Category Archives: Blogging

Are You Obsessed With Numbers?

Let me tell you a truth. I am one of those people who sometimes is obsessed with numbers. There are some numbers that I notice all the time, and some other numbers I don’t pay much attention to. I’m probably like a lot of other people, but I’m owning up to it.

I do come by this honestly, though. As a kid around eight years old, I started counting the number of letters in sentences that either I would say or sentences that sounded pretty interesting. I’m obsessed with the number three, so after counting how many letters there are in a sentence, and then start dividing that number by three to make sure that everything comes out as being divisible by three. If it’s not, in my mind I start finding interesting little rules for eliminating letters or adding more letters. I always thought I would grow out of it, but obviously more than 40 years later I’m still doing it.

Anyway back to being obsessed with numbers. The two numbers on most obsessed with these days, as it applies to being online, is my Feedburner subscriber count and my Alexa number. Obviously, since I don’t have any page rank on this blog, I’ll pay any attention to it. I don’t pay any attention to it on any of my other websites, except for my anti-smoking website, which I’m trying to make more prominent so that, hopefully, and start making some of that great Adsense cash. Yeah, I know that page rank doesn’t mean the site will make any more money, but I’m always obsessing about that site wondering if I’d done enough to interlink it so that it’s SEO friendly.

Back to the site. On Monday, Feedburner, over there to the right, said that I had 121 subscribers. That was slightly down from the 125 that I’ve been hanging around, I wasn’t overly worried about it. Today it’s showing the number 85; what’s up with that? I mean really went to check out Google Analytics to see if traffic is dropped. It turns out the traffic is holding steady. Now I’m really confused; what could have caused the number job so far? At this point, I figure it is what it is, or it could be a glitch in Feedburner. Either way, there’s not really anything I can do about it. So I’m telling my mind to calm down and move on. I hope that works, because I don’t like lying to myself about things that I know are bothering me. It’s just strange; is anyone else noticing any fluctuating numbers in their FeedBurner accounts?

Now onto Alexa. Now I’ve been taking on Sire as regards his growth in Alexa over the past couple of weeks. Controversy sells, and he did a great job of starting a couple of posts that really got things going for him. He’s been on a roll over their ever since, and is Alexa number has been steadily looking better. One of my goals for this year has been to get my Alexa ranking under 100,000 also. But it’d been sitting around 135,000 at least a few months, and I figured well maybe that’s just where it’s going to be. So imagine my surprise when I looked at it today and see that it is down around 128,000. How interesting is it that my Alexa rank is getting better and my FeedBurner is going down? Aren’t numbers the strangest thing?

Of course, the numbers I should be obsessing about are the income numbers. And I’ve just about income just as much as anyone else does, but I haven’t obsessed as much about it on this blog. I am starting to get to that point where I think it would be a nice thing for me to start monetizing this blog a bit better. Actually, I think the blog is monetized well enough, but I probably need to kick it up a gear to at least generate a sale here and there every once in a while. After all, how my going to achieve my “problogger” status if I don’t? 🙂 I’ll try not to obsess over that penny I’ve made today on this blog through Adsense; I wonder where that came from?

Okay y’all be truthful, is anyone else obsessing over numbers that they know they shouldn’t be obsessing over? Let’s talk about it, kind of a group therapy session. Maybe we’ll all feel cleansed when it’s over. 😉

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5 Ways Poker Is Like Blogging

Many of you know that I love playing poker. I’ve talked about it a few times here. I talked about it when I was in Reno last year around this time. I talked about it when I talked about the psychology of gambling. I talked about it when I wrote about my first big poker tournament this summer. And I talked about it when I talked about joining the affiliate program for Pokerstars.

I think about poker often. I don’t go to the casino as often as I have in the past, mainly because my income is a little lower than it was, so I have to pick and choose when I can go. I’ve also learned a couple of things about my game, which is odd and strange, and in a way, can relate to blogging. I’d like to share 5 things that seem to tie poker and blogging together, at least for me.

1. When I’m tired, I don’t play poker or blog all that well. I think that when I blog when I’m very tired, my articles aren’t all that good. Some might think they are, but I don’t feel much for them. Only when I’m tired does blogging feel like a chore. The same actually goes for poker. When I’m tired I really don’t want to be there, but sometimes I stay because it’s late in the evening and I also don’t feel like having to get up from the table if I don’t have to. I lose money when I play tired, and I’ve often wondered if I lose readers when I blog tired.

2. I actually have times when I blog and play poker very well. Most of you know that, unless I’m doing a research post, I write my blog posts fairly quickly. My mind is clear in what I want to say, and I can produce some pretty good posts, if I say so myself. The same goes for poker. Oddly enough, if I tell myself that I’m going to the casino during the day and I’m only staying 3 hours, I almost always come home ahead. There’s something about being focused on a goal that works really well, no matter what it is. The same also goes for chess, which Sire and I play through email. When I’m focused, I see the board 5 moves ahead in my mind and I play very well; I just need to write down those moves when I’m in the zone. 🙂

3. I love poker and blogging because of the camaraderie. When I play poker, I’m not only there to try to win. I love talking to people, and many times, I’m sitting at a table with all new people, which seems strange for as many times as I’ve gone over the years. Every table has a different vibe, but there’s always someone who wants to talk. and when I do get to play with people I know, it enhances the day even more. Knowing the dealers brings at least some stability to the process.

When I blog, I know most of the people who are coming to make a comment. When new people come, I know it’s a new opportunity to make a connection with a new friend. Every post brings a new perspective from someone, whether I know them or not. I have a great time with it, and it’s one of the reasons why I love blogging.

4. I understand poker, and I also understand blogging very well. I may not always make money when I play poker, but I really understand all the nuances of the game. I know when to bluff and I know when to go all in. I know how to stick around and wait for a good hand. I know how to pace myself based on the time limit I’ve set for myself. And I know when I’ve devoted too much time to it, even if I don’t always listen to myself.

The same goes for blogging. I really do understand blogging a lot. I know how to craft posts. I actually do know the process for putting together posts that have a lot of keywords and linkbait associated with them; I just choose not to do it. I could blog all day; I write for other people’s blogs here and there, and if my entire life was just writing blogs and I could make a full time living from it, life would be sweet. I like to think I know how to engage people. Sure, I might not make a lot of money at it, at least right now, which is like not winning all the time at poker, but I know some things, and I’m going to hopefully apply many of them over this next year.

5. I have fun playing poker, just like I have fun blogging. Fun is what it’s all about after all. Poker is my favorite offline activity; blogging is my favorite online activity. With each, I meet new people all the time that are engaging. I get to hear and read other people’s stories and words. I get to participate in the process. I sometimes make money, which is never a bad thing. If I didn’t have both poker and blogging, I don’t know that my life would have much enjoyment in it. Well, okay, my wife and I have a lot of fun, but you know what I mean. 🙂

Both of these things really are passions of mine. I don’t have a lot of passions, but these two are enough for me. What are your passions, things that you enjoy, that you know very well, that you could probably do better at but don’t because that’s not the most important thing to you? And, do you really enjoy blogging as much as I do? I’d love to hear about it.

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Yes We Can Be A-List Success Stories

The other day, I read a post on a blog called WordPress Theme Customizations written by a guy named Costa on the topic Are You Still Dreaming To Be Famous Blogger. His point is that people will read what these A-list bloggers have to say, buy what they put out, and often you’re not only left with a product that didn’t really tell you anything you could use to try to get where they are, and not only are they not really even blogging anymore as much as managing, but you will never reach the level these guys got to, and that maybe it’s time for you to just be who you are.

He makes some interesting points, and I hope you click over and read what he had to say. I, being me, do take some exception to some of what he had to say, but not because of the reasons he chose. Here’s my take on it all.

Any one of us can be an A-list blogger. What that means, however, is that at some point you’re going to need one of two things. One, you’re going to need a major break of some kind. Two, you’ve got to be set up to capitalize on that big break when it comes.

This post isn’t about any of that, however. What it is about is not giving up on a dream, no matter how big, no matter how small (yup, now I’m channeling Horton the elephant). Anthony Robbins once said “if you have nothing to live for, you die.” If you’re not trying to accomplish something with your blog, why bother with it at all? If you’re willing to be less than your potential, why bother?

True, based on reality, everyone can’t be an A-list blogger. Does that mean you can’t be? Not at all. You could be a famous blogger without being an A-list blogger. You could make a lot of money without being an A-list blogger. You are whatever you are, and you can potentially be whatever you strive to be. Even if you never made it to the A-list, you will always feel secure that you have gone all out to be the best, and you can never take anything but pride in that. And there’s a lot to blogging; just check out these stats from The Future Buzz.

I do agree with Costa on one point that says a lot of what you purchase doesn’t end up giving you exactly what you want. For instance, that Beyond Blogging book on the side there isn’t a book that’s going to give you step by step instructions on being a better blogger. It’s tales of how some bloggers who have made a lot of money did it. It’s motivational; nothing wrong with that.

It’s like networking, for those of you who work for yourself; it is what you make of it, and if you leave a networking event without meeting at least one person, most of the time it’s your fault. Some people join organizations thinking those organizations are going to help them make business contacts that are going to bring money into their pocket. But that’s not what most groups are about, so it’s their fault for thinking that.

Now, if you want some free ebooks that may or may not help you, you can check out this post of mine offering some ebooks on affiliate marketing, and then this other post with more ebooks on affiliate marketing. These are free; go for it.

Back to my premise. I’m shooting for great success in 2010. After all, I’ve just been named one of the Top Baby Boomer Men of 2010, thank you very much. 🙂 After that other post of mine on publicity, this is a nice start to the new year. But I don’t have to be the only one shooting for the stars. The world is big enough for all of us to try to be as big as we want to be, whether it’s A-list blogger, famous movie star, or just rich person without any notoriety whatsoever.

Just don’t give up on your dreams because it seems like a hopeless cause. Now let’s get out there and conquer the world!
 

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Clearing Away Irritations In 2010

Back in September on my business blog, titled Mitch’s Blog, I wrote a second post on the topic of tolerations. The original post on that topic was only about a paragraph long, so I wanted to boost it up some more. On that post there’s a link to a pdf file called 1001 Tolerations, which pretty much means things we put up with instead of getting them out of our lives and making us feel better about things.

Well, this is a new year, and I think it’s time for me to clear some things out of my life that have been irritating me in some fashion. Actually, most of us should think about doing that from time to time because we all tend to allow certain things to drag us down, even if it’s only occasionally. For instance, you have someone who you call a friend, yet you avoid them because they bring you down whenever you talk to them. All they talk about is themselves and their problems; they never ask you how you feel or even listen when you try to talk; it’s all about them.

I don’t have anything like that in my life, but I do have some things that I will be eliminating. One is going through my email address books and eliminating anyone who hasn’t responded to anything I’ve sent in at least a year. I think that’s not a bad place to start, but I might even go back further than that; I’m not sure yet. I go through my email all the time, and I see these email addresses of people I send stuff to that never write back. I tolerate that, but no more; they’re gone. Well, kind of gone; I’ll save the email addresses in a file, but at least I won’t be seeing them anymore.

Two, remember my post against Disqus? Well, I’m now resolving that any blogs I’m following that has Disqus on them, or any other blogs I go to that send me a message saying I have to subscribe to find out if someone has commented back to something I’ve commented on, I’m deleting from my blog reader and moving on. Any new blogs I come to that has Disqus I’m not even reading. Now, I know some of you have it on your blogs, and if I like you, I may not delete the blog, like our friend Peter; we go back a long way after all. But Peter, sorry, I’m not commenting anymore because I hate getting that email every time asking me to subscribe.

Three, I’m going through all the blogs in my reader and I’m going to make sure I’m following people who are talking about stuff I really care about. Also, I’m going to drop anyone who hasn’t written a post in 3 months. And, while I’m doing that, I’m going to find the time to get to Twitter and release people who I started following a long time ago, who either aren’t talking anymore or aren’t talking about anything I care about. I follow nearly 1,400 people, and I’m not going to say that’s too many, but I am going to say that I do listen to a lot of folks, rather follow a lot of folks, who aren’t really talking to anyone, but instead are always selling. Twitter isn’t supposed to be a one way conversation, just like blogging isn’t supposed to be a one way conversation either.

You know what? At a certain point, we all deserve to have more positivity in our lives. And sometimes, heck, all the time, it’s up to us to make our own happiness and get rid of those things that help to make us unhappy. It’s time for me to do that; what about you?

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My 10 Favorite Blog Posts Of 2009

We’re winding down the year, and since I’ve already posted my goals for 2010, I thought I’d take a look back to see what I really liked that I posted in 2009. That’s not necessarily an easy task, as I had well over 200 posts, but I do what I do for my readers, and also for myself I suppose, as I get to see where my mind was at certain times throughout the year.

The posts below weren’t necessarily the most commented posts of the years, although, as it turns out, one of them actually was. These are posts I liked for some reason, and that means it’s a selfish reason. Maybe later on, at some point, I’ll actually post something about the most popular posts for the year; we’ll see. In the interim, I hope you enjoy some of these posts that you might have missed throughout the year, and heck, you might think about doing something like this on your blog.

1. Barack Obama – Our Time Has Come – There shouldn’t be any question why this post is here, even though it may not have been one of my better written posts. You just can’t imagine how proud I was on this day, and man, I wasn’t hearing any mess from anyone about “well, he’s not all black”. If he were walking down the street no one would be saying “Hey, there goes half-white Barack.” So, my wife and I were proud, my mother was proud, my grandmother was proud, my dad would have been proud, and it was a great day.

2. Seven Things You Don’t Know About Me – This one was part of a meme that someone else started, and I decided I’d go this route rather than the 25 questions meme that was going around.

3. Massive Traffic To Your Website/Blog – This post was a rant against all those other posts you’ve all seen where someone is talking about how to drive massive traffic to your blog, but it’s the same thing you read over and over, without any proof that any of what they’re talking about works. You know me; I hate when people copy from each other without offering anything new.

4. Six Things I’ve Learned About Affiliate Marketing – This post turned out to be the most commented on post of the year for me, and Sire, it topped out at 88, so no, I still don’t have a post that’s reached 100 comments. These were pretty good lessons; if I’d only listen to myself every once in awhile.

5. Dad, Mom And Computer – My story about how I used to talk with my dad on the computer and how it meant so much to him, then my mother later on, and of course me.

6. The Keys – Talk about having faith. This was my sharing the story of how I lost my keys on the day of a Syracuse University basketball game, how I knew I’d find them, and how it all came true.

7. Five Personal Lessons On Health Care – This one told the story of what I went through when my mother fell ill in September, and is probably the first time I gave advice to people with my background as a health care consultant that everyone needs to know.

8. No, Reading And Creativity Are Obsolete – Someone else wrote on the topic “is writing obsolete”, and I decided to counter her argument, so to speak, with what I thought was really the problem.

9. My 13 Favorite Singers – I loved putting this one together, and I felt I needed to go there because one of my most popular posts, Top 100 Singers Of All Time, was based on a list that Rolling Stone did and I just commented on it, but a lot of people thought those were my choices.

10. World Diabetes Day – 2009 – They do this type of thing yearly, and being diabetic, I always have some kind of story to share on the subject. This bad boy is growing fast, and I’m sorry but I just don’t believe that all the people gaining too much weight is actually all their fault. So, this is my tale for this year.

And there you go; if that’s not enough to read back through, I don’t know what is. I hope you enjoy going back through a portion of my year with me.

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