Status Update 3/12/2018

Hey how’s it going everyone hope you all are well.  I just wanted to give a quick update on what is going on with my life right now. If you’ve been keeping up with the biweekly goal analysis you know it’s been a crazy couple week and I’ve been super busy.  I can say nothing has changed on that front, I am in the middle of our big St. Pat’s party week right now, followed by a hard week of school with tests and then spring break. From then on, it’s still going to be a wild ride to the end of the semester. Because of this I’ve been putting the blog and Instagram on the back burner for a little bit. I was consistently working 16-18 hours a day between school, fraternity, philanthropy, rugby, and my personal endeavors and it was slowly killing me. Soon I plan to refocus my Instagram efforts and get the blog some better tools retain my audience (mailing list, email newsletters, more Facebook ads etc.) but I simply do not have the time to make that commitment all the way. On a positive note I have an internship more or less locked down for this upcoming summer its actually a sales position which is very different from what I am use to or expected to do, but the experience and income should be very beneficial. I think the unique schedule I will be working will also help with this blog, and my other endeavors so hopefully that leads to some explosive growth this summer. I was also considering changing the focus of the blog entirely, as it sits now its me sharing my financial journey, but I guess it’s boring right now to be frank. I’m not making many moves right now since I haven’t had any income since August. I am reading books and learning about successful people and how to be successful and am reading a lot of motivational content so maybe that may be a temporary route I go. As I said above its been busy and we are in a holding pattern right now so hold tight while I get my life together.

If you have any suggestions, ideas, content to talk about, or products to aid in some of my problems stated above let me know!

B^2

End of February Goal Analysis

Man, that was a quick one, a very short and busy month let to some disappointing results but lets not beat around the bush and dive right in.

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Looking at the Instagram items, posts and followers were close to the target, again it was a too little too late scenario and its hard to make up for the days with no posts. Overall, I’m not disappointed with this one, I put a lot of effort into it and it was very close just didn’t want to compromise my content for hitting the target, but I may have already… more on that later. Moving to the blog objectives, 40 blog posts and 400 visitors, yea neither of those were going to happen. Had I continued pushing the paid advertising as hard as I did the first half of February then maybe, but without that the views are organic and very low. As I have said before, writing blog posts requires a lot from me, I must be in the mood and mindset to write these up and if its not there then the writing quality is trash and it’s a slow process.

Related to the blog is the mailing list, and I looked at a plugin for it on WordPress, but I don’t think it was ever implemented, at least when I went on the site I never found a form to fill out. Again, related to the blog, affiliate sales still have never took off, of course its much harder with low traffic on the site. Same applies to the Shopify referrals, I had 10 clicks through the site and I never had one go through with the full signup process.

Changing gears again we look at the two book goals, Sell or be Sold, and Rental Property Empire. I finished and posted on Sell or Be Sold, terrific book, great content, it may have persuaded me to take a sales internship this summer, updates to come soon on that. Here is the link for the article though, check it out! http://bsquared.website/2018/02/28/sell-or-be-sold-how-to-get-your-way-in-business-and-in-life-grant-cardone/ I just started Rental Property Empire tonight actually, so far, its pretty basic information I already knew hopefully it picks up in fresh content though, approximately 15% through it.

Last two girls include credit cards and interviews. Despite the check marks the credit cards didn’t get paid off the way I wanted them to so that was rather disappointing, as far as the interviews, the Spring Career Fair at my school was rough this year. Lots of full-time and co-op opportunities but not much for summer interns so that wasn’t good. I did get 2 interviews though, one for the sales rep and one for a steel company. There may be more opportunities coming up but that’s all I have right now.

About the Instagram issue noted above, I have two screenshots from my account tonight. You can see there is a strong inverse correlation between action and discovery and I don’t know why. I have been posting frequently (probably too much but was going for the goal) and I think that may have something to do with it. But I am looking for more link clicks, engagement, and followers. I am getting them slowly but surely, but I would like to master Instagram to deliver the best results for my blog.

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Looking forward March is a crazy month at my school. I have 2 tests next week, St. Pat’s, another testing week, then spring break. My philanthropy week is also soon after in April and my team and I are putting in tons of work lately to get that all ready to go. I have made accommodations to my goals by covering the whole month of March in this next set. Hopefully I can deliver stellar results to make up for the last couple disappointing performances. At first I set the bar relatively low for my goals, the more I looked at them the easier they looked and I decided I needed to keep pushing myself so I cranked them back up to a tougher target.

As always let me know what you think, and if you have any suggestions or comments those are always appreciated.

Until next time,

B^2

Blog analysis January- February

As you may know I am extremely data driven. I love numbers and finding trends and all that kind of stuff, that probably why I ended up studying engineering.  Anyway after 2 solid months of putting my heart and soul into this blog or as much of both as I could I wanted to look at what I had and see if I couldn’t find any trends or anything special with it. Hopefully by the end of this I can give other bloggers out there some tips and advice or if you have any please share it with me!

Below is the stats board for January 2018.

January stats

Unfortunately, I didn’t think I could fit everything well in one screen snip, but I had 152 views and 97 visitors. Fairly respectable for a full first month’s effort. At this time, I was experimenting with Facebook advertising as you can see 55 of my views all of which were driven by the Modern Long Term Stock Market investing book drove many of my visitors and views. Instagram contributed 27 visitors and search engines managed 7 visitors. If you turn those all into percentages it would read 56.7% Facebook, 27.8% Instagram, 7.2% search engine. All should be noted that many of the views came within the United States and the runner up was UK with approximately 10% of the total views. About $29 was spent on advertising in January.

Next up we have February 2018. While not completely over we are pretty darn close so we will call it as we see it.

February stats

February boosts 260 views and 177 visitors, a sizeable margin over January. Now with 2 front runners for article views, both Freedom Funnel and Millionaire Booklet were advertised heavily. The runner up 10X Rule didn’t do bad either. Facebook comprised 125 out of 177 referrals, Instagram 35, search engines 7 it looks like. In percentages we have Facebook 70.6%, Instagram 19.8%, and Search engines at 4%. Lets also look at viewership. Majority United States again comprising of 64% of the demographic, and UK in second with 16.5% of the demographic. Advertising costs for January were about $43 maybe slightly less than that.

Digging further into the data we find that both January and February had 8 new blog posts each so that remains a consistent factor. I also cut down the Facebook advertising after mid-February, I was at 150+ visitors around that time as well. The lack of effort in the second half of February killed the growth of this blog. I have mentioned in earlier posts my extra effort required at school around that time prevented some of that growth.

After looking at the above data, I can deduct that advertising has a direct correlation to viewership however I still have not made any income from the blog in terms of referrals to apps, amazon affiliate sales, or any other revenue of that manner. Until I can increase my income organically I will be taking it easy on the advertising costs. I have been putting more emphasis in my Instagram account and hope that will drive future growth. I believe more posts and the catalog of old posts will also increase visitors and viewership. I am currently working on setting up a mailing list to further hit on returning visitors and keep the blog growth steady.

Hopefully this gave you all some insight on what’s going on behind the scenes here at B^2, please let me know if you have any suggestions!

Until next time,

B^2

February 15th Goal Update

Hey everyone, first off, I just want to say I am so sorry for this coming out as late as it is. I had a couple tests, the career fair at my school, fraternity and philanthropy matters that were taking up a lot of time, and unfortunately it isn’t going to get any better. I had a function this past weekend and forgot my laptop charger and put me very far behind and has caused some of the time issues that led to the above-mentioned items to take priority. Excluding that hiccup this has been the busiest semester I’ve ever had and them I’m adding to that with this blog and everything else I’m trying to do. If you have any suggestions or advice I’m all ears because this quite a serious matter.

Anyways let’s get to it! Below is the goal screenshot.

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Like I mentioned above I had the career fair at my school which is a huge deal and I needed to get myself out there and try and get a job for this summer. I decided to have my resume revised and getting applications out early would help me out tremendously and added those items to my goal list and accomplished both. I’ve been trying to build my brand/establish my presence in the world and I feel like Instagram is a very good platform to do that in for what I am doing and what demographic I am targeting so that’s why my current and future goals will revolve around it. I came one post short for my Instagram goal and that really came down to me scrambling the last 3 days trying to post useful content and taking time to find that great content. I did hit my followers goal though! On that note I would like to ask my readers, do you have any issues with losing followers on significant levels? I’ve seen a drop in 5-10 followers on some of those days and it was extremely puzzling so if anyone has any suggestions or advice on that again I am all ears.

Moving on I finished The 10X Rule and I am so happy I did, it was an incredible book with great content, advice, ideas and I believe it will be the foundation of my success for the future. I wrote a nice little review for it as well so if you would like to check it out click the link here. http://bsquared.website/2018/02/08/the-10x-rule-the-only-difference-between-success-and-failure/

I also finished 10 Ways to make Passive Income, not the same level of book but the link for the article is here as well. http://bsquared.website/2018/02/13/10-ways-to-make-passive-income-financial-education-youtube-channel/

Reading the 2 books above and the one I am currently reading, Sell or be Sold, has rekindled my passion for learning and reading that has been gone for quite some time now so that was refreshing to experience. I encourage everyone if they think a book would benefit them and I’ve read and reviewed it to check out the review before you buy it and get an idea if it is for you or not. I also think honesty is crucial and I will also tell you if you should buy the book or not regardless if I affiliate link it or not.

Next goals I will cover regard the blog, 35 blog posts and 100 visitors. Let me tell you first and foremost I occasionally dread writing these posts. I’ve never been much of a writer, but I am passionate about teaching and this seems at the current time the most effective way to get my message across under the given circumstances, so that’s why I blog. On that note, 26 blog posts are very short of 35 and I realize I set my goals on the upper end of the spectrum. I would have normally said I set my goals too high, but I really didn’t take enough action to create the content to write 35 blog posts worth of material and to do the actual writing itself. You can find that life lesson in The 10X Rule. The back half of this month’s goals will be posted at the end of this article, but you can see I did not take a very ambitious approach with blog post goal for the reasons mentioned above. I crushed the 100-blog visitor goal…. But it was mainly due to paid advertising through Facebook. Which is good, people are reading my posts and I’m getting a few clicks for the affiliate sales, but I need something sustainable obviously and you will see that in the next set of goals.

Next up affiliate sales. Oh man these have been rough, I had goals of 1 affiliate sale and 30 clicks across the board. We landed at zero affiliate sales and 17 clicks, I failed to reach either goal. These have continued to struggle since so I am asking my readers again, if you have any suggestions or advice for these please let me know. I really need to get some research in on how to best set all of those up when I get some time.

The side money challenge has more or less fallen off the wagon. I am quite simply trying to do too many things at once and I’ve always heard its better to full-ass one thing than half-ass two things. So, while I am still tracking it and I was at $227.50 / $400 it has not been my main priority at all. Investing referrals! I failed to get a referral for the following investing apps I use, Robinhood, stash, and acorns. I think I am simply late to the game and incorrectly targeting my audience. My main demographic is already people who invest so that doesn’t help me get referrals typically. At least those articles are out there forever, and the links still work so one day someone might stumble upon them and start using the app.  The last item on the goal list was to pay off my Discover credit card. I paid off the equivalent amount on my Visa instead because the due date is sooner, so I’ll call that a win in my books.

My next set of goals are below, if you follow me on Instagram you’ve already seen these. I realize this isn’t very productive since these goals end in 5-6 days since it’s a short month but nonetheless this can give you an idea of where I was coming from and where I am going. They are up to date as of the morning of 2/23/2018. As you can see there is a long way to go and I got a bad start with the above mentioned time commitments mentioned in the first paragraph but I am determined to make a sizable dent in those goals.

So tell me what kind of goal setting do you do? Do you write your goals down everyday like Grant Cardone? Do you set short term goals like I do? Are you a New Years’ Resolutioner and quit about this time of the year?

Comment and let me know, I’d love to hear your feedback!

-B^2

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January Goal Analysis

I decided in Mid-January after reading part of Grant Cardone’s “The 10X Rule” that I needed to push myself and set some short-term goals to get my finances, blog, social influence, brand etc. all on track. I wrote these goals down on my phone and posted them on my business Instagram as you can see here.IMG_0313.png

Also if you haven’t been following me yet its @bsquared.website and I try to make my posts value oriented and show everyone what I am doing to improve my blog, business, investments etc. Anyways the timeline for that first set of goals was under 2 weeks and as you can see below I didn’t reach most of them.

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I came so close to the blog visitor goal, I was at 97 for January and as I was finishing up homework around 12:30am I had another visitor technically on February 1st, that’s why the +1 is there. Nonetheless that was a huge achievement for me, I started the blog in late November and had only 7 visitors for the whole month of December. As far as clicks go I haven’t been doing well on blog to amazon, I always hear its just a law of numbers. I guess I just need to get my numbers up and the clicks will come in. Falling short on blog posts came down to time and amount of content I had, but mainly time. I also planned on a friend writing 2 articles for me but that hasn’t happened yet. Side money made it easily with all the recent stock sales and profits I’ve collected from that. Again, with the clicks I think the affiliate sale follow a rule of numbers and I just need to keep pushing until I get to that threshold. The 10X rule and posting about it also came down to time, I’ve been extremely busy with school, fraternity business and working on all my personal goals and picking up my kindle and reading just wasn’t on the priority list. Coming short on forward dividend was mostly on me. I sold and bought a bunch of stock over this duration of time and didn’t allocate for the best dividend stocks but rather went with shorter plays for profits soon. Hitting my 25 IG posts was easy, I could always come up with content for that and just got in a habit of posting in the morning and late at night helping me rack of my following, reach, impressions etc. Instagram followers are a little bit more difficult to come by, I noticed I have lost a decent number of followers as well, so I am not sure what that is all about, but we are going to try to get those numbers up this month. Speaking of which here are my goals for the next 2 weeks.

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They are as ambitious as the last ones I would say, but attainable I believe. I think these goals will come down to how I utilize my weekends. This tends to be the only free time I have, and I normally allocate that to social activities. I can say for certain that affected the end of January goals in a negative way. Tell me what you think!

B^2

Modern Long Term Stock Market Investing Secrets-summary and review

I’ve been watching the Financial Education YouTube channel for a while now and I really like the content and the enthusiasm Jeremy brings to his audience. Those who pursue success and greatness can relate to him well. He is a very successful investor and admits his mistakes and his errors when they come up proving his honesty to his viewers.

Now onto the book, Modern Long Term Stock Market Investing Secrets!, Jeremy reveals how he went from $0 to $200,000 by age 25 using this stock market investing method. He first goes into how he started considering the stock market. Looking at CD’s, savings accounts, bonds etc. yielded very low returns and real estate investing was out of the question for him at 19 years old making $7.50 an hour at his job. This led him to the stock market and he started reading and learning about Warren Buffett. Jeremy credits most of his success in stock market investing to Warren Buffett and an accounting teacher he had in his schooling.

He then goes into how to buy a stock through a brokerage, and then thinking of the underlying company you are buying rather than the stock ticker. This is right out of Warren Buffett’s playbook by looking at the company fundamentals and longevity rather than the short-term outlook. However, as Jeremy further goes into his method we see the key difference between his method and the buy and hold method Mr. Buffett uses. That is the time frame, in modern long term investing Jeremy works within a 1-5 year span. This is due to the rapid change in technology and growth that we experience nowadays. With the evolution of technology at such a rapid pace, business fundamentals, and company outlooks can change just as fast.

Jeremy then goes into what he looks at to determine if the company fits his investment criteria. The first would be looking at the management team and he uses the hockey reference, a management team that skates to where the puck will be rather than skating where the puck is. This ensures that the company will be making sound decisions years down the line. The next criteria is the balance sheet. He primarily looks at financial security or the ability for the company to make it through a tough time and the company’s ability to grow or acquire other businesses. This involves looking at the debt and on hand cash a company has. Jeremy typically looks at companies with very low debt, lots of cash on hand, and a strong brand name in its industry. The balance sheet is one of the most critical portions to his method and he references that in the end of the balance sheet chapter (chapter 6).

The income statement is the next metric he looks at. Jeremy looks at net income and revenue growth primarily and likes to see them grow by at least 10% a year, and prefers net income to outgrow revenue showing increasing profitability. Along the same lines, Jeremy loves “to look at companies that have an expanding gross margin and a high profit business model!” Obviously making profits reflects in the net income line and high margins allows a company to cut them in tough times without a large effect. Both are key aspects in his modern long-term investing method.

Next item on the agenda is PE ratios, EPS, and quarterly results. Now in the grand scheme of things when investing between 1-5 years a bad quarter is a drop in the bucket when you’re talking about an investment expecting to make it through 10+ quarters. He goes in depth as to what range of PE ratios he looks at and pending those numbers what he looks at in his other criteria. He recognizes that constant struggle between growth and value which is shown in the PE ratio. Warren Buffett is primarily a value investor which is where Jeremy has gained most of his investment background. However, the days of buying and holding are over and greater gains can be achieved for the most part by growth companies over the short term. Growth companies are rarely undervalued though, leading to a challenging terrain of finding a growth company for an excellent value.

He goes into dividends, share buyback, acquisitions and mergers next. He notes the usefulness of dividends however he thinks they are the biggest waste of money since cash is coming out with no return on investment. Jeremy ranks the following from best to worse use of capital: Expanding the business, share buyback, dividends, and acquisitions/mergers being the worse use of capital. He wraps up the book with a chapter talking about thinking outside the box and acquiring all information on a business is critical and could lead to good insight. Followed by a recap chapter, then a FAQ chapter, and finally a definitions chapter.

This article was a brief summary of the book. The information in this book in addition to the Financial Education channel has helped my investments and personal finance immensely. I would recommend this book to any beginning/novice investor as it has lots of fundamental value to add to your personal investing. Below is a link to the book on amazon.

http://amzn.to/2E2fgor

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