To a lot of people, owning a new car represents many important things in life: independence, adulthood, convenience and a validation of success. But in addition to the many wonderful aspects new cars bring, they’re also quite the expenditure, and we’re not even talking about their initial price tag.
Blogging reminds me a bit like cave exploration. Both were once unusual hobbies but have been gaining popularity amongst all sorts of people. Neither requires a lot of equipment or experience to get started. Plus, both blogging and cave exploring take creativity, organization and perseverance to be successful. Finally, perhaps most importantly, both involve finding an undiscovered space you can call your own.
However, there is one crucial difference between writing and publishing a successful blog versus exploring a massive network of underground caves. With caving, the end goal is finding a niche, whereas with blogging, you want to have a distinctive niche before you even get started. Easier said than done. Finding a niche for your blog can be as hard as searching through a dark, craggy, unknown cavern, but I guarantee having your own unique voice and calling is much more profitable. Here’s how to pick your way through the labyrinth of blog topics to discover a niche that is right for you. Read More
I recently went to a independent publishers only conference in San Francisco hosted by Sovrn (Lijit Networks). Sovrn is an ad network company that was purchased by the once mighty Federated Media. I remember trying to join Federated Media’s ad platform in 2010, but couldn’t get in because Financial Samurai didn’t have enough traffic at the time. I was looking for Google Adsense alternatives because Adsense wasn’t cutting it.
For the past several years, I’ve run a Sovrn skyscraper banner ad on the right side of Financial Samurai to help monetize some of the empty space. It’s below the fold, and I haven’t played around with the spot much since it first went on. It generates somewhere in the vicinity of $0.50 to $1 RPM, which is very low, but not to be unexpected for a banner ad below the fold. But I figured, making several hundred bucks a month to fill up white space is better than making nothing at all. Maybe I’m wrong, but I’ve been too lazy to test things out until now. We should always be testing!
One of the presentations at the Sovrn conference by Pagefair was about the rise of ad blocking. Supposedly, there are some 250 million people who’ve now installed ad blocking software to create a faster, better web browsing experience. The number is only going up with the new iOS mobile software allowing for more ad blocking functionality in Safari. In the world where everybody expects everything to be free online, this is another invention that might further push independent publishers out of business.
It’s very hard to survive off banner ads. Dooce.com, one of the original blogs that started 14 years ago has given up regularly publishing on her site. She doesn’t want to publish sponsored posts where she and her children pose in front of products because it just felt wrong to her. Instead, she’s turned towards consulting and speaking instead. Read More
Let’s say you’ve quit your job to be a financial blogger, more specifically, a blogger that mainly writes about how to make money in stocks. Or maybe you’re planning on quitting your job to be an investing blogger. Please reconsider! With a 15%+ correction in the Dow Jones within three days, things are looking dicey.
We’ve seen a proliferation of stock market bloggers who’ve never worked in the industry and who’ve only seen an up market since they started within the past five years, give advice to thousands of readers. Some might not even have any formal college education. This is a very precarious situation for readers and blogger alike.
If you are an investing blogger, you’re going to face difficult times if you don’t diversify your content because people will just stop visiting your site if all you’re talking about is your latest stock purchase that is going down. When you’re losing money in the stock market, the last thing people want to do is talk about the stock market! Read More
After six years, I’ve average 3.5 posts a week on Financial Samurai. My frequency is generally M, W, F, and sometimes Sunday followed by M, W, F again. However, I have experimented with doing one post every two days for months at a time as well e..g. M, W, F, Sunday, T, Th, Saturday, M, W, F repeat.
During the first three years of blogging, my mindset was always “more is more.” The more posts you can publish, the more comments you can leave, and the more guest posts you can write, the better. I even encourage fellow Yakezie Members to write the most during the slow summer months in order to get that “slingshot effect” post Labor Day.
Now, I’ve changed my production thought process. I’d like to hear from you how your production thought process has changed as well. Read More
For the past month I’ve been driving for Uber anywhere between 5 – 15 hours a week. It’s been a very insightful experience, learning about the different types of passengers, as well as the reaction I get when I tell them I’m a blogger. I encourage everybody, rich or poor, to work a minimum wage service job if they ever want to regain some appreciation for what they have!
Most people react with indifference when I tell them I’m a blogger, with nary a follow up question asking what I write about. For those who do ask, I tell them I write about everything personal finance related. Some find it interesting, while most kinda let out a gruff of acknowledgement before looking back down on their iPhones.
The most common question I get is, “Can you actually make money blogging?”
I always respond with something like, “Yeah, a little bit here and there. It’s not easy because you’ve got to build up a lot of traffic, and that takes many years.”
The conversation rarely continues on the topic of blogging after I tell them it’s hard. I can hear them internally thinking, “Oh, this poor Uber driver who’s trying to make a living as a writer. Sucks to be him!” Read More
After publishing, Can Financial Samurai Be The Next Billion Dollar FinTech, I got a lot of feedback from readers about what I should do. After checking out the poll results and reading all the comments, I’ve come to the conclusion that a lifestyle business is absolutely the way to go!
For most of us, blogging is a fun way to connect with other folks and earn a few extra bucks. What I’ve noticed about blogs who pursue riches is that they ultimately lose their voice. Once you lose your voice, you lose your brand. And once you lose your brand, there’s no more fun because you’re simply doing everything for money. Read More
The Wall Street Journal announced on June 18, 2015 that they will be laying off roughly 100 staff and most of their personal finance journalists. The news isn’t a huge shock given Dow Jones’ results were down 11% YoY in the third quarter of 2015. But it was a surprise to see that most of their personal finance journalists will be let go if you follow the #WSJperfi hashtag on Twitter.
In a world where there’s not enough good personal finance education, it’s sad to see that there will now be even less by one of the best publications in the world. I’ve personally reached out to some of the reporters if they want to do some freelance work, but no responses as of yet. Here are some thoughts about the layoffs. Read More