I always recommend Hubbers to write at several rev-sharing sites for two reasons: one, not to put all your eggs in one basket and two, so you can create an interconnected web of articles across the internet to increase your profile as a writer (which will do you far more good than a big body of work on one site).
Zujava is one of the sites I've consistently recommended. Unfortunately I've had to review that recommendation because they have introduced a raft of new rules which make it virtually useless for interconnecting.
Don't get me wrong, it's still a nice place to write, and will appeal to Hubbers who want a writerly community. I can think of some Hubbers who will love these features:
- Every writer has to submit three articles to a stringent approval process - it can take weeks to get approved because every application is personally vetted by a real person.
- Product reviews and other overtly commercial subjects are simply not allowed.
- Articles must be 400 words minimum with an extra 50 words for every Amazon product you advertise.
- Links in the text are not allowed unless they add value to the article. It's not enough for the link to be relevant, it must also provide additional information.
This last rule is very strict. To give you an example, I wrote an article on belly dance veils. I had a link in the text to a website selling belly dance veils. That was deemed not acceptable.
While I applaud Zujava's attempts to set very high standards, I'm a bit concerned they may shoot themselves in the foot with these very strict linking rules. A site like Zujava needs to build a lot of content, and the "no linking" rule means that professional internet writers are less likely to join, which limits the potential pool of writers.
Thanks for the heads up on that. I posted some "leaves" on Zujava expressly for the purpose of making backlinks. When I checked, my articles still had their links, so either they were deemed OK, or they are not applying this policy retroactively.
Have you visited your account lately? I visited mine to add a couple more leaves, and found I'd been put in the Petting Zu. I hadn't been notified of that fact.
If you're put in the Petting Zu, it means all your links in existing leaves become "no follow" and you can't publish any new leaves. You're given a link to an article setting out their standards (which omits some important rules, by the way), and told you can request a review once you've got your leaves up to scratch.
You're not given any specific reason for why you've failed, but after a few hours research I decided mine had failed because of:
- my links (one in each article)
- I had no credits on some of my photos (which were my own - but they require you to provide some kind of credit for every photo even if it's not legally required)
- one of them was too short for the new word count, which requires you to add an additional 50 words for every Amazon or eBay product you add.
I'm not sure if they are checking every existing account, or whether they're just doing random sweeps of existing accounts.
Marisa: I know you have had a hard time at Zujava.
Amazon; Select box for one product or group. The 50 extra words is not per product it is per box.
Product reviews are allowed.
Text links, for instance to a product for personal Amazon affiliate account is allowed. They stopped the use of Vigilink on the site. They won't allow Text links for Ebay. Although they have the capsule for Ebay, it does not earn you anything because they have no affiliate account with Ebay.
You have to go to the Forums to find out what is going on otherwise you don't know.
View counts are way off. I also think that their is some favoritism going on. There is no way that some of these people are earning what they are claiming, while the rest of us earn pennies if anything, and it is always the same people. It is the same people who claim to be earning big with Amazon. Bill says he earned $3000 in December from Amazon.
I wrote a hub about Zujava. Needless to say, it has been deleted. I am slowing removing my articles from there and moving them to my blogs.
The site has so many bugs, yet they are locking leaves, changing rules, etc. If Zujava does not have an affiliate account, say with Viglink or Ebay, they don't want you to earn anything. Nope! I think the only ones making anything is those who were there in the beginning. The rest of us writing like crazy, get nothing. Something is not right.
I didn't feel I had a hard time, I just got a bit frustrated at trying to find the right information.
The bottom line for me is that I wasn't allowed to link to my own websites, even if they are related. Without that, I don't see any point in having articles there, so I've deleted them. For me, rev-sharing sites are only worth it because of the double whammy - backlinks AND revenue combined.
On most sites, it would be fine for me to link to my belly dance site in an article about belly dance, or to my flamenco site in an article on flamenco. Not so on Zujava - the link has to "add value", not just be a "gratuitous link". Being related isn't enough.
Once I got a reply from Bill telling me that, for instance, my link to a site selling belly dance veils wasn't acceptable in a Zujava article about belly dance veils, all my other questions became irrelevant!
That actually makes me want to write there
Marisa, Thank you for all of the helpful information. Although I appreciate that Zujava very clearly spells out what they will accept and what they will not, it sounds like they are a little too strict and make it tough on the writers to publish anything there. I wish more writing sites could be more clear on what is acceptable and what is not so we don't waste all of our time writing only to find out that someone doesn't approve of what we did at a later date. I would be frustrated too if I were in your shoes.
My problem was that I joined early, when the rules were very similar to early HubPages. I wrote several "leaves" and had them approved and published no problem. I then didn't visit the site for several months and when I finally returned, I found that all my leaves had been marked "No Follow" and would remain so until I fixed them and requested a review.
After a morning's exhaustive research, I found that many rules had changed, and that they were not all stated clearly all in one place. Which is why I've summarised the key rules here, for others who may have missed them.
I don't have a problem with Zujava setting high standards and like I said, I can imagine the site will appeal to some Hubbers precisely because they are so strict. For me, their rules about linking make the site useless for my purposes, and I think that particular rule is way over the top, but it may still work for others.
One of the issues is those extra words. You find one spot that says 50, another that says 100. So, when new writers look something up, they may very well be finding old information, and rules changed since then. Rules don't apply across the board either. There is an elite group there, and those are the ones from the beginning. The rest, well if anybody knows Factoidz which is now Knoji, I see Zujava doing the same thing.
The rules constantly change. I saw a limit on links for those with under 10 leaves, once they created 10 leaves, then they are allowed to do something like 10 links in their leaves, including links including links, in their leaf, to an article regarding Pinterest which Zujava is now part of and pushing. Writers are allowed to use text links for their personal Amazon account, to their blogs etc.
You say "writers are allowed to use text links to their blogs etc". Well, yes you can, but only in very narrow circumstances according to Bill (the site owner).
Personally I felt it would be too difficult trying to second-guess what links would be acceptable. If a link to a page about belly dance veils isn't acceptable in a leaf about belly dance veils, what is? The problem was that the page was a sales page, not an article -but those are the pages I want to promote.
I suspect a lot of writers still have leaves containing those links, because they were published and approved before the Petting Zu was introduced and they haven't been retrospectively reviewed.
"Petting Zu" and "leaves?" What's with the hokey terminology? Why do so many writing sites think writers want cheesy gimmicks?
Yeah really. I always thought "hubs" and "hubbers" was pretty cheesy, but Wizzly has "wizzles" for pages and "wizzography" for a wizzles that are autobiographical. In all the time that German guy Cheef keem was developing his site, why did no one tell him that "wizz" is American slang for pee? I'm starting a site called Jizzley.
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