clock.

When I decided to stop wearing a watch some years ago, I figured that I’d have it easy because I have my smartphone with me most of the time, and there were always clocks around. But I was mistaken on that second part. Above you see a clock on the outside of my favorite grocery store; there are no clocks inside however. I like to go to the casino; there’s certainly no clocks in there because darkness never comes in a casino. There’s no clocks in the library I go to, even though they have a specific closing time.

What the hey? We live in a fast paced life, and it’s true that most of the time we have other alternatives for finding out what time it is. But it’s not always convenience to try to grab at my smartphone, and thus I might be sitting in a restaurant eating my meal and, because there are no clocks, I have no idea if I’m missing out on something.

I was visiting a friend of mine this weekend and he had an old time grandfather clock in the living room along with a baby grand. And it not only couldn’t keep the right time anymore, but it rang on the half hour rather than the hour, which didn’t matter since the time wasn’t close to correct.

Where am I going with all of this? We’re expected to be on time for many things. We have appointments of all types; meetings, doctor, kids, on and on. Many people say that they don’t have enough time to keep up with blogging; how do they know if they can’t chart time? Sure, they might have watches, but in my opinion even a watch isn’t enough to help you keep control of time.

What about me? Sure, I don’t wear a watch. But I have a clock in my home office that I can see above my monitor. I have two clocks in the master bedroom. There’s a large clock in the living room, a clock in 2 of my 3 bathrooms, a clock in the dining room, a clock in the kitchen, three clocks in the guest bedroom, 2 clocks in my wife’s sewing room, and two clocks in her office and in her bathroom.

Not only that but everything else in my house that can keep time is set, although the time is different if I set it than if my wife sets it, as she has this thing about setting clocks at least 4 minutes ahead of the actual time; what is it with wives? lol

Still, we have a handle on time at home, whether we schedule anything or not. When I write my articles for the Hot Blog Tips Newsletter that goes out once a week, put out by Brian Hawkins, I’m looking at the clock before and after I write each article, as I write 4 or 5 of them at a time to take care of the entire month up front; I’m not quite sure what he thinks about that or even if he believes I’ve written something that fast.

If you say you don’t have time to blog, or that it takes a lot of time, are you looking at a clock, or a watch, or even the lower right side of your computer to see if that’s true? Are you off watching TV or playing pool or reading magazines or eating popcorn (okay, I’m with you on the popcorn) instead of putting a blog post together?

How are you controlling your time? Where have you noticed that there are no clocks around that shocks you? My belief is that you haven’t even thought about it until reading this; now that you’re aware, take a look and let me know what you see.
 

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