The Big Bitcoin Short

History is full of financial bubbles. From Tulip Bulbs to the Dot Com Boom, bubbles follow patterns of rampant speculation and collapse that are, in retrospect, almost formulaic. Each time this occurs, there are voices of reason who see through the euphoric mirage of riches and glory to the underlying value. Sometimes, these people leverage their understanding to become extremely wealthy.

Bitcoin’s meteoric rise in 2017 has made a number of people very rich. However, this only represents wealth in the traditional sense when they sell their Bitcoins or exchange them for other goods/services of value. While this fact is contested, given that cryptocurrencies are marketed as currency and thus supposedly have intrinsic value, the market value has been far too volatile to function effectively as a currency. There will need to be a major stabilisation of the market for cryptocurrencies to function as a mainstream currency (outside of the black market, where they have more clear advantages over other currencies).

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XBT:USD chart from www.xe.com
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XBT:AUD chart from www.xe.com

While the value at which Bitcoin will stabilise is open to speculation, there is little to support a continuation of its trajectory to date. Media coverage has reached saturation point – with Bitcoin’s price featuring in mainstream news broadcasts, everyone who would potentially invest already knows about it. While there will undoubtedly be plenty of new investors, the tipping point will be when new investors are outweighed by those looking to cash in on their investment. With so many respected voices predicting a price collapse, it’s hard to imagine many early investors forgoing millions in profits for the possibility of slightly more. With the most bullish predictions placing Bitcoin’s peak value at $60,000 (with a subsequent crash to $1,000), would you risk an appreciation of 1,000% for a slim chance of a further 400%? What will happen when the big players take their winnings?

This looks an awful lot like Tulipmania.

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This article represents the author’s opinion only. Before obtaining any exposure to the markets you should be sure to understand the potential risks. Never risk more money than you can afford to lose.

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The Barefoot Investor: The Only Money Guide You’ll Ever Need

The Barefoot Investor is a refreshingly accessible take on personal finance for Australians. While it can easily be read cover-to-cover in a day, it’s true power lies in carefully following the 9 simple steps Scott Pape lays out in the book. You don’t need to have any background financial knowledge to understand this book and none of the steps require any great investment of time or money.

While the claim to be ‘The Only Money Guide You’ll Ever Need’ is true for the average reader, we have a number of other great books to recommend if you want to take investment to the next level!

The Barefoot Investor: The Only Money Guide You’ll Ever Need

“This book will help you protect the people you love.”
Melissa Doyle, host of Sunday Night

“Follow the Barefoot path or at least consider doing so as soon as possible.”
– Tim Fischer, former Deputy Prime Minister of Australia

https://www.facebook.com/barefootinvestor/

A Lesson in Fiverr Ordering

Here’s a brief account of an experience I had on the online marketplace Fiverr. This isn’t about ‘naming and shaming’ – I understand that you get what you pay for and when buying cheap you have to expect some people will try to get away with as little time and effort as possible. It’s important to remember that you’re still entitled to get what you order and you shouldn’t just accept whatever you’re offered.

Essentially, while setting up this website I was looking to get some articles by other people who are experienced at making money online. Given the website was too young and poor to be able to attract writers in its own right, I figured the best way to do this was to find pay someone through an online marketplace. Not only would this allow us to find someone who was willing and able to write a good article, it also let us select someone who is already reasonably successful selling their skills online and thus has knowledge of the topic.

We easily found someone who was successful in the freelance writing arena and provided this request:

I would like you to write an article about making money online. I would like an engaging, semi-formal tone (factual and professional but not too boring) that provides advice about one or several ways to make money online. This should be about something practical (e.g. freelancing) not trying to masquerade as a ‘get rich quick’ scheme.

Within the scope of my original request (making money online), I am happy for you to come up with a topic if there’s something that you know well. This could, for example, be about the pros and cons of freelance work, how to freelance online, comparing different freelancing platforms, how to spot scams, how to build your personal brand online, etc.

All up it was quite a simple, straightforward request – especially for somebody already making money online. So what did we get?

Here is the original, unedited article we were sent:


Making Money Online (Original Version)

With the advent of the internet came thousands of opportunities to make money online. You can sell your car or your dog (hey just your dog!).  Or you can go legit and earn a few extra dollars with a bit of imagination. Often, all you need is your cellphone and an app. It’s in your pocket anyway, everyday, so why not make use of it. No time records to fill out, no boss to look over your shoulder, no office hours, and yet you make money on your own time, anywhere and while looking cool.

  1. Juno Wallet. Juno Wallet allows you to earn popular gift cards.  After downloading the Juno Wallet or Bamboo Wallet app into your device via m.junowallet.com, you become eligible for rewards by earning credits. Earning credits require inviting friends, doing tasks, submitting photos or videos, or having fans. Rewards can come as digital gift cards from Starbucks, iTunes, Amazon, xBox Live and others.
  2. Gigwalk. Gigwalk’s system is similar to Juno Wallet. You first download the app, register you Gig account, register with Paypal, do some Gigs in your area, get guided on steps to take, and earn credits from $3 to $100.
  3. CheckPoints. There are a lot of options to cash out with CheckPoints. It requires only a simple interface called the CheckPoints app which transforms your cellphone into a reward card. You can earn rewards as small as $1 or one that is as expensive as a designer bag. By simply scanning specific products, clicking “in-store”, you gain points that become rewards.
  4. ShopKick. Whenever you are at the entrance of a listed establishment, you simply open your app, and voila! You make points by simply being there!
  5. ReceiptHog. By simply scanning the receipts of listed stores like 7-11, McDonald’s, Best Buy and many more, you earn coins. You earn more coins with bigger receipts. Even teenagers can make money from this app.  All they need do is to ask their parents to keep their receipts in a container for her to scan.

You can also make legitimate money by offering your services online via websites that connect you to people who need your services.  For instance, there are also many online tutors needed for teaching English especially in Asia. You can earn as much as $15 per hour. Aside from Freelance jobs, there are other ways to make money online, just browse, try each one and see what fits you and your lifestyle best.


On first glance, I thought this was an acceptable effort. It wasn’t an expensive service so I wasn’t expecting an extensive article based on in-depth research. I just wanted a basic overview which could serve as an introduction to the topic for novices. Sure, it needed some editing so that it didn’t read like a high schooler wrote it but I was after content not style. To be on the safe side, I checked through the recommendations… and I am so glad that I did.

The list is filled with services bearing overwhelming negative reviews, claims of fraud and a lack of updates or customer service for users. I seriously doubt the writer has used any of them – or at least not in the last few years. If so, where did the list come from? Was the core content plagiarised?

I contacted the writer about this and, to their credit, they didn’t contest my claims or object to rewriting the article. Here’s what they came up with the second time around:


Making Money Online (Revised Version)

Technology and innovation have changed the way we live, work and spend our leisure hours. But there’s nothing more disruptive among all technology than the internet. It has changed the way we work and do business. Unfortunately, making money online is easier said than done and we must take into account shady characters who promise to help us make easy money online only to end up with nothing but broken dreams or worst, leave us broke. First things first, to make money online, you must work for it online.

There are two types of income generating plans online, continuous work and making a little investment of time, effort and money for passive income. Here are five ways to make money online through continuous work or passive income:

  1. Build your own online store – The internet is the new marketplace with the great advantage of not having to worry about a physical store. Whether you want to make money through retail merchandise or specialized handcrafted products, there are different platforms to cater to your retail dreams. Shopify and Etsy lead the pack as online platforms for retail goods. What’s more, these online shopping platforms are easy to build and manage. The bulk of the work is the inventory and marketing.
  2. Establish yourself as a specialized blogger with special talents and proclivities to different hobbies and activities. Many pioneer entrepreneurs on the internet became successful in making money through specialized activities and hobbies. Building websites and blog sites catering to specific activities and hobbies such as weight loss, knitting, home improvement or cooking specialty foods are great places to start. Write blogs, make explainer videos and market these through social media and email. As your site/blog become popular and gains followers, you can endorse different products and get paid by advertisers for posting their advertisements.
  3. Be the next YouTube sensation. Doing something you love and are passionate about plus being real and making good, instructional or entertaining videos is a winning formula to become the next YouTube sensation. Making good, entertaining and educational/instructional videos is a way to make passive income.
  4. Work as a freelancer. This is one of the best ways to make money online, and there are different freelancer platforms ready to take in new talents to be discovered by employers and contractors. Upwork, Design99 and Fiverr are the top platforms catering to freelance work. You can work anywhere and anytime.
  5. If you have a house or an apartment in a prime destination for business or leisure, you can rent it out through AirBNB. If you live and own a property in a city or destination, this is the best way to make money online. You can rent out your property on a daily or monthly basis, depending on your arrangements with the AirBNB client.

Make decent and sizeable money online. Get started while you are still ahead and find your niche.


This was clearly a better article with (mostly) more reasonable and realistic ideas. Obviously not groundbreaking or particularly original but still a vast improvement and suitable for our purposes. The writer was paid as agreed, however, we certainly wouldn’t use them again or recommend them.

Ultimately, we decided not to publish the article by itself. Partly because we weren’t comfortable letting this writer’s content stand on its own without contextual commentary and partly because we felt that this article would be more interesting and relevant to our readers.

Buyer beware!

Should You Use an SEO Professional?

You’ve probably heard the term SEO, but do you really know what it is and how to use it to your advantage? A clear understanding of SEO is vital to building a successful website. This article is the fourth in a series covering SEO for Beginners.

When setting up a new website or promoting the growth of your site, it’s worth considering engaging an SEO professional to handle the process of keyword research, optimization and content marketing. SEO professionals can handle the process of building advertisements, developing social media campaigns and creating ongoing strategies that can help pages to rank up search engines. If you’re interested in these services for your company, you might be interested in the types of advantages that a professional SEO firm could deliver for your needs:

Huge ROI

SEO has one of the best returns on investment when compared to other types of digital marketing. SEO specialists may charge just a small fee to complete keyword research, to start creating a plan to rank your page or to technically optimize your page to rank with improvement. These small changes and ongoing strategies can put your page on the map of search engines and generate a massive amount of traffic.

Keeping your rankings longer

SEO professionals know all of the latest search engine standards and will provide regular updates to you when changes need to be made. Working with professionals ensures that you can capture a great search engine spot and continue to hold it over time. This means results which are much more sustainable – especially when compared to a PPC campaign or other digital marketing effort.

Working on branding

SEO is a brand strategy that uses keywords, a writer’s voice, and a full-blown strategy that spans far out from your website. Using a professional SEO firm could place your website on Twitter, in various message boards, as guest posters on other sites and more. This means greater brand recognition by seeing your logo all over the internet for valuable backlinks. SEO professionals often have greater connections to get you these improved spots and opportunities.

A website anyone can access

SEO professionals can optimize your page to make sure it loads fast and functions well on a variety of different devices. This ensures your site will be compatible with phone and tablet browsers and easier to use through technical optimization and speed improvements. Making your site mobile friendly is vital as many people primarily access the internet on a mobile device.

 

Consider these key points when deciding whether to use an SEO professional for your website.

Top Tips for Ranking on Google

You’ve probably heard the term SEO, but do you really know what it is and how to use it to your advantage? A clear understanding of SEO is vital to building a successful website. This article is the third in a series covering SEO for Beginners.

Improving your Google ranking can be an extremely frustrating process, especially if you’re trying to rank your website in an extremely competitive niche. Here are some of top elements of your page that you could be forgetting when you are trying to boost your website’s rank on Google.

Your tags

Meta tags, title tags and even image tags are all very important to search engine spiders. Make sure that every single page has these elements or you could be missing out on the 50 to 60 character title tag that displays below your website on a Google search engine ranking. This not only prevents many people from clicking your page but gives the search engine far less to go on when ranking your page against competitors.

Focus your keyword research

Keyword placement in your content as well as following a strategy to rank your page for popular keywords in your niche is very important. It’s going to take a lot of content and ongoing valuable content to make sure that you can rank well against your competition for a competitive keyword, but it’s well worth the effort for the amount of traffic that this can bring.

Building a site map

A sitemap or full listing of various links and pages that you control can really ease the process of a search engine spider ranking every aspect of your content. In most cases, when your page is indexed a search engine spider can forget certain elements as well as images and pages. Building up a site map as you go will make sure that every single page is indexed and ready for publishing.

Using the latest web standards

HTML 5 is the newest in web standards and creating a responsive website in HTML 5 rather than flash is a great way to make sure that all of your websites will work properly on lots of different mobile devices. Updating your website to the newest web standard is one of the only ways that it can obtain top search engine rankings.

Regularly update your content

You’re going to want to place a lot of emphasis on working on your content. Regularly updated content that’s valuable and well viewed is the only way to keep your site relevant in highly competitive niches. Content marketing will dictate the future success of your website in search engines.

 

Keep these points in mind to make sure your website ranks well on Google.

Common Mistakes with SEO

You’ve probably heard the term SEO, but do you really know what it is and how to use it to your advantage? A clear understanding of SEO is vital to building a successful website. This article is the second in a series covering SEO for Beginners.

There are many common mistakes you can make when trying to perform search engine optimization on your website. Search engine optimization, especially from the technical side, is generally best done with the help of a service or a professional. Experts can identify a range of simple mistakes that arise with DIY jobs and help you get the best results. It’s also important to remember that many search engine algorithms are constantly updating with new standards so you need to keep an eye out for new problems to ensure you maintain your ranking.

Here are some  of the most common mistakes made with SEO:

Working with the wrong keywords

Keyword research is essential to having success within your niche. Picking keywords that have fairly low traffic can help you to rank well for those keywords but you may have difficulty actually attracting organic user searches and visits to your page. Careful planning for your keywords and making sure not to use ‘keyword stuffing’ is important.

Publishing content that’s not original and not valuable

Your content needs to be valuable for your readers and visitors to the site. Your content also needs to be about your keywords with relevant information. When you publish plagiarized content this can instantly flag your site and cause it to shoot down search engine rankings. Work at creating your own original ideas and publishing content that is interesting and engaging.

Skipping descriptions, metatags and image tags

Building alt tags, optimizing meta-tags and filling out the full description for elements of your website is extremely important. This type of optimization is commonly missed, which will ensure that many elements of your website are never indexed and the site will be effectively invisible to search engines. We will cover these topics in more detail in future posts.

Missing out on mobile

Building a page that’s not optimized with a responsive web design for mobile use can be a huge mistake. A large number of web users now access the internet primarily on mobile devices so you could be missing out on a massive number of users by failing to create a good mobile browsing experience. It’s not hard to set up and it’s very easy to test for yourself. Navigating your site on a phone and a tablet should be as easy as it is using a laptop or desktop computer. Try it now!

 

Keep these top most common mistakes in mind when planning your search engine optimization strategy. Avoid them all and you’ll start leagues ahead of your competitors.

We are working on building a database of high quality SEO service providers. If you have had a good experience or have expertise to offer to our readers then get in touch. We vet all of our recommendations so that you don’t have to!

Gumtree – Job Search Australia

Gumtree have launched a new classified job advertisement app for Australia. Straight from the horse’s mouth:

The Gumtree Jobs app makes it easier for you to find the job you’re looking for in and around your local community. With more than 40,000 job openings across Australia, you can search for part time, casual, contract and permanent jobs with ease.

Once you’ve created your profile, you can search and apply for jobs in seconds.

Get access to the following jobs:

– Part time
– Full time
– Hospitality
– Casual
– Retail
– Graduate
– Contract
– Freelancer & more

All you need for your Job search in Australia.

Download Gumtree Jobs today!

If you prefer using a computer or can’t squeeze in another app on your mobile device, check out their web version here.

What is SEO?

You’ve probably heard the term SEO, but do you really know what it is and how to use it to your advantage? A clear understanding of SEO is vital to building a successful website. This article is the first in a series covering SEO for Beginners.

 

SEO is a term that is commonly used in marketing online today. At its core, SEO is Search Engine Optimization. This is the process of optimizing a specific website to rank well on search engines like Bing, Google, Yahoo and so on. There are many different levels to SEO depending on what you want to rank their site on these search engines for:

Local SEO

Many website owners are interested in capturing top search engine results for their area and within their niche. This can work particularly well for new local restaurants, new local contractors and more. Making sure that a local business is able to appear near the top of local search engine results will ensure that more people will have a tendency to go and visit that location.

Keyword Targeting

Keyword targeting within search engine optimization is another big aspect of creating value on a page. This involves the process of creating high-quality content that is embedded with keywords for a site. As people begin to search for terms within the niche for a website, more valuable content that is visited often will appear highly in search engine results. Keyword targeting through content marketing and on page optimization is a strategy that many new website owners use to build their audience from search engine traffic.

On Page Technical SEO

There are a number of technical aspects that go into SEO as well. In order for a page to perform well over search engines, it has to load fast, have well-optimized images and have the ability to load well on mobile devices. All of these factors can contribute to the success of the page as well as its ranking on search engines.

 

As you can see, search engine optimization is a technical process that is sometimes best handled by a professional service. Keep in mind that performing poor optimization or using plagiarized content on your page can heavily penalize your search engine value so it is important to focus on creating highly optimized content which is original and valuable!