Let’s build this community!

October 4, 2011 · 21 comments

Over the last two and a half years, I’ve written nearly 700 posts. That’s a lot of blabbering if you ask me. I know I’m not interesting enough to deserve the awesome community that Punch Debt In The Face has built. I am only one person, with one opinion, and one story. As much as I’d like to pretend every post I write totally rocks your world, that’s simply not the case.

Even though I’m not the most influential personal finance blogger out there, I know I have something that the other PF blogs don’t; An amazingly loyal and committed reader base. I’m apparently not the only person that feels this way. Here’s part of an email I received yesterday from a long time reader…

Your blog is great!  I’m glad you are having fun with it and I think you have the best commenters on any blog ever. Thanks again for writing such great posts your blog has really made me think and changed some of my opinions of PF for the better!

I’m so glad I got this email, as it reminded me this pitiful excuse for a personal finance blog IS important and has the potential to radically impact people’s perspectives on money. But more importantly, it reminded me that the true value of this blog lies in the community that surrounds it.

In an attempt to diversify the message of PDITF, I’ve had my mom guest post, a close friend, Girl Ninja, my sister-in-law, and my fellow PF bloggers. That’s all fine and good, but what I really think this blog needs is an opportunity for you all to share your stories.

Things I want to punch in the face is the only series I’ve ever had on this blog. Well, it’s time for that to change. We would all benefit from learning more about our peers and that’s why I’d like to ask for your help in kick starting my newest series: “How you doin’?”.

Here are some of the guidelines if you want to contribute:

First, shoot me an email and let me know you are interested. If no one emails me, then I’ll assume this was a terrible idea and we can pretend this post never happened.

After we’ve emailed back and forth, send me a 300-500 word article summing up how you are doing financially. Are you drowning in debt and feel like there’s no hope? Are you killin’ it and bringing home major dollars? Are you financially cheating on your spouse and don’t know how to stop? Have you lost your job as a result of the down economy and struggled to gain employment? Share your story with me, so I can share it with my readers.

You have to be willing to be 100% authentic and honest. That doesn’t mean you have to use your first and last name, but it does mean you have to be raw and tell your story as it truly is, the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Ideally this series will consist of posts from my readers that don’t blog; people who have no way to share their story with others. If you have a blog and want to contribute, that’s fine by me, but you have to be willing to accept that I will not link back to, or even mention, your blog in the post (that way there is no question as to the motives for your submission). If you’ve never engaged with the PDITF community before, this series is the perfect opportunity for you to share how you are REALLY doing.

The ball is in your court community.

Will you take a step out of your comfort zone and help make PDITF even better?

p.s. If you think this idea sucks (or sounds cool) would you let me know in the comments. I haven’t actually talked this through with anyone and I know sometimes things seem better in my head then they do in reality.

p.p.s. If you want to be super awesome, would you also share some other things you’d like to see on PDITF?

I seriously love you guys so much. Thanks for all your support over the years and I want to do everything I can to serve the PDITF community better. If I was emotional, I’d totally be shedding a tear of happiness right now, but instead I’m just scratching my butt and burping :)

1 Angela

(: I just started reading your website and honestly, you do blabber a lot. But yes, this is very informative. A bit on the freaky side though :D And I really think you shouldn’t write series–you are better at blabbing about “news”. I am a kid, but I honestly think your blog posts EVERYONE can read.
:P

2 Bethany

I would love to read other people’s stories. I think it’s a great idea!

3 Melanie

I think it’s a great idea. I think that’s why people come here, and to other PF sites as well – to learn from each other!!

4 tom

Great idea!

I’ve seen this on other blogs and I love learning about and from the other readers.

One big suggestion I have is to have a standard set of questions to ask. This way the reader profiles flow the same and are answering the big questions.

Free Money Finance does a great reader profile series you might be able to take some examples from.

5 Tiffany

I think it is a great idea too! I agree with tom for having a standard set of questions to ask, and room for additional details that the writer would want to share.

6 Mo D.

Totally digging the idea of reading what your readers have to say. Quite often, I swing by a couple of times a day and see what others may have responded after I’ve put in my no-longer-at-par-with-the-U.S. 2 cents; on numerous occasions, I’ve come across other responses that give me extra food for thought.

Gotta say, I am hooked on the stick figures, and your stories on married life! Hope GN’s enjoying her new job! :-)

7 Me

I enjoy your blog and read it regularly… but the greatest part is how much MY KIDS love your stick figures. They actually ask to see what you’ve drawn. Usually your pictures are “family friendly”, sometimes not so much, but that’s okay… if they don’t “get it”, I just tell them “It’s grown-up humour”, and they move on. But they DO really love your stick people drawings. :) So, keep it up. You make me laugh and I really need that some days. :D

8 iwantmyhdbflat

Your blog is the first PF blog I’ve ever subscribed to, and that’s saying something because I do have debt too, and it took me a few YEARS after graduation to realise I should suck it up and punch debt in the face! Reading the comments made me realise I am not alone! The new series is an awesome idea, and I’ll definitely be sending you an email.

Love the stick figures!

9 Matt

Great idea!

10 Beef

I like the idea, as long as the poster knows they are getting general unprofessional advice. More of a cheerleading section for people working their way out of a financial situation.

11 Kevin @ Thousandaire.com

More stick figures and GN!!!!!!!!

I personally come to PDITF because you’re one of the only personal finance writers that isn’t boring. The series is a fine idea, but only if you make sure people submitting their stories know how to make someone laugh or draw stick figures or marry a hot babe or something.

12 Financial Success for Young Adults

Can I punch extreme couponers in the face? lol
Oh yeah, and +1 what Kevin said

13 Amanda

LOL, I feel the same way about the extreme couponers. I use coupons but not all crazy like that, no one needs 40 bottles of anything and they take it way too far to the detriment of other people who reasonably and legally use coupons to save money.

14 Amanda

I think it’s a good idea, I’d like to hear some stories from other people to see how they’re doing in their financial situation.

15 Den

Great idea – and LOVE the stick figures and personal stories. As we slowly punch debt in the face, it’s nice to have a fun and funny blog to keep us laughing – thanks for all you do Ninja!

16 This Guy

Good, this idea is.

17 Ashley @ Money Talks

I like it! Looking forward to hearing all about your readers.

18 Briana @ 20 and Engaged

I like the idea, but sort of piggy backing off what Kevin was saying, I say have submitters draw their own stick figures. It what makes your site awesome.

19 Rafiki

I think this is an awesome idea and even though I have my own blog I wouldn’t mind submitting anonymously. I will see how the series goes though as you did mention it really is for the non bloggers of your community.

That reader expresses exactly how I feel as well and I bet a lot more of your readers feel the same way.

And that is a very accurate pie chart lol

20 Red

I think it’s a great idea! Obviously, I have a way to share my story, but I’d love to hear from your readers about how they’re doing.

21 Trina

I love it! Your commenters are the bomb and I would totally want to hear more about what makes them tick and why they are into personal finance/classy stick figures. I like the idea of having a q&a format versus free verse. The pie chart is spot on;)

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