Things on the internet are always changing, especially with new websites. This overview is written to bring you up to speed with the site. It reflects reality as of launch date - but of course things are subject to change.
Revenue Share Opportunities
At launch, TopicSpotter shares revenue through Google Adsense and Amazon Associates at the rate of 70% of impressions. What this means is that (randomly) 70% of the times someone views your article, the ads will be displayed with your Adsense code and Amazon Associates ID. When someone clicks through on Adsense or makes a purchase on Amazon when your code is displayed, you make money.
The balance of the impressions, and resulting revenue goes to the site owner, or the person who referred you.
One of the most effective ways to find new writers and grow the a revenue share website is to give an incentive for people to talk and write about the site. The performance incentive way to do this is by sharing impressions on refered member's articles. TopicSpotter shares a remarkable 25% of impressions for referring in new writers. They can do this because it is a no frills, one person operation looking to grow.
A very cool feature is that you can add your referral number to any site link. Just append /referrerId/19/(using your number-that one is mine) at the end of any TopicSpotter.com URL. If anyone following the link signs up as a writer within 30 days you get credited with referring them. These URLs work by storing a harmless cookie in the browser of the person who visits it, and if they register a new account within 30 days without deleting the cookie from their browser, you get credit.
This referral system will definately encourage more sharing of articles which benefits everyone on the site.
Before you get too excited about referrals, remember that 90%+ of people who join revenue sharing sites never submit anything and most of the rest never submit more than a couple articles. Also some who submit are weeded out as unsuitable writers/spammers. To make serious money on referrals you need to land a prolific writer. However, if you pick up a few impressions and make some money, it's a nice bonus. To benefit from referrals you need to have at least one accepted article.
According to the site owner, "TopicSpotter aims to be the highest-quality source of user-submitted information on the internet. This means that our content standards are very high and only the best articles will be accepted. You don't have to have a degree or much experience to be a TopicSpotter member, but you do have to write compelling content that offers real value to readers."
Articles need to be unique (not published elsewhere before or after publication on TopicSpotter. They are all subject to manual approval. Min 400 words (the text box turns green when you reach the minimum word count). They are not going to tolerate advertising, articles that are mainly for link building, or anything against Adsense rules. See the full guidelines for a complete list of the requirements for article acceptance.
An interesting feature is the ability to start a journal discussion and benefit from the ads around that page too (as long as you have an approved regular article). Journals don't require 400 words (no minimum I can see) or admin approval. They are somewhat of a cross between forum threads, a Q&A area and sort blog posts. I think these can be exploted to bring in search traffic by asking good detailed keyword targeted questions and encouraging responses. You can't put links into Journals.
Ease of Getting Started
Signing up and getting going is very quick. Just plug in your Adsense pub number and Amazon ID and you are good to go. If you have signed up for Gravinator already the site pulls in your photo as an aviator, which is a nice touch.
TopicSpotter Compared to Infobarrel
- Revenue sharing is less at TopicSpotter (70% vs. minimum 75%-90% on Infobarrel).
- Infobarrel is more rich with features, like Achievement Points, fantastic forum, modules etc
- Both sites allow inserting of Amazon items (in a little different way)
- Both offer Adsense and Amazon
- Both have a referral program - 2% at Infobarrel and 25% at TopicSpotter
- Infobarrel is well established while TopicSpotter is brand new.
- TopicSpotter has easier to use categories. If you need another category, just ask Admin
Should We Join TopicSpotter?
I do not recommend TopicSpotter as a site to devote all your online effort to. It is too new and I assume is not heavily funded. It is a well designed site with a fair revenue sharing system. I do recommend it for some diversity of income and for linking related articles together across multiple sites.
The site is really just a fancy blog with some extra bells and whistles. It is easier to join and post than building your own website because you don't need to set everything up and host the site yourself. Also, it will build authority easier than your own blog will because many authors will be posting and backlinking to the site instead of just you.
Like all revenue sharing sites, success means you will need to do good keyword research, post to social medis and/or find ways to promote your articles to bring in viewers. These steps are at least twice as important as actually writing the articles if you want to make any money and these steps are even MORE important on a new website that lacks (right now) a lot of incoming links and any PR like TopicSpotter.
I welcome comments - what do you think of the site?