Writing about debt payoff can be tricky. We’ve all seen those mainstream media articles about how a couple paid off hundreds of thousands in debt but were gifted a house downpayment to start their real estate empire.
If you have an amazing and surreal story be sure to share it. But be sure to disclose important points that led to your debt payoff. If you had a windfall, help, or hustled hard – that’s great. Nothing wrong with that. Those who read your story want to know the whole story though.
Even if you don’t go in-depth with your debt payoff journey, that doesn’t mean you have nothing to offer your audience. There are common elements that all stories share, whether you’re writing your personal debt payoff story or from a data-driven viewpoint.
Be sure to note any tools, apps, or websites that help you in your debt payoff journey. If you have a favorite debt payoff calculator, visual tracker, or budgeting app make sure to include those. If you find it helpful, others may find it helpful as well.
Is It Worth It to Share Your Personal Story?
It is absolutely worth it to share your personal story. No one can tell your story as you can. Many people every day are looking for debt payoff stories that relate to them. Your unique voice could be the story they are looking for.
When content creators are asked if the market is oversaturated, the ones I define as successful always have the same answer. No, because your voice and the unique story have yet to be shared. You have an audience that may be different than others in the market. There are still so many people who are searching for debt payoff stories every day.
You may be writing about your debt payoff journey now, but others could come across it years from now. You never know who might come across your debt payoff story or when.
What Are Those Story-Telling Formats That Work Well?
The story-telling formats that work well are exciting, educational, and authentic. The ultimate goal of writing about debt payoff is to inspire others on their debt-free journey. Whether your story-telling format is personal or data-driven, authenticity is important.
Every well-written story has a beginning, middle, and end. But there are other elements that make a story exciting. Great stories have elements of surprise and suspense. Be sure to include obstacles you faced when you were getting out of debt.
If Not Personal, What Formats Work Well to Lay Out Information to Help People?
Data-driven stories can be authentic and entertaining. Those who write data-driven stories still need to be entertaining and relatable. Keep numbers around averages whenever possible. For example, use average household incomes, average debt amounts, etc.
Case studies are another way to keep your audience engaged. Maybe something may not specifically apply to your story but others have experienced different scenarios you think will resonate with your audience. Don’t be afraid to include interviews or quotes that express information that you think could be helpful.
Tools, Apps, & Sites That Are Helpful for Your Audience
Do you keep a spreadsheet of your finances for the last several years? If so, did you create your own fancy spreadsheet? Are you using a spreadsheet program like Tiller?
Do you have an excellent visual debt tracker to share? Visually seeing progress during the debt pay-off phase can help keep others motivated on their journey. Be sure to share if you used one in your debt payoff story.
If you used a budget app or multiple budget apps during your debt payoff, include this in your story. Also, this is a great opportunity to link back to a review of different budgeting apps if you’ve written one.
If you used any apps like Mint, Everydollar, or You Need A Budget, make sure to write about why or why not these apps didn’t work for you. Were they too confusing? Didn’t handle your pay periods well? Why wouldn’t someone want to use these tools?
Make sure to explain why you find your choice apps helpful and the way you process information that attracted you to your choice.
Have a favorite debt payoff calculator? Were you team debt snowball or team avalanche? Be sure to share any sites, calculators, or other resources that helped you pay off debt.
Also, don’t be afraid to share what other people or sites informed and motivated you. Being open in this may open up your audience to a bigger pool of resources that could help them in their own debt payoff plan.
Balancing Empathy with Information
You may be reluctant to give a range of your income or specifics of your situation. That’s okay. However, you should share the big picture as much as possible. If you had an above-average salary, that would be helpful for someone reading your content to know.
Be careful when saying to someone, “If I can do it, you can too.” Not everyone may have the same opportunities, skillset, or other circumstances. Family life, living situation, and other factors can hinder others’ ability to earn extra income.
Delivering food for Uber Eats, driving for Uber or Lyft, or other common side hustles for metropolitan areas may not be as available in rural areas, for instance. Others may be taking care of children, relatives, or other obligations that may leave enough time or energy to pay off debt as quickly as others. Job opportunities may be more competitive in rural areas.
It’s okay not to present yourself as an expert but as a peer who has a specific experience and is sharing the tools that helped you reach your goal. Sometimes the peer relationship with your audience can be the voice that keeps them around.
Related: How to write about budgeting