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

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

Become Wealthy If You Treat Your Blog Like a Business

by in Lifestyle on Oct 13th, 2014

The following is a great post by MyMoneyDesign.com who is building up his own blogging business. 

Earlier this year Business Insider ran a story that described the 10 ways that rich people think differently. For the record, they defined “being rich” as having an annual income of $160,000 or greater and a liquid net worth of $3.2 million or greater. Though there are lot of good habits that can help people become wealthy, one of the more common ones is the fact that a lot of them were business owners who started their own businesses.

Being the owner of a business is significantly better than being an employee. In one situation you trade your labor for a wage. But in the other you get compensated for having a property that others need.

Being an owner is scalable. There is no limit to the number of money making assets you can have. But being an employee is not. No matter what your wage is, you’ll always be constrained by the limitation that there are only 168 hours in a week.

Even though you may think you don’t have any grand business ideas or great inventions that anyone will ever want, I’ve got news for you: If you own a blog, you’ve probably got more of a chance at joining the financial free than you think. Here’s why.

Read More

Conclusive Evidence Beyond Basic SEO Is A Waste Of Time And Money

by in Lifestyle on Oct 1st, 2014

I’ve kept the stance for several years now that beyond basic SEO, SEO is not a great use of time or money. If you artificially build links, you’ll eventually get penalized by Google. If you build a link-building business, your business probably won’t last very long either. If you build a link building network, it’ll eventually go away as we’ve seen with many Private Blog Networks getting hit in September, 2014. If you’re a link broker, be prepared to get a day job again.

Yet, despite the very obvious repercussions of trying to game the system with SEO beyond the basics of a good title, meta description, and keyword content inclusion, requests for direct advertising links and advertorial sponsored posts keep on coming in. Activity in the SEO forums, SEO social media, and SEO blogs are as active as ever.

I do understand publishing the occasional sponsored post because it’s such easy money, especially if the content is OK and relevant. But spending time and money on producing content is way more valuable than spending time and money trying to game SEO.

I’ve asked this question before and I’ll ask it again: If an SEO is such an expert, why doesn’t he or she build their own amazing SEO site and generate lots of passive income than work for an SEO company or be a SEO freelancer?

THE ANSWER TO THE MOST OBVIOUS SEO QUESTION

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How to Use Coupons to Cut Down on Medical Bills

by
51[?]
in Personal Finance on Sep 30th, 2014

Whether you’re seeing the doctor for some allergy relief or even the common cold or you need some lab tests done, you would be surprised at how medical bills can get so expensive. Fortunately, there are a number of ways that you can reduce your healthcare costs. If you’re a coupon clipper or the type who doesn’t mind the extra effort in finding a good price on the products you buy, then you will be glad to know that one of the best ways to cut down on your medical bills is to use coupons.

Now, there are many pharmaceutical companies that have made it one of their direct-to-consumer marketing tactics to offer free trial periods or coupons for their best-selling drugs. While there is some debate that surrounds the use of drugstore coupons, there are healthcare advocates who encourage consumers to take advantage of these money-savers for drugs that are marketed directly to consumers. Supporters also argue that drug coupons make medications affordable for patients with medical conditions that cannot be treated by generic or non-prescription drugs.

Free Trial Periods

Read More

How To Make Money Quitting Your Job
  • Pauline: I try to stay away from “5 ways to save money on X” posts since they are overdone, but the...
  • Elle: I enjoyed the post Sam; trying to be more focused and productive with my posts now as the time I have is bit...
  • Mark Ferguson: Great article! I have always written about what I wanted to write about. Once in a while I will look...
  • Barbara Friedberg: Sam, Good integration of “personal content” with information. We all like a good...
  • MoneyBeagle: I don’t write for the views. I write because the subject that I am writing about is something that...
  • annielogue: SEO is a short-term game. The long-term game seems to be good content, but who knows where the market is...
  • maria@moneyprinciple: I believe that a blog is a great small business.It is also very flexible business: it can be...
  • dojo: My main business is web design, but I also ran few blogs in the past years and, while they didn’t earn me...
  • MMD: Nice comparisons to the traditional brick and mortar type businesses. I think its important to point out that...
  • Steve: Definitely hustlin hard and learning the ropes to make it into something that generates a nice stream of...
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