gather dot com
Gather, in case you didn't know (or if you did but wasn't sure how it worked) has a points system.
The points are an incentive. And redeemable for cash and gift vouchers. And the better quality your contributions the easier it is to accrue points.
How do you earn points?
You can earn points by inviting people. You'll earn more for each person who joins, and you'll expand your personal readership.
Get into Groups. How many Gather Groups do you belong to? How many do you own? Then start inviting everyone who might be interested to join.
Publish great content. Publish articles about politics, fiction, sports, current events, travel... things that interest YOU. The same goes for images.
How much are points worth?
A portion of the Gather advertising revenue is returned to its members as Gather Points. As Gather grows, there will be more members, which will attract more advertisers, and therefore more revenue to share. Each point has a value similar to a frequent flyer mile (about $.02 per point).
How is it determined how many points I earn?
Gather uses different algorithms to guage which individual user activities are creating community value.
Certain metrics -- for example, invitations that recruit new members, plus article views, image views, article and image ratings, comments, and group membership growth are just some of the activities that are used to measure how much value individual members are creating for the community.
The more value you provide, the more points you'll earn.
How do you use points?
Gather Points are Gather's currency for rewarding its members for site participation, especially for highly rated, popular content.
Gather Points can be exchanged for gift certificates and goods from participating points partners.
To redeem points (or see what prizes are available) click the Earnings link in the dashboard on your My Gather page. This will take you to a page where you can redeem Gather Points for offers by designated Gather Points partners.
Each Gather Points partner has different rules governing the redemption of their cards.
Gather is continually adding partners where you can redeem your points for everything from books, bedding, and CDs to vacations.
How can I earn MORE Gather Points?
Gather gives incentives for its members to do things that make Gather a better place. To earn more, publish content of high quality. Invite your friends, family and colleagues to Gather. Build great groups. Maintain a healthy, respectful, playful conversation with other Gatherers.
We now take a closer look at each of those ways...
Writing content that is original and unique is a necessity if you want to be indexed by Search Engines and recognised by discerning visitors as being quality.
Writing content that is original and unique can be time consuming. And does require a measure of talent. Be mindful of spelling, grammar and comprehension.
The good news is that writing content that is original and unique is easy to do when you're doing it for pleasure.
Write on topics you are passionate about. Because you'll never be short of an idea, opinions or viewpoint.
Five Simple Steps To Becoming A Good Writer
- Read other good writers, authors, journalists. Not only read WHAT they’ve written but HOW they’ve written it and WHY they’ve written it that way.
- Write. Get it all down. Every idea and thought goes on that paper (or computer). You will never write ‘good copy’ on your first draft.
- Read. Read what you’ve written.
- Rewrite. This is when you make it more coherent. Correct smelling pistakes, pull points together, fill in the blanks, make sure it flows. And check the grammar.
- Edit. The best reading is a sentence, paragraph, chapter or whole damn book that has had all the fat or fluff cut out. You might need to repeat steps 3 to 5 over again but the final edit results in a polished piece of writing. That’s when you submit it or use it.
Be sure to paragraph!
There is nothing quite so off putting as a big slab of text.
Paragraphs are units of thought which help to break a large body of text into smaller sections so that it is easier to read and to understand. (Source)
Recognise the cues to start a new paragraph and use the first sentence effectively to orientate the reader, e.g. when there is a shift of topic, viewpoint or time; Vary the structure of sentences within paragraphs to lend pace, variety and emphasis. (Source)
To help make your article stand out from the crowd take a few minutes to choose and upload at least one image to accompany your submission.
You have the option and ability to click, drag, drop, place and resize the uploaded image into your article.
The longer the article the more inclined you should be to add extra photos. It's a bit daunting to see large slabs of text.
If it's a long article I recommend a few illustrations/photos placed next to corresponding text (example) to help break up the text. If it's not that long then have at least one and you don't even have to place it in your article. As it will sit up the top right hand side anyway.
Leaving it at that default position will still allow it to show up next to your article in a search or in the newest articles list straight after you've published.
Go have a look at the most recent articles published and you may be lucky to see 2, 3 or maybe even 4 articles with a thumbnail image next to it. In fact when I drafted this article I went to Gather to get that link and there were NONE.
The inclusion of an image will give extra incentive for a person to click on your article. And that's not just because they are making a conscious decision to reward you for making the effort, the image acts like a magnet.
If you provide an image and back it up with a provocative headline, you've got a better chance than most in getting surfers who are cruising for a good time.
I've estimated that about 1 in 10 articles use an image. That means if you do add an image, you'll stand out from the crowd* and thus increase your odds of picking up extra visitors.
Use an appropriate image from your own digital pic collection, or go out and snap one right now. Alternatively you can stop by my Royalty-free photos for your Gather Articles (I'm adding from my collection as I find the time. There's 200+ there at the moment, and I've got about another 2,800 to go).
Once you've taken, found, obtained, borrowed or bought a suitable image make sure it is square before you upload it. If it isn't then either crop it square or if cropping is not suitable then expand the canvas either in the horizontal or vertical and add some white space to it to square it up. Otherwise it'll squish vertically or horizontally (depending which side is longer) to force it square when in preview mode.
You've done all that? Good. Now publish your article!
Promoting your articles
Prior to publishing an article think about the topic you are writing about. And search Groups to see if there are any dedicated to your subject/niche. Join the Group/s and then when publishing your piece you will directed to a second page in the submission process with "Article Options" and you can choose the appropriate Groups you have joined that you want the article to be sent to.
Some are moderated (the owner gets final say whether or not other Group members see the article) and some are unmoderated (free for all).
Start your own if there isn't a group already dedicated to your specific interest is always an option. Of course you'll be starting with a membership of just 1, but it'll increase your chances of being found when people go searching for content containing keywords from the topic you have been writing about.
Another passive means of attracting traffic is to do a search for specific keywords in articles by other Gatherers similar to what you've written.
Read their articles and if appropriate post thought provoking feedback or constructive comments on the article and leave it at that.
Don't overstep your welcome. If what you said was intelligent enough then the author, and even other readers, may click through on your avatar and see what else you've had to say or publish. And if they see an article you've written on a similar topic guess what are they going to do? They'll check it out.
From your comment to one of your articles the distance is only two clicks away. Between those two clicks you've given them a choice, of picking out an article that interests them. It acts as a filter. The next click is quality traffic.
And that's what you want, refined quality, not unfiltered quantity.
Promoting your articles OUTSIDE of Gather
Now that is an area far too broad and detailed to begin to touch on in an already long article.
You'll have to wait for that one.
It will apply not just to Gather but also Squidoo and Hubpages.
Stay tuned for more soon.