Why I Quit Hubpages, but Had a Clean Break Up
Why I Quit Writing for Hubpages
Scroll back to the top of this page, and you will see two things that illuminate my point more than any word count could. First, is a cover image that is stunningly beautiful. This is one of my favorite photographs I've ever seen; it's the cover to my new website. It's a burning man portrait, which I love, and it's taken by one of my best friends. An anonymous Reddit peasant with no portfolio to his name but more talent than 1970 David Bowie has in his homo-erogenous pelvis took that photo; I love that it's an anonymous self expression, and that I am in on the secret.
Hubpages couldn't give two shits about that photo. That's not an inherently bad thing; there is some odd poetry in the meritocracy of SEO and all of that. But there is also an old truism about quantity and quality, or about "best" not meaning "beautiful."
Scroll back up, and you'll notice a second giveaway of this piece's drawn out thesis. The "Why I Quit Writing for Hubpages" subtitle at the top of this section is horrofically out of place; an archaetypical phallacy or phalic qrchaetype, in either case a break from artistry. The subtitle of this section is contrived and boring. It is there because Hubpages and other content mills want it there, and it's another slice of the reason why I quit writing for the content mill all together.
Hubpages Promotes Quantity, not Quality.
In a few subtle and explicit ways. First, there are the literal "quantity" requirements, where hubs are strongly encouraged to be in certain word lengths for SEO purposes. Hubs are scored on specific metrics, which all promote an articles SEO rating in one way or another. Again, this is not inherently a bad thing: learning about SEO is a good thing, and thinking about earning from your writing is a good thing.
But in a lot of ways, the strong emphasis of the content mill on predetermined metrics, and the strong encouragement of Hubpages to meet explicit numeric goals, is a bad thing. For example, look at the sentence before this one. It is long and complex, but it makes sense; it isn't a quantitatively beautiful gem, but it gets the job done. And SEO based writing doesn't see that, or doesn't give a shit. Art for art's sake becomes obscured under the power of the SEO gaze. This paragraph will be dinged considerably. Lord help me, I may hit a 60 or lower Hubscore. "Father, forgive me, for I have sinned," thy vengeful content mill gods, strike me down now! An SEO scroller doesn't look at what I've said; it can only detect what I've written. There is a human quality to writing that connects person to person, and that a machine can't value. By basing success on numeric and data driven metrics, which are machine friendly but not always a mirror held boldly to the art of writing's nuance, Hubscores and the rest promote a spartan value that isn't always an environment where craft and passion shine.
The Reward System is All Wrong.
The content mill doesn't just degrade art by promoting quantity over quality. There is a lack of positive reinforcement where art and writing are concerned too; if you pour your heart and soul into a hub, and feel it is some of your best work, it may not be recognized in any way. Such is the content mill's bitter blade.
Pyschologically, writing for Hubpages became somewhat damaging for me. It's hard to describe exactly, but I lost some passion for writing when I felt that my primary outlet, Hubpages, wasn't getting me anywhere. Part of the love for an art is in the pursuit of growth, and the platform of Hubpages critically stifled my belief that in, ivesting my heart and soul into my writing would pay off.
I good reward system should be based around encouraging artists to make their best art. In the end, I quit the content mill because I just wasn't enjoying writing anymore, and that's the last place I wanted to be as an aspiring writire.
The Content Mill Isn't All Bad
If I hated my time at Hubpages, I wouldn't have hung around for 50 hubs. I wouldn't have posted some of my favorite writing. This rant has been somewhat biting so far, but I should make it clear; I had a good time in the content mills for a while, and got some experience out of the trench warfare of SEO driven writing. Ultimately I left because I stopped learning. But there is plenty to be gained from doing some writing on a platform like Hubpages before jumping off into the deep end.
That being said, I left for a reason. I hope after reading this, you can piece together why. I don't feel like the content mill pushes me to write my best anymore, and I needed something new. You might not feel the same way, but you can empathize. I've just spent a few paragraphs explaining myself; you can get what I'm saying. If I had written this whole piece based on some SEO metrics, maybe you wouldn't. Maybe I wouldn't have conveyed my emotion as freely as I can when I write with my heart and not an SEO calculator, or maybe I wouldn't have cared as much. The point is, content mills don't value artistry, and I left because Hubpages made me feel more like a cog in a machine than an artist. That's all I'm saying, and that's why I left.
And just so Google doesn't throw me into the last page of the internet, here is a video of Jaden Smith wearing a dress.
Also, Based God can't rap, Drake will be irrelevant in five years, Kanye is an unparalleled artist, Nicki has a fake ass, and everything you listen to is shit. Fuck you, internet.