Hubpages vs Yahoo vs RedGage

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I’m still pretty new at this writing thing, and I’m still developing my strategy. I’m working on three different platforms now, and I thought it would be interesting to compare the experiences I’ve had with each, and hopefully also get some helpful feedback from people who may be more knowledgeable. Since this review represents only my own limited experience with each service, it is more personal than comprehensive.

I signed up for Hubpages and wrote my first two hubs in August 2011. Then I lost interest and basically forgot about it. I remember doing something online that resulted in the RonElFran ID popping up, and realizing, with something of a jolt, hey, that’s me!

But in mid-January 2013 the writing bug started biting again, this time in earnest. I produced three hubs that month, then six in each of the next two. This is my 18th overall.

About two weeks into my new commitment to writing, at the beginning of February, I signed up for Yahoo Contributor Network. I now have 31 articles there. Then, a month ago, I joined RedGage, where I now have 60 items posted.

A quick comparison

This hub is a comparison of my experiences and strategies for each of these quite different platforms. I’ll start with my bottom line:

  • Hubpages remains my favorite (you never forget your first love).
  • Yahoo Contributor Network (YCN) has by far been the most profitable.
  • RedGage has shown the quickest build-up of page views.

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Money-making potential

As an overall experience, I rate HubPages far ahead of Yahoo and RedGage. But what makes YCN worthwhile for me is that it provides up-front payment of up to about $10 for some articles (mine have averaged around $3.50). Since I know that the subjects I want to write about are not going to be the biggest page view producers, those up-front payments make a big difference.

  • My two months and 31 articles on YCN have netted me $32.87 so far, most of it from up-front payments.
  • That’s about five times what my 17 hubs (not including this one) have brought in so far.
  • My 60 RedGage items have generated $1.23 in one month, which I actually consider pretty good.

YCN up-front payments are available only on articles that meet specific criteria. For example, they won’t pay up front for opinion pieces, or creative writing, or articles on topical subjects that will draw only temporary interest. And, of course, you get only one such payment per accepted article. But if I’m able to keep up the average of acceptances I’ve achieved so far, it will take some time for my HubPages earnings to catch up to those from YCN.

YCN pays $1.50 per thousand page views for all articles they publish, whether an up-front payment was given or not. As you reach various thresholds in the number of page views and number of articles published, that rate increases. My guess is that probably a large majority of YCN content is published with no up-front payment, and produces income only based on page views.

I’m not anticipating that RedGage will ever be a really high earnings producer, since their rate is only about $0.60 per thousand page views. They do have contests and bonuses for quality blog-type content, but I haven’t yet gotten around to checking those out.

Page view potential

The great thing about RedGage is that you can get page-views for just about anything, including just a link back to your HubPages or YCN content. I have both articles and photos posted, and get a fairly steady number of views with very little effort. But, as noted above, the monetary value of a RedGage page view is pretty low.

I find that my HubPages articles quickly outpace those on YCN in number of page views. My hubs also seem to achieve higher search engine rankings than YCN articles, and are ranked more quickly. That translates into a more steady flow of views over time for hubs. I find that some of my YCN pieces go down to zero views in two or three weeks, with just occasional hits after that. Hubs don’t seem to diminish that quickly, at least so far.

I don’t even think of RedGage in relation to search engines. Since content there can be so short, some postings get ranked by search engines, many don’t. But some of my RedGage posts, both blogs and photos, seem to maintain a steady rate of hits.

User interface

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I consider the HubPages user interface much friendlier and much more capable than either of the other two. YCN’s interface is straightforward, but limited. For example, photos can be attached only at the top, with only one visible at a time. As far as I know, you can have only text (and links) in the body of the content. Nothing like the various capsules available to hubbers. And to me, the finished hub is by far the most professional looking in appearance.

The Redgage interface is simple and even more basic than YCN’s. It also can be quite buggy. Sometimes it can be slow, other times it just stops responding at all. Server errors are not infrequent. You quickly pick up some tricks to alleviate frustration. For example, when a page stops responding to clicks (this happens a lot), right-clicking an item to bring it up in another browser tab usually works. You will learn patience on RedGage.

Article length

One of the best things about having all three of these platforms available to me is that each is ideal for different lengths of articles. HubPages encourages detailed hubs that run more than 1000 words. YCN, on the other hand, likes articles of 300-450 words (though I usually go over that). And RedGage basically doesn’t care – your content can be anything from just a link to a fairly substantial article.

So, I can choose the platform that best suits the amount of material I have – and the amount of work I want to put into it.

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Editorial policies

RedGage seems to moderate posts only to insure they meet the terms of service. Otherwise, you can put up just about anything you please.

YCN, on the other hand, is fully moderated. All articles are examined by human editors, and must meet the YCN guidelines. Out of 35 submissions, I’ve had 11 initially declined by editors. The good thing is that for all but two, I was offered the opportunity to make required changes, and they were accepted when resubmitted. The evaluation process takes up to two weeks for articles submitted for up-front payment, and up to one week for the rest, so there is always a substantial delay between submission and publication.

The YCN guidelines are very strict, especially with regard to grammar, style, citing sources, and insuring that you include only photos and other resources that you have a legal right to use. They also insist, especially for content submitted for up-front payment, that the material reflects the author’s own unique and personal voice. Content that is too similar to that already available on the web will be declined.

The strictness of the YCN guidelines has been a great help to me. They have set a standard that now carries over to my HubPages submissions as well.

HubPages falls somewhere between the “anything goes” policy of RedGage, and the strictness of YCN. I know that some of my earlier hubs would not have passed the YCN guidelines, but I still consider them to be quality material.

Categories of submissions

YCN articles are published under one of three categories: Exclusive, Non-Exclusive, and Display Only. If you publish under the Exclusive tag, you give YCN the perpetual right to publish and republish your content for as long as they want. You are not allowed to republish it elsewhere, and you cannot remove it from any sites they may post it to. In return for giving up your rights over the material, you can supposedly command a higher up-front payment. To me, this is very doubtful.

Publishing under the Non-Exclusive category still gives YCN a perpetual right to publish your content as they see fit, and you cannot remove it from their sites. However, you can republish it elsewhere after it appears on Yahoo. The advantage for you in this arrangement is that they may syndicate your material to other Yahoo or partner sites, resulting in greater income to you. Also, you can choose whether or not to ask for up-front payments.

As part of the editorial evaluation process, Exclusive and Non-Exclusive submissions are checked to ensure that duplicate content does not already exist on the web. If any is found, the submission will be declined.

The Display Only category means just that: YCN simply displays your content. They have no rights over it, and you can modify or remove it at any time. These submissions are not eligible for up-front payments, but you receive the same page view rate as the other categories.

YCN allows previously published content

One of the things that attracted me to YCN is that they accept previously published content. This must be submitted as Display Only, and thus is not eligible for up-front payments. Of my 31 YCN articles, 10 were previously (and continue to be) posted on my blogs.

This, of course, is quite different from the HubPages requirement that all submissions must be previously unpublished. RedGage, on the other hand, actually encourages reposting of previously published materials.

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Community

One of the things I really like about HubPages is that you have a sense of being part of a supportive community. RedGage is less so, even though they consider themselves a social media site with friends, followers and wall postings like Facebook. To me, YCN lacks very much of a community feel at all. There’s not very much commenting on the writings of other authors, and though there are forums for sharing, to me it still seems like it’s pretty much each author doing his or her own thing.

My strategy for use of each platform

Here’s how I try to divide my efforts between the three services.

I use HubPages for content I consider the most important, and the most deserving of in-depth, detailed treatment. Generally, this means the subjects that are closest to my heart become hubs. However, if I think the material may be suitable for up-front payment, I may offer it to YCN first. That’s what happened, for example, with my hub on Clark Gable desegregating the set of “Gone With The Wind.” I was glad YCN declined it, considering it not “personal” enough. I was able to do much more with it as a hub.

YCN is my go-to platform for mid-length content that requires somewhat less research than my hubs. Still, I may spend a significant amount of time and effort documenting sources to insure I meet the guidelines. Often, my YCN article will be an opinion piece, or on a subject I want to treat a little more light-heartedly than I would a hub.

My basic use of RedGage is to point readers to my HubPages and YCN articles. I usually give a short synopsis along with a link to the full article. I also post short, original pieces on interesting items in the news I think people may have missed. In addition, I’m beginning to enjoy posting photos. I’ve been surprised at the popularity of some pictures I hesitated about posting at all. Turns out, I’m quite a photo artist!

If you have experience with any of these platforms, I’d love to see your comments.

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Comments 36 comments

theluckywriter profile image

theluckywriter 3 years ago from Canada

Interesting hub! Thanks for sharing! I'm still new to the whole revenue-sharing thing. So far, I haven't even applied for adsense...I just write on hubpages because it's fun. But it's definitely something that I'm keeping an open mind about!


RonElFran profile image

RonElFran 3 years ago from Mechanicsburg, PA Author

Thanks, theluckywriter. Like you I write more because I enjoy it than because I expect to make big bucks. And so far, that's exactly the way it has worked out!


jlongrc profile image

jlongrc 3 years ago from Memphis, TN

I haven't gotten RedGage to work without screwing up yet.

I've had good luck on Y! Contributors, but only because I took an assignment for Y! Sports and it got 50,000 views. I then did a Y! Sports test assignment and was given a beat for my favorite MLB team. Those articles, which I can publish at will, get about 10,000 looks apiece. I've had two things get upfront payments and maybe 6-8 get rejected, sometimes for silly reasons. A good rule of thumb is if your content is on Y! Voices and not an affiliate site, you're not going to make money on pageviews. You shouldn't give up right away though, since getting published on Y! Sports, News, OMG, etc. can be very lucrative just from pageviews.

I'm getting started on HubPages, but we'll see how it goes. My first hub got rejected, but it wasn't very good. I posted some better material that had been rejected by Y! CN for upfront payment. One was about 1100 words, which seems more like the type of stuff HP likes. I have a lot of beer-related content that is better served on a Hub, I think.


RonElFran profile image

RonElFran 3 years ago from Mechanicsburg, PA Author

Thanks, jlongrc. I haven't taken any YCN assignments yet - I haven't yet seen anything that interests me, and that's still my main motivation for writing. But your experience is an encouragement to look more closely at that. Regarding RedGage, I can only tell you patience is a requirement! Even just logging on may take multiple tries, and some days you won't make it at all. But I have gotten some traffic to my Hubs and YCN content, so it's still worthwhile. Welcome to HubPages!


jlongrc profile image

jlongrc 3 years ago from Memphis, TN

Yeah, I wouldn't want to overstate the assignments on Y!CN. It is usually bare, other than Yahoo! Shine assignments about "what your stepmom taught you" and similar kinds of trivialities. Every now and then, though, something good shows up. I'm not sure how sophisticated their targeting really is, though.


RonElFran profile image

RonElFran 3 years ago from Mechanicsburg, PA Author

Well, at least I'll look, now. I've mostly just been ignoring them.


kschimmel profile image

kschimmel 3 years ago from North Carolina, USA

I make about $30 a month on Y!CN because I have a few evergreen knitting and bridal articles that serve as cash cows. I add content occasionally there to keep things fresh, but am now concentrating on making my Hubpages library into another reliable source of small residuals--not there yet, but making progress. Squidoo is a place I've returned to after making one lens a long time ago--not sure how long before I can build up my library there.


RonElFran profile image

RonElFran 3 years ago from Mechanicsburg, PA Author

Like you, I'm concentrating a bit more on Hubpages. I'm finding it somewhat harder than at the beginning to divide not so much my time as my attention. It seems like you get in a groove and its harder to shift. Thanks for your comment, kschimmel.


jlongrc profile image

jlongrc 3 years ago from Memphis, TN

Yahoo! can get your more money quickly but it may have a lower income ceiling than HubPages at this point. Likewise, you may be irritated by the types of things you have to write to get pageviews at Yahoo and the somewhat arbitrary rejections, etc.


RonElFran profile image

RonElFran 3 years ago from Mechanicsburg, PA Author

I think you're right about relative income ceilings of Yahoo vs HubPages in terms of page views. So far none of my hubs has ceased producing page views, whereas maybe a third of my Yahoos seem dormant. I've learned to appreciate even the sometimes ticky-tack editing decisions at YCN. I had a piece on Michelle Obama's racial heritage rejected with the comment that I should be careful about being offensive to some. I didn't intend or think it was offensive, but I revised it and resubmitted. It's now one of my best page view performers. I take it that the editor saw something I didn't see, and I'm grateful for the help.


jlongrc profile image

jlongrc 3 years ago from Memphis, TN

When their editors give you more than the "canned" type of responses, they can indeed be very helpful. I have lucked into a sports beat and the sports editors are very helpful. Some of the things I have submitted for upfront payments about this and that have had less useful comments in some cases. Apparently the editors at some content farms can be just awful.


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 3 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

I publish my articles here @ HubPages. I still have to check Yahoo and RedGage.

Thanks for this review.


RonElFran profile image

RonElFran 3 years ago from Mechanicsburg, PA Author

Thanks travel_man1971. Yahoo is still working out well for me, as well as HP. RedGage is in the midst of a total redesign of their site. After several months they still haven't transferred my earnings to the new site, and I don't plan on posting anything else there until they get everything worked out. Do give Yahoo a look-see.


cmoneyspinner1tf profile image

cmoneyspinner1tf 3 years ago from Austin, Texas

I'm glad I found this HUB. Real people need to share real experiences so other real people can figure out if it's just them doing the wrong stuff!!

As for HUBPages, it was the second place I published articles for. I like it! Easy platform. I love the checkmark process. Cool! And you can actually generate income that you see with your own eyes.

With respect to YAHOO? I was not convinced that it was worth a bonafide try until I read this HUB. Now I'm thinking on it!!!

RedGage? I don't know if it's me or them. The page never wants to load. It's difficult to edit my stuff. I just clicked the link to view your page and the page is still loading. So I guess if you ever can get into your account to post things, RG might be OK. (???) (O.o)

I like this HUB and I found you because you left your "paw print" at another HUB in the Comments section. :)


RonElFran profile image

RonElFran 3 years ago from Mechanicsburg, PA Author

Thanks, cmoneyspinner1tf. RedGage's website is undergoing a redesign that after months, is still not yet complete. They have yet to transfer the earnings in my account. So, for the moment, I've moved away from RedGage and to Bubblews. That has become my easiest money-maker. Since joining them in July, I've had two payouts (payout requires $25 or more) even though I haven't devoted a lot of time there. If I ever go back to RedGage it will probably be more to posts photos than original text content.


cmoneyspinner1tf profile image

cmoneyspinner1tf 3 years ago from Austin, Texas

Good for you! Wishing you success wherever you go!


CelebrateUSA profile image

CelebrateUSA 3 years ago from Chicago, Illinois

I have never considered YCN before! I will have to also look at Bubblews. I am considering opening my own blog/website but have enjoy HP too much to transition.Thank you for the added knowledge.


RonElFran profile image

RonElFran 3 years ago from Mechanicsburg, PA Author

Thanks, Ken. Certainly YCN is well worth a look. As for Bubblews, well, the title of my hub "Bubblews: Probably Not A Scam, But Not Ready For Prime Time" tells a cautionary tale.


LittleKnownStuff profile image

LittleKnownStuff 2 years ago from Maine, USA

Thanks for the detailed analysis. I was thinking of getting involved with YCN writing about my favorite baseball team during the season (I watch virtually every game). I watch the end of the games alone since my wife teaches kindergarten and needs to turn in before most of them end so it'd be a natural way to analyze the game during the post game show and could earn a couple of extra bucks. I think your Hub inspired me to give it a go next season. Voted up and useful - thanks!


RonElFran profile image

RonElFran 2 years ago from Mechanicsburg, PA Author

Thanks, LittleKnownStuff. I see a lot of sports articles on YCN, and it seems like a pretty good venue for them. One thing to think about: YCN can take from several days to up to two weeks before an editor approves your article for publication. I just had one published after only a day, but that is by far the shortest interval I've had. So, if you're planning on analyzing every game, you can't be sure of how much later the article will appear.


LittleKnownStuff profile image

LittleKnownStuff 2 years ago from Maine, USA

Good to know! Thanks, Ron.


amuno profile image

amuno 2 years ago from Kampala

Good hub Ron. Kinda thinking of trying a little of YCN. Been comfortable at HP for almost two years, and new adventure won't be bad I believe.


RonElFran profile image

RonElFran 2 years ago from Mechanicsburg, PA Author

Thanks, amuno. YCN is very different from HP, but is well worth consideration.


alternativeto profile image

alternativeto 2 years ago from South Dakota, USA

Great hub Ronald, i was going to start in yahoo and i was kind of negative about yahoo but your hub helped me understand about yahoo.


alternativeto profile image

alternativeto 2 years ago from South Dakota, USA

hey Ronald, i was wondering about the hub format that you used for publishing this hub, why is this hub shown differently in Google?


RonElFran profile image

RonElFran 2 years ago from Mechanicsburg, PA Author

Thanks, alternativeto. I'm not sure what you mean about the hub showing differently in Google; there's nothing about its format that's significantly different from other hubs. In what way does it show up differently?


alternativeto profile image

alternativeto 2 years ago from South Dakota, USA

Ronald, your Hub is shown with its URL displayed in Google.

Normally HubPages Hubs are displayed in Google with sub categories, but your hub is displayed without it.

Thank you Ronald


RonElFran profile image

RonElFran 2 years ago from Mechanicsburg, PA Author

Thank you, alternativeto. I'll check it out.


Rhumour profile image

Rhumour 2 years ago from Lincolnshire

I just tried to sign up at RedGage and apparently they are not accepting members just now - instead they ask us to leave details and wait for contact. Fair enough, I do believe that a site being selective about members (such as FanBox where you need an existing member to introduce you) suggests they are serious and not just looking to make up the numbers.

But there isn't a lot of content there yet compared to other sites - maybe it is too early to judge them. Some of the Triond sites have paid me a little for content, but by far and away the best payments have been from FanBox where I have earned thousands of dollars now (over a few years). Frankly getting a few hundred from a post there compared to an odd dollar from Triond if I post the exact same item (and they were posted on Triond far earlier) makes me feel the genuine opportunities are not on some of the older sites. I sell books and premium blog collections on FanBox too, so the opportunities there are wider.

ATB Dave


RonElFran profile image

RonElFran 2 years ago from Mechanicsburg, PA Author

Hi, Dave. Actually, I've not done much with RedGage lately. They were essentially off line for months while they redesigned the site, and I've not really gotten back with them. As you say, there are a lot of alternatives now. Thanks for reading.


Redgage hater 2 years ago

beware! Redgage is the worst site, I have worked hard for them but never earned. teckler is better than redgage!


RonElFran profile image

RonElFran 2 years ago from Mechanicsburg, PA Author

Thanks, Redgage hater. I hadn't heard about Teckler, and your comment caused me to investigate. Looks interesting.


Yashaa 23 months ago

I carry on listening to the ncwaesst lecture about getting free online grant applications so I have been looking around for the most excellent site to get one. Could you advise me please, where could i find some?


RonElFran profile image

RonElFran 23 months ago from Mechanicsburg, PA Author

Sorry, Yashaa, that's not an area I have knowledge about. I hope you are able to find the applications you need.


jo miller profile image

jo miller 6 days ago from Tennessee

Hi, Ron. I just came across your Hub when checking out Redgage. How does one go about signing up for this site? Is it still open for membership?

Great information here. I'm bookmarking.


RonElFran profile image

RonElFran 5 days ago from Mechanicsburg, PA Author

Hi Jo. Actually, I gave up on Redgage some time ago. My account is still open (or at least it was the last time I checked), but there have been no views and, of course, no money for quite some time. But I wouldn't discourage you from giving it a try. Maybe things have changed since I last looked at it.

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