For a long time, I’ve wanted to host another contest here at Get Rich Slowly. Not a “leave a comment to win” contest (those bring hordes of random people from across the internet, which means the winners aren’t usually actual GRS readers), but a contest that rewards folks for doing something cool.

Well, now seems to be the time. To celebrate the upcoming fourth anniversary of Get Rich Slowly and the imminent release of my first book, Your Money: The Missing Manual, I’ve decided to do something a little scary and exciting. We’re going to have a video contest.

GRS readers are awesome
The reader stories I’ve been featuring every Sunday seem to be a hit. And, in fact, I’ve always maintained that what makes this site so awesome has nothing to do with me and everything to do with you, the readers. Your tips and stories and suggestions are what make this one of the best places on the internet to discuss actual personal finances.

As proud as I am of this site’s growth, of the income it has provided, and of having now written a book, I think my favorite achievement came last year when The Wall Street Journal wrote: “The strength of [Get Rich Slowly] is that, along with plenty of advice from financial experts, he opens the site up to input from readers so they can learn from each other…Much of the value of the blog comes from readers’ comments.” Amen.

Well, it’s time to get open this site up for even more reader input. Here’s how it’s going to work.

The Get Rich Slowly video contest
I want you to create videos of under two minutes in length that provide personal-finance info in one of two categories: Personal Finance Tips or Success Stories. You can use anything you want to record the videos, and you can be as creative (or non-creative) as you’d like to be.

Since I’m the judge for the contest, I’ll tell you right now that although content is king (meaning the quality of your tip counts for a lot), I’m going to be pre-disposed to hands-on, how-to type videos: “Here’s how to change your oil”, “Here’s how I use coupons to save at the grocery store”, and so on.

Here’s a sample of what a video in the Personal Finance Tips category might look like:


Chris G. with his tip for planning an end-of-year vacation

And here’s an example of what videos in the Success Stories category might look like:


Adam Baker with his personal success story

As you can see, your videos don’t have to be anything fancy. While you’re certainly welcome to get creative, what I really want is for you folks to make something by hand. I want you to take risks, get creative, and share your ideas with other GRS readers. I think it’ll be awesome!

Prizes!
What’s a contest without prizes? For the 2010 Get Rich Slowly video contest, we’re giving away cold, hard cash. The winner in each category — Personal Finance and Success Stories — will receive $500. And ten runners-up in each category will win an autographed copy of Your Money: The Missing Manual. That makes 22 prizes in all!

Bonus! There’s actually a third chance to win $500. The Website Award is for folks who have a website of their own, and would like to have it featured at Get Rich Slowly. There’s no additional video to create; just submit your video into one of the categories above, and tag it with the word “Website” and your website’s URL, and you’ll automatically be considered for this prize. (Note that no books will be awarded for the Website category.)

How to enter
If you’re over 18 years old and this contest is legal in your state (sorry, this contest is for U.S. residents only), you’re invited to submit an online video no more than two minutes in length. To do so, follow this procedure:

  • Make your awesome video.
  • Upload the video to your YouTube account.
  • Head to the video contest page and click the “submit your video” button.
  • If you have any questions or have problems submitting your video, email videocontest@getrichslowly.org.

You can submit videos in two main categories: Personal Finance Tips or Success Stories. (You may submit one video in each category, for a total of two possible entries.) And, as mentioned before, if you have a website, you can flag your video to be entered in the bonus Website category.

The contest is open until 15 April 2010. I’ll announce the winners on 01 May 2010. Once submissions start coming in, you’ll be able to view the most recent entries — I’ll post the place to view them on the video contest page soon. (Plus I may highlight a few videos between now and April 15th.)

For complete details, please visit the video contest page and take a look at the official rules. (Yes, I know that’s a lot of legalese — it can’t be helped.)

Join the fun!
It takes guts to put yourself out there on video. Trust me, I know. But please don’t be afraid of looking like a dork. Be enthusiastic, share your knowledge, and have fun! (And if you’re worried about the juvenile YouTube commenters, simply turn off comments on your videos.)

What are you waiting for? Pull out your cameras and start recording. I hope you join in the fun, not only for the possibility of winning a prize, but to also share your stories and ideas with others — and to make something by hand.

GRS is committed to helping our readers save and achieve their financial goals. Savings interest rates may be low, but that is all the more reason to shop for the best rate. Find the highest savings interest rates and CD rates from Synchrony Bank, Ally Bank, GE Capital Bank, and more.