Side Jam Interview #2
Welcome to the second in a series of Side Jam Interviews!
With Interview #1, we met Cricket who is teaching business and money-making principles to her young daughter. They are having a blast with a side business of selling plants and worms.
Today I interview Nelly, who has paid off her family’s debt by working part-time as an online forum contributor.
By the way – Do you have a Side Jam you’d like to share?
Let me know by filling out THIS FORM, and you could be featured on my blog!
And now, I’d like to introduce Nelly, who makes extra money on the side by contributing to an online forum:
I am Nelly Brown, popularly known as Good Nelly in the online community. I am from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and write articles on personal finance and try to encourage my readers to manage their finances effectively. Apart from writing on personal financial matters, I love traveling. About 4 years back, I started my own blog where I talk about other things, too.
The Interview Questions – Online Forum Contributor
Tell us about a fun, unique, or interesting Side Jam you’ve tried:
Well, it was a side jam only at that time. I always had a flair for writing, and found myself contributing to conversations in an online forum. Then when I became interested in personal financial matters, I started writing articles for the online forum for others to manage finances in a better way. I started contributing articles because I wanted to have extra income to improve my financial situation.
How/why did you get started with this Side Jam?
I had to do something to earn extra money, since I was struggling to repay my debts. Yes, debts! Forget this notion that those in the personal financial space always have their finances in order. At least not for me!
At one point in time, my husband and I had a mortgage loan, personal loans, a car loan, and the biggest of them all — credit cards.
My husband had a good job, and I also had a decent one. But the main problem was not having the ability to pay our entire credit card balance at every billing cycle. So the result was huge credit card debt, to the tune of almost $40,000. We had to find a way to fix that.
At that time, I was browsing for a suitable solution, and came across the Debt Consolidation Online Forums of the Debt Consolidation Care (DebtCC) Community. The experts there had some ideas on how we might repay the debt and bring our financial life back in order.
Not only did that help us solve our money problems, but as a result, I’ve also become an active member of the DebtCC Online Forums. And I’ve been an active member of this online community since 2007.
What inherent or learned skills are required in order to start making money as an Online Forum Contributor?
To be successful as an online forum contributor and help people recover from their negative financial situations, sometimes it does help if you’ve been in such a situation yourself. This allows you to offer a similar perspective, and the concept even applies to becoming a personal financial blogger.
However, you do need to understand at least basic financial concepts. While you don’t need to be aware of each and every tax law, or how to calculate credit card interest. But a basic amount of financial knowledge is pretty mandatory. (And make sure you’re not presenting yourself as a financial expert if you aren’t one. That means using proper disclosures, disclaimers, etc.)
How much time have you devoted to this activity?
Right now, I am not focused on having this as a full time career. I am happy with the work I am doing, and also am raising a family. My kids are growing up, and I prefer to give my extra time to spend with them.
However, I do like having the opportunity to participate in the DebtCC Community from where I earn points, and in turn, earn dollars.
What one or two topics do you find resonate well with your readers? (Are there certain questions that keep popping up in the forums, that many people are struggling with?)
The primary area of discussion is to repay debt. It involves paying back payday loan debt, credit card debt, medical bills, personal loans, along with other types of loans and debts.
We also often get questions about how to deal with illegal and legal payday loan debt. Another most popular area is credit card debt. Depending on the financial situation, I may refer people to the debt consolidation or settlement areas of the site, to find out more.
People also ask questions about their credit report and credit score. Queries revolve around how to increase credit score and have a blemish-free credit report. Often people ask about how paying back debt affects credit report and score, and how they can improve their credit score.
Other popular topics are identity theft, budgeting, managing money and other related personal financial topics that affect our day-to-day financial lives.
In general, how profitable has this activity been? (financially, or even educationally, lessons learned…)
By actively contributing quality content to the DebtCC Online Forums, I’ve been able to earn some extra money on the side. This money has helped to pay off my family’s debt.
Presently, I have achieved the title of Hall of Fame Community Expert for DebtConsolidationCare participation in the online forums. I have also written quite a few helpful articles for DebtCC. I have been an active member and online forum contributor since 2007. That means I’ve been associated with them for more than 10 years now! And I couldn’t be happier, as they helped me, and I am now paying it forward by helping others.
My income usually varies between $500 – $1,500 per month depending on my involvement.
What type of research or learning curve is required for this Side Jam?
What you have to do is understand the money concepts that affect our day-to-day financial lives. You also need to know how to manage your debt in the best ways. Of course, having a background in a finance-related subject is definitely an added bonus. It’s also helpful to have a flair for writing, in order to communicate effectively.
What tips would you have for someone who is looking to get started with this type of Side Jam?
First off, you need to have an interest in financial matters. And if you would like to help others manage their finances effectively, you should at least know how to do that yourself. Even if it’s from a perspective of someone working their way through debt. In online forums, people are either looking for helpful information, or they’re looking for support, from someone who has been in the same place they are.
Apart from that, it will help you a lot if you love to write. While most of online forum contribution is in sharing data or learnings, it is better if you can present an otherwise boring article in an interesting way.
But, I wouldn’t say writing about finances is always boring! After all, it’s about managing money effectively to lead a better lifestyle. And pretty much everyone is looking to do just that.
Is this something you would like to continue doing? Why or why not?
Even though this is not my full time profession, I would love to continue doing this for extra income. Helping people gives you so much job satisfaction.
Where can readers find you online?
The Wrap Up
Thank you Nelly! As a wrap up, here is what we’ve learned, in a nutshell:
- Online forums aren’t just for social interaction
- You can receive support from others, as well as beneficial advice
- Sharing your knowledge with others can easily be turned into a side gig for money
- Do your homework first, to make sure you’re dealing with a knowledgeable and reputable organization
- Be genuine and authentic in your online interactions, so you can build trust with readers and peers
I’d like to thank Nelly for sharing her experiences from participating in online forums. It’s something many of us do, but I’ll bet not many have thought of as a money making opportunity.
If you’d like to find out more, be sure to check out Nelly’s website, or reach out to her via social media.
Do you know anyone who is making money by contributing to online forums?
Is this something you’d be interested in doing?
I’d love to know your thoughts — Hit me up in the Comments!
Robin : )