• How To Start Dividend Investing For Beginners

    I love watching investing videos on YouTube about dividend stock investing, and I put off doing it myself for almost two years.

    However, I know one of the biggest investing mistakes is not taking action toward a goal so in early 2020, I started an account specifically for dividend investing.

    Why Start Dividend Stock Investing?

    Are you interested in investing in dividend stocks? Do you know why people choose dividend stocks? Why should you start investing in dividend stocks?

    Let’s look at the basics of dividend stock investing!

    What is a dividend stock?

    If you are first being introduced to dividend stock investing you might wonder what exactly dividend stocks are.

    Divide stocks distribute a portion of the company’s earnings to their investors on a regular basis. Most dividend stocks pay the investors quarterly but some do it on a different payout schedule like monthly.

    When looking at dividend stocks you will see it has a dividend yield, which is the percentage of the stock’s current price that is paid out to shareholders.

    If you hold shares of a stock with a dividend yield then you will be paid out based on that number. It is important to realize that stock dividend yield’s can change over time in response to the market and companies can also suspend or decrease dividends if they need to based on earnings.

    When you receive a dividend payment it means the company things you will benefit more as a shareholder than they would by reinvesting that money. This is why newer companies tend to not have dividend payouts but older companies are more likely to pay dividends.

    Why invest in dividend stocks?

    Many people choose dividend stocks for their investing strategy when they want an investment that offers regular income.

    Divide stocks distribute a portion of the company’s earnings to their investors on a regular basis. Most dividend stocks pay the investors quarterly but some do it on a different payout schedule like monthly.

    Investing in dividend stocks mean you will be building up an income stream that is made up of those dividend payouts.

    Dividend stocks are a great option for buy-and-hold type investors who plan to reinvest the dividend because your dividend payouts will be buying more of the stock for you.

    Dividends are only one part of the stock’s total rate of return because these stocks also change in share price like every others stock. The stocks increase in return also provides growth to your overall portfolio.

    What are the benefits of dividend stocks?

    There are so many benefits of investing in dividend stocks.

    The first of course, is that income stream from dividend payouts.

    The next is that dividend stocks tend to be less volatile than growth stocks so they can help you diversify your overall strategy with a different type of risk.

    Dividend stocks like the Dividend Aristocrats can be a reliable source of income over the years. (Read more about these stocks further on!)

    Personally I chose building a dividend stock portfolio for the creation of an additional income stream that would continue to provide income in the future. I also wanted to diversify and play around with learning about specific companies since my main investments are all in index funds.

    Where To Buy Dividend Stocks

    So how do you invest in dividend stocks? How exactly do you buy this type of stock investment?

    Choose An Investing Platform

    You can invest in dividend stocks on any investing platform that allows you to open a brokerage account to buy individual stocks. Here are a few popular ones that allow you to buy stocks without any commissions.

    You can open brokerage account to buy these stocks. A brokerage account is not a retirement account so keep that in mind.

    You can also open a Roth IRA account and look into purchasing dividend stocks within your Roth IRA as well.

    How To Pick Dividend Stocks

    One area where I think many of us struggle when trying to invest is choosing what to invest in. How do you pick stocks? How do you evaluate dividend stocks?

    Here are a few considerations when trying to choose dividend stocks for your portfolio:

    • Look at the company as a whole financially. Do they have a stable history? Do they have sound financials? Are they in massive amounts of debt or have plenty of cash?
    • What’s the history of the stock? Does the company have a long history of profit growth and dividend increases?
    • Is a dividend sustainable for the company? Evaluate if you think the company is paying out too much of its profits to dividends. Personally I like to see that the dividend stocks I buy don’t pay our more than 50% of earnings as dividends. Keeping earnings allows companies to grow.
    • What is the company’s growth potential? Some companies have limited growth opportunities so you want to consider if the company you are investing in has the ability to grow continually.

    Remember that I’m not an investment advisor so this is just what has worked for me and my opinion.

    If you aren’t sure of which stocks to buy you can always turn to investing experts of a list of stocks that are traditionally known as the Dividend Aristocrats. The Dividend Aristocrats are stocks that have increased their dividends for 25 consecutive years and it can be a great place to get started when you aren’t sure how to begin.

    Here are some curerent examples of Dividend Aristocrats you’ve probably heard of who’ve had a long consecutive record of dividend growth:

    • Aflac (AFL)
    • AT&T (T)
    • Cardinal Health (CAH)
    • Clorox (CLX)
    • Coca-Cola (KO)
    • Colgate-Palmolive (CL)
    • ExxonMobil (XOM)
    • Johnson & Johnson (JNJ)
    • McDonald’s (MCD)
    • Medtronic (MDT)
    • PepsiCo (PEP)
    • Procter & Gamble (PG)
    • Sherwin-Williams (SHW)
    • Target (TGT)
    • Walmart (WMT)

    This is just a small selection of the Dividend Aristocrats and you can find the others through a quick Google search to see which companies are on the current list. The list is updated once a year in January and occasionally some companies can be removed for other reasons.

    The companies on this list have several qualifications and generally have to be large enough and have high share volume to meet demand for millions of investors. This leads companies on the list to generally be good picks because they usually remain stalwarts that are unlikely to be acquired by another company (and are usually the ones doing the acquiring).

    These can be a great place to start as a beginner to choosing dividend stocks since they are companies with a proven track record of paying out dividends.

    Investing in dividend stocks through ETFs

    Another option for buying dividend stocks is to do it through an ETF. ETFs are exchange-traded funds which means they are investment funds traded on the stock exchange just like stocks.

    ETFs can hold assets like stocks, bonds, or commodities and there are many different types including ones made up of dividend stocks. ETFs are bought and sold during the day while the stock exchange is open and this causes the price to fluctuate during the day.

    One of the benefits here is that a dividend ETF usually includes dozens if not hundreds of dividend stocks which spreads out your risk over multiple companies. This generally protects your ability to get a dividend because even if some companies cut their dividend that will have a smaller effect on the fund’s dividend overall.

    When choosing a dividend ETF you should again look to evaluate the fund you are buying:

    • Find dividend ETFs buy searching for them on your broker’s website (find a broker above in “where to buy dividend stocks”)
    • Analyze what the ETF is actually invested in and the details. Consider the actual investments, the dividend yield, the returns over the last 5-10 years, the expense ratio.

    Just like buying a dividend stock you will want to evaluate the ETF in the same way.

    Where I Do Dividend Investing

    I decided to start my dividend investing on the Robinhood App platform.

    My dividend investing portfolio is set up for the goal of achieving a dividend income for my daughter in 15 years or so.

    It’s a long term play for me which is why I buy strong stocks that pay dividends and then reinvest the dividends into my portfolio.

    How I’m Investing In Dividend Stocks

    My plan for investing in dividend stocks in my “Penny Portfolio” is a little bit different than the normal way most people invest. I will be investing a small amount monthly, but I mostly plan to use this as another impulse spending tool. I plan to fund this account irregularly in a couple different ways.

    • First way I will invest in these dividend stocks, whenever I want to impulse buy something my daughter doesn’t need like cute clothes, I will instead invest in her account. She has enough clothes to last til she goes to kindergarten so I don’t need to buy them, I just want to. Instead I plan to buy a stock share with that money and continue to create an asset that will last for decades instead of a piece of clothing she will outgrow in a few months.
    • Second way I will invest in dividend stocks is whenever I sell something of hers that is currently not being used I will invest that amount of money. I have a pile of toys that need to be out of my house soon, so when I declutter I will contribute that amount earned into the Penny Portfolio.
    • The final way I will invest in dividend stocks in this portfolio, is to contribute $10 a month in our normal budget. As you guys know, I like having small amounts like this in our budget just as a reminder of our bigger goals. While it may not be a focus, those little amounts add up in the background as we are doing other things with the majority of our money. Plus, $10 isn’t much and doesn’t hurt out budget since we’ve cut so many regular expenses and focus on free fun activities!

    Free Stocks I’ve Got On Robinhood

    The great thing about growing an account on Robinhood for dividend stocks is that referring other users allows me to earn free stocks.

    People who watch my videos and read my blog are helping build this portfolio of stocks by using my referral link to sign up for Robinhood.

    If you sign up using my link, you will get 1 free stock and I will get 1 free stock as well. So if you use my link you will be contributing to the Penny Portfolio and we will all be building this up to provide an amazing future to the cutest kid I know.

    I’ve been very blessed to get a number of free stocks on Robinhood this year. I made a video sharing some of the free stocks I received on Robinhood during that week:

    I like to share what free stocks I’m getting from Robinhood for a few reasons:

    • to show you what free stocks Robinhood is giving out these days
    • to show you what free stocks you might get for signing up with Robinhood
    • to be transparent about the fact that I am receiving stocks from referral signups (thanks guys!)

    Every single week since I’ve started I have received a few free stocks and I’m thrilled people are getting interested in investing!

    Since this portfolio is 100% focused on dividend investing I’ve sold any stocks that did not pay out dividends and used that money to buy more dividend stocks of our choosing.

    Why Dividend Stock Investing?

    I wanted to share this little dividend stock portfolio project I started in order to let you know why there was a $10 Robinhood line item in our budget for those who were curious.

    February 2020 was the first month for this account and several months later in June 2020 I hit $1,000 invested in my dividend portfolio.

    Now that we have $1,000 in the dividend portfolio in Robinhood we will now work toward hitting $5,000 invested. The ultimate goal will be much higher than this in order to create a steady stream of income from the dividends.

    The companies we are investing in through this portfolio are all companies that we love, trust, and actually use in some way. We’ve chosen to invest in companies that we actually use on a regular basis. This includes:

    • Disney
    • Microsoft
    • Apple
    • Starbucks

    And others! We’ve also bought some shares of a Vanguard ETF that more broadly covers the markets and helps diversify our account overall.

    I’m excited to continue increasing this account and growing it so that we can eventually use the dividends as an income stream!

    This is the perfect time for a reminder that I am not an expert at all and this is just me sharing my personal experience. This is not financial advice, this is just entertainment and me sharing my experience. My stock picks are personal and never a suggestion that you should pick the same. Do your own research!

  • I Finally Got Life Insurance & It Was Super Easy

    Among the many things I’ve learned from the recent pandemic and job instability is that I need life insurance outside of work. 

    On Youtube, I shared my experience recently applying for and getting term life insurance for myself to help cover my family in case anything happens to me. 

    Why I Got Life Insurance 

    First I want to share the reasons why I decided to get term life insurance outside of my policy I already had at work. 

    1. I knew that while I was covered at work, if I got laid off that policy wouldn’t go with me.
    2. I have a child and if something happens to me I need to know she is taken care of financially.
    3. I have a mortgage and if something happens to me and my income disappears, I want my house to be paid off for my husband.
    4. I want to make sure my family has the resources they need to survive if I’m not able to be here for them. 

    Those are the reasons I decided to get a life insurance policy at this time

    My Considerations For Life Insurance 

    I knew I wanted a few things when I applied for life insurance: 

    1. I wanted term life insurance for 20 years because that would cover til my daughter graduated college. 
    2. I wanted it to be easy to apply and get covered without jumping through hoops. 
    3. I didn’t want a medical exam. I hate medical exams and I have conditions with mental health and asthma.
    4. I wanted affordable rates. I knew that I’m not in perfect health but I wanted to find the best options available to me.
    5. I didn’t want to deal with a sales person trying to push whole life insurance that I didn’t want (this has happened the one other time I looked into getting life insurance personally).  

    Those were the five things I wanted in my particular situation in order to get life insurance. 

    Who I Used For Life Insurance 

    So let’s talk about who I ended up getting life insurance with! I ended up going with Bestow. 

    Like a few companies I use for things I found them through having my YouTube channel. I had mentioned I wanted to get life insurance a few videos back and they reached out to me about applying because they thought they would be a good fit for me.  

    They only offered term insurance and did not require a medical exam because they used complex technology to make decisions about approvals and rates. 

    It sounded good to me but I did a bit of research and read some reviews from other blogs and YouTube channels first. They had good reviews and policies were provided by a traditional company with a good rating so it felt like it was worth pursuing. 

    In the end I decided it was worth getting a quote from Bestow to see if I would qualify for affordable rates for term insurance. It took less than 10 minutes to get a quote since they only do a soft credit check. I figured it was worth getting a quote from Bestow and a couple other online life insurance companies that had similar models. 

    I did end up purchasing a policy with Bestow. In fact from start to finish the process took me 15 minutes and my husband came home from a gas station run where I told him I’d bought life insurance. I can’t be sure but I think he was a bit upset after his experience getting life insurance through a traditional company where he had multiple exams and 4 months of back and forth to get covered.  

    I had put off getting my own policy outside of work strictly because he had such a negative experience going through Zander and using a company they sent him to. I didn’t want to go through justifying my mental health history or my asthma or my weight or any number of things that I’m always working to improve but don’t look great on an application. In the end no medical exam was what felt like the best fit for me right now. 

    My new life insurance policy is for $300,000 for $33 a month. I know it’s probably not the best rate and I may be able to get a lower rate through a traditional company that underwrites policies but I’m very happy with this amount for my personal situation. It would pay off our house with less than half the money and the rest could be put aside for my daughter. I still have a policy at work as well. 

    Another reason why I liked Bestow was because I could pay online and set up auto payment for my monthly premium. Compared to my husband’s policy which forces us to pay quarterly with a check, this was so much better. 

    Getting Life Insurance Quotes 

    What I’ve learned from this experience is that it’s worth getting a life insurance quote from a couple different companies especially if they don’t require an exam. It does not affect your credit and you can compare your options easily when you aren’t going through a long medical underwriting process. 

    In my experience getting a quote and completing my policy took about 10 minutes start to finish (15 for me because I did record the experience and got distracted) and the whole process was so convenient that I’m kicking myself for not doing it sooner.  

    If you are looking for term life insurance, you can get a quote from Bestow and see if you qualify!

    It’s worth applying to see if you can get rates as low as $15 a month for $250k with no health issues. I will leave an affiliate link below if you want to apply.  

    Do you have a life insurance policy outside of work? Get your free term life insurance quote today.

  • What’s the Right Age for Life Insurance?

    When do you need life insurance? When is the best time to purchase life insurance? Today I’m going to be looking at the different ages and if you should be purchasing life insurance at that age.

    I recently purchased my first life insurance policy and the experience encouraged me to learn more about life insurance in general – including when most people should apply for it.

    There are things to consider about buying life insurance at every stage of life, but when is the right time?

    The vast majority of people interested in life insurance obtain their policies between the ages of 20 and 40, and there are different positive aspects about life insurance depending on your situation.

    Why should you apply for life Insurance? 

    Life insurance is an amazing tool that can provide protection for your family in case of the worst situation where you would pass away.  

    Life insurance is one of those things most of us ignore for far too long for various reasons, from not having the extra money in the budget to not wanting to deal with the frustrating process of applying. It’s all too easy to push off applying for life insurance when you know you have to answer a ton of questions and have a medical exam.  

    Luckily more and more companies have realized that people are avoiding life insurance because the traditional process can be so complicated and frustrating.  

    Getting life insurance without an exam can take less than 10 minutes, which removes a lot of the barriers to getting a life insurance policy.

    Life Insurance At Ages 20-29

    Most people think of age 20 as far too young to start thinking about life insurance or anything else longer-term than dinner that night. I know personally I lived my life in 6 month increments for almost my entire 20s and life insurance was not on my radar at all.

    However, a life insurance policy can often be a prudent investment for a typical person of this age if there are children involved or there are no assets to cover your passing.

    Many people in their early 20s have amassed considerable debt due to student loans, credit cards and other expensive lifestyle choices. While their debts will not manage to outlive them, the people they love will be left to bear the consequences of covering funeral expenses which can cost $10,000. A life insurance policy can provide funds for settling debts like a mortgage as well as final expenses to ease the strain on a family.

    Another benefit of getting a life insurance policy at this age is the very, very low rates you will be given due to your age.

    Younger people are eligible for much better rates on life insurance policies than those who wait to purchase a policy at an older age. This will save thousands of dollars over the life of the policy due to lower premiums even though you are starting sooner.

    If you start a term policy in your 20s you will likely want to get a longer period of coverage to cover the next 2-3 decades where you will be getting out of debt and building wealth.

    Life Insurance At Ages 30-39

    By the time you hit your 30s you are likely already considering life insurance. By this time frame most people have children or spouses. There is more responsibility to provide for the people in your life.

    Most 30 year olds are still in fairly good health and have much of their lives before them. You likely will outlive a term policy you get at this age. Nevertheless, this is an important age range to consider life insurance.

    Because the majority of people at this age are married or have children, holding a policy that can provide for their protection in case of the unexpected becomes extremely important.

    A life insurance policy can provide for immediate expenses, pay off your mortgage, and provide a monthly income to replaced yours. This is extremely important if your family loses both you and your income.

    Although a 30 year old will have to pay a higher premium than a younger applicant, the rates are still competitive provided your health remains good.

    Life Insurance At Ages 40+

    By this age, if you haven’t gotten married or had children, you probably won’t but you may or may not have life insurance.

    If there is no one officially depending on your salary and you’ve built up substantial financial assets, then you likely don’t need life insurance.

    If you do have a family or any dependents then you need to immediately look into life insurance if it fits your situation. If you have achieved a high income then you need to make sure that income will be adequately covered if you are no longer here.

    The options for life insurance policies are much more limited and more expensive in the age range, especially if you develop health concerns as most people do as they age.

    Other situations where you might want to consider life insurance:

    • A life insurance policy can protect a business partner in case of your untimely death from years of stress-free living.
    • A life insurance policy can provide an inheritance for anyone you wish to bless regardless of if it’s needed.

    There may be a number of reasons why you want to purchase life insurance after the age of 40.

    When should you get life insurance?

    Life insurance is not right for everyone but it is important to consider several factors:

    • Does someone depend on your income?
    • Do you have assets that provide financial stability?
    • Do you have liabilities that will need to be covered?
    • If you are no longer here, will you want the money to help someone make it through?

    No one can answer those questions for you but you will have to look at your own situation and decide if life insurance is right for you in your current situation.

    Life is extremely unpredictable, and so it is best to carry a good policy as soon as you’re able. An outstanding policy will provide benefits and security for you and those you love throughout your life and even afterward. The right age to seek out a life insurance policy is debatable, but the fact that it is more expensive the longer you wait is not.

    How much life insurance do I need? 

    Life insurance needs vary from person to person and you need to take into account personal information about your specific situation. 

    For example if you are healthy, young, single and have no dependents then you might not need life insurance.  However, if you have a kid or four then you definitely need to get life insurance to make sure your children are taken care of if the worst happens. 

    In my personal opinion at the bare minimum life insurance should cover having your home mortgage paid off and multiple times your annual salary.  Many experts recommend 10-12 times your annual salary for life insurance.  

    When did I get life insurance?

    Personally I waited far too long to get life insurance and even went two years after my daughter was born without it. During the coronavirus pandemic of 2020, I finally realized I needed a life insurance policy outside of work for several reasons:

    1. I knew that while I was covered at work, if I got laid off that policy wouldn’t go with me.
    2. I have a child and if something happens to me I need to know she is taken care of financially.
    3. I have a mortgage and if something happens to me and my income disappears, I want my house to be paid off for my husband.
    4. I want to make sure my family has the resources they need to survive if I’m not able to be here for them. 

    Those are the reasons I decided to get a life insurance policy at this time. I was able to get an affordable rate policy while in my 30s and it will cover me during my 30s, 40s, and into my 50s. I’m happy with that solution and sleep better at night after getting my own life insurance policy.

  • How To Move From Etsy To Shopify

    I’ve sold on Etsy since 2019 but I recently opened a Shopify store to test out selling my products on my own website. Moving from Etsy to Shopify was a breeze and today I’m sharing my experience along with why you may want to move from selling on Etsy to selling via Shopify.

    What Is Shopify?

    Shopify is an online platform that allows you build your own online store where you can sell physical or digital products.

    Shopify manages to make creating your online store easy but also robust which is why it’s trusted by over 1 million businesses.

    Shopify offers customizable themes to make your storefront look just the way you want it as well as apps and tools that allow you to manage it professionally. From inventory management to email marketing, Shopify gives you the tools to make your store a success.

    I recently covered why beginners might want to use Shopify in this video:

    In the video on Shopify I cover:

    • what Shopify is
    • is Shopify legit
    • who Shopify is for
    • Shopify pricing plans
    • Shopify fees
    • my Shopify review and opinions

    Basically everything you want to know about Shopify as a beginner to selling online!

    Through my experience selling on Etsy and Shopify I’ve learned a lot about both platforms. Setting up multiple stores on each platform really taught me the pros and cons to using Etsy and Shopify (they both have pros and cons)!

    I’ve also learned a lot by watching hundreds of videos from other sellers in order to find ways to maximize my growth selling digital products.

    So which one is best in my opinion? It really matters what your end goal is with your store!

    Shopify Vs Etsy

    Why would you want to consider selling with Shopify instead of Etsy? There are many reasons but the number one is growth.

    If you plan to grow your shop into a true business and scale it then you want to use a platform like Shopify. Etsy is a great place for many to get started but plenty of us later realize we have made a mistake investing our time into growing on Etsy because it has major flaws that limit growth.

    Here are a few reasons you will want to switch to Shopify from Etsy:

    • On Shopify you won’t be competing with other shops selling similar items. On Etsy every time someone sees your products they also see ads and listings for other similar products and they may click away.
    • On Shopify you won’t be giving up 5% of every sale as a transaction fee to the platform. There is a set standard fee for using Shopify which makes a lot of sense if you are selling high priced items or do a lot of volume sales.
    • On Shopify you will never be forced to pay extra advertising fees or fees you don’t want to pay. Etsy recently introduced mandatory off site advertising. You can’t opt out even if advertising is not part of your marketing plan. You have to pay the 12-15% of the sales price whether you wanted to run an ad or not. You don’t have to deal with this on Shopify.
    • Shopify has more features than Etsy. For a “free” platform Etsy is well suited to introduce you to the basics of e-commerce but Shopify will take you to the next level. They have every feature Etsy does and even more comprehensive and robust options too.
    • Shopify gives you more control. You are in control of your store’s destiny and success. You drive your traffic and set your prices and more importantly – keep more of your profit when you grow.

    Those are just a few of the reasons why a sales platform like Shopify is better than Etsy.

    How To Move From Etsy To Shopify

    If you are convinced that selling on Shopify is superior to Etsy then you’ll want to work on moving your shop over to Shopify.

    The following video shows you how to move your shop from Etsy to Shopify in a few easy steps:

    In this video I show you how to set up a Shopify store in 2020 to move from Etsy to Shopify.

    In the short tutorial on starting a Shopify store I cover:

    • how to get started on Shopify
    • Etsy to Shopify import data
    • learn how to import products from Etsy to Shopify
    • why you want to sell of Shopify instead of Etsy

    As you can see from the video tutorial, moving from Etsy to Shopify is quick and easy with the built in migration tools!

    Getting started on Shopify can feel intimidating because it powers so many customized huge website but it is actually very easy to start selling on Shopify for beginners.

    To get started with the very basics of moving your shop from Etsy to Shopify you will want to import your products, orders, and customers from Etsy and then choose a theme.

    You don’t have to get super in depth to start but can add and adjust to your shop as you go. This Shopify tutorial is easy and fast for moving from Etsy to Shopify and perfect for beginners to get more sales with less competition from other sellers.

    Selling On Etsy And Shopify

    If you can’t decide whether Etsy or Shopify is better for your business then I suggest doing a hybrid model where you sell on Etsy AND Shopify.

    Personally this is what I do! I still have my Etsy shop available to customers but I also sell on my own website.

    My Etsy shop is up and running so it can reach customers via the Etsy marketplace and then lead them to my products and brand. However, I don’t send my traffic from YouTube or social media to Etsy. I send those customers to my own website with my products for sale.

    Having Etsy running still allows me to have passive income with digital downloads and another way for people to find me but it’s not my main priority. This hybrid method has worked well for me selling digital downloads. The amount I make via

  • Bestow Review: Term Life Insurance With No Medical Exam

    Getting traditional life insurance can be a hassle. When my husband applied for his a couple years ago it took him months of back and forth phone calls, letters, and multiple medical exams. The whole experience was so bad it put me off from applying for life insurance because I didn’t want to go through that process too.  

    Recently I discovered many life insurance companies now use technology and big data instead of traditional underwriting methods like physical exams.They’ve made the process so easy that I finally applied for my own term life insurance outside of work. I applied through Bestow and today I’m reviewing my experience along with sharing why you should apply for life insurance and some factors to consider.  

    If you are looking for life insurance without having to do a medical exam, and are between the ages of 21 and 54, then you might want to get a free quote from Bestow. Bestow offers quotes quickly for term life insurance and the whole process is done online. Keep reading to learn about my experience and more on how they manage to do this.    

    Why I applied for life insurance 

    If I learned one thing from the recent pandemic and job uncertainty, it was the need to get life insurance outside of work. 

    For months I’ve had viewers leave comments on my YouTube channel suggesting I get life insurance outside of what I carry at my job. I brushed them off because I’m still young and my job has been very stable and very secure… until March 2020. Within a week I wondered if I would be laid off and lose not only my job, but my life insurance too. 

    I knew I needed to apply for life insurance outside of work but I’d been putting it off for a long time because I didn’t want to do a medical exam or a lot of paperwork with personal questions. My husband applied for life insurance with a traditional life insurance company a few years ago and it literally took him months to get qualified and get the policy started. Watching that experience made me drag my feet even though I knew I needed life insurance especially as a mom. 

    Because I’m a typical millennial I started looking for online life insurance companies that would offer traditional low-cost term life insurance without all of the hassle that could sometimes come  with traditional life insurance companies.  

    Why should you apply for life Insurance? 

    Life insurance is an amazing tool that can provide protection for your family in case of the worst situation where you would pass away.  

    Life insurance is one of those things most of us ignore for far too long for various reasons, from not having the extra money in the budget to not wanting to deal with the frustrating process of applying. It’s all too easy to push off applying for life insurance when you know you have to answer a ton of questions and have a medical exam.  

    Luckily more and more companies have realized that people are avoiding life insurance because the traditional process can be so complicated and frustrating.  

    Enter Bestow, a newer online company that leverages technology to give a quote in minutes for 10 and 20 year term life insurance policies.

    What is Bestow? 

    Bestow ​says it’s on a mission to make term life insurance “simpler and more human”. 

    They are working to make the process of purchasing life insurance faster and less painful for consumers by eliminating many of the traditional obstacles. Bestow focuses on big data to underwrite their insurance policies  rather than requiring medical exams and bloodwork. They use the information from your application and data about you with their algorithm to decide if you qualify and at which price.  

    The goal at Bestow is to provide life insurance to people in minutes not weeks (or months in the case of my husband’s experience with another company).  

    The policies from Bestow are provided by North American Company for Life and Health Insurance® which is rated ​A+ (Superior) by A.M. Best​, which is the second highest rating available out of the 15 categories A.M. Best rates. 

    What kinds of life insurance does Bestow offer? 

    Bestow has a  range of life insurance policy options with coverage from $50,000 to $1,000,000. They have 10 year terms and 20 year terms that are designed to fit your needs. 

    Bestow only offers term life insurance which is a plus since it’s the only kind of life insurance I would personally consider or recommend.  

    You can apply for a 20-year policy if you’re 21 to 45 and for 10-year policies, the age range is 21 to 55. 

    What if I’m not super healthy? 

    I’ll be honest, my weight and not being very healthy is something that held me back from applying to get traditional life insurance. I went with life insurance through my employer because I knew it would be automatically issued regardless of my health status. I’ve tried for years to lose weight unsuccessfully and this made me delay purchasing life insurance. 

    I encourage you to apply for life insurance through Bestow even without perfect health. The company does apply screening for major diseases like heart disease, cancer, HIV, etc, but you can apply to see if they have a policy that is right for you. If not, then traditional insurance might be the better route to take.

    How much life insurance do I need? 

    Life insurance needs vary from person to person and you need to take into account personal information about your specific situation. 

    For example if you are healthy, young, single and have no dependents then you might not need life insurance.  However, if you have a kid or four then you definitely need to get life insurance to make sure your children are taken care of if the worst happens. 

    In my personal opinion at the bare minimum life insurance should cover having your home mortgage paid off and multiple times your annual salary.  Many experts recommend 10-12 times your annual salary for life insurance.  

    How much does coverage offered by Bestow cost? 

    I personally decided to get roughly 7 times my annual salary with this policy because I do also have another life insurance policy through work and we have a mortgage balance on the lower end.  

    For me and my specific details this means my $300,000 policy will cost us roughly $33 per month. I’m very happy with this price point. It might not be the lowest rate possible but it was reasonable, something we could afford, convenient to get, and removes the worry of not having any life insurance outside of work. 

    Life insurance starts at $8/month. Worth getting a quote to see if you qualify for those kinds of rates.  

    My Application Experience With Bestow 

    The application process with Bestow took under 15 minutes from start to finish. I know because I recorded it for a video.  

    Side note: I also know that it took less time than my husband too to take a trip to the gas station. When he returned I told him I got life insurance and it was done which blew his mind after having a month long process to get his policy with another company. It was almost comical to explain I got my life insurance so easily.  

    What I liked about applying for life insurance through Bestow: – Fast quotes. It only took a few minutes to get my quotes for life insurance. – All online applications. I rarely like to do anything that requires phone calls or mailing in something so an all online life insurance application fit my preferences. This made it super convenient to apply during a statewide stay at home order too! – Affordable. The rates were less than I expected based on what I thought I’d pay with no medical exam and were very affordable. This might sound like a weird reason, but I use a lot of all online companies to get the best rates but I like to know that it’s not a fly-by-the-night company that will disappear. Policies offered by Bestow are provided by a big name in the life insurance industry – North American Company for Life and Health Insurance ®. 

    Final Thoughts On Bestow

    If you don’t have life insurance it may be worth it to get a free quote with Bestow. (Or even if you do have life insurance already – I’m making my husband get a quote to see if he can get better rates or not).  

    Applying for life insurance through Bestow might be right for you if you don’t want the hassle of a doctor’s visit, blood test, or medical exam in order to get life insurance.  If you are anything like me these things may have put you off getting life insurance for far too long.  

    Because Bestow doesn’t require a medical exam in order to get life insurance they might not be able to offer you the lowest rates possible. While Bestow is affordable, other companies might offer lower rates if they fully underwrite each quote with actual medical information from an exam. Bestow still offers competitive rates so you’ll have to check to see if you qualify for a term life insurance policy at a great rate. It is worth it to check out multiple sources if monthly premiums are your biggest concern with life insurance. 

    If you are extremely healthy you may want to shop around to find out if you can get a better rate elsewhere after providing your information and undergoing a medical exam.

    Bestow was a good fit for me and my situation but you have to weigh the options against what fits your situation personally.

  • How To Grow A YouTube Channel

    Growing a YouTube channel can be hard and sometimes it depends on luck and topic. In fact, it can take some of us years to hit 10,000 subscribers while we watch other speed past us by multiple times. If you want to grow then there are some things you can do to increase your chances of growth and success.

    Tips For Growing Your YouTube Channel

    If you want to make more money from your small Youtube channel then the best way to do it is to grow your channel. The more people that find you the more money you will make.

    Here are the ways I’ve learned to grow on YouTube.

    Utilize Useful Youtube Growth Tools

    I resisted using a paid tool like TubeBuddy for a while because I thought I was smart enough to do it on my own but when I finally caved and bought a subscription I kicked myself for not doing it sooner.

    With TubeBuddy you can see EXACTLY what other channels are using for their tags and video data and compare their channels to yours. You can learn how to do a lot of title and tag work for SEO with TubeBuddy.

    some of my other favorite tools I’ve used inside TubeBuddy while growing my channel:

    • canned responses which is super useful for interacting with your audience
    • upload checklist
    • video topic planner

    Those are a few of my favorite tools within my account to grow. TubeBuddy has a free version with limited tools listed here and paid accounts when you really want to grow (which are amazing for the price).

    Learn About SEO

    There are tons of videos on Youtube about how to use SEO on the platform. Watch some. Learn about what keywords are and how to use them. For many channels, search is the key way they are found and earn money.

    To shorten your journey in learning and implementing SEO, I again recommend TubeBuddy because it’s like an all in one solution for YouTubers.

    Here are the SEO tools you have access to inside TubeBuddy:

    • view and copy video tags from another channel
    • tag rankings so you can track where you rank
    • suggested tags for your videos
    • keyword explorer
    • search rankings
    • best practices audit

    And even more! All of those tools help you get your video ranked on YouTube so you get more views. It seriously has more tools than I’ve even had time to use yet but what I have used above has helped take my videos to the next level.

    Since I’ve been using TubeBuddy my SEO has improved and my search traffic has doubled. Seriously, it doubled! TubeBuddy has been an incredibly helpful and the first month I used it I actually doubled the views on my channel going from 45,000 views in a month to 110,000 in a month.

    Build Community

    Having a community around your channel and your videos is another great way to guarantee successful video launches and continued success. Building community can be done in a few ways:

    • commenting on other youtube channels
    • responding to all of your comments
    • referencing viewers and comments in your videos
    • giving shoutouts to people in your community
    • giving your viewers a nickname and expected phrases

    Those are just a few ways I’ve found to build my community but you can find what works for you! The most successful YouTube channels have an element of community around them.

    Those are just some of the ways I’ve learned how to grow my channel and consistently doubled my channel size each year I’ve been on Youtube while still keeping consistent and engaged subscribers.

    Make Good Videos

    Seriously, making good videos is how you grow on YouTube. There are a lot of additional factors but you won’t grow if you make bad videos.

    You should be making videos that you know are good. If they make you cringe when you are rewatching to edit, how do you expect anyone else to enjoy them?

    Here are a few of the best tips from successful creators I’ve followed about making good videos:

    • Get to the point in your videos. Don’t ramble on for a long period at the beginning where people will fall off.
    • Make your videos provide value. If your videos are educational then make them very educational. If they are entertainment based then they should provide value by making your viewer feel something. Think of each video and consider what value it is providing someone.
    • Audio quality matters the most even over video quality. You can have top notch video but if your audio is bad people will stop watching.
    • Focus on your presentation and story telling skills. When you first start making videos you probably won’t be very good at this but it’s something that makes the best YouTubers connect with their audience.

    Remember that these are all things that you can work on and you can’t compare yourself to other creators. You should work hard to improve your skills and tune out the distractions of others.

    Provide Unique Value

    This is similar to the idea of making good videos but even good videos won’t get you anywhere if you aren’t providing some sort of value to your audience.

    Every video on your channel is providing some type of value. That value might be education or entertainment or just a feeling like someone belongs. You need to recognize what value you are providing and then put your own unique spin on it.

    Make sure your video has a value driven purpose and you are delivering that value for each second of the video. You don’t need to ramble or go on tangents that don’t deliver on that value.

    Experiment With Ideas

    You likely won’t know what will succeed on your channel until you try some new things. Growing on YouTube means you will have to constantly experiment with ideas and trying out new things with your content.

    When you experiment and try something new you need to do a couple things:

    • be clear to yourself what is different
    • study your analytics to see how the video performs differently
    • double down on experiements that are working

    That is basically the way to succeed and grow on YouTube. When you have a video go viral? Make another similar one in a similar way and provide similar value.

    Experiment until you find something that works and then double down on it.

    Similarly to video types and ideas, experiement with all of these things:

    • thumbnails
    • call to actions in your video
    • titles
    • descriptions
    • video length

    Try out new things and constantly track how the experiments perform. You won’t know what works and what doesn’t work for your channel until you try. There are all sorts of pieces of advice out there “use your face in thumbnails” or “don’t use your face in thumbnails” but you won’t know until you try it on your channel.

    Find Ways To Be More Efficient

    If you plan to grow on YouTube then you need to find ways to be more productive, use your time more wisely, and be more efficient overall. YouTube can be a lot of work and a lot of really tedious work that can be time consuming.

    You may want to try out a number of different things:

    • Using TubeBuddy to batch process tasks
    • Hire an editor too speed up your editing
    • Hire someone to make your thumbnails
    • Outsource any number of tasks to a VA

    Find ways to make tasks faster and more efficient so that you can scale up with your content and growth.

    Keep Going

    I’ve heard time and time again from people who blew up on YouTube that they had their biggest success right after they had considered giving up… but kept going. That means that all the people who quit at that stage likely quit right before they would have seen success.

    There are a lot of fears, excuses, and reasons why people don’t continue to grow on YouTube.

    I recommend you examine those and find ways around them so you can keep going and keep growing your channel. Consistently post videos and work on improving your skills so that you are able to become a pro at YouTube.

    Making Money On YouTube

    Making money on YouTube is not a fast process, but it is possible!

    I started YouTube as a hobby and quickly fell in love with the platform and how it allowed me to find a community, create content, and also make money for my time.

    If you want to make money on YouTube I’ve written multiple posts about how do do earn money both directly on YouTube and with using YouTube as a traffic source to your products:

    I really enjoy sharing what I’ve learned about making money on YouTube, clearly! It’s an amazing platform that has completely changed many people’s lives by building a business or income from the platform.

    You can see some of my past income reports on YouTube.

    You can watch the video below to see how much YouTube paid me for 2 million views.

    In that video I explain how YouTube pays for views and the amount of money they pay for videos with millions of views which is very useful to understand if you want to make money from your YouTube channel.