I just posted an article from AC onto Helium. There were already two articles

@mommaj (22770)
United States
July 24, 2009 3:40pm CST
I just posted an article from AC onto Helium. There were already two articles on the subject. I thought they were both vague so I had a chance to be rated first. Needless to say, Helium (sarcastically) met my expectations. My article is three of three. I seriously need help! I have been trying to get a writing star and I am losing my rating stars, but seriously, I thought my writing would do a little better. Check out the article and please give me feedback: http://www.helium.com/items/1529134-summer-learning If you read my stuff on ac the article was Ten Tips for summer learning fun for children three to seven http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/1836217/ten_tips_for_summer_learning_fun_for.html?cat=25
3 people like this
8 responses
@byfaithonly (10716)
• United States
26 Jul 09
Well, I see nothing at all wrong with your article but then I can't seem to keep my rating stars so guess I'm not the best at 'rating' I still don't agree with that system though and although I have finally, after a year, reached pay-out there I've made 4 times that amount on AC. Guess you can tell where my loyalties and time is spent these days.
@Canellita (12058)
• United States
26 Jul 09
Byfaith, I have never had any trouble maintaining a rating star. You just have to rate a little each day or a lot a few days. After I learned about the $3 rating bonus I set a goal to reach it and now I have 5 rating stars. I can not post anything to helium and not rate for a week and my stars do not change. I think you get out of helium what you put into it, but if you don't do the maintenance you will be considered inactive. Think of it like having a day job where you start out enthusiastic and your supervisors give you a bonus or promotion and then your job performance starts to slack off once you are comfortable with your place (as does happen in many work places). If people are not putting up enough effort helium can't make any money and then the site fails and none of the writers get paid. It's a cycle and so far it seems to be a fairly good system. In the beginning I was terribly frustrated with not seeming to make any progress and then I received some encouragement and tips and advice and I started to put in a little effort and low and behold I had two writing stars. Of course they disappeared and reappered for a couple weeks which drove me nuts and then I wrote a dozen articles mostly to competitive titles and that was the end of them disappearing. I went from earning one measly penny (I can laugh about it now) to about $1 a week in page views. I do a lot of empty title articles so those bonuses and upfronts add up as well. Once I figured the site out I took me just two months to get to payout.
3 people like this
@byfaithonly (10716)
• United States
26 Jul 09
Thank you for your advice and tips. My biggest problem has been 'time' I work a full time job that is very stressful and when I come home I'm just not up to doing research so the 'empty titles' are usually filled by the time I get around to writing them, Then I went 3 months before the new update where I didn't have any rating stars (was not able to be online but a few minutes a week) so didn't earn anything all those months. I still pop in a couple times a week to do a couple ratings but I haven't written but a couple articles there in months. At AC I'm writing more personal short stories and just getting ppv payments but I'm having fun. I still have my 2 writing stars at Helium and since I've had them haven't lost them yet so guess that's a good thing.
2 people like this
@mommaj (22770)
• United States
26 Jul 09
LOL. You can get writing stars and not rating stars? Faith you are so funny. I can't seem to get and keep a writing star. Of course, I understand because most of my writing there is poorly written. I started with ac, so I guess I am just partial to ac. Of course, AC offers me a lot more money than Helium. In page views I make between $20 and $30 a month and I know I can do better because a lot more people are making a lot more than that. The upfront payments are what keeps me going though. Helium can't even touch the $20 a month for me much less $300+. I will still fool around with Helium in hopes a miracle happens and I can make a little money from it. I have been there almost a year and I'm not even to $10 yet. LOL
1 person likes this
@scheng1 (24800)
• Singapore
25 Jul 09
Mommaj really needs a good spanking! Article usually takes a couple of days to a week to settle down. Next time, seal your lip until a few days is over before screaming so loudly! Since your article is now at the top, I can give you some feedbacks to push it down to the bottom!
2 people like this
@mommaj (22770)
• United States
25 Jul 09
UH-OH! My bad. Sorry. I am so frustrated with Helium, it isn't even funny. I guess I will scream quietly for a couple of weeks until it settles to what it is going to settle to. I was just so angry after seeing it didn't even start out at 2 of 3. You would be one to push article down the toilet.
2 people like this
@scheng1 (24800)
• Singapore
25 Jul 09
haha, anyway it's 1/3, and likely will stay there until some brave folks submit an article, and push yours down the toilet bowl oh. Just got to pray that from now until the end of the month, nothing happen to upset the ranking of the article. Any more article at 3/3? Better use a bamboo to hook it on top oh
2 people like this
@Canellita (12058)
• United States
25 Jul 09
Well at least you got a couple of reads out if this discussion, lol! I have noticed that the "good" writers seem to rate late in the month and your article can suffer in silence for a bit and then suddenly soar to the top when momentum for rating picks up again.
1 person likes this
@nishdan01 (3055)
• Singapore
25 Jul 09
Now your article is 1/3. So now you should be happy. You need to wait until next day to see exactly what happens. Again let me tell you that it is hard to retain the writing stars as your articles increase. Maintaining rating stars is easy. Just that you need to rate little carefully after reading the articles.
@mommaj (22770)
• United States
25 Jul 09
I am glad it made it past 2 of 3. I am ecstatic it made it to the top. Thank you. I was beginning to hate Helium. It has been changing so much. After you get disgusted with a site you don't much feel like rating to even keep your rating stars. LOL Thats where I am.
2 people like this
• United States
26 Jul 09
I have found that on Helium, you have to change your writing style. I was very disgusted with how low my articles were being rated. I just started going through articles that were rated number one. I went through many different categories. I found a few similarities. A large number of the articles have short paragraphs and each paragraph states a point in the first paragraph, wraps the point up completely in that paragraph, moves to the next point, then wraps it all up at the end. I realize this is basic writing taught in college. The big difference is that each paragraph start and end a point before moving on. Would anyone else agree with this?
@Trensue (5256)
• United States
17 Aug 09
brag - brag - brag - love your stuff - keep up the good work
1 person likes this
@morgandrake (2140)
• United States
30 Jul 09
It takes forever for an article to slip into its proper rating on Helium. Or so it seems if you keep checking on its progress. I have experienced this myself on occasion. I would post an article that I thought was better than the existing ones, and it would end up on the bottom. And as long as I kept checking on its position, it would just sit there like a bloated toad. Finally, I would just give up checking on it, amybe even complain about its ranking. Then, one day I would notice that it was at the top of the stack. And even knowing this pattern of behavior, Helium gets my goat everytime.
@mommaj (22770)
• United States
31 Jul 09
I'm still a little mad about that. My article is still on bottom and I can't figure out why. The other two articles are good but they are not about the title. I just don't get Helium sometimes.
@Canellita (12058)
• United States
31 Jul 09
Yes, this is true! I have stopped worrying about how my articles are ranked (still wroking on it, lol) and started focusing on what they are earning. Every now and then I am surprised to see one has risen up to the top. As long as I am in the top 3 or top 5 depending on the total number of articles I am usually satisfied. I am more concerned with maintaining a good writing score. Oh, and I have noticed the ranking gets better in the middle of the month once more people actively rate.
1 person likes this
@mommaj (22770)
• United States
19 Aug 09
I hope my writing % SOON changes then. I have been waiting for that for most of the month. LOL I know I try to rate a couple of articles every evening. I might be able to do this yet. LOL
@Sandra1952 (6052)
• Spain
26 Jul 09
Helium, as you say, can be so annoying. I looked at your article, and the other two, and I couldn't see the reasoning in it, as I thought yours was superior to both. The peer rating system that Helium is so proud of seems hit and miss to me, and our writing stars are in the hands of others - a bit like our stars on here. I can pass on a good tip about rating - I think it was Scheng who came up with it. Rate at least 10 pairs of articles a day, and make sure some have the 'better by far' option checked, and you will soon reach 5 rating stars. I have to say I was sceptical, but I though it was worth a try. Within a week, I was up to 5 rating stars from 3, and I've maintained that for the last 2 months, so I get the $3 rating bonus. I think it is even more difficult to work out the earnings algorithm on Helium than it is on Mylot, and that's saying something. What Helium has got going for it is that you can post stuff from other sites, so it's a handy residual earner. It took me almost 18 months to reach my first payout, but I have been paid again, and am almost up to another payment, so it does come good eventually. I've now been a member for 2 years, and have earned over $70; not megabucks, but it all helps, and I think the changes Helium have made have helped increase earnings for many members.
@mommaj (22770)
• United States
26 Jul 09
I wish the changes on Helium would help me earn. LOL I may have to try the rating trick. I have never done that. I think all the articles are the same unless one doesn't cover the article title. I think some of that is Helium's fault though. If you have done that on Helium do try out AC. You can post all your articles from Helium to AC and if you have any questions feel free to ask me. Scheng is on there as well as Canellita and a bunch of other MyLotters.
1 person likes this
@Canellita (12058)
• United States
3 Aug 09
I have a very good method for you for rating articles. We'll talk about it later but I have been trying to find the discussion where you talked about doing 20 articles a week and submitting them to AC for $4 upfronts and making $80 a week. I have just figured out how you can make almost double that from helium in the same amount of time.
1 person likes this
@mommaj (22770)
• United States
19 Aug 09
Okay Canellita, if you are serious, let me know how I can do that. I want to see that. I will jump to Helium so fast no one will know where I went. LOL
@Canellita (12058)
• United States
25 Jul 09
Ok, let's start with your rating star. Set a goal to get the bonus and start rating as if your life depended on it. This is important to just spend a little less time reading those random discussions on the home page and start reading the articles that are there for you to rate. I used to hate rating but I have found some very interesting articles as well as a number of titles I would like to write to. Once you get the 5 rating stars it will be easy enough to keep them. As for your writing stars, would you say-- or would anyone who knows you say that you write the way you speak? I was looking at one of your articles the other day on finding friends after you are married and the other articles were not necessarily that much better but, in my opinion, the arrangement of information, the language and the tone was what got them voted above you. I can not emphasize enough the importance of a strong lead (think like a news reporter) and summarizing the gist of the entire article in the first paragraph. This is what lets the reader know what he or she is in for. By the second paragraph you have to have been specific about the subject. After that you can get into explaining all the whys and hows. At the end you need to reiterate your point with a strong closing or at least a resolution that sounds like you are done talking about the subject. I think sometimes you take a light and friendly approach to writing that can be seen by readers who are writers and who are rating articles as not serious or too casual. I remember looking at one of your pieces and thinking I would have voted it down from the first paragraph because to me it read like something a young person would have written. It wasn't bad writing it just wasn't on the level of a professional. I think that you put a lot of effort into writing and you have shown you can meet deadlines with the calls to content and you volunteer your editor time on AC so you are definitely commited. You just need to polish a little and that can definitely be done. I think some of the best training is reading and looking at what has been published in periodicals, not necessarily online and most certainly not helium and AC because the articles are not screened. I have even come across a few that should not exist because they read like someone in elementary school did them. The spelling and grammar are horrendous and this is the drawback of the two sites. The one thing you absolutely must do at helium is post more articles. The more you post the more chances you have of getting those writing stars. I went from 0 to 2 to 0 and back and forth for a couple weeks and it made me crazy! Then I posted a bunch of articles to competitive titles and suddenly there were my two stars. I have even managed to earn three stars well below the 100 article mark becaue of my writing score. You have to figure out what works for you. Which of your articles are ranked the best? Look at those and compare them to the ones that are ranked the lowest. See if you can see anything you can do differently. Compare your articles to writers who have 3 or more stars and see if you can see what they are doing differently. Sometimes you may be making simple mistakes with verb usage that you are not aware of. Don't forget that helium offers mentoring where a writer can work with you at improving your articles. I will try and spend more time looking at your stuff while I have time off and see if I can offer any specific suggestions.
2 people like this
@mommaj (22770)
• United States
25 Jul 09
Oh sweet Canellita. I asked you not to look at my stuff on Helium because most of it was posted in my early writing. Meaning I didn't spell check and I wrote like a 2nd or 3rd grader. After changing emails with the Barefoot on AC he told me to stop writing like everyone is stupid. I have done that. I have gotten mixed reviews on "How" to write. Since it is the internet I was told to throw out the way your supposed to write like what you just explained, to write like you want someone on the internet to read it. So I have played with the styles for awhile. You can see the improvement and the difference in my AC writings. If you read the stuff from May forward it is much better. I don't have any new articles on Helium that were recently written that I can even ask you to read to see what they are like. I have been changing since I joined AC. I never wrote online nor professionally before so I am using others advice. If you care to give the NEW stuff in AC a look and critique it I would greatly appreciate it. The Helium stuff I have, I have changed my style since writing it.
2 people like this
@Canellita (12058)
• United States
26 Jul 09
In that case I suggest you leapfrog every helium article not ranked in the top 25% starting yesterday! Your writing score will improve instantly and you will get those writing stars. Don't forget to shoot for the rating bonus!
1 person likes this
@mommaj (22770)
• United States
18 Aug 09
I certainly hope so. I am trying to get the rating stars but it's hard to do. I don't really have the time to scrutinize the articles. I am writing on AC again though so hopefully, that will pay off. I must have ate some bad nuts. HAHAHA. Maybe that is why I didn't know about all your articles. Wow! You really have been busy.
@AnythngArt (3304)
• United States
26 Jul 09
Many of us have had our ups and downs with the writing stars. I have a lot of articles, and never paid much attention to them until recently. Once I started paying attention, it began to drive me crazy. If you really want to lose your mind, try doing a contest. Your articles will be up, down, and up again all within half a day on Helium. It's enough to make you want to cry. If you can hang through all that, eventually your scores will come back up to where they should be. And, as a desperation measure, you can keep on Leapfrogging them. I think that all of that Leapfrogging time takes away writing time, however. So you have to decide what's the most important thing for you. If you allow the writing stars to prevent you from adding to the number of articles you have, that's not really helpful either. The point of writing is to learn by doing, and to continue to write no matter the consequences. No one said writing was an easy profession or one where you get lots of praise (like school). You have to want to write for its own sake. All this is easier said than done, of course. It's hard to take a hit when your scores go down. Continued good luck with your writing!
@mommaj (22770)
• United States
26 Jul 09
Helium does drive me crazy. There are times when I am ready to throw the computer out the window because of it. I guess I am used to AC. I like how people comment on your articles and you know whether they are good articles or not. I have done really well with AC and I guess I am disappointed in Helium. I guess they are like children and you shouldn't compare them. LOL
2 people like this
@Canellita (12058)
• United States
26 Jul 09
I am glad you brought up the contests. I took your advice and started checking them out but I can not see any guidelines about length. Is it the same 400 word minimum for articles?
1 person likes this
• United States
26 Jul 09
Canellita: Yes, it is the same 400 word minimum. They are just like regular articles except all are clustered around a single topic. MammaJ: I agree, with AC you can receive comments and judge by how people react whether the article is good. With Helium you have random rating, so if a person decides for any reason they don't like your article, you lose to someone else; it's all about competition, but the rules are decided by each rater, which is what makes the whole thing slightly crazy and skewed. What can we do?
1 person likes this
@iakulchen (615)
• Singapore
21 Aug 09
I did suggest that you should post one of your articles in last place and ask for crtiquing in one of Canellita. I didn't realise that you had already done that, lol. I do agree that the article in 1st place seems to be a little short on concrete info. As far as I can tell, it's all in the second last paragraph. The one in 2nd place seems to be taking a different approach to the question from you, but I think he does address the question. Anyway, you asked for help wth your article, not for me to look at other people's articles, so I'll try to help. Canellita and Scheng1 have probably told you about the importannce of opening paragraphs on Helium. Your opening pargraph does appear to be weaker when compared with the other 2 articles. I'll see what I can suggest to improve it. Line 3 : change "mind" to "minds" Line 5 : "3-7 year old" nothing wrong with that, except that you changed to "three to seven years old" in the next sentence. It's good to be consistent, so I would suggest changing that to three to seven years old. Line 6 : Something you probably missed, "Continue" should have a small "c" The rest isn't really opening paragraph territory anymore, and nothing major just some "the"s "s's and caps. Point 3 and point 4 : "Visit Fire/Police Department" can be changed to "Visit the Fire/Police Department" or "Visit Fire/Police Departments Point 5 : "Join local Library activities" can be changed to "Join Local Library Activities" since it seems that you stuck with a theme of caps for all the other headings except this one. It kind of stands out. As far as I can tell, you have a decent article. Just brush up on all those minor errors, and possibly rewrite that first paragraph, and you should be able to move up at least a notch in your ranking.
@mommaj (22770)
• United States
21 Aug 09
Thank you for your suggestions. I will have to print this out and save it. I may change the article later. I won't have time to this weekend. You have great suggestions. Thank you.