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.

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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 FinancialSamurai.com 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

What to Expect When You Invest in Real Estate

by in Personal Finance on Mar 6th, 2017

While the IRS considers receipts derived from real estate investments “passive income,” the fact of the matter is owning and managing property is typically anything but passive. And frankly, should you approach it as such, you’re likely to find success to be elusive.

With that said, if you’re wondering what to expect when you invest in real estate, the first thing you should anticipate is to be involved. Like any other investment, if you leave its management solely to others, you’re likely to find everyone involved is making good—except you. 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 Yakezie.com 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

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