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    Jeff Rose: How One CFP Started a Blogging Movement

    Jeff Rose is a Certified Financial Planner and the founder of the Plutus Award-winning Good Financial Cents. Jeff has inspired his readers and clients to make positive changes, but he’s also worked hard to encourage cooperation and mutual success among his colleagues in the financial media community.

    I asked Jeff to spend some time with me discussing his work. It’s clear how his passion for his business extends to helping not just himself and his family, but the community at large.

    Jeff Rose

    Before you had published your first blog post, you had already been in the financial industry. That sets you apart from the many publishers that come from an amateur position. For instance, I started blogging because I needed to start a journey. You were all ready in a position to help people. What experience in the financial industry led you to start Good Financial Cents?

    I initially got started in the business as a financial advisor with AG Edwards and Sons. They were a regional firm based out of St. Louis, and I was with them for five years until they were bought out by Wachovia. At that point in time, I decided to see what else was out there, so I started researching other firms. I looked at the big New York firms like Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch, and then I also looked at smaller regional firms like Raymond James and Stifel Nicolas.

    None of them really offered the independence that I was looking for, so I and three others joined the independent broker dealer, LPL Financial, which allowed us to operate as a DBA, Alliance Investment Planning Group. That was in December of 2007 — about five months before I even knew what a blog was and seven months before I launched Good Financial Cents. The blog had been going on for some time and compliance was becoming a burden, so in 2011, I decided to drop my Series 7 license and become a registered investment advisor forming my own firm, Alliance Wealth Management.

    How did you expect a strong online presence like Good Financial Cents to help with your wealth planning and management business?

    I initially founded Good Financial Cents because I thought it would be an amazing marketing tool to bring new clients to my practice. I’ve always been passionate about educating individuals on the basics of investing. Prior to my blog, I had started an investment class through or local community, initiated a stock market game at our local high school, and conducted several seminars across the region.

    While all my efforts had some impact, I always felt that it could be on a much larger scale. When I discovered what a blog really was, that’s when the light bulb went off. Good Financial Cents was founded July of 2008 and I haven’t looked back ever since.

    What was your inspiration? [Read more…]

    Find Your Voice, and Make It Unmistakable

    This is a guest article from Donna Freedman, who writes about personal finance for Money Talks News and many other sites, and she blogs at, a Plutus Award winner for Best Frugality-Focused Personal Finance Blog. This article was adapted from a presentation she gave at FinCon12. Fun fact: She is the only person to have spoken at all four FinCons.

    Donna Freedman

    The phrase “content is king” gets bandied about a lot in the blogosphere. But this assertion needs an adjective: great. No matter how compelling your topic, bad writing (or even mediocre writing) will have readers looking for the exits.

    Click! Hear that? It’s the sound of someone leaving your blog midway through a dull or confusing post. To get people to stick around you need great content, or at least really good content — and the surest way to deliver it is to develop an unmistakable voice.

    Face it: People can get information in plenty of places. What makes your site worth visiting?

    Your voice, that’s what. It will bring readers back again and again to see what’s going on in your world, and to learn how to make sense of their own.

    Find Your Voice

    Look around the blogosphere. How many genuine voices do you hear? Too few. As a reader I want to hear irresistible tales told in evocative ways. If I don’t hear it? Click!

    How do you find your voice? Start by listening to it. Read your last few posts out loud, to yourself or to someone else. You’re more likely to notice run-on sentences, irrelevant facts and the like when you hear them vs. think them.

    Here’s an old but still useful tip: When you sit down to write, think about what you’ve learned and how you would tell a friend about it. How would you convey not just the facts but the excitement, fascination or terror you feel about your subject?

    You probably wouldn’t do it AP-style for a friend. Don’t do it to your readers, either.

    Consider print journalists, who have 10 to 20 inches (350 to 700 words) to tell what happened, what caused it to happen and what might happen next. Some of their techniques apply to blogging. For example: [Read more…]

    14 Expert Tips for Getting Your Blog Covered in the Media

    This is a guest article from Julia Scott of, a Plutus Award winner for Best Deals and Bargains Blog.

    Julia Scott

    I got into blogging to get attention and to this day, getting attention is still what I’m best at. Before I launched my site, in January 2009 to help people save money, I was a reporter at the Los Angeles Daily News. A reporter who sat across from me loved to brag how many hits his blog had got and what juicy comments readers were leaving. I wanted a piece of the action.

    I started blogging and was addicted. Ten posts a day. An email list. A column in print based on the blog.

    When I received a 10-year syndication offer for my column, a “best of the blog” piece that ran once a week, I knew I was sitting on something big. I thought about my future. Another 10 years in print? That thought terrified me. I knew my future was more secure online.

    So just as the housing bubble was bursting, I quit my job and began working for myself. Nobody called me crazy — to my face.

    I was so thrilled to have my own site that I would wake up at 2 a.m. to work. I literally could not sleep. I was fueled by the desire to succeed as much as I was fueled, perhaps, by the desire not to fail.

    Early on, I focused on getting media coverage. I knew how to pitch because I was used to receiving dozens of pitches everyday. I knew what time of day to approach reporters. How persistent to be. What kind of storyline would appeal to them. When to back off.

    But I also knew that media coverage was a quick way to establish my brand and site as trustworthy. It didn’t help much with traffic, but the intense media coverage created opportunities with other businesses, who saw me as a worthy partner.

    Julia Scott, appearance on ABC's Money Matters

    Julia Scott, appearance on ABC’s Money Matters

    And it worked. In my first six months alone, I was covered in the media no fewer than 51 times. And that was earned media — meaning I earned coverage, I didn’t pay for it. My site was covered by some of the biggies, too: Detroit News, NJ Star-Ledger, Time Magazine, AM NY, Washington Post and the LA Times.

    How did I get so much coverage? Here a few quick tips to get media coverage. [Read more…]

    Twitter Chat With Special Guest J.D. Roth, $150 In Prizes!


    As preparation for a new Plutus Awards year-round initiative, we would like to announce our new monthly Twitter chats! Our new monthly Twitter chats (using #PlutusChat) will feature special guests from around the blogosphere, sharing their expertise to help you create the blog of your dreams, and maybe earn your very own Plutus Award!

    Join us next Wednesday on February 11th, 2pm EST / 11am PST with special guest J.D. Roth, founder of Get Rich Slowly, author of Your Money: The Missing Manual, creator of the Get Rich Slowly course and all around seeker of happiness. J.D. will be talking about the power of community and more specifically, how to build one. The benefits of building a strong community are endless, and J.D. has community members who have followed along on his numerous adventures along the years.

    J.D. has been the recipient of a number of Plutus Awards over the years:

    • 1st Annual Plutus Awards: Lifetime Achievement, Blog of the Year, Best Multiple-Author Blog, Best Written Blog, Best Entrepreneurship
    • 2nd Annual Plutus Awards: Blog of the Year, Best Multiple-Author Blog, Best Written Blog
    • 5th Annual Plutus Awards: Best Educational Resource

    Add this event to your Google Calendar!

    Today’s giveaway is sponsored by The Plutus Awards, and is one $150 gift card for One lucky winner will be chosen using In order to qualify, follow these instructions:

    • Make sure you are following @PlutusAwards on Twitter.
    • RSVP using the form below.
      • Under “Link Title,” enter your Twitter ID, like @luke_landes.
      • Under “Email Address,” enter your valid email address.
      • Under “URL,” enter your Twitter profile URL, like
    • During the scheduled chat, participate in the discussion on Twitter using the hashtag #plutuschat. A tool like TweetChat could help follow the hashtag.
    • At the end of the scheduled chat, we will announce the winner, chosen at random, from among those who qualify.

    If we choose a winner who RSVPed but did not attend, we will choose a second winner.