Hubpages vs Yahoo vs RedGage
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.