Two Google Analytics Filters Everyone Entrepreneur Should Know About

Two Google Analytics Filters Everyone Entrepreneur Should Know About

Every blogger knows just how difficult it is to build a successful blog. There are so many things that you have to learn about that most people don’t even consider. Things like:

  • Creating graphics
  • Understanding email marketing
  • Social media
  • Branding

and that list goes on and on and on. You know the old joke:

How many hats does an entrepreneur where? ANSWER: All of them!

One thing that isn’t often talked about but is definitely a necessity is analytics. If you do affiliate marketing, sponsored posts or make money off of your site in any way you need to know the stats behind it.

Things like pageviews, unique visitors, bounce rates. Terms like this usually invoke either 1. Your eyes glaze over and you skim the rest of the article or 2. Confusion about what it all means.

Today, I’m going to show you two Google Analytic filters that every blogger should be using as well.

Filters are a way of weeding out the events that you don’t want in your final counts. The first of which is the IP filter. What does this mean? You need to be filtering out your own IP address so that you are not counted along with your other stats. Why you ask? Because without this particular filter you won’t get an accurate picture of how your site is doing.

So, together we’re going to set up an IP filter. It’s really simple so don’t panic!

The next filter we’re going to set up is to keep your analytics from being hijacked. In the video below I show you exactly how to set up both filters.

How can someone hijack your analytics? Well, there’s a little known way of finding out anyone’s GA code. It’s very simple.

  1. Go to your website.
  2. Right-click your mouse.
  3. Choose “Page Source”.
  4. Hit CTRL + F for the find command and type in GA.
  5. Scroll down and you’ll see your own GA code.

There isn’t a way to hide them from this view so the only thing you can do is to add a filter that will keep your GA code safe from hijacking.

Go into your GA account, click on ADMIN>>Filters. Add a new filter and then choose “CREATE NEW FILTER” and give it a name that you will remember.

Scroll down and hit “CUSTOM” and then check the “Include” button. In the dropdown choose HOSTNAME and in the box below type in YOURDOMAINNAME.COM & click save! It’s that easy.

Need a little more help? Try this video I made to show you how to quickly filter out your IP address and including only your own hostname.

Have questions? Let me know in the comments below!

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The Finance Checklist You Need To Work Through This Fall

The Finance Checklist You Need To Work Through This Fall


If summer’s self-care mood is “treat yourself,” then fall’s self-care mood is “let’s do the damn thing.” Enter: financial self-care. Because a) summer was expensive (lookin’ at you, Charleston vacation), b) September is Self-Care Month anyway and it’s better late than never (it’s a thing, I promise) and c) getting your money stuff in order feels A-Maz-ing.

It’s good for present-day you: Sometimes the best way to beat stress is to look the stressful thing in the eye and conquer it. And it’s good for Future You, too — the sooner you get started, the more time you have to work toward your goals. And it’s good for stress: In one survey, 73% of people who had clear financial goals also said they had lower stress levels. Plus, like with any self-care practice, the more consistent you are with it, the better it gets.

So here’s your fall financial self-care checklist. Grab your calculator & not the one on your phone because it’s probably right next to the FB button. Nope, grab a real-life 1980’s style calculator! What? You don’t have one of those? #geeksneedlovetoo Grab a calendar, a notebook, and sharp pencil or whatever it is you use to “do the damn thing” and let’s get down to it!

Your Financial Self-Care Checklist

1. Track down your most recent pay stubs

Start by getting an understanding of how much money you have coming in each month. Grab your paycheck stubs from the past month and give them a look.

First, calculate how much you’re making after taxes — aka your take-home pay. This may or may not be equal to the final amount of your check: If you have money withheld for 401(k) contributions, insurance premiums, or other employee benefits like that, then those will come into play later. For now, just look at your gross pay minus taxes. How much take-home pay do you earn in one month?

If you get paid irregularly, like if you rely on freelance income, then this might be a bit trickier. We recommend calculating your take-home pay from the last few months and then taking an average.

2. Get to know your current spending habits

Next, pull up your debit and credit card statements and look through your past few months of purchases. Categorize them into three buckets: needs (groceries, rent, etc), fun (eating out, buying things you wanted, etc), and “Future You” (saving, investing, and debt payments beyond the minimums).

This is where those paycheck withholdings we mentioned above come in. Any 401(k) contributions you’re making go in the “Future You” bucket, and insurance premiums go in the needs bucket. You can categorize any other withholdings however makes sense — for example, a public transit benefit might go in needs, and a gym membership might go in fun.

Finally, add them all up. How much are you spending on each bucket per month? There are no wrong answers — this exercise isn’t meant to make you feel guilty, it’s just to see where you’re starting from today.

3. Set a goal for your future spending habits

Now it’s time to make a plan. We like the 50/30/20 rule, which is a high-level framework for organizing your spending. It uses the same buckets we mentioned above. Traditionally, following the 50/30/20 rule means 50% of your take-home pay will go to needs, 30% will go to fun, and 20% will to Future You.

But those percentages might not be realistic for you — which is why step two on this list was so important. Based on your spending habits today, set yourself a realistic goal for tomorrow. Maybe it’s 70/20/10, or 60/20/20, or 80/15/5. It’s flexible.

Even if you can only put 1% to Future You, start there. Over time, you can work on trimming expenses or boosting your income so that you can increase that percentage over time.

4. Take the next step with your 401(k)

Two things, specifically. First, if your employer offers a 401(k) employer match but you aren’t taking full advantage of it, then sign up and start contributing enough to get the full match. That’s free money, y’all.

Second, if you have an old 401(k) or two (or however many) from a previous employer just chillin’ out there, think about rolling it over. You could roll it over into your new employer’s plan if they let you, or an IRA. Either way, it can be super helpful to get everything in one place. (PS: This isn’t as much of a process as it might seem. When you start a rollover with Ellevest, we’ll guide you through the steps.)

5. Prioritize your debt payments

Being in debt — credit cardsstudent loans, personal loans, etc — doesn’t feel good. But paying your debt off does. The fastest way to do it is to pay more than the minimum required payments if you can. That will also save you money because the longer you take to pay debt off, the more interest you’ll owe.

So if you have debt and can make extra payments, the next step is to figure out which debt you want to focus on first. There are two popular strategies: To start with the balance that has the highest interest rate, or to start with the balance that has the smallest outstanding balance. Here’s some more info on those two methods and how to put them into practice.

6. Set an emergency fund target

Financial emergencies are a fact of life. Cars need repairs. People (and pets) get sick. Phones and computers break. This is why building an emergency fund is a big part of getting your financial life in a stable place.

We typically recommend saving between three and six months’ worth of your take-home pay. (Here’s how to decide exactly how much is right for you.) That might sound like a lot, but it’s totally OK to start small and work your way up over time. But today, your goal is just to figure out how much you want to aim for. Maybe, if you don’t have high-interest debt, you even open an account and make your first deposit.

7. Start investing toward your goals

If you’ve finished the first six steps of this checklist — first of all, you’re crushing it. Keep the momentum going by starting to prioritize and invest toward your long-term money goals. Goals like ramping up your retirement contributions, or like buying a home or starting a business.

Financial self-care checklist complete. Now light an apple-scented candle, put some chili on the stove, and enjoy the fall vibes.

Are you ready to start investing in yourself? Start here!

“I’m excited to work with Ellevest to start conversations about women and money. If you become a client, I will be compensated.”

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Women In Biz #8 Esther Zimmer

Women In Biz #8 Esther Zimmer

 

Welcome to the eighth in our “Women In Biz All Around WordPress” feature that will run the 1st Sunday of every month. It’s a new series where we spotlight amazing women and the ways in which they have used WordPress to spread their message, sell their products, or provide valuable services.

The hope is to inspire other midlife women to build their online businesses and find what we’re all looking for; financial freedom, a lifestyle they love, and excitement they may have been missing! All of these women are current or former clients of mine who have inspired me over the years and I think they will inspire you as well.

This month, I have a special treat for you!

Esther Zimmer is one of the kindest women I know. She’s a truth-teller & has a way of putting into words what we all feel sometimes as either the grown women in our mirrors or the little girls in our hearts.

She doesn’t send newsletters, no way, not Esther. She sends love letters and that’s exactly what they are. Each month, I look forward to what amounts to an email from a much-loved friend on the other side of the pond.

Let me introduce to you, Esther Zimmer!

Tell us a little bit about you

I’m an Australian living in London with my American husband, David. Some say this makes my life complicated, I say it makes it interesting. I’m childless by choice, worked in corporate communications for over 20 years, as a personal stylist for three and almost seven years ago I started my self-directed recovery from disordered eating because I was tired of feeling like I was constantly at war with my body and food, and feeling alone and ashamed. I’d lived that way for almost 30 years.

Through my recovery, I wrote a far more powerful story for myself and I consider this to be one of my greatest achievements. Today I don’t diet and I love my body, but I’m still a work-in-progress; I fall over, I get back up, I’m constantly becoming and evolving and growing and I love that so much.

I recently spent a year on an incredible cycling adventure. David and I rode our bicycles from Turkey to Thailand (with the occasional plane, train, and automobile ride thrown in) and without an iota of cycle touring experience between us. It was one of the best things we’ve ever done!

Since May of 2019 I’ve been back in London, a city I was hoping I wouldn’t return to, at least not to live. However, here I am, so I’m treating my return as an opportunity to have a do-over, to live the London life I didn’t truly give myself permission to live my first 17 years here. I believe life is a precious gift and we must embrace the moment we’re in.

So, right now I’m looking at my life and figuring out exactly what my do-over looks like, whilst writing my first book – a travel memoir – consulting part-time and creating a gorgeous vision for the next iteration of my business. My best moments in life are the ones spent with the people I love.

What made you first decide to build a blog or website? How long have you had your site? 

I first started blogging in the summer of 2013 when I left a corporate career in communications to do what many people dream about: I launched my own business – as a personal stylist. My intention was to use that blog as a way to showcase my own personal style and styling skills. However, I soon discovered I wasn’t that interested in writing about style from that perspective and in the years I worked in the fashion industry I also became acutely aware of how destructive it is – to people and the planet – styling no longer felt like a fulfilling vocation. At the end of 2016, I closed my consultancy and thus, my blog. My business no longer aligned to my personal values and walking away from everything I’d created was one of the bravest – and best – choices I’ve ever made.

Since then I’ve been writing under my own name at estherzimmer.com because what I did learn from my first foray into blogging is that the writing I share publicly – as opposed to the words I write in my journal – help me figure out what I truly believe in and what’s important to me; it’s also been a great way to achieve closure on certain chapters of my life and at times, to make sense of the world. It’s also led me to connect with some fabulous people!

 

I’ve not been particularly prolific since I started writing under my own name as I’ve been travelling a lot, and maybe I never will be, but 2020 is the year I’m going to get back to writing consistently because I’ll actually be in one place! I have several series planned because I love to write that way – to create a body of work – rather than a random assortment of articles. I’m not sure why that works better for me, but I’ve decided I’m going to focus more on the things that feel good in my writing and my work from now on. Also, I’ll be using it as a way to showcase my writing when I start looking for an editor and later, a publisher for my book.

What is your niche?

My audience is typically women 45 and older who want to make the rest of their lives, the best of their lives. Women who know they’re not meant to be just one thing; they know they can love camping under the stars and city breaks in five-star hotels, they know they can paint their nails, wear stylish clothes and climb mountains. Women who refuse to choose between all the different, precious pieces of who they are.

I write a regular, personal essay series (newsletter) called “Truth & Clues” where I share the truth about my life a woman in her 40s who’s still trying to figure out her place in the world, and the clues I’m following as I take one step forward, followed by the next. I write about things I was taught not to talk about: Ambition, fears, mental health, menstruation, menopause, money, sex…you get the idea.

I write for women like me; women who long for human stories, the ones that make us feel a little less alone. If this resonates with you, please do subscribe at estherzimmer.com!

Of all of your blog posts or pages on your site which is your favorite?

I love this question because some people seem to consider it arrogant if you claim to love your own writing! But if you don’t love it, how can you expect anyone else to? So, I have two favourites, “Leaving London: Nothing is Wasted” because I made a lot of mistakes the first 17 years I lived in London and writing such a deeply personal piece helped me to close the chapter on those mistakes and view them as lessons instead.

The Jewels that are Buried Deep Within You” is my other favourite because journaling has been the foundation for everything I’ve created in my life. This blog post also came about after an afternoon of shopping in Hanoi when I picked up an exact version of a notebook I’d purchased six years before in London. You’ll have to read the blog post to see why that was a moment that took my breath away!What is your favorite social media platform and why?

I frequently feel like I’m a bit of an anomaly when it comes to social media. I love it (and met one of my most precious girlfriends through Instagram) but I don’t love the amount of time it takes up. I don’t hesitate to step back from using it if I feel like social media is taking time away from actually living my life. To be honest, I’ve not been active on any of my social media channels the past few months. I’m currently in the process of deciding what, how and when I’m going to use it going forward.

Also, I prefer to create a feeling of community and connection rather than having someone feeling like they’re just another face in the crowd, and this seems to be easier for me to achieve via email. I receive the most beautiful emails from my subscribers, have been offered some fabulous opportunities as a result of the personal stories I share and have met and become friends with readers from other countries, either because I’ve been visiting their part of the world, or they’ve been visiting mine.

I don’t like the word “newsletter” though, that feels so impersonal to me. I call my updates “personal essays” because that’s exactly what they are. I’m so tired of all the clichéd, everything-needs-to-be-a-lesson, self-help that’s being peddled right now. I want to know about the state of your heart, that’s what makes me feel a connection with you and if you have a business, buy from you.

Do you find WordPress easy to maneuver or do you avoid the back end like the plague?

If I apply myself I find it “reasonably easy” to manoeuvre, but I don’t enjoy figuring out the technical side of things. I often insist on doing everything myself though – because I am a closet control freak – but one of my resolutions for 2020 is to spend less time on things I don’t love, so I can spend more time on things I do. This means handing over “some” control! However, Rena is one of the best people I’ve worked with and has restored my faith in trusting others to do things they’re far better at – and more passionate about – than I am.

Is your site a business that makes money or a passion that makes your heart sing?

I’m not currently making money from my site so I guess that makes it a passion project. I’ve never been interested in advertising or doing paid or sponsored posts, however, but I do believe we get to choose what feels right for us individually. That’s just never felt right for me. Up until recently, I was selling an online course and I want to create more of those.

If you use your site for business what do you sell or what service do you provide?

I’m not selling anything right now as I’m expanding and updating the content of my first online course, which is designed to help you develop a journaling practice. I’m also in the early stages of creating two new online courses for 2020; one will guide you through “future writing”, a powerful writing practice I use in my own life. The other one is a course on how to style yourself, because what I learnt from my years as a stylist is that so many women struggle with this one thing we all have to do every damn day – get dressed – and that breaks my heart.

What is one thing you’d like people to know about you?

I care deeply about animal conservation – with a particular focus on elephant conservation – I worked as a volunteer at Elephant Nature Park (ENP) in Thailand earlier this year and I’m a UK Ambassador for ENP. Over 10 million tourists ride elephants in Thailand each year, but in order for an elephant to be tamed so it can be ridden, it literally has to have the wild beaten out of it when it’s just a baby. I recommend watching the documentary, “Love & Bananas”. Standing eye-to-eye with an elephant and feeding it bananas is a far more beautiful experience than sitting on top of one ever could be. It’s an experience that might even change your life forever.

Would you like a little more of Esther? Find her here:

FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | WEBSITE

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We’re Celebrating The Holidays With A Massive Blogging Giveaway

We’re Celebrating The Holidays With A Massive Blogging Giveaway

That’s right! We’re celebrating the holidays a little early this year by having a massive giveaway! Enter for your chance to win a

  1. 1 Year of Web Hosting provided by A2 Hosting & WP Beginner valued at $40.00.
  2. 1 Basic Annual Maintenance Package valued at $149.99
  3. 1 Blog Post Inspiration Deck w/ Ebook.
Enter The @blogging911 holiday giveaway! Three great prizes awarded Dec 1st, 2019 (1) 1 Yr of web hosting (2) Basic Annual Maintenance Plan (3) The Blog Post Inspiration Deck w/ ebook! Click To Tweet

Prizes will be awarded on Dec 1st, 2019

GOOD LUCK!

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Easy Steps To Invest Consistently

Easy Steps To Invest Consistently

Investing consistently is the very best thing you can do for your future you. I get it the struggle is real! There are so many things vying for our attention that it’s easy to put things off or forget about them completely. Your future will be here before you know it. Believe me, I woke up & found myself at 49! How the hell did I get here so quickly?

Your future you will thank you for taking the time today to plan for tomorrow. What do you want to be or do when you grow up?

Do you want to:

  • Travel the world
  • Open a restaurant
  • Pay for your kids to go to college
  • Live your future life comfortably

If you answer yes to any of these things then you need to come up with a plan now rather than later.

MAKE IT A HABIT

Investing consistently, a bit out of every paycheck, is powerful. There’s the plain and simple fact that you’re building up your wealth, deposit by deposit. And if you put it on autopilot, there’s the whole “out of sight, out of mind” thing.

There’s another reason why the practice of consistent investing has historically been good for investors. And it’s so compelling that it even has a name:

DOLLAR-COST AVERAGING

Boring term. But a BFD for your bottom line.

Dollar-cost averaging is investing a consistent dollar amount at regular intervals of time, no matter what’s going on in the market. Example: a $100 recurring deposit into your investment account every month.

Why Does It Matter?

Ellevest says investors want returns. And some investors, in an attempt to earn as much in returns as possible, make a grave mistake: attempting to “time the market.” They think they can guess what will happen next, and try to “buy low” and “sell high.”

Bad idea. No one — no one — knows what the markets will do tomorrow. Not us. Not that confident-sounding guy on TV. Not even the people who are paid to do it.

That means you’re inevitably going to feel it on days when the market goes down. Bummer, yes, but it’s not all dark and gloomy. Here’s why: When the market’s down, that $100 deposit will get you more shares of stock. (That’s why you might hear people say that the markets are “on sale.”)

Example

Say the market was humming along, then plummeted, and then started to come back up.

Here’s what would happen if you were to keep investing consistently the whole time:

And here’s what would happen if you were to keep your money in a bank account while the market was down and then invest what you’d saved once it started to come back up:

In the first example, while your investments did lose value temporarily, it worked out pretty well for you after the market rebounded. In the second example, you missed out.

Back to real life. By using dollar-cost averaging, you take your own emotions (aka an investor’s worst enemy) out of the equation. You get rid of the risky guesswork, make investing a solid habit, and give yourself the opportunity to grow your net worth steadily over time. Pretty compelling reasons to invest regularly, right?

Here’s a compelling reason why “regularly” should start … right now.

Are you ready to start investing in your future you? Ellevest can help!

*I’m excited to work with Ellevest to start conversations about women and money. If you become a client, I will be compensated.

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Women In Biz #7 Doreen McGettigan

Women In Biz #7 Doreen McGettigan

 

Welcome to the sixth in our “Women In Biz All Around WordPress” feature that will run the 1st Sunday of every month. It’s a new series where we spotlight amazing women and the ways in which they have used WordPress to spread their message, sell their products, or provide valuable services.

The hope is to inspire other midlife women to build their online businesses and find what we’re all looking for; financial freedom, a lifestyle they love, and excitement they may have been missing! All of these women are clients of mine who have inspired me over the years and I think they will inspire you as well.

This month I want to introduce you to Doreen McGettigan from DoreenMcGettigan.com. Doreen is an Author, a Writing Coach & a Writing Consultant. If you’ve ever thought about writing & publishing a book then Doreen is someone who you absolutely need to know!

For years, she has been a blogger who has lent a helping hand to other women who dream of becoming an Author. Offering advice & support to anyone who takes the time to listen. These days, though, she’s taken that a step further and by opening her own consulting business she can work with clients one on one giving them useful advice, important tips, and ideas that you may not have even considered!

Just like with anything in life when you put yourself in the hot seat you look for advice from the pros that have come before you and that’s exactly what Doreen is. A consummate professional, an encouraging consultant & also a pretty amazing friend. We’ve been blogging buddies for a long time, meeting at a Blogging Conference years ago, but after winning a contest in 2016 she became a client and has been ever since.

Let’s hear from Doreen:

Tell us a little bit about you

I live just south of Philadelphia, am married to a man I met on Match.com 13 years ago. (Its never too late) Together we have 5 kids and 13 grandkids. I’m a bestselling author, award-winning blogger, speaker and teacher. I help people write, publish and market books. I’m on the board of Family Promise (homeless organization) and I volunteer at the shelter and drive the van.

What made you first decide to build a blog or website? How long have you had your site?

I started my blog 8 years ago to connect with other writers while I was writing my first book.

What is your niche?

Writing/Publishing and Marketing. I also do some influencing, caregiving, travel and family stuff.

Of all of your blog posts or pages on your site which is your favorite?

Any that include my grandchildren.

What is your favorite social media platform and why?

Instagram because it’s so easy and Twitter second because I get most of my clients there and media requests.

Do you find WordPress easy to maneuver or do you avoid the back end like the plague?

I avoid it like the plague. There’s so much I wish I had time to learn.

Is your site a business that makes money or a passion that makes your heart sing?

Both for sure.

If you use your site for business what do you sell or what service do you provide?

I consult on all things writing, publishing and marketing. If you’ve ever said I could write a book, we should talk.

What is one thing you’d like people to know about you?

My motto is to spend more connecting with all types of people and zero time competing.
As a published author and consultant Doreen is giving a huge helping hand up to all of those future-writers out there who want to get advice from someone who’s been there and done that!

FIND DOREEN HERE:

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