Financial advice from my father (when I was nineteen)

sourced from: https://www.getrichslowly.org/financial-advice-from-my-father/

Dad at work in his shop“Who was there for your father when he died?” Kim asked me a few moments ago. She’s interested in becoming a death doula, so she’s reading a book about end-of-life care.

“It’s odd you should ask that today,” I said after I told her the story of my father’s six-year battle with cancer.

“Why?” she asked.

“Today is the equivalent day in my life as the day when Dad died in his,” I said. “It’s ten days until I turn fifty. Dad died ten days before his fiftieth birthday. So, it’s a somber day for me. I’ll be thinking of him all day.”

Actually, I’ve been thinking of Dad all week.

It started when I published Naomi Veak’s story about how she learned to stop feeling hopeless about money. In that article, Veak shared a letter her mother sent her when she was nineteen years old. Veak was a poor kid at a rich school, and she was struggling to figure out finances. Her mother offered some words of wisdom.

I had the exact same thing happen to me at the exact same age at the exact same college. I was a poor boy at this rich school. During my sophomore year at Willamette University, when I was nineteen, my father wrote me a letter filled with financial advice.

Today seems like a good day to share it with you folks.

Everything that follows — starting with the title “J.D.’s Points to Ponder” — is from my father except that I’ve added a few notes in order to provide context to some of the things Dad wrote. (If you’re super interested, I’ve uploaded a PDF version of Dad’s letter.)

Here’s my father’s financial advice to me when I was nineteen years old. (This is unedited. All misspellings are his.)

J.D.’s Points to Ponder

Warning — Make sure you read them all. There may be some surprises in them so read them all or you will miss them.

Letter from Dad

#1 Your scholarship is irreplacable. There is no way that you or I can make up $9500.00 a year difference. Study comes first. Before you panic, read on. I hear you talk about working and unless I missed something somewhere you are talking 32 hours a week at least or was that 24 hours a month on campus?

J.D.’s note: I was fortunate to attend Willamette on a full merit scholarship, otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to afford it. During my sophomore year, I really did work 32 hours per week. I worked three (sometimes four) part-time jobs.

#2 You were successful at saving a little over $1000.00 this summer. That’s an achievement for you. We will try to do better next summer won’t we.

Letter from Dad

#3 Nutrition is important. Don’t slight it. It is your body that supports your mind. If you slight your body you slight your mind so eat your green beans.

#4 Wear clean underwear.

#5 You used to play lots of video games. One of them had a rocket and you had an energy level you had to worry about. Energy was used to travel and to shoot at the enemy. Life is a big videogame. In our society money is the energy. There are certain things you have to or should do so make sure don’t shoot so many asteroids just for the fun of it that you deplete your energy level and someone has to flash on your screen —GAME OVER—.

Letter from Dad

#6 Girls can be handy. They are nice to talk to and smooch and some times they take pity on poor helpless males and cook them a meal + iron for them.

#7 I have two ounces of yellow metal left among other things. A good inducement to get your father thinking the right direction would be for you to make a budget and keep track of how well you stick to it.

J.D.’s note: As I’ve mentioned before, my father was into gold. But he was dumb about it. He bought high and sold low. Here, he’s suggesting he might give me an ounce or two of his gold if I keep a budget.

#8 While we are on the subject let me throw out some ideas that would point to reasons for subconscious compulsive spending.

Letter from Dad

a. When you were little mom was busy in the business and would buy you a new toy almost everyday. It was a way of saying “I feel so guilty — here, this toy is my love for you.”

Your dad played the same game only it was in large a grand ways — tropical fish instead of gold fish etc.

The result would be a compulsion to spend when lonely. The cure is to “look at them and sigh and know they love you.” You are a big boy now and it is time to say goodby to that part of parenting you never had. Please don’t wait till you’re 40 to do so. I can think of a zillion mistakes we made but I will guartee [sic] you that we did the best we knew how. The answer is for you to identify and acknowledge the mistakes for what they are. Then you will be able to see the love that was there too and compulsion will leave.

b. Don’t forget the Saint Helens tee shirts. I can bet you tap into those feelings a dozen times a day as you walk around campus and compare your situation with that of some of the others. Spending and collecting is a way of trying to prove that you have it too.

J.D.’s note: In 1980, things were especially tight for my parents. Dad was unemployed and there was little money to buy clothes for three growing boys. Before I started sixth grade that fall, Mom shopped the close-out racks. Some of the t-shirts she got me commemorated the Mount St. Helens eruption a few months earlier. I hated those shirts and was embarrassed to wear them, but my parents made me do so.

Cure

If this is the case the cure is to focus on the objective — getting through school — and realizing that the “it” that they have is privelege that come with wealthy parents. No matter what you spend you will not create wealthy parents. Focus on the “it” that you have that no amount of money can buy. Looks, brains, nice to be around, kindness, talent to name a few. Just remember, “you never saw a fish wishing he were a frog.”

J.D.’s note: Looking back with 2019 eyes, I find it interesting that my father mentions “privilege” here. Remember, Dad had a love-hate relationship with wealth. He wanted to get rich himself, but he resented the folks who already had money.

Letter from Dad

#9 Your parents love you! We talk about you everyday. it wouldn’t hurt to call sometimes and invite them down for a minute or two. They might come with bags of groceries in each arm.

#10 I know the time will come when you may go on an adventure such as a move out of state or a trip to Australia or whatever else crosses that mind of yours. We will probably throw out all kinds of cautions. That’s just what parents do but follow your dreams anyhow. Please don’t ever move off without letting us know where you are and dropping a note once in a while just to say your OK. Parents have spent 18 years listening to your every breath and loosing sleep if you missed a breath and they just can’t get out of that habit easily. You can do most anything you want and you will have our approval as long as we know you are OK.

#11 We need to get the title transfered on the car + some repairs made soon. The new guy I hired is also a mechanic so plan a Saturday out here real soon.

Letter from Dad

#12 If you maintain your apartment address over the summer it may be worth $3500 in grants next fall. You can come stay with us but you need to prove you are living on your own to be considered on your own income.

Final Thoughts
Looking back, it’s clear that I inherited most of my money blueprint from my mother and father. I picked up the same bad habits they had. But being a poor boy at a rich school led me to develop some new bad habits of my own. Dad could see these bad habits forming and was trying to help me before I got into trouble.

I didn’t heed his advice, obviously, and so ended up deep in debt. How would my life have been different if I’d listened to his words of warning? I don’t know.

Although my relationship with Dad was strained at the end of his life, I admired him a great deal. He had his faults — including poor money skills — but he was a dreamer, and he loved his family.

The post Financial advice from my father (when I was nineteen) appeared first on Get Rich Slowly.

How to Audit Your Website for SEO and Higher Conversions

sourced from: https://www.incomediary.com/audit-your-website

Failing to regularly audit your website for SEO and Higher Conversions is not an option!

According to econsultancy.com only 2% of website owners are happy with their conversion rates, and 77% of online businesses are neutral or unhappy. Another interesting stat from their report and one that we emphasis here is that:

Companies that are improving their conversions typically use 35% more methods than their counterparts who are not seeing conversion rates change positively.

Put another way – it pays to take the time to focus on Conversion Rate Optimization.

If you’ve never done a website audit or taken Conversion Rate Optimization seriously before, now is the time.

What is a Website Audit?

According to hubspot.com:

A website audit is an examination of page performance prior to large-scale search engine optimization (SEO) or a website redesign. Auditing your website can determine whether or not it’s optimized to achieve your traffic goals, and if not, how you can improve it to increase performance.

Gone are the days of keyword stuffing, spammy links and using different micro-sites to get traffic.

The ranking factors have changed greatly.

Websites are mobile-friendly and optimized for user intent.

Each search engine has its own algorithms which are regularly changed with updates – but lets face it, at this present moment it is Google that will drive most of your traffic.

For that reason – the No1 SEO Bookmark that every owner needs to visit regularly is: Google Search Console

Meaning, you don’t have to guess what Google wants from your website!

website audit

But algorithms are one thing, and it’s totally another when your competitors are doing a better job of ranking that you are.

That’s where a website audit comes into play. A regular website audit will help you check out the health of your website, how it ranks, and prevent from destroying the flow of qualified traffic to your site.

The Advantages of Website Audit

Before we dive into the things you should focus on while auditing your site for high conversions, let’s see some benefits from a marketing perspective:

  • Website audit allows you to evaluate the effectiveness of your site regarding conversion and lead generation. You can discover some opportunities that you can miss to turn visitors into leads or sales. Examples include adding some effective Calls To Actions [CTA’s] or one of the best we know off – Send a cart abandonment email. This is an email you send to someone who went to your checkout page or gave you their email but for whatever reason did NOT buy.
  • Website audit allows you to evaluate the technical performance and infrastructure of your website, how friendly it is for search engines and how it is easy for users to navigate and find relevant information on your website.
  • Website audit allows you to detect any SEO and content-related mistakes throughout your website, and get actionable recommendations to improve your SEO efforts.

The evaluation of the technical and content aspects of your website provide great possibilities to both dramatically increase your conversions and traffic to your website.

So no question about it – having your own website audit is worth it!

Let’s see how well your website is optimized and what you should primarily audit for high conversions:

1) Website Audit – Site Navigation

It is important to evaluate how users navigate your site – from your main page to blog posts, landing pages and other related content and figure out how easy they access the point of sale, download or a newsletter sign up. Analyze whether your site is optimized for maximum usability. The more visitors you can get to your website, the more opportunities you will have to convert leads into customers.

The overall navigability should coincide with what goal a user would visit your site to look for some information. In this case, each business will pursue its individual business goals. But the main purpose for any business is to make it easy for users to find necessary information they are searching for.

White auditing your site for usability, focus on the following things:

  • Intuitive and simple web design and consistent page layout.
  • The ability to access your value proposition via your main navigation.
  • Your landing pages are not over-saturated with ads, links or CTAs. [You will note that with the exception of perhaps one recommended product there is no left hand or right hand navigation on this website]
  • Your checkout or shopping cart processes are intuitive. [and you have a system for following up cart abandonment]
  • How many steps it takes for a user to convert.

Do some testing with your target audience to ensure that you’re effectively addressing the content they are searching for, and that it is easy for them to find the interested parts of your website such as pricing, product information, testimonials, blog posts, etc.

2) Website Audit – Website Speed

You know that people are very impatient. The longer it takes to load a web page, the higher the chance users will visit a site less often. Make sure that optimized and fast-loading websites can reach higher conversions, engagement and retention.

For this use: Google’s PageSpeed Insights

Audit Your Website for High Conversions

Google’s PageSpeed Insights will give you a quick overview of your web page’s load time, how it is performing against other websites and optimization recommendations you need to implement to increase your speed.

For Example: you might need to optimize your image files, compress your Javascript or enable text compression.

Audit Your Website

Related: 18 Things Making Your Website Slow and 16 Ways to Speed Up Your WordPress Website Today!

Top Tool for SEO Audit: SEMRush (one of our favorite tools)

3) Mobile-friendliness

As you know that the usage of mobile internet continues to grow. And with the mobile-first index, it becomes more important to make sure that your website performs well on mobile.

60% of all searches are now from mobile devices.

So, websites must be optimized for mobile and show their content to the largest possible audience.

To find out whether your website is mobile-friendly, you can use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test.

Audit Your Website for High Conversions

It takes a few seconds to get results. If your website isn’t mobile-friendly, you will get recommendations how to fix these mistakes and improve the current state of your website.

4) Content quality

Do you really have a high-quality content on your website?

To answer this question, you should audit your content that you’re publishing to see if it’s actually tackling your audience’s problems.

Evaluating your content for quality, try to answer these questions:

  • Are you satisfied with the information you’re getting from the website?
  • Did you get answers for all your questions?
  • Did it help you solve the problems?
  • Do you find all relevant resources to this topic?
  • Do you know what to do next?

Here are quick tips to create remarkable content:

  • Think from your users’ perspective.
  • The content should meet users’ interests, problems and needs.
  • The content should be aligned with the users’ understanding of subject matter and your users’ stage in the sales.
  • The content should provide interesting, valuable and detailed information about a certain discussion point.
  • Give users to take next steps (links to other blog posts, calls-to-action, etc.) before leaving.

When editing your website here are three good questions to ask yourself:

  • Does it tell?
  • Does it serve the content?
  • Does it serve the reader?

5) Audit Your Website For Conversion Potential

Are your website optimized for conversions and lead generation? If yes, just go past.

But if you still have a doubt of it, let’s do it.

Effective calls-to-action, landing pages and marketing offers – all these things play an important role in maximum conversion potential and the performance of your website.

To audit your conversion potential, think about the following questions:

  • Do you effectively use your CTAs? Do you lose opportunities to embed a call-to-action on your website pages?
  • Do you offer different value propositions to attract different buyer personas?
  • How well are your landing pages optimized?
  • What conversion opportunities do you have for visitors at various stages of the funnels?

Related: 18 Ways To Optimize Your Website For More Traffic and Higher Conversions

It’s not enough that you have a variety of opportunities to retrieve all your visitors’ information so you can follow up and continue to conversion, but you should make your visitors engaged with your content and your brand.

To figure out what will work best for your site, testing is the best option to create a highly converting website. You can use third-party tools like Optimizely (paid) or Google Optimize (free).

website audit requirements

6) When You Audit Your Website – Review Website Error Messages

Imagine that response error messages are constantly popping up across your website where they shouldn’t be, or even if you checked and fixed all links, you can’t control other people’s misspellings. And people can go to a web page that doesn’t exist. In this case, using 302, 404 and 500 status codes can be a good indication for users that something is wrong.

Getting an error page is really annoying for users trying to reach a web page on your website. It is important to create a custom 404 page for those users with some fun text, images and links to make them feel less frustrated.

Once you get a 404 page, you can reinforce your brand, and let Google follow to your main page and beyond.

To detect any error messages on your site, you can use SE Ranking SEO Audit to get a general overview of your site’s strengths and weaknesses.

error messages on your site7) Website Audit For Broken links

Website with logical hierarchies can help improve SEO rankings and conversions.

Here is what Marco Robles from LawRank says on the subject:

“Links are the same things as having a bridge to your site. If people can’t get there, you can’t get their money. Moreover, Google hates broken links, and they can result in bad user experience”.

That’s why it is important to do SEO audit to detect broken links and rebuild that bridge to your site. Tools like Google’s Webmaster Tools can help you find broken links on your site. Just go to the Crawl -> Crawl Errors section, and you will get a list of all web page errors.

Audit Your Website

Conclusion

Everyone knows that it is essential to audit your website if your want to keep up your SEO to get qualified traffic and convert these qualified visitors into paying customers. Market trends, competitors, search engine algorithms and best strategies are always changing. To get success online, you should follow these changes and update your website.

Doing website audits aren’t easy as might appear at first sight. To simplify the audit process, you can use website audit tools and this quick checklist. That will help you optimize your web pages to facilitate conversions and increase your SEO ranking.

Final Thought:

“That which is measured, improves. That which is measured and reported, improves exponentially.”

– Pearson’s Law

The post How to Audit Your Website for SEO and Higher Conversions appeared first on How To Make Money Online.

10 Little-Known Ways to See How Much Traffic a Website Gets

sourced from: https://www.incomediary.com/how-much-traffic-website-gets

When the average person visits a website for the first time, their eyes follow an F-pattern.

When I visit a website for the first time, I look at something else. In less than a second, I have a decent idea of how much traffic that website gets which helps me decide whether or not to stay.

Knowing how much traffic a website gets helps you validate the website’s content and lets you know how much traffic you need to get to see similar results.

Here are ten little-known techniques for figuring out how much traffic someone else’s website gets.

By the way, SEMRush is my favorite tool.

1. Alexa Ranking

The Alexa Ranking isn’t exactly “little-known,” but it is the best-known metric for ranking websites. This is the first thing I look at when I visit a site:

Alexa tracks stats for everyone who has the Alexa toolbar installed on their browser, which accounts for less than 1% of internet users. So it’s not very accurate, but it’ll give you a rough idea of the website’s popularity.

  1. If you use Chrome, install the Alexa Extension.
  2. If you use Firefox, get the Alexa Add-On.

Alexa Ranking Icon

Alexa’s reliability is shaky – some argue that it’s worthless – so it’s important to consider other metrics.

2. SEMRush.com

My favorite tool for website-based keyword research is SEMRush.com. Here’s a screenshot when you search IncomeDiary.com:

Semrush gives you a lot of information on a websites search engine rankings, how much traffic they get for those rankings, competitors, paid advertising, backlinks and so much more.

As you can see from the screenshot above, IncomeDiary ranks 1st for “how to make money from a website,” 4th for “famous entrepreneurs,” and 11th for “business movies.” Those are highly competitive keywords that are collectively searched over 10,000 times per month.

As you go down the list, you can start to estimate how much traffic he gets for each keyword based on the position and search volume.

3. SimilarWeb.com

SimilarWeb is a website traffic checker that’s similar to Alexa, except, it’s got a lot more detail put into it, so it’s more accurate!

ID SimilarWebThe main takeaway is that it gives you a line graph with values for the number of daily unique visitors and the sources. You can see the countries that your traffic comes from, top referring sites, the top destination sites (sites people visit after yours), display ads, audience interests, and up to 10 organic keywords with the free version.

4. Ahrefs.com

Without a doubt, Ahrefs is one of the best tracking tools I have ever used! This software provides such a wealth of website traffic information. You can find out:

  • New, lost and broken backlinks.
  • Domains sending the most traffic to a site.
  • Search engine rankings.
  • How much traffic a search engine ranking is getting a site.
  • Pages from a site getting the most traffic.
  • You can compare website rankings vs competitors.

And so, so much more…

Not only is Ahrefs great for tracking competitor websites, it’s also a huge help when it comes to figuring out how to improve your own sites!

5. SE Ranking

SE Ranking is somewhat similiar to SemRush and Ahrefs. They give you a great amount of detail about your competitors organic and paid traffic.

They tell you how high your websites and your competitors websites are ranking and how many people are looking at that search term. A great tool, that seems to be growing in popularity.

6. YouTube or Vimeo Views

If a website has a YouTube or Vimeo video embedded on the homepage, click to “Watch on YouTube.”

Dollar Shave Club YouTube Video
If the video is public, both YouTube and Vimeo will show the view counts. Also check the upload date to estimate how many people view it per month.

Dollar Shave Club YouTube Views
Just because the homepage Dollar Shave Club video has almost 4 million views doesn’t mean that their site had 4 million views. But it gives you some idea of how much traffic they got in their first month.

7. Blog Post Comments

Another way to gauge the popularity of a blog is to look at how many comments it gets per post.

With my sites, I’ve found that an average of 1 out of every 200 readers leaves a comment. So a post with 20 non-Nicholas comments was viewed about 4,000 times. This changes with every post and every blog, but again, it gives you a general idea.

8. Total Comment Counts

Immediately after you comment on a WordPress blog, your browser redirects you to where your comment will show up. If you look at the URL, you’ll see something that looks like this:

Total Comment Counts

The second half of the URL tells you that you left the 108,656th comment on IncomeDiary.com. This number includes spam comments. Assume that 75-90% of the comments are spam and you can get an idea of how many comments a site has had since day one.

9. Search for Interviews

A large percentage of successful website owners do interviews, talking about how they built their site and what works for them. Often, they will share not only how much traffic they get, but also where it’s coming from.

You can see some examples of bloggers talking about how much traffic they get by looking through some of the interviews we have conducted for IncomeDiary.

In my experience, a lot of people are more open about sharing traffic stats then you would think. You see this not just in interviews but if you peruse through the archived articles on a blog, there’s a good chance you’ll stumble upon a “blog in review” or “traffic report” post. With those stats, you can start to figure out how much traffic the site is getting today.

10. Check “Advertise Here” Pages

By far, the most accurate way to figure out how much traffic a website gets is to go to their Advertising page.

If a blog is trying to sell advertising space, they need to tell you exactly how many unique views and impressions your ad is going to get every month.

If you sell advertising space on BuySellAds, you need to share your monthly unique and monthly impressions.

The Final Word

Unless the owner of the website reveals exactly how much traffic they’re getting, every other figure is a best guess. Most tools are surprisingly inaccurate when it comes to generating stats. They are good, however, for comparing yourself against others.

Do you know of any other ways to figure out how much traffic a site gets?

The post 10 Little-Known Ways to See How Much Traffic a Website Gets appeared first on How To Make Money Online.

Best Egg Loans Review

sourced from: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/thesimpledollar/~3/cNuYTMwpQJE/

Best Egg is a highly-rated direct lender who offers personal loans through a simple, fast process that can be completed entirely online or over the phone. The company is famous for sending out targeted snail mail outlining their loan offerings, but they also offer a robust online platform that makes researching and comparing loan options a breeze.

As of early 2019, Best Egg has funded over $6 billion in personal loans throughout the United States. They have also served over 450,000 customers and still manage to have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. Across several loan review platforms (including TrustPilot), this personal lender boasts mostly positive reviews. Considering Best Egg was founded in 2014, the company has come a long way in a short amount of time.

If you’re in the market for a personal loan because you want to consolidate debt, remodel your home, or finance a major purchase, Best Egg may have the perfect loan for your needs. Keep reading to learn what Best Egg is all about, who this lender is best for, and how to apply.

Best Egg Personal Loans: Key Takeaways

  • Best Egg is a direct lender, meaning you can apply for one of their loans without dealing with a third party.
  • Borrow between $2,000 and $35,000, depending on your loan needs, credit score, income, and other factors.
  • Fixed interest rates are offered between 5.99% and 29.99% depending on your creditworthiness.
  • Pay an origination fee of 0.99% to 5.99% of your loan amount.
  • Repay your loan in 3-5 years.
  • Get pre-qualified for a Best Egg personal loan without a hard inquiry on your credit report.

Best Egg: Personal Loans Without the Hassle

A personal loan may not be the ideal solution for everyone, but this dynamic loan option can work well for a certain type of borrower. Many consumers prefer personal loans over credit cards since they offer fixed interest rates that tend to be lower than the variable rates credit cards charge. Personal loans also come with fixed monthly payments and a fixed repayment schedule, meaning you’ll never be surprised by how much you owe — and you’ll know exactly when your loan will be paid off. For that reason, many consumers consider personal loans the “safer” option when you absolutely have to borrow money no matter what.

While personal loans are generally a convenient financing option regardless, Best Egg takes the convenience factor of these loans a step further. The direct lender offers a seamless online application process that can be completed without ever stepping into a bank. This means you may not have to talk to anyone throughout the application process or the funding of your loan, provided you don’t have any questions. If you are approved, Best Egg may also be able to transfer funds electronically to your bank account in as little as 1 business day.

To qualify for a personal loan from Best Egg, you’ll need a minimum credit score of 640. Considering the average credit score in the United States was 704 last year, this means many consumers can qualify for a Best Egg loan, provided they meet the other requirements. Speaking of that, qualifying for a personal loan from Best Egg also requires a steady source of income and the ability to prove it along with a reasonable debt-to-income ratio (usually less than 35%).

To apply for a loan from Best Egg, you’ll need to meet some other requirements as well. All applicants must:

  • be a U.S. citizen currently living in the U.S., or a permanent resident
  • be of legal age to accept a loan in your state
  • have a verifiable personal bank account with a routing number
  • have a valid email address

In terms of extra perks, you won’t find a lot of additional benefits with this lender. The Best Egg website focuses mostly on helping you apply for a personal loan for any reason, but there aren’t many added features beyond the ability to file a loan application. However, Best Egg does offer a helpful FAQ section on their website that can help you change your loan due date, make a payment, or get answers to important loan questions.

The biggest draw of Best Egg personal loans is the fact that they offer fast funding with low rates, although it’s important to note that your rate will vary dramatically depending on your credit score and other factors. Also be aware that Best Egg does let consumers get “pre-approved” for a personal loan with a soft inquiry on their credit report. This is advantageous, since it lets borrowers gauge their ability to qualify for a loan without harming their credit score.

Best Egg Personal Loans: What to Watch Out For

Best Egg does offer very competitive rates on their personal loans, but it’s important to keep in mind that the best rates and loan terms go to those with a good credit score. Their lowest advertised rate for personal loans is 5.99%, but their highest rate is 29.99%! That’s a broad spread, and one that could be costly if your credit score lands you on the higher end of the scale.

Another downside of Best Egg personal loans is the origination fee they charge which, once again, can vary drastically, ranging from 0.99% to 5.99%. If you wind up with a personal loan with a high interest rate and a 5.99% origination fee, borrowing money will be a costly endeavor.

Some other lenders don’t charge origination fees on their personal loans. Examples include LightStream, Earnest, and SoFi. This goes to show just how important it is to shop around for a personal loan. Even if you get the best interest rate with Best Egg, it’s crucial to make an “apples to apples” comparison that considers interest rates, origination fees, and any other charges. It may even be beneficial to shop around using a loan marketplace that lets you compare loans from multiple lenders instead of a single direct lender like Best Egg.

One final downside of using Best Egg is the fact this lender doesn’t originate loans in every state. If you live in Iowa, Vermont, or West Virginia, you’re out of luck and need to apply for a loan with a different lender. Fortunately, there are plenty to choose from.

Who Best Egg Personal Loans are Best for:

  • Consumers with good credit who need money fast
  • Anyone can qualify for their best rates and loan terms
  • Borrowers who can’t qualify for a personal loan without an origination fee

How We Rate Best Egg Personal Loans

At The Simple Dollar, we aim to provide a general overview of a lender’s products and services through a standard rating process. After a thorough research and discovery period, here’s how Best Egg stacks up:

Credible at a Glance
Overall Rating
🌕🌕🌕🌕🌗
Affordability (interest rates, fees, and terms) 🌕🌕🌕🌕🌑
Availability (credit requirements, geographic reach) 🌕🌕🌕🌕🌑
Ease of Use 🌕🌕🌕🌕🌕
Transparency 🌕🌕🌕🌕🌕

How to Apply for a Personal Loan with Best Egg

We already mentioned one of the best features of Best Egg — the fact you can apply for a personal loan and complete the entire process online. This saves you from having to visit a physical bank branch to speak with a lender. With Best Egg’s easy online process, you can sit at your computer and complete your application at your own pace.

Applying for a personal loan with Best Egg is as easy as heading to their website and clicking on the button that says “apply now.”

From there, you’ll be prompted to enter basic personal information such as your name, your email address, and the last four digits of your Social Security number. If you received direct mail with a personal loan offer from Best Egg, you can also enter your “offer number” on their website.

As you proceed through the loan application process, you’ll also need to provide:

  • Your full Social Security number
  • Address
  • Employment information
  • Income
  • Information on other debts
  • Ideal loan amount and repayment term

Once you provide all the information Best Egg asks for, you can receive approval for your loan in less than a day. If you are approved, you may also be able to have funds electronically transferred to your bank account as soon as the next business day.

The Bottom Line

The decision to borrow money is never an easy one, but there are times when a personal loan could leave you better off financially. If you have high-interest credit card debt you desperately need to pay off, consolidating it with a personal loan with a low interest rate could help you save money and pay off debt faster. Personal loans can also be a smart option for consumers who want to take on an expensive remodeling project or pay for another large purchase.

Before you apply for a loan with Best Egg, however, we still suggest you shop around and compare loans terms and rates with a few different lenders. Best Egg does offer some of the best personal loans in the business, but you may get a better deal elsewhere. The best way to find out is to take the time to compare offers from at least three lenders.

Related:

The post Best Egg Loans Review appeared first on The Simple Dollar.

Saving regret — and how to avoid it

sourced from: https://www.getrichslowly.org/saving-regret/

In November 2018, the National Bureau of Economic Research published a paper called “Saving Regret” [here’s the full PDF version]. Once you wade through the study’s academic language, there’s some interesting stuff here about why people do and don’t save for retirement.

Saving regret, the authors say, is “the wish in hindsight to have saved more earlier in life”.

Obviously, you can suffer from saving regret at any age. When I met 31-year-old Debbie for dinner last week, her issues boiled down to saving regret. She wishes she’d saved more when she was younger. But for the purposes of this paper, the authors turned their attention to folks aged 60 to 79, people of traditional retirement age.

The researchers found that two-thirds of those surveyed said they should have saved more when they were working: “66.6 percent said they would save more if they could re-do their earlier life.”

As you might expect, the authors found that high-wealth and high-income people experience less saving regret. (I’m pleased that the researchers recognize that there’s a difference between income and wealth.)

But what causes saving regret in the first place? Why don’t people save more? Let’s take a look at what the study found.

Saving Regret -- and How to Avoid It

Sources of Saving Regret

In their survey of 1590 people, the authors asked about education, personality, and what they term “positive and negative shocks”. (The latter is basically trying to to determine how unexpected events affect saving.)

After compiling the results, they reached these conclusions:

  • “We found only modest evidence for a relationship between our measures of procrastination and the desire to re-optimize saving.” Yes, procrastination is a factor in saving regret. But it’s not as big as you might expect.
  • Failure to anticipate negative shocks — underestimating their probability and effects — has a greater effect on saving regret.
  • Overall, “a substantial percentage of respondents view their economic preparation to be adequate, yet they nonetheless express saving regret.” In other words, as many GRS have experienced, even when you think you have enough saved, you often wish you had more.

“Saving regret is high at the time of or shortly before retirement but is much lower at older ages,” the authors write. They believe there are two reasons for this.

First, when people stop working, they’re faced with a lot of uncertainty. This uncertainty makes them long for a larger safety net, makes them wish that they’d saved more. In a sense, this is why I have been experiencing saving regret. When my life was settled, I was fine with my nest egg. But over the past couple of years, there’s been a lot of unexpected, unplanned spending. Things seem uncertain. Because of this, I wish I had more saved.

Whether or not there’s any actual increased risk to a person’s savings, if she feels like there’s increased risk, this leads to saving regret.

There’s another reason saving regret declines with age: Consumption patterns change. The older people get, the less they spend. This decreased spending leads to greater relief. It lessens the stress.

A Shock to the Savings

Saving regret was greatest among people who always settle for mediocre results (85.8% of these folks experienced regret) and people who always put off difficult things (88.2%), but this is a very small sample of the whole. Plus, these are personality traits that, with effort, can be changed.

Another huge factor — one that could affect anyone — is what the authors term “economic shocks”. A positive economic shock might be receiving an inheritance. A negative economic shock might be losing your job.

From the paper itself, here’s a table demonstrating the relationship between saving regret and economic shocks. (The number you want here is the “mean”. Convert this to a percentage to find out the relationship. For example, the 0.794 listed under mean for “Health limited work” indicates that 79.4% of those whose health affected their ability to work wish they had saved more.)

Saving Regret table

“Among those with saving regret,” the authors write, “66 percent reported experiencing a shock earlier in life leading to adverse economic consequences, compared with just 43 percent among those without saving regret.”

I found this tidbit interesting too: “Among those with regret, 38 percent reported that Social Security benefits were less than expected compared with just 26 percent among those without regret.” Perhaps it used to be difficult to anticipate Social Security benefits, but nowadays they should never come as a surprise. That info is easy to find.

In a lot of cases, it’s not the shock itself that causes the problem. It’s the failure to anticipate a possible shock. It’s poor preparation.

The authors believe that people tend to be over-optimistic. They “[expect] future outcomes that are better than reasonably likely”. They think they’re better than average and will achieve better than average results. Plus, they suffer from the “illusion of control”, an exaggerated belief in their ability to direct their destiny.

This last point is important for me (and many GRS readers).

I am a vocal advocate of becoming proactive. I believe strongly that, to the extent possible, we should all work to manage those parts of our life that fall within our “locus of control”. Some things — the weather, the economy, the actions of other people — are outside of our control, and it’s foolish to spend our attention on them. But others — our attitudes, our relationships, our saving rates — are absolutely under our control, and it’s foolish to ignore them.

[Circle of Concern vs. Circle of Control]

When reading this article, I fretted at first that the authors were arguing that people like me believe we can control more our life than we actually do. I realized, however, that they’re actually saying something different: Those who experience saving regret mistakenly believe that people and events in their Circle of Concern actually fall in their Circle of Control.

Money bosses like you and me may not have perfect perceptions of what we can and cannot control, but I believe we have a better understanding than those who express saving regret. We recognize that many things are beyond our control, so we prepare for possibilities. We expect the unexpected.

Avoid Saving Regret

The authors of “Saving Regret” don’t delve deep into solutions. Their paper is informational, not prescriptive.

That said, I think the info provided in the paper suggests a handful of solutions to saving regret. If you want to save enough for retirement, do the following:

  • Forecast the future. I know it’s tough to tell where you’ll be in five or ten years. Sometimes, it’s impossible. All the same, it’s important to try. Having a plan reduces saving regret. The researchers found that “saving regret was highest among respondents who stated that they do not have a financial plan”. The longer a person’s planning horizon, the lower their levels of regret.
  • Plan for problems. You cannot predict when bad things are going to happen. You don’t know if (or when) you’re going to get cancer, a drunk is going to crash into your car, or a typhoon will wash away your beach home. You can, however, be relatively certain that something bad will happen sometime. Your best bet is to be prepared — just like a Boy Scout. Maintain an adequate emergency fund.
  • Be proactive! There is never ever a reason that your Social Security benefits should come as a shock. The Social Security Administration issues periodic statements about estimated benefits. Plus, it’s easy to look up projected benefits online. This is but one example of how you can take steps to prevent future surprises.
  • Master your money. “The relationship between saving regret and financial literacy is also strong,” the authors write. People with high levels of financial literacy experienced half as much regret as those at the lowest levels. To avoid disappointment later in life, learn everything you can about personal finance.
  • Save more. Yes, this is an obvious solution to saving regret. I get it. But let’s make this explicit: Your saving rate — the difference between what you earn and what you spend — is the most important number in your financial life. Saving rate isn’t just vital for money nerds who want to retire early. It’s a key factor for achieving any financial goal.

Nothing can guarantee your financial future. The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune can wreak havoc on even the best-prepared people. But you can maximize the odds of positive results by taking smart steps now. You can decrease the likelihood that you will experience saving regret by taking action today.

Final Thoughts

If we knew when we were going to die, financial decisions would be much easier.

If I knew, for instance, that I would be mauled by a bear on, say, 04 July 2029, then it would be a simple matter to make sure my retirement nest egg lasted another ten years.

J.D. attacked by bear

On the other hand, if I knew that the fateful bear attack wouldn’t come until I was 120, then I could take appropriate steps so that I had enough money to last me seventy years.

But I don’t know when and how I’ll die. Neither do you. As a result, the best we can do is guess how long we’ll live and how much money we’ll need.

Very few people regret saving money. In fact, these researchers found that only 1.7% of respondents would have saved less if they could re-do their earlier life.

While 66.6% of respondents wished they had saved more when they were younger, about 10% of these folks say they could not have done so. There wasn’t any way they could have spent less. But that means 60.9% of those surveyed could have and should have increased their saving rate.

What do people wish they’d spent less on? Men wish they had spent less on cars. Women wish they had spent less on clothing. And as much as it pains me, everyone wishes they had spent less on vacation. I sure hope my own travel spending doesn’t come back to haunt me later in life.

Poorer people have greater saving regret. The authors write: “Among those in the highest wealth quartile, 38.9 percent expressed saving regret; among those in the lowest wealth quartile, 71.9 percent did so.”

It’s tough to trace cause and effect here, of course, but I don’t think it matters. The message is clear. The poorer your personal economic situation, the more important it is for you to save!

Wading through the jargon, there’s a lot of interesting stuff about aging and aging in this paper. I’ve touched only on the main points. Some of the background info and asides are equally fascinating. (How do researchers predict how people will make future decisions? How do they model saving habits? What do they think of self-determination?)

But the bottom line is obvious: To avoid regrets when you’re older, save more now.

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How I Get Over 100,000 Visitors a Month With Top List Articles

sourced from: https://www.incomediary.com/top-list-article-writing

Traffic to me is the simplest thing on the planet. It is so easy to get! All you have to do is provide people with a solution to their problem and they will come, read it and they will share it with their friends!

I have created over 100 ‘top list’ type posts which have been viewed by millions. They are so popular and well received that they have been featured on Reddit Homepage, New York Times, Yahoo News & one even became a Trending Topic on Twitter! The best part… I can get these types of posts created for just $25. Let me teach you how.

Why Creating Lists Will Drastically Increase Your Traffic

When you Google, think what you are typing in, let’s say you are looking for a cure for a health problem. Just for example, you are going to type in Cure Acid Reflux. That’s a big search term. Firstly you would be surprised how many people don’t name the article what people are searching for in Google. This blows my mind. Why are you calling your article something fancy and using words people don’t ever use, just to make yourself look smart. No one is typing that in Google, so you shouldn’t be naming your posts that.

I’m no SEO expert, there I said it. But I do get around 200,000 visitors a month from Google alone so it’s kind of a big deal for me.

Here’s what I believe: Google ranks sites which are naturally awesome. Forget everything about buying links and social love. Just imagine that your posts are so cool, people spend ages on your site and people love to share your stuff. That’s what GOOGLE wants! Great content because they are in the content industry. There job is to provide users with the right content and the best possible option, if yours is not that, then you don’t rank so well.

Back to my health post, I will call it :

10 Ways To Cure Acid Reflux

Somewhere I heard that odd numbers work better for open rates and marketing so I often will change the 10 for 7, 11, 13, 17 basically any odd number that looks good. I will decide how many I want before I even create the post. Ofcourse, it sometimes changes as I’m writing the post.

What you don’t want to do is call your article something like:

Surefire Ways To Eradicate Acid Reflux

I’m sure someone will type in Eradicate Acid Reflux every month or two but Surefire Ways? No Way!

You think this is an extreme example? Heck no, this is a nice example.

Tip 1. Name Your Posts Something People Search For!

Here’s where top lists dominate:

  • Firstly, they are quite long so people tend to spend a while reading them.
  • Each part is in section, for example, our Cure Acid Reflux post, its 7 cures, so we have 7 headlines with each option. Because of this, people can quickly decide YES, there’s something here I am willing to do, so I will read it all. I think a lot of articles don’t do well because people are not prepared to commit time to read a page if they don’t think it’s going to help them.
  • The title says exactly what you get, so you know what you are getting into.
  • When shared on social media, again, people know what they are about to get. Often people will retweet and share blog posts just because of the title, not even knowing if the article is good or not.

Step 1. To Dominating Any Industry

Post a large amount of amazing articles. That’s what I do, I show up in dozens of industry’s and just do the same old top list posts but for different industry’s. Here’s some examples:

Blogging/Make Money Industry

  • Top 30 Most Influential People In Blogger
  • 10 Reasons Why It Rocks To Be a Internet Entrepreneur
  • 10 Christmas Gifts For Entrepreneurs
  • 17 Tips To Cure Bloggers Block
  • 20 Bloggers To Follow on Facebook

Photography Industry

  • Top 30 Most Influential People In Photography
  • 10 Reasons Why It Rocks To be a Photographer
  • 10 Christmas Gifts For Photographers
  • 17 Tips To Fix Bad Photos
  • 20 Photographers To Follow on Facebook

Health Industry

  • Top 30 Most Influential People in Natural Health
  • 10 Reasons Why It Rocks To Be Healthy
  • 10 Christmas Gifts for Super Healthy People
  • 17 Tips To Cure Acid Reflux
  • 20 Health Experts To Follow on Facebook

Young Entrepreneur Industry

  • Top 30 Most Influential Young Entrepreneurs
  • 10 Reasons Why It Rocks To Be a Young Entrepreneur
  • 10 Christmas Gifts For Young Entrepreneurs
  • 17 Tips To Stop People Treating You Different Because Of Your Age
  • 20 Young Entrepreneurs To Follow On Facebook

See how easy it is?

And it doesn’t stop there. Each post can be done in so many other ways. For example:

10 Reasons Why It Rocks To Be a Photographer… you could flip this on it’s head and do 10 Reasons Why It Sucks…

Tip 2. Turn One Top List Into a Series of Top Lists

Remember our post suggestion: 20 Bloggers To Follow on Facebook

How about doing that with every social network:

  • 20 Bloggers To Follow on Twitter
  • 20 Bloggers To Follow on Youtube
  • 20 Bloggers To Follow on Pinterest
  • 20 Bloggers To Follow on Google+

Instead of doing a post such as “20 Ways To Improve Your Website” – you could split it into a series and niche each one down, so for example:

  • 10 Ways To Improve Your Websites Load Time
  • 10 Ways To Improve Your Websites Usability
  • 10 Ways To Improve Your Websites Blog Layout
  • 10 Ways To Improve your Websites Conversion Rate

Step 2. Getting Articles Created (20 at a time)

So in order to achieve a lot of success with our blogs, we need a lot of content… by doing basically no actual work. This is important because as a business owner we can’t be doing everything ourselves, so we need to outsource what other people can do for us.

The great thing about top list articles, is they are more or less just research. Almost anyone can write them. The first article I ever outsourced was way back in 2009 and since then, has recieved over 1,000,000 visitors. All I had to do is hire someone and pay them $50. Still to do this day, I get thousands of visitors to my website every month because of that blog post. So don’t just think about how much traffic you will get today from a post but how much traffic you can get in the future.

Right now, one of the easiest places to hire a writer is Fiverr. They have a huge selection of writers and you can get your post written in under 24 hours. So if you want to test this strategy out, click here to hire someone to write your articles for you!

Tip 3. Be Specific With What You Want

If you want great articles, you have to give great guidelines. When you hire someone, I always include instructions so they know what I expect from them. This is what I send them:

Guidelines For Writing Awesome Articles For My Website

The majority of people who write articles for us, will go on to write many more. Please follow my article outline and guidelines to ensure your article is well received and accepted. Failure to do so will result in your article being declined.

All posts should be well researched.

If the article is numbered, please number it 1. 2. 3. etc (not #1 #2 #3 or 1 – 2 – 3 -)

If the title is broad, for example, 50 Places to Visit in 50 States of America, then please give a broad selection of choice. So for example, don’t make all 50 places landmarks, split it up so their is variety, for example, Landmarks, Famous Restaurants, Bars, Theme Parks, Extreme Things To Do and so on.

Be consistent with how you lay your article out, for example, I sometimes see people write post titles with the attraction first, followed by location. Then there will be 1 or 2 titles without a location. Each title needs to be in the same format.

Below is an example of how I like articles to be laid out:
—————————————–

Headline

Introduction to post. (This needs to be informative and make them want to carry on reading.)

Subheadline, in h2 tags. <h2>Your Subheadline</h2>

<h3>Item 1</h3>

[IMAGE]

Information why you should do what this title suggestions.

<h3>Item 2</h3>

[IMAGE]

And continue.

[There should be one line between each element.]

—————————————–

Examples of successful posts written:

  • https://www.incomediary.com/21-life-lessons-from-steve-jobs
  • https://www.incomediary.com/top-earning-websites
  • https://www.incomediary.com/top-earning-blogs

Conclusion

As you can see in the final part of this post, I guide writers through exactly what I want. Even giving them examples of writers who have already followed our guidelines. This is key to having success with outsourcing article writing.

So just to recap what you need to do:

  1. Download our 110 top list headline templates, it’s FREE!
  2. Go through our headlines and decide on the 10 that you think will be most successful on your blog.
  3. Go to Fiverr and hire a writer or several writers to create this content for you.
  4. Publish content on your website and enjoy the benefits of top list articles.
  5. Repeat the first 4 steps over and over again.

That’s all there is to our top list strategy. It works for us and it’s worked for thousands of other IncomeDiary readers as well, so why not give it a try?

The post How I Get Over 100,000 Visitors a Month With Top List Articles appeared first on How To Make Money Online.

What is money for? An evening with Vicki Robin

sourced from: https://www.getrichslowly.org/vicki-robin/

Your Money or Your LifeWhen I was a boy, my heroes were athletes and astronauts. I dreamed of playing pro football one day. Or, better yet, walking on the moon.

As an adult, my heroes are more mundane. They’re the people who make personal finance accessible to average people. Long-time readers know that billionaire investor Warren Buffett is one of my heroes. So too is Dave Ramsey, who has helped countless people — including me — get out of debt.

But perhaps my biggest hero is an unassuming 73-year-old woman in cat-eye glasses who lives on Whidbey Island in Washington’s Puget Sound.

In 1992, Vicki Robin (and her partner, Joe Dominguez) published Your Money or Your Life, a book designed to help readers transform their relationship with money. In 2004, the book transformed my relationship with money. It rocked my world. It inspired me to seek financial independence, which the book defines as “no longer having to work for money”.

Fast-forward fifteen years.

Today, in 2019, I’m awe-struck to actually be exchanging email with Vicki Robin, discussing the past, present, and future of financial independence. And this week, when she came to Portland, I not only got to hear her speak in person, but also got to treat her to dinner.

Your Money or Your Life

Last night, Douglas Tsoi, founder of the Portland Underground Graduate School and the School of Financial Freedom, hosted a talk from Vicki Robin. A few dozen money nerds — including some GRS readers (Hi, Scott! Hi, Brandon!) — gathered to hear Robin’s thoughts about financial independence.

For the sake of clarity, I’ve taken some liberties in what follows. I haven’t changed any of Robin’s ideas, but I’ve shifted some topics and quotes in order to create a smoother, more coherent flow for the blog. I’ve treated Robin’s Q&A responses, for instance, as if they’re part of the main talk. A real journalist would be mortified. I am not a real journalist.

Some folks in the audience were unfamiliar with Your Money or Your Life, so Robin started by briefly recapping the book’s message.

The goal of Your Money or Your Life, Robin says, is to transform your relationship with money in order to liberate your most precious resource, time. The book’s nine-step program is meant to help readers track the flow of money and stuff in their lives, guided by both self-interest (“does it work for me?”) and higher values (“does it work for the world?”).

It’s natural that we act in our own self-interest. If we aren’t right with ourselves, it’s tough be of service to others. But Robin worries that too many people get stuck in the self-interest side of things and never move beyond that, never see how achieving financial independence gives them the freedom to leave a lasting, positive impression on the world.

Like me, she wants people to “live on purpose”.

Interlude
After Robin’s talk, a GRS reader named Brandon introduced himself to me. “Thanks for the work you do,” he said. “Especially what you share about mission and purpose.”

“Has that been useful for you?” I asked. “I feel it’s important, but sometimes I feel like I’m writing into a vacuum. I don’t know if it actually helps anybody.”

“Yes, absolutely,” Brandon said. “My wife and I have both done your personal mission statement exercise. It’s helped to give our lives direction. It’s very useful.”

A Story of Money

“In the western world, we live in a story of money,” Robin says. “On a personal level, this usually means that more is better. Whatever you have, a little bit more is better.” Our society is built around this narrative, which is pushed on us from all sides. (Even minimalism turns out to be about having more: “I have more less.”)

We’re all living this story together.

While the definition of financial independence in Your Money or Your Life is “no longer having to work for money”, Robin stresses that being FI isn’t about not working. Financial independence doesn’t mean leaving your job. It doesn’t mean seeking a life of idleness. Financial independence is about being independent from consumer culture, from the default ideology of the western world.

“There’s an ongoing campaign to convince people that they need more than they have. We’ve been persuaded we need more stuff. We’re constantly bombarded by messages of more.”

Robin isn’t immune to these messages. She recently considered buying a laptop case for when she travels.

“A useful question for me when I’m in the presence of something I must have is: Who wins if I buy this? Do I win? Or does somebody else win? Maybe I win a teeny bit by getting a computer case, but the company that sells it is the real winner.”

She smiled. “Besides, I’d probably just misplace the new case in my office. I’d be better off wrapping my computer in a towel!”

A New Story

Your Money or Your Life is meant to help readers see the world through different eyes. It’s meant to help people escape Plato’s Cave, to free themselves from the Matrix. When you reject the standard narrative, you’re able to define what’s valuable to you, what is enough for you.

“Moderating your consumption is resisting the dominant narrative,” Robin says. “It’s a sort of independence, a sort of freedom. It’s opting out of the idea that growth is good.”

When Robin and Dominguez wrote Your Money or Your Life, their aim was to help readers “liberate their life energy” so that they could use that energy to pursue what brings them (and the world around them) value.

“If everyone could do what they’re called to do, the world would be a better place,” Robin says.

Robin thinks it’s time for society to create a new shared narrative. She believes it’s time to set aside the story of money, to adopt a story that works toward the common good, not just the individual good.

How do we do this? She’s been thinking about this for years (and it’s the subject of her next book). Her advice reminds me of Action Girl’s guide to living, which I shared in 2006 when Get Rich Slowly was a baby blog.

In short:

  • Find others who are doing work of value. Work with them.
  • Help them bring forth something the makes life better for everybody.
  • Allow them to help you.

Financial independence isn’t an ultimate purpose. It’s a means to an end. It allows us to put ourselves in a position to contribute to society, to take care of others (children, elders, whomever).

What Is Money For?

Vicki RobinIn 1989, when they started writing the book, Robin and Dominguez had been teaching their financial freedom workshop for ten years. They’d seen that, on average, attendees were able to decrease their spending between 20% and 25%. What’s more, folks were happier. And they were consuming less.

When they decided to write Your Money or Your Life, they had two objectives.

  • They wanted to liberate people to be of service.
  • They wanted to liberate the planet from consumerism.

When Robin updated the book 25 years later, she felt discouraged. Instead of a reduction in consumerism, it seemed like the world had “gone further down the path of degradation”. Her goal with her revisions was to reach a new generation of readers.

As she worked on the new edition, she was pleased and humbled to discover that — unbeknownst to her — she’d helped inspire an entire movement: the FIRE movement. (FIRE is a clumsy acronym for Financial Independence and Early Retirement.)

But she was saddened to see that many of the folks pursuing financial independence were motivated purely by self-interest. They had no desire to be of service. They weren’t pursuing a higher aim.

“People are using FIRE as a way to escape something,” Robin says, “not as a way to pursue something bigger.” She wishes more folks would use financial independence as a platform to pursue large goals, to change their communities — and the world.

“What is freedom for?” she asked the audience last night. “What is FIRE for? Once money is no longer your story, what is your story? Who am I? What makes my life worth living? Who are my people?”

Life After Work

Robin says we don’t talk about these ideas as a society. We don’t talk about what a post-work “story” would look like. “If money is our religion,” Robin says, “then our jobs are the central rituals. Work is what we do from the time we’re born until the time we die.”

She believes we’re all meant for more than work. We want to apply our life energy to things that we think are valuable.

“We are born to contribute,” she says. We’re born to be useful, to be a meaningful part of our communities. “To say that work is only to get income is to befuddle the mind. I’ve left paid employment but I haven’t left work.”

Now, she works on improving herself and on improving society. “I work for the benefit of all every moment of my life.”

Robin spent some time talking about the difference between work and play. She says: “I aspire, as I do my work in the world, to do it with a spirit of play. To do it with a spirit of curiosity. To not make anybody an enemy. I think that’s something to aspire to.” I agree whole-heartedly!

Robin’s talk — and the Q&A that followed — was dense with information. I’ve only summarized the main points. For my own reference (and the reference of those who attended), here are are two interesting concepts that she referred to in passing:

Robin concluded her talk by sharing some of the new ideas she’s been exploring over the past few years. “What if we could have financial independence for everyone?” she asked. What would that look like? Is it even possible?

She’s still hashing out these ideas as she writes her next book.

Dinner with Vicki Robin

As much as I enjoyed Robin’s talk last night, I enjoyed taking her to Thai food on Monday even more.

Sometimes when we meet our heroes, we’re disappointed. I was not disappointed. I was impressed with Robin’s quick mind. I also liked how she’d ask questions without hesitation, trying to dig deeper into my motives and meaning.

For example, I shared how I struggle when I’m put in a position of authority. I don’t like being treated like a money expert because I don’t feel like a money expert. As a result, I’m reluctant to speak in front of large audiences. And I’m dragging my feet when it comes to setting up the Get Rich Slowly channel on YouTube.

On the other hand, I love meeting people one on one. I enjoy talking with readers about their financial situations, asking questions about their choices, trying to find solutions to their problems.

After listening for a few moments, Robin cut to the core: “You’re preferred mode is relational,” she said, “not informational.”

It was a simple statement, but it made a big impression on me. She’s right. (My therapist once told me I’m a “relationship guy”.) I need to consider this when choosing how to proceed with projects. Maybe I’m struggling with the YouTube channel because I don’t want to be a talking head. Maybe instead I need to film myself in conversation with others.

“Maybe you should let people pay you to do coaching calls,” Robin suggested. “And you might want to consider doing more partnerships. You should work with Douglas Tsoi on his School of Financial Freedom.” I think she’s right.

Anyhow, the past couple of days have made me feel like a boy again. But instead of dreaming about my heroes, I actually got to meet and talk with one. Isn’t life crazy? (And I have high hopes that I’ll get to meet and talk with Vicki Robin again in the not-so-distant future.)

The post What is money for? An evening with Vicki Robin appeared first on Get Rich Slowly.

OptiMonk Review – The Best PopUp Software For Getting Email Subscribers!

sourced from: https://www.incomediary.com/optimonk-review-popup-software

Almost every website uses some form of popup software.

Which means, if you are blogger and you are reading this post, you most likely already have popup software on your website. Or at the very least, you are considering adding one!

Popup software drastically increase conversions, brings you more traffic and makes you more money.

But which Popup Software should you use?

Back in 2010, we were one of the first blogs to add a popup to our website.

The single addition of Popup Software brought us more conversions and more subscribers than anything else we had ever done before.

And it remains the case until today.

As you can see from the screenshot of our Aweber account, popups accounted for 63.9% of all new subscribers to this blog!

OptiMonk Review

Recently we reviewed the various Popup Software alternatives available.

What we had was working well, but could there be some other alternative that would squeeze a few more percentage points when it came to conversions?

After all, there are always improvements to be made!

We began by looking at all the popular popup software alternatives, reading reviews etc – going from one sales page to the other.

In the end the deciding factor was not functionality, frankly most of them all do more or less the same thing.

Instead, what we focused on as the popup software that gave us the best design options. Our experience is that design is the single biggest contributory factor in the success of a Popup.

From a short list of three we finally settled on OptiMonk.

This is a tool I have seen a few times over the years – it is not as popular as some but it had always came across as a higher end product.

If you are already happy with your popup software and won’t be convinced to change to a new tool, skip to the part of the post where we share with you our affiliate redirect popup strategy.

How I Want To Use PopUps On IncomeDiary

As popups have been around for quite some time, they have become less well received. A lot of people close them without even thinking. So I wanted the popups to compliment a users experience, rather than focus all my attention on getting someone to subscribe. Here are the 4 main popups I will be using on this website:

Main Exit PopUp

This popup will be used to promote our free Traffic Domination report.

GDPR Bar

You need to ask users to read and accept your privacy policy. This popup takes care of that. Most websites choose to display a bar all the way across the footer of their site. Read our GDPR guide.

Onclick Subscribe PopUp

Sometimes users will close a popup and decide they want to subscribe later. In the footer of IncomeDiary, I wanted to link to a popup so that you can subscribe any time you like.

Followup Sales PopUp

I wanted a popup that could be shown after the main popup has been seen twice and won’t be shown again. This popup, instead of using it to get subscribers, will be used to redirect users to a sales page or monetized blog post.

Getting Started With OptiMonk PopUp Tool

To begin with, I took their two week free trial, which comes with 40,000 free views. I didn’t need a credit card and it took a few seconds to get started.

Before you get started, you need to let them know what domain the popup will appear on (you can choose two websites) and you need to add some code to your website so your popup can be displayed. I did this by using their free wordpress plugin. This took me less than 30 seconds.

OptiMonk Review – Create Your First PopUp Using OptiMonk

This is where the real fun starts and I was surprised by how far software has come in the last few years since I had last reviewed different solutions. It was almost as if I didn’t have to think at all, it really was a breeze going through their popup builder.

I began by scrolling through their popup designs.

I ended up choosing their Oxford design because I wanted to include an eCover image and I could already see how it would look.

Next, I went ahead and started customizing it so that it fitted in with my current blog design.

I used the same orange and green from my blog. After a couple minutes of editing, the popup looks like it was custom designed for my website. This was important to me. I like consistency and want everything on my website to match.

In this second popup I created, I was able to drag and drop check-boxes for GDPR.

Once you have finalized your design, you need to choose when to show your popup. I decided to have it appear when someone is about to leave the website. (Exit Popup) I felt this was the least intrusive way of displaying popups.

After that I had to decide on the conditions for displaying my popup. I chose their default settings which was to show the popup twice, with at least 1 hour between each view.

I thought this was an interesting feature. One that would not only give a better user experience but increase the chances of getting someone to subscribe. A lot of website visitors will come and visit the site, then leave and will never return. This is why it’s important to try get them to subscribe, so you can get them to come back.

However, most people don’t want to subscribe for another email list… not at least without spending more time on your website first. So most people will decline the first offer. But those who remain, or come back to your site, are far more likely to subscribe.

So with this conditioning, you are able to have two chances at convincing someone. Those who only visit once, as well as those who decline your popup because they haven’t had enough time yet to realise they like your website.

 

And there you have it, the popup is live!

Within minutes I already had my first few subscribers!

They also include something they call Nanobars, which is a bar across the top of your page. Great for GDPR.

As well as, sidebar opt-in boxes.

Using OptiMonk To Boost Affiliate Sales

Now that I have OptiMonk setup the way I want it, I have started creating redirect exit popups to boost affiliate sales. When someone visits a review on IncomeDiary, as they exit the page, a popup appears letting them know about a free trial offer. A couple examples of the popups I created can be seen below:

The results of these new popups have been well above the typical conversion rate we see for our standard email popup. This is because the popups are more targeted to the content which results in not only higher conversions for us but a better experience for the user. Take a look for yourself below:

OptiMonk Review – Getting Started Right Now

Here’s what we use:

  • Aweber to collect, store and send emails.
  • OptiMonk connected with Aweber to display popups on our blog.
  • TermsFeed for our privacy policy template.

Further reading:

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