Category Archives: Moneytalk

Talk about business and investments in general.

Dot Com Mogul Checklist...

I don't think I could ever truly accept being called a Dot Com Mogul. It's way too pretentious and egotistical for me. If anything, I'm more of a Clark Kent to a Lex Luthor. However, a while ago, John Chow came up with a check list of things that would need to be done to attain that honorary status. Let's see how I measured up for January.

  • 1. Your income must come about as a result of the money you make from the Internet - CHECK!
  • 2. The minimum internet income level is $10,000 a month (you cannot add income from other sources to hit this $10K level) - CHECK!
  • 3.You have no jobs outside of the internet - Totally Unemployed! CHECK!
  • 4. You have a personal blog with your name as the domain name - Well...uhh... Yeah! CHECK!
  • 5. Your blog must be updated at least once per week - Twice on Sundays. CHECK!
  • 6. A Google search of your name must be at the #1 spot - CHECK!
  • 7. You must be willing to help dot com mogul wannabes - My comments and MSN are always open. CHECK!

Well, looks like I made it. For January, I have Dot Com Mogul status. Now I just need to work on the other 11 months of the year. I don't think I'll quite make it for February, but oh well. I'll just keep plugging away. Being able to make those requirements in the first place means that they are achievable, and once something is achievable, you raise the bar. That's why I want to add a couple more things to the list.

  • 8. Give time, money, or anything of value to a charitable cause each month.
  • 9. Personally help at least one person establish their online presence via a blog or website or help them enhance one they already have every month.

I always thought that the list was lacking some social responsibility aspect. We all have a duty to give back to society and that is reflected in number 8. I also felt that giving people an opportunity to express themselves on the web, like I'm able to everyday, was something that a true Dot Com Mogul should be encouraging as well. That brought about number 9. Here's what I did about it for January...

In January during CES, I took part in the TigerDirect Charity PC Race where I was able to build a PC to giveaway to a school of my choice. Although my time of 7:47 was only good enough for 4th place, I did beat John Chow and Bob Buskirk. In the end, we did something good, despite our little competition.

Initially, the PC's were to be donated to a school, and a US one at that due to the Tax issue with TigerDirect being a US based company. However, after a bit of leg work, and a couple of phone calls, I managed to get them to ship it to one of my favourite charities, the BC Children's Hospital Foundation. I should probably get them some games to play on it this month. That's on my to do list. That takes care of number 8.

For number 9 in January, I helped friend and over featured extra, Leo Chiang launch his web presence. His blog was lovingly crafted by me and it appears that he's having quite a bit of fun with it. My help a webless person project for February this month is already in the works.

The journey continues! :)

More Google Love for 300x250 Ad Sizes

Damn, do I feel special! My people at Google emailed me today regarding a new custom placement program, and guess what, they selected Futurelooks! Google is trying out what is known as "Placement Packs" which are selections of individually reviewed sites designed for their largest brand advertisers. How cool is that? But in order for them to approve my selection, they would need me to make more love with the Google 300x250 ad creative.

The square creatives have always done well for me. Both the 300x250 and the 336x280 have been excellent performers. I run them anyway, so it's not a big deal. The only change I needed to make was since I run the 336x280 at the top of all the content articles, I just needed to swap the creative to the 300x250. The other thing that they asked me to do was to allow my Google Channels to be targeted by advertisers. Google channels help me determine how successful my ad placements are by allowing me to monitor each ads performance individually. So for example, if I placed an ad in a new spot on one of my sites, I could monitor that channel that I've created to see how well or poorly it has done. If you don't use channels, there is your tip of the day. Use them to monitor your success and tweak accordingly.

The new targeted channels allow advertisers to bid on and target parts of my site specifically. So for example, since my above the fold 300x250 or 336x280 ads do extremely well, advertisers will need to pay a lot more to get featured there versus the other placements on my sites. The only downside is for the advertisers that used to enjoy those placements without having to pay a premium for them. Of course, the upside for me is higher potential revenue, and for my readers, better targeted ads from premium advertisers.

Although you might not be selected for Google's Placement packs, you still have the potential to command more for your ads simply by targeting their placement by using Google's ad placement feature to define your ad slots to advertisers. You can find out more about how to set those up here. This also gives advertisers an idea of where their ads will be going so that they can justify bidding for the best spots. So tweak those placements and get them targeted. The better your ad placements perform, the more money you can potentially make from advertisers fighting over them. Goodluck!

ZERO Percent is BACK!

I mentioned earlier this month how I got approved for a ZERO Percent Citibank Mastercard with no annual fee. In fact, I've already taken the money and stuffed into RRSP's and some in savings so that I've got the funds to pay off my full balance by January 2008, and make a few dollars in interest in the process.

The ZERO percent applies only to the balance transfer portion of the offer. If you have a balance on a higher rate credit card, this will give you a break on the interest on that chunk of your balance till January 2008. Keep in mind though, like most credit card products, this can be a trap if you don't remember that credit cards apply the payments to the lower interest bearing charges before the higher ones. Also, if you use the card for regular purchase, those purchase do not get the ZERO rate promo.

If Citibank gave you $5000 to transfer onto your current credit card, and your charges on that card were $8000 with $2000 of that in lower interest cash advances, the $5000 would pay off the $2000 cash advance balance first, and then apply the remaining $3000 to your higher interest purchase balances. You'd still have $3000 in high interest bearing charges which will continue to accrue interest at the higher rate. With that in mind, you should immediately pay off the $3000 because once you do, you can charge on it again and take advantage of the built in grace period for new charges. But if you don't keep it paid off every month from that point on, you'll have it racked up again and you start accruing interest at the crazy high rate: The credit card trap.

The original offer was set to expire at the end of December, but it looks like due to an overwhelming response, Citibank has brought it back and is extending it to February 15th. However, they also say that you have to have both your balance transfer and account approved before this date. Better get cracking! Here are the details...

If you use the offer code of P6N on the Citibank Canada website, you'll get another shot at a ZERO PERCENT balance transfer, and believe me, nothing beats ZERO PERCENT. In fact, there's nothing better than ZERO percent! So to all of you that were grousing about missing the first offer, here's your second chance. But remember, both transfers and accounts must be approved and authorized by February 15th. Although it is ZERO percent, please keep in mind that you will need to pay it off by January 2008 and you will need to pay the minimum balance every month as part of the agreement. You can see how if you're not responsible, ZERO percent can become a liability in the wrong hands.

Citibank should pay me for pimping this, but I guess making some money off their ZERO percent rate for a year will have to do. Goodluck!