Category Archives: Blogging

Aiming To Be A Top 50 Blogger

Do you know who E Brian Rose is? He’s a keynote speaker, businessman, and author of the book Millionaire Within. He’s also the guy who founded JVZoo.

My blogs got me a job at BBC
Robin Hamman via Compfight

I didn’t know that until a week ago when I came upon a story about him on Huffington Post. In the story, he talks about how he was able to get a lot of buzz about the company via social media. In essence he created a storm. I’m almost hesitant to talk about him or his company because I’m still getting tons of spam emails every day from unknown people who are still spreading his business’ name all over the place.
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This Year’s Magic Word… Focus

Hi Y’all! I’m back writing after taking two weeks off, although I did write one blog post about a local restaurant that irked me; hey, when you’re irked, write about it.

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Star Wars, 1/1/16 w/2nd family

For those of you who missed it (which I don’t know how you could have), when I wrote my last post of 2015, I said that I was going to rest, then plan how I was going to proceed in working on my business and career in 2016. You know what? Things don’t quite work out that way just because you say them.
Continue reading This Year’s Magic Word… Focus

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The Last Post Of 2015; I’m Tired!

I have decided that even though there’s two weeks to go in the year that this will be the final post of 2015 for I’m just sharing. I’m doing that for a couple of reasons that I’m going to get into.

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Don’t I look tired?

Before I get too deep into it, I want to admit that this is the kind of post that most bloggers shouldn’t write, or at least write that often. That’s because this is not going to be an evergreen article. There are some things that I will say that might be considered as evergreen, but it’s dated because I’m basically titling it has the last post for 2015. So two years from now it would look really stupid for me to be sharing this post again. However, I figure I pretty much have two weeks to promote this post and that’s about the best I can do with it. By the way, for those who don’t know what evergreen post means, that’s a post where you write about something and years later it’s still valid.

Why is this the last post of 2015?

First, I have to admit to being a little brain tired. It actually doesn’t have anything to do with this blog in particular, but all of the other writing, and research, and reading, and marketing that I’ve been trying to do.

What have I done this year? I finished writing my 2nd book on leadership, Leadership Is/Isn’t Easy, where I had to rewrite a lot of the content and released at the end of May. Including this post I’ve written 93 articles here (which included my 1,600th post) and 345 articles across the board, including a couple that went into regular magazines, some on other blogs and one national health care newsletter. I created 70 videos, although not all of them made it onto my YouTube pages. How many of you matched that kind of input this year? That’s only the beginning of my being tired!

For instance, on my business blog, which is called Mitch’s Blog, I have a blog post a day appearing for the month of December. That’s 31 posts, and I wrote all of them before December began. I actually wrote all of those within the space of 10 days, while still having to write other articles.

Frankly, I think that was a pretty good achievement, something I hadn’t done in a really long time, since the early days of this blog where I was writing more than 300 articles a year, and I hadn’t realized how tired it would make me to do that, even though I enjoyed a part of it. All of that without getting paid… man, that’s a lot of work. lol However, it’s also part of an experiment that I will be able to talk about later on.

Agnes and me
Agnes & I

Second, to be truthfully honest this was not a very good year for me. Financially, I have had to live off of my reserve, which is money that I, as an independent consultant, put away to help me pay my bills during the period of time when I’m trying to get my next big contract. I didn’t get one this year, so I had to survive on both my reserve and smaller projects that I was able to get.

Trust me, marketing and networking takes a lot more work and effort than having a long term contract like the one I had in Memphis for 18 months. It also puts a major strain on the brain, because it feels like your marketing efforts are taking you nowhere, it can be depressing, and it feels like a 24/7 proposition; no wonder I sleep bad.

Third, I actually still have to write for some of my other blogs as well as a couple of blogs for others. I have basically let those go, except for my business blog, but luckily I have some ideas for all of them that I want to be able to concentrate on next week before I leave town to go to Mom’s for the Christmas holiday. Luckily, those blogs don’t need as much attention as this one and my business blog, although one of them probably should get a lot more attention because I have made more money off that website than all the other ones combined over 10 years; now that saying something! 🙂

Fourth, I stepped up my marketing, branding and publicity efforts this year on social media and a little bit more locally, though not close to enough here. I really pushed hard on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook this year with mixed results. I’ll talk more about that later on in this post. Suffice it to say that, in terms of betting it was a “push” year, but Twitter put me over the top… barely.

Let’s take a break and highlight some of my favorite posts of the year, my top commenters of the year, and the best performing articles of the year for this blog. I could probably do that later in the month and turn it into another post, but since I’m going to promote this post a lot over the next couple of weeks it gives me a chance to get more people to read some of those earlier posts from the year that didn’t get enough attention, or maybe did get a lot of attention and I just want more; we always want more.

With that said, let’s get some things out of the way. First, my 5 best performing articles of the year:

10 Blogging Lessons From 10 Years Of Blogging On A Different Blog – 469

3 Blogging Concepts That Do Work, No Matter What Anyone Says – 393

10 More Business Social Media Tips In 2 Minutes – 321

5 Reasons Why Commenting Only On Blogs In Your Niche Might Not Work – 229

5 Ways To Be Better On Social Media – 212

Next, my 5 favorite articles of the year (other than those above):

Protecting Your Social Media Presence By Not Being Stupid

9 Relationships Between Blogging And Social Media

6 Answers To Questions From New Bloggers

The Ethics Of Social Media

9 Reasons You Need To Keep On Writing

Next, my top commenters of the year, which means 10 comments or more (in no particular order):

Peter; Holly Jahangiri; Troy Swezey; Mitchell Allen; Adrienne Smith; Rummuser; Lisa Sicard; Steve Borek; Brenda Lee Pace; Rasheed Hooda; Thyrone Charles; Purushottam Thakur

And now, a quick commercial and push about Fitbit and walking; check it out and you’ll see what I mean, as it’s something else I did this year… that I just remembered. 😉 While I’m at it, did y’all remember to get mobile friendly this year?

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Josh & I

Finally, let’s talk about some lessons I learned this year as it pertains to both blogging and social media.

The first thing I learned is just how important it is to promote your own content… a lot! I have always said that the best way to drive people to your blog is by commenting on other blogs. Whereas that’s still true, this year I found out that I could get a lot of attention by promoting previous blog posts and new blog posts way more often than just once. Adding hashtags was a major thing also. I can’t believe how many lists I have been added to in 2015 on Twitter; it’s just been amazing.

The second thing I learned is that if you don’t own it you can’t control it, and what you think is happening might not necessarily be true. I started off the year publishing articles on LinkedIn that were getting thousands of views. I thought this was going to be the holy grail for me. Instead, I’m ending the year where my articles sometimes don’t get 20 views, and I’m probably not going to be submitting any more articles after I reach 101. I picked that number because I’m curious to see if LinkedIn gives you any respect after you have at least 100 articles on their site, though I’m skeptical about that.

The same kind of thing happened on Google+. When the year began there was still something called Google authorship. Once they took that away suddenly putting something on Google Plus, whether it was on your page or in your community, meant absolutely nothing. So, I may be reducing the time I spend over there as well, which isn’t saying much because I don’t spend a lot of time there anyway.

Third, I learned that if you’re doing videos, you’re never going to know when you do a video that suddenly takes off and why it takes off. I did a video at the end of April that was a review between Time Warner Cable and Verizon FiOS that has over 8,000 views, which is stunning because is a long video. As late as Tuesday I’m still getting new comments on that video.

The thing is, I’ve been doing videos for 5 years, getting no traction whatsoever and that one took off. It almost makes me think I should just do videos fussing about stuff, but I don’t want to fall into the trap of trying to talk myself into doing things that aren’t necessarily part of my personality. Still, I had some fun doing my videos, even if I didn’t get to do as many interviews as I had hoped for this year.

Here are my 5 favorite videos of the year, and I’m only sharing the links rather than embedding them:

Have Faith And Courage In Your Process

You Gotta Be You

3 Blogging Abilities You Need To Master

Can’t Handle Social Media? Get Off!

Maintain A Sense Of Dignity

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Wife & Great Niece 🙂

Fourth, I participated in my first blogging carnival this year, along with Troy. To say it was less than successful would be putting it mildly. What we both learned is that there are a lot of bloggers who have no idea what commenting on other blogs actually means. We also learned that there are some tough blogs to comment on because they either have little content, aren’t written well, or talk about topics that… well… I’ll just say that Troy & I were the only 2 guys who participated and let you gauge the rest. lol

I left all the bad comments on that post, which was the one above about the 10 blogging lessons, in case you want to check it out and learn what NOT to do when commenting on other blogs. I also encourage anyone who decides to try to be in one of these things that you write a post that’s GLOBAL, highlights the best of you, that everyone could possibly find something to comment on. If you’re not going to share your best… stay home!

Fifth, even though I already knew this, I came to the realization that a post I wrote in 2013 is more true than I ever imagined, that being that we all know and don’t know anything about blogging. This year I came out against experts who said that we needed to be writing posts between 3,000 and 8,000 words, and we were both right. I came out against people who are using too much automation to help promote themselves, and it turns out we’re both right.

In essence, the issue is that I still meet a lot of people who are afraid to write their opinion about something or to even share their knowledge with others as it pertains to blogging and social media because they’re worried that someone will disagree with them or not like it. We shouldn’t care what others think about our writing or content unless we’re being hateful towards somebody because, as I said in this piece about haters, even famous people who have had great success have people who hate them (heck, I hate some of them lol). Becoming successful means you have to deal with hateful or jealous people, or those who just aren’t feeling you; that’s just the way it is. So, we’re all right and wrong at the same time.

This is becoming pretty long, so I think I’ll end it here. I thank everyone who participated on this blog in 2015; y’all all rock! I hope everybody has a wonderful holiday season, and I expect that I’ll have one of those post at the beginning of 2016 talking about my goals for the year. Hopefully I’ll figure out how I hope to achieve them over the next couple of weeks. For now, it’s both rest and research time. Y’all take care. 😉
 

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A Bunch Of Random Blogging & Social Media Rants

It’s been years since I’ve written one of these. I’m doing it this time because there’s a lot of stuff irking me lately regarding blogs I’ve been visiting and social media things that people are doing.

Automotive Social Media Marketing
Automotive Social via Compfight

I love social media. I love interacting with people. But some folks aren’t even trying to be sociable. Frankly, I figure it’s time someone called a bunch of stuff out, even if a few people who might read this are doing these things. Y’all are being irritating, no matter your reason for doing or not doing what you’re doing; did you keep up with that bit of Southern speech? 🙂

These aren’t in any particular order; I figure a bit of “disrupt” won’t hurt, and might even keep some folks reading and learning; I’m all about the learning piece. Here we go!

1. I get it with the captcha, although I hate it with a passion. You’re trying to stop spam; fair enough. Still, two issues with it. The first… why do you have captcha that comes in capital letters but won’t accept capital letters if we put them in? We do that because some blogs have captcha that says it’s case sensitive.

The secondary gripe about this? You hit “reply”, it takes you to the next page that says you got it wrong, then you go back to the page and… what you wrote is gone! Ugh! I’ve taken to copying my posts from this point on because that was irking me more than the captcha, but y’all need to fix this.

One last thing. You put the captcha on there to verify that we’re real people. Why the heck are you also intentionally moderating comments? That’s what the stupid captcha was for wasn’t it? Do you run into a lot of trolls who want to spend time putting in captcha codes so they can call you names and such?

2. I’ve griped often about people who auto DM, or just DM you, when you connect with them on Twitter. At least 99.99995 of the people I connect with on Twitter reached out to me first. Since you reached out to me, in the open no less, why are you so afraid to now talk to me in the open?

That’s not the rant this time however. The rant this time are those people who, instead of sending the DMs, instead send either individual messages to every single person or groups a bunch of people into one post, thanking them for the connection or mentioning them as their top interactors. Almost none of them are doing it on their own; they’ve hooked up with some stupid Twitter app that does it for them.

That’s irritating, to the point that if I’m checking out profiles of people who want me to connect with them and I see their stream has lots of those things, I refuse to connect with them. Sorry folks; your other content might not be so bad but the last thing I need is more blather in my Twitter stream.

Social Media v2
Paul Inkles via Compfight

3. This is the year of social media sites changing things that are supposed to make things better… but they didn’t. Let’s see…

Google Plus just changed their format to make it more visually pleasing and, supposedly, easier for us to use. Except they’ve messed up two things that have become quite irksome.

The first is not always accepting links we share on their site. Every once in a while it won’t accept a link from a site it’s always accepted links from before. It makes me think it’s not accepting that link because they’re blocking the site… until I tried sharing the same link on my laptop, which I didn’t upgrade to the G+ new system… and it took it as if nothing had changed.

The second is that previously you could share links or stories with different circles at once, or circles and individuals. With the new system, you can either share it with your circles, the public or individuals; you can’t share with more than one at a time, which means if you want to do that you have to post it multiple times and look like an idiot. You don’t have to do that in the original version… yes, I’ve proven that as well.

Twitter has done a couple of irritating things as well. One is recently taking away the counts we had to see how often our articles might be shared with others. They’ve done that to go to a paid model for those who really want those numbers; it’s not going to be me.

They’ve also opened our direct messages so that people we don’t know can send us garbage. Goodness, there are enough people I connect with who are already auto-DM’ing me, even though my profile asks them not to do that, without now having to see people I don’t know selling to me. At the same time they also set it up so we have unlimited characters in direct messages… okay, I’m not mad at that. lol

LinkedIn also did a few irritating things this year. The first was suckering us into posting articles on their site, sharing it with lots of people, then throttling us back down. I’m presently on a course to see if it changes after having at least 100 articles there. If I don’t see improvement by article 101 I might stop posting and just allow my two blogs that post original articles there to be the only source of new content shared there.

The second was changing how groups work. First, they made all groups private, regardless of whether the owners wanted that or not. Second, they took away the ability to be seen as an influencer in a group, which took away the incentive to participate all that much. The second irritates me more because there aren’t a lot of people participating to begin with, so I loved being an influencer in a few groups. Now it’s not worth my time.

4. In a year when I’ve been trying to figure out more ways to make money online, some days ago I got an email from an affiliate program I was a part of saying they didn’t see their code on my finance site anymore. Actually, I’d totally forgotten about this affiliate, Bidvertise, and couldn’t remember why I removed the code, so I added it back.

Suddenly, the site went wonky after testing it and, after a couple of minutes, I decided to remove it. Maybe that’s why I removed it in the first place. However, all it took was that 2 minutes before Google put the site on a “do not trust” list; sigh… This led me to run all kinds of test software on the site to see if anything had been embedded before I could request a review from Google to get off the list.

I’m happy to say that I was off the list about 4 hours after I sent my review request; whew! But it’s made me become more wary of adding javascript code to my sites without reviewing better the kind of ads it puts on them. I mean, things were popping up all over the place; that was freaky.

5. Also in the last week, I started looking at my statistics a bit better; at least trying to.

The first thing was looking at Google Analytics. Have you ever checked your referring site? I had a few I not only didn’t recognize, but they said they were sending me lots of people. However, the minutes were at zero and a bounce rate of 100%. It turns out there are sites that use yours to promote their own sites without your knowledge, and it sends you false visits; ugh.

It’s known as referral spam, and I learned how to take care of it from a site called Megalytic. Actually, it shows you how to set up filters so you can see the actual stuff; I’m not sure if there’s a way to get rid of the referral spam for good.

The second thing was loading an add-on program called SEO Doctor that was recommended on some other site… the name of which I forget now. Actually, it worked great… until I started visiting a few blog sites and started getting requests to sign into their routers and having difficulty getting out of them. I had to shut that bad boy down, since it started around the same time I added it; sigh… This is a reminder to everyone that testing something new is imperative!

I think I’ll stop there. I have more gripes but I don’t want all of Monday to be a gripe fest. What’s irking you about social media lately?
 

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I Wouldn’t Have Commented If…

I love reading and commenting on other blogs. I know some people think it’s too time consuming to do, but I enjoy reading a lot of different types of things. I also love encouraging bloggers, as well as having an opinion on stuff; hey, look at how many articles I’ve written on all my blogs. 🙂

(64/365) Really really really ow...
Sarah via Compfight

However, I have some rules for blogs I won’t comment on. One, if it takes my having to create some kind of account or having to put in a password or register, I’m not commenting; sometimes I won’t even read those blogs. This means if your blog uses Disqus, Livefyre, or something like that, or if it’s on some website that requires people to join, I’m not going to bother. Yeah, it’s kind of a picky thing, but there’s so many other blogs out there that are enjoyable and easy enough to comment on without having to deal with it. After all, I don’t have unlimited time.

Ah yes, let’s look at this “unlimited time” thing. You know, visiting blogs and leaving comments does take time. When I’m in the mode though, I don’t mind that. However, there’s something I do mind, and a lot of y’all are now doing it.

I hate going to a blog, commenting, and then immediately receiving your stupid email asking me to confirm that I want to subscribe to blog comments. Come on; are you kidding me?

When’s the last time someone left a “real” comment on your blog and didn’t want you, the writer, to respond to it? I’m not talking about those lousy one line comments or those that tell you how great a writer you are but never address the content. I mean real comments, those you know aren’t bad, even if they’re not great.

I know when… never!

When’s the last time someone left a comment on your blog that was pretty good, only for you to discover that they put someone else’s email in it so that, when you responded, you got an angry email from someone saying “Hey, I didn’t comment on your blog”?

I know when… never!

So then… what’s the purpose of this double opt-in process other than to clog up my inbox? Actually, I know it’s a trick by some folks because when I read the email it actually talks about subscribing to receiving a newsletter whenever you post something new; I hate that kind of bait and switch.

For the rest of you though… come on, what’s the point of this? I’m serious; I just don’t get it.

I know what some folks are going to say; don’t click in the box. There’s another little bugaboo I’m going to gripe about.

For most blogs, if you don’t click that little box, you’re not going to be notified if the writer or anyone else responds to your comment. My blog is like that, as I had to add the plugin because my theme is older, and at the time no one was getting notified that I was responding to them.

There are a few blogs where, by clicking in that box, you end up getting that email with the subscription message, but if you don’t click on it you still get notified when someone replies to your comment. That’s not the norm though.

If people actually click on the box, they want to get comments; trust me on this one. If they don’t… well, we never know who clicks on it and who doesn’t (at least I don’t), but if the comment is good enough and you care about your blog and “all” of your readers, you’re going to respond to the comment anyway right? RIGHT?!?!? 🙂

Please, for the love of chocolate, turn off that feature, whether you’re doing it for comments or trying to sneak through a subscription to a newsletter (if you are, you’re being kind of scummy). It’s unneeded… unless someone can give me a really good reason for doing it. Remember though, I’ve been blogging for more than 10 years, so it better be good!
 

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