WeekendNotes is a library of fun and interesting things to do on the weekend in various cities around the world. Articles are contributed by a community of writers and reviewers.
You can help by reviewing things you've done in your city.
To apply for a writer account use this page.
Notifications are sent via email. Sometimes they are accidentally placed in a spam or junk folder, so remember to check there as well.
WeekendNotes can provide some extra pocket money, however there are many reasons to write for WN.
1) It's fun.
Think you'll get a kick out of thousands of people reading your work? You're not alone.
2) Build up your portfolio.
Writing WeekendNotes articles is a great way to get published on a popular website, expose your writing to thousands of people, and build up your writing portfolio to help attract further work.
3) Promote your business or website in your signature.
If you have an business website or blog then advertise it for free in your signature. If you become a popular writer, this can be a great source of new customers and readers.
4) It's flexible.
Unlike a regular job, you can write for WeekendNotes at any time, and any place. You can even take a break for a few weeks or a few months and then come back to it if you become busy with other things.
5) Learn how to write good online articles.
The editors are always there to help you improve your writing, and along with the writers group, WeekendNotes provides a great way to learn how to be a successful online writer.
6) Receive invites to great events and activities.
Work your way up the writer ranks and receive free invites to movie screenings, theatres, restaurants, cafes, and other fun activities.
7) Help us build up a library of fun things to do in your city.
The goal of WeekendNotes is to provide a collection of fun and interesting things to do in cities around the world. If you think that's a good idea, then give us a hand.
8) Build up your network.
WeekendNotes is a great way to meet other writers in your city, and learn about how they are going about making a living from their passion.
You sure can, but not by submitting a review.
To promote your business, click here.
Reviews should be only submitted by people who have nothing to do with the business being reviewed, other than being a customer.
We won't accept articles from writers who are associated in any way with the business or event they're writing about, including association with owners, organisers, presenters or promoters of the event or business.
You can however promote your business, website, or blog in your signature which is displayed above your articles.
WeekendNotes articles should be leisure related - which means anything to do with recreation, entertainment, food, sport, or generally enjoying yourself.
For instance, reviews of restaurants, walks, parks, theatres, gardens, festivals, and parades are all fine.
Examples of topics which would not be published include anything regarding politics, religion, finance, or work unless it's an event or attraction of some sort.
Topics should also be local if possible - referring to things to do in a specific city or location. Exceptions include film and book reviews, recipes, and hobbies.
Articles should provide useful information for the reader to use after they've read the article, rather than simply be a source of entertainment in itself. For instance "10 Great Jokes about Sydney" would not be published.
Articles which review websites, apps, or businesses which are just online and do not have a real-world store, will not be published.
If in doubt, ask an editor if a topic will be published before writing the article.
Writing for WeekendNotes won't make you rich, and is not a substitute for a full-time job. However, if you already have an active lifestyle 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, determined by an editor score and the length of the article.
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 WN that will attract a couple of thousand readers.
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.
The average article makes around $8 per year. So to make $100 per month, you'll need to build up a collection of around 150 articles.
The best articles for long term repeat readers are reviews of places like parks, cafes, and restaurants which remain useful over time.
Articles regarding upcoming events will attract more readers in the short term.
Maximum CPM rates per country:
USA: $10 USD
UK: £6 GBP
Australia: $10 AUD
There is also a bounty for writing about particular topics. The list is here.
The actual CPM rate is determined by multiplying half the maximum rate by each article's quality score (given by the editor) out of 10, and the other half by the length of the article in characters, divided by 2500.
So if an article received a score of 7/10, had a length of 2100, and attracted a topic bounty then the CPM rate would be:
($5 x 7/10) ($5 x 2100/2500) $2 = $9.7 CPM
Some new WeekendNotes cities for which we are trying to build up a readership attract higher CPM rates through the use of a CPM multiplier. At the moment these include Perth and Adelaide.
Note that 80% of your revenue will most likely come from just 20% of your articles, and it is very hard to predict in advance which articles will be the most successful.
It is important to focus on average payments across all of your articles rather than individual payments, as they will vary greatly and some of them are bound to be quite small while a few will be much larger.
When starting out try to publish at least 30 articles and then wait a couple of months before deciding if you are making enough per article to justify your time.
Many writers supplement their CPM payments by organising paid links. In fact many writers make more from paid links than writing reviews. Read about paid links here.
Editor's Choice Awards also attract extra payments.
By submitting articles to WeekendNotes, you agree that you have read and agree to the following conditions. These conditions may be changed at any time without notice.
Australian residents have the option of being paid via bank transfer as well as PayPal.
Australian residents requesting an individual payment greater than $75 AUD will need to supply a "statement by supplier form" (see below) or quote an ABN (Australian Business Number). If neither a supplier form or ABN is provided, the maximum payment of $75 will be made with the remainder credited to your account for future payment.
Australian residents can register for an ABN here if necessary. It's a simple process and will allow you to claim things like computers and other work related expenses on tax.
You can read about statement by supplier forms, and decide if this applies to you here. We are unable to provide advice as to whether a particular writer qualifies to use a statement by supplier, however we will accept them if provided. The forms can be sent as an email attachment to support -at- weekendnotes.com. Once you've sent the form, place "Statement by Supplier" in the ABN field (Settings -> Edit Details).
Writers not residing in Australia are paid via PayPal and are not required to submit an ABN or any other taxation information for any size of payment.
By submitting articles to WeekendNotes, you agree that you are working as an independent contractor and are responsible for paying any tax due on all payments we make to you as well as any superannuation or other work related payments or insurance. You are also responsible for submitting your own tax return.
If you are registered to collect GST, then GST is included in all payments made to you. Payment for articles submitted to WeekendNotes, and acceptance of those articles, may be suspended at any time for any writer for any reason. Being accepted as a WeekendNotes writer is in no way a promise of future employment. The amounts paid for articles, and the method of calculating payments may be changed without notice at any time.
Writers may submit articles for cities other than the one for which they are registered on WeekendNotes. Specify which city you would like to be registered for when applying to write for WeekendNotes, or send a request to change via the contact us form.
Payment rates may change from time to time. The latest rates will be published on this page.
Account balances are only maintained, and payments only accrue for active WeekendNotes writers. A writer is considered active if they have had an article published in the last 12 months. The date of your most recent published article is listed on your writer page.
If your current account is greater than $50 (or 50 GBP in the UK) at the end of the month, then a monthly account will be created and shown on your writer page under the heading "Monthly Accounts".
If your account is less than $50, then the amount will be carried over to the following month in your current account.
To submit an invoice for a monthly account, click on the "Details" link for that account and then "Submit Invoice for Payment". An invoice will then be automatically generated and sent to accounts.
Note that a monthly account (and the "details" link for that account) will not appear on your writer page until the end of the month. For instance, the monthly account for January will not appear until the 1st of February and only if your current account contained more than $50. You will not be able to submit an invoice until a monthly account has been created and appears on your writer page.
Make sure that you have entered your payment information before submitting your first invoice. To submit payment information, go to your settings page and click on "Edit Details".
Monthly account invoices are processed on the 1st working day of the following month plus one. For instance, a monthly account for January would be paid on the 1st working day of March. This time lag allows us to collect monthly payments from advertisers which usually takes 28 days.
Invoices for monthly accounts must be submitted by the 10th of the month prior to payment. For instance, the invoice for a monthly account for January needs to be submitted by the 10th of February to be paid on the 1st working day of March. Otherwise it will be delayed until the 1st working day of April. This notice period allows us to maintain and plan an accurate monthly budget.
The main factors taken into account when calculating an article's editor score are:
1) Quality of the idea behind the article.
2) The amount of useful information contained in the article. Does it provide all the necessary information to complete the described activity or event?
3) Quality of the writing.
4) How much editing the article required.
5) Spelling and grammar.
6) How entertaining is the article to read? This is more important for longer articles.
7) Are all of the article fields completed, including the advanced options such as the Email Titles? How well are they completed?
8) Have categories been added and are they appropriate?
9) Quality and usefulness of the links in the article.
10) Quality of the images.
11) Quality of the title.
Remember that editors are asked to give an average score of around 7, so don't worry too much about lower scores, especially for shorter articles.
Articles without any of the advanced options section or categories completed are given a maximum score of 7.
Articles with only some of the advanced options section and categories completed will have a reduced score.
As a general guideline for scores:
* 8 means the article was very good.
* 9 reflects an article of professional quality.
* 10 is reserved for those rare articles with an extra
If you have a question regarding an editor score and how you can improve, the editors are always willing to offer advice on specific articles. Just leave a comment on the article's preview page.
Writers are encouraged to build up a catalogue of articles on activities and places which are useful to WeekendNotes readers on any weekend in addition to events.
These articles will be referred to again and again and will continue earning long after they have been published.
Examples of good "any weekend" article topics include picnic spots, nice beaches, interesting walks, museums and galleries, and restaurant and cafe reviews. See the bounty list.
It also helps if the article is about something which people will search for using a search engine which applies to most of the examples above.
Articles should be kept as short as possible while still providing all the information required for the reader to attend an event or complete an activity, with a little extra space for entertainment or background information.
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 maximum limit of 4500 applies just to text, and does not include original images or videos.
The character length of an article is displayed on its preview page.
Any original images or videos included in an article add to the length used to calculate the CPM rate.
Articles covering the following topics attract a $2 CPM bounty. To qualify, the article topic should also be unique and not covered by a previous article.
Accommodation (hotels, b&b, caravan park)
Sporting Facilities (tennis, swimming etc)
Hotels, Motels, B&Bs
Major Musicals, Shows, Theatre, Exhibitions
Major Retail Sales
Above each of your articles (underneath your name), some space is reserved for each writer to say a little bit about themselves and to promote their website, business, event, blog, Facebook or Linkedin page if they wish.
This space is called your "Signature".
An example could be:
"A freelance writer living in London, Jane Doe has been enjoying and reviewing restaurants since childhood. Check out her food blog at www.janedoeeats.com."
See this page for advice on creating a link in HTML.
Any text starting with "www." will also be turned into a link automatically, for instance "www.testurl.com".
A signature should not include links to adult content, gambling sites, or any other content which WeekendNotes considers unsuitable.
At no time should links in your signature be sold. Doing so will result in your account being banned.
Note that as the independence of WeekendNotes articles is very important, the actual text of your articles should not promote any business or website with which you are associated. This should be reserved for your signature and profile page only.
It's possible to request approval for an article topic before writing the actual article to make sure it's appropriate for WeekendNotes.
To do so, leave a message for an editor on the article's preview page.
If you are unsure about a given topic, then this is a safe approach to make sure your article will be published once it's finished.
To make $20 per hour or better, you should be taking anything from 20 to 90 minutes to research and write an article, depending on its length.
It helps with the research time to review activities which you would have done (or have already done), even if you were not writing an article on it. Obviously this will not always be possible.
Your first few articles are always going to take longer as you learn the ropes. The trick is to become adept at producing high-quality articles in a short space of time and knowing where to look to find information quickly.
Speed and volume is the key to making money in the new world of online journalism.
Some links (URLs) sent out in writer notification emails contain information which logs the writer into WeekendNotes automatically.
This is done for convenience, as it removes the requirement for a writer to login each time they visit the site.
The downside is that if a writer shares an autologin link with someone else, it will log that person in as the writer.
Autologin links can be recognised as they have wuid=XXXXXXXX&ap=XXXXXXXXX added onto the end, with the XXXX parts substituted with your user ID and autologin password.
To make a link safe, remove this part from the end. The link will still work but it won't log people in as you.
If you do accidentally share an autologin link, reset your autologin password from your settings page.
The editors have compiled a list of the most common mistakes made by new writers.
If you're just starting out on WeekendNotes, follow these rules and your articles will be published faster and receive higher editor scores.
1) Read the Writer FAQ and the Style Guide. There is quite a lot of information there, however it's all useful and important.
2) Use the most obvious title for an article. If reviewing a restaurant, use the name of the restaurant. If reviewing a park, use the name of the park. It may seem boring, but it is essential for good search engine rank. The sub-title and email titles can be used to inject a little more flair.
3) Don't breach copyright with your images and credit them properly. If in doubt, note the direct URL and the Editor will inform you if it is copyrighted content. Google Images is not a source, it is a search engine. Credit images with as much information as possible, including the name of the photographer and the website.
4) Try to fill in the advanced options. Even if you get it wrong the first time, you'll receive a higher editor score.
5) Leave a blank line between paragraphs and images.
6) Event articles should be published before an event finishes, preferably at least 2 weeks (a month is even better) before it starts. This gives readers a chance to plan ahead and enjoy the event which you are writing about.
7) Always read your article out loud to yourself before submitting it. It's a great way to pick up mistakes. Make sure all your links work by clicking on them.
8) Capitalise article titles and email titles. This is a good guide to capitalisation.
9) Check that the map is correct.
10) Articles submitted to WeekendNotes should not be published anywhere else.
11) Articles submitted to WeekendNotes should consist of 100% original content. Don't cut and paste press releases.
12) WeekendNotes promotes places, activities and events. Try to stick to these main topics and avoid submitting blog or diary style articles.
13) Articles which just review a website, such as online shopping sites, will not be published.
14) All reviews must be at least 600 characters and no longer than 4500 characters. You will find a counter on each article's preview page.
15) If your article reviews a business or other organisation, remember that you can earn a bonus by asking them to link to your article from their website. It's as easy as sending them a quick email. Learn more here.
16) If you have a question (even if you think it's a really silly one), don't be afraid to ask an editor or leave a message on the writers' group. We're all here to help and there is a lot to get your head around.
Invites from businesses for writers to enjoy events and activities are listed on the writer page, and email notifications of new invites are also sent to writers.
The most highly ranked writer to register their interest will be given the invite unless they've already been allocated another invite in the last 30 days. In this case, the invite will be awarded randomly from the top 5 ranked writers (including the No 1 ranked).
Writers are expected to publish a review of the event or business in return for the invite within 7 days (of attending the event or activity) unless stated otherwise.
Only register your interest in an invite if you are absolutely sure that you'll be able to attend. It is a big deal if you cancel, and a three strikes policy applies regardless of the reason for cancelling.
The number of "invite strikes" you have is displayed on your writer page.
Failing to publish your review within 7 days of the invite date results in a complete ban from registering for further invites.
When you're awarded an invite, an article will be automatically created and placed on your writer page. Please edit this article rather than creating a new one when submitting your review.
Anyone can suggest an event to be covered by WeekendNotes using the "Suggest an Event" link.
This is most commonly done by the person in charge of promoting the event, however it can sometimes be regular readers.
Events which are approved are placed in the "Suggestion Box" are listed on everyone's Writer Page - on the right hand side underneath the awards list.
The numbers to the right of the suggestions reflect the number of published articles created for each suggestion, and the total number of articles (published and unpublished).
You can also subscribe to receive email alerts of new suggestions. To do so, go to your Settings page, click on "Edit Details", and select "Yes" for "Subscribe to suggestion box".
Anyone can cover any event in the suggestion box, and duplicate articles are OK. To cover an event, click on the "Write This Article" link to register. An article will automatically be created and placed on your Writer Page.
To ask a question of the person who made the suggestion (perhaps to clarify dates, or request photos), leave a comment on the article's preview page and they will be notified along with your editor.
Note that no vetting is done of events in the suggestion box and the events listed are in no way recommended or endorsed by the editors. It's up to writers to check and verify details and decide if they'd like to write about the event.
WeekendNotes holds regular competitions which writers can enter and win prizes.
Each competition has a topic, such as Cafe Reviews, Walks, or more abstract ideas such as Old School or Beauty.
To enter an article into a competition, it needs to achieve an editor score of 9 or 10. Once you write a relevant article of the right quality, leave an editor comment on the preview asking the editor to add it to the competition.
Each article can only be entered into one competition, and only articles created after the competition has started are eligible.
The winner of each competition is based on the votes from your fellow writers. Each writer can vote 3 times in each competition, but not for the same article.
Each competition usually lasts one month, with voting opening in the last 7 days before the closing date.
A list of current competitions can be seen on your writer page.
For each competition, there are 3 prizes of $50, $20, and $10 for the top 3 entries.
If you have a suggestion for an interesting competition topic, post it to the writers forum or let an editor know.
When images are placed in text and right or left aligned, it can be hard to have the article text line up exactly where you would like.
This is where the [BREAK] tag comes in.
Placing the [BREAK] tag in an article will make sure that the following text will be displayed below all previous images.
Monthly scoreboards are a fun way to compete for the top spot over a number of different measures, including highest average editor score, most awards, most articles published, and many more.
Whoever is in the top spot at the end of the month gets a special award worth $10.
Scoreboards are not meant to be a way to earn money, just a bit of fun on the side for writers who like to get their competitive juices flowing.
The scoreboards are updated daily and winners are announced during week 1 of each month.
The first image placed in an article is the main image associated with your article; it will be featured on the homepage/search/profile and so forth. Thumbnail images are automatically generated from article images when the article is published.
However, if you would like to override these images in your article, you can manually upload 1, 2 or 3 thumbnail images that will rotate based on popularity. To do this, there is a thumbnail upload section at the bottom of your article's preview page.
Only use this form if you want to override the automatic thumbs.
Each article is given a score depending on the number of people who have "liked" it by clicking on the like link underneath.
This is used to rank articles within categories, allowing readers to find the best articles more easily.
However, it's slightly more complicated than that as not all likes are equal, and there are other ways to attract likes.
* Each article starts off with a number of likes equal to its editor score.
* Likes from different people are valued differently. A regular reader is worth 1 like, a subscriber 2, and another writer is worth 5 or more depending on how many articles they have published.
* 1 like is automatically awarded for every 50 readers.
* Awards also attract likes. 5 for Newbie, 10 for Bronze, 20 for Silver, and 30 for Gold.
Note that it is possible to have more likes that readers for an article. As an article starts off with a number of likes equal to its editor score, it requires no readers.
Other writers can also like your article (their likes are worth more than 1) and they're not counted in reader stats. So it's possible to have 25 or even more likes without any readers.
Weekend Notes’ focus is always on local content so local articles are preferred, and are the best way to write about events.
You can write one multi-city article for a national tour but usually only if the tour is going to span one month or less.
Publication of multi-city articles will be limited to 5 cities, regardless of the number of cities where the event will be appearing.
Multi-city articles are classed as non-local, which means they’re not eligible to appear in Top Ten lists on city home pages, regardless of the number of views or ‘likes’ they receive.
A local article about the same event with an equal or higher score will take precedence in ranking.
If you're writing multiple articles on an event that covers multiple cities, then each individual article must be completely unique. You can’t submit the same wording with only the city information changed.
Reviews can be submitted on topics which have already been covered in WeekendNotes, with the exception of questions and some lists ("Best Free Sydney Events in August" etc) which are reserved.
However articles which cover the same topic will be ranked against one another and only the highest ranking article will be listed in the category pages or go out in the email newsletter.
In other words, duplicate articles are fine however they most likely won't attract many readers unless you have a large number of personal subscribers.
Duplicate articles are also ineligible for awards or a bonus unless they receive a higher editor score than previous articles.
An article's "Duplicate Rank" is displayed on its preview page once it has been published.
Check for duplicate articles using the search box. If you are logged in as a writer this will also show articles which have been created but not yet published, along with their creation date. It is up to the writer to check for duplicate articles.
How is article rank determined?
1) Articles are ranked by editor score*.
2) If the editor scores are the same the article with the earliest article creation date is ranked highest, as long as the article is published within 7 days (otherwise publication date is used).
3) Event articles take into account the date of the event. For instance if a duplicate article covers an annual event one year later than the original article it will rank higher.
4) Regular event articles rank higher than quick event articles.
1) Articles are ranked in order of editor score*.
2) If the editor scores are the same the article with the earliest article creation date is ranked highest, as long as the article is published within 7 days of creation (otherwise publication date is used).
3) Regular articles will always rank higher than photos, or foods.
If you are unsure, ask an editor as to the likelihood of your article achieving a rank of 1 before writing it.
In the case of monthly repeating articles such as "The Best Free Events in Sydney in March", ask permission of the existing writer before you write a version for the following month. If the existing writer has not written a version for 3 or more months, then it's fair game.
*If an article has an editor score of 10, and has received an award, then additional points are awarded. 1 for bronze, 2 for silver, 3 for gold.
It's possible to upload photos as part of a review, however it's also possible to upload single photos with a simple caption that are displayed on their own page.
To do so, click on "New Photo" on your writer page, or "Add a Photo" on any other WeekendNotes page.
Each photo should include a title, and a caption giving a little background to what's in the photo. The caption should be at least one paragraph.
If you have a series of photos on a given subject, it's best to upload them as part of an article.
Individual photos should be artistic, unique, or interesting in some way so that they can stand on their own outside of an article.
They should also reflect life in your city. So for example, a picture of your dog walking through dappled sunlight in the local park would be OK. However, your dog looking cute on your couch would not.
Foods are photos of dishes that you've enjoyed at a local restaurant or cafe along with a comment describing the experience.
It can also extend to a pie from a bakery, or even a fancy cocktail from a bar.
To add a new food, click on the "New Food" link on your writer page.
Each food includes a photo, a title (which should include the name of the restaurant/cafe) and a comment regarding what you thought of the food.
Foods are a quick and easy way to share your culinary adventures, however if you've got the time and inclination then you're still better off submitting a full restaurant review (or both) in terms of payment.
Some less popular events are never going to attract enough readers to justify the time it takes to create a full article, however it's still worth having them on the site for those few readers who may be interested.
A good example is a rendition of "The Mikado" by a community theatre company, or a movie night at a local cafe.
Quick Events are perfect for these kinds of events because they are very quick to create. Just fill in a few fields, add an image, a few short comments, and you're done.
Quick Event CPM is based purely on editor score as they are not expected to be very long.
They are listed just on the site and don't go out in the email newsletter.
They will always have a lower rank than a proper event article regardless of creation date in the case of a duplication.
The fact that they will attract fewer readers should be made up for by their very quick creation time. Creating Quick Event should take no longer than 5 minutes, and 1 minute if you are quick.
Fill in categories and advance settings as you normally would, but as they do not go into the newsletter, there is no need to add in email titles.
Articles on events and venues can be linked so that the venue is listed at the top of the event article and vice versa.
To associate an event with a venue, click on the "add venue" link underneath the event article. Then enter the article ID of the venue.
This is a great way to share readers between different articles.
For instance, an article on the Sydney Opera House can be linked to a review of a performance of Madame Butterfly being staged there.
Article titles are usually very rigid in format, being determined by the most search engine friendly keywords.
This leaves little room for humour or colourful description to entice a reader to click. This is where subtitles come in.
They're displayed underneath the article title in most places and should be constructed with little regard to algorithms and more regard to people and personality.
For instance an article on Tom's Cafe will have to be titled "Tom's Cafe" to keep Google and friends happy, however a subtitle could be "The best donuts in the Inner West", or "A gluten free paradise".
A few more examples:
Title - Subtitle
Bondi Beach - Surf, sand, and fun in the sun
Natural History Museum - Lots of really interesting stuffed animals
Giovanni's Pizzeria - The pepperoni supreme is to die for
Sue's Diner - Ask Sue for her famous Vanilla Milkshake
Subtitles are un-capitalised, limited to 60 characters, should be one sentence with no full stops, and definitely no exclamation marks.
Use the "Advanced Options" section to specify a subtitle.
Updates are notices that can be placed at the top or bottom of an existing article letting readers know about important changes.
Most changes to an article should still be requested by the article's preview page with a message to the editor. For instance if a cafe changes it's opening hours then the article itself should be updated.
However, if the cafe shuts down, it's best to use an update to let people know rather than delete the article. Other examples include a show selling out, or a restaurant changing its name.
To create an update, click on the "update" link underneath the article itself.
Note that you can only submit updates for your own articles. To request a change to another writer's article, use the "report error" function.
The update function should not be used to ask the editor to make changes to the article itself, this should still be done by leaving a message on the article's preview page.
Promoted cities are those which have a dedicated awards quota. They are also actively promoted to potential writers.
As such, they generally tend to have a large readership, unless they've only just been added to the list.
To see a list of promoted cities and regular cities, along with award quotas, click on the "City List" link on your writer page. The award quotas shown are monthly.
The list of promoted cities grows over time as resources allow, however if a city reaches a goal of 50 articles and 500 subscribers, it is usually added automatically. Other cities which have not yet reached this goal may be added from time to time.
If you'd like your city to be placed on the promoted list, try to reach the goal of 50 articles and the number of subscribers should follow.
To review a business or place you will need to have actually visited, rather than write a review based solely on word of mouth or internet research.
It's also important that original images (taken by you) are included where possible. Articles can also include images not taken by you (for instance from the business website), as long as at least one image taken by you is included as well.
If for some reason this is not possible, let the editor assigned to the article know. Examples include the business not allowing photographs to be taken, or requesting that only press images be used.
This does not apply to Events, Questions, Lists and venues which have not yet opened, or other articles of a more general nature. If in doubt, ask an editor or leave a message on the writers' group.
An example of a List article would be "The 5 Best Whale Watching Spots in Western Australia" - you don't need to have visited each site and taken a photo to write this article.
The three Email Title fields in the advanced section of the article editor are used to entice readers of the email newsletter to click on the link to read the article.
It's often hard to predict which email title will perform the best, so we provide room for three suggestions. These are tested on a small percentage of the WeekendNotes readership and the most successful are then used on the remaining readership.
If done correctly, this approach can greatly increase the number of readers for your articles as the best email title can often out-perform the worst by a factor of 2 or 3.
View statistics on the performance of the various email titles at the bottom of an article's preview page. Use this information to improve your email titles in the future.
The first email title should be similar or identical to the title of the article, in that it describes the contents of the article in a straight forward manner. It may have to be shortened to fit inside the 35 character limit.
For the 2nd and 3rd email titles try different variations which are fun and enticing, but still give a strong clue as to the contents of the article.
For instance if I was reviewing Trish's Seafood Restaurant the title and email titles could be:
Title: "Trish's Seafood Restaurant"
Email Title 1: "Trish's Seafood Restaurant"
Email Title 2: "Super Seafood by the Seaside"
Email Title 3: "Trish's Fish is Delish"
Note how the regular title is very direct, the 1st email title is similar to the regular title, and the 2nd and 3rd email titles are quite different. Try to make all three quite different and remember that alliteration, rhyming, and word-play usually work well.
Email titles (despite being playful) should always give a solid indication as to the contents of the article. Titles like "Weekend Fun", or "Family Fun" could apply to anything and are not appropriate.
Remember to capitalise all your titles, although this does not mean capitalising every word in a title. This is a good guide to correct title capitalisation.
The three Email Intro fields serve a similar purpose to the Email Titles. The Email Intro is the text shown underneath the title in the email newsletters and you can again experiment with different paragraphs (try to keep them to one sentence, two at the most) to see which works best.
A writer's rank reflects their contribution to their local edition of WeekendNotes.
You can view your writer rank on your profile page. To see your profile page, login to WeekendNotes and click on the profile link at the bottom of the page.
Writer rank is used to award articles to writers which include freebies such as tickets, meals, and experiences which businesses offer to WeekendNotes in return for articles.
Any general offers are sent to the top 20 writers in the relevant city and are awarded to the writer with the highest rank to register an interest.
Many businesses also send invites to specific writers, usually those with a higher rank.
Rank is calculated using the number of readers which all of a writer's articles have accumulated with greater weight given to readers generated by articles which have been published in the last 3 months (5x) and 1 month (10x).
The number of readers (used to calculate rank) is halved if the writer has not contributed an article to WeekendNotes in the last month, and is reduced further for longer periods.
Each writers ranking score is displayed on their profile page, along with the calculation used. It is formatted as below.
In the equation below R = Readers.
[5 x 3MONTH_R] +
[10 x 1MONTH_R]
You will have been given a login and password for the WeekendNotes website.
If you are not already logged in go to WeekendNotes and click on the "login" button at the bottom of the page.
Once you have logged in click on the "Settings" link, again in the navigation bar at the bottom of the page.
If you have not already, click on "Edit Details" and enter your name. This is the byline which will be used for all your articles.
Then click on the "Writer Page" link. From this page you will see a list of all the articles you have submitted to the WeekendNotes Editor.
A link to your writer page can be found at the bottom of the WeekendNotes website once you've logged in. If it's not there, click on "login" to enter your email and password.
To submit an idea for a new article navigate to your "Writer Page" and click on "New Article".
Enter a title for your article, and the content of your review in the box underneath.
That's it, you're done. However if you'd like a high editor score, you'll need to fill in the Advanced Options and add categories. These are described below.
To fill in the Advanced Options for an article, click on "Advanced Options" on the article's preview page.
Allocate a city to the article, or choose "All Cities" if not applicable.
Select a page view channel. If this is your first article it's best to select None and create your channels later on.
Select an article type. If in doubt select "Activity" and the editor will correct it if necessary.
Enter a Start Date and End Date for your article if you are writing about an event or sale which has a specific start date, otherwise leave it blank. Include a start date even if the event has already started.
Fill in the remaining fields. Email titles are explained here.
Click on Submit.
Add categories and locations if appropriate.
Note that cutting and pasting directly from a Word document can cause some problems with "funny" characters popping up in your article. To fix this problem save the document as a plain text file, open it in NotePad, and cut-paste from there. It's easier just to write in NotePad from the start.
Once you're happy with your article click on the Notify Editor link. The editor will then either leave a comment suggesting changes or will accept the article for publication. In either case you will be notified via email.
If you have any questions or problems submitting articles contact us using the link below.
More experienced writers will be given access to a list of article ideas which have been pre-approved by the editor. Click on the "Article Requests" link on your writer page, and then click on "Claim" for any articles which you would like to write about. These article ideas have been requested by the editor and will be automatically approved and placed onto your writer page.
Each article should include at least one image.
To include an image in an article place the cursor at the position in the content box where you would like the image to appear, which is usually between two paragraphs.
Click on the little picture button above the content box, the one with the little mountain on it.
Follow the instructions to upload the image.
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 credfit the source appropriately.
If submitting an image taken from your own camera it's a good idea to shrink it down before uploading over the net as large images take a long time to upload and will use up your bandwidth.
A Map Address is required for articles which have a specific location.
It should be a formal address like "21 Lyons Rd, Drummoyne, NSW", however it can also include places like "Sydney Town Hall", "Agave Restaurant, Surry Hills", or "Bondi Beach".
This address is used to map the articles (extract a latitude and longitude), so it's important that it generates the correct coordinates.
To check that the correct coordinates have been generated view the map displayed underneath the article, or click on the "map editor" link next to the address on the article's "view" page. A map will be displayed with a little red marker showing the position inferred from the address.
If the address you've entered is not generating the correct coordinates, try adding in a region and country. For instance instead of "21 Lyons Rd, Drummoyne", try "21 Lyons Rd, Drummoyne, NSW, Australia".
If that still does not work try a nearby address.
If you're still having problems use the map editor to manually specify a point on the map. There are instructions on the map editor page.
If an article does not refer to a specific location (such as "Muffin Recipie" or "Bank Holiday Ideas", then the field should be left blank.
Article sections are used to split an article into multiple pages (sections), which are then displayed one at a time to the reader.
This breaks up the article into more digestible parts, and increases the number of pages (and therefore advertising) which are displayed to a reader for one article.
Sections are created in the text of the article itself using section headers. At the start of a section place the tag:
Replace "Section Title" with the title of the section.
It's possible to either type in the [SECTION] tags, or highlight some text and click on the "Section" button in the markup toolbar above the content box. Do not highlight the entire section, just the section title.
The first section is usually an introduction and has the same title as the article itself.
For instance the article "The Best Beaches in Sydney" would most likely have the sections:
The Best Beaches in Sydney
The first line of an article that is split into sections should be the first section title. There should be no other text before this.
Not every article is suitable for sections. The most suitable are lists such as "The Best X in Y". However a non-listing article such as a restaurant review is not normally suitable to being split into sections.
Articles which have been split into at least 4 sections and which are good enough for the email newsletter are given a a $2 CPM bounty (in addition to other bounties).
Each section of an article must contain at least one image, and at least one good paragraph of text.
A list of related articles is shown underneath the text of each article. The function of the list is to show the reader other WeekendNotes articles which they may be interested in viewing, based on the fact that they are reading the current article.
For instance if two articles review the same cafe, then they should be related. A review of a particular dish at a restaurant could be related to a review of the restaurant itself. An article about walking along Manly Beach could be related to an article about Manly Market.
To mark two articles as being related click on the "add related" link underneath one of the articles, and on the following page enter the article ID of the other article. The ID number of any article can be found right next to the "add related" link at the bottom of the page.
An editor will then approve the creation of the related link so allow up to 2 working days for the link to actually appear.
Some articles are "related" automatically. This happens if one article links to another article in its text, or if two articles share the same directory.
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 WeekendNotes writers list. Using Google it is very easy to check for copyright breaches. If in doubt ask first.
By submitting an article to WeekendNotes 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 do not specify them as "original", in which case you grant On Topic Media non-exclusive digital and print rights to the photograph. By submitting a photograph to WeekendNotes you agree to the above terms.
Writer accounts become inactive after there have been no articles published on the account for 12 months.
Your account status and date of your last published article is displayed on your writer page.
Account balances are only maintained, and payments only accrue for active WeekendNotes accounts.
If your account has become inactive, you can still login and publish articles, and your account will become active again.
Reminder emails are sent 10 days before an account becomes inactive, however as always with email we cannot absolutely guarantee that it will arrive. It's up to each writer to remember when their last article was published and to keep their account active.
All articles with an editor score of 7 or more are placed in the email newsletter pool.
They are then sent to a random selection of readers to see how popular the article is. The most popular articles are then sent to larger numbers of email newsletter readers.
Because of this it is very important to create good email titles for your articles, which encourage readers to click through and read more.
Each email title is tested to see which is most effective. You can see the click through rate (ctr) for each email title on the article's preview page.
No. Affiliate links are not allowed as they encourage articles which are written around the affiliate links, rather than for the benefit of the reader.
After submitting an article for publication many new writers are perplexed when they visit their writer page the next day to see that they've only earned a few cents.
Because each article is paid in proportion to the number of people who have read it, it can take a while for earnings to accumulate.
The average article earns around $8 per year. That's only a couple of cents per day, so patience and persistence is the key.
Every WeekendNotes writer started in the same way, even those that have hundreds of thousands of readers.
Work on building up a library of articles that will keep attracting readers for months or years, and your readers and earnings will start to build up more quickly.
Here are a few tried and true suggestions to increase your readers.
1) Put more effort into your email titles.
For most writers the 3 email titles are a bit of an after-thought, but some putting some extra time into coming up with effective titles can make all the difference.
The email titles are what entice newsletter readers to click on your article and go to the website to read it. It's also not uncommon for the best performing email title to be twice as good as the next. On top of that it's very hard to predict which email title will actually perform the best, which is why 3 options are provided so we can test them all and then run with the best one.
So instead of just changing a few words for each one, try to come up with clever and witty email titles and make each one quite different. Put some time and effort into it and it's sure to pay off.
Remember that you can check to see how each email title performed on the article's preview page.
2) Submit at least 3 images, and make them all colourful and interesting.
The top 3 images in each article are used in the same way as the email titles. Each is tested in the newsletter (underneath the email title) to see which attracts the most readers to click through to your article on the website.
The difference in performance can be even more dramatic here than with the email titles.
The best performing images are usually colourful, attractive, and feature smiling people (though that's not always the case) and related to the topic of the article. As with the email titles try to submit 3 quite different images.
The stats for each image will also be displayed on the article's preview page (as soon as I get a chance to put them up).
This is probably the most under-utilised method of attracting more readers to each article.
3) Look at which articles have been popular in other cities, and write about similar topics in your own city.
Sydney | Recent Sydney
Melbourne | Recent Melbourne
Brisbane | Recent Brisbane
Perth | Recent Perth
Adelaide | Recent Adelaide
London | Recent London
New York | Recent New York
You can also see which writers have been attracting lots of readers, and then click on their name to view a list of their most popular articles.
Sydney | Recent Sydney
Melbourne | Recent Melbourne
Brisbane | Recent Brisbane
Perth | Recent Perth
Adelaide | Recent Adelaide
London | Recent London
New York | Recent New York
It's also possible to see the most popular writers across all cities (or recently), and the most popular articles (recently).
4) Write more questions. These are still the most popular article type (in terms of average readers) by quite a margin. Make sure you put them all into a separte page view channel.
5) Pay attention to the search engines - they generate 70% of the traffic for WN. The email newsletter is definitely not the only (or biggest) source of readers. There are some general tips for getting more search engine traffic here:
Reviews of places (cafes, restaurants, parks, etc) attract great long-term search engine traffic.
6) Write about popular local festivals, parades, and community events. These are consistently the best performers in the email newsletter.
7) Try to get a paid link for each of your articles.
The best writers (in terms of links) manage to get a paid link back to around 1 in 3 of their articles, with each paid link being worth an extra $100.
One writer in Melbourne manages a link rate of around 1 in 2, which means on average an extra $50 for each article. This writer contacts the business before writing the article to see if they'll swap a link in exchange for the publicity which is more efficient than writing the article first, and then asking for a link.
No problem. Many writers have lived in or traveled to other cities.
When creating an article for a city other than your default, click on "New Article" and then the "change" link next to the city name.
If in doubt as an editor for help.
Some articles may be suitable for every city; for instance a film review. In this case ask the editor to change your article to "All Cities".
If you'd like to change your default city contact support -at- weekendnotes.com or leave a message on on the Writer Group.
To make a change to a published article go to its preview page (using the link on your writer's page) and leave a message there for the editor.
They'll either make the change for you, or unpublish the article so that you can edit it.
Choosing the best title for an article can make a large difference in the amount of Google (and other search engine) traffic it attracts.
The aim is to choose a title which closely matches the search terms that most people would use when looking for the content in your article.
While it's possible to guess the correct keywords much of the time, often you'll find that using a few online tools can help.
Say I was writing an article on some great walks around Sydney. What's the best title?
My first guess would probably be:
"Sydney's Top Walks"
How many people search for this every month? You can find out with this Google tool:
Type in "Sydney Top Walks" (leave off the apostrophe and the 's').
Remember to select the appropriate country under the advanced options - I chose "Australia" this time.
This tells me that on average very few people use this search term each month. So few that Google has not bothered to register them.
Now type in "Sydney Best Walks".
This tells me that there are 330 local searches for this term each month. Much better.
So this tool has helped me choose a better title for my article - one that will hopefully attract more search engine traffic.
Now what about "Sydney Walks" I hear you ask. I bet that does well. Indeed it does, with over 8,000 monthly local searches.
Why not just choose "Sydney Walks" as the title? The problem is that this title is so popular that there are entire websites (and a WeekendNotes category) devoted to it. One article has no hope of competing. You're much better off going for a more niche search query.
So how do I tell how much competition there is for a particular search phrase? Just type it into Google and see what comes up. In general the more results, the more competition there is.
You can also tell by looking at the top few results. Are there entire professional websites devoted just to this search phrase? If there are then you're most likely not going to be able to compete effectively with a single article.
So how do I come up with other possible titles for my article? Ones that I may not have thought of to be able to test them?
For that we need a better keyword tool, and the best free one is available in a Google Adwords account.
Adwords is Google's platform for advertisers. They provide a great keyword tool to enable advertisers to figure out which keywords to bid for, however it's also very useful to figure out which keywords to write articles for.
You can sign up for an Adwords account here:
Once you've signed up, login and click on "Keyword Tool".
Then type in "Sydney Walks" and click on the "Keywords ideas" tab.
You'll then be presented with a whole host of "Sydney Walk" related search query ideas along with the number of local monthly searches for each.
Some results which came up for me:
Sydney Coastal Walks
Sydney Walking Tours
Sydney Bush Walks
Sydney Bush Walking Tracks
Sydney Dog Walks
Sydney Charity Walks
...the list goes on.
Some of these may be a better title for your "Top Sydney Walks" article, or may provide an idea for an entirely new article.
Clicking on the "Ad Group Ideas" tab can also be helpful.
A good exercise is to type in just "Sydney", or "Sydney Activities", or "Sydney Events" (substitute your city name) and just scroll through the results. When you see something that is interesting click on the phrase and select "Show more like this". This will show you a list of related search queries - a great source of ideas for articles that should attract decent search traffic.
Once you've chosen an article title there are few more things to keep an eye on:
1) Include the keywords in the text of the article. 2 or 3 times is best, don't go overboard as you'll be penalised.
2) Provide an inviting Summary/Teaser in the advanced section. This is what is displayed underneath the article's title in the Google search results, and it encourages people to actually click on the link.
3) Include original images in the article if possible. This will greatly increase your chances of getting SE traffic.
4) Make sure you include the keyword phrase in the image title when uploading. You can put a qualifier on the end if required: "Sydney's Best Walks - Bondi to Bronte Starting Point".
5) It can also help to include keywords in the image file names before uploading them if appropriate: "sydney_best_walks_bondi_bronte.jpg".
6) Keep in mind that longer articles usually do better than shorter ones.
7) Provide great content. Google can tell from further activity (or lack thereof) if someone they referred via a search result was satisfied with the information they found in an article. If you provide the information that people are looking for your article will rise in the search results and attract even more traffic.
Articles of exceptional quality are rewarded with Editor's Choice Awards.
The awards come in 4 flavours: Gold, Silver, Bronze, and Newbie.
In addition to the undeniable kudos of being acknowledged as a great WeekendNotes writer, the awards attract a payment bonus of $20 for gold, $10 for silver, and $5 for bronze and newbie (GBP for the UK) in addition to any CPM payments.
They also get a little extra boost in the email newsletter and are featured in the editors choice list.
There is a limit to the number of awards given out in each promoted city. To see the promoted city list and the number of awards allocated to each click on the "City List" link on your writer page.
There is also a quota of awards for regular cities.
There are well over 1000 articles published every month so please don't feel bad if your article does not attract an award. 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.
5) Award articles should all be local, not multi-city.
6) Encouraging new writers.
7) Spreading the love around.
8) You know I cannot put my finger on it, but I just really liked this article.
9) Newbie awards are just for those writers who have published less than 30 articles, to provide encouragement while they build up a collection of articles.
Unlike editor scores which are as objective as possible, editor awards are given with a bit of whimsy and impulsiveness. Asking an editor how an article can attract a higher editor score is encouraged, but please don't ask how an article can attract an award. They just do - or don't. Good luck!
Other awards include the Prolific Award (bronze, silver, and gold, platinum, emerald, diamond, kryptonite) for publishing 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, or 70 articles (does not include photos, foods, or quick events) in a given month with an editor score of 7 or more. These are worth $5 each.
A full list of awards can be found here.
Publishing your WeekendNotes articles on your own blog (or website), or publishing articles from your blog on WeekendNotes is not allowed.
The main reason for this is that duplication of content harms search engine rank.
The WeekendNotes Writer Group is a forum where writers can ask questions, look at answers to previous questions, and exchange tips.
It's a great place to start if you have a question.
Scouts are writers who recruit other writers to join WeekendNotes.
In return they're given a Scout Award worth $10 (10 USD, 10 GBP) every time one of their recruits publishes 10 articles, up to 30. So it's possible to make up to $30 on each recruit.
A scout can also provide ongoing encouragement and support to a new writer in order to increase the number of articles they publish, however this is optional. The only requirement for a Scout Award is that you recruited the writer.
Any WeekendNotes writer can be a Scout.
To recruit a new writer make sure they enter your email address or ID when they apply to become a writer, or use your Scout link (which you can find on your settings page).
Using your scout link is an easy way to recruit writers via email or on your blog, without having to remind them to enter your email address (or sharing your email address at all).
Yes we do. You can find it here.
Be sure to read it before submitting an article.
Location photos are for advanced writers. If you are new do yourself a favour and skip this section.
Location photos are photographs which have been tagged with a comment and a location, and which can be easily inserted into articles and mapped.
They are really useful for writing articles on activities which cover more than one location such as a walk, tour, or car trip where it's useful to the reader to see where on the map a photo was taken.
Here is an example.
Location photos can be created manually from your writer account. Do so so click on "Location Photos", and then "create new".
The album field groups photos together. So for instance to keep all of the photos from your Bondi Trip together, use the same album name "Bondi Photos" for all these images.
You can also add a comment (displayed underneath the image as a caption - this can be left blank), a tag (displayed underneath the image in bold - basically an image title), and a letter which is used on the map marker denoting where this image was taken.
Once you've added a few photos click on "Location Photos" and then the album name to view all the photos listed in that album.
From here you can edit the photo attributes including it's location on a map.
As well as through your writer account, location photos can be created directly using an iPhone app. To download the app search for "weekendnotes" on the Apple app store.
Once you've installed the app, login using your WeekendNotes email and password. You'll then be able to specify an album, and a comment. Tags and letters need to be added through your writer account.
Each photo uploaded via the app is automatically tagged with your location at the time you tap on the submit button. Sometimes the location given to a photo is a little off, and you'll want to edit it through your writer account.
Once a location photo has been created using the iPhone app (or through your writer account) it can be used in articles, or quickly turned into a "food" or "photo".
To turn a location photo into a food or photo, click on the "food" or "photo" link underneath the thumbnail.
To include it in an article, copy the "[MOB***]" from above the thumbnail, and paste it into your article. Easy.
To display the image at half width to the right use [MOB***R], and for the left [MOB***L].
To map a photo use the following code:
The zoom does just that: zooms the map in and out. Any number between 11 and 17 should be OK. The lower the number, the larger the area covered.
The height specifies the height of the map in pixels. 300 should be OK in most cases.
Replace the "25" with the number of the location photo. This is the number next to "MOB" above the thumbnail.
Both of the zoom and height fields can be left out and will default to the numbers above. So you could just use:
It's possible to map multiple location photos on the one map by simply listing multiple numbers. So for instance:
will map location photos 25, 31, 35, and 57.
The map will be centered on the average location of all the photos mapped.
OK, that's it. Leave a message on the Writers' Group if you have any questions.
These are some statistics that have been retrieved from our visitor logs.
Use them to increase the Google traffic to your articles.
Questions attract 5x page views as other article types, and 3x Google traffic.
Articles listed in at least 5 categories (including locations & areas) attract 3x Google traffic when compared to 3 categories or less.
In general more images (original or copied) results in more google traffic.
Articles with at least 1 original image attract 2x google traffic compared to those with just copied images.
Articles longer than 1000 characters attract 2x google traffic compared to shorter articles.
If you live in a large city which WeekendNotes has not yet reached, and are keen to submit some articles, please contact us.