How To Get Articles Featured In Google News

by in Lifestyle on Feb 26th, 2023

Something interesting happened recently. Three consecutive articles on Financial Samurai got featured in Google News.

They are:

2023 Tax Brackets: Best Income To Live Your Best Life

Why You Won’t Regret Buying Treasury Bonds Yielding 5%+

Only The Rich Or Fools Buy New Cars

Google News helped boost traffic to Financial Samurai by over 100,000 pageviews during a 10-day time frame. This traffic boost is significant given Financial Samurai only generates about one million organic pageviews a month.

Read More

2022 Blogging Year In Review

by in Lifestyle on Jan 1st, 2023

2022 was another good year for blogging. Yakezie continues to generate between $500 – $1,000 a month passively for over 10 years now. It’s not a ton of money, but it’s better than a poke in the eye!

After 13 years of blogging, I still think blogging is the wild Wild West. No expertise or authority is needed! So long as you can consistently write, your blog will grow and you will make money.

Despite Google talking about the importance of EAT, you can still game the search engines to generate more traffic. All you’ve got to do is a hire a bunch of SEO content writers, intralink your posts, and buy links.

OK, growing a blog isn’t as easy as I make it out to be. But it’s good to know that if I ever want to grow my sites, there’s a game plan for growth. It just costs money.

Read More

Platform Size Is More Important Than Quality For Online Success

by in Lifestyle on Dec 10th, 2022

Quality is overrated when it comes to making money online or writing a bestselling book. Instead, growing your platform size (your website and social media presence) as large as possible is the most important criteria.

We all know that bloggers can make a lot of money online. But after blogging consistently since 2009, there’s been an overemphasis on quality and an underemphasis on marketing.

Sure, Google keeps telling us that Expertise Authority Trustworthiness (EAT) matters. But after all these years, if EAT really matters, how can there be so many successful personal finance websites written by people who do not have finance backgrounds?

How can there be so many large websites with posts predominantly written by freelance writers with no firsthand experience?

The reason why is because the quality of content and the EAT of the author doesn’t matter as much as marketing and branding.

Read More

Are E-Courses A Scam? Be Careful Paying Lots Of Money For Online Courses

by in Lifestyle on Mar 10th, 2022

Given everything can now be learned online for free, are e-courses a scam? Depending on the price and the quality of the content, I say yes.

As content creators, one of the ways to make lots of money online is by offering an e-course. However, what if you are charging $1,000, $2,000, $3,000, $5,000 for an e-course? That amount of money seems usurious.

A lot of e-course creators have said they are creating these courses to help people make more money, save more money, and start their businesses. However, if they really wanted to help people, why not charge a more affordable price instead?

Here’s one perspective about e-courses and whether they are a scam by someone who paid $3,888 for one. He regrets purchasing the e-course.

Read More

Make More Money Online By Making Things Easy For Your Readers

by in Lifestyle on Aug 20th, 2021

If you want to make more money online you need to focus more on the basics. Make things as simple to read as possible. Further, make things as easy to do as possible.

I know a personal finance blogger who makes over $500,000 a year. He’s been making multiple six figures for over seven years now. Not bad right?!

It’s true. Bloggers make a lot more money than many people think. It’s incredible how much money so many people are making online these days.

The reason why he’s able to make so much money online is because his advice is easy to follow.

Make More Money Online With Simplicity

If you want to make more money online like my friend, focus on simplicity.

For example, he talks about frugal living and “living intentionally.” He focuses on all the easy stuff his readers can do to save money. Examples include:

  • Riding a bicycle, taking the bus, or walking
  • Clipping coupons
  • Increasing savings rate
  • Moving to a lower-cost area of the country
  • Living in a studio
  • Planting your own food and cooking your own meals
  • DIY home improvement work

All these things are easy to understand and easy to do. As a result, he’s been able to attract a much larger reader base. The reader base then act as evangelists by sharing his easy recommendations with their friends.

Even though he makes over $500,000 a year and lives a luxurious life, he keeps things stealth wealth. He stays on brand and presents an image of ultra frugality so as to not alienate his readers.

How To Not Make More Money Online

Conversely, if you don’t want to make more money online, focus on hard things. The harder the subject, the less people will read and share your work.

There’s a reason why it’s important to write in clear and concise language. Going above 8th grade reading with fancy SAT words is not recommended.

Here are some examples of harder subjects that do not resonate well with readers. The posts are long and the logic can be hard to follow.

If a reader can’t understand what you are saying, there’s also a greater chance they will get angry at you.

I’ve gotten mud slung at me with these posts. You can’t read the worst comments because they simply were not approved.

People trying to retire early hate my first post, despite all the logic. Renters in the U.S. and Canada hate my second post because it argues real estate prices will likely continue going up.

Strategically, I need to write more posts about how people don’t have to worry about their retirement. Saving less money is OK. This will help reduce anxiety and make them feel better about their progress.

I also need to write more posts about why renting is great and how the housing market could potentially crash and burn. People seem to enjoy the suffering of others to get ahead.

Write What People Want To Hear

Not only do you need to write more simply if you want to make more money online, you also need to write more of what people want to hear.

Instead of writing how $10 million is the ideal net worth for retirement, I should lower the bar so more people feel included. After all, more people can save $500,000 to live a Lean FIRE lifestyle versus $5+ million to live a Fat FIRE lifestyle.

Do the math if you want to make more money online.

My problem is that I just can’t help but speak my mind and tell the truth. I’ve already got enough passive retirement income to take care of my family. Therefore, I don’t have an intense craving to make more money online.

I like making money online. Don’t get me wrong. But I’m not obsessed with it to the point where I’m writing affiliate posts all day long. I just enjoy writing and thinking through interesting topics.

Think Long Term

But if I’m going to keep Financial Samurai going for another 20 years, I’ve got to think more strategically about the content I write.

I need to write more about what people want to hear, not an uncomfortable truth. My $500,000+ a year blogger friend who tells his readers not to worry about making more money is a genius.

If you want to make more money online, focus on the basics. Simple writing. Easy recommendations. Words that make readers feel good. People dislike hard and people who are doing things they can’t.

Does Expertise, Authority, And Trustworthiness (E-A-T) Really Matter For Google SEO?

by in Lifestyle on Jun 23rd, 2021

As I go through my pre-retirement checklist for life post-pandemic, the one thing I keep wondering is whether expertise, authority, and trustworthiness (E-A-T) really matters for Google SEO.

One of my goals after re-retiring is to stop writing 3X a week on Financial Samurai. Maybe’ll I’ll go down to publishing once a week instead.

I want to get out of the house more as economies open up. I might even be so bold as to fly somewhere with my young children! Nah, probably not.

Read More

How Are Bloggers Doing During The Coronavirus Bear Market?

by in Lifestyle on Apr 4th, 2020

As stock investments sell-off during this coronavirus-bear market, many are left wondering what’s the next domino to fall.

Real estate, my favorite investment class to build wealth, is in a precarious state. Real estate brokerage firms are hurting because volume has dried up as most of the country is under lock down. Prices have held up so far, but the bear market isn’t over yet.

The only real champion in this bear market is Treasury bonds followed by cash.

But what about blogging? The great thing about blogging is that you can’t shut it down! Valuations for blogs could actually go up given its high operating margin plus its ability to always stay open.

Here’s what I’m seeing in the blogging world in the coronavirus era.

Read More

The Best Way To Grow Your Blog Is To Not Blog About Blogging

Write About What People Care About

by in Personal Finance on Aug 9th, 2019

During my blogging journey since 2009, many blogs have come and gone. Blogging can be tough because being consistent is tough.

But ironically, one of the biggest mistakes I see bloggers make is writing too much about their blogging journey.

Unless you are a blog about blogging, readers want to read about everything but blogging. The more you write about how you’re monetizing your blog, the more readers will feel like you’re using them like guinea pigs.

If you start writing more about blogging you’re simply going to attract more bloggers to your blog.

When this happens, you better have a course or book about blogging for money. And you better have a huge blog with proof that your book or course works, otherwise, you’re never going to grow your blog. This is where the big mistake happens for most bloggers.

Your blogging readers may be supportive, especially if you have a larger blog. But they may also end up copying everything you do. For example, there are a couple bloggers who copy so much of what I do – from the topics, to the author bio at the end of each post with the same affiliates, and more Pretty interesting to see why they just can’t be original.

Readers who are bloggers are the minority. Therefore, writing content for the minority of your audience is a mistake.

The Key To Growing Your Blog

The key to growing your blog is to keep topics about blogging to a minimum. I would limit your content about blogging to less than 10% of all content. In other words, for every 10 articles you write in your niche, you can write one article about your blogging journey if you must.

At Financial Samurai, less than 2% of my articles are related to blogging. I’m hardcore focused on personal finance topics such as real estate crowdfunding, stock and bond investing, early retirement, career/severance negotiation, and estate planning. 99% of my readers come to Financial Samurai for personal finance topics, not blogging.

When I write about blogging, it fits into my Entrepreneurship category. If i dominate my writing about blogging, then I will lose my readers because I’m not blogging to make money blogging.

The more you blog about your area of expertise, the more you will make money blogging.

Now that Financial Samurai is a relatively large site with over 1 million organic visitors a month, I can now blog about blogging with credibility. I can also earn money about teaching others how to grow a blog if I wanted.

Too many bloggers make it a priority to make money blogging. This ends up killing their momentum due to a lack of credibility.

The Same Concept Goes With FIRE

As one of the early FIRE bloggers who focused on retiring early to do whatever you want, I don’t constantly write about FIRE because I’m interested in everything that comes after FIRE.

Despite not constantly writing about FIRE, Financial Samurai still benefits greatly from everybody searching online about the FIRE movement because of the older articles I’ve written about the space. A rising tide lifting all boats in our peak FIRE state.

Once a reader understands the concept of Financial Independence Retire Early, there’s really no need to keep on writing about FIRE. If you do, you’re just rubbing it in people’s faces.

Instead, the reader wants to learn about everything you have done before and after achieving FIRE. Post FIRE is where the real excitement lies.

Focus On Your Expertise

Yes, we all have dreams of making big bucks blogging in our underwear, overlooking the ocean with a tasty beverage. But extremely few will achieve this result if they just write about their blogging journey.

Write about what people care about the most in order to grow your blog the most. When you become a big blog, then write as much about blogging as your heart desires.

If your blog is not growing at the pace it wants, it’s probably because you are not providing as much value as you think you are.

The Original FIRE Bloggers And The Importance Of Branding

by in Lifestyle on Jun 6th, 2019

When I first helped ignite the modern day FIRE movement in 2009 with my motto, “achieving financial independence sooner rather than later,” I had somewhat of a dilemma as it relates to blogging.

Should I focus most of my writing on helping readers achieve FIRE? Or should I write about a variety of topics beyond FIRE that interests me and perhaps other people too.

In the end, I decided not to brand myself as a FIRE blogger because I really loved writing about real estate, stock and bond investing, alternative investing, career strategies, and now family finances.

I could tell people how I’m living my life, or I could just get on with things and live my life.

What I found after leaving my day job in 2012 and living off my passive income is that there’s really no fanfare once you achieve FIRE. You just get on with living your life how you wish.

Read More

How Bloggers Can Effectively Compete With Giant Media Outlets

by in Lifestyle on Dec 15th, 2018

A friend sent me this fascinating article called, How To Earn More Links: Adding Context To Content Analysis.

The article goes ahead and analyzes how smaller sites like Financial Samurai can compete with larger sites like CNBC, CNN Money, and the New York Times in personal finance related topics.

The first thing they did was search for retirement topics. Then the listed the top sites with the most Referring Domains to URL. Read More

The FIRE Movement Is Missing The Numbers

Financial Independence Retire Early Needs To Get More Real

by in Personal Finance on Oct 14th, 2018

I’m pretty pumped the FIRE movement is picking up steam as I’ve written about achieving financial independence since 2009 on Financial Samurai. Due to the increase in popularity, several of my old articles are being picked up and are being read via search engines again.

Major media outlets have e-mailed to republish some of those articles or have invited me to guest post. Man, haven’t done that in a while, probably since nobody asks me to guest post anymore. Guest posting once a year sounds like a good plan going forward.

Everybody wants to retire early, control their schedule, and be their own boss. It’s obvious why the Financial Independence Retire Early movement has finally taken off. The internet makes it easy for everybody to observe or follow along.

But what I’ve noticed is that instead of publishing numbers, bloggers would rather publish selfies of their fabulous lifestyles instead.

FIRE bloggers have turned into those insufferable friends on Facebook who can’t stop publishing photos of their vacations, their new wheels, their new hairdo, and how wonderful everything is. It’s amazingly one-sided and Instagram curated how early retirement has become. It’s off-putting.

Once you reach financial independence, there’s no need to incessantly tell everybody how financially independent you are. Get on with your lives. Write about other things instead. Maybe, you might even want to write some articles to help your readers achieve financial independence too! What a concept.  Read More

Why It’s Worth Starting A Podcast Even If You Aren’t Very Good

by in Lifestyle on Sep 18th, 2018

If there wasn’t already enough on my plate as a father to a newborn who publishes 3X a week, I decided to finally start a podcast on iTunes. Each podcast episode takes me about 30 minutes to 1 hour to record on average, due to all the many different takes.

The funny thing is, for the past year, I thought I had already had an FS podcast channel on iTunes because my random audio versions were showing up on my Podcast feed on my phone. Alas, I realized only I could see my audio versions and nobody else.

So finally, after being brutally honest with myself and listening to constructive criticism by my readers, I figured out how to set up my iTunes channel officially and get to work. Read More

Finally Updated To HTTPS: Key Things To Be Aware Of

by in Lifestyle on Aug 30th, 2017

On January 17, 2017, I published that I was delaying updating Financial Samurai to HTTPS. The reasons were simple:

1) I wanted to give my webmaster more time to gain experience doing the conversion to minimize screwups

2) My CPC ad provider wasn’t ready for the switch and said advertising revenue would go down ~60% – 70% if I made the switch

3) I wanted to give Google, WordPress, and all plug-in developers more time to update all their code for compatability

4) I wanted to see if new plug-ins or solutions would be developed to help streamline manual updates

5) I wasn’t convinced it was necessary since doesn’t sell anything except for one book

Then I got this message on Google Search Console: Read More

Blogging Is Like Fishing: You Never Know What You’re Going To Catch

by in Lifestyle on May 2nd, 2017

One of the things that helps keep me writing 3X a week for the past eight years is a simple visualization exercise. I imagine sitting at the edge of a cliff on a warm sunny day. I can see an island 80 miles in the distance because the air is crystal clear.

In my hand is a fishing pole. When I first began in 2009, the pole was only six feet long and it couldn’t even reach the water below. But now, the fishing pole is over one mile long with a cantilever surrounded by brackets of reinforced steel.

Every time I publish a post, I’m casting deeper and deeper into the ocean. Most times, I reel nothing back. Given I’m always hungry, the obvious move is to cast again until something is caught. I refuse to starve.

I know that somebody, somewhere will find something I write interesting. It’s an inevitability with over three billion people online. I just have to keep trying because once I catch one big fish, other big fish will follow. Read More

Why I’m Delaying Upgrading To HTTPS / SSL

by in Lifestyle on Jan 17th, 2017

Google and the SEO community have been encouraging website owners to convert from HTTP to HTTPS since 2014. The idea is to create a more secure internet so that hackers can’t steal passwords and information that users input online. It’s a good idea, but it’s not a thoroughly flushed out idea. As a result, it’s always better to wait until all the kinks are fixed before making any changes.

I thought long and hard about switching Financial Samurai to HTTPS when my private server administrator encouraged me to do so last November. But after reading every single authority article on the internet I could get my hands on about the topic since 2013, and going ahead and upgrading to HTTPS, I’ve decided to hold off for now.

Here are my reasons. Perhaps they pertain to you. Also, feel free to share more reasons why a publisher should or shouldn’t hold off. If you’ve made the switch, I’d love to hear about any snags you experienced, and whether you saw any apples for apples improvement in traffic.  Read More

Blogging Just Gets Better And Better Over Time

The Longer You Last The Better It Gets Online

by in Lifestyle on Aug 18th, 2016

When you first begin, blogging is like fishing off a canoe in the middle of a tranquil lake. Most of the time, nothing happens. You’ll just feel some little nibbles here and there. But fish long enough and you might catch something big enough to eat.

I’m envious of all you new bloggers. Every post you publish makes an incrementally huge difference to your growth. Every new reader brings new excitement and maybe even a potential new friend. Cherish these moments if you’re just starting your blogging journey.

Some of us burn out too soon. Others start lagging after doing the same thing for so long. I’m here to say that if you can get through the inevitable dip, blogging just gets better and better over time! Read More

Are Your Income Streams Diverse Enough To Make A Sustainable Income Online?

by in Featured on Jun 6th, 2016

Nothing is certain in the online world because new technologies and trends pop up all the time. Given we’re still in the early period of the Internet, it’s important to have as many different revenue streams as possible.

We know that CPC advertising (Google Adsense,, Lijit Networks, etc) is currently being assaulted by ad blockers. There’s already been a multi-year trend of ad blindness by consumers.

We’ve seen large sites like Dooce, fall because they weren’t able to adapt. And then there are those sites that overly focus on one affiliate partner for a large majority of their income. In business, we call this “client concentration risk.” If your partner shuts down, you’re screwed without a proper contingency plan.

Longevity is key to so many things. Warren Buffet says that “time in the market is more important than timing the market.” The same can be said for building a sustainable online businessRead More


Post More To Save More Time And Make More Money Online

by in Lifestyle on Mar 9th, 2016

One of the downfalls of writing meatier content online is that more readers aren’t able to get through the entire article. Everybody has ADHD nowadays thanks to the internet. Due to a lack of reader thoroughness, readers will increase their tendency to ask questions to answers that are already in the article. It’s a maddening time sink to explain what has already been explained.

Instead of capitulating by writing really easy to understand topics that are short, I’ve got a much better solution. Post more frequently! Read More

Make More Money Online By Creating Defensive Income Streams

Create A Better Online Income Allocation

by in Lifestyle on Feb 12th, 2016

With the downturn in the stock market, interest in financial products as measured by click through rates have declined. Why would anybody want to sign up for a robo-advisor now when there’s a higher chance of losing money? We all know we should continue to dollar cost average in a downturn, but at the margin, more people are afraid to invest in bad times than good times.

If you want to make a full-time income online as a blogger, or if you want to defend your income during difficult times, then it makes sense to write more defensive themed articles and highlight more products can help people survive a downturn. One article example is, How To Protect Yourself From A Mass Layoff. Read More

Inside Information On How To Make Money Blogging About How To Make Money Blogging

by in Lifestyle on Jan 14th, 2016

After seven years of blogging, I’ve decided to finally focus some energy writing about how to make money blogging. My online income is now greater than my passive income, which took 15 years to build. Meanwhile, 94% of the over 500 voters say they want to learn how to make their own money-making website in my latest poll. Therefore, I’m going to give my community what they want.

I’ve been reticent to build this portion of my online revenue income because I never got into blogging to write about blogging. It just sounds a little circular doesn’t it? Further, in order to write about blogging with authority it’s a good idea to actually have a lot of traffic and income from other sources BEFORE writing about making money blogging.

What I failed to realize over the years was that people really don’t care whether you have credibility or not when it comes to writing about SEO, online marketing, blogging, etc. Instead, people tend to want to be sold the dream of online riches. People visiting want so hard to believe in the ability to make lots of money online that they’ve already made up their mind once they get to your site! Read More

How To Get More Comments To Your Posts

by in Lifestyle on Dec 29th, 2015

I’ve noticed something quite peculiar. Despite my blog’s traffic up more than 10X in the past five years, the number of comments per post have declined. I used to regularly produce posts that would regularly get over 100 comments during my earlier years. Nowadays, not so much.

To figure out what went “wrong,” I did some investigating. Let me share with you what I found. Read More

Take Advantage Of The Opportunity That Smacks You In The Face Every Day

by in Lifestyle on Dec 3rd, 2015

In 2008, I was just another fan of personal finance blogs. I loved following people’s journeys to achieving a particular net worth goal or paying down boatloads of debt they mistakenly gotten themselves into. Then shit really started hitting the fan in 2009 as the economy collapsed thanks to folks over leveraging themselves in the housing market.

Fight or flight kicked in as my net worth got crushed by around 35%. Maybe the drop was worse if I actually tried to sell some of my holdings. Nobody was buying anything. Since I was already an avid reader of everything finance and personal finance related, I realized something quite interesting. Read More

Blogging Away The Income Gap For Financial Freedom

by in Personal Finance on Nov 16th, 2015

The great thing about a blog is that it’s always on. Unlike most of us, who run out of energy after 12 hours of work, a blog can keep working for us 24/7, 365 days of the year if our hosting company doesn’t crash! Good thing the data shows most sites are up 99%+ of the time.

Creating a money making universal soldier is one of the key points from showing income profiles of financially free people over on Financial Samurai. For some reason, there is so much pushback from folks who do not believe it’s possible to make a good living beyond the 9-to-5! 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

The Wall Street Journal Layoff Implications For Personal Finance

by in Personal Finance on Jun 19th, 2015

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

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

Feed The Trolls To Grow Your Website’s Traffic, Rank Better In SEO, And Make More Money!

by in Lifestyle on Apr 27th, 2015

The larger your website grows, the larger your website will likely continue to grow. It’s a virtuous cycle that makes blogging easier the longer you survive. You just need to get past that first two or three year wasteland, that most all of us go through where we wonder whether it’s all worth it or not.

If your website gets big enough, even 1% of your community who hates your guts will engender a lot of comments. For example, let’s say each article you publish garners 5,000 pageviews, 5% of your readers comment (250), and 1% of your commenters hate you. That’s 25 really nasty comments that when added together can probably combine for another full post! Read More

Are You Correctly Predicting The Future To Maximize Your Online Revenue?

Pick The Right Companies And Flourish

by in Lifestyle on Apr 16th, 2015

One of the big surprises to come out of blogging was not the realization that I could one day leave my full-time job in finance. That epiphany came when I received an advertising request on my iPhone while chilling at a bar on top of Santorini in the Fall of 2011.

The biggest surprise about blogging is its ability to be a dynamic resume to allow people to pivot into a new career!

One of the big reasons why I wanted to get out of the investment banking industry was because there was a loosening correlation between performance and reward. One would work harder, generate more revenue, and get paid less! That’s demoralizing. Ever since I left the banking world in 2012, there’s been report after report about how XYZ bank is downsizing its departments. I’ve also heard from old colleagues how their compensation continues to get squeezed.

Meanwhile, the consumption of online content continues to explode! Sites like Buzzfeed and Upworthy have come out of nowhere with mega valuations based on aggressive funding. Meanwhile, every week a new blogger is quitting his/her job to blog full-time. I’m bullish on blogging for the next 10 years, and I just wish I started Financial Samurai in 2003 when my father first suggested the idea instead of dilly dallying until 2009.

Financial Samurai now generates enough to put food on the table, without having to aggressively sell anything, work in an office, or report to anyone. It is a dream come true, and every day I thank my lucky stars.

What I’ve discovered is that to grow your revenue online, you’ve got to make educated guesses about the future. Read More

How Much Money Do You Need To Make Online To Be Happy?

The Various Stages Of Online Income Happiness

by in Lifestyle on May 13th, 2013

There are several research studies that point to $75,000 a year where happiness increases no further. The $75,000 is largely derived through day job income given most folks do not have any other income sources. I make an argument that $200,000 is the income level where happiness increases no further due to various tax credit and deduction phaseouts, AMT penalties, income tax targeting and general attitudes towards people making more than $200,000 a year. Here’s an income definition for what is considered rich as well.

So what about online income, especially if working online is just a hobby? Let’s discuss!


How To Write The Whale Post And Gain Lots Of Website Traffic

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!


If You Want To Get Rich, Stop Messing Around!

Why Be The Worst When You Can Be The Best?

After three open houses and a couple hours of analysis, I thought I picked the top 5 rental candidates with the best financial records, but I was wrong.  All was fine until my fourth and last open house when a 28 year old single guy who graduated from CalTech came in and applied.  He is a software engineer at Google and makes $450,000 a year!  What the……

In addition to his eye-boggling income, he has $400,000 saved up after 6 years of working.  Perhaps some of that is 401K or Google stock, but whatever the case, I was blown away.  The 35 year old cardiologist who makes $300,000 has nothing on this Google guy, partly because the doc is in so much debt and also because he is so anal!  After 20 questions, you’ve got to give a person some breathing room buddy.

When I went to business school, a third of my classmates were engineers because they were the smartest people who were “stuck” making $150,000-$200,000 a year.  They saw their less smart colleagues in sales and marketing move up in the firm and make $300,000+ a year and were envious.  These guys all got 730+ on their GMATs out of 800 and 3.8+ GPAs out of 4.0.  It seemed obvious to me they had a chip on their shoulder and felt like they should be running the place.

The Googler’s applicant simply shattered my belief that engineers face a ceiling.  If you are 28 years old and making $450,000, you are absolutely crushing it.  Only in industries such as private equity, money management, and banking do 28 year olds with 6 years of experience make this kinda dough.  Even if you went to Yale Law School and joined super prestigious Wachtel Lipton, you start off at around a $200,000 base (vs. $160,000 base for the other top 20 corporate law firms) and a potential $100,000 bonus.

The war for talent is on!  So what about the rest of us?


You Might Be A Blogging Addict If ……

Confessions Of A Blogoholic

by in Lifestyle on Feb 4th, 2011

I love blogging.  I love blogging so much that sometimes I forget to eat dinner because I’m busy responding to comments, writing posts, and socializing online with friends. If I was a high school student again, I think my parents would worry about my health and offline social life. I can hear my father now, “Sam, how about going outside and meeting some nice girl or something?”

We have three main verticals on Personal Finance, Lifestyle, and Writing Contest.  What I’ve come to realize is that we might very well be missing one of the most important verticals… Blogging!  After all, the Yakezie Network is a network of bloggers who are all trying to figure out how to improve our respective sites.

Writing is a lot about self-reflection.  How do I feel about this situation?  Why do things happen the way they do?  Will I ever be able to get ahead?  I think about things constantly and if I didn’t put anything down in writing, I’d miss out on so many things because thoughts come and go in a flash.

One evening, I was reflecting on whether or not I have become a blogging addict.  Spending an extra 20-30 hours a week in front of the computer seems kind of excessive frankly.  I want to make sure that I won’t be checking into rehab soon and came up with a list to check my pulse.  Won’t you have a look and share your thoughts?


Blogging Plagiarists, You Better Watch Out!

by in Lifestyle on Jan 8th, 2024

For bloggers engaging in plagiarism, whether through directly copying others or utilizing AI to generate spun content, caution is advised. The recent publicized case of Claudine Gay facing plagiarism accusations has stirred a response from Bill Ackman. Ackman is mobilizing his considerable resources to scrutinize academics at MIT and other institutions for potential plagiarism, employing AI to streamline the investigative process.

Following Business Insider and MIT’s pursuit of plagiarism charges against his wife, Neri Osman, Ackman is adopting a vigorous approach. With vast financial resources at his disposal, he could potentially fund the development of the next successful AI plagiarism detection startup. This development puts bloggers who engage in plagiarism and rely on AI-generated content under increased scrutiny.

Fighting Plagiarists of Financial Samurai

Financial Samurai has encountered thousands of instances of plagiarism in the past, with scraper sites regularly stealing and republishing articles word-for-word. Fortunately, search engines like Google and Bing are adept at identifying the original source, ensuring proper attribution in the majority of cases.

It’s anticipated that search engines will continue to evolve, becoming even more proficient at identifying and penalizing sites that plagiarize content. As a result, creators of original content can look forward to enhanced visibility in search rankings due to reduced competition from plagiarists.

Using AI to Generate Content at Scale

Utilizing AI to generate hundreds or thousands of articles for websites lacking established brands or history is predicted to be unsustainable in the long term. While AI can certainly be a valuable tool in content creation, its effectiveness is most pronounced when coupled with an already strong brand.

The overarching strategy should prioritize the long game — writing content that resonates with human readers rather than solely catering to search engine algorithms. If you have a habit of plagiarizing, I suggest you stop. Not only is it wrong, the search engines could easily punish your work and your site.

It’s not worth plagiarizing other people if you are blogging. The internet is open and for all to see.

The Future Of Claudine Gay

As for whether Claudine Gay should get a severance package if she is eventually let go, she probably will. The Harvard Corporation has been behind her all the way, so the very least they will do is give her a severance if they have to part ways.

But the best solution they’ve found is to have Claudine Gay return to her $900,000+/year job as a political science professor. Not bad.

Good luck!

Great Marketing Or Great Content: Which Is More Important For A Product’s Success?

by in Featured on Oct 2nd, 2023

Let’s say you’ve got a product. Maybe a new e-course, a personal finance book, or an e-book. Do you think great marketing or great content is more important to make your product sell?

For background on the great marketing or great content debate, I have been blogging on Financial Samurai since 2009. The site consistently gets over 1 million organic pageviews a month despite having never won an award. I also helped kickstart the modern-day FIRE movement in 2009, but seldom get any recognition for my efforts.

My e-book, How To Engineer Your Layoff, has generated more than $500,000 in operating profits. It is the only severance negotiation book of its kind. It continues to generate between $35,000 – $50,000 a year as it is in its 5th edition.

Meanwhile, my traditional book, Buy This, Not That, became an instant Wall Street Journal bestseller. Chances are high it will generate consistent royalties for the foreseeable future as it becomes a mainstay personal finance book.

Read More

Buy This Not That Book Review

by in Featured on Jun 8th, 2022

Hi everyone, Sydney from Untemplater here. I was lucky to get my hands on an early release copy of Sam Dogen’s upcoming new book Buy This, Not That. And I’m thrilled to give you a sneak peak into what the book is all about. Let’s dive in shall we?!

Overview: Buy This, Not That Book Review

In this review, I’ll cover the following topics:

  • Who is Sam Dogen
  • Topics covered in Buy This, Not That
  • Why you should read it
  • What other people are saying about it
  • How to order your own copy

About The Author

Sam Dogen is the founder of and has been writing about personal finance topics since 2009. What I love about Sam is he writes everything from firsthand experience, which is rather rare these days.

Too many bloggers, websites, and authors in the personal finance arena are impersonal, out of touch, and dry. I work in online media so I know of countless examples of articles that are written by outsourced freelancers with no personal expertise in the topics they write about.

Most of them are just googling and copying what other people have already written. How misleading and lame is that?

Read More
How To Negotiate A Severance Package
Top Product Reviews
  • Untemplater: Congrats on getting so many consecutive features on Google News! That’s phenomenal! Writing on...
  • Untemplater: You nailed it. I also believe great marketing is very helpful in the beginning but it’s really...
  • Jamie: Awesome insights thanks! I’ve been a big fan of Sam’s for years. Really exciting that he’s...
  • Untemplater: There are so many overpriced ecourses online it’s crazy. They use very aggressive marketing tactics to...
  • Andy: Thousand-dollar e-courses are a total scam. You can learn everything online for free. Shame on people who sell...
  • Untemplater: There are a lot of bloggers out there who focus on small stuff like should you or should you not spend...
  • Derek: It’s fascinating how some bloggers continue to just mindlessly pump out affiliate content. It’s clear they are...
  • Untemplater: Lots of valid points! So true that bloggers are a minority of overall readership, so blogging to much...
  • Bingo: You are spot on. Most of our bloggers are white people living on the coasts, where half the population of...
  • Financial Samurai: Hi Jim – Nice to hear from you. It was too much work running Yakezie. Too many people wanted...
China Wholesale

Help Support The Yakezie Network

Yakezie Membership Support

© 2024 | All Rights Reserved

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Contact Yakezie

Personal Finance Lifestyle Writing Contest

The Yakezie is one of world's largest and most sophisticated network of personal finance and lifestyle bloggers. Through collaboration and the selfless support of others, we strive to improve the lives of every one of our visitors.

About Yakezie