Almost exactly six months ago I registered the domain studentloansherpa.com Creating a website was a brand new experience for me and I didn’t know what to expect. All I knew was that I had information that I thought many people could benefit from. I figured even if my site only helped a couple people out, it would be a success. At the very least, I would get to try my hand in website design.
So far the results have exceeded my wildest expectations.
My first google visitor. I remember the first time that I looked through my site data and saw that somebody came to visit me through google. It was so exciting to think that someone went to the internet looking for help, and decided to see what I had to say. These days people from all over the world visit this site.
Many emails received. I’ve been lucky enough to exchange emails with people all across the country. Many had specific questions, while others just wanted to say thanks. I find this individual contact incredibly satisfying and it motivates me to keep doing what I am doing.
Being able to tell Colleen’s story. Through facebook I met an inspiring woman who had struggled with student loans. I had the honor of helping her share her story with the world. I was lucky to be able to provide the platform for her, and I hope to share the stories of others in the future.
The great discussions. One of the first articles I wrote that generated a lot of debate was a piece about a proposed student loan law called HR 1330. A financial aid administrator at a university and a recent graduate had a fascinating discussion in the comments section. Seeing the exchange of thoughts and ideas in such a civil manner was incredibly encouraging.
Getting to meet and work with other people from around the world. I came across a website called Yakezie.com that is a community of personal finance experts. The people at Yakezie have offered me fantastic advice, motivation, and friendship. When I started this site I felt like I was off in the wilderness alone. Now I feel like a part of a much larger team.
Goals for the Future
In the coming months I hope to unveil the Student Loan Sherpa Scholarship Fund. The advertisements that you see on this website have generated almost enough money to pay for the hosting and other expenses associated with running a website. Hopefully, traffic will grow to the point where I will be able to make some money and give something back in the form of a scholarships to some readers.
I also hope to reach a wider audience. I love being able to help people with their student loan problems, but I’d also really like to help people avoid student loans ever becoming a problem. Its nice to help someone save some money by consolidating a student loan, but the real difference would be made by helping someone avoid the loan entirely. I’m not really sure how to do this, but I sincerely believe that if people start making more sound college funding decisions from day one, many of our problems will be solved. I hope to be a part of this solution.
The most important thing…
Thank you so very much for your participation! The comments, tweets, likes, shares, and emails mean a lot to me. In the six months I have been doing this, I have gotten nothing but encouragement from everyone I have interacted with.
Readers: Why do you come to this site? Where would you like to see it go? What do you like and what can be improved?