Side Jam Interview #2 – Online Forum Contributor

Welcome to the second in a series of Side Jam Interviews!

With Interview #1, we met Cricket, 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 interviewed Nelly, who has paid off her family’s debt by working part-time as an online forum contributor.

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 I write articles on personal finance and encourage my readers to manage their finances effectively. Apart from writing on personal financial matters, I love traveling. I started my own blog about four years back, talking about other things.

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 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 struggled to repay my debts. Yes, debts! Forget this notion that those in the personal finance 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 to 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.


The Requirements

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 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 raising a family. My kids are growing up, and I prefer to spend extra time with them.

However, I do like having the opportunity to participate in the DebtCC Community, from where I earn points and earn dollars.


The Details

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 dealing 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 site’s debt consolidation or settlement areas to find out more.

People also ask questions about their credit reports and credit score. Queries revolve around increasing credit scores and having a blemish-free credit report. Often people ask about how paying back debt affects credit reports and scores 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 ten 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.


The Learning

What type of research or learning curve is required for being an Online Forum Contributor? 

You have to 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. So, of course, having a background in a finance-related subject is a bonus. It’s also helpful to have a flair for writing 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 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 the online forum contribution is in sharing data or learnings, it is better to present an otherwise dull 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.


The Reflection

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.


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 that you can build trust with readers and peers


Previous Interviews

Missed my previous Side Jam interviews? Check out the Related Posts below —

#1 – Cricket’s Plant Selling and Worm Farm
#2 – Nelly’s Online Forum Contribution

#3 – Robert’s Digital Marketing Business
#4 – Cheryl’s Exercise Class Instruction
#5 – Riley’s House Hacking
#6 – Marc’s Product Selling on Amazon
#7 – Brian’s Blogging Activities
#8 – Gio’s Police Training Program
#9 – Jarek’s Self-Publishing on Amazon
#10 – Andrew’s Real Estate Wholesaling