RedGage versus Bubblews – First Impressions
Bubblews is no longer the site it once was. Please treat this article as a historical document.
I've just published a new Hub giving my full history with Bubblews, reflecting both the highs and lows: "The Truth about Bubblews from a long-time Member".
Which site do you use?
First came RedGage
I joined RedGage on 29 October 2012 with two goals in mind:
1. Create backlinks to my Hubs
2. Earn a little extra money.
Learning my way around the site has been an interesting experience.
The first thing I learnt is that photos are popular on RedGage. That suited me fine because I’ve got thousands of photos idling on my computer that are perfectly acceptable for internet use but aren’t technically good enough to submit to the microstock sites I belong to.
RedGage pays you approximately $0.60 per thousand views. If you’re lucky enough to get one of your contributions featured, it will appear on the front page and you’ll get a few dollars bonus.
I’ve submitted 43 photos so far. Not surprisingly some of them have done better than others. I’ve yet to establish what makes a photo popular on RedGage. I’ve seen some featured photos that I’d be embarrassed to submit if they were mine. I’ve also seen wonderful photos that receive very little attention at all. I suspect the time of day you submit anything to RedGage may have an influence on its success. If people don’t notice something soon after it is posted, it can quickly fade into obscurity.
Links are a whole different story. I upload links to some of the more interesting articles I read online as well as links to some of my Hubs. I’ve also uploaded links to some of my awarded answers on WebAnswers.
An interesting experience involved one of my HubPages questions. I recently asked the question “Do you wear a wristwatch?” It generated a fair amount of interest early on. When I found interest at HubPages slowing down, I posted a link on RedGage. Surprisingly this post attracted more attention than anything else I've submitted to RedGage so far, including my photos, with over a hundred views in a very short time. But I confess to being very confused. The full post can be read from any page on which it is listed, so why open the post unless you want to follow the link to HubPages? But the question has received no extra activity on HubPages since I posted the RedGage link. In fact my Hubs haven’t received much traffic from RedGage either. So goal number one isn't really being accomplished. The links are out there, but nobody seems to care.
So what of goal number two? The pennies are trickling in. And I do mean trickling. At the current rate I should reach my first $25 payout late in 2014. I’m also concerned about whether I’ll actually receive my payment when I get there because RedGage have this strange system of sending their contributors prepaid credit cards. That’s fine for American contributors, but I’m in South Africa, so I’m not sure how satisfactory this system will prove for me.
There’s one further problem which all RedGage contributors seem to face. The site is very slow and unstable. When you hit a link, the site may or may not respond. There’s no guarantee you won’t have to upload an item two or three times before the upload is successful. Making and replying to comments is no easier.
I’m not giving up on RedGage just yet, but I can’t help feeling there must be better options out there.
- Making Money the Bubblews Way
After several months at Bubblews I have discovered that it is a legitimate money making site. Please read my new Hub to find out about the rules, tagging and more.
This week I read two Hubs about Bubblews. Both indicated that there was some money to be made there, so I decided to have a look.
Reading through their terms of service, two words bothered me. The license you grant them is perpetual and irrevocable. Clearly this is not a place you want to post your best work. None the less I decided to give it a try.
The first thing they don’t tell you is that there is a $1 bonus just for signing up. It took me over a month to make $1 on RedGage. I suppose they feel once you have money in your account, you won’t want to leave empty-handed.
Earnings definitely come more quickly on Bubblews. They offer a relatively generous 1c per view, plus a bonus of 1c per like or comment. So for each viewer who likes and comments on your post, you make 3c. If your posts are popular, the cents can turn into dollars quite quickly. The $25 payout (by Paypal) shouldn’t take too long to reach. Sadly what I’ve found is that you’ll get a few views within minutes of posting but interest dies down very quickly. Maybe I just haven’t posted items that Bubblews users are interested in!
Four of my five posts so far have been links to HubPages. So far I’ve encountered the same problem as I did on RedGage – the users don’t follow links. In two days I’ve had one reader following a link from Bubblews to one of my Hubs.
What’s even more disturbing is that a lot of Bubblews users seem totally disinterested in doing anything more than promoting their own posts. Your followers “connect” with you. I’ve received several messages on my profile saying “please connect back”. Bubblews regards this as abuse, as, in their own words, “why would you want to connect with someone if you are not interested in their posts?” Yet it happens all the time. I ask myself what happens if those members are banned. Will I lose the pennies their activity has contributed to my account? When I request payment will Bubblews suddenly decide I don’t have as much in my account as I think I have?
As a result of the popularity of my HubPages question on RedGage, I decided to link to it from Bubblews too. “Do you wear a wristwatch?” asked the heading. In my post I mentioned the discussion on HubPages and supplied a link. For the benefit of Bubblews members who don’t belong to HubPages, I added that they could answer the question right there in the Bubblews comments. So far I’ve had a few views and a few likes, and one very interesting comment to get the discussion going: “GOOD”. I doubt the person who wrote that comment even bothered to read the few lines I posted.
I also noticed shortly after I made my fourth post this morning that one user had hit like on all four of my posts within the space of one minute, obviously without reading them either. This is something else that Bubblews regards as abuse. But some of their users don’t seem to care.
So how does Bubblews do in terms of my goals? As far as creating backlinks to HubPages is concerned, it seems no better or worse than RedGage. When it comes to earning money, Bubblews looks like the easier option, though I’m unlikely to get rich there either. Yet I’ve read of people who are earning substantial amounts of money on both sites.
If you’re considering joining Bubblews, I’m not sure what advice to give you other than to follow the rules. My balance after two days is almost identical to what I’ve made at RedGage in nearly two months. That includes the bonus for joining, but if I submit as much as Bubblews allow me to (a maximum of ten posts per day) then the first $25 payout shouldn’t take too long to reach. My concern is the sustainability of a site on which so many people seem to be trying to cheat the system.
For now I’ll keep trying at both sites, but I’m reluctant to put too much time or effort into either. I just hope that in time they will drive some traffic back to HubPages.
On 24 December 12 I got my first featured photo. I received a nice bonus of just over $4 for Christmas. My photo stayed on the front page for six days, during which I saw a substantial increase in traffic. Since then traffic has returned to its normal level.
I really need to be more active on RedGage, then hopefully I'll be featured more often.
On 5 January 2013 someone signed up at Bubblews using my referral link. My reward? $0.01 for their first post. According to their referral page, the reward varies according to the time of day. So what would I receive at a good time? Two cents? Maybe five cents if I'm lucky?
As I update again on 16 January 2013, Bubblews are offering $0.25 for a referral's first post. A lot better than the $0.01 I got. Knowing my luck, by the time I get my next referral the reward will have gone back to $0.01, but that's insignificant unless I get enormous quantities of referrals. Far better to concentrate on contributing there and if I get any referral income, it's a bonus.
I've made over $10 so far with very little effort, so for now I'll keep on contributing there. But I won't be putting any effort into promoting the site. It's just not worth it!
Since my last update Bubblews have started putting a lot of effort into getting rid of spam and plagiarism. They recently imposed a minimum post length of 400 characters. Remarkably some people are complaining that this is too much. With the potential to earn $0.03 per view if someone likes and comments on your post, I don't think 400 characters is much at all.
6 March 2013: It's taken me a lot longer than some people, but I did eventually reach $25.00 and have received my payment without any problems. I'm nowhere near payout at RedGage yet despite having started there a lot earlier.