Your Comment System Is Killing Your Discussions And Community Building Efforts

Does DISQUS, Livefyre, and others comment systems help or hurt your site?

by in Lifestyle on Jun 2nd, 2014

There once was a time when no comment system existed. You’d just go to a site, read the post, and leave your Name, E-mail, and URL address (optional) to leave a comment. If your browser was smart enough, it would remember all your details so you could go directly into leaving another comment instead of re-typing all your information with every visit.

Nowadays, comment systems like DISQUS are taking over. In order to comment via Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or whatever, you’ve got to first register with DISQUS, allow them to access all your contact information, set up a password, and then comment. Who is to say you have a FB, Twitter, Google+ account in the first place? I registered for DISQUS a while ago, but I don’t recall my password and I can’t be bothered to change it.

Every time I stumble across a site with a DISQUS comment system, I no longer comment anymore. Some sites smartly allow one to leave a comment as a guest commenter without registering, but most sites with DISQUS don’t allow for guest commenting, so I stopped trying.

I also registered for another commenting system a while back called LiveFyre. But over the years, I hardly ever see the LiveFyre commenting system installed anymore. What happened to them? My concern is that I have to keep on registering for these new comment systems, and because many aren’t profitable, they end up not lasting for the long term. Therefore, why continue registering for ever more commenting systems that access your personal data only for them to likely disappear?

I long for the good old days to return because I like to interact more with the community through comments on the publisher’s platform.  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.

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Fine Tune Your Blog For Maximum Results

by in Lifestyle on Nov 29th, 2013

Fine tune your blog: missions and writing styles

Author’s bio: Maria Nedeva is the blogger behind The Money Principle: a personal finance blog that will ‘make your head hurt and your wallet sing’. There she writes about money management, wealth and the changing rules of money. 

There is no point beating around the bush: we bloggers want to be read.

In fact, it doesn’t matter whether we blog for fun, for love or for money – our writing is meaningful only when someone reads it.

Lately, people have little time to read and many sources to choose from. So every time we, bloggers, write and publish something we are in intense competition with each other, with journalists, with reality TV, with the movies and with a myriad other entertainments which temp our potential readers.

Recently I had a chat with a lady, a former journalist, who now works for a website in the UK. Our amicable chat became a friendly debate at the moment she shared her belief that within five to ten years all small personal finance bloggers will disappear – and let me tell you, compared to the site she works for we are all small – because they couldn’t compete on two counts: resources and professionalism.

She was saying that to dig up information is expensive and needs much work by many people; small players don’t have the resources to put behind this so people will stop finding them useful.

Her second point was about the quality of investigation and writing referring to the fact that top journalists are starting to work for major websites – how can ‘one man and his/her dog’ compete with that? How can hobbyist-bloggers reach the level of professionalism that trained and seasoned journalists have?

You have probably guessed I didn’t agree with that; I even insisted on splitting up the bill and paying my part (for a personal finance blogger this is sign of great upset, I think). But my argument was messy and my thinking fuzzy. I just found myself muttering lamely:  Read More

How To Write The Whale Post

Creating Memorable, High Traffic Content

by in Lifestyle on Nov 17th, 2011

One of the reasons why public writing is so addicting is because there’s a chance somebody important out there might read what you’re writing and highlight it to somebody else important.  Your traffic starts to surge and your site might even crash due to server overload.  If this happens, congratulations!  You have found your Whale Post!

The Whale Post is elusive.  You think you’re writing interesting stuff, but most of the time nobody really cares, as reflected by the lack of comments.  You can have a site with thousands of subscribers with only 10 people motivated enough to leave some thoughts.  How demoralizing is that?  It’s only demoralizing if you think you’ve written something good.

Whale Post definition: A post which contains over 100 comments or 5X your average number of comments and accounts for at least 25% of your monthly traffic.  This is a new term that I’d like to introduce to the online writing community.

Here’s a case study of how the post, “How Much Do The Top Income Earners Make By Percentage” became a Whale Post on Financial Samurai.  If you search the term “top income earners“, you’ll see this post come up at the top of all major search engines.  Because of this, the post has received over 60,000 page views a month for the past couple of months.  Meanwhile, there are more than 700 hundred comments, hundreds of which could be stand alone 800-word articles themselves!

THE BASICS OF CREATING THE WHALE POST Read More

Should I Still Accept Guest Posts? Absolutely Positively!

Guest Posting Diversifies Your Audience And Keeps Things Interesting

by in Lifestyle on Aug 25th, 2014

In early 2014, there was a lot of buzz that Guest Posting was dead thanks to Matt Cutts from Google saying that a lot of guest posting is just spam.

I seldom host guest posts on FS because most of the inquiries are thinly veiled advertorials or indeed spam. My average guest post hosting frequency is probably one every 1.5 months over the past five years. But for the SEO industry to go in a tizzy and say that guest posting is detrimental to your site is just ludicrous. I swear to goodness, if I wasn’t a blogger, I’d be an “SEO expert” because they have successfully been able to make a ton by making clients do things, and then undo things, and then do new things, and then undo the new things!

Remember, if an SEO is such an expert, why doesn’t s/he have her/his own site to make tons of passive income? Passive income is clearly superior than active income. I play poker with a couple Google middle managers in the search department and they consistently tell me about crazy stories some webmasters do online to try and game the system. Beyond basic SEO, there’s nothing much more you need to do! Read More

Finding The Best Money Making Affiliate Program For Your Blog

Go Direct To The Advertiser Source If You Can

by in Lifestyle on Aug 12th, 2014

Someone asked me the other day what were the three things that gave me the confidence to leave my job in 2012. My initial response was being able to negotiate a severance package worth six years of existing living expenses. The severance was seriously the unexpected X Factor that I did not foresee happening when I was planning on one day leaving Corporate America. All I planned for was saving as much money as possible and building passive income streams.

But as I got to thinking a little more about my financial situation back in 2011/2012, I realized that it was really the POTENTIAL of generating a decent income stream online that got me really excited about pursuing online entrepreneurship full-time.

Back in the Fall of 2011, there were still a lot of direct advertising opportunities despite Google getting increasingly harsher in punishing those sites who sold one too many links. I didn’t want to live in fear of Financial Samurai getting punished, so I decided that I would no longer accept any direct advertisements, or do only a very few that would at least be relevant to some of the content on my site.

I decided to finally focus on affiliate advertising, which is way more congruent and a much safer way to earn income online. Before then, I was just too lazy to try, and I also didn’t really care about making money online as much since I had a job. Read More

Does PageRank Still Matter? It Sure Seems Like It Doesn’t

by in Lifestyle on Jul 29th, 2014

The other day I was having a conversation with a tennis buddy of mine whose wife has a fitness blog. Her site receives about 30,000 pageviews a months. Not too shabby at all.

I mentioned I do some blogging too, and he asked me the address for my blog and I told him Financial Samurai. Given we were at our tennis club working on our laptops before playing a match that afternoon, he immediately looked my site up.

Here’s the first thing he said, “Nice site. I really need to work on personal finance. Oh…….. you’ve really got to work your PageRank up to a 5. That’s when good things happen and Google will really like you then.”

I was pretty surprised he mentioned PageRank given I haven’t read any articles from the SEO circus on PageRank in at least a year and a half. Maybe I’m not looking hard enough? I know we have the occasional PageRank discussion in the Yakezie forums from newer bloggers, but we definitely haven’t published any PageRank-related posts on Yakezie.com.

There once was a time when PageRank and MozRank were all the rage. Here’s a June 29, 2011 post I wrote here called, “Google Updates PageRank And The Yakezie Rises” as reference. Ahhh, the good old days! But now, unless I’m totally out of it, I don’t hear much about PageRank at all.

PAGERANK’S IMPORTANCE

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How To Make Good Money Freelance Writing

Advice on being a great freelance writer from someone who hires freelance writers

by in Lifestyle on Jul 21st, 2014

Since January 2014 I’ve been in charge of building out a corporate blog as part of my part-time consulting duties. It’s been a good challenge that has effectively lowered marketing costs for the company, improved the company’s authority, and allowed the company to tell their story the way they want. So far so good.

Instead of hiring tons of writers, I wanted to hire only a handful of writers who I felt could each bring a different perspective on various topics. I also wanted each writer to be able to write with authority due to the experience he or she has. There would be no such thing as someone writing a post based off pontification under my leadership.

With a healthy budget, I got to work finding quality over quantity, which I think all of us at the Yakezie Network believe in.

Let me share with you what I think makes a fantastic freelance writer for those of you interested in freelance writing part-time or as a career. My perspective comes from not only being a managing editor of a corporate blog, but also as a blogger who has survived through all the Google land mines over the past five years and makes a viable income stream online.

TIPS FOR BEING A GREAT FREELANCE WRITER

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When Is Enough, Enough In The Online World?

by in Lifestyle on Jul 6th, 2014

For five years in a row I’ve been posting on average 3-4 times a week. I just went with this posting schedule frequency because that’s what I had in me. But as I get older, I’m beginning to lose a little steam in my enthusiasm for writing a lot as frequently. Search engine traffic makes up 70%+ of my traffic, so the incremental return of publishing a new article isn’t as great anymore.

I’ve been thinking about going down to a two times a week publishing schedule for the summer. Seasonal online traffic trends are pretty evident once you get to a certain amount. If people are away, why bother writing as much?

There used to be a certain amount of guilt if I didn’t keep up with my publishing frequency. When I left my job in 2012, there definitely wasn’t an option to publish less because I had so much more time. But now, I don’t feel like I have anything to prove anymore. I’ve reached my traffic and revenue targets and I’m happy with the way things are.

WHEN IS ENOUGH, ENOUGH?

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How To Make Money Quitting Your Job
  • maria@moneyprinciple: I love guest posts: I love writing them and I love accepting them on The Money Principle. What...
  • HappySimpleLiving: Good, thought-provoking article. I admit, I’ve been close-minded about guest posts lately...
  • Kirsten: This is fantastic information. I just started freelancing and I definitely feel like I’m not doing...
  • kapitalust: I’ve struggled with this since I began blogging: I wanted to teach but I also wanted to entertain....
  • kapitalust: I came super close to quitting sometime in early 2014. I was a frequent visitor of FS and I was always...
  • kapitalust: Hehe I liken it to winning the participation ribbon in school – I guess some people are just hell...
  • kapitalust: I’ve only ever gotten pesty SEO type requests to guest post and didn’t pay much attention....
  • Financial Samurai: Perhaps that time is sooner than you think! :)
  • Untemplater: You’ve had some great guest posts Sam. I haven’t been publishing guest posts that much since...
  • Financial Samurai: That is called advertising low quality stuff on your site. If you comment and build a relationship...
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