It’s very easy to spend our days completely immersed in finance blogs and financial news sources, and miss out on some the wonderful other information the internet has to offer.
But stepping outside of the financial blogosphere can really inspire and deepen our own writing. Here are four non-finance sites to check out:
On this site you’ll find funny articles on subjects ranging from pop culture to science to history to psychology. But don’t let the fact that this is a humor site fool you. Reading Cracked isn’t just good for a laugh–it can really help you have a better understanding of how things work. The information presented in each post is meticulously researched and cited, and reading Cracked gives you the opportunity to learn completely off-the-wall and fascinating facts about any number of topics. (Cracked has even tackled some little-known financial facts here and here.)
In addition, their list format for their articles–almost every piece is titled something along the lines of “5 Mind-Blowing Things They Don’t Want You To Know About Turnips”–is a great reminder of how to market our writing to readers. Easily digestible list formats with clear and compelling titles draw readers in to Cracked, to the tune of hundreds of thousands of hits per article.
One caveat about this site: the writers regularly use pretty salty language, so the site is not necessarily safe to browse at work.
This website is the online version of the bi-monthly print magazine of the same name. Psychology Today explores all psychological topics for a layman audience, making some of the newest research into how our minds work accessible to everyone.
In particular, the site regularly includes articles on the topic of behavioral economics, a relatively new field of study that pairs psychology with economics in order to better understand irrational financial behavior. Getting a better understanding of why people have such a difficult time acting rationally and in their own self-interest will put finance bloggers in a better place to help their readers.
In addition, a basic understanding of psychology can give finance bloggers excellent insight into the issues surrounding money, considering the fact that how we deal with money has roots in our psychological makeups.
Know Your Meme is a site that documents and researches all the trending internet phenomena. It’s a world wide web out there, and at every moment there is something really weird becoming insanely popular out there. As bloggers, it really behooves us to know what’s trending so that we can try to tap into that internet zeitgeist. Using memes that are currently popular in our blog posts not only helps us to attract new visitors to our sites, it can also strengthen our internet street cred. If it’s clear that we’ve got our fingers on the pulse of the particular medium we call home, our readers will recognize that we are staying up-to-date on our own subjects, as well.
Know Your Meme is searchable, so that you can get yourself caught up to date if you happen to be offline for a day and have no idea what people are talking about when you log back on. In addition, each particular meme post on the site offers both the history of where the meme originated (including precursors) and when it went viral, as well as explanations about how the meme relates to other memes and the search interest of the meme over time.
Any (Reputable) News Site
Staying on top of current events is part of our job description. Just as it’s important to know what jokes people are telling over the internet, we also need to know what is happening in the world so that we can relate the events in people’s lives to finance.
Obviously, there are untold numbers of news sites out there. My personal favorites are The Atlantic, The New York Times, and NPR. These sites regularly provide me with invaluable information about current events and provide me with great ideas on the financial implications of what’s going on in the world.
What non-finance sites do you regularly frequent? How have they inspired you in your finance blogging?