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

Implementing Chip and PIN Technology For Credit Cards To Protect Against Fraud In The US

by in Personal Finance on May 27th, 2014

Though chip, or EMV, technology for credit cards has been around since the 1990s, the United States has continued to rely on the traditional magnetic strip on the back of cards along with a signature for point of sale (POS) transactions. Some companies have “upgraded” their cards to include a chip but still require a signature, as opposed to a PIN, to complete the transaction. If you are a frequent traveler abroad, this technology isn’t as useful as many foreign countries employ a chip and PIN system to verify payments, which effectively renders a credit or debit card useless in certain places. However, from a security standpoint chip and PIN technology thwarts fraud better than the traditional swipe-and-sign method. 

How is Chip and PIN Technology Different? Read More

How To Win At Everything Online

As advised by someone who has never won anything online

by in Personal Finance on Mar 31st, 2014

One blogger I’ve been mentoring over the past year asked me the other day, “How can I ever win one of those blogging awards? I see some blogs get award after award and they aren’t that good. Their traffic isn’t that high and their content isn’t very original. Yet some sites have much better content and never win anything. What’s your secret for winning an award?

I thought about his question for a moment and answered, “First of all, we have a tendency to think we are better than we really are. Second of all, I’ve actually never won a single award in my five years of writing online. This is despite writing the majority of my content, coming up with new concepts, shying away from sponsored posts, and receiving a decent amount of visitors a month. Unfortunately, you’ll probably never win an award and neither will I because 1) we aren’t self promotional enough and 2) we don’t do enough to promote those in control of giving out the awards.”

We all know that people tend to hang out and support folks who look like them, talk like them, and share their same values. It’s just the way we humans are. My central thesis in “How To Get Paid And Promoted Faster At Work” has to do with spending at least 50% of your time selling yourself internally in order to get ahead in the workplace. The same theory applies if you want to win awards online. It’s understandable that the same type of people and blogs tend to win over and over again. We like what we know.

But as someone who left Corporate America to do my own thing, I’ve got close to zero desire to network for the purpose of winning an award. Networking for friendships and fun, yes. But for an award, not so much. And for this simple reason, no matter how good my content is or how large I grow, I don’t think I’ll ever win anything. It’s not that I don’t enjoy accolades, because I do. It’s just that the biggest accolade is simply site traffic.

The internet is as close to a true meritocracy as there is. Anybody can grow their sites with enough effort and good content because the search algorithms are much less biased than humans. I also like that I can’t buy my way to success by spending lots of money on Adwords to rank higher for organic keywords.

We aren’t blogging for other bloggers unless that is your niche. Most of us are blogging for the greater community based on our site’s genre. Of course there is some overlap, but if your site grows large enough, bloggers as readers should make up less than 5% of your daily traffic.

Read More

Another Reason To Focus On Affiliate Advertising And Not Direct Advertising

by in Personal Finance on Mar 24th, 2014

For a couple years I’ve been encouraging fellow bloggers to really de-emphasize sponsored posts and text link ads on their main site(s) – or sites they care about not getting crushed by Google. Google has helped expedite the decline of direct advertising with its frequent algorithmic changes and warnings. It’s understandable to go after the easy money, but I’m absolutely positive that as long as you focus most of your advertisement revenue on direct advertising, your content quality will suffer and you will never be able to “break out” and generate outsized traffic with a consistent revenue stream.

I don’t think hosting a link or sponsored post that is relevant and pertinent to your site once in a long while is necessarily a bad thing. There’s a lot of good content out there that can help readers, and it is your site after all. Just don’t over do it. Growth of readership is where you start making the really large money from CPM, affiliate income, and maybe CPC – I’m talking tens of thousands a month, which more people make than you realize. Most people who make such income just keep quiet.

The focus of this post is to highlight another reason why you should minimize direct advertising and maximize affiliate advertising based on my experience over the past two months.  Read More

How To Get A Day Job With Your Blog

Leverage Your Blog To Full-Time Employment

by in Personal Finance on Feb 27th, 2014

For those of you who’ve been following my writing on Financial Samurai, I recently announced that I’ve started a new part-time role as Personal Capital’s content manager for its blog called Daily Capital. I’d appreciate it if you could check it out and lend your support. Maybe even leave a comment or 10 so I don’t get fired too quick!

I’m very excited about the opportunity for several reasons:

1)   I believe in the product. Leveraging technology to grow your wealth and create a business to gather assets is a no brainer. Those industries who do not leverage technology will be left behind.

2)   The role is very similar to what I’m doing for Financial Samurai and the Yakezie Network, just with a massive clientele, and a large marketing budget.

3)   I get to physically interact with more humans, which I’ve found to be a necessity after working solo for almost two years. Full-time bloggers and freelancers know how lonely working online can get.

4)   There’s a challenge to build something meaningful. Daily Capital has a lot of upside due to the resource’s at Personal Capital’s disposal. They’ve got CFPs, PhDs, MBAs, and industry veterans all looking to share their knowledge. They just need someone to focus on executing the goals. There’s nothing more exhilarating than seeing things grow from hard work and creativity.

5)   The ability to finally experience San Francisco tech culture and grow my network. Working at a tech startup is on my bucket list. It would be a crying shame to live through the golden age of tech in SF and never experience what it was like.

From an employer’s point of view, it makes sense to hire someone who is a believer of the product, user of the product, has experience in the field they are looking to hire, and wants a challenge. So far, the fit has been great and I want to share with you thoughts on how I was able to get a “real” physical job using my blog.

JOBS BLOGGING COULD HELP YOU LAND Read More

How To Make Money Quitting Your Job
  • 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...
  • debt debs: OK thanks for the pointer. I’ve written something on my site and put the picture in there. When I...
  • Financial Samurai: Yeah, if the writer isn’t a fan of your site, forget about it. Hire someone who is!
  • maria@moneyprinciple: Sam, I’ve been thinking about this one on both sides – as someone who employs...
  • Untemplater: I’ve casually wondered about this a few times and you nailed it on the head with your list. Lots...
  • Financial Samurai: If you have your own account as a trusted freelance writer, then I would upload the pictures...
  • The College Investor: Great points Sam. There is so much money to be made freelance writing, especially as you build...
  • debt debs: Lots of good points, Sam. I never thought about doing an html and a word version, but that makes a lot of...
  • Stefanie @ The Broke and Beautiful Life: As a freelance writer, I always have two goals- to add value and to engage....

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