Your Content Has Value! Advertisers & Social Media Sites Agree!

Social networks have become the boon of advertisers everywhere!  The more ads they can deliver while you share your cat photos, dinner recipes and car care tips, the more money they make.  Businesses have discovered that if they move on to various Social Media websites, they can better engage with their customers and clients as well.  Artists, brands, stores, etc have all found homes on Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

But where does that leave the average user?

Tsu LogoPeople have begun asking that question over the past few years.  One answer got Facebook tied in knots earlier in 2015 and it briefly prevented the site’s links from being displayed by users seeking to share their sign-up referral links.  That website is  Tsu has gone through changes over the past year, refining how it works, adding features, removing features and recently going through a major site redesign as of March 2016.  On Tsu, users get paid a portion of the advertising revenue as they interact with what other users have shared.  Tsu has what they call a Family Tree that keeps track of referrals, friends, and followers.  Their use of hashtags to make content more searchable has been sporadic in how it is implemented.  At one time, you could include hashtags in the body of your message, then it moved to the title of your message, and now it seems to be back to the body, although I’m not entirely sure of that fact.

sqeeqee logo_med1Another answer called themselves the pioneers of “Networthing”, a word coined by the site owner to describe users earning points and cash.  This site is  There, you earn cash for setting up a store, selling high-quality photos, and other means.  You earn points for use in their system by your interaction with others, and after amassing enough points, they can be exchanged for cash. Sqeeqee offers a wide variety of features from crowdfunding to personal storefronts to video sharing etc.  The more people you let into your friends list, the higher the chances your content will generate traffic.  Users on Sqeeqee for the most part are very encouraging.  You will run into the odd person commenting for the sole purpose to earn points, but others actually do interact with your content legitimately.

futurenet logoThe most recent answer to the value question posed above, is FutureNet.  I just signed up to check it out and it has two very distinct aspects to the site. First, the social network side is reasonably thought out.  Unlike the other two sites just discussed, FutureNet actually lets you create a fan page for your pursuit whether that’s a business, writing, singing, or puppies, you can create a fan page for it just as you can on Facebook or LinkedIn.  The interface is actually fairly similar to that of Facebook’s, complete with cover photos, friends lists, groups, the ability to add a youtube video or blog post with just a link and have the featured image show up without a problem.  The second aspect of this business is quite prominent in the left hand sidebar, because FutureNet anticipates that you’ll actually want to turn this social network into a business for yourself and those you bring to the network.  If you don’t already have a blog, $5 will get you a blog on their site.  If you want to create a landing page for the site, that’s another $5.  Training videos, webinars, and events get planned periodically.  Their advertising system is a revshare and a single investment of the amount of your choice (lowest is $10) will get you into the business side of the site.  I haven’t invested yet, as I’m still playing with the system, but they encourage downline support, so my “sponsor” has already contacted me to make sure I have the information I’ll need to launch out.  One could however, simply join this site for the social aspect if they were wanting something different than what Facebook or LinkedIn have to offer.

It will be interesting to watch these three “social networthing” sites over the next few years to see what pans out, who stays, who goes, and who ends up paying out the most to their users on a regular basis.

Less Money, Same Quality! Buy No-Name or White-Label!

This is a money-saving tip that many people balk at.  There is an erroneous understanding and expectation that if a product does not have a known brand-name on the label, that it won’t last as long, taste as good, perform as well, etcetera.  This is hog-wash!  Occasionally a white-label or no-name product will be inferior, but for the most part, they will often actually be healthier and taste just as good as products wrapped in the labels of well-known brands.

The healthier claim is seen in food ingredient lists.  The longer the ingredient list for a simple product, the more likely that product is high in preservatives, chemicals, petroleum products, food colourings, sweeteners, etc.  The shorter the ingredient list, the more likely the product has more of what you need or want, and less of what will harm you.

Food labelsGenerally, no-name and white label products are cheaper than their brand name cousins, because packaging is simpler and not bearing labels from products with high reputations.  The more highly a label is regarded, the more companies charge for their products.  No-name and white-label get rid of the added cost of reputation.  Many food packing companies package their food for more than one brand.  This was brought home to me in a big way when comparing Jaimeson vitamins to Exact vitamins at the store I shop at.  I was specifically looking at Vitamin C.  The tablets in the Exact brand bottle tasted and looked like the tablets in the Jaimeson brand bottle.

Switching to no-name or white label groceries when out doing your regular shopping routine, will a) save you money, and b) have the potential to reduce the harmful additives in your packaged foods.

Ideally, in a perfect world, staying away from packaged foods in general would be the better way to go period.  However, we don’t live in a perfect world, so there are times when buying packaged foods fits better with our lifestyle and health needs.  Do yourself a favour and save both money and physical health by switching to the more affordable product lines.

Map Your Way to Domestic Household Savings!

That’s right!  If you want to see real savings at the gas pump, start with how you plan your route around town!  This is such a big deal that a full day complete with charts before and after, takes place in my course, “The Poor Man’s Budget: a 5 Week Course – Learning to live within your means”.  This course is available for sale on my author website, as well as from (paid link)Amazon .

BookCoverFront-genericThe first thing you need to do is assess your daily travels, your weekly travels and your monthly travels.  There might be something you only do twice a month, but it has to fit into your daily routine in order to make the best use of the gas you are paying for.  You might only engage in a given trip once a week, but it too has to fit into your daily travel routine.

In assessing your trips around town, use a map.  Or use several copies of the same map if that helps.  Draw on the map the route you typically drive in a day.  Do you see any figure eight’s happening?  Are there any loops taking place?  Did you draw any zig-zag’s?  These route types will drain your gas tank faster than if you planned to make each stop along a single direction.  Careful planning of your daily route in this way will not only save you gas expenses, but will have the added benefit of saving you time as well.

Good time management lowers stress, lowers rushing around, reduces the perceived need to hurry all the time, and will translate into healthier driving habits and a brighter attitude about life.  When seeking to save money translates into better time management and by extension a healthier lifestyle and attitude, the benefits far outweigh the original intentions!

Life tends to be interconnected like that.  Aim to improve one area of your life, such as your finances, and you end up improving one or more other areas at the same time.  Give it a shot!  You might be pleasantly surprised.

Carrying on with Unlocked Training at

As time permits, I am carrying on with the unlocked video training content over at

I watched the videos for copywriting where I learned that what I’ve done with formatting information on my writing courses is a good example of what Jeremy would call good copyrighting.  I now need to go through and confirm that HOW I’ve used the techniques actually has the desired result of allowing others to quickly scan the page and get the nuggets I want them to know about the courses.

After going through those videos, I watched the video tutorials on best practices for using Youtube.  As I wrapped up that course, updating videos in my training playlist and book trailer play list, I discovered something.

The following video has 330 views since it was shared in January 2015, as of the time I wrote this blog post.  It’s a 13 min video showing you how I use Pinterest as an author.  Pinterest drove sales of my grad gift, “Mom’s Little Black Book: Godly Advice for the High School Graduate” in 2015, being responsible for over 30 copies of this book being sold between May and June that year.

This video actually got a thumbs down!  Most of the comments so far are all positive, but someone thought they’d help out a little with a thumbs down!  COOL!  Why does that excite me?  People want to see what the negative rating was all about!

Video marketing is an interesting animal.  For starters, you need a focus.  What do you want to accomplish?  Are you trying to send traffic to your site?  Are you trying to make sales of your product?  Are you trying to promote a cause or equip users for a certain task?

Whatever the focus is, you need to optimize your video’s title, description, and keywords to suit that purpose.  I learned a few things today from these unlocked Shoemoney training videos and put them into practice on my existing videos as the tutorials went along.

As usual, we shall see how it goes.  If you want to know what I’m learning since unlocking the initial paid levels of the Shoemoney system, then use my affiliate link to check it out!  It’s always nice to earn a little on the side while you’re at it.  You have to go through the levels and get paid for them before you can unlock content that I am doing now.

Of Expiry Dates and Saving Money!

As already written a few weeks ago on my author blog, there is quite a bit of frivolous, high-living-driven wastage going on in Canada because of the materialistic mindset that everything must look perfect or its not worthy of being consumed.  Grocery store chains such as Loblaw’s family of stores are to be lauded for seeking to change this wasteful perception.  As a result, I am pleased to see this article come up as well.

perfect foodI was just talking to a co-worker at my church about “due dates” and “expiry dates”.  She was sharing how someone she knows regularly tosses items in her fridge and pantry simply because the expiry date has come and gone.  Both of us shared how we’ve seen milk last up to two weeks beyond it’s apparent due date, yet also seen milk expire well before its due date.  Consequently, I am inclined to agree with the “experts” mentioned in this article that your own nose is a far better judge of the state of a piece of food than the dates given on the package.

The trick for those of us who live low-income, is to successfully judge when a given piece of food will go bad and when it will last.  This is why the article regarding the verse in Proverbs where there is much wastage in the house of the poor is more accurate simply as written, than many “deeper” interpretations realize.  Even going through international cookbooks in my cupboard reveal recipes for such things as German Chocolate Fingers, which are made from. . . sit down and take a deep breath now. . . stale bread!  You read that right!  The recipe instructs you to take several slices of stale bread, cut them into 1″ x 4″ slices, and carry on from there.  Similar recipes for a type of bread pudding say to take those slices of the same stale bread, and soak them in milk before laying them in a pan as the base upon which other ingredients will be added.  Stale bread is also great for crushing into stuffing as filler, or for chopping, seasoning and then drying for croutons.  The concept of “bread sticks” that you now buy in carefully-crafted containers comes from this concept of “waste not, want not“.

stale breadThe Germans weren’t just known for their precision and careful attention to detail.  They were also known for being quite thrifty, inventive, and improvising whereever needed.  These recipes involving stale bread are just a few of the kitchen examples I have learned thanks to these international cookbooks in my collection.  Because of their example, I can no longer tell you when a cookie tastes stale, when crackers have gone stale, when dry cereal has supposedly gone stale, etc.  My kids now fail to see the importance of keeping dry foods sealed because they can’t tell the difference either.  When we hear of others complaining about stale dry goods, even within our own extended family, we find ourselves wanting to look at them strange while trying to remain polite.

Your dollar goes so much farther when you discover that a) food doesn’t have to look perfect to taste just as good as the so-called perfect versions, and b) just because a given item of food has outlasted it’s expiry date doesn’t necessarily mean it must be tossed.  As the article shares, some foods will need tossing if smells and appearances confirm the food has indeed gone bad.  Other foods however, will look and smell just fine, and might even be salvagable if bruising or mold is found on them.  We pinch mold off of cheese all the time to eat what is left.  We don’t have to, after all, people buy cheese deliberately allowed to mold in the stores every day.  We call it “blue cheese”.  But we aren’t fans of cheese mold in this house so we pinch it off.  We pinch off bits of mold on bread as well, and we almost cheer if a loaf bought from the store starts to mold because we know it has fewer chemicals and preservatives than other brands!  Penicillin originally came from bread mold, so we don’t have a problem with the practice.

The Poor Man's BudgetAttitudes and behaviours affect how we spend our money greatly!  Learn more about this kind of discussion during week 3 and during discussion week 5 of my course, “The Poor Man’s Budget: a 5 Week Course – Learning to Live within your means”.  Ask when the next intake will be when you register.

What Have You Baked in Your Toaster?

In the first blog post here, I wrote about several things you can do with your toaster.  Our toaster oven died on my birthday this year after serving us well for many years!  It became a very good cost saver, allowing me to do many things with it that normally require the much larger 220V oven.

One of those cost/energy-saving tasks in the first article’s list, was that of baking.  Single-meal size baking tasks, or tasks to feed a small family, fit very well into our toaster oven.  From baking the last few scones that just wouldn’t fill a complete tray in the larger oven, to baking pies, small cakes, and small batches of baked pasta, this little oven became a staple in the kitchen!

A toaster oven typically only pulls 110V in North America, versus the 220V of the larger oven. 

While not all toaster ovens are built with the same depth and height available, they all have room for a small tray and can accept single-serving pasta dishes, some sizes of corning ware, and more.  The toaster oven that died could not accept a 9″ pie plate, but could accept a full-height long corning ware casserole dish!  Our newer toaster oven can accept a 9″ pie plate, but can’t accept a full-height casserole dish.  So you’ll have to experiment with what oven dishes your toaster oven can take.  Once you find them, use them in your toaster oven instead of your larger oven to save money on your electrical bill.