Through the summer we noticed an increase in the number of conversations we'd been having with Headlinemoney users, especially financial services PRs, about money bloggers. Headlinemoney has long featured a blogging prize as part of its annual awards programme. But in recent weeks the subject's appeared to gain even more traction than ever.
So we just couldn't miss a chance to attend the 'Show me the money bloggers' event in September. Organised by Andy Webb of Be Clever With Your Cash and the Money Advice Service, this blogger meet-up and networking lunch was accompanied by the Sho-Mo Awards, a platform for the best money bloggers in the UK.
We at Headlinemoney thought it was interesting indeed to meet this first generation of financial bloggers, trend setters in the world of finance that we all know is just a little less open to change than say the fashion or food industry. Don’t roll your eyes; we all know it’s true.
So what are these bloggers blogging about? Quite a few, we observed, blog about debt and how to avoid or get out of it. We spoke to blogger Sara Williams, who also happens to be a CAB adviser, about what lead her to blogging about debt. “I found Debt both the most interesting and the hardest, because a debt problem can expand in so many directions.” she explains, describing the act of giving advice as helping a client put together ‘a really complicated jig saw’. She started by answering questions on a personal finance website and began to understand what was troubling people. This ultimately led to her blog, Debt Camel.
We wondered what role money bloggers like Sara play in the world of debt advice. Victoria Leyton, Head of PR and Social for Quidco was also at the event, and here’s what she had to say “Money bloggers play an absolutely vital role in terms of highlighting not only the need to tackle debt head on, but also offering the reassurance to those struggling with debt that they are not on their own.”
Bloggers Lisa and Rebecca or the Good with money girls believe that debt advice needs to be quite specific and tailored to each individual, so it is best to speak to someone. Rebecca explains “Help from other people who have been in a similar situation could be invaluable and is hard to access, so a forum or comment section could be really useful”.
Does this mean professional debt advice is hard to come by or simply that bloggers provide readers something more? Perhaps it isn’t so much about the advice itself, but about the way it is delivered to readers. “Whilst there are plenty of really valuable debt advice services available, bloggers can be that first step for people in recognising that they have a problem and actually need to utilise these tools.” Victoria, also the Best Online Money PR at the Headlinemoney Awards 2015, believes the best bloggers out there are the ones ‘sharing their journey’ and proving that it is possible to climb out of debt!