I have been a writer for InfoBarrel for just over a month and have learned a great deal about navigating the website. I have picked up a lot of tips from other writers who are friendly and willing to impart information that they have learned the hard way.
First and foremost, I have found that InfoBarrel is a website with a great deal of integrity. Having written for other online writing sites, I can say without reservation that InfoBarrel is head and shoulders above the rest. It was founded by two young technology savvy experts, Ryan McKenzie and Kevin Hinton, who are making a great contribution to stay-at-homes, retired persons, and others who would like additional income.
I have had a great deal of fun adding pictures, YouTube videos, and Amazon Ads to my articles. This knowledge came to me gradually, and makes my efforts that much more enjoyable. I had to ask a lot of questions about these add-ons in the Forum to finally be at ease with the process. My questions always bring me several answers from more experienced InfoBarrel writers. I have always used Wikimedia Commons and MorgueFile for free pictures, but have found recently that MorgueFile does not seem to have the library that they once had. Wikimedia Commons, though, carries pictures in a variety of sizes, which is also a helpful asset.
I like that I am warned before pushing the button to publish my article, that my keyword density is too high for a certain phrase. It challenges my ability to use a synonym or to state the phrase another way before the article is denied in its entirety.
It is a real gift that InfoBarrel takes care of providing its writers with AdSense, Amazon Associates benefits, etc. This responsibility has often deterred me in the past from joining certain writing sites.
Early on, I was startled to learn that my republished articles from another website that had closed down were denied because they were found to be published elsewhere. I had determined that they were no longer available in cyberspace, so I was puzzled. Again, through the experienced knowledge of a writer in the Forum, I learned that our articles can be plagiarized by others without penalty. I had over 950 articles which I thought I could reuse, but will likely be denied because someone has previously plagiarized them. I did receive a suggestion that reworking the article hugely may make it acceptable.
Since I like to cite my sources although it is not required on InfoBarrel, my use of the Reference tab on the right was confusing to me. A quick trip to the Forum helped. Filling out the Reference questions was a problem for me, until I learned in the Forum that only the URL, Website, and Title were required. Still, I was confused when only a small  showed up at the bottom of my article. I learned further that, on publication, the Biography would be shown at the bottom of the page under the Amazon Ad.
I was thrilled to learn that you can rewrite your articles to get them a higher score bringing them from yellow to green. Since I learned about pictures, Videos, etc., I have been able to get into green with my articles. I know this has nothing to do with page views, making money, etc., but it is a nice pat on the back to get a higher score. At this point, I am not thinking about making money, but just writing as many articles as I can.
That is exactly the point that veteran writers stress. Just keep writing, the money will follow. That is not difficult for me, as I receive so much enjoyment just from my writing. Also, as much as I look at the Forum each day, I do not believe it is good policy to linger in the Forum too long; instead, you should concentrate on writing.
I know that I am lax in sectioning off my articles with a bold title for each section. I had trouble keeping the bold in the title when I transferred it from Microsoft Word, so I stopped doing it. I think an article has more appeal if there are titles to each section. I will have to research this further.
I have noticed recently that some writers place Videos and Amazon Ads within the text. I think this is a neat idea. I will have to find out how to do this. Also, I am surprised to see several Amazon Ads within the text of one Featured Article. I like that, and will attempt to duplicate it.
For fear of seeming to brag, I was hesitant to make this next statement. On my one month’s anniversary writing for InfoBarrel, I was informed in an Email that I was a Featured Writer for August, for my article “Some Popular Breeds of Dog in the United States.” That was a wonderful acclamation, and I urge others that it is not a difficult achievement. Enter all of your articles in the Editorial Calendar. If you are a consistent writer here, you are as good as the next guy.
My strength in the past has always been to write Movie Reviews and Book Reviews which come easily to me. I also like to write about my travels, but many of these articles have been prepublished, and it would require a lot of effort to rework them. I plan to branch out into other genres, as research is another hobby which brings me great pleasure.
I am planning to study further the subjects of Keywords, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) which I am certain have a strong effect on page ranks in Google. A few writers here at InfoBarrel have encouraged this study also. So far, I have put this project on the back burner in favor of writing, writing, writing. I will soon make an effort to learn all I can about these topics, and would encourage other Newbies to do the same at some point.
I have received a lot of help from Forum users such as RoseWrites, classicalgeek, JadeDragon, vicdillinger, javrsmith, and others. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I hope that I, too, can get to the point where I can help other writers with their questions. I am waiting to hear how I can link the reader to these writers, simply by mentioning their name, but I haven’t learned the answer yet. But check them all out, they are excellent writers as well as teachers.
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