All posts by Mitch Mitchell

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

5 Reasons You Need To Have A Gravatar

Funny how time flies. Turns out it was 4 1/2 years ago that I actually wrote my last piece on gravatars, how to create them, how to set your blog up to show them, etc. What I missed in that piece all those years ago was why anyone should have them. I guess I thought that would be obvious, but time has proven that no, most people still don’t get it. So, let’s look at 5 reasons why you need to have a gravatar.

Dad Me Uncle Morris
Which one is me? 🙂

1. Identity – Having a gravatar gives you an identity and helps you stand out from all those people people who comment on blogs and don’t have an image of any kind. People are more trusting of you and your comments if there’s an image associated with it.

2. Brand – Although your face should probably be your strongest brand, you can also use a logo of your business for your gravatar image. Truth be told, I have multiple gravatars and each one is associated with a different email address. Each one also uses a picture of me, which allows me to change up from time to time when I’m commenting because people always recognize the face sooner than the website or blog it’s attached to.

3. Protection – I’ve seen times when comments are somewhere that don’t read like the person who’s purported to have written them, if you know that person. Sneaky weasels do that to promote spam, and it can ruin the name or reputation of the person whose information they’re using. However, if you have a gravatar associated with your email address and no image shows up, that could vindicate you. Spammers aren’t as smart as we all think they are; they don’t always know your email address when writing spam comments.

4. Looking good in your own space – You write a blog others comment and have pictures next to their names, and you’re responding with nothing except one of those default gravatar things showing up; how professional does that look?

5. Influence – If you comment often and you have an image associated with your image eventually you start getting better known, and that helps your influence spread on the internet, even if it’s only within your relatively small sphere of influence. People love seeing my face (so they say lol) on their blogs along with a comment or two.

There you are. Now, having a gravatar won’t help you with blog sites like Typepad, but for pretty much everywhere else a gravatar will help you stand out. Come on, what are you waiting for? Check out the first post I linked to if you want to know how to do it, or just go to gravatar.com and follow the very easy instructions. Go now… okay, go after you comment. 🙂
 

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Hesitating In Donating To & Participating In Causes

More than 4 years ago I wrote an article on my business blog titled Why I Usually Donate Anonymously. That trend has continued for me, but there are now more reasons I hate giving money, even though I still pick and choose when I do & to whom I give.

Giving is Good at Windsor
Len Matthews via Compfight

A secondary issue is when there’s a petition going around for or against something that you possibly believe in. I’m not a big protester in this regard, but sometimes I’ve been moved enough to put my name on something. I’ve found that now that doesn’t seem to be the wisest thing to do all that often either, for more reasons than one.

In the video I talk about this more, but I do want to ask some questions that I didn’t get to in the video. One, when did deciding to be a part of causes become internet marketing? I ask that question because I’ve yet to hear one internet marketer say “just because someone gives you their email address or buys something from you doesn’t mean they want you to contact them again with your next product.” As a matter of fact, often there’s this grab for email addresses so you can pound people into submission with products and the like; oh my goodness!

Two, does the money increase or decrease when people keep hammering the public with marketing material? Are there people who actually give money to a cause, or multiple causes, once a month because of the marketing? I know people who tithe to their church, and I guess passing around the plate every week could be like this. My mother donates something monthly to a local ambulance service but they never asked her for any money, and another friend of mine donates money to KlanWatch monthly; I don’t know if they asked her. But are there really people who buy from someone every month or week because of all those emails?

I’m thinking and betting that more people are like me. Unless you’re getting information as well that you love I can’t imagine you like getting blasted all the time. If I’m wrong then let me know. In the meantime here’s my video rant on the subject; I hope you check it out and of course give me some likes or shares if you agree. I always forget to ask for that. lol



http://youtu.be/_qcet8fxxOA

 

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Videos, Videos, Videos…

I’ve been experimenting with my videos again. For the last 7 days in a row I’ve put up a video on my main channel, and I also put up one new video on my business channel. I want to talk about this and of course share my channel and one of the videos with you.

lamarr
Lamarr Wilson

A couple of posts ago I talked about the concept of being fascinating while trying to gain more influence. Just before that Brian Hawkins of Hot Blog Tips, one of my Google Hangout buddies, introduced me to a guy named Lamarr Wilson on YouTube. I checked out the video, loved it, started watching a bunch more, then subscribed.

I’ve done this type of thing before, subscribed to a channel I found and watched a bunch of videos, but somehow this guy made a strange impact on me. On one of his videos he talked about taking a challenge and posting a new video 5 days in a row. Then later he extended it, and now he’s got nearly 600 videos on the channel. He also has some good video editing equipment, something I don’t have, and probably a way better camera than I have, but I digress.

Video is the wave of the future and in actuality it’s the best way to get people’s attention now. Who knew who Psy was before Gangham Style last year, which reached a billion views I believe? Look at his latest, which has reached 200 million in a couple of weeks. This type of thing proves that there’s always a possibility of reaching a wider audience if you not only make videos but can find a way to be fascinating while doing so.

However, it probably takes some practice, possibly some editing. I can’t do anything about the editing, but I can do something about the practicing. So I’ve been making videos that don’t necessarily have to coincide with this blog. I’ve done the same with my business video channel, making videos that have to do with business issues but not necessarily tying them all in with blog posts. I can always go back and embed those videos into something later on if they’re pertinent, but for now the idea is to try to create more videos, practice my craft, and build up the portfolio.

The first video in the series was tied into my post titled Using Tragedies To Promote Agendas and it became the first of my videos to ever get 100 viewers; woo-hoo! Every subsequent video… well, not so much. The videos, just like blog posts, take promotion, and I’ve been slow to get there.

That’s one reason for this particular post. I want to promote those other videos by posting one here, then hoping you’ll be encouraged to check out my channel, the link for which is over there to the right, and see what else I might be offering that you might want to check out. Truth be told the last bunch are way different than some of my older videos in that I’m trying to show a bit more personality instead of ranting all the time; don’t get used to the lack of rants though. 🙂

Anyway, the video I’m sharing talks about making videos; talk about timely! I created this video last week and didn’t know I was going to write about it later on; see how this all works? Now, if I’ll only stop yelling at the beginning of each video we’ll be on our way. Oh yeah, a teaching point, one I have to keep reminding myself of. It seems that those people who subscribe to the blog via email don’t ever see the videos, and without a link they don’t have anything they can click on to go see the video. So, what I’m going to try to remember to do is pop the link underneath the video so those folks can partake in the fun; something you should think of as well.

Here we go; enjoy, and comment below.

http://youtu.be/mWkTDI7WgPs


 

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Google Affiliate Network Done For

Wow, what a week eh? The mess in Boston, the mess in Texas, the mess in China, the mess in Washington DC… at least no one died in DC but what a horrid week around the world.

gan

With all of that, news that the Google Affiliate Network was shutting down probably slipped through the radar of most people; indeed, this is the first time I thought about talking about it. I remember when I wrote about GAN the first time how I thought that they would be a viable group to challenge Commission Junction, whom I first introduced here in 2008. After all, they were backed up by Google weren’t they? They even had my favorite offline company, Barnes & Noble, as one of their anchors. What could go wrong?

What went wrong? Over all these years, other than a couple of book sales that I believe netted me 50 cents or so total, it just never developed properly. Their formatting was a mess; their homepage was a mess. Some of the companies they got to allow them to advertise were quality, such as Allstate and Motorola, but they didn’t stick around long. Even Barnes & Noble left, going to Linkshare, along with other top companies like Microsoft.

I never got the feeling that Google really knew what to do with this type of thing. For that matter I never quite figured out what to do with most of what they had either. The interface was always kind of difficult to work with. I had many problems finding either banners or products that would fit into what I needed. CJ and Linkshare are both much easier to use when looking for something specific to market.

Of course now I, and thousands of others, have to go through the process of finding all the links going back to GAN and removing them; that’s not going to be pretty. I’m lucky not to have all that stuff on my blogs but I do have other websites; ugh. That’s always the danger of some of these companies though; it happens on the other two sites I’ve mentioned as well. If CJ ever shuts down like this, I’m in real trouble.

Goodbye GAN; a promise that never quite fulfilled anything, like many other things Google has tried, but at least you gave it a shot. Meanwhile, I did a video on this topic with my Hot Blog Tips Hangout gang; you can check this out if you’re interested:


 

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More On Influence – Being Fascinating

Y’all know I’ve talked about being influential in the past. I need to talk about it more because, as I always say, the more influence one has the better opportunity one has to make money and make a difference. There’s nothing wrong with either so if your mind is in that place leave it immediately and never go back there.

Blogging Meetup02

A couple of days ago I was watching a video of Marie Forleo’s, and if you’re looking to grow your business and also need boosts of positivity you have to check out her video page on YouTube, which I check into often. She was interviewing a lady named Sally Hogshead, who has a business that teaches people how to evaluate how fascinating they are and how to become more fascinating in the eyes of others.

Now, initially that can sound strange until you hear her talk about it. In essence she sees the topic of fascination as a way to be in people’s minds so that you’re the only thing they can think about at certain times, if not all the time. It’s kind of like the fascination people have with certain musicians or actors or models. Her premise is that everyone is born being fascinating but over time we start to diminish ourselves, either by our own means or by listening to the words of others. Then when we need to be more fascinating, such as those of us who work for ourselves, it’s hard to turn back on. So she teaches people how to recapture that and gives 7 triggers to getting there in her latest book which is called Fascinate.

Here’s where things get interesting. One of the things she said in the video, which I’m putting at the bottom of this post, is that we need to look at ourselves and determine how other people see us, then figure out how to be more fascinating. My interpretation on this is that we do this to either try to figure out how to impress those people enough to want to hang onto our every word or buy from us or to even like us.

In other words, self reflection time; scary isn’t it? I’ve written on this blog & another blog that one thing most people hate to do is self evaluation. It’s scary because we’re all critical about ourselves and find it hard to find or talk about the good things that are within us. We’re not smart enough or tall enough or pretty enough or anything enough; isn’t that how it goes? Sure, every once in awhile we start feeling special, and yet it’s not often that many of us can sustain this. And that’s a shame.

If I had to go first, and I do since I’m writing this, I’d have to admit that more often than not I’m not feeling fascinating at all. I’m certainly not feeling influential. And yet, a few days ago I went to another local event where bloggers in the area got together and talked and networked, and I had a great time. Not only that but I can truthfully say that I felt a lot of people enjoyed my company and were happy to see and meet me. Heck, I got hugs all around; what’s better than that?

And yet, there are other meetings I go to where I feel like I’m the pariah in the room. Sally actually mentioned in the video that people get feelings from others and often ignore them in one direction or the other, but that we really do know what we’re feeling. Trust me on this one, often in my professional networking ventures I feel like people are working hard “not” to see me. That’s disconcerting and bothersome, and I either react by leaving pretty quickly or looking hard to find someone I know well enough to hang with. That means I don’t meet as many new people as one would hope, thus limiting the possibilities of being influential in any way or even attempting to be fascinating.

That’s part of the key, isn’t it? If one demures and doesn’t say anything, how will anyone even have the opportunity to see if you’re fascinating or not? For all the stories I have and the experiences I’ve been a part of, if I keep them all to myself who would ever find out if I was someone worthy of knowing? For that matter how could I ever determine whether I was fascinating or not, or what I might need to change? Blogging’s a nice thing, but is it enough to express oneself? Not in public it isn’t.

Enough about me; your turn. Do you think you’re fascinating? If so, why, and if not, why. What holds you back and what are you willing to do to try to break out of it? As you’re reading this I’m in the middle of 5 videos in 5 days, an experiment I’m trying out. My attempt at opening up some, being more personable, seeing if I can be fascinating or if I’m just goofy. You can check them out here if you have the guts. lol Meanwhile, check out the video below; both of these ladies are fascinating:


 

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