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

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

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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Smart Couponing: How to Maximize Your Savings on Amazon

by in Personal Finance on Jun 30th, 2014

Coupons. The very word conjures up mental images of being stuck in line behind an elderly lady rifling through her purse for an eternity to save 2¢ on a package of gum. Fortunately for all of us, thanks to the global superstore of the future, the Internet, today’s shopping experience is far quicker and more efficient. Consequently, coupons have also received a makeover and are much more popular with Americans. No more waiting in line behind Queen Save-A-Lot.

Conversely, your local supermarket just got a few light-years bigger. As such, the prospect of online shopping is a potentially time consuming, not to mention hazardous concept. For instance, one of the kings of the online shopping arena, Amazon, is a venerable one-stop shop for everything you could possibly need, ever. Sites with online coupon deals have considerably lessened your workload, helping you get the most out of your online shopping trip by locating the best deals and conveniently listing them in one spot. This makes the store of the future a much more manageable, far less scary place to venture.

With the tips in this article, you will learn how to develop a smart savings strategy and get the best deal every time. Read More

The Best Job For Bloggers Today

Bloggers Know Your Worth. It's More Than You Think.

by in Lifestyle on Jun 23rd, 2014

One of the fears many people from many different industries have is whether their skills are transferable to another occupation. They say people change jobs on average seven times in their lifetimes. The older I get the more I believe this statistic.

Despite getting an MBA and working in finance since 1999, I wasn’t sure whether I had any useful skills in the tech sector. I wanted to at least give tech a try just to say that I participated in the golden era of the internet while living in SF. Succeed or fail was less important given I had already accumulated my target financial nut.

As feared, I wasn’t given a chance to join any tech company despite my applications. I knew very few people in tech to provide any introductions. It was only after almost two years of half-heartedly searching that I stumbled across Personal Capital, a financial tech company, because a content manager position opened up, and I was a long-time affiliate partner and user.

Although we bloggers have come a long way, I still think we lack the respect we really deserve by journalists, everyday people, journalism schools, and businesses. Sure, some blogs have sold for multi-millions of dollars, but for the most part, anybody over 30 will probably discount blogging as a admirable profession. People looked at me cock-eyed every time I said I was a blogger, so now I just say I have an online media business. When they don’t understand, they discredit.

LET ME SHARE WITH YOU ONE EXAMPLE OF WHY BLOGGERS RULE Read More

How To Make Money Quitting Your Job
  • Financial Samurai: There definitely has to be some great ideas a freelance has to have in the bag. Otherwise,...
  • Financial Samurai: I’m not aware of a freelance writing course or school. I think for the large majority of...
  • Financial Samurai: There’s a lot of craziness on the internet. If you can practice writing for a very different...
  • Financial Samurai: Yes. And you can click the Pencil icon on the top left of the picture once uploaded and edit to...
  • Financial Samurai: Well done! A nice chunk of change indeed.
  • BARBARA FRIEDBERG: Sam, As a longer term freelancer, I’m not ashamed to admit you gave some superb additional...
  • No Nonsense Landlord: Winning awards is pretty cool, but I am in your shoes too. I am getting ready to hang it up in...
  • Mom Cents: Do you freelance writers have any formal training or is it a practice makes perfect type of thing?
  • Financial Samurai: Just copy and past to e-mail. Easy peasy!
  • Syed: Wonderful post. You’re certainly right about making a living being a blogger. It’s tough to live...
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