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Monday, December 12, 2011

How To Blog Better: An Interview with Blogging Guru Mitch Mitchell

        Today my special guest is blogger extraordinaire Mitch Mitchell.  I've been following Mitch's blog I'm Just Sharing for over a year now and have found it to be not only entertaining, but also extremely helpful and informative.   Mitch stays on top of the news about social media so he's become one of my go-to guys to help me get educated about the subject. 

         I asked Mitch to join me here on Tossing It Out to provide a sample of what he does on his blog and give my readers a mini-lesson on becoming better bloggers.


       I always enjoy reading your blog, Mitch.   My audience at Tossing It Out is varied, but I think most of us are interested in how to blog better. You provide good insight to things we might want to consider in relation to our blogs.  Today I'd like to ask a few questions that I think might be helpful to my readers:

Arlee:     Writers are often told that they should have a platform that includes a blog. What should writers be most focused on when it comes to blogging?

Mitch:    All bloggers should realize that the purpose of blogging is one of these 3 things: inform, educate or entertain. Once you get past that then the thing to focus on, in my opinion, is honesty. I see so many posts that look just like what someone else wrote, and in my mind it's not honest and the person didn't really give anything of themselves. In essence, they're being phony and dishonest in their presentation. One can let others learn a lot about them without giving up everything, and when we make people comfortable, they respond positively. And who doesn't want more positivity in their lives?

Arlee:    Time is limited and greatly limited for many of us. How do you recommend that bloggers get the most bang for their buck when it comes to blogging activity?

Mitch:    If you have problems with time but still want to blog, I recommend scheduling the time to blog into your calendar. Even one post a week will give your blog some benefit and if your content is appealing, people won't mind that kind of schedule, even if they're clamoring for more. Schedule an hour a week, if you need that long to put a post together, even if it's over the weekend, and get it done if you really care about blogging to begin with.

Arlee:     Can you tell us the nutshell version about SEO (search engine optimization) and why it should be important to us? Is it important to all of us and how do we determine this? 
 
Mitch:      SEO stands for search engine optimization, and it's the process of setting one's website up in a way that encourages search engines to come on a regular basis to determine what it is you do so that you can compete online with others that do what you do. You can get a brief lesson on it here: http://www.seoxcellence.com/searchengineoptimization.html.  
 Its importance to blogging depends on what your purpose for blogging is. If it's business then it's really important to think about SEO; if not, it should still be on your mind, but your first consideration should be your writing. Actually writing should always be your first consideration since that's what helps to set you apart from everyone else. You can check out this link to tell you what the 3 most important parts of SEO are:   http://www.seoxcellence.com/blog/a-websites-first-3-seo-tips/

Arlee:    Recently on your blog you've been talking about alternate media approaches such as video blogging, podcasting, etc. Who should consider doing this? Why would we want to do this? How do you recommend a person get their feet wet without a big investment in equipment?

Mitch:      There are a number of people who are more comfortable speaking than writing and have a message they want to convey to others. Those are the people I'd recommend to at least look into doing this type of thing, though it comes with limitations, such as the fact that there's no real way to do SEO for either of them and, for people like me who speed read, it can slow us down to the point where, if there are too many videos or podcasts, I might decide to skip a lot of them. As far as a recommendation based on price I bought my webcam in December and only spent $35 for it. Sure, it's limited to staying on top of my monitor, but it gets the job done. I believe a camera that's a bit more mobile can still be purchased for less than $100. Very few of us need to buy really expensive equipment to get going unless you're looking to do some really fancy stuff with it. Video is a nice way to add something new here and there to your blog as well.

Arlee:       Why would writers and others want to read your blog?

Mitch:      I talk about blogging often and writing here and there as well. However, I think people might like to read my blog because I try to be conversational and a storyteller, no matter what it is I'm talking about. You never know what I'll say or how I'll say it, and it's not a bad technique. Those who are interested in styles of writing might be interested in how I go about it, and if they look at some of the comments will possibly see other posts they might enjoy as well. It's a safe place for all, even if a topic might be deemed controversial. Luckily, I'm rarely that; or am I? :-)

           Controversial sometimes, but he's always nice about it.  My thanks to Mitch Mitchell for this teaser about what awaits on his blog.   I strongly encourage you to check it out and subscribe if it looks like a place you will want to revisit.  I'm there often and after you've stopped in I think you might be too.




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48 comments:

  1. Very timely Lee, thankyou for hosting Mitch and to him for sharing this information. I'll pop over and have a look at his sites. cheers
    Sue

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  2. A very good interview Lee and Thanks Mitch for taking part.
    Heavens knows what he would think of my offering to blogsphere, but everyone is different and has different reasons for writing.

    Have a good day.
    Yvonne.

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  3. This was a nice post Arlee, I enjoyed reading this short interview. I'll go and check out Mitchell's blog :)

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  4. Excellent advice! I have been thinking of either doing a podcast or video blog once in awhile just to shake things up.
    Thanks for sharing this!

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  5. Excellent advice! We need to be ourselves on our blog.
    Hot topic right now. Anne R. Allen just posted blogging tips for writers yesterday and I'm doing a guest spot in a week on the same subject. We all want to blog better.

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  6. This is an extremely informative and interesting interview, Mitch seems to be a very intelligent man and I'm assuming his content will match how he comes across in this interview so I'll need to check his stuff out. I honestly learned a lot from reading this so thanks very much Arlee.

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  7. Great interview with lots of useful information.

    Teresa

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  8. Some great advice and hoped on over having a look at his blog too. No one can say I copy and just use the same old same old..hahaha

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  9. I've been meaning to create a short video of myself doing a seminar for years.

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  10. Very very cool interview, Lee and Mitch. Thank you.
    Karen

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  11. Informative Arlee and Mitch.

    I did laugh when Mitch listed the three purposes of a blog--and that mine is all three. I think I need focus.

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  12. I don't think there's anything wrong with being all three, and I'm not sure he meant to suggest that they were mutually exclusive, surely? Information and education are almost the same thing, and they're both more fun when they're entertaining as well.

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  13. Thank you for this. I hopped over to Mitch's blog and there are already about five posts I want to read :-)

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  14. Hi Lee, this was very interesting, as is Mitch's I'm Just Sharing blog. I'll check out his other ones too.

    I also enjoyed your other posts on this page, including the writing exercise that got you started ... you were so descriptive!

    Have a great week, and thank you for stopping by to visit.

    Take care,

    Kathy M.

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  15. thanks to all who have visited and commented so far. I hope Mitch will be able to drop in later to say hello. But a few specific responses from me:

    Cal Lass -- You and me both. You should go for it, but I recommend keeping them relatively short unless you are doing something like a class or something. Can you imagine if we all started doing 15 minute or more media content posts!

    Pat -- What you are doing is pretty unique, at least I haven't seen anyone else doing like you're doing it.

    L.Diane -- This would be a natural for you and I think you should go for it. You were mentioning the other day about your content issues. Doing a video post now and then might be an answer to that.

    Kelly -- You're right. I light to learn and be informed, but for gosh sakes keep me interested. Makes me think back on the differences between the boring professors in college and the ones who had classes I looked forward to and continued to take other classes they taught.

    Lee

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  16. Excellent guest post/Q&A session, thank you both! Sound advice and information that I know will be helpful to lots of folks looking into the wonderful world of Bloggydom.

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  17. This is a great interview, Lee. I am now VERY interested in meeting Mitch Mitchell, and I will also be checking out the links. I've been bogged down this past week with a bad cold, but I'm so glad I got over to this post today (I'm feeling much better now). And now I'm going to check out your memoir blog! :o)

    Have a wonderful holiday season!! Wishing you the best from the "Best" household. (Dippy pun! What can I say?!)
    Ann Best, Author of In the Mirror & Other Memoirs

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  18. Great advice! I'm always looking for ways to improve my blog. Thanks for the ideas.

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  19. Great post! This is such a huge topic right now. I was asked to do an interview on blogging for Theresa Grant that will air on Friday.

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  20. It's taken me a long time to learn about blogging, and I'm still not the greatest at it. I started out thinking it was just a matter of slapping words onto the screen and picking a nice layout. NOT! I wish I'd known about Mitch when I first started. He would have saved me a ton of frustration.

    Thanks so much for the post and the links.

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  21. Arlee, thanks for introducing me to Mitch.

    Mitch, I so agree about honesty being needed. Thanks for the tips.

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  22. The intention of my blog is to entertain.
    Uh...oh.
    Thanks for this. I've got something to think about.
    Like that "entertain" thing.

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  23. Interesting post!

    I've wondered about the importance of SEO when it comes to non-business blogging, since I know it's key for websites trying to sell. Thanks for the links!

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  24. Great article and interview. SEO has become less of a mystery for me.

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  25. great interview and awesome information i learned something new today

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  26. Thanks for the introduction to someone new Arlee!

    Nice interview. Whenever I start to read about SEO my eyes glaze over.

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  27. Wonderful interview, Lee. Thanks for introducing us to Mitch. :D

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  28. Wow Lee, I'm flattered by all the comments that have come as a result of doing this interview, and I thank all of you for what you've had to say; definitely honored.

    I'd like to address Kelly's statement if I may about informing and educating because they are two totally different things as I see them.

    To inform is to discuss topics and things that are going on around us, whether commentating or breaking news.

    To educate is to write a post where one gives a detailed synopsis of how to do something, or the process of discovery that leads to educating on something, which I'll do often on my blog.

    This was a wonderful opportunity Lee; thanks a lot!

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  29. Thank you Mitch for providing the readers of Tossing It Out an opportunity to meet you and I hope they will take the time to check out your blog.

    This post stays on the forefront of this page for another day so don't be surprised if you see more comments.

    Lee

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  30. I enjoyed your interview with Mitch Mitchell.
    I popped over to his site, have bookmarked it and tomorrow, during my prescheduled "visit blogs" time I will look forward to checking out his site.

    Thank you for sharing Mitch with us!

    Jenny @ PEARSON REPORT

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  31. Terrific interview and great tips. Nice job Lee. Do you plan to do more interviews? Do you prefer your standard article or the interview format?

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  32. Nice interview. I am going now to visit Mitch's blogs:-)

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  33. Incredibly helpful. I've been blogging for two years now, which means I could use more and more advise to keep things up and revitalize everything too. Thanks for this!

    Sarah Allen
    (my creative writing blog)

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  34. Lee and Mitch thank you for the great info!
    Blessings,Joanne

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  35. Very good advice. I'm heading over to his place to check it out. I love finding new blogs to follow as I continue on my blogging journey.
    Tina @ Life is Good

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  36. Hi, Lee!
    I loved what Mitch said about the purposes of blogging: inform, educate, and entertain--always with honesty.
    I think I would enjoy sitting down with you all, listening to your stories. Merry Christmas!

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  37. Great interview with Mitch, Lee. I loved what he said about honesty (esp.), because it is so true!

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  38. Thank you Mitch and Lee! I enjoyed your informative post. Honesty is huge, it creates a pathway to likeability or perhaps respect. It is so much easier to just be ourselves! Well Done~

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  39. Excellent interview. Thanks for sharing your time and Mitch's story.

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  40. Thanks for introducing us to Mitch who shared lots of interesting blogging tips! I will definitely head over to his blog soon!

    Lee, hope you and your wife had a lovely anniversary!

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  41. A great interview! Thank you for the link to Mitch's very informative and educational and entertaining blog!

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  42. Thanks to Mitch and all the great comments that were left. I can always count on a good turnout from my readers and I always appreciate it.

    Lee

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  43. Useful and informative article. I need to go look at those articles about SEO.

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  44. Thanks Mitch for providing us some valuable information. I for one will be visiting your blogs often.

    And thanks to all of my readers.

    Lee

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  45. Hi Lee and Mitch .. what a brilliant interview - very informative, succinctly put ... great - I'll be back to check the links out ..

    Thanks Lee - great guest .. cheers and have good weekends both of you - Hilary

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  46. Wow, I just found this & realize that I never commented on it nor responded to any of the other comments; bad Mitch! Lee, do you think it's too late at this juncture to respond to some of the folks?

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    Replies
    1. Micth, I always enjoy getting a belated comment. I don't think that many people subscribe to threads so I don't know how effective your responses might be. You could try responding here or if you've got some blocks of excess time (what a luxury) you might go visit some of there blogs to reference their questions.

      Try a few as an experiment to see what happens. In the meantime I'm going to tweet the link for this post since it's always relevant and promote it on FB.

      Thanks!
      Lee

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