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 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

How To Create A Successful Blog: Don’t Ask For Too Much Too Soon

Giving Up Too Soon Is Like Asking For Too Much Too Soon

by in Lifestyle on Nov 25th, 2014

As bloggers, we know how difficult it is to gain the trust of a community. Way too many sites start off with a lot of enthusiasm and just fade within a year. Life gets in the way, and that’s fine. There are certainly more important things to do with one’s time than write all day. But for those of you who are serious about blogging, commitment and longevity is a must.

I no longer watch any TV shows live because the networks tend to cancel them arbitrarily mid-season without even an apology or excuse. After spending hours getting into the characters and story, to have a show ripped out from under me pisses me off. I feel like I ended up wasting a lot of time that could be spent doing something else. Now I only watch shows on DVD or Netflix after they’ve survived a third season. Three seasons is enough time for me to invest in the.

The same thing goes with blogging. A lot of readers don’t fully invest their time on new sites. They know the survival rate for surviving past the 6 months, 1 year, 2 years, 3 years mark goes down at each step. Therefore, it is imperative for bloggers who want to make their sites more than just hobbies to survive for at least the first year. Otherwise, readers will tend to just stick with sites that have been around for years, despite having less interesting content. The Yakezie Challenge is six months long b/c it weeds out less serious contenders.

If you are a blogger looking to make connections with other bloggers, the same thing holds true about the importance of survival. Are you really going to bother spending a similar amount of time leaving comments and building a relationship if there’s a high chance the blog will fail? Of course not.

Giving up too soon is one of the top three reasons why sites fail. The other reason is simply unoriginal, unhelpful, uninteresting content. Write Whale Posts if you can instead. Let me discuss more about the third reason why so many sites fail. Read More

Are You Fully Utilizing Your Blog For Maximum Financial Returns?

by in Lifestyle on Nov 9th, 2014

Like many of you, I’ve been on this passive/semi-passive income building journey for quite a while now. I love the blogosphere because most of us like to write, and we’re all looking to see if we can develop a fun side or main income stream to buttress our financial situation.

In my latest passive income report, I finally realized that I’ve been seriously neglecting one key financial asset: my Lake Tahoe vacation property! It’s weird, because for the previous two passive income reports, I thought I was doing everything possible to boost my passive income.

I occasionally advertised the vacation property on Craigslist to supplement the existing efforts of the hotel property management company. But I stopped after about several months because it became tedious.

Then I fired the hotel property management company after six years and went with a new property management company that charged half the commission. The risk was that since they are an outside property management company, volume would decrease. But they guaranteed me a minimal amount of income to switch, so I wasn’t too worried unless they welched on their promise. I decided not to help them market my property due to the guarantee and due to my desire to focus on my consulting and online business.

Now that the annual guarantee income period is over, it’s best to help them, help me beyond just advertising on Craigslist and e-mailing my friends. I could write an in-depth post full of pictures about The Resort At Squaw Creek to rank for the terms “lake tahoe vacation property rental, Squaw Valley, Lake Tahoe, Resort At Squaw Creek” and link back to my property management company! If that post could sit on the front page of a Google search for years, then voila! An extra $500 – $1,500 a month in income could very easily be generated

So that is exactly what I did. I finally wrote a 1,550 word post about the best vacation property rental in Lake Tahoe on November 7, 2014. But what I should have done was write that post five years earlier when I first started Financial Samurai! Doh.  Read More

Four Important Hardware Peripherals for Your Mobile POS

by in Personal Finance on Nov 4th, 2014

So you’ve decided that a mobile Point of Sale system will work better for your small business. You already have your iPad (or other tablet) and have picked out the ecommerce software provider you are planning on using. But now you need to figure out which hardware add-ons you need. Unlike the older, cumbersome cash register terminal systems you are used to seeing, a mobile system provides an unprecedented level of mobility and flexibility.

You can use just the tablet and a cash drawer or you can outfit your system with all the hardware peripherals you’d expect to see with a regular register terminal. But what are the peripherals you should definitely get your hands on? Truthfully, that depends on your personal desires and the type of business you are running. However, there are some items that could be considered absolute necessities in any situation. Read More

Before You Write A Post, Ask Yourself This One Question

by in Lifestyle on Oct 29th, 2014

The other week I woke up around 4am because I passed out at 9pm. I had played tennis the night before and ate a big meal afterward. Food coma hit me instantly.

Given there’s nobody to talk to at 4am, I decided to finally write a long and detailed post about venture debt on Financial Samurai. It’s a new investment category I’ve allocated a good chunk of change towards, and I wanted to make sure I fully understood what I was investing in and share the investment with my community.

The post is 2,300 words long and took about 2.5 hours to write. It has four charts as well. After editing the post I scheduled it for the next day and that was that.

Several days later I Googled “venture debt” to see if my article appears in the search results, and it does. BUT, the article is on page 5 of Google, which means nobody is ever going to read it. As I looked around the other articles about venture debt, I realized that I was competing with a investment fellowship organization and several other venture debt funds. That’s steep competition because those guys are experts in venture debt, whereas I’m simply an investor in a venture debt fund.

The quality of articles I’ve read on venture debt now that I’ve published my articles is very high, much higher than your typical blog post about investing, paying off debt, or what to buy your kids for the holidays. Lesson learned, if you are going to tackle a complicated topic, it’s probably best to do some research on what’s out there first.

That said, I do very little competitive research before I write about anything. The reason being that I don’t want to let competition stop me from writing what I want. Blogging is supposed to fun and free-flowing. Doing competitive analysis to try and figure out the likelihood of ranking for XYZ term is very soul-killing.  Read More

A Blog Is One Of The Greatest Small Businesses In The World

by in Lifestyle on Oct 20th, 2014

Anybody who says, “A blog is not a business” most certainly does not have a very lucrative blog. I firmly believe that having a blog is one of the greatest businesses in the world for a variety of reasons.

But before I get into why a blog is a terrific business, I want to first highlight what people think about when people refer to businesses. Here are some examples:

* A clothing store. Super low margin business due to rent, manpower, and cost of good sold.

* A barber shop. An unscalable business that is also low margin due to rent and manpower.

* An auto body shop. For the amount they charge to fix a dent, this should be a massively profitable business. But due to PP&E, rent, and labor costs, the business isn’t as lucrative as you might think. There are also health hazards to deal with due to the paint.

* A roofing company. A very low margin business that’s dangerous and labor intensive. Not scaleable and not sustainable on your own.

* A software business. A fantastic, high margin business that can produce recurring revenue through new releases.

* A drop shipping business online. A nice business that doesn’t hold inventory. Read More

How To Make Money Quitting Your Job
  • Untemplater: I’ve had to cut down on my frequency of posting, but I’d rather do that and maintain quality...
  • MyMoneyDesign: Building up your audience and providing them value is something that so many money-seeking bloggers...
  • Financial Samurai: The wrong reason is always money, and that’s hard as PF bloggers b/c money is the focus of...
  • Financial Samurai: Definitely a turnoff when I stumble across such a blog. I don’t know why people would...
  • moneystepper: I think that the primary cause for failure in blogging is getting into it for the wrong reasons. Unless...
  • maria@moneyprinciple: Yes, the editorial calendar example is funny (not so funny when I hit such a blog but then one...
  • Linda: That editorial calendar example is hilarious! I’ve seen a couple of those blogs before and they suck....
  • chirag: my website bandrahouse.com used to make 40$ a day with adsense and then it got banned saying invalid clicks...
  • LeisureFreak Tommy: I can relate to the taking a step back. I have been so busy with my early retirement side hustle...
  • maria@moneyprinciple: Sam, one day I hope to follow your lead in terms of traffic and business acumen :)
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