Get Out of Debt with More Credit Cards?

With the subprime mortgage crisis in the United States, the problem with massive debt is more pressing than ever. Far too many people dig themselves into huge holes of debt and then they wonder how they got there. Worse still, they have no idea how to dig themselves back out. CreditDebtLife.com was created by Steve Rhode largely for this purpose, but he approaches it from an “edgier” and more “interesting” slant than other debt-minded blogs. In this review, I’ll take a look at whether Steve lives up to this claim and whether his blog is worth reading.

A Look at Credit, Debt, and Life

The tagline for CreditDebtLife.com reads: “Entrepreneur blog of sniplets of stuff to make your busy day fun, informative and never boring.” I have a couple of problems with this tagline. First, Steve should know that it’s spelled “snippets” and not “sniplets”. Also, the tagline is too long for its own good and it would be in his best interest to try to keep it short enough to fit on one line.

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When I was first presented with this blog, I was expecting a series of tips and advice for people looking to get themselves out of debt and to avoid troubles with credit. At the time of this review, there was only one post on the front page that could be considered as helpful to people who got themselves in a little bit of trouble. It was about paying the debt of the deceased and even then, it was incredible short, pointing the reader toward a free publication for more information (downloadable PDF).

The Blunt Edge

Despite being a blog about debt and credit, CreditDebtLife.com takes on a very casual tone and Steve Rhode departs from this core focus on several occasions. This “edge” that he talks about sounds very tacked on and I feel that it acts more as a detriment to the blog than an asset. Take a look at the header.

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Instead of labeling it as an “about”, you find out about the writer behind the blog by clicking on Who the Hell is Steve. I personally feel that this just takes away from the professionalism of the site, rather than giving him any sort of street cred. The use of “hell” isn’t what I’d expect from a guy that looks like Steve either. On a side note, CreditDebtLife.com seriously needs a custom header image. Dude.

The subject matter of the posts vary considerably, as you can tell from the innumerable categories and countless tags (both of which are featured in the sidebar). Here are a few sample posts that are typical of Steve Rhode.

This last post is particularly interesting. Nothing like tempting those prone to debt with more credit cards. I guess Charlize Theron’s nipples don’t hurt either.

Blog Theme Song is Just Weird

Don’t get me wrong. The blog template works quite well for CreditDebtLife. I’m particularly pleased with the prominent placement of the RSS subscription options and the Adsense integration. That said, there are at least a couple components that I would like to see changed.

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In the extended header, you’ll see a count for the number of visitor(s) currently online. When I went to check out the blog, the count showed “01”. That’s just sad. Until you build up a decent audience, there’s no point in displaying depressing stats like that. The same can be said about the “most commented posts” when the top post only has 3 comments. Be sure to listen to the blog theme song too. It’s just strange.

At the end of each post, I like the inclusion of the “hear this post” link, because it translates all the text into an MP3 file. Unfortunately, this MP3 file is a robotic text-to-speech tool rather than a “human” voice.

Babes, Suckage, and Steve

Making money through the debt industry is a good idea, because I’m sure that the Adsense ads have pretty high click values. The same can be said about making money through credit card applications. Unfortunately, Steve Rhode doesn’t provide much in terms of useful information, instead taking on a fake “edge” with hot babes and asking if life sucks. It feels terribly contrived and Steve would be better off posting more useful advice. After all, it’s CreditDebtLife.com, not the miscellaneous ramblings of dot com debt guy.

*Editor Note – Domain name aside, the name of the blog is “Credit, Debt, Life, and Steve” so I don’t really see anything wrong with life posts or any other posts that doesn’t deal with credit and debt. Michael Kwan is normally a very good reviewer but on this one, he missed the mark. – JC