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Motivation to Write Through Achievement Badges

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 1 12

We all need motivation to keep writing everyday.  Writing for passive income can be a slow process that may not pay off until months and years later when you are enjoying the results of all that typing. But what about motivation today?  How can a person be sure to keep driving at passive income writing goals?

Infobarrel has an innovative achievement badge system that helps members keep track of milestones in their writing effort.  While the badges have no direct financial reward, they each represent measurements of things that make for a successful passive income writer and that will ultimately translate into income.

Pretty straight forward, the big green check mark is awarded for setting up an account that includes a valid email address. This gets you one point, one time. It is also the reason everyone's achievement point totals end in 1 or 6 forever.

Another one time award, uploading an avatar adds an easy 10 points to the total. It also means your profile stops sporting place maker photos. Please save us all from the black and white cats.  

The only other icon that is not part of a series, the Gold Star signifies that a writer won an infobarrel contest.  So far, most or all contests have been to see who can write the most based on a point system that awards contest points for writing 500+ 800+ and 1000+ word articles.  Most contest points take the Gold Star worth 50 Achievement Points.

The balance of the Infobarrel Achievements Icons come in series. The easy ones first.

Read someone else's article and leave a comment, earning 5 points for the first comment.  As the 10 comment, 20 comment, 50 comment, 100 comment, 200 comment, 500 comment, 1,000 comment, 1,500 comment and 2,000 comment levels are reached more icons and points are awarded for the Commenter levels.  Leaving comments does not directly earn but it comes with other benefits.   Responding to comments on the writer's own article counts the same as comments on other articles. 

Another easy icon to earn, the first post in the IB forum nets 5 points and a new post it note icon.  There are many more levels of Poster, with increasing point levels.  Most writers start by asking questions in the forum and hopefully graduate to answering questions for others as they gain knowledge and experience.  Leaving forum posts does not directly earn but the forum is a good place to build links to articles that other Infobarrel writers will find useful (like this article) and every post creates a link to the poster's profile.

 The next easiest icon to earn is the 1st article or Writer icon.  A quick 10 points and an important hurdle toward success at Infobarrel. Most people who sign up fail before they start - they never write the first article.  Getting to 5 articles earns another 45 points.  10 articles gets 60 points (and is the minimum level for pre-approval on Infobarrel).  The Writer icons continue with increasing point levels.

Closely tied to writing articles, the system tracks the number of words published.  The first Wordsmith award is just 1000 words - achievable with one or two articles. There are many levels of Wordsmith to earn.

One of the newest icon types rewards traffic.  Getting readers to your articles through backlinking, promotion and good keywords is really important to success.  No one reading articles equals no earnings.  Trafficer icons go up to the 1.25 Million level and more will be added as required.  

Quality writing is rewarded at Infobarrel by being featured on the front page.  Recently this process has been formalized by Admin creating an editorial calendar for featured content and then chooses articles to feature.  There are Featured Icons for the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 7th, and 10th features ranging from 100 to 500 points per level.  

 Helping Infobarrel build a bigger team is also rewarded with icons and a 2% revenue share on what the referred writers produce. The first friend you bring in is worth 5 points and there are multiple additional icons to earn as more writers come  in through your referral links.  If you are not an IB member yet, please join through my referral link.

There are a series of new Editor icons but they have not been released to the general writer population yet.  The only place I've spotted them is on Admin's profile. Like the other icon series, these Editor icons have multiple levels of award and points associated with them.

How Can You Track Progress?

Verifying email address and posting a photo are one time events so they not tracked really.  Do these things and the icons and points are awarded. All icons and points are awarded overnight.

Every writer who publishes each month is automatically in the contest.  Standings are updated every night on the current contest page.  Just look for Contests on the menu. 

The writer profile page - linked through the writers name at the top - shows updated totals for these trackable numbers: 

  • Achievement points (updated nightly)
  • Comments (immediate update to count)
  • Forum posts (immediate update to count - also shown in the forum)
  • Article Count (immediate update to count)

Word Count and Views can be quickly found. Go to My Content and look for the download.csv link.  Click and get a spreadsheet listing all articles associated with the account.  A quick sum function and the Total Words and Total Views can be found.

If an article is featured it will show up on the homepage, moving off the home page but staying on the category pages a little longer until pushed off my new features. Unless you watch the homepage daily, you will not know an article was featured except for the Achievement Award email.
Referral count can be checked under My Account - Referrals.  There are 25 users listed per page so if there is more than one page than count the first (or more full) page(s) as 25 and add-on the total of the last partial page.  This is also the place to find and copy the referral tracking link.
All icons earned are listed on the writer's public profile.  All icons earned and all available to be earned are listed under My Account - Achievements.  There you can see what the next levels of each series are and how many points each level is worth. 
Hopefully the Achievement Tracking system will motivate more Infobarrel writers to push toward success. For more motivation and to make the goals real, try publically stating your goals in the forum and then make sure you hit the goals and report back your success. This will motivate other writers to succeed as well.

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Comments

Dec 13, 2011 10:06am
MarkRiegen
Nice run down of the achievements and how they can be motivational. I've got a ways to go for that 1.25M trafficer icon...better get writing.
Dec 13, 2011 2:39pm
JadeDragon
Ya, it's possible to hit the 1.25 million views, but I've got 1.23 million to go. A little time or a lot of viral helps.
Dec 13, 2011 11:23am
brlamc
Excellent post. I like this system it gives writers something to look forward too :)
Dec 13, 2011 2:02pm
tekaha
i'm having a lot of fun earning achievement badges. just wanted to mention that the forum and comment badges help to create a cohesive community on IB. if someone responds to me in the forums or comments on one of my articles, they're on my radar and i'm more likely to reciprocate. it's all gravy!
Dec 13, 2011 5:46pm
freedomblogger
Everyone needs a bit of motivation sometimes. As a newcomer, I really love the infobarrel system. Sometimes you really do need that extra bit of motivation that you can't find within. The achievement points really help :-)
Dec 13, 2011 6:28pm
JadeDragon
I'm glad that others find these motivational too. If you pick an achievement to focus on (whichever one) you can work toward a measurable goal instead of just "write more" or "get more involved in the community". Hit the target and then go for some other badge.
Dec 13, 2011 10:30pm
onenewvoice
I enjoy the achievements. When I know that I have earned them, I always look for them. Thanks for the info Jade. I always enjoy your articles.
Dec 13, 2011 11:58pm
JadeDragon
Some are just painfully far apart. Getting more referrals is proving hard when I spend a lot of time interacting with existing IB writers.
Dec 14, 2011 5:11pm
AuroraWindsor
I use the badges as motivation. They definitely help you become more involved on Infobarrel.
Feb 15, 2012 12:47am
CortCaldwell
Great resource JD, thank you!
Feb 18, 2013 4:51pm
cleopatrabrown
This was very helpful and informative. Thanks Jade.
May 16, 2014 8:42am
Ruby3881
I like your point that the achievements help motivate a writer in the early days on the site when progress may seem a little slow. I had already earned several of the easier achievements before I submitted my first article for review, and continue to earn points each day for things like reading/rating and commenting on articles and forum posts. It does help to see those points add up, even if there's no other use for them.
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