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Mention to the general public the term “Rockstar” and 9 times out of 10 they will be picturing a lead singer in a megaband (such as Aerosmith, AC/DC, The Rolling Stones, etc. (I really am showing my age with this one).
However that same word has a completely different connotation with money nerds (which I am a proud flag-bearing member of).
For this particular niche of the population, Rockstar is almost certain to lead to thoughts regarding one of the biggest sites dealing with personal finance on the internet: Rockstar Finance.
In fact some bloggers use Rockstar as a verb, exclaiming “You’ve been Rockstarred!”
This praise is shown to those bloggers whose content has been featured on the Rockstar Finance page or in the daily emails that are sent out by them.
After the PLUTUS awards (handed out at FinCon with similar regale as the Oscars for the best of the best blogs that year), being Rockstarred is one of the highest honors you can receive as a blogger.
[By the way I’m attending FinCon ’19 for the first time so hint hint if you think this website is worthy of being nominated for a PLUTUS category please do so when the nominations open]
Being “Rockstarred” means that you have created something that was deemed worthy enough to be released upon the thousands of readers that visit the site daily.
All that traffic will soon descend upon your site and, especially as a new blogger, it can be quite an amazing feeling as your pageviews skyrocket to heights never seen before.
If you are lucky, your post will strike a chord with some of these Rockstar visitors, who will then decide to keep coming back and help build up an audience of your own.
So to sum it up, being “Rockstarred” is a very big deal, especially when just starting out as a blogger.
So why am I writing this post?
Well I was fortunate enough to be given the keys to the Rockstar Finance castle and tasked with the responsibility of becoming the next “king (or queen) maker” for a week as the Rockstar Finance Guest Curator.
When this opportunity was first presented to me I thought “Sure. Why Not? How hard could it be?”
Similar to my experience of entering the world of blogging I quickly realized that this was far more daunting a mission than I originally anticipated.
As I have mentioned before, the art of blogging is quite deceptive in terms of how long it takes to actually publish good content consistently.
What typically takes a viewer 3-5 minutes to read can often entail 4-6 hours of work, if not more, with constant editing, grammar/spelling checks and formatting, not to mention the time it takes to actually think of a topic and put pen to paper in the first place.
So although I should have known better about the work involved as guest curator, it still caught me by surprise.
For those unfamiliar with the Monday through Friday daily email from Rockstar Finance, it is sent to its vast subscriber list and highlights the posts of interest for that day accompanied by a nice financial quote.
The email is broken down into two sections
- Rockstar Features which are the cream of the crop posts
- It just so happens that I was recently honored with this distinction three days ago when a post of mine made the cut.
- Rockstar Noteworthy which are still great posts but considered second tier level.
- one of my posts qualified for this level of recognition on 8/14/18.
I was assigned the first week of October and for each of those five days I was to submit 3 Feature posts and 4 Noteworthy posts which meant that (I will do the math for those not inclined) I had come up with 35 posts for just that one week!
I checked what I had published on my blog so far and lo and behold I had over 35 posts published so easy-peasy, problem solved!
But alas, it is HIGHLY frowned upon to use the power given to you to shameless plug your own website.
“With great power comes great responsibility.” – Spiderman
[Of course if Rockstar Finance does one day choose to do a week long exclusive feature of XRAYVSN posts I will go ahead and give them my consent to do so.]
I know what you are thinking:
“Xrayvsn! Surely with all the great posts the internet has to offer daily, finding 35 posts should still be a breeze, even if the most amazing posts the internet has ever seen have been excluded due to this unspoken no self-promotion rule.”
First off, I want to thank you for those thoughts, I’m deeply touched you feel that way about my content.
Although I agree with the sentiment that the internet is full of great Non-Xrayvsn content, there were some other stipulations mandated by the Rockstar team that created some challenges of their own.
Probably the biggest challenge I had to overcome was the rule that any blog that had previously been “Rockstarred” in the past 12 weeks was automatically excluded.
With my math prowess again put to the test, I figured out that 35 blogs/week x 12 weeks meant 420 blogs/bloggers were now ineligible for me to select no matter how amazing their new content was.
One of the most disheartening things that I had to face when doing the curation for the week was to find an absolute gem of a post, look down the (very) long list of excluded bloggers they provided and alas that blogger was indeed on that list.
All told, I went through two weeks of Rockstar Finance blog feeds, totaling over 2300 post titles (!) before I came up with the final list of 35 that I thought was “Rockstar Worthy.”
You have to stand out from the crowd.
As mentioned before, I went over 2300 post titles when trying to create the final list of 35.
Does that mean I actually clicked and opened 2,300 posts?
Although I have been accused of being a spam bot with my prolific viewing and commenting on the many blogs in “my circle,” even I have my limits.
The first criteria therefore I used was if the title of the post would be something I would be intrigued with enough to read myself.
“The superfluous use of macroenomics as it pertained to Elizabethian aristocracy and the effects it had on market forces with the subsequent rise of plutocracy,” just didn’t do it for me (not a real title but feel free to write a post on this if you are so inspired).
Many a great post likely does not get read when readers, faced with a multitude of options, do not feel compelled enough to visit the website because of a bland title.
It’s not enough to have a catchy title. Content is king.
There were a few instances where a potential candidate made the first cut but I became disappointed when I actually linked to the website and saw the content consisted of maybe one or two paragraphs.
You do not have to write a tome, but a post that is less than 300 words left me feeling unfulfilled after reading it and also got removed from the candidate list.
Creativity does, and should get, rewarded.
I hope I am not going to let the cat out of the bag and not only just lose the entire readership for my website but for everyone else in this genre by saying this: there really is nothing earth-shatteringly new on the Financial Independent/Retire Early front.
You spend less than you earn. Pay down debt. Save and invest the difference. Repeat.
That message literally takes a few seconds to read.
It would probably make for the most succinct and to the point single-post-FIRE-blog ever.
But yet there is no end in site of FIRE blogs or the viewers that frequent them.
Why is that?
Well for me I personally love to be a voyeur in other people’s journeys.
The blogs that resonate with me are the ones that use creativity and personal experiences as well as a smattering of humor thrown in for good measure.
We all know the beginning and we all know the end of this financial journey.
It’s the middle part that’s fun to witness as each person has his or her own, sometimes quite circuitous, path.
You can find your tribe by gravitating towards those that you can identify with.
That’s what makes me bond with people I have never met in real life (really hoping to rectify that as I have already started planning my pilgrimage to FinCon 19).
Well there you have it.
An in-depth look behind the inner workings of a guest curator for Rockstar Finance.
Hopefully for those bloggers who wish to be featured one day, the above tips can move you in the right direction.
And if you ever find yourself having the opportunity to be a guest curator for Rockstar Finance one day, may I suggest visiting this site to take off at least take off one post from your plate.
I would also like to give a shout out to Amanda Kruse of WhyWeMoney who is the resident Rockstar Finance curator.
Amanda has the daunting task of curating the majority of the Rockstar Finance features week after week and does an amazing job.
If you are in search of financial help, please consider enlisting the service of any of the sponsors of this blog who I feel are part of the “good guys of finance.”
Even a steadfast DIY’er can sometimes gain benefit from the occasional professional input.
If you find yourself enjoying this blog, please add to Xrayvsn’s superpowers by subscribing (your email will be kept private and you will get up to date emails regarding the latest posts and bonus material like the net worth spreadsheet template I created).
As my email subscriber list grows it validates my decision to start this blog and to continue to try and provide worthy content for your eyes.
NOTE: The website XRAYVSN contains affiliate links and thus receives compensation whenever a purchase through these links is made (at no further cost to you). As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Although these proceeds help keep this site going they do not have any bearing on the reviews of any products I endorse which are from my own honest experiences. Thank you- XRAYVSN
Great tips on how to create “Rockstar” worthy content! Thanks XrayVsn.
No problem. Hopefully if you haven’t had one already, a Rockstar feature will be in your near future. 🙂
I just lived vicariously through your prestigious honor. And for that, I thank you.
For now, a boy can dream.
LOL. Thanks for the compliment but if you are going to live vicariously you might want to pick a more honored blogger than me 🙂 And I do hope you get a rockstar feature of your own. It is a great feeling to be “Rockstarred.” Thanks for stopping by 🙂
Thanks for sharing your insights! As a member of the personal finance community (not based in the US), I’ve always wondered how the rockstar staff/curatoes went through so many new and original articles. It really is a full time job! Hopefully those tips will help me in getting features! Thanks
Thanks for stopping by from across the pond and commenting. I can’t speak for the official Rockstar team or other curators but this is how I approached my selections.
Best of luck getting a feature. As a blogger it is something to strive for and nice recognition they your content strikes a chord with a large community
Thanks for the shoutout XRAYVSN! You’re right on the money with this post. ? This: “…there really is nothing earth-shatteringly new on the Financial Independent/Retire Early front.” – is true of all personal finance info out there. The nuts and bolts are all the same – but telling it in your own way, adding a different spin to it, including personal experience, well, that’s where the gold is. ?
Hey Amanda thanks for stopping by and commenting. You deserve so much credit for doing what you do. I honestly can’t believe you can maintain the quality you do week after week. I was ready to take a long breather after just one week.
The Rockstar team is very lucky to have you.
Thanks for walking us through how a Rockstar is born Xrayvsn. I’d always figured it would involve a misspent youth, and a lack of inhibitions as a result of consuming copious amounts of hard liquor… but this works too!
Once you knock out the 420 “best” recent PF blogs, the job sounds like it becomes a Herculean task! On the plus side you get to encounter some new voices, but I’m in awe of the persistence of the curator who so regularly guzzle from that firehose.
My pleasure. Yeah the first way to do it works too 🙂 It definitely was Herculean when I first sat down and thought I was just going to knock it out. Several hours later I came to the conclusion that I was wrong. LOL. It is amazing how much content gets published on a weekly basis but it was fun to see some blogs that I have never heard of and discovered some real hidden gems in the mix.
One day…. Rockstar, Sunday Best. One day I’ll figure out how to write something worthy.
Thanks for some inside baseball. I’ll have to work on some clever titles!
Appreciate you checking out the post. A clever title is always a good start. Some titles turn out to be clickbait but I did get pleasantly surprised by others which backed up an awesome title with great content.
Keep doing what you do Kpeds. You write well and only a matter of time when you check those 2 off your list
Huzzah! One down ? Today was nice ?
Congratulations! I knew you would be recognized soon enough but I’m going to say commenting on my post or being on my website is the lucky charm and everyone should do it. Lol. Physician philosopher appeared in the xray beam and shot up the ranks. So I might be on to something. Lol
You have SO. MUCH. ENERGY. Like wow.
Your passion is a joy to behold. Keep at it XRV.
Thanks DMB. I think blogging reignited a passion I have with writing. Nice to counter my main job with it. Hopefully I can keep tapping into the fountain of youth I found
I’ll say it before, I’ll say it again — I’ve no idea where you get the mental bandwidth to juggle all that you do, but I’m glad you do! You were my favorite guest curator, I daresay ?
Thanks for the tips!
Lol. Thank you for the kind words. Well I get a lot of it done while I have downtime at work which can happen when I am caught up reading studies etc. Glad you enjoyed my picks of posts when I did it.
Wow I had no idea that this was how this got done. That really is an insane amount of work for what seems to be small posts.
I’m still intrigued by the whole post length thing. I hear you that sometimes short posts feel incomplete, but I would argue that the opposite is true as well. Many long posts feel excessive to me. As you said, the message is simple a lot of the time…so keep it simple. I think people can appreciate that.
Appreciate the comment. I do think there is a fine balance between too short and too long with post length.
The ones that I spoke of when I clicked on the title and quickly dismissed were often only a paragraph long and that was it. Felt it was too short to recommend a for a Rockstar spot.
Hopefully my posts are not too long as I sometimes get carried away ?