Bubblews: Thanks, But No Thanks

Screenshot from my profile on Bubblews.
Screenshot from my profile on Bubblews. | Source

Bubblews is a fairly new "content mill" type of web site. Writers publish their articles, and the site places ads on each one. Writers get paid for every single page view their article brings in, as well as every "like" and comment it gets.

I first found out about Bubblews here on Hubpages. I started noticing it in a few hubs that covered content mills and other similar "get paid for your writing" web sites. As a writer who values her time and takes pride in her work, I tended to turn up my nose and overlook it like it was just another ABC gum stuck to the pavement.

It finally caught my interest though, when I started seeing that people were writing entire Hubs just about Bubblews. It was getting rave reviews from writers who said it was a really nice side project to make some really easy and quick cash. The general consensus was that it was a lot of fun, too.

I finally got curious and decided to check the site out. I watched their (rather inspirational) promotional video, carefully combed through the terms and conditions, and skimmed some of the content posted by members. Finding no good reasons not to, I signed up and began testing the waters.

After four months of using the site, I can clearly see that it's not worth my time. I don't see it as a viable option for a freelance writer, and here's why.

Traffic Sources Are Limited

Bubblews is still a very new site. They've yet to build a solid reputation in the world of the internet, so they haven't established very good rankings on any of the major search engines yet. This means that when someone searches on Google or Bing (or whatever other search engine tickles their fancy), it's not very likely that the list of results includes an article published on Bubblews.

Since new readers aren't finding the site through search engine results, most of the traffic accumulated comes from within the site itself. It's kind of like all of the members are running around in circles, all of them clicking "like" and commenting on each others posts. But not many new people are entering that pool.

After a while, this becomes a problem for those writers because they start to see their page views (and their income) hit a plateau. Once they reach their full potential regarding popularity on the site, there's not much room for growth after that.

Quality Control is Lacking

One thing that I think Bubblews has working against it is their policy for quality of the articles that are published on the site. While there are some really great writers who publish there, the site is riddled with jibberish.

For example, you may be surfing the homepage trying to find something new to read or someone new to follow. You will likely run into something like this:

today was no good. the car is junk and we jus tryed with it but no lick. i wish i can see sam today their is nothing to do in the house wihout her. i mite see if ray can fix the car.

While it's unfortunate that there is some unknown problem with this writers car, and this post might prompt a few "good luck" responses from sympathetic readers, it's written badly and it makes little sense. This is not the kind of stuff most people want to read.

But more importantly, this is not the kind of stuff writers want their work mixed up with! When there are people posting horribly written stuff right next to yours, it brings down the credibility of your articles. The kind of reader you are targeting doesn't want to sort through eight of these posts before they get to something worth reading. They're going to go somewhere else.

Unfortunately, Bubblews doesn't have any kind of system in place that regulates the quality of what is published on the site. Anyone can pretty much publish anything as long as it is above 400 characters and doesn't contain stolen photos.

This is great for writers who want the freedom to write about whatever they want! But it's also a big problem because it attracts a lot of people who want to get away with writing at a fourth grade level.


What Should Succeed, Doesn't

I am shocked at the kind of articles that succeed on Bubblews. I started out writing the kind of articles that I've always known to do well. I'm used to writing stuff that takes careful thought and planning. Most of my articles need an outline, and research done on the topic before they are written and published. They've always done well, whether it be here on Hubpages or in a magazine, or even on my personal blog. So naturally, that's what I did when I tried out Bubblews.

Much to my surprise and dismay, they flopped. They received a few pageviews, but I found that most people didn't stay long enough to actually finish the article and leave a comment (which is what gets you the money). I couldn't figure out what I was doing wrong, so I did some research and started studying the writers who were actually popular on Bubblews.

Most of them seemed to be using the site as a sort of blogging platform, or an online journal of sorts. Instead of writing informing and accurate articles, they were sharing funny stories about what their dog did this morning and the fight they had with their spouse the other night.

This works for them because they are writing for the people who follow them. They are writing for the friends that they've made on the site who have taken an interest in their lives and enjoy keeping up with their updates. The problem with this, though, is that this stuff is not going to attract very many new readers. No one online is searching for your post titled: "I Got a New Puppy!!!!" and new readers aren't likely to take an interest in it if they do find it because they don't know you.

Have you tried Bubblews, too? I would love to know what you thought about it! Are you still using the site? Have you read much of what writers publish there? Let me know what you think!

I Don't Think It's Viable

I do admit that Bubblews can be kind of fun if I just want to make a few dollars off of a rant about my loud neighbors. But I have been writing for a while and I place a high value on my time. I feel that my efforts are much better spent elsewhere (like here on Hubpages). It's not worth it to me to spend the time and energy to write quality articles and have to fight through the sea of people who write badly there. Furthermore, I don't have the time to write a new article every two hours, and earn mere dollars from each of them. I would much rather stay where my articles will continue to bring in readers long after the two hour period that they will be featured on the home feed and in my followers' notification lists.

© 2014 Kristen Haynie

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14 comments

Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannieinabottle 2 years ago from Baltimore, MD

I think you hit the nail on the head! I tried Bubblews for a while, but I felt like I was in high school all over again. It is all about being part of the cool clique. You have to constantly read posts (some of which are just terrible), constantly posts comments, and basically kiss up to everyone on the site. I hated that no new traffic was coming in. I was also bored by reading those very posts you mentioned... it is sweet when someone gets a new puppy, but not something I want to bother reading on a regular basis.

I look at Bubblews as the Facebook of content writing. It is all about having lots of friends, and the grammar and spelling is terrible. Thanks, but no thanks for me, too!

On a side note, I've also heard numerous complaints about writers not getting paid on time or at all. Some of the people telling me this are actually quality writers I follow on other sites, so I can't imagine they are not following the rules. For that matter, I know people that break the rules on the site, yet they get paid. There is no sense to it. I got paid twice using the site, but I never counted on it. I consider myself lucky that I had no issues with payment.


mary615 profile image

mary615 2 years ago from Florida

OK, I'm a defender of Bubblews! I tried writing articles there like I wrote here on HP. That won't work. Connections (we call them Followers here) won't take the time to read a long article and comment. They like short articles.

It is a glorified Facebook for people who love to interact with others. As long as you have devoted connections who will read your work, you will make money.

There are a lot of Hubbers over there; some of high earners here are there. It is a fun relief from writing serious stuff that has to researched. I am afraid the site is going to be defeated by their own success, though.

I have never had problems getting paid. I still love HP, but Bubblews is a whole other concept.

I'll think of a great topic to write about and want to put it on HP, but unless I have to time to research, find photos, etc. I'll just throw it up on Bubblews and start making pennies right away.


Kristen Haynie profile image

Kristen Haynie 2 years ago from Modesto, CA Author

mary615,

That's the only thing I actually do like about it! It's a quick outlet for some smaller, off-my-usual-topic type posts. I just posted a few minutes ago about how happy I am to have found a new apartment. I couldn't have put that on here. I don't want it on Facebook because it's slightly too long for that platform. So, I put it on Bubblews. It will probably get a handful of likes and "I'm so happy for you" comments, but then it'll fall through the massive cracks and no one will ever look at it again.


spartucusjones profile image

spartucusjones 2 years ago from Parts Unknown

I have also tried Bubblews, but I totally agree with you Kristen. I just couldn't get into and justify spending my time there. Basically for the exact same reasons that you mentioned in your hub.

I know there are those that seem to do well with it and good for them. But I don't see Bubblews being in it for the long haul, and for me personally it wasn't worth my time.


Kristen Haynie profile image

Kristen Haynie 2 years ago from Modesto, CA Author

I really don't have the time to do so much socializing! I put my time into writing, which is most important for me. I am also constantly worried that I won't get paid. I have followed the rules but, based on what I've seen from other writers there, that doesn't mean they'll pay me. It's SO unstructured it almost gives me anxiety. Ugh!


Stephanie Henkel profile image

Stephanie Henkel 2 years ago from USA

I have tried Bubblews, and wrote a few short articles that got a few views. Because most articles are very short, I don't think that a longer article with a lot of good content has a chance for success, and it would be a waste of time and effort to post them there. It seems that no one ever goes back in time to read older posts, and these articles are not going to show up on a search engine. The views come immediately after posting, then die to zero. I much prefer HubPages where I get consistent traffic on my best hubs even after several years.

Some hubbers I follow post on Bubblews often, and I often read their articles, but mostly they are personal opinions or anecdotes. Fun, but not for a steady diet. To each his own...if you like writing the short bloggy articles and you're making money at it, go for it! :)


Meisjunk profile image

Meisjunk 2 years ago from Pennsylvania

Thanks for all the info: I was considering looking into other sites like HubPages, but I'll be crossing Bubblews off that list!


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

I didn't even try. I didn't consider it a serious site for serious writers. If a person wants to make quick money, babysitting is more productive and a sure bet.


cclitgirl profile image

cclitgirl 2 years ago from Western NC

This is great. I love your perspective. I never actually tried Bubblenews - despite all my hubs, blog posts - I couldn't bring myself to do it. I prefer HP to Squidoo, and even regular blogging. But that's me: it fits. Thanks for sharing your persepective. :)


John MacNab profile image

John MacNab 2 years ago from the banks of the St. Lawrence

cclitgirl says it all about Hubpages in two short words. 'It Fits'.


B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 2 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

I agree with the points made by mary615. I am new to Bubblews, with only a few posts so far. Besides seeing Bubblews as a "glorified Facebook", I'm finding that it functions for me much like the "morning pages" recommended by Julia Cameron in The Artist's Way. That is, it clears my head, so that I can focus on writing fiction and hubs. I have lots of ideas in my head. If I discover that an intriguing idea that has been on my mind can be expressed in one or two short to modest length paragraphs, then I'll post it to Bubblews; it's not suited to be developed into a hub. Then that isn't cluttering my mind when I turn my attention to a story or a hub article. That's my theory anyway. The question is whether the socializing time, the time liking and commenting on posts by others, will eat up too much of the time I need for my major writing projects. Of course the same goes for time I put into facebooking and into hubtivity. This hub is a helpful forewarning that maybe it isn't worth the time. I'll see if it is for me. Up, Useful, and Interesting.


rustedmemory profile image

rustedmemory 2 years ago from Lexington, KY

Hey wordypants,

The site is imploding, but I still use it for a small does of quick cash. Much of the thrill is gone due to errors and all of my connections bailing! You are much to proficient for that site anyways!

Cheers


Kristen Haynie profile image

Kristen Haynie 2 years ago from Modesto, CA Author

Hey thanks!

I do keep going back occasionally to earn a few quick bucks here and there when I need it. And then I get tired of it and quit for a few months. I'm currently on one of my "vacations" from the site. I've been hearing a lot about its downward spiral, though! I was really hoping it would improve and start being worthwhile.


kalinin1158 profile image

kalinin1158 23 months ago from California

Nice review! I wish I've read it before I joined Bubblews lol

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