Month : March 2011

Guest Post

Accepting Donations on Your Blog – Is it a Good Idea?

As you spend time browsing through your favorite personal blogs, you may notice the increasing trend of donation buttons. These buttons allow for a reader to quickly send a few bucks in the blogger’s direction if they like what they see. From the bloggers that I have spoke with, there is a quite a divide when it comes to their opinion on this practice; some bloggers think it is a great idea, while others think it is tacky. I personally feel that it depends on what type of blog you write, and what you intend the donation to be for.

Commercial Blogs

I use this terminology for blogs that are intended to make their author money. There are obviously varying degrees here, but the general intent of this blog is to provide a substantial revenue stream for the blogger. This is often achieved through all sorts of integrated revenue streams such as affiliate partnerships, advertising, selling services, pop ups, in-line text links, etc.

Donation buttons on this type of blog seems very out of place. The blogger already has one or multiple streams of revenue and it can seem overly greedy to ask a reader for money. With advertising, the reader is allowing ads to be served to them in exchange for getting the content for free (think over the air TV.) Asking them for money on top of that gets sticky. Think of a company like Best Buy asking people on their way out of the store to drop a few bucks in the donation bucket that goes to their bottom line.

Personal / Informative Blogs

Blogs that fall into this category are usually enthusiast blogs or people who have a passion for something and like to write for the sake of writing. They thoroughly enjoy spreading their message and people find their information to be very appealing and useful. This is the perfect site for a donation button. These bloggers are willfully giving up their personal time to educate and help others. They also tend to have a loyal following and usually see a better response when asking for donations.

Personal and informative blogs often times will include other sources of revenue, however, their intentions are usually different. The truth is, it costs money to operate a blog. It might not be a lot, but there are costs associated with it. So often times they will add something like AdSense or a sponsor to help curb the cost of hosting, software, etc.

These are by no means the only types of blogs, and there are often hybrids of the two. If your goal is to help curb costs or to buy yourself a cup of coffee while writing the posts, then great! If it is to add a little incremental revenue to an already filled up affiliate blog, then it can rub readers the wrong way. There is nothing worse than having to close 3 ad pop ups, just to be confronted by a “Please Donate” button.

If you are considering adding a donation button to your personal or informational blog, do not feel bad about it. If you are willing to give up your time and energy to write about things that can legitimately educate and help other people, there is nothing wrong with asking for a little something in return. The best part about donations is that they are completely optional. If someone does not see the value, then they do not have to donate. But if you write good content and are engaged with your readers, you may be surprised.

Eric Stauffer works with a merchant services industry watchdog group called Card Payment Options. For more information about a company that offers easy to use donation buttons, check out their PayJunction review.

Announcements

Go Enter This Contest

Elle over at Couple Money is holding a giveaway with a lot of great prizes. Check out this list:

HP Mini Ice Berry Netbook

2011 Quicken Premier

Subscription to Money Magazine

Subscription to Kiplinger’s Magazine

$25 Amazon gift card

$25 Cash Prize via PayPal

$25 Amazon gift card

Thats a lot of great prizes. Go enter here! or don’t and give me a better chance of winning :)

Guest Post

Why Your College Degree Is Not Enough

Once upon a time, it was common knowledge that a college degree practically guaranteed employment.  However, the rules have changed.  Students, both young and old need to understand that a college degree alone isn’t enough to stay competitive in today’s job market.  Pay attention, because there are plenty of reasons why your college degree just isn’t enough.

First off, a degree no longer sets you apart from the pack. Today, high school students are pretty much expected to go to college. Boomers are going back to college.  Plus, there is plethora of specialized technical colleges.  So, there are millions of other people with degrees looking for jobs just like you.  While the realization of the importance of obtaining a degree is wonderful, this shift in thinking took college graduates from the front of the line and placed them right in the middle.  This eliminated the competitive edge that a degree once provided.

Then, there is college degree dilemma, experience.  It’s hard to land a job without experience, but you can’t get experience until you land a job.  In today’s job market, experience trumps a degree every time.  So much so, that there is a push to keep seniors and boomers in positions past traditional retirement age in many industries.  This is due to the fear of losing knowledge and experience that recent graduates and young professionals do not have.  Even in industries that are intertwined with rapid technological, legal, and medical advancement, experience is the door opener and closer.

A degree doesn’t change the landscape of the labor market.  Recession, recovery, no matter where you may think we are this labor market favors employers.  Employers have their pick among the crème of the crop for each and every position. Jobs that were once considered entry level positions are being fought for and won by job seekers with mid and senior level experience. And no industry is safe. Even in careers with traditionally high demand, the number of job seekers far outweighs the number of positions. Applicants are finding that they must be the total package just to secure an interview. 

Finally, your degree doesn’t change where you are.  Believe it or not, your location has become just as important as obtaining a degree.  Economic recovery is happening more quickly in some cities and states.  In areas where hiring is slow those with just a degree to their credit will find it nearly impossible to land a job.

It’s a humbling reality for all recent graduates, both young and old.  But, the fact is that a college degree just isn’t enough in today’s job market. Regardless of your major or the type of position that you are seeking today’s candidates must have more to offer than just academic achievement.

Jack Vincent teaches you how to avoid the 17 pitfalls that lead to financial slavery and how to use the 23 principles that lead to wealth and prosperity. His book, The Way to Wealth Special Edition, is an updated, easy-to-read, modern day version of Benjamin Franklin’s, The Way to Wealth, originally written in 1758. His book has the practical wisdom you need to begin building wealth and gaining financial freedom! Download your copy today at TheWayToWealthBook.com

Announcements

A Couple of Things

I know I’ve been gone for just a little bit. This should be taken care of as soon as I get a couple more SEO clients under my belt (I’m trying to make bank). Thanks for staying with me and I’ll be sure to get some great information out to you soon.

A couple of things

1. I’m in the Sweet 16 in the Free Money Finance March Money Madness. If you wouldn’t mind clicking here, it would be great if I could get a vote from you for one of my older passionate posts that I wrote. It’s in game 2. To vote just comment with the word “Habits”. Thanks to anyone that helps out…I Love You :)

2. I didn’t get a chance to highlight this yet but Jesse at Pianoing.com finished up one of my favorite songs Piano Man by Billy Joel. Click on that link to see it and be sure to check out this months song titled “Let it be”, another one of my favorites.

and the last thing I’d like to mention is Tumblr. I don’t use it but I hear it’s something that will really take up your time and entertain you forever. The reason I bring it up is because my fiancée is on it and I finally found out the power it has. It can really help your site/video go viral. I found this little gem and a couple of the comments were “If you found this on tumblr thumbs up”. It already has over 100,000 views and growing at a fast rate. This movie came out last year but it’s going viral now because of tumblr. Plus it’s hilarious.

So start your week off with laughter, and have a great week.

Guest Post

Living a Frugal Life can Actually Help You to Repair your Credit

Frugality actually helps you save money more than what you usually do through simple budgeting. If you had been in debt problem, you may be able to use the saved money to solve your debt problem. Even if you think that you need to go for credit counseling in order to both repair your credit and pay off your debts, you can use the money to pay the credit counseling company for their services.

How to Lead Frugal Life

If you want to lead a frugal life, you will have to follow some strategies like:

  1. First understand what being frugal is – In order to lead a frugal life and in order to save money fruitfully, you need to understand what being frugal is. Only if you are able to get the essence of being frugal, you may be able to save money without pressurizing yourself with the money moves.
  2. Change your spending habits – In order to be frugal, you need to change your money habits or spending habits. Like, you will have to stop yourself from indulging yourself too much, you will have to give up on your impulse buys, and so on.
  3. Keep credit card for emergency purposes – Try to lower the usage of your credit cards and keep those for usage in time of emergencies. This helps you to remain debt free and thus you will also be able to save money.
  4. Save on electricity and gasoline – You can go frugal by saving on your electricity and gasoline. You can save on electricity if you use power saving lamps and a power saver strip. The power saving strip puts off the lights and other electric appliances.
  5. Stop eating out – You can also save lots of dollars if you stop eating out. This not only helps you to save money but also helps you to maintain good health. This in return also helps you to save a lot on medical bills.
  6. Rent rather than own – If you rent rather than owning things, you will be able to save lots of money. For example, if you rent a home rather than buying one, if you rent car rather than buying one and even small things like CDs and books, you may be bale to save  lot.

Thus, you can see that frugality can actually help you in saving money and repairing your credit at the same time.

This is a guest post from Carol, one of the financial writers associated with the Credit Magic Community.