How To Find Your Niche In The Vast Caverns Of The Internet

by in Lifestyle on Oct 12th, 2015

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

How To Survive The Rise Of Ad Blocking

by in Lifestyle on Sep 13th, 2015

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., 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

How To Survive A Stock Market Correction As An Investing Blogger

by in Personal Finance on Aug 24th, 2015

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

Why Bloggers Still Don’t Get Much Respect

by in Lifestyle on Jul 28th, 2015

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

How To Get Bloggers To Write About Your Company Or Product

by in Lifestyle on May 20th, 2015

The larger your site grows, the more inundated you will get with requests to highlight a product, company, or service. It makes sense given your sphere of influence has grown. And as your sphere of influence grows, so does your revenue.

But not everything has to be about making more money online. I write mostly because I enjoy writing and interacting with people. If I didn’t, there’s no way I would have gotten through the first several years earning minimal income. There’s also no way I’d keep going after six years on Financial Samurai if money was the main object because I’ve turned down multiple seven figure offers already.

Selling an income producing asset when rates are this low is a suboptimal financial move. Once you sell, you’ll scratch and claw to try and replicate your business success to no avail. Besides, valuations for online media properties are skyrocketing with the bull market. We’re talking 10X or greater annual revenue multiples now compared to 5X or lower before 2012.

Enough about the joys of blogging. If you’re a publicist or marketer, I’d like to provide some tips on how you can get influential bloggers to write about your product! This post is a way to help you, and also help us bloggers who get inundated with uninspiring requests every day.  Read More

How To Negotiate A Severance Package
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