The Future of Lazy Man and Money

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You may have noticed that I didn't much last week. It was the annual FinCon personal finance convention in San Diego.

My Susan Lucci streak of losing Plutus Awards is still going strong. The biggest challenger is Stefanie O'Connell, but I've got a few years on her. She'll be fine... she's the next Jean Chatzky.

I was learning new things about personal finance, networking with new people, and getting tips about how to make this website a much better experience for you.

It's shameful that I haven't updated the design since 2007.

I've been working with a website designer to put together something fresh. You'll love it.

Expect to see it in about a month.

While that's going on, I'll be going though the ten years of articles I've written. I'll look for the best bits and pieces I've written. Then I'll combine them into articles that make personal finance easy and actionable.

I plan to start interviewing other personal finance bloggers and people who doing amazing things. I've met a few of them during this conference. Most people will learn something from their journeys. Many people will learn a few things.

Finally, the design will be great for those mobile users. That's the vast majority of you nowadays.

I've got a plan to deliver fewer, but higher quality, ads. If it works out, it will be great for everyone... and hopefully not too damaging to my wallet.

But I'm going to ask you for a little help... the stress on the little.

I need you to leave comments and questions. We learn by sharing thoughts and ideas about what works. Everyone makes mistakes and no one makes more than me... except maybe meteorologists.

This is why I need you to challenge me.

Let's do this!

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About / Admin, Blogging

Last updated on September 25, 2016.

Starting a Blog: Step [X] – Optimization for Speed

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A little while back I started a series titled "Starting a Blog." I need to pull together a few pieces, but you can get started with the important Step 1. I've written a couple more steps, but today I wanted to cover something that can be done almost any time. (That's why I went with Step [X] in the title.)

Generally, successful blogs focus on writing great content and networking with other bloggers to get it viewed.

However one of the most overlooked areas is making your blog fast. This is important because people will leave if the blog takes too long to load. Google also favors websites that load quickly... and Google can be one of the best gateway to getting more readers.

1&1 Hosting has a great guide to making your WordPress blog fast.

I like to say, "You have to know where you before you can get to where you are going." The 1&1 guide writes about a few tools to measure the performance of your website. I actually prefer one tool they didn't mention... Pingdom's Website Speed Test. They cover one tool that I haven't looked at, P3 (Plugin Performance Profiler).

So once you know how fast or how slow your blog is, the guide covers the basics giving tools for each step. Specifically:

  • Shrink Image Size - They say a picture is worth a thousand words. However, it can take a lot longer to download an image than to display a thousand words. There are ways to make images look the same on a website at a fraction of the size. This might be the best thing you can do to speed up your blog
  • Shrink CSS and Javascript - This is similar to using a ".zip" file converter and can reduce time drastically. However, the best thing is to eliminate any javascript that you don't need.
  • Caching - WordPress builds a page from a lot of different places. This assembly takes some time which adds up if you have a lot of visitors. You can "cache" pages which simply amounts to saving the assembled page for the next user. It's the difference between spending two hours building Ikea furniture and having someone deliver you an already assembled piece.
  • Clean the Database - Over time WordPress databases get "junked up" with data. The guide gives some good tools for cleaning things up.
  • Eliminate Plugins - The more plugins your WordPress site has, the longer it typically takes to build pages. To use my Ikea analogy above, it is like building a piece of furniture with 72 pieces vs. building one with 20 pieces. All things being equal, the 20 piece model is going to be faster to build.

What's not covered in the 1&1 guide? They don't mention using a Content Distribution Network (CDN) or using CSS Sprites (which is fairly complicated). Also, sometimes just reviewing your basic design can help you eliminate elements that slow things down.

Are you a blogger with a website? How do you optimize it for speed? Let me know in the comments.

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Posted on July 3, 2016.

Welcome to Alexa/Echo!

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Back in early March, I started a new blog, but I wasn't willing to reveal what it was, mostly because it looked like crap. Instead, I wrote about in vague terms and created a series on starting a blog.

Two months later... it still looks like crap.

It's been difficult to find time to write with my new role as a stay-at-home Dad in addition to running a scorching-hot dog sitting business.

Now that I've set the expectations ridiculously low, I can start to build it up a little bit. I've written 20 articles in about 2 months, which isn't too bad considering I lost a few weeks to a vacation and catch-up.

Without further ado, I introduce you to Alexa/Echo. The blog is about covering everything around Amazon's Echo product and Amazon’s Alexa voice recognition service.

I've been a fan of the Amazon Echo for awhile and reviewed it back in VERY late 2014. I revisited it a few months later. At the new Alexa/Echo blog, reviewed the new Amazon Dot, Echo's baby sister (Dot's a girl's name right?).

This is all to say that I've been a big fan of the technology for a long time. You might wonder what makes the product and service different and worth blogging about. After all, Google has Google Now, Apple has Siri, and Microsoft has Cortana. The difference is that the Echo is always-listening and hands-free.

I simple call out, "Alexa, play Jack Johnson" and music plays. I don't have to press a button, navigate to an app, type any words, or anything. It's rare technology that simply works and reduces complication.

It's easy to view it as just a music player, but I use the Dot in my bedroom as an alarm clock by telling Alexa to set an alarm. I can control my Nest thermostats in my house by talking to it. My wife can play Jeopardy by talking to it. I can get my daily calendar and news by asking it. I can have it read me Audible books. Maybe none of this knocks your socks off, but collectively, it's pretty impressive, especially since there are no subscription fees. (An Amazon Prime account is very useful for the music, but we pay for that to get the fast, free shipping and access to the Prime video library anyway.)

Why Start Alexa/Echo?

If you haven't guessed it by now, I'm a fan. That's most important. Many people say follow your passion, but that's just one ingredient in the "cake of success." It's an important ingredient.

When I started the blog, Amazon had just announced the Echo Dot and Amazon Tap products. This release of new products in the family kicked off a bunch of media coverage and I started to realize exactly how big of a deal it is.

A newsletter that I subscribe to, Noah Kagen of OkDork and AppSumo fame, suggested that there were no good Amazon Echo blogs out there. (There are actually a couple.) He presented a very brief business plan on how such a blog could make some decent money. I think it was a little optimistic, but for a back-of-the-napkin calculation, it wasn't bad.

So I went to look for a domain name. The first few dozen searches I made didn't come up with any of preferred domains like I don't know why it took me so many searches, but I finally found the two things that I wanted to focus on. My guess is that most people just use the Echo hardware and never really think about the Alexa software service that powers it.

I'm not one to believe in fate, but the domain's availability surely seemed like a sign.

Why Tell You About Alexa/Echo Today?

I realized that I'm probably not going to make any headway on the design any time soon. (Unless there is a good WordPress designer out there who can work with the Splash theme. Feel free to contact me).

Yesterday, Google announced that it is making a copycat product called Google Home. I'd say that this validates the space, but some people are predicting that Amazon's Echo could be their billion dollar business. I might as well piggyback on the news.

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Posted on May 19, 2016.

Goodbye to My Journey to Millions

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They say that everything in life changes. Today is a great day to reflect on some of those changes.

Evan of My Journey to Millions will no longer be blogging with us at that website.

He's been blogging since August of 2008, which is a long, long time in blogging years. There's a great reflection on his post:

"Did I meet my goal of Millions? In a simple word, No. Am I close? Nope. Do I have a tremendous more money than when I started this blog? ABSOLUTELY. Hell, when I started this blog I had a negative net worth fresh out of law school, and since I started to actually track that number in 2011 I am up 200%+. I have a long journey to go but this blog gave me the accountability I needed to use as a foundation. I know it is silly but the very exercise of just adding up your assets and liabilities on a monthly basis forces you to make different decisions."

Sometimes when you pursue a goal, even if you don't accomplish it, you end up winning. And Evan clearly did here.

While this article is about saying goodbye, let's end on a happy note... Evan will continue blogging at BuildingIncome.Investments. And while I don't know how I feel about that URL, I know I'll be following him on his new journey there.

I think you should too.

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Posted on May 2, 2016.

Starting a Blog: Step 1

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A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned that I started a new blog. I'm not quite ready to tell you about the blog I started. It needs a lot more work to be "ready." You only get one chance to make a great first impression, right?

While I was going through the process, I thought to myself, maybe people would be interested in this? Maybe readers would like to read why some starts a blog. (Hint: If it's just money you are probably not going to be successful.) Maybe readers would like to read how to start a blog. In any case, I'm sure there are people out there who find this stuff interesting.

Why Start a Blog?

The answer to this is most easily found in my Ten Reasons Why You Should be a Personal Finance Blogger. I learned a lot about the subject (personal finance), the technology, web design, the business of running a blog (including negotiating advertising), and how the Internet works. You can substitute a topic of your own interest and you'll likely learn more than you ever imagined possible. It can even get to be a bit like Brewster's Millions where you get too much of good thing.

How to Start a Blog

Keep in mind that this is step 1 of starting a blog. Starting a blog isn't exactly rocket science, but it isn't something that comes naturally either. There are a lot of little steps. Don't worry, most of them are very easy. I'm going to start at a high level. We can drill into the details later.

Choose a Topic

If you are thinking of starting of a blog, you probably already know the topic you want to write about. That's a great first step. However, depending on your goals, it's not enough to be successful. Before I start a blog, I ask myself two basic questions:

1. Am I Passionate About my Topic?

There's a lot of nonsense on the internet about "following your passion." It sounds great, but as I turn 40, I realize that you need more than passion. For example, being quarterback of the New England Patriots is not in the cards for me. I would say that "passion" is just one ingredient in the "Success Cake." It isn't the "Success Cake" itself.

2. What Are My Reasons for Starting this Blog?

When I started Lazy Man and Money in 2006 it was about learning how to manage money, compound interest, and reaching financial freedom. I also wanted to connect with other people looking to make the most of their investing dollar. I was seriously considering a Condohotel at the time and it was obviously a very bad idea. To understand how bad an idea it was, this is the W Las Vegas that I was looking into.

(It's worth taking a moment to laugh at how bad my first Condotel article was. It may only be surpassed by my second article on Condohotels.)

We all make mistakes, right?

I created Lazy Man and Money in hopes that I could find a community of people who could help expand my ideas of expressing a goal of achieving financial freedom.

I never expected to make money. In fact, after 6 months of writing, another personal finance writer wrote in a forum that you can make a $100 a month blogging. I was amazed. Who doesn't want an extra $100 a month? That's a utility bill for what I was doing anyway. So instead of watching reruns of Seinfeld, I put some time into learning how to add advertising and get to $100 a month. As it was 2006, blogging was very different... which means that making money with a blog was very different.

You should start a blog to learn more about the topic or connect with people of similar interests. If someone wants to throw money at you (like they did to me) to add advertisements, that's awesome!

How Do I Get Started?

Once you have a topic, there are three basic steps:

  • Pick a Domain Name - In hindsight, was probably not the best choice, but it worked. I usually go to to see if what I want is available.
  • Find a Hosting Service - I recommend Bluehost and used them for my new blog
  • Install WordPress - WordPress probably powers 99% of all blogs and 25% of all websites. Bluehost makes it really easy

I should probably be more verbose in explaining these steps. If you agree, tell me in the comments, and I'll work on another post fleshing these details out.

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Posted on March 30, 2016.

Make Blogging Great Again

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My original title for this was going to be "Blogging is Fun Again!" However, I couldn't resist putting a little spin on Donald Trump's slogan.


Blogging is Fun!

Recently, I've been thinking back to when I started blogging. It's only natural as this blog turns ten years old in a couple of months.

Blogging was a different world back then. It was mostly a curiosity. Almost every blogger I knew had some kind of technology background. While there were still a lot of blogs at the time, most of them seemed to focus on cats and/or that day's lunch. There weren't many people writing about taboo topics like their own personal finance.

You wrote and article and you hit publish. Some people stepped up their game and added images. That was the extent of it.

Then people started to augment their blogs with other things. Social Media started to explode and if you wanted to reach your audience, you had to be on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, etc. Bloggers decided to move beyond the written word and into audio with podcasts, video with their YouTube channels. At the last FinCon personal finance conference, the Next Big Thing was bloggers using Periscope to do live video.

While many people find these a lot of fun, I'm an introvert and this is far outside of my comfort zone. I honestly don't want to "be everywhere" online... largely because I'm already spending so much time online learning and researching stuff. Some of this stuff feels like marketing. I'm not the biggest fan of marketing largely because I feel it often conflicts with my goal of helping people reach financial freedom. (Or maybe that's the excuse I'm going to combine with my "Lazy" moniker.)

Recently, even writing articles has become a little less fun. There's always and initial excitement when you start to learn something new. There's always more to learn about personal finance, but the excitement curve has flatlined a bit. That's fine and to be expected. (Of course it is obviously less fun when helping people brings frivilous lawsuits against me.)

All of this is a long way of saying that I started a new blog over the weekend. In the upcoming weeks, I'll be talking more about it, but for now I'll be quiet while I continue to set it up. Yes, I still have Be Better Now, but the articles for that website are very, very research intensive. It is difficult for me to put aside the hours it takes to feel like I'm creating a really great post for the site.

In contrast the new blog was so much fun. I was fortunate to find the perfect domain name still available. I quickly registered it and used this great deal with Bluehost to install WordPress on it.

The focus of the blog is a topic that I am extremely interested in which is always a plus. I was racing around writing blog posts and ideas for future blog posts. I finished writing about 5-6 blog posts and came up with ideas for another 13 or more. I chose a theme and customized it. I created a favicon. I picked added a few WordPress plugins.

Honestly, my fingers couldn't move fast enough to do everything I wanted to. The look and feel isn't polished. It looks like a half-constructed policeman's beard.

I rushed to tell a couple of close friends who probably looked at it and shrugged their shoulders. They couldn't read the articles that I've written to be published in the future or see the vision I have for it. Even if they could, I bet they'd shrug their shoulders. It really isn't their thing.

I'm excited to see where this goes. It might go nowhere as this is absolutely the wrong time for me to start another blog. I just hope that the passion I have and the speed of which everything seems to come together makes it work.

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Posted on March 9, 2016.

Ten Reasons Why You Should be a Personal Finance Blogger

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Back in May of 2007, I wrote Top Ten Ways Personal Finance Blogging has Helped Me. With nearly 9 years of more experience to look at my blogging experience (and correct the formatting issues), I think it's time for an updated article. For nostalgia reasons (Letterman), I'll keep the same countdown system as the original article.

  1. I still make money from advertising - Online advertising has changed a lot in 9 years. Entire income streams (text links) have disappeared and advertisers pay much less than they used to (budget is probably going to Facebook). However, there's more traffic. I looked back over the years and there's one year (my best year) that I made half of what I did as a software engineer. I'm getting close to that now, but it is a full-time job.
  2. I'm wiser about money - I've been reading Kiplinger's and Money Magazine far, far longer than I've been blogging about money. You can a learn a lot from those magazines, but when you have to write to an audience it helps to research it and make sure you get it right.
  3. I'm forced to follow through - It's really hard to tell people to contribute to their Roth IRA and then blow it off yourself.
  4. I look into things I wouldn't have otherwise - Last year, we got solar power. I didn't suddenly wake up and say, "Hey this is a great way to save money." Instead, I thought, "This is a topic that I haven't written about. Let me investigate whether this makes sense so I can help others." You can read my articles on solar power here.
  5. I'm still learning business skills - Lazy Man and Money was never intended to be a business. It caught me by surprise that people would pay money to advertise on the blog. I wonder if readers think it's just write an article and publish it. There's a lot of (usually fruitless) negotiation with advertisers, technology issues (I was hacked last week), bookkeeping
  6. It fills a household need - Someone in the family needs to make financial decisions. My wife isn't geared to thinking, "Let's refinance the house." It's just not her thing. She's great at numerous other things that make the household run, but I think being a respected financial blogger gives her the confidence that I'm not gambling the money away.
  7. I'm still learning to be a better writer - Writing effectively is one of the most valuable skills you can possess. I know some personal finance bloggers who get deals to write for companies at $1 a word. To put that in perspective, this article would be worth around $750. Not many people can get nearly that kind of money, but it isn't unusual to make $50-$75 for an article on the side.
  8. I get help from others - When I have a money question, I have an audience of people who are usually willing to chip in. They often new ideas that I hadn't considered.
  9. I get to help others - Money can be a taboo topic, but it shouldn't be. When we discuss things we learn. I've gotten a lot of emails and comments about how much I've helped people. That makes me feel great.
  10. Inspiration - Inspiration is a two way street. When I read some of the blogs at Rockstar Finance's Net Worth tracker I am excited by bloggers who have a million (or two!) dollars. A few times over the last year, people have said to me, "You inspired me to write a blog." The strange thing is, these people have bigger and better blogs than I can even dream of.

I want to expand on that last one a bit. I was inspired by Boston Gal's Open Wallet. She inspired others (as well as me). It's incredible to think that one person can have an effect on tens of millions of lives, but that's exactly what has happened. Sometimes it feels like it is impossible to change the world. There's so much momentum and it's easy to feel like what you are doing doesn't matter. It does matter... probably a lot more than we can ever comprehend.

If this sounds like something you'd be interested in there are a few companies that can help get you started. I've found that companies such as 1 & 1 have an easy way to get started with a WordPress blog... and you really want to go with WordPress. It hosts around 99% of all blogs.

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Last updated on February 5, 2016.

My 2015 Finances Reviewed: Blogging/Income

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[This is the third part of My 2015 Financial Year in Review. You can read more of my financial picture at that link as I publish more articles.]

I've had a lot of challenging years in blogging, but 2015 was my most challenging. Like the other reviews of my financial life, this is going to sound really negative. If you stick with it until the end, you'll see the positive though.

I'll start by getting some of the nasty stuff out the way.

The Lawsuits

Legally, my LifeVantage/Protandim Statement is all that I can say. There's a reason why bolded the following, "I simply could not afford the cost of defending the lawsuit any further. Because of the personal expense that further litigation would have entailed, and for no other reason, I have reached a settlement with LifeVantage."

Freedom of speech is expensive. It can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars in a legal defense. I learned that wealthy people and companies can dictate individual's freedom of speech simply because of this reality. I'm not sure the creators of the 1st amendment really intended this to be the case with the judicial system, but in my experience that's where we are today.

I suppose I could have represented myself at my own cost. I don't think the legal system is designed to make that a fair method of dispute resolution. After all, here's a real life 7-minute conversation of two sides trying to figure out if someone knows what a photocopier is.

Imagine if you got in an argument with Lebron James and the way to resolve it was by playing him one-on-one and winning. That path isn't likely to lead to success. That's what I feel like it would be representing myself in an environment that is devoid of anything approaching common sense.

As I was finishing up with that settlement, I got word that I was being sued again.

This time RainSoft is suing me for this article: Is Home Depot’s Water Test from RainSoft a Scam? You can make your own assessment if there is anything in there that would even seem illegal, but I felt like I was simply telling a personal story of what happened when I tried to get purified water when our county alerted us to a possible issue. The additional information I found was as accurate as I could find.

I had communicated with a RainSoft VP soon after I wrote the article and they didn't express any concerns about the content. Eighteen months later they seem to have changed their opinion. The only thing that I can think of that has changed is that Google has decided it is a very good article that people should read when they search for RainSoft. If that's really the reason for the lawsuit (as I suspect), I can understand why they'd be unhappy. I look at it as a Yelp review, that isn't particularly favorable. In this case, I even praised RainSoft's products.

I asked my lawyer what the difference is and he said that typically companies don't sue over bad Yelp reviews. If someone is sued over a bad Yelp review, they typically would simply delete the review and eat at a different restaurant in the future. As a consumer advocate, I feel that I have to meet a higher standard to not delete helpful information. I owe it to readers like you.

Unfortunately, RainSoft didn't attempt to express any concerns to me before filing the lawsuit. That's not what I would I have expected from a responsible company, especially since the lines of communication were already open. In our last conversation, I had told RainSoft that I'd love to help them do better with consumers in the future. My guess is that they saw that this can be effective way to remove undesirable information from the internet. I can understand why they would consider the information undesirable.

The gravamen* of their complaint is that the presentation I received was from an independent distributor and that my article shouldn't have been about RainSoft itself. After I saw a 3-hour specifically-branded RainSoft presentation on an iPad that only covered RainSoft products, I considered it to be about RainSoft. As I did more research, I found that people on the internet generally reviewed RainSoft presentations, not the independent distributors' presentation. I've offered and continue to offer to clarify the RainSoft corporate structure in a way to appease RainSoft, but I haven't gotten their approval to go forward with it. For now it is up to the lawyers and courts to figure it out.

There's a lot more about this that I wish I could write. I can probably write most of them, but I'd want to clear it with my lawyer first and that's a process that I'd like to avoid.

* These are the cool words you learn when you get sued.

Everything Else

Like my previous articles on investing and real estate, there's a happy note to end on. In 2015, I had nearly 2.5 million page views. I don't think I had come close to a million page views in any other year. That's huge, huge growth. It warms my heart that people are coming here to get great information and, if they disagree, can use the comments to help make it better. That's why I continue to respond to just about every reader who leaves a comment.

I expect a major publication to publish a story about my consumer advocacy within the next few weeks. I can't give you much more information, but if you follow the articles here I'll be sure to let you know.

You'd think that with all those page views and all that growth, I'd be printing money. If I were a casual reader seeing all the advertisements and those numbers I'd think that as well. The reality is that advertisers are putting more and more money into other platforms such as Facebook advertising. One telling article that I've read recently is Get Rich or Die Vlogging: The Sad Economics of Internet Fame. That article is about video blogging, but it could be about blogging in general too.

I am making more money than I did in 2014, which is almost like saying that I performed better than the Bengals in a playoff game (sorry Cincinnati, I was rooting for you). That's how bad 2014 was.

I'm trying to diversify my income. My dog sitting business is going well. I've been able to make another $350 a month on average with it thus far. I'm optimistic that will go up with repeat customers. It's more responsibility, a little more work, a lot more fun, and an extra $4000-$5000 a year. That said, the dogs definitely bring some wear and tear with them.

I've got a lot of other ideas to look into in 2016, but I'm going to leave those goals, projections, etc. for another post.

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Posted on January 11, 2016.

A Little of What I Learned at FinCon15

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You may have noticed I haven't written for a few days. (You also may not have... ouch.)

I was at the annual personal finance conference, FinCon, in Charlotte North Carolina. I get to meet many great bloggers, share some incredible stories, and learn about the cool tools that companies are developing to help you manage your finances. I'm going to give a taste of it, because I couldn't certainly cover it in depth in one post.

FinCon Logo

I'm not going to dig too much into the companies and tools right now. Some of the tools aren't released yet and each one requires its own article to explain who it is for and why it is helpful.

Instead, I'm going to focus on the people and things that I learned:

Motivation is Where You Find It

I need your feedback on whether this was really smart or really dumb... I told Martin from Studenomics that he can body slam me at the next FinCon if I don't get a book published by January 1st.

This may be one of the more random sentences I've ever written.

Martin is a professional wrestler. He's also author of Failure To Launch No More (Review). Now you see the connection, right?

I'm not expecting to write a great book. I'm aiming for something useful that people will pay a couple bucks for and say, "That was a better value than watching Pearl Harbor."

The way I see it, first you have to be able to finish a marathon... then you can obsess about your time.

For those wondering... yes, I made this offer completely sober. I can't back out, there was a pinky swear involved.

Also, I noticed Martin in a session with me about how to make money freelancing. Biggest no-brainer business: "I will body slam you if you don't launch your project."

Siesta to Success

Many of the bloggers that I talked to set their own schedules. They do freelance writing on the side and other things to make money. I was somewhat surprised to learn that I had a unique schedule. When I shared it, the reaction was universally, "I NEED TO TRY THIS!"

I wake up early, around 5AM or 6AM, and work for 2-3 hours before getting the kids up and ready for day care. It's an extremely productive time of day with few distractions. At around 1PM, when I start to get tired, I take a 30-45 minute siesta. The siesta refreshes me to knock out another few hours of productivity, before I have to shut things down for the night.

I was surprised that the reaction was so strong. I had assumed that everyone was doing this. It's not like I invented the idea of a siesta. In any case, I think more than a few bloggers will now try it.

Some Conversation Highlights

Spent a few hours with Joe Taxpayer who lives near where I grew up. The conversation felt like we were sharing a brain. (I even used to have his WordPress theme in around 2006.) I'm jealous of his job educating children.

Spent a few hours with Ryan of Cash Money Life. He had me (and everyone in 10 foot radius) in stitches the entire time. He wasn't all about joking around though. I can't go into details, you just had to be there.

I wish I had 10% of the professionalism of Miranda Marquit of Planting Money Seeds. She also included me in more things than I can count... lunches, after parties, etc.

One particularly time was a late-night chat with Kyle from Young and Thrifty, Pete from Bible Money Matters and, Tom Drake of Canadian Finance Blog. Between the 5 of us, we probably have more than 40 combined years of personal finance blogging. In other words, we are old... at least in blogging terms. There were more than a few other bloggers there too, but that's who I talked with.

Had dinner with Eric J. Nisall from AccountLancer. We were just in the same place looking for the same thing. I had always seen him around, but didn't know him well or what he did. I am somewhat embarrassed that he probably knew me better than I knew him.

I've already rambled on too long about this, but I'll end with one final observation from someone's first time at FinCon. I have his card in my bag, but I haven't fully unpacked yet. He said (paraphrased):

"A couple of months back, I went to a conference on SEO [Search Engine Optimization] and the people were so secretive that you had to fight to get a nugget of real information. Here, I'm flooded with a hundred people telling me exactly what I need to do to grow my site. It's amazing."

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Posted on September 21, 2015.

About Those Sponsored Posts Lately…

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You may have noticed some many sponsored posts lately. This ratio of sponsored posts to original content is a limited time thing.

There's been a lot of (short term) sicknesses in my family. My 1 year old had a nasty stomach bug that spread to my 2 year old that spread to my wife and finally me. I've been either nurse or patient for a week now.

Around the same time, some high-quality companies such as TaxAct and US Bank approached me to do some sponsored posts. I hate to say no to these influential companies as they can be my biggest advertisers. Without advertisers, this website can't exist.

I could have gone a couple of weeks with no posts letting it appear to be dead. Fortunately these companies saved me by coming in at the right time. When life gives you lemons make lemonade. This was a way to make the best of a very ugly situation. (Trust me you don't want the detail on the stomach virus.)

I'm still drifting in an out of consciousness (I guess this is what happens when you don't eat for days), but at least most of the symptoms have subsided. I should be back and writing new articles soon, if not tomorrow.

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Last updated on April 16, 2015.

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