October 17, 2016 at 3:22 pm #581149betheproKeymasterMt Prospect, IL
Based on Sponsor input, as well as the need to get more long-format thread posts, the daily points total is being moved to a limit of 2000 points per day per member. This change will take effect at 5 PM CST on Thursday October 6th.
This means that after a forum members reaches their daily posting points limit, they will need to wait until the next day to be able to post for points again.
Over the last several months we have seen some forum members who appear to “post for points” the majority of the time. Once they hit their daily limit – that was the end of their posting for the day, regardless of whether they were in the middle of a thread discussion or not.
Just to clarify this, the whole point of the BeThePro.com forum is not earning points to redeem for rewards points items. The points are nice, but the true members of the site are more concerned about helping other members with their Pro experience & knowledge. In fact many Pro’s have donated their points to worthy causes instead of redeeming them for themselves.
Lowering the daily points limit allows members to earn points for engaging with the forum, but also should encourage members to submit more content, whether that be in the form of copy, videos or images.
BONUS POINTS FOR EXTENDED CONTENT: You already get 200 points for posting a new thread or a reply to an existing thread. So here’s the skinny on posting content that will earn you additional bonus points. There are two ways you can do this.
POST CONTENT: The criteria that we accept content on and award additional points follows these guidelines:
1) Content must be original and at least 300+ words. We prefer longer, more in-depth content that really explores the subject, thus 300 words is just a starting point. We hope that you will be able to expound at great length on the subject you choose. You MUST author the content yourself and it cannot appear anywhere else online – no duplicate content. In addition, any plagiarism will be dealt with in the harshest of terms, being banned from the site.
2) Content of the post should be related to the building trades. Posts that are more woodworking or DIY centric in nature will NOT qualify for Bonus points.
3) Tool Review Content. Reviews of power tools, accessories, measuring tools, work gear and “some” hand tools are perfect content for this pro contractor forum. When doing reviews that involve comparing items you must remain objective. In addition, tools must be fairly matched. No Skil Ixo powered screwdriver to DeWalt hammer drill comparisons. Let’s make sure we have apples to apples. (BTW, the forum responds really well to “obstacle course” challenges. Just saying.) Oh yea, specs on a tool(s) do not count towards your 300+ word count. When linking to a tool (if it is at all possible), link to a manufacturers page on that product, NOT to a commercial site that is selling the tool.
a. Hand tools. Reviews of handtools will be accepted but the content has to be related to the building trades. Reviews of wood planes and other more woodworking hand tools that is not related to use on a jobsite will not be considered for Bonus content. If you use it as a Pro on the job it is probably fine. (FYI, we’ve had popular articles on the lowly carpenter’s pencil.)
b. Disclosure. If you earned a tool through redeeming points, you must mention that detail in your review or comparison piece (i.e. “I received this tool through redeeming points on BeThePro.com”). If you were given the tool, you must add the following “Tool supplied to me by (insert manufacturer name here) for review.” If you bought the tool, no such disclosure is necessary.
4) How To Content. How to content articles are another great content topic that every Pro can do. Construction and building topics are gladly accepted. How to build a cutting board and other woodworking and DIY focused content will not be considered for Bonus point eligibility. From how to install an electric circuit breaker to building stairs to pouring foundations, how to content is where you really get to “Be The Pro” in front of an audience of your peers. This is where we see the highest engagement with the forum community adding quite a number of comments to threads that explain how to complete a task. Make sure to add video as this really makes a project come to life. Be sure to follow all tool safety guidelines below.
5) Content should be well organized. With spelling checked and corrected. Use of appropriate punctuation is also greatly appreciated.
6) Outbound links may not be monetized in any way. No affiliate links will be accepted and will be grounds for suspension from the forum. This also includes disclosing any fiduciary relationship you may have with a business that you want to link to. Outbound links should only be included as a way to illustrate a point that you make in your article. You CAN link to your own website ONLY if it is illusory or to give forum members access to further information regarding the topic you are writing about. If you have a question about a link in a content piece, make sure to ask BEFORE you post it. Send questions to @bethepro.com">firstname.lastname@example.org.
7) Images and video that you take and own are fine to post. If you use content from any other source you need to give full attribution to the photographer/source in your article. Use of copyrighted material that you don’t own or have verifiable permission to use is strictly prohibited. Video (via embedding the “share” code in an article) is encouraged. The same rules apply. If you produce the video yourself – you’re good to go. If you didn’t, then make sure to attribute who the author is.
a. How to Attribute correctly. Whenever you use content that is not yours make sure to use the following statement: “Image(s)/Video(s) courtesy of putsitenamehere.com.” Do not use http:// or www. prior to the website name.
b. Video Tip. The forum responds much more favorably to user generated video. So whenever possible shoot a segment that accompanies your written content. You don’t have to be Mike Rowe, just be yourself, that’s what the community is all about. LASTLY YOU MUST FOLLOW ALL MANUFACTURER SAFETY RECOMMENDATIONS PER THEIR OWNER’S MANUAL. This means that you must show any corded power tool being unplugged when doing any maintenance on the tool. It also means that proper eye, hearing, breathing and hand protection be used at all times when recommended by the manufacturer. All protective guards and other apparatus designed to enhance user safety must be used when submitting videos for consideration of awarding Bonus points for the content. Bottom line, we are Pro’s and should always teach others the best safety practices.
c. How many images is too many? The minimum number of images to be associated with a content item is 3. The maximum, well just post enough images that a reasonable person would get the idea of what you are trying to illustrate. If you are doing a review on screwdriver bits, you might need less images than a how to piece on the best way to layout and install metal stud walls. Use your best judgment, and if you aren’t sure, ask us.
NEW FORUM THREAD CONTENT POSTING INSTRUCTIONS – Bonus Point value: 5000 points
1) We want to encourage members to start their own threads and post longer format content. Here’s how that works.
a. Navigate to the PRO FORUM link at the top of the site. Click it.
b. Pick which Forum your thread would be most appropriate for the content you want to post. Click it.
c. Now it’s time for you to write your new thread post.
d. Posts that do not meet the criteria for length (300+ words) and quality of content (must make sense) will NOT receive points. In order to receive points you MUST include at least 3 to 5 images (more is better). See above for content guidelines.
e. TO GET YOUR BONUS POINTS you MUST send an email to @bethepro.com">email@example.com and reference the exact thread you posted. Make sure to tell us your site “handle” so we know who you are. Points are usually posted to your account total within a day or two of your post going live and we receive notification at the above email.
2) NEW POST PAGE CONTENT INSTRUCTIONS – Bonus Point value: 5000 – 10,000 points
a. Posts that are displayed on the front page of the site can also be submitted to us. This is essentially the same as a thread post but instead it lives on its own page. Users can still comment on the content, but it is NOT within the context of a thread. It must follow all above listed guidelines.
b. To submit a Post Page please attach a Word or Google Doc formatted doc to an email along with images or any raw video to @bethepro.com">firstname.lastname@example.org.
c. Please make sure to tell us where you want which pictures inserted where in the content. Otherwise we may not get it right.
d. It can take several months to get Post Page content posted, so if you have a question on the schedule just send us an email.
e. Your Points will be awarded once your content is made live. Additional Bonus points above the 5000 level will be awarded at the discretion of the Community Manager based on exceptional quality of the content.
We hope that this information is helpful. We also look forward to seeing some terrific new user generated Pro content. And remember, it’s not about the points, cuz if it is, you’re not here for the right reasons. Be The Pro every day!
Email us at email@example.com
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