This weekend I’m in Chicago at the Financial Bloggers Conference, where both big and small faces in personal finance writing will unite for a jam-packed 48 hours of idea swapping. Hopefully we’ll ALL be better personal finance writers by Monday. I’ll share conference highlights with you next week.
In the meantime …
A few weeks ago, the blog Little House in the Valley — written, fittingly, by a self-described “valley girl” saving for a house — invited me to take part in something called the 7 Links Project. This project asks bloggers to reflect on these 7 ideas:
– Your Most Popular Post
– Your Most Controversial Post
– Your Most Helpful Post
– Your Most Beautiful Post
– A Post Whose Success Surprised You
– A Post You Feel Didn’t Get the Attention it Deserved
– The Post You Are Most Proud Of
Sounds simple, but it’s actually a tall order. My posts are close to my heart.
But its important to push outside your comfort zone. And fittingly, tomorrow marks the 7-month anniversary of the day this blog “officially” launched. So — deep breath! — here we go:
Your Most Popular Post
That’s easy: If I Had a Million Dollars, I’d Go Into Debt. Hands-down, it’s been viewed more than any other post on this site. Its success surprised me, since it’s a relic from my early blogging days. But I suspect this post put me “on the map,” so to speak, as an up-and-comer.
If I could write that post over again, I’d shorten it and put more critical information near the top. I wonder how many readers failed to reach the end of the post, which is where I packed the best stuff.
Your Most Controversial Post
I avoid controversy. My goal is to include and inspire, not exclude and alienate.
Despite that aim, I stir up controversy when I’m discussing debt. My million dollar debt post argues that debt, used wisely, can make you richer. Others (Dave Ramsey devotees) are firmly in the anti-debt camp, even for strategic leveraging.
Which reminds me of the time I told readers to Forget Your Debt. That raised a few eyebrows.
Your Most Helpful Post
I created a Risk Tolerance Quiz to help people figure out whether they can tolerate wild market swings. Since personal finance is so — well — PERSONAL, this quiz will help people discover the investing strategy that’s best for them. Money isn’t one-size-fits-all.
For readers who accepted a risk level that’s higher than they can stomach, What to Do When the Market is in Free Fall can save someone thousands in losses from panic selling.
Meanwhile, 7 Steps to World Travel gives practical advice to anyone who wants to get out of town.
Your Most Beautiful Post
Simplify. Your. Money. strikes at the heart of human nature. It describes why we’d rather eat cheeseburgers than kale, rather tan than wear sunblock, and rather read Harry Potter than an investing book.
A Post Whose Success Surprised You
Readers love Quit Your Job to Travel, a post describing how one friend met her future husband thanks to her courage in quitting her job and voyaging around the world.
I’m surprised that her tale of moving to the Caribbean was so popular, considering that my similar post about moving to New York fell flat on its face. I guess the Caribbean post had better pictures.
A Post You Feel Didn’t Get the Attention it Deserved
Can I list four?
- I love What to Do When the Market is in Free Fall, my rallying cry to readers not to panic during market dips.
- When Broke People Get Money contrasts the stories of lottery winners who self-destructed with lotto winners who built themselves a better life.
- In my early days, I plead with readers to “Keep It Simple!” when it comes to managing money.
- The Risk Tolerance Quiz didn’t get much attention, probably because it hailed from the blog’s early days.
The Post You Are Most Proud Of
- 5 Habits That Help Me Save Without Trying strikes at the heart of why we spend.
- The tale of How I Lost $400 in One Minute reminds us that money ebbs and flows, so you shouldn’t take it too seriously.
- How to Get Rich is a reminder that we should ruthlessly cull the distractions so we can focus on the big picture.