Back in the day, the achievement points seemed to have more meaning.  There have been hints dropped by Ryan, one of the admins, stating they are going to mean something again in the near future.  In the early days, the top handful of writer’s avatars were posted on the front page, along with the newest writers.  Then the top 100 section came on InfoBarrel, where you could see where you stood among the other point earners.  While we don’t know what it is going to mean for sure, I have to assume something similar to the top 100 will be available again.  In this article, I would like to point out some methods you can use to rack up achievement points in a relatively short amount of time, like 6 months.

How Achievement Points Work

There are several different areas, but pretty much all of them have multiple levels.  When you move to level 2, you gain the points to your total and hold onto the points you earned with level 1.  It is very clear the key to getting a high total of achievement points is to work your way up the levels.

Forum Posting Achievements

This is the simplest way to earn points.  When you get to level 8 with 1,500 forum posts, you earn 175 points.  Now, since you get to accumulate all the points from the lower levels, 1 through 7, you will actually earn a total of 480 points, just for posting on the forums.

I would personally encourage everyone to go for this one.  When you post questions, you get answers and suggestions.  When you answer the questions of others, you help them learn and earn.  It truly is a win-win situation.

While 1,500 forum posts sounds like a lot, if you break it down by day, it’s not so bad.  If you were to leave 10 meaningful forum posts per day, it would take 150 days to get there.  Assuming you aren’t online every single day, it is still likely you can get there in about 6 months.  It’s an easy 480 points.

Referral Achievements

If you don’t have your referral link posted on your profile, put it there.  If your signature section on your articles is blank, add it there.  Most of us believe, although I don’t think it was ever confirmed, that if someone signs up for InfoBarrel to leave a comment on your article, you get credit or a referral.  This leads to a whole new way to gain referrals.

I don’t believe I have ever posted my referral link anywhere, but I have over 200 of them now.  I have a few articles that people want to comment on, so they sign up just to leave that comment.  On a different site, I had a single article with well over 1,000 comments all from people off the site.  It happens.  If you can come up with topics that people want to comment on, you can gain referrals this way (we assume).

To get to level 10, you need 100 referrals.  For the level 10 referral achievement, you will earn 125 points.  When you add levels 1 through 9 to that total, you will have earned 455 points.

Trafficker Achievements

There are lots of points attached to this achievement.  While organic search engine traffic generally pays the bills, viral marketing traffic brings the views.  If you are not familiar with the ways to make an article go viral, do some research and see it is for you.  I’m not a viral marketer by any means, but many people do it successfully.  Keep in mind you might have to write many articles with viral marketing techniques to get one to take off.  The results, however, can include tens of thousands and even hundreds of thousands of views in a few days.

At level 7 with 200,000 views, you earn 200 points.  When you add all the points together from level 1 through 7, you accumulate 540 points.  This can be hit with a single viral article.

Featured Author Achievements

If you try viral marketing, there’s a good chance you will write articles that are more than worthy of front page status.  They will likely have videos or pictures, citations, and be written very well. The criteria for front page status and what often takes off virally are very similar.

If you can get 5 articles featured on the front page, you will get the achievement badge worth a whopping 300 points.  When you add all of the levels together, 1 through 5, you will have earned 1,000 points.  Get two more featured and you’ll get another 400 points.  The big points are in featured articles.  If you want to earn points quickly, this is a good way to do it, although there is a lot of competition.  This is no small task, especially for 6 months.  Some get featured routinely though.  Take a look at their articles and see what makes them stand out.

Article Writing and Words Written Achievements

At some point, on a content site, you knew it would come down to how much you write.  The beauty of the number of articles written achievement is that you naturally earn the words written achievements as well.  It’s sort of like a BOGO sale.

Since I’m trying to explain how to earn points quickly, which I feel is about 6 months, and since I don’t know how much time anyone has to write, I have to use some guesses with this one.  Let’s say you write 200 articles, which is a little over one per day, on average.  For 200 articles, you earn a whopping 400 points.  When you add all of the achievement levels points together, up to the 200 article mark, you earn a total of 1,065 points.

Now, you will naturally have lots of written words.  If your average article is 500 words long, you’ll hit the 100,000 written words mark, good for 125 points.  With all the other achievement points you would have earned for words written, you would be at 335 points.  If you write longer articles and they average 1,000 words each, you point total, when all are combined, would be 535 points.   

When we add them all together, you will earn anywhere from 1,400 points to 1,600 points for writing 200 articles.

I Would Suggest Contests

Now, you don’t earn much for points directly from the contests, but if you set your sites on winning, it would help you keep motivated, which can help you stay more productive.  While a single contest win only gets you 50 points and a second win gets you another 75, the main points will come from writing words and articles for points.  If you compete and win twice, you would add 125 points total to your stats.

Adding It Up

While this is all hypothetical, I don’t think I have published anything completely out there for achievements after 6 months of committed writing.

Forum:        480

Referrals:    455

Traffic:         540

Features:     1,000

Articles:       1,065

Words:        335 – 535

Contests:     125

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Total:            4,000 – 4,200

While I don’t know for sure, I would assume 4,000 points would put you comfortably in the top 100 for achievement points.  Once you get there, even if you do nothing else, you will continue to gain points through referrals and traffic achievement points.  Make a few comments, have a few more featured articles, and add an avatar and you’ll easily add several hundreds of points to those totals.

You can get there quickly, if you put your mind to it.