Share Your Story or Guest Post!

We want Man Vs. Debt to be your community, and to do that, we want to share your stories about selling your crap, paying off your debt and doing what you love.

Whether you’ve had huge successes in one of those areas or are just starting out, if you have a compelling story to tell, we would love to consider it as a Man Vs. Debt guest post.

Because of the size of our community – which is great – we can’t possibly publish all submissions received. To maximize the chance that we’ll be able to use your post, here are some tips:

1) Write as if you’re talking to your fellow community members.

When you read posts by Baker and Joan, you pretty quickly get a feel for what we “sound like,” right? (About the same as we do when we speak!) Your posts should be equally conversational. That doesn’t mean you have to pepper your sentences with F-bombs, obviously, but we want to hear your voice in your writing, not industry jargon or stilted cocktail-party speeches.

2) Have a story and a clear message.

You’ll notice that most of our own posts on Man Vs. Debt both tell a story and – hopefully – inspire you to a specific and doable action, whether that’s as simple as leaving a comment or finding a personal answer to a particular question or selling one item on Craigslist.

When you share your story, that’s awesome, but think about how that personal anecdote translates into someone else’s life. If you’ve sold $1,000 worth of video games on eBay, maybe your challenge to the rest of the community is to see if each person has ONE video game or other hobby item they can part with.

3) Format your content well (make it scannable).

When you submit a post to us, the easier to read it is, the more likely we’ll be to use it – and the more likely readers are to really get into it. Scannable is a good word to remember.

Use headings and bulleted lists where they make sense, though of course don’t go overboard. And proofread. Then proofread some more. And probably once more after that. Try reading your post aloud and seeing what works and what doesn’t. Get a friend or family member to help, especially one who’s a good writer.

4) Size doesn’t matter.

If you’ve got a killer 200-word guest post that is short, to the point and action-inspiring, that’s awesome! If you’ve got a 2,000-word story with 10 separate subheaders, that’s cool too. But don’t “write to write.” Use the length you need to tell your story, then stop. And be aware of your formatting on those longer posts – you don’t want readers’ eyes to glaze over partway through!

5) Don’t be spammy.

If you’re a blogger, we’d love to have you link back to your own site – where it makes sense. Not once a sentence. And if you’re trying to use your guest post simply to promote your own product or a bunch of your own affiliate links, well, that’s not going to be something we can publish. Trust me, Baker will delete it.

6) Be accurate.

Your story is your story, but if you’re going to include external facts, please check and double-check them, and cite your sources. If you claim that 95% of Americans have a mortgage at some point in their lives, we’re going to want to know where you got that idea (the community trusts our writers here – as a new voice to the community – earn that trust)!

7) Think visually.

This goes with the idea of formatting your post well. Your post needs to have at least one photo (625 pixels wide – at the top of the post), and you’re welcome to use as many as you need to tell the story… especially in longer posts!

Make sure you’ve got a full credit for every photo; if you’ve taken the picture, say so; if it’s from iStockPhoto, say so; and if your best friend’s cousin’s neighbor’s sister took it and you saw it on Facebook and asked if you could use it, say so.

So I read all this and I really think I have a great guest post idea.
What do I do?

All posts should be emailed to baker (at) manvsdebt (dot) com with “Guest post from (your name)” in the subject line. Please don’t send pitches, queries, or “I have an idea for a post; can you tell me if you’d publish it?”

We need to receive the full, ready-to-use posts. Trust your gut – and use the guidelines above. If we can’t use it – chances are it’ll make a great post for another site (or your own if you have one)!

Here are all the technical bits:

  • Your post should be included in the body of the email.
  • Your email should also contain a .txt document with the HTML format. It should contain your links, h2 tags, and styles already.
  • At the beginning of your email, include your full name, your email address and the proposed title of your post.
  • Next, include a one-paragraph or shorter biography of yourself that we can use with your post. If you prefer not to use your full name, here’s the place to use the name of your choice, i.e. “Joan C.” instead of “Joan Concilio Otto.” You can link to your blog, your Facebook, your Twitter, your Pinterest page, whatever in this, but make sure you tell our community something about yourself in a scannable, memorable way.
  • All photos must be attached in .jpg or .png format, and you must include notes inside your post about what photo goes where. (Remember, we need at least one photo.)
  • You should presize your photos to 620 pixels wide and no more than 450 pixels tall (sorry, vertical photos aren’t a great fit!) and, at the end of your email, you should include credit information for each picture as well as caption info if it makes sense.
  • Include a 100-pixel-square headshot of yourself (not your company logo – YOUR FACE) as a .jpg or .png attachment as well, for use with your bio.

Here’s the real fine-printy stuff:

ManVsDebt.com is all about providing original, quality posts that truly benefit the members of our community. To help us do that, we require that any content shared with us for a guest post be 100% original and not previously published in whole or in part.

ManVsDebt.com reserves the right to adapt or edit your submission in any way we deem appropriate. When you make a guest-post submission, you hereby transfer to ManVsDebt.com all your rights and interest to the content submitted. You waive all rights, including the right to publish what you submit here elsewhere.

You also understand you will receive no compensation for the content you provide to ManVsDebt.com. :)

Ready? Then submit your post to baker (at) manvsdebt (dot) com today!

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