In order to extract all moneys owing by Squidoo, lensmasters had to agree to transfer their lenses to HubPages where they became new Hubs with a grace period of 4 months to lick into shape.
It's reasonable to assume - because people said so at the time - that some people transferred their sites purely to pick up their cash owing and with absolutely no intention of staying on HubPages.
I know that the enforced move also made many people think about the wisdom of depending on very large article sites. For those with well developed niche interests the main topic of discussion in other places has been whether developing their own sites might be a much better idea in the long run.
Having arrived at HubPages, site owners have now had some experience of life at HubPages, the changes in traffic - due in no small part to the Panda Update and the change in servers.
So the BIG questions are
(1) Are people now planning to move on? Has it happened already or is it too early to make that decision?
(2) Following final payments by Squidoo, will we now see a major exit of hubs from HubPages to new sites elsewhere? Or is it more likely that people will wait and then drift away slowly as and when they develop other sites?
So this is an open discussion - primarily for ex-lensmasters - as to their future intentions and the pros and cons of future plans. I realise that many ex lensmaster hubbers may be reluctant to comment - however that hasn't stopped people doing so in the past.
If people are moving on - are you moving some (or all) content to:
* your own existing sites:
* your own newly developed sites
* other similar article based sites where you believe your content might perform better?
If you are staying - is this for the foreseeable future, "for now" or until you find a better place for your content?
What's important to you? What factor(s) will mean you:
* move content on from HubPages?
* take some or all your content off Hubpages?
* make you stay and keep your content at HubPages?
Lastly, what changes might make you more keen on HubPages?
Feel free to discuss as much as you feel comfortable discussing in an open forum.
In the past, I've been a strong advocate for starting your own website. I used to say, if you have worked out a good niche that you are passionate about, never waste your material on a writing site - start your own site, because it will always do better in the long run.
I'm not so sure now. Not because your own site isn't better in many ways:
1. It is far, far, far less susceptible to plagiarism (HubPages is a magnet for plagiarisers, you can even buy software specially to scrape HP content);
2. It can get just as much if not more traffic;
3. It is more stable (less likely to be buffetet by Pandas, Penguins and other marauding animals);
4. There is no risk the site will close and leave you marooned (assuming you choose the right platform).
However, the snag is that unless you are willing to learn a whole new skill, your website could earn far less than your Hubs. There is a real knack to making money from a blog (Adsense and even affiliate ads aren't enough), whereas HubPages does most of that work for you.
I've learned this by helping a few Hubbers to set up their websites (something I do for a living) and discovered that some writers either don't want to learn that new skill or it's not something that suits them.
'In the past, I've been a strong advocate for starting your own website. I used to say, if you have worked out a good niche that you are passionate about, never waste your material on a writing site - start your own site, because it will always do better in the long run.
I'm not so sure now."
Wow! Interesting Marisa. I've been hanging around here for three years twiddling my thumbs waiting for the chips to fall where they may. I am still no closer to understanding how to successfully write on Hub Pages (not that I tried). I just plod along publishing poetry, hoping one day I will write something that is of interest to millions of people all on the same day lol.
I fear you'll be waiting a long time.
Poetry does not do well on the internet, anywhere. The problem is, your poetry might well be of interest to millions of people if they could find it - but they don't know it exists, and never will unless you're willing to learn how to attract them.
There are not millions of people browsing around HubPages or any other writing sites. Millions of people do visit Hubpages, but they come from the search engines to read a specific Hub, and then they'll browse around other Hubs on the same topic. So very few people are going to stumble across your poetry by accident.
If people want to read poetry, they will search for poetry - but just try doing that, and see how many HubPages poems come up. The first several pages are mainly poetry sites, so does that tell you where you should be writing if you want readership? The trouble is, of course, that most poetry sites don't pay.
One or two poets on HubPages do say they get traffic, although I don't know how many readers that translates to. They do it by enhancing their poems with extra text and images, or creating "anthology" Hubs - i.e. several poems on the same subject in a single Hub. Both options create longer Hubs with more keywords, thereby increasing the chances of being noticed by Google.
I have six poetry Hubs where I publish my poems and my traffic to them over the past year exceeds 160,000 page views. One of those Hubs is just a single poem.
You have to use good SEO for your poetry Hubs, just like you do for any other Hub, if you want traffic from search engines.
Snakeslane - are you an ex Squidoo lensmaster?
The reason I'm asking is that I guess there are any number of threads within HubPages about how to get traffic and whether HubPages is the right place to be for people with different interests.
It's just that this was supposed to be about helping ex-Squidoo people with thoughts about moving on or not.
Not that the comments aren't relevant - it's just I'd like to try if possible keep the thread focused on the audience for whom it was started. That's why it's in the Squidoo Forum!
I have fixed about 350 Squbs since the move. However I will be moving at least that many off the site in the next few months. I'm loading my own site. Since it's pretty niche I can't move about 30% of my pages for a while so I just fluffed them up to hang out til I can get to them.
Hubpages is not very affiliate friendly and no point building more here since that's how I earn a living.
I understand where Squids are / were coming from and they had to go with it to collect their money.
And now, especially with Panda / Penguin / whatever, it may be time for decisions.
As an indigenous Hubber can I add my view on the subject of moving on?
My feeling is that pages that do not work on here - do not work. There is no point in them remaining - unless you believe something will change. I have the 'benefit' of seeing little to no change for years.
I am taking the content I believe in, and that does not get traffic to my own site. The rubbish will be deleted. And those pages that get some traffic will remain.
That's a helpful comment. Not every topic works on every site - very, very true.
The question for me is when will we see a settled traffic pattern on which to base future decision-making.
That is a tough question. My traffic has remained fairly stable for months - even with the recent changes. The problem is - it shouldn't. I have endlessly tweaked and improved my pages - but for no change at all.
A lot of effort just to tread water!
Yet some people are doing OK so it is such a personal decision. Knowing your pages, your readers, your searches - all that stuff. Sorry to go on. No answers.
I don't mind small steady returns for pages which remain pretty much the same year after year with occasional tweaks for new content emerging.
However a lot of people were very frustrated by the constant change at squidoo for very little return. I think I'm safe in saying nobody ever wants to go through that constant 'hoop jumping' exercise ever again.
I'm happy to put in the effort to create new sites but it has to be for content which I believe can do well on a perennial basis on a dedicated niche site.
I was careful to download all my stats from squidoo. I have the evidence going back to 2006 of what can do well (leaving aside the very odd period re stats) and I shall be using that to inform future decision-making - alongside the evidence of how well it does at HubPages
Re hoop jumping. When the four month grace period is up might be a good time to assess.
I think those that never intended staying will be gone well before the end of the 4 month period.
Many more are accumulating the information they need about typical performance on Hubpages after fixing lens/hubs for the HubPages regime.
Remember the grace period finishes once a hub is edited - so LOTS of ex lenses are already out of the four month grace period - and people are already making observations about both traffic and earnings.
The interesting issue is for the BIG topics that might stay and might go - and I've got some that come into that category.
Is is better to spend time fixing up your Hub on HubPages or spend time creating a new site exactly the way you want it on a completely different site? I've got my domain names booked and paid for, but I haven't yet moved content - or made the decision to do so.
I don't think I'm alone in pondering on this issue.
My situation is a little different than many so my comments might not be weighted the same. The last few months of Squidoo were terrible for me even though my account had really started to take off by last autumn. I won't rehash the details as it's hashed and rehashed enough already.
I do have two websites and a couple of blogs run off my own domains. While their are advantages to doing something on your own, having control over it, and owning it, it has its disadvantages as well. First off, there is no one to lean on when you are the webmaster. Screwed up HTML? You've got to figure it out yourself. When your website or blogs are hacked you're the one who has to go through and remove all the bad pages and code. So, the freedom you gain is balanced by the headaches that come along with it.
I have articles that would not fit any of my current sites/blogs. So, I would have to decide if starting something new is worth the time and effort. I'd have to build the site, content and get the traffic. It takes time to build traffic to a new blog or website. So, I'd have to decide is it better to build traffic through hubpages or start new with another site? It's a six of one half a dozen of another thing. It will take time to build traffic on hubpages, too. But, at least my hubs are already getting some traffic regardless of what I do.
So, I plan to stay on Hubpages and run my websites/blogs. It means putting more effort into HP than I was on the other site the last 6 months. That really will be my challenge. But, I'm already writing more than I have in a year and that is half the battle (for me anyway)
I understand why people would want to go out on their own. I already have a taste of that. I guess what I need is a less hassled environment for half of my writing world where someone else figures out the technical problems when they arise. It's awesome to have control over my own content on my own sites. However, I've learned running my own sites isn't always unicorns and rainbows. (I'm still cleaning up leftover presents the hacker left me on one website last year)
I've taken a few of my pages and moved them to my blog. I plan on leaving the rest here mainly because or the URL redirect. I want my pages to be found by those looking for them. I'm still getting traffic but I did make more at Squidoo. My priority with my pages isn't so much money as helping people. As long as they are still able to be viewed, I am content and staying.
One of the things I've been pondering on is how to get the right balance so as to keep the redirect without being accused of feeding another site - which I gather is against the rules
There again - are those redirects going to die off with age anyway?
It's a misconception that it's against the rules to "feed" another site. It's just against the rules to do so to excess.
So, for instance, you'll find that every single one of my dance Hubs has one or two links to my dance blogs, and that is perfectly "legal".
IMO it would be a very good strategy, if you feel it's time to move to your own site, to leave a strategic number of Hubs published to drive traffic to your new blog.
I am an ex squid and I will say from the start that I would find building my own site a huge challenge. I dabble on google blog and weebly but I really don't understand all the machinations required to be my own webmaster. And the thought of being hacked scares me silly.
I definitely made more money on squidoo and when we were first moved over to Hub I was quite encouraged by the daily stats showing what I was earning and the upward trend. I also like the very friendly Hub interface and have enthusiastically updated all my hubs ( well not quite, I have 4 to go) It has taken over two months to get this completed so not a simple task and I feel for my fellow ex squids who have 100's of lens to turn into hubs.
Where I became despondent was the sudden downtick all my hubs took in traffic and earnings when the whole google panda thing happened. Almost no amazon or ebay and less than half the earnings. I understand that google and hubpages want high quality material and have to protect their image but it was tough to take literally two weeks into the squid hub conversion.
For my part I will battle on, the earnings have stabilized and are rising again slowly so both hub and google must approve of the changes I have made. I am here to stay but I would have liked a friendlier welcome.....
The risk of being hacked is way overstated, but I totally understand your anxiety about "being your own webmaster". Others will tell you it's not that hard - but they are usually people with a more technical frame of mind. For some people, it's just all too hard. That doesn't mean you're stupid, just that it doesn't suit your style of thinking.
If you struggle just to get a blog set up on Blogger or Weebly, then you would certainly struggle with the skills required to make money on them, so frankly I wouldn't advise trying.
What is your goal in writing online? If you need to make a genuine contribution to your income, then frankly I'd say, forget about writing and start looking for other options. Three or four years ago you could make a good income on writing sites but it's very, very rare to do that these days - the internet has changed too much. If it's a hobby, then it's just a case of adjusting to the fact that the income is going to be lower than it used to be.
Ex Squid too and I am delighted to be here on Hubpages where I only dabbled previously. I am treating it as a chance to develop my writing and now that I am a Hubber (newbie) its good to be part of community who enjoy writing and improving their craft. I'm staying for sure.
Thanks for the input Marisa, you have confirmed what I myself believe. Fortunately it is simply a hobby for me with no real need to contribute to my income. My goal is to try to get to the $50 each month to provide some pocket money but not much beyond that.
No, the real hubris for me is presenting worthwhile information on the internet that I find personally interesting and that real people will read and benefit from. I have a steady readership and if I can build on that even if there is no concurring increase in earnings, then it will be worthwhile. Not that I am totally altruistic, if the income goes up as well then all to the good. The worse thing for me is loads of hubs that nobody reads. I consider myself sufficiently knowledgeable to avoid that. Certainly enough to continue with the renewed interest that Hubpages has brought to me.
Happy hubbing as they say !!
To be honest, I'm not really sure yet what I'm going to do. I'm feeling too burned out from all the changes and downturns on basically every website I've written content for this year - save my own two blogs.
I still haven't dealt with republishing all of my old Yahoo articles. I still have content to move off Zujava. I got about 3/4ths of the way through working on my imported lenses here before I just started feeling totally burned out and wondering if it was even worth bothering. The Bubblews bubble has burst. My monthly income overall from writing is down to about 10-15% of what it was last year at this time.
So despite the upcoming holidays I'm giving myself permission to just "let it go" for now. Maybe I'll finish fixing up my holiday pages and just play it out. But really I'm thinking it's time to get back to some of the creative endeavors I used to enjoy and have put on the backburner too long while chasing the faster money of online content writing. Instead of writing about painting and art, for instance, I think it's time in the new year I get back to actually creating it myself.
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