The always-opinionated Tyler K. wrote this morning expressing something I’ve actually been thinking about myself. He said:
I wish more people would write about things they’re actually doing. I’m absolutely bored to tears lately with personal finance articles about which on line bank has the lowest interest rates, or which credit card has the most rewards points, or “here’s a list of N things that might be useful in some situation but is really just a filler post”.
I wish more people would write, “I did X, here’s how, and here’s why I think it turned out to be worthwhile or not.”
I think part of the problem is that, at a one-person blog at least, it’s very difficult to keep creating new articles about the things you’re doing. Eventually you’ve covered your entire life (or at least all you’re willing to share). So what do you do then? Close shop and go home?
My own solution has been to reduce my role around here and bring on additional writers. (My role has been pretty scant while I’ve been working on my book, but that’ll be over soon, so I should be able to have a more active voice.) Get Rich Slowly has featured guest writers since the very beginning, but now there are two staff writers to share their journeys. (And who knows? Maybe we’ll bring on more.)
But I’d like to do two things to supply more of this meaty content Tyler craves:
- First, I’m going to create a regular weekend slot for “reader stories”. These will generally be success stories, but they can be tales of woe, as well. If you’ve tried something with money and want to share it with GRS readers (whether you succeeded or not), this is the place to do it. I’m not going to edit these very heavily, but just let them stand as raw tales of how you folks manage money.
- At the same time, I’m going to search for great guest posts. If you want to contribute an article, drop me a line. But please note that I’m much more selective about guest posts than I used to be. I just don’t have the time to edit, so if your article needs work, I’m going to send it back to you. Also, GRS readers have made it clear they don’t like easy “lists of stuff”. That’s not to say you can’t do a list, but make it useful.
In both cases, I’m going to give preference to material with practical how-to advice: How to open an IRA, how to build your own clothesline, how I sold my used car, and so on. GRS readers love real-life stories. (For a great example of the sort of post I’m after, see G.E. Miller’s recent article about how he cut his Comcast cable bill by 33%.)
One final note: After years of posting about 12 items per week, I made a conscious decision this fall to reduce the number of articles on the site. This was partly because I knew I’d be spending all my time writing Your Money: The Missing Manual, but it’s also because I was getting a lot of e-mail asking me to reduce the pace to just a post a day. Turns out I like the slower pace (about 8 items per week). We seem to have better conversations.
But what do you think? That’s what’s important.
If you’d like to share a success story or a guest post, please drop me a line. I may be slow to respond, but rest assured I will see your e-mail. (And Tyler K.? Here’s your chance to put your money where your mouth is! I expect to see an article or two from you…)
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