All posts by Mitch Mitchell

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

Comments That Get Sent To Spam

I must say it’s been an interesting last 4 months on this blog as it pertains to comments. I wrote a post back in March saying how I was changing how I accept comments here, and much of what was on that post is above the comments box.

Commit no nuisance
Simon Webster via Compfight

Yet, for some reason, comments still come in with those things that I said would send them to the spam box. And you know what… not one person who’s shown up in the spam box because of a violation of policy has ever written to ask about their comment. Those who have are folks who, for some reason, end up there even though they do everything correct, and I pull their comments out of there; I say sorry in public to Adrienne & Rummuser for that. Go check out their blogs because they’re very informative and entertaining; in that order. 🙂

What is this quest for good comments you might ask? And what makes bad comments?

The quest for good comments is because it makes interactions relevant. A bad comment is one where I talk about colors and you come back and say “looking at colors is important on a blog” or something like that, and that’s all you offer; ugh. I deleted 3 of those from my previous post on being a colorful blogger. I know those are people being paid to write comments or people who are cruisin’ and could care less about their comment being responded to; I mean really, what can you say in response to something like that?

The same goes for people who use “info” as the beginning of their email addresses. Once again, how do I know that the person leaving the comment is going to be the person reading the email? I’d bet that at least 75% of the time no one’s going to read the email because when I was letting those email addresses through in the past I think only 2 people ever responded to anything I specifically said to them. If this is you and it’s supposed to be legitimate let me teach you something about branding; that’s not how it’s done. You want people to trust you then you make sure you use “your” first name and the extension should be your website.

That’s another point. While we all let these things go through, addresses that use gmail, hotmail, yahoo or the rest aren’t great for branding. If you want people to take you seriously, use a website or blog extension as the email, with your name or nickname at the beginning in some fashion.

Let me say this; I’m not necessarily against people who write comments for a living. What I’m looking for is a bit more effort, an attempt to at least look legitimate as far as someone who might actually care about what’s been written. Yes, as a writer of multiple blogs, I like to think my efforts are being appreciated and not just a place where you get to drop a link to your client, or your own blog, with little effort. At least give people a reason to say “hey, that’s a great comment, let me go back to their blog to see what they’re all about.” After all, aren’t you really being paid for that, to help drive business, rather than just trolling for links?

A guy who’s pretty good at that is Carl, who comments here often. He gets paid for commenting, but he leaves true comments, will respond to some of my comments back to him, and still gets to drop links to his clients. I don’t mind that as long as he’s not linking to an affiliate program; yeah, don’t do that either because even if the comment is good I’ll keep the comment but remove that type of link. And don’t even think about dropping a link to an inappropriate site. What’s inappropriate? If I don’t like it, it’s gone; that’s inappropriate. lol

I’m not the only one who feels this way. Adrienne, whom I mentioned above, has a very strict commenting policy. My Hot Blog Tips buddy Brian has started doing the same thing and he’s even harder than I am. Sure, we all risk losing people commenting, our traffic going down, and our rankings suffering in some fashion. But those who are serious about things know that they can come here and, if they’re predisposed to do so, can even talk to others who have left comments because they’re pretty good, and yours truly has vetted them; oh yeah!

Still, if you think I’m a bit too harsh, let me know below, but don’t write something like “I agree; people should write better comments” and think I’m leaving it here. That will just prove you didn’t read the post. Let’s face it, I’m not getting any younger. 😉
 

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Being A Colorful Blogger

Have you ever given thought about all the colors of your blog? You’ve probably given thought to the colors of your blog as you look at it but that’s not the only color on your blog.

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For instance, your font color is something to consider. Have you ever noticed that the font on this blog isn’t really black? It’s kind of a charcoal grey color; close but not quite black. The blog of one of my clients has gold print. There’s nothing wrong with changing certain things like that up as long as it’s still readable against its background.

What about language? Have you ever heard the name William F Buckley Jr? He was acknowledged as one of the smartest men ever, had a TV show that lasted 33 years, wrote a weekly newspaper column and multiple books. In one of them, which I can’t recall at the moment, on the same page he used the words proboscis, stentorian, and miasma of perfidy. There were words like that on every page as a matter of fact, and I only made it through 20 pages before I got tired of pulling out the dictionary so often. I have a pretty good vocabulary, but I try to temper myself, and instead look for synonyms that people know every once in awhile so I don’t sound the same over and over.

All of these things help to give your blog a fresh feel and helps to show what you’re made of. Sure, you want people to learn your style and get comfortable with it. But every once in awhile you need to be fresh, update things a bit, and try not to be so predictable.

In that vein we have the video below which talks about colors and blogging; yeah, I know, you’re not going to watch it, but I’m putting it out here anyway:
 


http://youtu.be/dr80OLxWQHg

 

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Karma And Intuition

Did you know that I’ve uploaded 75 videos? Did you know that I have had just over 2,000 views? That equates to around 3 viewers per video; that’s a horrible ratio, and I don’t have to tell you that.

People
Viewminder via Compfight

The question might be why do I keep doing videos if no one is watching. I do them because I should. I have this intuition that by creating videos some day a few of them just might become popular; not Gangnam Style popular but popular enough so that people will watch one, think it’s not so bad, and share it with someone else. Sure, they’re not overly polished but it’s real and honest and me.

I also feel this karma surrounding me that says “hey, you should talk about this, whether or not you blog about it”. Remember my last video on being an expert? Remember my last point in that post about being willing to share? Sharing isn’t always about the written word, even on blogs. Audio, video, images… whatever it takes, if there’s something there you wish to share, it’s all good.

Why am I talking about karma and intuition today? Because I think most people go about their lives waiting for things to happen to them, good or bad, without paying attention to that little voice inside their heads that says “watch out” or “hey, this sounds really good”. So many people make bad decisions when they knew better, including me. However, I also make a lot of good, safe decisions, some where others might say I played it too safe, but I’d rather be too safe than too risky; I’d like to stick around this big ol’ Earth for a little while longer. 🙂

This isn’t a blogging tale; this is a life tale. Some people eat too much or eat the wrong things when we all know better because we’ve read and listened to experts tell us about it. Some people still smoke when there’s no doubt it’s going to give 95% of the population either lung cancer or emphysema. Too many people play the lottery every single day when everyone knows the odds of winning the “big one” are worse than the entire population of the planet.

Some of those examples aren’t too bad; others are horrid. We know, but we don’t listen to our intuition, thus we don’t put out the right karma, that sense which tells us whether we’re going to be peaceful or not. Some folks have it going on; they’re doing exactly what they want to do, when they want to do it. But what about the rest of us? What will it take for us to pay attention to ourselves?

Frankly, I don’t know either; that’s why I made this video. I hope it gets at least 20 views, but I know better; my intuition is telling me so. Still, here it is:
 


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xiEU4cQRPfs&feature=share&list=UUYMVX_ehmfnV_BhvTOj-5_w

 

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What Does It Take To Be An Expert?

In some ways I’m like everyone else when it comes to dealing with the concept of the term “expert”. The word has its connotations that make it something to eschew, and at the same time something to aspire to. I’ve hated being called an expert and tried to stay away from it at times. Then I came to grips with the reality that, as an independent consultant in different fields, the best marketing I can think of is to be seen as an expert in those fields where people might actually pay me for what I know and what I can do.

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I taught these dogs to fly;
no I didn’t…

I remember reading a book by a guy named Brendon Burchard called Millionaire Messengericon, which I briefly mentioned in a post about two years ago, where his premise is that all of us are experts to someone, and we can turn that expertise into a career if we learn how to do it and have the confidence to do it. That kind of thing makes great sense to me, as in 2 days I’ll be celebrating my 12th year in business for myself. I guess that means I had that part figured out already to some degree.

However, you don’t have to always be making money at something to be considered an expert at it, or at least be trying to be an expert at it. I’ll go out on a limb and say that I might not have a skyrocking ranking when it comes to blogging, and yet I’d like to consider myself an expert at it. I actually gave a presentation on business blogging a year and a half ago that went over really well. Speaking in front of around 60 people or so, who crammed into a little room to hear me talk for about 45 minutes and seemed to enjoy themselves helped give me a bit of a boost that maybe I knew something of which I spoke.

It’s because of quite a few other things that I feel I have the right to call myself an expert on the topic of blogging. I’m expert on a few other things as well, and that’s more the premise of this post. What makes someone an expert, whether they want to call themselves one or not? I have some ideas, and I’m going to relate a lot of it to blogging. Here are 5 things I have for you; let’s see how you feel you stack up to it when I’m done:

1. Some knowledge of what you’re talking about – I like to think I know something about the topic of blogging. As it pertains to this blog, 10% of the articles I’ve written here are on the topic of blogging. Since I’ve written over 1,400 articles here, that’s not so bad.

But that’s not all. I also consider myself an expert on the topic of leadership and management, and to that degree 33% of the articles on my business blog are on that specific topic. Add to that the reality that I wrote a book on leadership and, until the last few months, also wrote a newsletter on the topic, and you could say that I’ve proven myself to be knowledgeable on the subject

2. Longevity – I’ve been writing and talking about leadership for 12 years now. I’ve been a healthcare finance consultant for 12 years now, with just about 30 years in the arena. I’ve been writing about leadership for that same period of time and blogging about it for 8 years, and I’ve been writing about blogging for 6 years now. For that matter I’ve been writing in some form or another for 33 years, which has prompted more than 3,500 articles online and nearly 100 songs and lyrics copyrighted; I hadn’t talked about writing earlier but I don’t necessarily consider myself an expert at that, even with the longevity.

3. Acknowledgement from others – This one is something you can’t really generate on your own (well, you can ask for endorsements on LinkedIn, but that’s not quite the same thing), so it’s nice when you get to be a part of something like this recent article including myself along with 32 others titled 33 Experts Share Their Secrets For Improving Reader Engagement. I’ve been a part of other interviews as well, and have been asked to write all sorts of guest posts and participate in forums here and there on the topic. And of course there’s my weekly Hot Blog Tips Hangouts on YouTube every Sunday, which is growing in popularity. There are many long time readers and bloggers who say a lot of nice things about my blogging ventures. Of course there’s many who have no idea who I am as well, but it’s not always numbers that make you an expert.

4. Willingness to continue learning – After all these years of all the things I’ve done, I continue trying to be better. I read more and I write more (maybe not so much lately but it’s coming back) because everything new I learn gives me a new perspective on things like and already know something about, gives me something new to write about and to help others with, and it all helps make me more of an expert which of course helps me benefit others.

5. Being willing to share – This is the big one. Back in the day there were a lot of people saying “You give too much away; no one has to hire you because you give it all to them already.” That may or may not be true; I really don’t know. I believe that over the years I’ve been willing to share what I think about blogging, writing, social media, and other things that I’m sure some people really couldn’t care much about but others might find somewhat interesting. After all, the name of this blog is I’m Just Sharing after all. 🙂 When you’re willing to give, you open yourself up to receiving as well; that’s what the cycle of life, or the laws of attraction, are really about.

There’s my 5 things; how do you match up to them?
 

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Father’s Day Tribute, 2013

As this post goes live, it highlights the date and time that my dad passed away 11 years ago, on Father’s Day of all things. I’ve written about it over the years, saying similar and dissimilar things. However, I’ve never talked about it out loud, never done a video before, and, well, there’s something new I added that, in retrospect, puts a very interesting light on the day that I hadn’t thought about before until I did the video.

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No one wants to ever lose a close relative, whether it’s father, mother, son, daughter, uncle, aunt or grandparent. No one ever wants to lose a close friend. For that matter, we’re always shocked when we hear of certain other people passing away. As this court case goes in it makes me keep reliving the day when I heard that Michael Jackson had passed.

I’ve written before about the connection between Michael Jackson and my dad and my life. The say my dad went to Vietnam was the same day I saw the Jackson Five on TV for the first time. Over the years it seemed like whenever I needed a boost or something else significant was going on in my life, it was either my dad or a song featuring Michael Jackson that came to the fore.

In this instance though, it was something else that happened, two things in fact, that seems to make the day and that time period something much different as I took this look back on what was indeed the worst weekend of my life. As you’ve seen these bits and pieces of what I’m saying before I post the video below, you’ll see links to other articles I’ve written about my dad and Father’s Day, and I hope you get the opportunity to check them out. In the meantime, as I share the video below, I wish everyone who is a father a happy day with your kids, and to those with or without fathers I hope your day is full of peace and love as well.


http://youtu.be/pqqZDDV-i9A

 

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