Invest It Wisely: One Year of Blogging Giveaway & Over $485 in Prizes to Be Won!

Birthday cake. Source: (seen on multiple sites)Nearly one whole year has passed since I began this blogging adventure back in 2010 around the same time as my good friend Mich from Beating The Index, who started at around the same time as me and is also celebrating one year of blogging. I’ve come a long way since then and learned a lot along the way. I’ve learned a great deal from my fellow bloggers and readers who have generously shared their wisdom on finances and on life, and I’ve also grown as a person.

While many finance sites focus on the mechanics such as getting out of debt, saving for the future and living within your means, what really interests me the most is how we can apply these mechanics to make a better life for ourselves. Everything we do should have an end goal in mind, such as getting out of the rat race so that we can spend more time doing the things that we really want to do. If you imagine one’s life path as a rising chart, where the higher it rises the more value we get from our lives, then the goal should be to make this chart rise as much as possible. This is what I call “maximizing your life EV” (expected value).

The journey has not been without its trials and tribulations. There have been times when I have second-guessed this adventure and there have been times when I have been pessimistic; such is the folly of emotions. What is really great about this blogging journey though is that it really helps me to understand that many others out there have faced the same sort of challenges that I have, and they have successfully overcome them. There are people out there whom I highly respect and look up to, such as Andrew Hallam (otherwise known as the Millionaire Teacher) and Sam of Financial Samurai who is doing great things with the Yakezie, a well-respected group of top personal finance bloggers. When I see their optimism and passion for life, I can’t help but see the world a little more brightly as well.

The most enjoyable part of the experience for me has been sharing my thoughts with you, the reader, and learning from your thoughts as well. I think the two-way dialog is what really sets blogging apart from more traditional media, and I look forward to another year of blogging and continuing the adventure!

One Year of Blogging

Here are some highlights to recap the past year of blogging:

Top 5 most viewed articles
Top 5 referring blogs by visits
Top 5 most active commentators
Top 5 countries by overall visits
  • United States
  • Canada
  • United Kingdom
  • India
  • Australia
Top 5 most discussed articles by comments

I am deeply thankful to everyone who’s taken part in the site and left thoughtful comments on the articles; thanks for helping to make the year a good one! It feels like only a short time ago that I was recapping the first six months of blogging!

One year blogversary giveaway!

To celebrate, I’m throwing a one-year giveaway as a thank-you to my readers; you are the main reason I continue to write and share my thoughts.

A very big thank you goes to my generous sponsors:


There are over $485 in prizes available to be given away to the winners!

Prize Blog name
#1 Grand Prize: $150 via Amazon gift card via Invest It Wisely
#2 $30 via PayPal via How To Save Money
#3 Magazine subscription (up to $30) via The Amateur Financier
#4 $25 Amazon gift card via Barbara Friedberg Personal Finance
#5 $25 Amazon gift card via Budgeting in the Fun Stuff
#6 Autographed copy of Control Your Cash + Kindle version. via Control Your Cash
#7 $25 Amazon gift card via KNS Financial
#8 $25 via PayPal via Maximizing Money
#9 $25 Amazon gift card via Prairie EcoThrifter
#10 $25 Amazon gift card via Frugal Zeitgeist
#11 $15 Amazon gift card via Bucksome Boomer
#12 $15 Amazon gift card via Squirrelers
#13 $15 Amazon gift card via Wealth Informatics
#14 $10 Amazon gift card via My Personal Finance Journey
#15 $10 Starbucks gift card via Cents to Save
#16 $10 Amazon gift card The Saved Quarter
#17 $10 Amazon gift card Young and Thrifty

The giveaway is now closed; thanks for your participation!

Contest entry details

Winning entries will be selected using Winners will be contacted by email. In the case that shipment is not possible or is prohibitively expensive, a prize of equal value will be substituted less any applicable fees. The contest is now closed. Winners will have one week to respond and to claim their prize once contacted. If their prize is not claimed, it will go on to the next winner. If you tweet, Twitter accounts must have at least 10 followers. If you link from your blog, blogs must be established and reputable. Successful entries will then be announced on the site. We reserve the right to reject entries that we consider fraudulent, spam, or otherwise as invalid.

Good luck!

The giveaway is now closed;thank you for your participation!

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  1. says

    Wow, you really have your act together man. This looks like a really well run contest for sure! Nice job putting the form together and structuring the post to be very easy to read and understand. These blogaversary contests can get so big and unwieldy that they can often be confusing – but your is very simple to understand and participate in.

    I’m honoured to be a sponsor of your giveaway and I wish you much success. I will put my name in the hat when I have some more time to sit down and put all of my entries together.

    Have a fantastic second year!

    • says

      Thanks very much for sponsoring and supporting the giveaway! I decided to structure it based on my 6 month which went decently well and also what I have seen and heard has worked for others. Let’s hope it’s a smashing success!

  2. says

    Yea!! Happy b day!!! tweeted twice so far!! Let’s make it a blow out!! oh and thanks for the mention in your last round up. I get no trackbacks!!!!!

    • says

      Thanks, Barb! I often don’t get trackbacks either; I don’t know what’s up with that. I think it’s a flaw of WordPress, but no worries, you have a lot of great content that keeps me coming back to link some more.

    • says

      Thanks Darwin! I appreciate the comments you’ve left on my posts dealing with investing and economy and I’ve enjoyed reading your insights on Darwin’s Money / Finance as well. Here’s to another year!

  3. says’s only been a year. You seem so much older and wiser.

    I was already doing most of the things on your list, but was surprised that you weren’t already on my blogroll, so I’ve added you.

    • says

      The Yakezie helped me get up to speed pretty quickly, but still so much room to learn and grow. :) True, I added you to mine as well!

  4. says

    Congrats on the year anniversary. I think this is a wonderful idea and way to celebrate. I want to go back and read some of the articles that you mention and browse the site quite a bit, but I will probably link to something. When I do, I will let you know via the form.

  5. says

    Congrats on the one year anniversary – the years will fly by after this! I just celebrated my 3 year – so i guess I’m grandfather time as far as bloggers go.. :)

    • says

      3 years is definitely a long time in the blogging world, but there are some guys at 6-7 years and more so nah, you’re middle-aged at most. 😛

    • says

      Yep like I said to retireby40, the first six months are the toughest! Though, I think there can also be a lull after a busier time like the holidays when there’s a lot happening.

  6. says

    Hey Kevin,

    Congratulations on a full year of high quality blogging. I really want to emphasize the quality of your blog’s posts. The very first entry I saw was a post about gold. And the detail you presented far exceeded so much of what I was seeing on personal blogging sites. And that’s not to knock other sites. Blogging is hard work. Keeping the content level flowing is tough enough, but you’ve always done such a fabulous job on the quality end. And that’s one of the reasons that your blog is so successful. Keep it up! Now get down on the floor and do 30 pushups! I’m not kidding. Let me know when they’re done.

    • says

      Hey Andrew,

      I remember those first comments, and I also remember I had to fish your comments out of my Akismet spam. That was before I found out that Akismet was evil and would send high-quality reputable bloggers into the spam like that! After following the URL I wasn’t sure if the comment was legit, since it was the first good external feedback I had really gotten, but I’m happy that it really was legit!

      The feedback really means a lot to me, especially coming from someone on your level; I’ve learned a lot from your site and insights and your undying perseverance to guide people away from the sharks and toward shore.

      Don’t forget to send me over a review copy sometime, and… 30 pushups are done. 😉 Now what I really need to do is to either get a chinup bar or start heading over to the playground now that the snow has finally melted.

      • says

        This isn’t spam. Get on the floor and give me 35. I’m starting to think that the more blogging we do, the softer we’ll get. So let’s get each other suffering through some quick reps. Let me know when you’ve done them.

        • says

          Haha, you’re right, I was soft for the first couple months this year. Time to push forward! I hope I can hit 50 within the next couple of weeks.

  7. says

    Hey Kevin,

    Many, many congrats on an excellent, full year of blogging!

    Your site is one of my favourites and like Andrew Hallam, I enjoy reading the high quality blogposts. Your site is very informative and well-packaged. I wish you all the best in year # 2 and stay in touch!


  8. says

    Happy to throw in another $25 Amazon card if you want it :). Been a great year for your site and you are developing a very highly respected blog.

    Here’s to another great year.

    • says

      Hey Forest, that would be really great! Thanks for deciding to sponsor as well as for being one of my top commentators, I appreciate it! Thanks also for showing me and Mich that the dream is possible…

  9. says

    Congratulations on your first year anniversary of blogging! I’ve just started blogging and I know the amount of time and effort it takes to write. I really appreciate the articles you’ve written and enjoying ready your blog! Keep up the great work!

    • says

      Thanks, Kanwal! I think it’s important to keep it a fun hobby; that’s what will keep it sustainable for the long term.

  10. says

    congratulations to you. 1 year is a big milestone! your numbers look great too (alexa, etc)!

    continue the great work. i do not comment much on your blog, but i can tell you the information has been extremely enlightening and helpful for me and my family

    • says

      Thanks Sunil! I’ve found your series on niche websites to be very helpful, and I’ve learned a lot from your site for sure although I’ve been more of a lurker than a commentator. :)

  11. says

    Happy One year Kevin!

    Congratulations on such great success and here’s to many more years of blogging :)

    I’m sorry I didn’t get a chance to contribute to your giveaway! (Been super busy so haven’t had a chance to check out the Y forums) Please be sure to hit me up on your 2 year or 1.5 year blogiversary!! :)

  12. Jenn says

    Hello! It’s my first time here, happy anniversary to your blog! Subscribed via email, will definitely subscribe even without contest. :) I like your blog.

  13. Nancy Sue says

    Popped in while surfing during my 3yr old son’s naptime. Congrats on your blogiversary! Here’s to 10 more years :)

  14. kevin linkie says

    Congrats to 1 year. I am just trying to learn about blogger myself and boy am i lost sooooooooo much to learn. So many things i dont know or have a clue about. Great job and i wish you continued success at every step of the way!!

  15. says

    Thanks for participating, everyone. The contest was closed and the winners will be selected, and announced once they have confirmed!


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