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The HubGarden FAQ contains information general to all Hubgarden sites including Ready for Pets.

Ready for Pets FAQ

What is Ready for Pets?
Is there a standard format for articles?
What can I write about?
What are Paid Links?
How much is paid for articles?
What about copyright?
What are awards?
Help! I still have unanswered questions..

What is Ready for Pets?

Ready for Pets is a place for pet owners and pet lovers to publish articles on all the wonderful things about Pets. Pet care, feeding, grooming, training and product reviews are just a few ideas.

If you have a great idea and want to contribute, click on the Write For Us link on the homepage.

Ready for Pets is part of the larger Hubgarden community. If you are looking for any additional information on article formatting or hub management, check out the Hubgarden FAQ's at http://hubgarden.com/faq/.
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Is there a standard format for articles?

Because the Ready for Pets site includes articles on a range of topics you have a lot of flexibility in the way you create your content.

A few guidelines to remember:

1) Articles must include a minumum of 1 image. Preferably this image will be original (i.e. one that you have taken yourself).

Images should be in either JPEG or GIF format. These images end in .jpg, .jpeg, or .gif.

If you would like to include an image which is not in one of these formats, use an image program such as Paint, or Picasa to convert it.

Some people have problems uploading images using Safari on Mac computers. If you have this problem try downloading Firefox or Chrome, and use one of these alternative browsers.

The image should be either copyright free (Wikipedia is a great source for this), from the website of the event or activity you are writing about, or taken by yourself.

If you use a creative commons photo from Wikipedia, make sure you credit the source appropriately.

2) Article content must be original. If you are including any copyright information you must attribute it correctly.

3) Articles should be kept as short as possible while still providing all the information required for the article to be useful to the reader.

Try not to pad out an article just to increase its length as it will generally lower the editor score.

Each article should be at least 600 characters long, and no longer than 4500 characters without good reason.

The character length of an article is displayed on its preview page.
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What can I write about?

Ready for Pets articles should be pet related.

Your content should be original, useful and high quality.

The editors have sole discretion on publishing content.

Articles should provide useful information for the reader to use after they've read the article.

If in doubt ask an editor if a topic will be published before writing the article.
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What are Paid Links?

Writers are paid for arranging links on other websites back to Ready for Pets.

The links are usually on the website of a business reviewed in a Ready for Pets article and point back to that article.

These links are worth $10 upfront and another $10 if the link is still in place in 6 months.

All other links are worth $5 upfront, and another $5 if they are still there in 6 months. Examples include a link on your personal website or blog.

Arranging a link to an article also has the benefit of increasing your reader count and therefore payments.

With a link in place you can also request for the article to be featured which will further increase your reader count.

Links need to be on dedicated domains such as www.tomscafe.com, instead of a subdomain like tomscafe.blogspot.com or general sites like Facebook, Twitter, or Blogger. A press, news, links, supporters, or friends page such as www.tomscafe.com/links.html is fine.

Only new links which are not already in the system are eligible for payment.

To register a link for payment click on "My Account" when you are logged in to your account. Then click on “New Paid Links”, and enter the URL (web address) of the page on which the link is located.

For two months after a business/organisation review has been published only the author can claim a link from that business/organisation.

The easiest way to obtain a link is to send the article to the business/organisation which has been reviewed, asking if they'd like to link to it on their website. Email is fine, however a friendly phone call is usually more effective.

Expect a 1 in 20 success rate for emails, and around 1 in 5 for phone calls.

The key is persistence and following up promises to place a link with a friendly reminder. Most links are only placed on the 2nd or 3rd contact.

Many websites have a dedicated links, resources, friends, news or media page, and these are usually the easiest to arrange links with as they are familiar with the process.

Most links are arranged after an article has been written as an afterthought, and that's fine, however if you want to concentrate on arranging links a very efficient system is:

1) Find a business that is suitable for Ready for Pets that also has a links, friends, reviews, media, or press page on their website. These businesses are already familiar with the concept of "swapping links".

2) Contact them to see if they'd like to swap a link in return for a featured article. The phone is most effective, but email does sometimes work. This is getting easier as more and more people have already heard of Ready for Pets.

3) If they agree to a link then write a review of them, and then follow up to make sure they place the link. This may take a few reminders. But keep in mind that your review should be original, honest and useful to the reader. It's not okay to just reuse a press release or information from the business website.

4) Submit the link for payment through your writers' page.

5) Get organised. Maintain a list of businesses which you've contacted along with notes, business details, contact names, and how far along they are in placing a link. Work through the list once per week or fortnight following up with contacts on progress.

Linking Conditions:

There are a few conditions related to paid links. Don't worry if you don't understand the technical details, most links on business/event/organisation websites should be ok.

Each link URL must be indexed by Google. To check enter the entire URL (including http) into a Google search.

Each link must be clickable.

You must have arranged a link to take credit for it. Simply searching for links on Google and then reporting them is not sufficient.

Each link must not have a "nofollow" in the html tag which which instructs search engines not to use them to calculate webpage rank. To check for this look at the source code of the page, search for the "kidtown" link, and look for rel="nofollow". If you can find it, the link does not count. Most comments on blogs are now set to automatically include a "nofollow", which is a good thing as it discourages spammy comments.

There is a limit of 5 links per Ready for Pets article, unless more are agreed with the editor.

Links must be direct, not via a linking service (like bit.ly), or a redirect, or generated by javascript.

Links must be on websites written in regular HTML. For instance javascript or Flash generated websites do not count.

Each link is paid for only once for each website or domain. Subdomains do not count as a separate domain.

Search for links which are already in the system by clicking on "Search Links" on your writer page.

Excluded domains: facebook.com (including facebook inserts on the business website), twitter.com, digg.com, blogger.com, flickr.com, myspace.com, tumblr.com, pinterest.com, wordpress.com, meetup.com, blogspot.com, bloglines.com, google.com. Any blogs/websites on subdomains such as mylife.wordpress.com.
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How much is paid for articles?

Writing for Ready for Pets won't make you rich, and is not a substitute for a full-time job. However if you love pets and enjoy writing about your experiences then it can be worthwhile.

Articles are paid in proportion to the number of people who read them.

Each article receives a CPM value on publication. The CPM value is the amount you will receive for every 1000 readers. You do not have to wait for an article to receive 1000 readers to be paid, it's just how the CPM value is expressed. Your account is adjusted each time someone reads one of your articles.

A typical CPM value for an article will be around $10, or 1 cent per reader.

That may not sound like much, however it's much more than the usual paid-to-write rate of around $2 to $5 CPM. It's not that hard to write an article on Ready for Pets that will attract a couple of thousand readers.

You can also boost your readership by promoting your articles to your contacts via social media and other sources.

Payments will continue to accrue as long as the article remains published on the site, and the writer remains active (has published 1 article in the last 12 months).

Build up a collection of articles to increase your monthly readers and recurring commission as your old articles are read again and again.
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What about copyright?

Do not breach copyright. Always use italics and quotation marks when appropriate and attribute. For instance:

From the Festival Website:

"The interesting and informative quote"

If you are found to have cut-and-paste from another website or source without attribution you will not be paid and will be removed from the Ready for Pets writers list. Using Google it is very easy to check for copyright breaches. If in doubt ask first.

By submitting an article to the Ready for Pets hub you acknowledge that On Topic Media assumes copyright of that article, and you agree not to publish the same article elsewhere without written permission from On Topic Media.

On Topic Media also assumes all rights to photographs taken by you and submitted as "original" under "work for hire", and we ask that you do not publish these elsewhere. If you would like to retain copyright of a photograph you must attribute the image in the caption and leave a note for the editor, in which case you grant On Topic Media non-exclusive digital and print rights to the photograph. By submitting a photograph to Ready for Pets you agree to the above terms.
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What are awards?

Articles of exceptional quality are rewarded with Editor's Choice Awards.

The awards come in 3 flavours: Gold, Silver and Bronze.

Awards can attract additional one-off payments for your articles.

The vast majority of writer payments are CPM based - the awards are just a bit of fun on the side.

Editors take a number of factors into account when considering an article for an award.

1) Quality of the writing.

2) Topic interest and/or originality.

3) Amount of effort put into the article.

4) Entertainment value.

Award values may change from time to time based on pool funds. At this time they are Bronze $2, Silver $3, Gold $5. Interesting articles with a minimum of 3 good photos are most likely to receive awards. Please don't be disappointed if you don't receive an award as it's dependent on the amount of funds available at the time.
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Help! I still have unanswered questions..

Click on the Forum link and leave a comment. No question is silly and it helps others who might have similar queries.
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