How Important Is Social Media To Your Blog Or Business?

Maximize Your Use Of Time And Money Online

by in Personal Finance on Mar 2nd, 2015

As an online media consultant for several financial technology companies, I’ve been asked to think about existing traffic acquisition strategies and figure out better ways to utilize a company’s time and money to improve returns. I love analyzing data and finding solutions to increase ROI. As a problogger, leveraging my experience building Financial Samurai over the past six years to help other companies grow their brand and traffic online makes sense.

For the longest time, I’ve had a bias AGAINST social media. Who has time to tweet, like, flip, share, and do all that? Social media seriously feels like a huge time sink if you are just a one or two person show. The only platform I really use is Twitter, and even Twitter I feel is not a very good use of my time.

Look at what happens on social media:

* You open yourself up to social flaming wars

* You create stress by always feeling you have to respond to people

* The police come and arrest you once you tell everybody on Facebook you robbed a bank

* Given Facebook’s privacy settings are so confusing, Mark Zuckerberg’s sister didn’t realize the family photo she posted on her Wall was actually accessible to more people than she thought.

* You don’t get that much traffic back to your site, unless your site is really small, or all about social

There is social media overload, and I just don’t have time to run a Facebook page, Pinterest page, Twitter feed, Google+ page, and LinkedIn page to help those sites gain traffic. Instead, I’ve focused all my time just writing content on Financial Samurai and doing the basic social media publishing, but nothing more.

But some people are rockstars at social media and I wonder if it takes a certain type of personality to always be talking about yourself and your work online. I personally get sick of hearing myself speak, which is why I’m constantly looking for other viewpoints.

Let me share with you a spreadsheet I put together on various sites’ traffic figures, social percentage, and social percentage. Let’s see if we can glean any data together. Read More

High Paying Jobs For All Experienced Bloggers

by in Lifestyle on Feb 17th, 2015

Imagine having fun making money with your blog. You enjoy interacting with your community, responding to comments, writing posts, and highlighting products you think will help your readership. It’s rewarding to have your little slice of the internet universe.

Now imagine making money from your hobby and leaving a job you no longer enjoy for a high paying job that totally fits your blogging interests! So many people are stuck working at jobs they do not not enjoy – some even hate their jobs, but can’t break free due to all their financial responsibilities.

After 15 months of working with several companies in their respective marketing departments, I’m here to tell you that there is a world of fantastic, high-paying jobs out there that every blogger with at least a couple years of experience can have.

We bloggers are creatives and business people in one. We are the CEOs, CMOs, CFOs, COOs of our respective sites. There’s no better way to learn than to learn by actually building something from nothing. We’ve all built something from nothing, and that’s something we should all be very proud of.

I realize that not every blogger can generate hundreds of thousands of page views a month or make a hefty online salary. Some give up when they realize they could be making more at McDonald’s flipping burgers than blogging. But the biggest irony is that most of the successful bloggers who do end up making a lot of money don’t have the sole goal of making a lot of money in the first place. Their primary goal is to write, connect, and share their creativity.

Besides the lucrative Chief Content Officer, Chief Marketing Officer, or VP of Marketing officer positions, here are five more relatively high paying jobs for bloggers to pursue.  Read More

Why Every Company Should Hire A Blogger For $200,000 A Year

Bloggers Make The Best Chief Content Officers And Chief Marketing Officers

by in Lifestyle on Feb 2nd, 2015

There’s something going on in the corporate world that I’m not sure many of you are aware of. Harvard Business Review calls it, “The Content Marketing Revolution,” while Ari Levy from CNBC writes a great report encouraging firms to “Hire More Writers If You Want To Rank Higher On Google.” In essence, corporations of all sizes are beginning to spend A LOT of money on content marketing. There is now the newest C-level title of “Chief Content Officer” floating around Silicon Valley as companies are beginning to understand the power of story-telling, community building, SEO, social media, and ROI focused marketers.

For the longest time, I couldn’t find any other industry that paid as well as the finance industry. For example, first year analysts out of college are now earning $80,000 base salaries plus a bonus in finance. When I left Wall Street in 2012, Directors (one level above VP) were making $250,000 base salaries plus bonuses that could easily equal a full year’s salary or more. It was only a full year after I left the finance industry that I truly appreciated how good the compensation was.

All the tech jobs I was interested in after leaving finance “only” paid between $80,000 – $160,000 full-time plus stock options, which are a complete crapshoot. Those figures might sound like a lot to some who are not living in expensive San Francisco or Manhattan, but I can assure you that $80,000 – $160,000 is squarely middle class with real estate prices costing so much.

Given the compensation packages, I figured I might as well focus on my online media efforts instead of working for much less compensation in a new industry. But after I learned how much Chief Content Officers make at large companies, from talking to various industry people and after spending a full year consulting for a startup, I’ve come to realize that once again bloggers have another fantastic opportunity!

Read More

Yakezie Blogging 2014 Review And 2015 Outlook

by in Lifestyle on Jan 4th, 2015

Happy New Year!

I hope everyone is having a fantastic holiday season. For those of you who are busy publishing during the slow period, well done! You’ve just increased your chances of experiencing “the boomerang effect” where your traffic surges in the new year as readers come back and eat up all they’ve missed.

It’s always a pleasure to look back at what transpired in blogging land in general. Just the other day, I told my best friend while soaking in the outdoor hot tub how much I still love blogging after almost six years. The Yakezie Network will always be a free community where new and experienced bloggers alike can develop relationships and challenge themselves to develop their blogs into the best possible publications possible.

I’ll always remember how difficult it was to get started my first year with Financial Samurai. I was rejected from everything, including: blog carnivals, staff writing positions, and other networks/mastermind groups. In order to get accepted anywhere, my site had to already be established, so what was a newcomer supposed to do? It was the classic Catch 22.

My hope is that the Yakezie Network can help provide the tips, motivation, and support to make launching and surviving easier for you. Goodness knows that creating something from nothing takes a lot of hard work and determination. Let us never forget our roots, and our efforts to always try to selflessly help others. Read More

My 4-Month Experiment Not Using A Comment System – Was It Effective?

by in Lifestyle on Dec 4th, 2014

On June 2nd of this year, my inbox pulled in an email with a link to an article with this headline: “Your Comment System Is Killing Your Discussions and Community Building Efforts.” I was immediately intrigued for two reasons. One, it was written by Sam for the Yakezie network which I had most recently joined. I love Sam’s writing and the ideas he puts forth so naturally I was going to read.

I also was interested because I was using the DISQUS commenting system on my blog at the time. I had installed that at the very beginning of Luke1428.com after doing some reading about how to monitor the comment section of a blog. DISQUS was promoted in the literature I read as being a system that 1) helped block spam, 2) raised the quality of conversation by weeding out gutter-trash commenters, and 3) provided options for monetization if the user wanted to go that route. Plus it was being used by several well-respected and highly trafficked blogs I was reading at the time. So I thought if it’s good enough for the bigwigs it’s good enough for me.

But I suspected Sam had an ulterior motive for preaching against comment systems. A few weeks prior to his post, we had an email exchange one day because he couldn’t log on to DISQUS at my site and make a comment on one of my posts. After several emails we eventually got it worked out and he left a comment. But I was frustrated one of my users had to go through that mess just to comment and I’m sure he was a tiny bit annoyed as well.

So I figured when I clicked to read the article that DISQUS and all other third party comment systems would be skewered. I was right.

In general, Sam’s main argument for abandoning comment systems is that they put up a wall to engagement in that a potential user has to register with the system to comment. They must keep track of their username and password at all times if they want to join the discussion. Many people will balk at that request, refuse to comment and thus the discussion and community building efforts are hindered.

Sam admitted to me in response to my comment on that post that his observations were anecdotal, based solely on his own experience. So I decided to run an experiment to put some data behind his observations. Perhaps then I could find out if DISQUS had actually been hurting my community building efforts.

On July 12th, I scrapped my DISQUS commenting system in favor of the traditional WordPress commenting platform. All the original comments transferred over without problem. The only addition I made to the system was adding the CommentLuv plugin, which allows other bloggers to leave a link to their most recent post when they comment on your article. Read More

How To Make Money Quitting Your Job
  • Vawt: I think social media cannot be ignored. You may not have to make it a priority, but if you put in some effort...
  • Untemplater: I’ve prioritized content over social media for a long time mostly because I had limited hours and...
  • Barbara Friedberg: Hi Sam, I really enjoyed your encouraging article. Personally, two of the greatest opportunities...
  • Financial Samurai: Good luck on the new adventure! No better way to learn than to actually do, screw up, learn, and...
  • Financial Samurai: Don’t be scared Eric! There is so much opportunity out there, with decent pay nowadays.
  • Untemplater: Lots of opportunity out there, that’s for sure. Blogging has certainly taught me a lot of skills I...
  • Eric - PersonalProfitability.com: Great post Sam. I’ve toyed with the idea of moving from finance to a digital...
  • LaTisha @YoungFinances: Welcome! I can definitely relate to the student debt issue and graduating into a rough...
  • Financial Samurai: Right on Derek. I’m not sure many bloggers who’ve been around know their worth or true...
  • Derek@LifeAndMyFinances: When I saw this article come through, I absolutely loved it and read it in its entirety on...

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