In this episode of the Help Start My Site podcast, we discuss whether or not blogging can bring financial freedom, and if so, how we can realistically make it happen. Later, we talk discuss people’s concerns over privacy issues, and compare .com to other domain extensions when it comes to click-throughs on the search engine results pages.
In This Episode, You Will Learn:
- Whether or not blogging can bring you financial freedom.
- If so, how to realistically make that happen!
- How you can get rich slowly but surely – even on minimum wage.
- How to retire as soon as possible.
- Why Google is being sued (again.)
- How .com compares to other domain extensions in the search engine results pages.
- The growth of Pinterest.
Links And Resources:
Hello everybody, this is James McAllister bringing you episode 4 of the Help Start My Site podcast.
Man you know, I feel like things are moving on quite nicely to be honest, we’ve got a nice little community building up and the podcast has received some nice reviews in iTunes so I’m thankful for that. I’m also feeling a bit more comfortable and things are starting to flow a bit nicer, so all in all things are going well.
Anyway, this week we’re going to discuss a very huge topic and that is financial independence, and whether or not it’s possible to achieve through blogging alone. Financial independence is one of the main goals people seek when they pursue blogging or any entrepreneurial task for that matter, so today we’re going to figure out whether not that’s actually possible, and if so, how we can realistically make it happen.
Later, we’re going to be talking about Google’s new privacy law suit, how .com compares against other domain extensions when it comes to search engine click-throughs, and the growth of Pinterest.
For all of the show notes in this week’s episode, visit [this page].
Alright – financial independence. The dream for many people. Just the thought of being able to retire early and live off of the money you already have is enough to bring a smile to most people’s faces. Now technically, financial independence is possible for pretty much everyone, the question is when will it be achieved? If you retire too late in life, well you won’t have much time or energy to enjoy all of the money that you have. I think it’s fair to say that most people would like to retire as early as possible, or at least have that option available to them.
Now obviously, what’s required to achieve financial independence will be different for everyone, and it will depend on a huge number of various factors. You’ve got to factor in your expenses, your area’s cost of living, how things will change in the future (such property taxes going up for example) your current age, whether or not you’ll have children, the risks of living in your area (so for example, natural disasters and the risk that they can destory your home,) anyway there’s a ton of factors and you’ll have to think of all of those when calculating how much money you’ll need.
I mean really, I could move to east Asia and be financially independent tomorrow, but I’d much rather live in the area I do now even though it costs more to live in.
Anyway, to become financially independent, you have to enough money coming in to cover all of your expenses, and then a bit extra as a safety net.
There are typically two ways people go about this. Option number one (and this is what most people take) is they save and invest as much money as possible, invest it into the stock market and retire when they have enough to live off of until they die.
Option number two, start a business or create something that creates passive income. We’re talking about book royalties, course sales, residual affiliate commissions, etc. You know how it works – create something once and collect money from it forever, or at least until someone else creates something better, and your income stream dries up.
And then there are people who do both, and this is what I’m actually doing to create my own financial freedom. I am creating products like my books and my blogging course which is on the way, and then investing all of the extra money I have into index funds. This grows my nest egg at an average of 7% a year after you account for inflation.
Ok, so we’ve got the ‘how’, but what about the ‘how much?’
Again, it depends on a huge amount of factors. The main one though is going to be your expenses. If you lower your expenses, you’ll need less to retire. I write a lot about this in what I believe to be the best post I’ve ever published on my site, “How To Quit Your Job To Blog Full Time ” which I’ll link to in the show notes.
So let’s just say for example that I could live off of $2000 a month, and that was all I need to retire. Let’s say my passive income streams were steady at $1000 a month. That would mean I’d need another $1000 a month to come from somewhere else if I wanted to become financially free.
OK, there’s a common rule that most financially independent people go on called the 4% rule. This rule basically states that once you’re ready to retire, than you can safely pull out 4% of your total money from your investment account each year, with a 95% chance that you will not run out of money before you die. This again, is because the market averages 7% a year after inflation so in theory your total money should actually grow as you are withdrawling. Anyway, using this rule, we can determine how much money we’ll need in our account to achieve financial independence.
Going back to our example, we would need an extra $1000 a month or another $12000 per year. This would mean that we would need $300,000 in our account that we could withdrawl money from.
Now I know that sounds like a lot of money, but if I had $75,000 in the market today and just let it sit for less than 20 years, I would have more than $300000 and I wouldn’t have even done anything. I would’ve put in no extra money and it would’ve grown completely on its own.
Clearly investing is pretty powerful, so it makes sense to put your money to work for you by investing it in the market.
Alright, well how does this relate to blogging, and can you actually achieve financial independence through blogging?
The answer is yes, but the answer is also no.
The truth is, blogging is far from passive. There is a ton of work that goes into it every week, even if you’re already successful. If you slack off, then somebody else is going to work harder and steal your visitors. That’s just the way it is.
So no, blogging itself can’t make you truly financially independent. It can replace your regular job and provide you all the income you need to live off of, but that source will slowly but surely dissapear if you stop working.
However, you most certainly can become financially independent using the money that blogging makes you. Blogging and internet marketing have no real limit to the amount of money you can earn, so as soon as you’re making enough to cover your expenses, it’s a very wise decision to invest all the extra money you have into index funds. If you want to learn how I recommend doing this, you’ll want to read over the ‘Investing’ and ‘Securing Your Earnings’ section of my book, “The Young Entrepreneur’s Guide To Business, Finance, and Life.”
Doing the math, if you had $1000 left over from blogging each month and you invested that money, you’d be a millionaire in today’s dollars in 27 years. If you count inflation, than you’d be a millionaire in 22 years, and actually quicker than that because inflation would cause you to make more money.
If you invested $1500 a month, which still isn’t unreasonable at all if you’re making a good amount from blogging, you’d be a millionaire in 19 years.
Now think of it this way – with a million dollars and the 4% rule, you’d be able to withdrawal $40,000 a year and still have your portfolio grow. Many people don’t even make $40,000 a year working their traditional job.
So while blogging itself won’t bring you financial independence, the money blogging can bring you most certainly can. And that’s powerful.
The really important thing is that you get this financially independent mindset engrained into your mind as early as possible. The difference between a rich person and a poor person isn’t really how much money they make, it’s how their spending that money. You could have a job paying $100,000 a year, but if you’re spending all of that 100,000 than you’ll be worse off than the guy that makes $50,000 a year and saves half of it.
If you aren’t doing something to either create passive income or put your money to work for you, than you’ll always be reliant on your employer and you will never be financially free.
And again, ideally you’ll be doing both. You’ll want to leave as much of your money in the stock market as possible so you can continue earning more from it. I could start withdrawling my 4% as soon as I hit a million dollars, or I could leave it in the market for another 5 years and grow it to 1.6 million dollars and live quite a bit more comfortably in retirement. My own personal goal is to not have to take money out of my account at all, and just live off of my passive income sources and my dividends from the stocks. When I die, I’ll just give my money to charity or something.
So again, just to summarize. Can you become financially free from blogging alone? No. Can you become financially free with the money blogging gets you? Absolutely, if you put that money to work for you. It’s not hard, you’ve just got to start doing it. And again, if you want to learn my safe, reliable method for investing be sure to pick up a copy of “The Young Entrepreneur’s Guide to Business, Finance, and Life” which will be in the show notes.
Moving on, let’s look into some of this week’s most important news in the internet marketing world, and see how we can use it to our advantage to help us grow our businesses.
First up, Google is getting sued again for the “Cookiegate” scandal back from 2012. Now if you don’t know what Cookiegate is, or was, it was basically an issue that was brought up when it was discovered that Google among a few other major ad companies were bypassing the option in mobile users of Safari on iPhone to block third-party tracking cookies.
Originally in 2012, Google paid 22.5 million dollars to settle the case in the US, but the issue now is for privacy suit in the UK, which was approved this week.
This article from the Wall Street Journal says that the plaintiffs (which are the British iPhone users) “suffered damage to personal dignity, autonomy, and integrity and have been caused anxiety and distress.” The court has said that Google should have known that its data collection was “exceeding what should have been expected under its privacy policies.”
In other news, Verisign has conducted a study that says that search engine users are more likely to click on domains ending in .com than domains ending in other extensions, especially a lot of the newer obscure ones that have been coming out recently. Not only are .coms getting clicked more often, but people are actually skipping higher ranking websites to click on those that end in .com.
It’s important to note that domain extension has no effect whatsoever on SEO, but apparently that doesn’t matter. In the end, it comes down to clicks, and if people are skipping over your website to find one that ends in .com, you’ve got a problem. This is pretty significant news because it proves that .Com actually does affect how well you do in the search engine results pages, because like I said, in the end it all comes down to how many people are landing on your site. High rankings do not mean anything if nobody is clicking, right?
The study also claims that 94 percent of test subjects were able to correctly recall a .com address, compared to only 7 percent who could recall one with the newer domain extensions.
Now .com has always been the best option when choosing a domain name simply because it’s the most popular. When you tell someone the name of a website, they automatically assume it ends in .com because that domain extension is the most common.
So if your desired domain name isn’t available in .com, perhaps it’s a better idea to find a different one.
Alright, to wrap up the news for this week, Pinterest is celebrating its 5th birthday, and it’s been announced that there have been 50 billion pins posted in total. Wow, that’s a lot! This time last year there were only 30 billion pins, which means that Pinterest has grown 66% faster this year than they did last year. That’s pretty incredible.
Pinterest is clearly growing pretty fast, but are you taking advantage of that? If you’re in a graphic heavy niche, than you probably should be. Pinterest is primarily a photo site, but it’s a great traffic generator as well. If you post a pin from a website, a link to that website is available on the pin’s page on Pinterest. Some people are getting tens of thousands of visits a month just from other people pinning their content, which is pretty unbelievable.
Alright, those are the main pieces of news for this week. Let’s take a look at some of the stand out posts from around the web that I think you should check out if you haven’t already. Links to all of these articles will be in the show notes at HelpStartMySite.com
First up, we have an article from Ryan Biddulph on Blogging From Paradise called, “How To Write One 7,000 Word Blog Post Weekly.” and let me tell you, this is coming from somebody who actually does write one 7,000 word blog post each week.
Now I know it’s not for everybody, but the advice within the article isn’t restricted to just blog posts. Using the advice in this article, you could write one 2000 or so word long blog post and then put the other 5000 to use on a Kindle book for example, which by the way – Ryan puts out quality Kindle books faster than anyone I know, ON TOP of the giant blog posts he puts out each week.
Moving onto number two, we have an article from LeapFroggr called, “My go-to Link Building Strategy That Skyrockets Websites to the Moon.”
Now I’m not big on SEO at all, but the author of this piece Dennis Seymour is definitely an expert on the subject and knows a lot more than I do. There are quite a few, very unique link building strategies in this article that I would have never of thought of personally, so if you want to boost your search engine rankings check this one out. Dennis is also starting a podcast pretty soon from what I’ve heard, so that’ll be one I will definitely be tuning into.
The third post this week is from a guest author on ProBlogger.net, called, “7 Effective Tips To Grow Your Social Media Presence The Right Way.”
Social media has changed a lot in these past few years, and you’ve got to do things differently if you want to grow a loyal, engaged group of followers. This article will show you how.
Fourth we have an article from NicheHacks called, “The Ultimate 57 Point Blog Marketing Checklist.”
You know, I feel like every post published on NicheHacks.com should be in this shout out list because they are incredible. Really, this post could have been sold as an eBook and still been an incredible value. If you’re not marketing your content and nobody is reading it, then it’s not helping you much. You’ll definitely want to read over this one, because my own words won’t do this post justice.
And finally, the post on Help Start My Site this week: “What Does The Future Of Internet Marketing Look Like?”
This post goes into detail about how we can expect things to change within the next few years in both the blogging and marketing world, and shares how you can start making changes now to prepare for the inevitable changes that are coming in the future. The truth is, if you aren’t willing to keep up with the changes in our industry, than you’ll get left behind because your competitors WILL be on top of things. As I say in the post, you’ve got to adapt or you’ve got to die. It’s really your choice.
Alright, that’s all we have time for in this week’s episode of the Help Start My Site podcast. I appreciate you taking the time to tune into today’s show, and I’ll see you at the next one.
Until then, make sure to pay me a visit on my blog, HelpStartMySite.com, and sign up for my free email newsletter if you haven’t already. See you there!