Shuffling Down Memory Lane

Shuffling Down Memory Lane

Did you ever pick up an old book that you read as a child? I mean, the actual book that you thumbed through, spilled soda on and signed on the inside front cover so that nobody would mistake it for their copy? Whatever emotions were awakened by that simple act, they are unique to old books and your personal relationship with them.

So it is with blogs, websites and social media platforms. My friend, Holly Jahangiri, tagged me in her post, A Little Trip Down Memory Lane. Let's take down that old book...

Introduce yourself and share three fun facts about you.

I'm Mitchell Allen, rule-breaker. If you want to play tag, please visit Holly's link. She has meticulously laid out all the rules.

Three fun facts: I can raise my left eyebrow and wiggle my left ear, while the right side of my face remains (mostly) immobile; I love peanut butter and orange marmalade sandwiches; I have an autograph from Ex-Eagle Bobby Taylor.

What was your first blog platform, and do you still remember your blog name?

My first blog was hosted on the Joomla platform. The site was called WritingUp and, as it was a community of bloggers, my name served as the title of my blog.

Why did you start blogging?

I did not smile as I thought about this. So, the following quote starts with a lie. However, I make up for it with an actual trip down memory lane. Just bring your bifocals and favorite beverage!

When I think about why I started blogging, I always smile. I was attracted to a website called The owner, John Jonas, promised to share revenues that his site received from Google's ads. All I had to do was write every day.

Ironically, I never made a dime from my Google account, as it stalled out at 75.00. I did, however, make 2,800.00 as a paid technical support person for the site. I also made a few bucks with a pay-per-post service called Blogitive. So, despite my intentions, writing for money worked out a bit differently!

Part of the charm of WritingUp was the friendliness of the community. I hadn't done much socializing since the bad old days of dial-up modems and Bulletin Board Systems. Not only were the folks at WritingUp fun to hang out with, they also shared a lot of knowledge on a variety of topics. Some of the bloggers were freelance writers, while others, like me, were web designers. We all had the written word as our common ground.

My first post said a lot about the type of blogger I was to become. Looking back, I can see that the path I traveled was inevitableā€¦

-From the introduction to my e-book, Reflections.

Free Book! (Click it)

What is your favorite part about blogging?

Getting my thoughts down on paper, so to speak. Beyond that, I nearly always strive to paint the page so that the words dance in mesmerizing cadence, leaping into the mind of the reader.

What do you blog about, and why did you choose those topics? Is your blog related to your field of study? Why or why not?

Everything and nothing. From the beginning, I had approached blogging with no knowledge of the right way to make money. I was more interested in telling stories, being goofy or blathering on about some philosophical musing or another. My friend, Sharon Hurley Hall, described me as eclectic and I wore the sobriquet as a badge of honor.

If you could pick any blog niche without considering web traffic or monetization potential, what would it be?


Share a fun blogging memory with us.

One thing I loved to do was read humorous blogs. One of my favorite humor bloggers was Melinda, of Finding the Humor. This is a memory lane link, as her blog no longer graces the web. I enjoyed engaging with Melinda. We'd often have long threads in the comments, cracking each other up.

When I looked up her site, I was so happy to recall many of the other bloggers who visited her and left comments. My friend, Mitch Mitchell, left a comment there. That's a live, circular reference, as it came from Melinda's CommentLuv link. Guess what? Melinda followed it and left a comment!

If you could start over, what would you do differently?

That depends on whether I get to keep what I learned over the past 16 years. If past Mitchell had present Mitchell's knowledge, he would have skipped AdSense and focused on drop shipping diapers. Sort of the way smart folks bought stock in Microsoft, back in 1986.

Finally, is there a blogger who inspires you?

Without a doubt, Lisa Irby is my number one inspiration of all time. She is proof that the Make Money Online concept is not about smoke, mirrors and snake oil, but passion, hard work and perseverance.

I first met Lisa when she was writing about building websites. Over the years, she taught her followers about Google, SEO, affiliate marketing, selling on Amazon and now, designing shirts for Print on Demand platforms like RedBubble and Amazon.


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Photo of old books by Annie Spratt on Unsplash