Category Archives: Blogging

To End Or Reduce Blogging – The Conversation

Just to get this out of the way, if you care about this blog don’t worry, this post isn’t about I’m Just Sharing. However, it was a point of consideration when I was initially giving this particular topic some thought.

Sophisticated Blogger
Mike Licht via Compfight

Lately I’ve been asking the question as to whether I’m doing too much blogging. I love blogging, so much so that I’ve spread it across 5 blogs. Each blog has its own purpose, which is a good thing because if all the blogs were on the same topic there would be too much redundancy.

Two of my blogs are for business. One of those I’ve been writing for 7 years now, Mitch’s Blog, and most of the articles there are on leadership. The other blog, SEOX Blog (gone as of 9/2014), is my social media/SEO blog, and I started it in August 2011.

The purpose of each of those blogs was to highlight expertise of a sort so I could generate business. Another purpose of course was in its SEO properties; the most new content one has on a site, the more search engines stop by and thus your sites will rank higher. That part is proven, so no debate there.

The question I’ve asked is if the effort I’ve given those blogs equates to how much business I get, or even traffic. Truth be told, not even close. I’ve never generated any business on SEOX Blog, and almost no comments. I’ve generated very little business on Mitch’s Blog when you consider that it’s 7 years old; a couple of speaking engagements, a podcast, and requests for reprints and for me to write guest articles elsewhere, non-paid of course. I don’t think I’ve ever even made a book sale, or a sale of any of my other products, from that site, and that’s a shame. No sales from either site; ugh.

At the same time, I have other sites, and one of them actually generates the bulk of my online money. That’s my medical billing site Medical Billing Answers. In December it generated $199.25, moving up, as I’ve started adding a little bit of new content to it. Frankly, one should spend more time on what makes money, don’t you think?

I’ve written often that the worst thing in the world is having a blog where you’ve stopped writing and it just sits there with nothing to show for it. Suddenly here I was, thinking about ending a blog or two, and that’s counter to everything I’ve ever thought. At the same time I think I’ve proven that I can still write tons of content, as I’ve already written tons of content. What to do, what to do…

Thus, I share the video below with you. It was my weekly Google Live Hangout with Brian D. Hawkins of Hot Blog Tips and Sheryl Loch of Fuzzy Wuzzy Anipals, and the topic of the video is “Should I Stop Blogging Or Slow Down?” They shared thoughts with me as I brought up the issue then got their positions on it, since both have had blogs and websites that they’ve either let sunset or killed.

Watch the video, and then give your opinion either on the video on YouTube or right here. As I said, no decision I make will impact this blog at all because I love this one, but others… well, we’ll see.
 


http://youtu.be/ur3MPLFrmNY

 

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12 Things “I’m Just Sharing” Addressed In 2012

A couple of weeks ago on 12/12/12 I wrote a post titled 12 Things For 12/12/12. That one was more a post about stuff I believed in, more of an opinion piece. This one is something quite different.

Grandfather and Me

I decided to do a post on things this blog addressed in 2012. This particular post is #199 on the year, and since we all know I’ll have at least 2 more posts, if not 3 more, by 12/31, it’s easy to say that I’ve written more than 200 posts this year, which is actually down for me and yet has made for a more comfortable blogging year, especially since I added 2 more blogs last year.

I talk about multiple topics in the video, and to get you to watch the video I’m not going to necessarily tell you what all those topics were. However, I did have these 12 titles and links that I briefly mentioned in some fashion, which is what the video was based on. So I’m going to give those links beneath the video. It’s about 20 minutes long; I was shooting for 10 minutes but there’s no timer! I did it using Google+ Live Hangout, which means anyone could have been watching, except I started it around 12:45 or so in the morning, so I doubt anyone saw it live, and that’s just fine. Hey, at least I know Brian will watch it, though I mentioned Sheryl, Ileane, and Holly. 🙂

 

 

And now, the links:
 
Our Reluctance To Market Ourselves

Post 1,300 And On Friday To Boot

Black Web Friday

5 More Lessons About Blogging Learned From A Poker Tournament

Social Media And Your Familial Obligations

11 Lessons Learned From 11 Years In Business

Blogging Tips – Will People Like Your Blog?

Dream It And It Will Come

100 Things About Me

Don’t Lie About Your Health

I’m Just Sharing 10 Things You Must Have For A Happy Life

Google Authorship – Pretty Cool
 

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5 More Examples of Legitimate Looking Spam

Last February I wrote a post titled Bad Coments/Spam The Same where I highlighted six different types of comments that show up and I felt were spam of some type. After that, Adrienne Smith and I had further conversations about what we felt was spam related, and at the time I thought her beliefs were a little tough. Upon reflection, I think she’s got it spot on.

Spam wall
freezelight via Compfight

Here’s the deal. Sure, all of us want visitors and we want people to comment on our blogs. But we have to be ready to face the fact that not everyone who’s commenting on our blogs cares anything about what we’ve just written about. As a matter of fact, I’ve been a bit tougher on some comments lately, and I’ve noticed that only one person has complained about their post not showing up, and it was easy to address.

I figured it was time to address this topic once more because, well, spam just doesn’t go away, and yet there are so many blogs I’m visiting where I know it’s spam, but the blog owner doesn’t. This could be you or someone you know; let’s find out with these 5 looks:

1. Does the comment actually address the post in question? I wrote a recent post comparing Google+ to Facebook and got a few comments that told me what either G+ or Facebook were. Frankly, I already knew what they were, everyone else already knew what they were, thus this was spam. I know, it was someone paid to leave a comment on blogs obviously, but that’s just human spam; gone!

2. Is there any punctuation in the comment, or any real grammar. By this, I mean there’s no capitalization, no punctuation between obviously different sentences, and usually the comment is 2 or 3 sentences with no real start or end. Often this type of comment only addresses the first paragraph of a post so it looks legit, but it’s not because not all first paragraphs are what a post is about; you other writers know what I’m talking about.

3. Almost the exact same comment in the same style from different IP addresses, but the comments come in at the same time. Now, I’ve seen this type of thing often, and it’s problematic because every once in awhile the comments aren’t bad. But you have to call it out, as I did earlier this year when I wrote a guy who was doing that, linking to two different websites, but when I checked it out they were the same website with one being a redirect. He apologized for doing it and admitted he was paid to post comments on other blogs, but hadn’t paid much attention to where he was doing it obviously.

4. There is punctuation but no spacing. Come on, who really writes like that? What I did initially was visit the websites linking in to see if those websites were written in that style; they weren’t. That tells me that whomever is commenting could care less about what they’ve written on my blog because they didn’t give me the courtesy they probably expect in their own space. Once again, gone!

5. Too many people seem to keep missing this, which is right about the comment space:

“This blog doesn’t accept keyword names, and the comment will be deleted if a real first name isn’t put on first. Also, if your name has 3 words or more in it, the comment automatically goes to the spam filter; just so you know.”

Sometimes, if the comment isn’t all that strong, I just leave it in the spam filter and delete it. Now, some of you who keep ignoring it know who you are, and if you’ve seen your comments on the blog posts you know you’ve left something pretty good. Otherwise, the way I see it if the comment isn’t great, and the comment policy was ignored, then that was someone not even trying to add to the conversation so, sorry, it didn’t exist.

Okay, those are the 5 points I wanted to make. However, I mentioned something where I said one person complained. Actually, he wrote me because his comment didn’t show and he wondered what he might have been doing wrong. In a post I wrote in September talking about spam settings, I mentioned how if I got more than 3 spam comments from a particular IP address that I went into Settings/Discussion and reduced the filter to just the first 2 numbers rather than all 4. Well, my friend got caught up in that one, which told me his hosting company has a lot of spammers coming from there, but there’s nothing I can do about that. So I went in and altered that IP so that his comments would not be sent to spam any longer. First and only time that’s happened, but at least it worked.

There you go. How many of you will own up to seeing this on your blog and not thinking about it being spam? Will you remove it, or at least remove any further incidences of it, or do you see a comment as a comment?
 

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Business Takes More Than Blogging

Almost 2 1/2 years ago I had a series of posts on Sundays called the Sunday Question. In April 2010 one of the posts I wrote was titled Why Do You Blog. On that post, I described my reasons for blogging, and as I looked back on it I realized that my reasoning hasn’t really changed all that much since then; obviously, since I’ve added two more blogs. 🙂

Buy and Sell.
Syed Nabil Aljunid via Compfight

Yet, since last Sunday I’ve been thinking about something that one of my co-hosts on our Sunday’s Hot Blog Tips Hangout crew, Sheryl Loch, said during one of our topic discussions. She said that blogging, blogging rank, comments and the like don’t mean anything if your intention is to make money and you’re not making any. During the conversation I wanted to debate with her, but later on as I was thinking about it I knew that she was right in that regard.

I’ve never really ever said that my purpose in blogging was to make money. I have said that I hoped to spread my influence because that would give me a better opportunity to make money but that’s not quite the same thing. I have 5 blogs and I have one that makes money, and that’s really the only blog I have where I had hopes that the blog would make money. That it makes money in a way I never anticipated is a nice bonus, and yet I know it could be much better.

In November 2011 I wrote a post telling people the reality about making money by blogging. Almost no one really does it. Those that do look at it in two different ways. One, they see it as only a business and nothing else. Two, they don’t care how much traffic they get or whether they get comments; they care only about targeted traffic that wants what they have to sell.

I know this because over and over you see these posts by people you know are making money and then you look at their rankings and they’re often worse than yours or mine. In the other direction are people with great rankings and traffic that are making very little money, or at least aren’t making enough money to live on. A good example of that, and I appreciate her honesty, is Ana Hoffman of Traffic Generation Cafe; take a look at this link and see how much she made in October, then compare her traffic to yours.

So then, how are people making money if blogging won’t get it done? They’re finding ways of doing other things outside of blogging to help them along. I’ve always said that if you’re hoping to make money blogging that you have to look at it in a much different way. If you have a monetary consideration, blogs are there to highlight what you do, show your potential customers you know what you’re talking about, and responding to their queries and comments because that’s what customer service is all about. You can even advertise your wares.

After that, depending on what you do, you have to get out there and find your customers. You can use your blog to drive your customers if you’re going to promote yourself online. You can do traditional marketing but use your blog and blog posts to help you along the way. If you’re a writer you can use your blog to show off your skills. Of course blogging is great for SEO and that might help drive people to your website.

In other words, if you’re looking to make money and it includes blogging, think outside the box and figure out a symbiotic relationship between the two. Don’t be held back by convention, and don’t be scared to take chances. By the way, I’m going to be working on that myself with my main business blog. I figure after more than 7 years it’s probably time to push things a bit. What am I going to do? Not sure yet.

This blog’s focus probably won’t change much. After all, I still have too much I want to share. 😉
 

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Blogging And Creativity

How neat; I did a Google Hangout on this very topic yesterday. Okay, I knew I was going to do that video, which is below, but I’m going to add something to the topic here that’s in the video, but the links aren’t on the video.

Mixed Media Painting by Dean Russo / Dumbo Arts Center: Art Under the Bridge Festival 2009 / 20090926.10D.54890.P1.L1.CC / SML
See-ming Lee via Compfight

This isn’t the first time I’ve talked about the subject of blogging and creativity. If you want to reach you can look at last week’s post talking about writing in general and think of it in the context of blogging. You can look at a kind of rant post I wrote titled When Blogging Advice Is A Waste Of Your Time or another post I wrote on the topic of getting backlinks, both of which lamented the same lame advice you get from a lot of other people who don’t take time to create anything new, or say something old in a new way. And there’s two much older articles I wrote on the topic, one titled No, Reading And Creativity Are Obsolete and Your Creativity Is Inside You.

You know what creativity does? It makes people want to revisit your blog or website to see what you have to say next. That’s why I like people like Marcus Sheridan of The Sales Lion and Holly Jahangiri of It’s All A Matter Of Perspective and Marie Forleo, someone I’ve just discovered along with Social Triggers by Derek Halpern. They’re all fascinating reads that get me to visit often.

Creativity allows you to talk about one subject, or multiple subjects, in lots of different ways. For instance, over the last two years I’ve talked about blogging with posts like 5 Ways Your Blog Might Be Irritating People, 5 Things Bloggers Can Learn From Poker, and 5 Blogging Lessons Learned From The Harry Potter Series, along with a long 2-part series on Better Blogging. I talked about writing with a post titled The Art Of Storytelling and gave quick tips with 10 Writing Tips In 2 Minutes. I talked about social media when I asked if You Are An Online Troll. And I’ve run two series here, one which was known as the Sunday Question, the other called Black Web Friday.

During the same two year period, I wrote what I consider as some interesting posts on my business blog, where I mainly talk about leadership and health care. Some of my more creative posts over there have included How Bad Of A Leader Was Charlie Brown, We Are Not The Borg, Are You As Good A Leader As Kermit The Frog, Would You Talk To A Mouse, and 10 Reasons Harry Potter Is A Great Leader. That last one, by the way, is about to be included in a magazine geared towards children in Malaysia; how’s that for publicity and creativity?

The point is that being just a little bit creative gives people a reason to want to read what you have to say. You don’t have to be overly prolific; just have a point of view, keep your eyes open and your mind clear so that you’ll see relationships in things that support your view, write about them and give people different perspectives on what they may encounter on a daily basis. As you’ll hear in the video, there’s agreement amongst my cohorts, as well as the voicing of a concern that doesn’t bother me, but might be something you think of from time to time. I hope the video gives a bit more perspective than I’ve given here. If nothing else, I’ve shared some posts with you that I hope you find intriguing.
 


 

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