... But on the other hand I am keenly reminded of Kipling's blind man and the elephant. Have I seized hold of a tail, or grasped the elephant?
Last August, upon returning to Hubpages after a long and lucrative hiatus, I asked myself, "Self, how does one decide which articles to post here, which there, so one can build up an income stream with eggs in multiple baskets?" Self replied that one obviously needs to figure out which kinds of things each site pays for, and then figure out which of those factors are unique to each site.
After close examination, i found that one gets paid directly for impressions and ad clicks on Hubpages, directly for Amazon and affiliate sales on Squidoo (which has fewer restrictions on using your own HTML and affiliate links) and indirectly, user interaction gets rewarded on Squidoo.
Aha! Says self. All those informational, thoughtful articles you write that don't make sales and don't get clickouts, but DO get readers? Hubpages. Put interactive articles on the Squid.
So I've been burbling along, but so far I keep writing Hubs on things that interest me and get a max of 20-50 visits a week, with a few outliers reaching 100. That's not a fair test. Those articles don't make much anywhere, although the pennies start adding up if you've written enough of them. Good content, bad ROI.
Finally, one of my hubs went viral this weekend and started picking up real traffic. I still don't exactly "count" it until it arrives in my Paypal account, but it made enough money over the course of a few days to top the monthly payout that a lens with comparable traffic and impressions would probably get on Squidoo. (Now the question is, does that hub continue to pull high traffic long-term, or will it drop back to 20-50 a day?) Hubpages is the clear winner for pages with good traffic but which tend to attract passive readers who absorb, then leave.
I see a lot of articles on how this or that site is best, but usually the advice seems to be based more on ease of use than income. Apart from Relache, Janet, and Christene, I don't see many written by people who have really learned how to use multiple sites so well that functionality isn't an issue -- the issue is earnings. I still haven't cracked the code myself, because one can't often create content that goes viral. But I would love to learn from people who use multiple sites successfully -- longterm, with either traffic or earnings -- who know which unique factors tend to earn best on each site. Not just Hubages and Squidoo, but Wizzley, Infobarrel and others.
I agree about Hubpages providing good revenue if you have lots of views (I have an article which gets plenty of hits but before the ad program, earned almost nothing).
Never had much luck with Bukisa/Infobarrel.
Just heard about Zujava, too.
I don't know what's wrong with me! I can't seem to write for another site...not counting my blogs at all. Is something wrong with my brain? I write articles and say, "I am going to submit this to another site", and then end up posting them here. I need to break free of HP an post elsewhere too...lol
If a bunch of people said they were getting awesome traffic at Wizzley, Squidoo, or any of the other content sites, I'd be posting there, too. I see no evidence posting on those sites gives articles advantages over articles posted on HubPages, at least where Google is concerned.
I get solid traffic on Squidoo, but that's partly just because I've learned how to maximize it. It lets us use section subheaders, image alt-names, our own image filenames, more cross-links to related content and more links out to related content. Google counts all those things in its algorithm when trying to calculate relevance to a topic, and I take full advantage of them. Also, for whatever reason, Squidoo has so far not been touched by Panda.
But each site has its advantages and disadvantages, and once you've built up a presence on one, you WILL start to get traffic, so that starting over on any other site is like pushing a very large boulder uphill.
The thing I like best about Hubpages is the clean, professional-looking interface. It looks so much better for real writing, whether it's creative writing, op-eds, or informational pages. No ugly banner ads at the top. "Above-the-fold" is dedicated as much as possible to our CONTENT, not extraneous garbage. Not too much advertising. A restrained, simple header that doesn't jump out and attack readers' eyes like a pipe cleaner dipped in salsa. Of course, many of those things I hate actually earn revenue, but it's always a trade-off between professionalism (the best-looking webpage would have no ads at all and an aesthetic like the New Yorker) and the need to monetize.
I keep meaning to try Wizzley next, but right now, I'm still learning Hubpages. I'm just beginning to get that boulder rolling over the other side of the hill.
I wish I could clone myself and experiment on each website until I "get it". They ALL work, more or less, but each has their own strengths. I want to master Hubpages and at least one more, because you never know which site Google will hit next.
Now I'm a little embarrassed about starting this thread. I started to just post a "whee! I got traffic!" thread and then had to go all pedantic soapboxy. I don't know which is more annoying!
And Cardisa: I know just what you mean about writing on the site where you're established.
I was waffling over a Tolkien article yesterday that's cadging off the upcoming Hobbit films. If I wrote it on Hubpages, it would look pretty and get paid for impressions from visitors who just want to read what I have to say. If I wrote it on Squidoo, it might not get as much ad revenue, but I could illustrate it with embedded Amazon Associates image links using Hobbit posters and movie tie-ins, some of which might get sales. Decisions, decisions!
I have a handful of hubs that get the traffic but many do not. I count on them to get readers on my page to see the others.
You raise an interesting issue and some great points with your intelligent analysis, Greekgeek, and it is something that I am exploring myself - trying to channel my output between HubPages, Wizzley, Squidoo and my own independent sites!
I tried using Squidoo a few years back. Even today I have only ever received 1 page view!
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