Weekly Round-Up: I Want Your Opinion on Some Upcoming Contests

I’ve been giving some thought to having another contest (or more than one) in the upcoming months.  It’s been a while since I last held a contest, and I’d like to run another one (or again, more than one) pretty soon.  After all, there’s quite a few good opportunities coming up in the next few months; my birthday will be here before the end of October, Sondra’s birthday is coming at the start of November, and our first daughter should be born in December.  There’s also plenty of holidays as we get close to holiday season, from Halloween and Thanksgiving to Christmas and New Year’s Day.  (To say nothing of Election Day; regardless of who wins, I think most of us could use something to take our minds off the endless campaigning of the past two years.)  Heck, I’m less than thirty posts away from post 900; if that’s not something that deserves some celebration (particularly when most blogs don’t even make it to 100 posts), I don’t know what does.

To sum all that up, I’m not exactly lacking in reasons to hold a contest (or more than…oh, you get the point) in the coming months.  My questions have more to do with what sort of contest to hold; I’ve held a few different types over the years, and would like some outside thoughts on what type to hold now.  First, what type of prize do you think should be the main prize?  I’ve given away books, cash, and even donations to charity; what prize would inspire you to enter?  Second, while we’re on the subject, what sort of entry methods do you think would be the best?  In the past, I’ve primarily stuck with ‘Leave a comment on this post for a chance to win!’ type contests, but with sites like Rafflecopter making it easier to include just about every type of entry method possible (and some that don’t seem like they should be possible), I’ve been considering expanding things, and would like some thoughts.

These are just a few thoughts I had while considering when (and how) to run my next contest, but I thought I should that put that out there; it’s hard to think of better sources of advice than my readers and my fellow bloggers.  Speaking of which, let’s get to those great blog entries, as there have been plenty of them:

Good Yakezie Posts

The Financial Blogger Conference 2012 – KICKED BUTT!!! – I don’t know about you, but I do wish I could have gone to the Financial Blogger Conference 2012 (or as a profession that abbreviates ‘web logging’ as blogging decided to call it, FinCon12).  This FinCon journal from Crystal of Budgeting In the Fun Stuff is the closest I’m going to get this year, but hopefully in the near future…

Insuring Your Health During An Early Retirement – Insurance is always a tricky issue (trust me, I know), and if you are retiring early and dropping your company’s health insurance, it’s all the harder.  Engineer Your Finances shares a few thoughts on how make sure you still have insurance if you retire early, as so many of us are trying to do.

Rest Assured, PCs and Laptops are NOT Going To Die – It’s easy to be swept away by the latest trends, whether in computing or just about anything else.  However, as Money Beagle notes, as long as most people still work in offices, tablets and similar items simply don’t provide the same level of productivity as computers with keyboards and mice.  Investors, take note.

Most Popular Outsourced Jobs – This is a pretty interesting article, sharing some of the jobs that are easy to outsource, as noted by Free Money Wisdom.  Most such jobs are pretty easy to predict, like Customer Service and Freelance Writing, but I wouldn’t have thought of Medical Billing as particularly popular for outsourcing.

Clark Griswold Financial Lessons Learned over the Years – The National Lampoon movies are definitely classics, and Clark Griswold is one of the classic characters in recent American cinema.  Over on Frugal Confessions, some of the lessons you can get out of the National Lampoon Vacation movies are shared (besides the obvious: Don’t let Clark Griswold plan your vacation).

Why I like Dividend Stocks – I’m not really a fan of dividend stocks yet, but I am looking into dividend stocks more as I start to get older.  Wealth Artisan shares some of the appealing aspects of dividend stocks, from being able to reinvest the dividends (and grow your stock holdings) to the predictability of stock dividends.

Did You Know Your Debt Can Hurt Your Health? – I hadn’t given it much thought (there are enough other factors hurting my health that money isn’t a big one), but this article on Free From Broke raised some interesting points.  I’ll have to try to keep my debt from weighing too heavily on my mind and negatively impacting my health (to say nothing of paying off said debt).

Smart Hiring Strategies for Small Business – Neal Frankle of Wealth Pilgrim shares some thoughts for any small business considering hiring more staff members.  It’s a tricky area to consider, and getting some advice on the subject should help anyone who is starting on their own business.

3 Art Forms Impacted by 9/11 – September 11th had a lot of impact on just about every aspect of American life, including on art forms.  This article from Personal Dividends shares some of the ways that the art community has been impacted by the September 11th attacks, showing how films, literature, and visual arts have each reacted during the last eleven years.

Online: The best place to save money – It probably doesn’t come as a surprise to anyone reading this, but if you want to save some money, a good way to do it is to do most of your shopping online.  Financially Poor shares some of the places you can save a decent amount as you go through life by using the powers of the Interweb.

Contests and Giveaways

For those of us who didn’t get the opportunity to go to FinCon12, there is still a chance to win a Swag Bag with conference stuff from Crystal of Budgeting In the Fun Stuff, so perhaps I won’t have to suffer too much.

Interesting contest from Buck Inspire, giving away five copies of Psychology of Wealth.  I’ll have to let him know about my review, as it was a pretty interesting book.

Couple Money is giving away a Nexus 7 Tablet to one lucky reader to celebrate its 3rd anniversary.  (Before you ask, no, I’m not going to give away a tablet in a future contest; I’ve got my limits for such things.)

Len Penzo is hosting a very short term (it started yesterday and ends today) contest to win a $10 Starbucks gift card, by guessing what song is on his iPod.  I guess this is why he’s managed to snag a Plutus Award.

That’s all the giveaways I saw for the current time; if I missed any, let me know, not only for the chance to enter, but to get a chance to see how other bloggers are running their contests.

Where The Amateur Financier Was Featured

My article sharing Some Tips on Tipping was included in the Yakezie Carnival – The Fincon12 Edition (which I still wish I had been able to attend, but that’s another story) from Finance Product Reviews, the Carnival of Retirement from Making Sense of Cents, and the Carnival of Money Pros – Banjo Bowl! edition (very interesting name, by the way) from My University Money.

That fun tipping article was also included in the Mortgage Rates Are Low and a Personal Finance Carnival hosted by Wealth Artisan and the Weekend Ramblings and PF Blog Love: Back in the Swing of Things Edition from Young and Thrifty.

Alright, that’s it for this week of great links.  As always, thanks for reading, and please let me know what you think about possible contests; it won’t be long before you see the word ‘Contest’ in one of my upcoming posts, after all.

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