Don’t Confuse Being A Freelancer With Being A Blogger And Vice Versa

by in Lifestyle on Aug 5th, 2013

The terms “blogger” and “freelancer” are often used interchangeably to describe ourselves, but it’s important to differentiate between the two to minimize disappointment and maximize profitability. One can certainly be a blogger with a freelance business or a freelancer with a blog. However, to do one successfully requires a different skillset.

I’m a blogger first with some services I offer to anybody or any business looking to develop a presence online or seek help with their personal finances. However, such services are not my main focus as I limit my clientele to four a month maximum. The reason why I limit my consulting is because I mainly want to write, which is my joy. If I wanted to work, I wouldn’t have retired!

Whether my writing makes money or not is secondary to being able to share some thoughts and interact with the community. It’s always going to be this way. The thrill of getting picked up by some major media organization or doing an interview on a public radio station is addicting. So is learning about different perspectives from readers all around.

As it turns out Financial Samurai generates enough income to eat ramen noodles in San Francisco. But again, this is a side product because I’m currently living off my passive income streams in CD interest, dividends, and rental income. Everything generated from my blog is a bonus.

Despite four years of blogging, I’m still struggling immensely with selling a product or myself. I just don’t enjoy the process of trying to make money from readers and am seriously considering outsourcing the work to a freelancer.


Yakezie Member Post: Luke1428 Born Out of Inspiration

1H2014 Class

in Featured on Apr 14th, 2014

Who inspires you?

Is that too serious a question to begin a Yakezie new member post? Perhaps, but it’s extremely relevant for me because I think about this every time I sit down to write. Dwelling on this keeps my writing focused on my mission. Above all, as noted here on Yakezie recently, it allows writing to be fun, knowing that it serves a higher purpose than just benefiting me.

In case you don’t know, my name is Brian and I blog at a site called Luke1428. For those wondering where that name came from, you can find the short story behind it here. It certainly fits with all things related to personal finance and successfully pursuing life goals once you understand the context.

To answer the question, I derive my inspiration from four sources. Those of you that have followed my writing know Luke1428 has a religious bent to it’s content. I am a Christian and work my thoughts into some of my writing, most notably my Hidden Nuggets Series, which highlights money related themes from the Bible and their relationship to contemporary cultural issues. My relationship with God has been a true blessing in my life and I think about what might or might not honor Him every time I write.

My faith teaches me that one of my highest callings is to serve others. That’s a huge reason I started writing in the first place. Nothing can be more personally gratifying than giving of oneself to touch other people’s lives. Knowing that the words I write may impact someone for good keeps me inspired each day.

I have four awesome pieces of inspiration, scurrying around our home. Right now, it’s raining on our school’s first day of spring break and they are all downstairs watching TV, keeping it quiet so this can be written without distraction. (Ahh…the quietness of a house with four kids is a moment to cherish.) Even more so to cherish though, is the gratification I receive knowing my words are being taken in by their little eyes and ears eager to learn about life and money.

My last source of inspiration has been with me for 18 years. She’s the reason my blog exists. And it wasn’t due to her words only…her actions were truly inspiring. Read More


The Most Important Aspect Of Being A Successful Blogger

You Will Be A Happy Blogger If...

by in Lifestyle on Apr 7th, 2014

I love how here on Yakezie we all come together for our love and interest in blogging, personal finance, lifestyle topics, and helping each other. I wouldn’t be where I am today as a blogger without Yakezie and the support of so many Members and Challengers. I knew so little about websites and blogging before I started the Challenge! Looking back I have to laugh at some of the things I used to get so confused about, for ex. what’s the difference between a plugin vs a widget? and what the heck is RSS? And I know a lot of you have had similar experiences.

I didn’t even know what WordPress was until a few years ago. The only thing I did know was some basic html that I learned many years ago when I was playing around trying to make a website on Yahoo Geocities. (Remember Geocities?!) Ha that was so long ago it sounds like the Stone Ages. Well I totally failed at my first attempts to get on the web, which turned out to be fine, and it’s exciting to see how far technology, web platforms, and online sharing has come since then.

You Will Be A Happy Blogger If…

There are many things I’ve learned from blogging since I started Untemplater. Some I learned from others, some I learned by research, and a few I learned by accident. If I had to pick only one piece of advice to share from them all, it would be to blog because you love to write. You’d be surprised how many people run sites and call themselves bloggers but actually don’t enjoy what they do and dread having to write.

As an observer, I’ve seen more and more people start or takeover a blog primarily because of money and not for the love of it. I’m not saying it’s bad to earn income from blogging, I think that’s a sweet bonus. But having too big a focus on money alone tends to squeeze all the life and personality out of a site. As a blog owner, if you don’t truly love writing for your own readers, the truth will eventually come out.

Blog Because You Love It! Read More

How To Win At Everything Online

As advised by someone who has never won anything online

by in Personal Finance on Mar 31st, 2014

One blogger I’ve been mentoring over the past year asked me the other day, “How can I ever win one of those blogging awards? I see some blogs get award after award and they aren’t that good. Their traffic isn’t that high and their content isn’t very original. Yet some sites have much better content and never win anything. What’s your secret for winning an award?

I thought about his question for a moment and answered, “First of all, we have a tendency to think we are better than we really are. Second of all, I’ve actually never won a single award in my five years of writing online. This is despite writing the majority of my content, coming up with new concepts, shying away from sponsored posts, and receiving a decent amount of visitors a month. Unfortunately, you’ll probably never win an award and neither will I because 1) we aren’t self promotional enough and 2) we don’t do enough to promote those in control of giving out the awards.”

We all know that people tend to hang out and support folks who look like them, talk like them, and share their same values. It’s just the way we humans are. My central thesis in “How To Get Paid And Promoted Faster At Work” has to do with spending at least 50% of your time selling yourself internally in order to get ahead in the workplace. The same theory applies if you want to win awards online. It’s understandable that the same type of people and blogs tend to win over and over again. We like what we know.

But as someone who left Corporate America to do my own thing, I’ve got close to zero desire to network for the purpose of winning an award. Networking for friendships and fun, yes. But for an award, not so much. And for this simple reason, no matter how good my content is or how large I grow, I don’t think I’ll ever win anything. It’s not that I don’t enjoy accolades, because I do. It’s just that the biggest accolade is simply site traffic.

The internet is as close to a true meritocracy as there is. Anybody can grow their sites with enough effort and good content because the search algorithms are much less biased than humans. I also like that I can’t buy my way to success by spending lots of money on Adwords to rank higher for organic keywords.

We aren’t blogging for other bloggers unless that is your niche. Most of us are blogging for the greater community based on our site’s genre. Of course there is some overlap, but if your site grows large enough, bloggers as readers should make up less than 5% of your daily traffic.

Read More

Another Reason To Focus On Affiliate Advertising And Not Direct Advertising

by in Personal Finance on Mar 24th, 2014

For a couple years I’ve been encouraging fellow bloggers to really de-emphasize sponsored posts and text link ads on their main site(s) – or sites they care about not getting crushed by Google. Google has helped expedite the decline of direct advertising with its frequent algorithmic changes and warnings. It’s understandable to go after the easy money, but I’m absolutely positive that as long as you focus most of your advertisement revenue on direct advertising, your content quality will suffer and you will never be able to “break out” and generate outsized traffic with a consistent revenue stream.

I don’t think hosting a link or sponsored post that is relevant and pertinent to your site once in a long while is necessarily a bad thing. There’s a lot of good content out there that can help readers, and it is your site after all. Just don’t over do it. Growth of readership is where you start making the really large money from CPM, affiliate income, and maybe CPC – I’m talking tens of thousands a month, which more people make than you realize. Most people who make such income just keep quiet.

The focus of this post is to highlight another reason why you should minimize direct advertising and maximize affiliate advertising based on my experience over the past two months.  Read More

Yakezie Theta Membership Class Is Now Open!

1H2014 Class

by in Featured on Mar 5th, 2014

Greetings all Challengers! For those of you who joined the challenge before August 1, 2013 please fill out the questionnaire to be considered a Yakezie Theta Class Member. If you are within 30 days short of the six month period, you should still apply for consideration as this process takes about a month. If you are beyond 30 days short, please wait for the next class.

The form will likely take anywhere from 15-30 minutes so please save your work and scroll down to the very bottom and click submit. The questionnaire will be open until March 22, 2014. To help ensure everyone submits before the deadline, I’d like for every Challenger to ping another Challenger to fill out the form. Late submissions will not be accepted given the amount of logistics this process entails.

The Yakezie Membership committee will review each application and send out notifications by end of September to begin writing a Member Post or continue the challenge for the next class. If there are some holes in your application, please use the time until the deadline to work on your holes. Read More

How To Make Money Quitting Your Job
  • Brian@Luke1428: Thanks a bunch! I appreciate you helping me reach this goal by frequenting my sight. I love your...
  • thefrugalweds: That’s so awesome, Brian! Congratulations :-) We are certainly big fans of Luke1428 and wish you...
  • Brian@Luke1428: Haha…it is crazy…especially that one spring where she was doing tax season, school and...
  • Brian@Luke1428: Appreciate it Eliza. Congrats as well, on your inclusion in this class.
  • Brian@Luke1428: Thanks Barbara. I was very nervous when I first started, wondering whether I would enjoy this much...
  • Squirrelers: Congrats on becoming a part of the network! I enjoyed your story. By the way, while I’m no longer...
  • HappySimpleLiving: Congratulations Brian, proud fellow member of the Theta class! I really enjoyed your post, and...
  • Barbara Friedberg: Hi Brian, Best of luck. Glad you are enjoying the writing. It’s the quite important :) if...
  • Brian@Luke1428: It seems like I should have known as popular as they have become in contemporary culture. Reading...
  • Brian@Luke1428: It was very intense. She would come home from work and study until about midnight most evenings. Then...
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