May 2017 – The world of marketing

Boy, May has been quite a ride. As mentioned in my April update, one of my focuses for May is to have the personal finance book ready to be promoted. My initial idea was that I would split the book into 3 parts and have it behind 3 different actions that I’d like people to take (joining the personal finance for canadians facebook group, signing up for email updates and leaving me a comment on my personal finance site). But then I realized that if I really wanted to reach the masses, this material needs to be readily available on my site so that it gets indexed by google, and ideally start ranking on the first page.

So I switched my plans and started putting the pieces on the site. I believe the two most influential chapters in the book would be around credit scores and student loans, as I wrote everything you would ever need to know about those two topics. Each of those also ended up being over 3000 words long, and if you’re reading this right now, imagine reading this piece that was 3000 words in this format.

It would have been a bad user experience (UX), and so I spent a whole week trying to figure out how to make it a little better. I reached out to my designer friends and started going down a rabbit hole. I knew UX was important, but until I started talking to those who were doing this for a living, I didn’t know just how much went into it. I played with fonts, font sizing, changing up what the eye sees, adding pictures, and creating a sidebar to act like a table of content. And I’m proud of where it’s at now (you can click on the links above to see).

After beautifying the pieces, I started to look into affiliate opportunities for the services I believed in. And it turned out that there was an opportunity with Borrowell, a free credit score service. They would pay me ($2.20) for everyone who signs up to get their credit scores. At the same time, they were completely free (they try to promote their debt consolidating service once you’re a user), and gave me my Equifax credit score without me having to pay Equifax. It was a great opportunity, and also opened a whole new can of worm.

So now that the content was created, how do I get eyes on it? Ranking on Google would be the ideal, but it time to build up backlinks to create domain authority and keyword authority (spent another week or three learning how that works). Then there was social media. I could work on getting shares on those articles in the hope that others will come around and read it. And it worked… to a certain extent.

But the opportunity I got excited about was what if I could create an advertising campaign where my average cost per convert (ie the person sees the ad, reads the piece and signs up for Borrowell through me) was under $2.20? All of the sudden, this would become sustainable, and I could reach a much bigger audience!

And so I started playing with Facebook ads. Which takes us to where we are today.


Great initial reception to the cornerstone pieces

The credit score piece has over 50 social media shares and the student loan piece has over 20. I take this to mean that people have found it helpful. All that’s left is to get these two ranked on page 1 of google so it naturally builds upon its success.

MBA in marketing

I’ve wondered how I was going to go through a self created MBA like Tim Ferriss for awhile now, and I think I had my initial idea when I purchased Neil Patel’s Advanced Marketing Program back in February. I thought it’d be using those lessons and promote a book, but the last week has been using those lessons to promote my site, creating landing pages for what I believe everyone would be better off using, and finding a way to break even with it.

I’m down probably $60, but the amount I’ve learned so far has been such a thrill.

Do I have a job abroad?

I got an offer from Belgium. And then I turned it down for an opportunity that I’m hoping pans out.

In April, I made it my goal to secure a job abroad. I mentioned back in January that I wanted to apply for Mindvalley, located in Malaysia (damn, it’s been 5 months since…). Well… I still got an offer from them. Not officially anyway. I’ve interviewed with everyone that I need to, and they all seemed to like me. It’s just that I interviewed with the CEO first (normally last) and after interviewing with the last person, they said they still need to get final approval from the CEO. Which is fine, except the CEO is currently in Barcelona for their newly created Mindvalley Univercity. He’s there for a month, so they’re hoping they can somehow get his attention to get a sign off.

Anyway, I’m pretty positive on getting the offer. Just a lot longer than I anticipated (good thing I have this side project that’s expanding in scope daily).

Appreciating my days

I really thought that I’d be bored out of my mind by now. It’s been over 6 months since I officially worked for anyone, but I’m still super excited each day on what I’m working on. Perhaps it’s the non-stop learning. Perhaps it’s the creation of something. Perhaps it’s the unknown of how this whole thing can turn out. Regardless, I take my opportunities to work in my backyard under the sun when I can. I got to see the trees blossom. And I’ve taken a few naps outside.

And then I remember the last time I got to do all that was in highschool when I got to nap under the shade on the hill overlooking my school.

It’s been great.

June Goals

Secure my opportunity abroad

Not actually much I can do besides checking in to see where we’re at, but I’m hopeful!

Scale back on the blog

I can easily say that I spend over 40 hours a week on this blog, which is fine. But I think I’m getting closer to the 60-70 hour mark. Which is not. The problem is that I view this as play, but that’s almost the equivalent of gaming all day. I’ve stopped reading as much as I wanted.

Right now I tend to go 9-4; 10-1. It’s time to shave off a few hours.

Finish books

I’m currently reading Unlimited Power by Tony Robbins, which is fascinating to see how one psychology can be influenced. I also started reading Pre-suasion by Robert Ciadini which I hope will make my ads more effective.

Another neat thing is that I’m reading Unlimited Power out loud, to hopefully improve my ability to articulate words.

Get out more often

The nice thing is that my network in Toronto is slowly expanding so I’m hoping to be out and about twice a week (hopefully the weather cooperates).

Grow my blog

And of course, the big kahuna: growing my blog. I really want to get myself in the situation where my ads are covered by my affiliate payouts. That way I can continue to target more people, and eventually build enough rapport to really get them bought into a shift of mindset instead of just the quick wins.

Then there’s the SEO piece. I really need to find other sites to link back to me saying that I’m a great resource for financial knowledge, so if you know anyone who can help me, please let me know!

I’ve also started to incorporate myself into the Canadian personal finance bloggers community, so hopefully I meet some great people and grow financial literacy together.