As many of you know there is a monthly writing contest over here at Infobarrel. There are three monthly prizes the participants can win, Amazon gift vouchers of either $25, $50 or $100 and of course each writer who receives over a certain amount of points will get an increase in their adsense share percentage the next month. Out of curiosity I have started following these contests and it has become clear to me that it is getting harder each round to win any of the prizes.

The rules are pretty easy. All you have to do is be a member of infobarrel and start writing. You get a set number of points per article and more points for longer ones. At the end of the month, the member with the most points wins. It can´t get any more straight forward then that.

So what does it really take to become a winner of the Infobarrel contest?

infobarrel contest statistics

I have made a little graphic to show the past results of the contests, starting in April 2009. I did not count the very first contest because there was a huge lap between that one and the second one and thus did not fit in the graphic.

However it should be mentioned that the first Infobarrel was won by an Infobarrel in October 2008 and that this person is still submitting articles to this date!

Back to the Infobarrel contest graphic, here it is:

There are a few interesting things one can conclude from this graphic, or at least things that I find interesting. The green line shows the number of points the number 1 winner managed to get in one month, the red line of for the runner up and the blue line is for the winner of the $25 Amazon gift voucher.

As you can see, the graphic lines are all over the place. One would expect to see a steady rise, but this is not the case. The graphic line goes up and down so for those of you thinking that it just gets harder each month, I am happy to report that that is not totally true.

The future can only tell though if this is going to be the same, but the way it looks now it all depends on who decides to participate in the contest and how far they are willing to go to secure their winnings.

If we look at December 2009 for example the first place was jaschmidt with a stunning 492 points. That same month though, the runner up had 211 points and the third place was secured with 190 points. That would tell us that that month winner was more focused on adding content to his online profile rather to get long term passive income rather than winning the Infobarrel contest and looking at his profile it shows an exceptional number of articles written, 823 as we speak.

Last month we could see another peak in the graphic line and this time it totalled 443 points to secure the first place (congratulations DKrunner!) and the end of the contest month got a bit more heated, with more competition between the runners up. Second place was secured with 370 points while 172 were needed for the third place.

Looking at the rest of the graphic though, you will see that all the results are far closer, there are months that first place and second are separated by a few points only, and in May this year the first three prices where only 20 points apart. This really tells us that all is possible in the monthly Infobarrel contest.

Over the course of this past year, there have actually been 4 months that it took less than 200 points to win the $100 Amazon voucher. This is pretty well in reach of quite some writers. Even if all the submitted articles would be 1 pointers, it would mean a total of 200 articles in a month, coming down to 50 articles a week.

Seriously though, being able to add 200 articles to your online profile would mean quite a boost to your online income if you pick your keywords the right way. And if you could continue producing that amount of articles for a year, you would be seeing a huge shift in your life.

And I guess that is what has happened to many of the contest winners especially after having won a few times, which brings me to the next point, not visible in the graphic.

There are 2 writers who have won 5 gift vouchers, 3 writers who have won 4 gift vouchers, 4 writers who have won 2 gift vouchers and 30 writers who have won 1 voucher, which makes me wonder about the amount of people actually knowing about this monthly contest on Infobarrel.

It also makes me wonder about the importance of winning a $100 gift voucher.
Is it about the win itself or are writers who have been winning several times in the past more focused on increasing their article count in the first place? Taking the win as a nice bonus that comes along working and writing on a daily base, all part of earning a living online.

All these questions have of course come up because of my personal attempt this month to have a go in the November contest, but the more I am participating on Infobarrel, the more aware I become of the community of writers, actually eager to help and cheer on newcomers, even if it means they have another person to compete with.

I have made a few interesting observations though in these past weeks. First of all that I believe that the contest is only important in the beginning but the more you start submitting articles, the more important it becomes that those articles will eventually rank and make money.

Second observation is that there comes a moment that it is not about the voucher anymore but about challenging yourself, challenging yourself to write consistently and get the best out of yourself, improving your writing and your productivity, because basically that is the only way not to throw in the towel when it comes to earning a living online.