I think it would be so good if we can add the zazzle products to our hubs via Zazzle Capsule just like We do it for Amazon. It will help us improve traffic and of course earnings.
I am not really sure why you want to have something on Hubpages just because Squidoo had it. As we have evidence that Squidoo lost status and income because they were doing things wrong, it makes sense that Hubpages should be cautious on what it adopts from Squidoo. The Amazon module was a no-brainer since Hubpages already had one. Making it better will help everyone. You can post some links to Zazzle on your hubs, but not more than two. Why not post the long list type product pages on a blog, and create articles here that discuss your Zazzle store in a new way. (how to design on Zazzle, why your designs have a certain look, which products you think Zazzle does well with, how zazzle compares to other sites, etc.)
I think that sounds reasonable. I'm glad HP is not planning on turning the site into a shopping site. Quality and quantity of links is still an important factor in ranking well or getting the Google slap. Personally I think Zazzle would do much better on a personal website/blog.
I see no mention of Squidoo in her comment. Perhaps you jumped the gun with your commentary?
Maybe, although I thought she was talking about the fact that we had Zazzle modules on Squidoo and why couldn't we have them here. My point being that we Squidoo immigrants shouldn't want to recreate Squidoo here, because that would be bad for this site.
I can understand that. But the Zazzle module itself wasn't really a problem, it was how it was used by spammers that was a problem. If HubPages allows Amazon capsules and eBay capsules (or whatever they're called, I'm just now learning about how HubPages works), then I think a Zazzle capsule could be done adequately as well.
Not everything about Squidoo was bad. A lot was, most definitely, but not all of it. So I don't see a problem with replicating the GOOD parts of Squidoo with HubPages' rules and stamp of approval. It looks at though HubPages would be better at implementing that than Squidoo did or ever could have. That's why Squidoo got rid of it long before this move. They didn't know how to regulate it or couldn't regulate with their resources. HubPages would know how to do it right.
It doesn't have to be NOW since HubPages needs to focus on bringing in the Squidoo pages, but at some point, I would like to see that Zazzle capsule.
I would like that as well but maybe a link in the text would be good enough for now.
i want Zazzle too, as I'd love to be able to bolster my own Zazzle commissions, but I'm having an enormous attack of devil's advocate at the moment. So, with apologies...
In the past year or so, Google's been coming down like a load of bricks on content that's designed more to make money for the author than to provide something of value to visitors. Whole sites are losing their Google rankings and all their traffic and unable to recover.
We can argue to the cows come home that Zazzle designs ARE more for the consumer than for the starving artist, but... we don't get the deciding vote.
Just at the moment, I think Hubpages is taking a (smart!) calculated risk by importing a big batch of content, much of which is solid, but a certain portion of which may be pushing into danger territory as far as over-monetization. Probably not the best time to be pushing the monetization envelope in other respects as well.
It sucks that we have to worry about Google, which certainly monetizes its OWN content. But it's hard to keep a site afloat without Google traffic.
That said, I think longterm this is a great idea. I just feel like HP should only take one risk of this sort at a time. Maybe be careful for the next four months while we get the squid flotsam tidied and polished.
I agree with anything and everything you say - because you are my guru of choice.
I would only post one product per thousand words. Those words would be carefully crafted to lead the consumer - er reader - through a garden of literary and informational delight.
At the end of the garden - er article - there would be a choice of two paths for the punter - er reader. One would be to bugger off or back arrow as the geeks call it - and the other would be the chance to invest in a high quality t-shirt or perhaps a calendar.
Yes, I agree. HP needs to be very careful about the advertising thing, especially now with all of the changes.
It seems that things are moving mighty fast around here, that's for sure.
I wonder how Amazon would feel about us using a similar site now that they have agreed to give us a bigger cut of the financial pie? Would hate to lose that deal!
Zazzle isn't similar to Amazon, and Amazon doesn't punish affiliates who use more than one affiliate network or program on their websites. eBay and Amazon are more similar, and they've coexisted on the site for years.
Amazon isn't giving anyone a bigger cut. It's Hubpages that is using their affiliate ID and together with all the writers who opt in for the shared amazon program you're reaching the highest tier and hence higher cut.
If I'm not wrong, Hubpages hasn't made any personal deal with Amazon. But I may be wrong here, because I'm not one of the people in the program currently and haven't really looked into it a lot.
If that is the case, why weren't things this way prior to a few months ago, and why did the team make a big announcement about it?
All I know is that since that happened, the money has been much better for writers Our "cut" is about twice what it used to be...sure sounds like a special deal to me!
Amazon has made a personal deal with HubPages, but Lobobrandon is right - it's not a special deal.
HubPages earns on exactly the same commission scale as we do. Take a look at your own Amazon account, if you've still got it: you'll see that if you make more than a certain number of sales, you move up into the next bracket and get a higher commission on everything. That's why you're getting more money: by combining us all into one big account, HubPages has pushed us all on to that higher tier.
What took the time to negotiate, I think, was getting Amazon to agree to HubPages having us all under one big umbrella account.
Thought so Marisa, I had a feeling because it would otherwise be difficult to tell who was making sales and who needs to get the commission. It had to be a different system in place
I totally agree.
In general, I am also pretty supportive of Google (and whomever else follows) clamping down on and "devaluing" web sites, articles, pages and content that very obviously screams "My ONLY purpose for existing is to make money!!!!"
I have nothing against making money with web content. But until we all learn to provide real content of some standalone merit and value, and make "sales" more or less a "coincidental benefit" as an adjunct to that content... I feel that fewer affiliations are better than more.
I also have nothing against "sales." I'm IN the sales business for a living. Wanna know how? I have actual stores on eBay, Etsy and Webstore and other places where it's totally right and appropriate to scream "I'm in the SALES business! BUY my stuff!" I make 30 times more money doing that, than I do from writing. Wanna be in the "sales" business? Get yourself some products and sell them!
It's "placement appropriateness." It's giving people what they are actually looking for, rather than giving people what you want them to look at. It's creating content with the end user in mind, not with you in mind. And guess what? Happy end users means you make money.
Bottom line-- how do you use the web? If I'm shopping for something, I go to eBay, or Amazon, or Office Max or wherever and start looking. I am not going to look for "an article" when I want to buy towels, I'm going to look for a place that "sells towels." When I Google "towels," I'm going to pick the search result that says "We sell towels!" not the search result that says "We write about towels!" Who does that? Similarly, if I need to know how to prune apple trees, I'm not going to go to a site that sells apples, I'm going to go to a site that has information about apples.
But to get back "on topic," when you reply "but it WORKS! I make MONEY!" (when it comes to the whole "sales" issue) my reply is "no, it DOESN'T really work, and that's a large part of the reason Squidoo's content is now ending up on HubPages." Sure, you can fool some of the people for a while... but ultimately, "empty" content has no lasting value.
Hats off to HubPages for being strict on keeping HubPages focused on actual content and information with some measure of intrinsic value.
Don't get me wrong. I all for writing about "my trip to France" and pointing out that some awesome guidebook helped make the trip so great, and here's a link to that book. Yeah, rock on!
Just saying... let's have a reality check here. Pretty much all the "revenue sharing" sites that have billed themselves as "writing" sites but were actually thinly veiled sales pitches are now about to be gone. Ask yourself if you really want "the last 800lb gorilla standing" (aka HubPages) to follow in their footsteps by allowing the site to become another giant "advertorial." Personally, I don't.
I totally agree with everything you said, however there are some topics where showing people what they can buy to help themselves with specific issues that they might not know about where showing products is a good thing.
For instance, my article about how to maintain and clean RV black water tanks is loaded with good content that helps people new to the RV lifestyle or even some with experience to find better ways to take care of a problem that can be very nasty and costly if mishandled.
I have written a few articles as experiments that are strictly sales oriented, and although they get readers, I have yet to sell one product from any of them.
So, to a large extent, what you are saying is true.
However, correctly handled and under the right circumstances, I think you can do both.
One thing I will say here is that although I think the formatting change for Amazon ads is good, I feel the ads are much too large.
Before they were too small, but now they really jam up some of the writing space. I'd like to see the team size them down a bit because they do look spammy.
I've been looking at the new capsules on my Hubs and I know what you mean. I'm finding that if I lose the blue background and add a description saying why I'm recommending that particular product, they look better. It makes it more obvious that I've chosen those products with care, too, which can only be a good thing in persuading the reader to buy.
I found with the old capsules that the description looked squashed and unattractive so if I added one, I had to keep it very short. Now I can include quite a story, and in some cases I'm moving some of my text from the text capsule into the Amazon capsule, and making it full-width.
I have had to cut down on the number of capsules in one or two of my more comparison-type Hubs, but as you said elsewhere - you just want people to go to Amazon, then they can buy whatever they darn well please. So while it's good to have a selection of products on the Hub, it's not a huge deal to lose one or two.
As you know, I rarely go back and edit old Hubs, but I think I'm going to do it in this case.
one of my best hubs is now undergoing a total overhaul too. I noticed that adding a grey or blue background in some cases makes it look better and in the other case normal white is fine. I think it depends on the area surrounding it too and personal preferences.
Adding a description makes it look good. Going ahead and making edits is a wise choice - one that everyone should get to soon.
Hi Marisa, long time no "see"....seems like I've been out of the loop for a bit, now just finding out about the Squidoo deal and the Amazon boost. I just checked my Amazon earnings and lol and behold I have been making some money the last few days! And I agree, this is worth going back through old hubs to check them and possibly edit. I've already done this a few times over the years but looks like it's time again!
Exciting new changes happening, I am getting excited again!
I agree that the new Amazon capsules are too big. They have thrown off the formatting of many of my hubs that have them. I do plan to go back and see what I can do to make them better, but the better option (for me) would be to have the size adjusted a bit.
In the meantime any one can link to zazzle by adding the links and pictures themselves
I agree a Zazzle capsule would be nice for our ex-Squidoo members, but I think we have to bear in mind the huge amount of work the HubPages team has on its hands right now. I'd say programming in a new capsule is the last thing on their minds right now!
A workaround is to use a text link to the product, and then use a full-size photo and put the link in the "source" box as well. That's two links, so that means you can have only one product in a Hub, but it's a start.
That's true, but don't you think some people might click the "Source" to go and have a look at the product?
It's a question of whether or not someone wants to have two links for two products or two links for one product, because a single Hub can only have two links to Zazzle.
Source URL just like some do with the Amazon when they use the photo capsule.
One of the big challenges with product links and links in general is that they are highly correlated with spam. It's really challenging to add more options like this when I feel like we have a lot more work to do to weed out spam. It's taken a number of years and our progress is steady at improving quality, but we still have a ways to go.
After we get through the big import, we have a number of quality related items to do!
Could this be dealt with by setting a limit for ALL product capsules combined, i.e. instead of saying "1 Amazon capsule per 50 words" you say "one Amazon, eBay or Zazzle capsule per 50 words?" That would keep everyone happy while not allowing the number of links to get out of control.
That's great idea Marisa, if hubpages follow...and definitely will keep everyone happy too
It is 50 words per product (amazon and ebay), but we aren't going to expand to include other shopping links for now. Product links are still a spam problem for us.
We would like to be completely open, but when we've done this, the spam far outpaces the good stuff. I think a lot of the product spam is done innocently, so we have to be really careful with the amount of rope we allow for the entire site.
Reducing spam is critical for the long term health of HubPages. I hope folks understand the critical tradeoff and what it means for the people that create really great Hubs. We don't always get it perfect, but the more tightly we control spammy elements, the better it is for high quality Hubbers.
I was wondering about that myself.
It would be great to have another option without having to worry about having articles looking spammy.
Cool! I wonder what those are. I guess we'll find out soon enough - can't wait
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