Category Archives: Blogging

Be Sure You Know Your Audience Before You State Your Case

You know, since September, I’ve decided to be a bit more personal in how and what I write about on this blog. I feel it’s served me well, and since my subscribers went up, I guess y’all feel okay about it. I sometimes take on controversial subjects, as I’m wont to do because I don’t shy away from stuff that’s getting on my nerves. I’m ready to put myself out there and state my opinion, and not worry all that much whether someone agrees with me or not.

Emiliano via Compfight

However, I do have a limit. For instance, if I believed dogs and cats should marry and move in with each other, I might not write on it because I’d know from the get-go that it would be a controversial thing to say (or funny, but go with me for a minute here). Or, if I decided to get on my high horse and spout something about that I thought I’d find a lot of agreement on without thinking about it first, such as if I said that I believe Tiger Woods didn’t have sex with nearly enough women (oh man, there goes my Tiger-free zone cred), while I knew the world was pretty much thinking that he’s a horn dog who doesn’t appreciate the hot wife he already has (that, plus his choice of women after that certainly shows a lack of taste and discretion), and expected everyone to agree with me just because I said it, I’d be living a delusion that made absolutely no sense whatsoever.

Such is the case for an internet marketer named David Risley, who I guess is also a professional blogger. I have to admit that I’d never heard of this guy until yesterday, but supposedly he’s a big time blogger. Our friend Sire wrote what I thought was a great post called Why I No Longer Link To The Likes Of Problogger And John Chow, where he basically said that these guys are so big that he doesn’t need to go out of his way to support them any longer, since it seems they don’t appreciate their readers enough to ever comment back to any of them. Now, he is going a step further than I am in not even reading their blogs anymore, but I agree with the sentiment that it’s nice for even the top guys to respond to their commenters every once in awhile, especially since they hope these commenters are also buyers of their products from time to time.

Anyway, someone mentioned David’s name, and I guess he’s got something set up where whenever his name is mentioned, he gets notified through Backtype, something else I’d never heard of, but after looking at it actually looks pretty cool overall. I’m not going that route, because I get way too much email already, but I also use Google Alerts to tell me whenever my name is mentioned somewhere; well, my websites and blogs anyway, because whenever it finds Mitch Mitchell it’s that other guy, and people are still talking about him way more than me. 🙂

Anyway, someone mentioned his name and he popped over to Sire’s blog and left a comment basically defending these guys, and himself, for having the right not to respond to comments because they see their blogs more as a business than as a “fun” or less serious blog. Of course, I got into it myself, being nice in my way, and we bantered back and forth, as he wanted me to quote where he’d said something and I wanted him to quote where Sire had said something; stalemate. My main point overall was that both of the guys Sire mentioned have written in the past on their blogs that responding to comments is the way to build up your community, and both seem to have forgotten that.

A quick disclaimer here. I have noticed that every once in awhile Problogger will respond to a quick comment early on in a post. He actually responded to something I wrote once when I was one of the top 3 responders because I kind of, in my own nice way of course, went after him for saying something in his blog post that, in my mind, seemed to run counter to what he was doing on his own blog. Sometimes one just has to call a… no, I’d best not go there. lol

Today, David went the next step. He decided to kind of write a blog post about it, and he put up a video explaining his position. Then he asked the people what they thought about what he had to say. Lo and behold, at least at the time I looked, being alerted through Twitter about it, only one person supported his position. Even in his response back to these folks, it just seems that he’s somewhat missing the overall point, that being people want to feel like they’re part of a community, no matter who it is.

Now, to his credit, he did respond back to people, though I don’t know if that’s a regular thing because, at least for now, I don’t see myself subscribing to a blog where I know someone feels they have a right not to respond to anyone, whether they do or not, as long as he’s making money, which is also why I’m not giving a link to his blog through here, but you never know long term. You can find it on Sire’s blog, I believe, or he’ll tell you if you ask him where it is so you can see it for yourself.

Now, I respond to almost every comment I get here. Every once in awhile, I’m not sure what to say back to someone, so I’ll just let it hang, especially if it’s a one line comment that I don’t believe is spam. And, after engaging someone, I’ve learned that I don’t have to always have the last word on this blog, so I’ll let some of those go also. I think that’s only fair.

But it’s funny how folks can forget some of those simple lessons in life. One, don’t forget where you came from and how you started. Two, don’t ask people to support your position without really knowing that people will support it; if you care, that is. Be controversial, yes, at times, because controversy can be fun. But try not to be “right”, only to find yourself being very wrong in the court of public opinion unless you’re wearing your position on your sleeve.

Now here I go; right or wrong?

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What’s Up With Broken Link Checker?

Okay, what’s up with the plugin broken link checker?

First, the updates. Over the last couple of weeks, there have been 6 updates to the program. I remember when I complained about all the WordPress updates back in August, and those things finally slowed down, and maybe it’ll happen with broken link checker also. I’m not sure, but one can hope.

Then, if you remember, I mentioned in September that I was having all sorts of problems with my dashboard and some other issues with the blog, and it turned out that broken link checker and some other plugins were messing things up. So I discontinued it and the others, deleted all the rest of them, but kept broken link checker so I could, every once in awhile, check my links to see if something suddenly wasn’t working well.

Now here’s issue #3. Seems that, at least on this blog, broken link checker isn’t working properly. A week ago I activated it, with the express purpose of checking for broken links. It told me I had 63 broken links. However, when I looked at some of the pages where it said I had issues, I started seeing pages that I had already corrected before. There wasn’t anything wrong with many of the links. And a few others where there might have been a problem with a link, I corrected it, only to have the program continuing to tell me that the links were still broken.

That’s just not going to get it done. As I’ve read through some of the fixes for the program, I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I’m disappointed that none of the updates seem to address any of the issues I’ve been having with it. I can’t be the only one who’s having this problem, can I?

Luckily, on my other two blogs, the plugin is telling me that there are no broken links on those pages. Is that true, or is it that the program isn’t telling me the truth? How odd that I touted this program so much previously, and now I’m not really sure whether I trust it or not. Such is life; how’s the plugin working for everyone else?

3 Labs in Creel Cookie Jar

Price – $40.00






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A New Thing In Subscribing To Comments

I happen to use the Subscribe To Comments plugin for this blog. My version basically just adds this little box at the bottom so people can check it and get notification to any post they’ve left a comment on.

It seems that’s not quite enough for most folks these days. I’m starting to notice more and more than I’ll leave a comment on a blog, and almost immediately I’ll get an email saying if I want to subscribe to comments I have to click on a link.

I have yet to click on any of these links. I know why people are doing it, or at least I think I do. In their own way, it’s to try to cut down on spam, although I’m not sure that’s quite correct. After all, it’s not like any of the blogs I’m talking about haven’t shown my comment as soon as I’ve written it, which means any spam comments would automatically go through.

Frankly, I can’t think of any other reason for people to have added this particular wrinkle to their blogs. Once again, we get into talking about making the commenting process easier for those people who leave you good comments, and telling people that if they want to see if they’re being responded to that they have to click a link in an email and then they’ll hear back from the blog owner just doesn’t seem all that friendly to me.

Of course, I could be way off base. For anyone who has this set up and feels there’s a good reason for doing it, please enlighten me. The only other thing I can think of is that someone is worried that the person leaving the comment isn’t actually that person, and I can’t think of a single time that’s happened on any of my blogs, and I mean ever.

Blogging can be interesting, can’t it?

Westport Big & Tall: Look Your Best

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2012 Mitch Mitchell

How I Write Blog Posts

Lately I’ve been seeing a rash of posts on blogs that are telling people how to write blogs. Of course, I have my own blogging tips, which I hope some folks have checked out here and there, but what I’m seeing are the same tips over and over from other people.

Let’s face this fact; just how many times do you want to read “first come up with a keyword rich topic, then write a keyword rich article on your niche?” No matter how many times you read that and how many ways someone tries to write it, nothing is different. How different is reading “write in your niche so that people will find you on search engines?”

I’m not saying it’s not true; I’m just saying it’s boring seeing the same thing over and over. And I’m not saying what I’m about to write is any better than what you’ve seen someone else say. But it will be different, and I’m thinking that’s my little niche. Let’s begin.

Believe it or not, the longest part of my blogging is trying to figure out what I want to write about. For someone like me, that doesn’t often take long. For this blog, since I pretty much write about what I feel like, it doesn’t usually take me longer than a couple of minutes. The same for my business blog, because I know my topic there. For my finance blog, it takes a little longer. I usually scour the news to see what feels like it might be interesting enough for me to expound upon, then I’m ready to go.

The next step, if needed, is the research. For instance, when I wrote my post the other day on my 13 favorite singers, that one took a long time to put together because I had to first list my singers, go find the videos for each of them, and then find the product links for each artist. For the last post, 34 questions, I had to actually answer the questions first. I could have answered them once I started writing, but I had some formatting I wanted to do so I answered them before I posted everything. For my finance blog, research is always essential, because I don’t want to use only one news source to write those articles from.

Next it’s time to either start writing or paste certain things into the writing area. When I’m writing, I go into my zone and just write, and I don’t usually stop until I’ve finished the article. That’s why it doesn’t take me all that long to write. If I have an opinion on something, my mind just puts things in the order I want to talk about them in and I go for it. Kind of my own Mozart thing going on. If I’m just pasting something, most of my work is already done.

Now it’s time for my internal linking. I don’t have full recall of every article I’ve written, but obviously I know my topics. So I go back through my topics to search for articles I’ve previously written on a topic. The internal linking serves two purposes One, it helps my site show off previous material that I’m hoping someone might be interested enough in to want to check it out. Two, at least on my finance blog, it helps with the SEO in reinforcing topics I write about there. This blog does okay in the search engines, but it probably will never get its PR back, which means probably only my affiliate advertising will ever be here, whereas that blog has a high PR, does okay on Alexa, and if I can increase the visits a bit more it’ll be prime property for financial advertisements.

Next is something I don’t always do, but I will check for it. Since everyone says text advertising is supposed to be so great, I go back through my words to see if there’s anything I said that can link to a product. Then I go looking for a product that I can link to and add that link, with the new blue lines.

The next to the last piece is trying to decide what I’m going to highlight at the bottom of each post. Will it be a product? Will it be just a banner ad of some sort? I certainly have plenty of stuff to choose from, so that usually doesn’t take much time either.

And now, the final pieces of the puzzle. I go to All-in-one-SEO and I write something in the description box on what the piece is about. I type in my keywords. Then I go up and type in my tags for the post, which is something I just started a few weeks ago. I select the overall category for the post. The last thing depends on if I’m posting the article immediately or on a delayed basis. If I’m delaying the post, I set the schedule for when I want it to post. Sometimes I write my posts a couple of weeks in advance, so that works great.

And there you go. Now, it takes me less than 5 minutes to write a post, but all the other stuff I add on is what builds up the time. It may eventually take me 10 to 20 minutes to fully complete a post, but that’s okay because the possible rewards for the extra stuff are worth it if you ask me.

Now, whether you fully agree or not, wasn’t that better than the cookie cutter posts you see all the time? 🙂
 

How Do You Feel About Blog Podcasting?

Yup, that’s my question: how do you feel about blog podcasting?

One of my new online friends has a pretty nice blog. However, the majority of her posts are short podcasts rather than the written word. Initially I was listening to her posts, but stopped pretty quickly. I had to think about why I didn’t like them, and I knew it had nothing to do with her or what she was talking about.

What I realized, and this may not be fair, is that I felt somewhat manipulated. Let’s think about this one for a little bit. We all want people to come to our blogs and participate in the experience. So we put together what we hope are thought provoking and entertaining posts, sometimes teaching, sometimes making people laugh, and sometimes just ranting a little bit. We might add a picture to help illuminate what we’re trying to articulate, or we might share a video here and there.

Why do we do all of this? Because we hope that people will stay on our blog for a little while. We hope that maybe they’ll like what they read, and want to read more. We hope that maybe they’ll be interested in one of the little things we have on the side of our blog, click on something, and we’ll make a little bit of money. And we hope that people will write comments, engage us in thoughts and conversation, and generally have a good time.

So, what about podcasts? Well, with either a podcast or video presentation, you pretty much have to spend a bit of time either watching or listening to it. You can’t speed read, which I do, and you can’t anticipate what’s coming. You’re pretty much stuck for anywhere from 2 to 10 minutes of listening to someone talking about whatever it is they’re talking about, or showing you. That’s why I almost never visit another blog by a guy I like, because almost all his posts are video, and I just don’t always have 10 minutes to hang around to watch a video.

Now, every once in awhile, if they’re showing you a presentation of something, that makes a lot of sense because it’s easier to show people how to do something that trying to just tell them how to do it. But what if it’s an every day thing? How much do you want to visit a blog to have to listen to a presentation every time?

I know someone’s going to say “yeah, but you have that “listen” button at the top of each post. True, but I put that there to give people an option as to whether they wanted to listen or read my post. I know some of my posts get quite long, and one of my wife’s gripes is that she hates reading long posts. But every once in awhile I’ll ask her to check a specific post out, and she’ll listen rather than read and enjoys that.

There are some websites that will put up a video, but also have the written transcript so that you get a choice as to which way you want to go. I love that option, and yes, sometimes I will just sit back and watch or listen to something instead of reading it. But it’s an option, a choice, and I love having choices.

I don’t want this to look like I’m beating up on anyone whose content is totally media driven. I’m asking this question because I really want to know what people’s general opinions on this are. If I started creating posts by recording them and, instead of writing much, just wrote a headline like “Have you heard about Google Wave? Here’s my take on it” and then posted an audio file, and all my posts were like that, would you still visit and listen to an entire file each time and still want to comment on it? Would you be encouraged to go to any of my other posts to listen to more podcasts or watch more videos if that’s all you could do when you visited one of those?

Share with me; let me know your thoughts. I’m wondering if it’s me, the guy feeling a bit old lately, or if I’m more normal than I think I am sometimes.

Bose SoundDock II Speaker System – Silver

Price – $299.00








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