How Many Books Can You Read When You Put The Phone Down

Best Travel Books Of 2016

This is a guest post by Sophie Bell‑Rhone.

If you’re anything like the rest of us, you’re spending way too much time staring at your smartphone – and you probably know it. Today’s world certainly demands we stay constantly connected. Always on hand to respond to texts, calls and emails; even on the move.

While much of the time we spend tapping away at our screens is necessary, plenty of it isn’t. In choosing to use our hours gossiping in the group chat, snapping selfies for Instagram and scrolling Twitter and Facebook – we’ve let many of the things we should be doing fall by the wayside.

We’re neglecting novels.

One such activity is reading.

We barely need remind you of the benefits of diving into a good book – the escapism, the excitement, the learning and the stress-busting. And yet it seems we’d sooner pick up our iPhone or Android to skim through tweets than be swept up by the romance of Pride and Prejudice, or follow Alice down the rabbit hole into Wonderland.

To give us the wake-up call we need, musicMagpie did the maths. Using data published by Ofcom, they found out how much time we’re wasting on various phone-based activities each month, before comparing this with the average time taken to read a bunch of bestsellers from cover-to-cover.

How app-dicted are we?

When they revealed how much time we’re throwing away over a phone screen each month, the results were shocking.

While 14 hours spent making phone calls might not sound too problematic, this was barely the tip of the iceberg. A monumental 23 hours are spent trawling social media monthly on average. And an even worse 24 ½ hours are used up by instant messaging – an entire day gone.

But it was emailing that stole the most of our time – a whopping 30 ½ hours.

What if we used those hours to read instead? What could we achieve?

The answer: more than you may think.

Take, for example, if you gave up social media for the month. In the 23.06 hours the average person would have otherwise spent, you could get through The Handmaid’s Tale, Jane Eyre, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, and To Kill a Mockingbird.

That’s five iconic novels ticket off your book bucket list simply for staying off Facebook and Instagram.

The 24 ½ hours we spend instant messaging could be equally as fruitful. musicMagpie found you could experience the roaring 20s in ‘The Great Gatsby’, climb through the wardrobe and visit Narnia, learn ‘The Perks of Being a Wallflower’ and jet off around the universe in ‘Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy’ instead. And even experience ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’ too.

Even doing as little as giving up video calling, something we spend 8 hours on each month on average, could be productive. This would free you up to get through Animal Farm and Pride and Prejudice front-to-back.

Above all, reading offers us a limitless world of escapism. With its widely recognized stress-busting qualities, it seems laughable we’d ever opt for the buzzes, pings and notifications of our demanding smartphones instead.

Discover how much great literature you could fit back into your life when you switch off a little bit sooner each day.

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How This Family Guy Makes $10,000/Month Online Teaching Others How to Make, Save and Invest Money

How This Family Guy Makes $10,000/Month Online Teaching Others How to Make, Save and Invest Money - Interview with R.J. Weiss from

This is an interview-style post with R.J. Weiss from The Ways to Wealth.

Hey R.J. What’s your background and what do you do?

I blog about all things personal finance at The Ways to Wealth.

Before I went full-time into blogging, I spent ten years in the financial services industry. Specifically, helping families buy the right type of life insurance.

During my time with a full-time job, I’ve always had different side hustles going on. From freelance writing, Amazon FBA, conversion rate optimization, to website design — there were many projects I pursued outside of work.

How did you start your career in finance?

I got started in finance straight out of college working for my the family insurance business. As I love the financial planning side of things, I choose to specialize in life insurance planning. This led me down the path to obtaining the CFP® Certification.

What made you start blogging?

The Ways to Wealth, which I started in 2016, has been my 5th blog.

The others mostly fizzled out most due to a lack of interest. But, in 2009 I started a personal finance blog called (no longer around) that had some success.

The idea was to write about what I was learning about studying to take the CFP®. The blog was, by all means, a success. I was able to gain valuable knowledge, pass the CFP® exam, earn some extra money and build up a good community.

I then took this knowledge and started a business blog, which allowed the insurance agency I was working for to generate leads.

I started The Ways to Wealth because my passion is personal finance–from investing to travel hacking, I love the challenge of optimizing my finances.

How was The Ways to Wealth born?

I didn’t have much of a plan for starting The Ways to Wealth when I purchased the domain name.

I was actually thinking it would be a niche site, which was inspired by Pat Flynn’s niche site duel. Then, I came across the income reports of Michelle Schroeder-Gardner and wisely changed direction to a more traditional blog.

This change came about 6-months after starting to blog.  I did a timeline of the site in one of my income reports.

What worked best when trying to grow the site?

I had a decent knowledge of SEO. So at first, I started growing the site with email outreach. One of the first posts I had about best investing books of all time, had about 15 links to it.

This was nice to start with but was quite slow to build up, as it can take a while to earn Google’s trust.

The big turning point came when I started to understand Pinterest. I spent a few frustrating weeks on the platform, then it finally started paying dividends.

I went from about 100 sessions a day to 1,000, which was huge for me at the time.

How did you get to 3 million monthly viewers on Pinterest?

the ways to wealth pinterest 3 million monthly views

I lay out my Pinterest strategy here. But at the core the idea is to:

1) Write high-quality content that Pinners want to click through, read, and share.

2) Pin to my own and high-quality group boards, with a keyword-rich description.

3) Continue to Pin my best pins across my own boards/group boards, ruthlessly eliminating Pins that don’t perform well.

One thing to keep in mind is impressions don’t mean much on Pinterest. What counts are clicks to your website. So, you want to design not for impressions but clicks.

What aspects of the online business are you outsourcing or automating and how?

The first thing I outsourced was Pinterest design. I’ll design about 30-40 pins a month, so this was big time saver for me.

Of course, it took some work to get going. At first, I hired 5 or so people on Fiverr. I found one decent designer but the work quality deteriorated over time.

I then went to Upwork and posted a job for a  graphic designer. I found a great team down in Argentina, who I’m very happy with.

I’m currently experimenting with working with a ghostwriter. A few of my latest posts have been transcribed from my recording, with the ghostwriter making sense of it all.

I can compile about 3 posts in 90 minutes, then take another 90 or so minutes to prepare them. Saving me around 3-4 hours per post this way.

What’s your main income stream and why do you think it works for you?

My main source of income for the blog is affiliate revenue. It works because the partners I do have are high-quality businesses, who deliver value and solve real problems. This makes it easy to naturally link to such a partner.

When did you start making more than $10K/month and what was the turning point?

My first month over $10K was in January of 2018. In December of 2017, income was around $3,000 and in July of 2017 around $500. So, it was definitely a jump.

What happened then in January?

First, personal finance is at its peak interest in January.

Second, I had multiple Pins go viral.

Third, in November I started driving traffic via Facebook to the site. So, in January I could take campaigns I’d been fine-tuning for a few weeks and scale them.

How do you balance work and family life?

I have a routine I stick to Monday through Friday.

When inside of my designated working hours, I work. When outside of these hours, I’m not.

This is a lot easier said than done. But the thing important for me is not to take work everywhere I go. This means I don’t have any apps on my phone that are work-related (email, analytics, etc..)

What are you 3 best finance tips for newbies?

  • Focus on your savings rate. How much you save is the most important decision you’ll make.
  • Small incremental improvements add up over time. My favorite example is increasing your savings rate 1% every quarter, means you’ll be saving 20% of your income in just 5 years.
  • Study happiness. Become a student on how to increase your level of happiness. The natural result is you’ll want less overtime, making the game of personal finance a lot easier to win.

What books, blogs or podcasts help you stay motivated along the way of growing an online business?

I read a fair amount to keep fresh ideas in my head.

My favorite podcast is The Tim Ferriss Show.

Two blogs I enjoy reading are:

Farnam Street
Barking up the Wrong Tree

And as far as books. I try to read one a week. A few books I would recommend to online entrepreneurs would be:

Deep Work by Cal Newport
The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy
The Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss

Pin this post if you enjoyed the interview.

Check out my interview with R.J. from TheWaystoWealth to see how he entered the finance niche, started making money blogging, began bringing traffic from Pinterest and monetizing it with affiliate marketing, and is now making $10,000/month from his online business. #blogger #interview #blogtraffic #incomeideas #income