A new online blogging magazine and community called BloggersBase was launched recently. The site allows bloggers to publish posts on the site. These posts can be original or they can be taken from the bloggers own blog. The community then votes for what they believe are the best posts and at the end of set timeslots, small prizes are handed out to the top bloggers.
After an incredibly quick sign up process, you are presented with the option of either contributing a post or reading others. Although BloggersBase seems to distinguish between readers and bloggers, I believe the majority of active members on the site will be both.
The first thing I did after signing up was update my profile, as any posts I submit will have a link to my user account. You are assigned a writer rank and a reader rank, both of which progress as you become more active on the site.
As a writer you start off as a Newbie. You can then progress to a Scribe, Penman, Composer, Essayist, Columnist, Author, Wordsmith and Scholar. As a reader your rank starts off as Subscriber. You then progress to an Appraiser, Commentator, Reviewer, Critic, Analyst, Trend-Setter, Sage and Oracle. Apparently, the higher the rank you achieve, the more influential your votes will be.
Once you have updated your profile and have had a look around the site, you will probably want to submit your first post. What sets BloggersBase apart from many other online article sites is the ability to embed photos and videos into your posts (including a Flikr import option). This really helps you bring posts to life and is something which I think will help BloggersBase establish itself quickly with bloggers.
You have the option of writing an excerpt (summary) of your post, which will be showed on the home page, but if no excerpt is entered the first few sentences of your post will be used. After that you have the option of adding tags to your post. This is something I would recommend as there is a tag cloud on the sidebar on most pages so entering the right tags should help your posts get more exposure.
There is a trackback option but unfortunately you have to enter the links manually. Not a major problem though it would have been good if this was done automatically.
In total there are 4 main categories which you can submit your post to :
- World Affairs
Each category has around 2 to 3 sub categories so finding a suitable category shouldn’t be too difficult (there is currently 10 categories in total). There are also 2 additional categories called Special Events and Partnerships, which will offer additional prizes from external websites.
The Frequently Asked Questions section summarises how their competitions work but in my opinion it, overcomplicates it a little. Basically, at the moment they are offering a $50 prize ($40 to first place and $10 to second) in each of the 10 categories i.e. $500 in prizes every week. I can’t say for sure but from comments I have read on the site I get the impression that this may increase in the future.
Here is an exerpt from the FAQ (It illustrates what I mean about the explanation being overly complicated) :
The concept is simple – maintain quality by periodical competition between the bloggers in each blog (topic). Only a limited amount of bloggers can author the blog at any given time, and they should be the elite of all bloggers on BloggersBase. At the end of each Timeslot the best bloggers earn status points, get awarded promotional prizes and keep authoring the blog. The ones with the lowest score in the current Timeslot will no longer be allowed to directly publish posts to the main blog, but will be forced to compete to rejoin the elite authors of the blog in future Timeslots.
Bloggers who want to author the main blog should publish Nuggets (contenting posts) in the Goldmine of that blog. The blogger with the best Nugget will take his or her place among the authors of the main blog, during the Timeslot.
So who determines who the best bloggers are? The readers of course! Readers rate the posts, both in the main blog and in the contenders section.
At the end of each Timeslot, winners are declared, bloggers change roles from the Goldmine to the main blog and vice versa.
Readers are not similarly affected by the Timeslots and are constantly evaluated by our algorithms, estimating their knowledge in the specific topic as well as their influence. They earn points, which increases their influence in future ratings. This way BloggersBase keeps a very high quality standard for both bloggers and readers.
Timeslots can vary in length which will allow BloggersBase to shorten or extend competitions in the future, which is a good business model in my opinion i.e. as they grow they could increase prize funds and/or decrease the length of the competition.
Promote Your Blog
The prizes on offer are a nice bonus but I believe the main incentive for using BloggersBase is the option to promote yourself and your blog. Some have compared this kind of promotion to submitting a post to an article directory like EZine Articles. However, unlike submitting to an article directory, you are not giving authority to reproduce the article elsewhere on the web.
There is no 2 link limit either, something which many article directories impose. So you could include several links to your blog in your article if you really wanted (though I assume there is an unwritten fair use policy and it may stop fellow members voting for your post too).
Your articles do not have to be original. You are allowed to submit posts which have already been posted on your blog. Infact, they have an RSS feature which allows you to pull content from your feed. This kind of feature is open to abuse but I have been told that a tool which authenticates that the RSS belongs to the user is under development. In the meantime they are relying on members to report dishonest users who are posting other bloggers content as their own.
Reproducing content which has already been posted on your blog brings up the issue of duplicate content, something which could harm the traffic to your original article. If your blog is new then theres a good chance that any article published on BloggersBase will rank higher than the original article on your blog.
I don’t want to talk too much about duplicate content as it’s a subject I have spoken about many times in the past. Though I will say this : if you have an established blog then it’s probably best to submit original articles and not reproduce content from your blog. However, if your blog is still fairly new and you are trying to get it off the ground, you may get some value from reproducing your best posts on BloggersBase as you will gain some adiditonal links to your blog and will highlight your best content to a whole new audience.
Essentially, whether you should reproduce content from your blog on Bloggersbase is something you will need to weigh up the pros and cons for you and your blog and make a decision on.
BloggersBase also offers an affiliate program. They offer 100% of the earnings your referred users make up to 3 wins. As they explain :
Let’s say you have referred 2 users.
The first one wins first place twice in the Internet blog, and the second user wins second place 5 times in the Humor blog.
You will be awarded $40 times 2 for the first and $10 times 3 (the maximum) for the second, for a total of $110.
Currently there are only 4 banner sizes (120×240 pixels, 120×90 pixels, 234×60 pixels and 468×60 pixels) but hopefully there will be more added soon.
Currently In Beta
It’s worth pointing out that BloggersBase is still in a Beta phase. I have reviewed many ‘Beta Phase’ websites before and BloggersBase seems very close to completion. There are some small bugs though. For example, I clicked on the Add Image button whilst submitting a post to see what image uploading options there were and there was no button to exit so I had to refresh the page to go back to the initial screen.
On a positive note, there is a feedback button at the bottom right hand side of every page and from what I have read the owners seem have been responsive to the feedback so far. So these small bugs should be ironed out and hopefully we will see some new options added to the site soon too.
I wasn’t too sure what to make of BloggersBase when I first visited it but once I understood how everything worked I was quite impressed. I’m sure many people will use the site to read the articles though I think most bloggers will use the site :
- To promote themselves and their blog through blog posts.
- To take part in the competitions and be eligible for cash prizes.
- To make new friends, contacts and meet fellow bloggers.
If you are looking for a no cost method of promoting your blog, I recommend checking it out 🙂
Link : BloggersBase
* This was a Paid Review.