Here is the latest and greatest from BillyBuc. Today is his 3 year anniversary on HubPages. If you don't know Bill, here's a little about him:
2012 Most Helpful Hubber and Most Beautiful Hub
2013 Best All-Around Hubber
2014 Best All-Around Hubber and Most Supportive Hubber
With that being said, HP staffers need to read his latest hub. Maybe this constructive criticism will help build a better community.
http://billybuc.hubpages.com/hub/HubPag … ifications
wow, he is a pioneer and faithful writer at hubapages, is he a moderator?
I just read his letter and I think he speaks for everyone on Hubpages. I doubt the staff will take any notice though.
I don't know how many active writers there are on HP, but everyday some of them have anniversaries. If there were 25,000 active writers (wild guess) and each was to receive a personalized anniversary message, then every day HP staff would have to write about 70 such messages. That's a lot. In this instance, I can't fault HP for sending something automated and impersonal.
Thanks for the comments here (and on Bill's Hub), for the support and also for the honest feedback. It's true that we are a small team doing our best with a big community, however, it's also true that some of our emails could use an update! The last thing we want is for writers to feel hurt, offended, or slighted on their Hubiversary, of all days. I've left myself a note to look over and improve some of these old emails when I have the time.
@Christy Kirwan, I wish there was a "like" button on comments, I would have given you one! Thanks for your understanding and your plan to look over the emails for anniversaries.
Christy Kirwan, see how you are.
Sweet is sweet! Thank you!
Christy, thanks for commenting and letting everyone know the staff cares.
I read the hub and simply want to comment in response to a part of it that I feel some may not realize. Christy is the community manager, just as Simone was before her, and Maddie before Simone. The reason we hear more from her (as we did with Simone and Maddie) is because that's her position. I'm sure she speaks on behalf of the HP staff when she responds to specific issues. We don't hear as much from other staff members because that's not their position. With such a streamlined staff, they each have their own function just like any business.
So thanks Christy and HQ for addressing this issue in the forums. I'm happy just to get an anniversary letter to remind myself how long I've been here.
I am glad you mentioned Christy Kirwan's position and speaking as a representative of the staff. I read a forum post where she sent a heartfelt message to a hubber who asked for prayers and support. Christy really does care and communicates with hubbers often, giving support and help where needed in the forums. As a community manager she does her job well and includes the personal touch that makes her exceptional for one in her position.
Thank you, Christy.
Good for him for saying what a lot of us have been thinking!
While I agree that they could possibly communicate better I think on the whole this site is doing the right things - they are certainly doing better than many other sites out there...
We can all complain about HP and say that their rules are wrong with regards to Amazon, and links and everything else ... BUT ... They are reflecting what Google wants to see... These rules are driven by the expectations of Google not some perverse need to punish writers on the part of the staff of HP. It does not matter how you look at it; if you want traffic and earnings you HAVE to satisfy Google.
So would people prefer that HP ignores what works best for gaining traffic from Google and just let people do what they want remembering that the site can only be as strong as it's weakest pages?
It seems to me that a lot of people seem to think that just because something worked 3-4 years ago and because they are still seeing the same tired advice being written in all of the "guru's" pages that somehow HP is cheating us all and doing it all wrong.
If people don't get traffic it is not the fault of HP. Yes you can likely get better ranked with your own sites but then you will not have the same support and tools that you have here. HP is a good platform to write on and to learn the ropes.
Just being a good writer is not enough online, I certainly do not think of myself as a good writer; in fact as a student I was one of those that got stuck with extra remedial English language lessons as my writing was so damn poor. But I do make payout every month and I have done so for a very long time.
People do not come online to find good writing; in fact often quite the opposite! Most people come online to find Porn, to buy something, to get an answer to a question, for entertainment and to find even more porn, and socialize. This site is not a porn site, it is not a retailer (Google would rather send searchers direct to Amazon), it is not a social network and it is not a source for entertainment like sites like 9gag are. So what is left? This site is for answering questions - What is .....?, How do I ...? What happens if ....?, What can I do in ....? and so on.
If you do not write about what people are looking for then you get no traffic. If there are specialist niche sites that are respected that write about what you want to write about they will get the traffic not you. Just because you are good writer and know how to do your punctuation and make witty comments you will not draw traffic from Google.
HP is a crowd sourced writing platform which is free to use and for which there is only limited moderation. Can you really trust what you read on here from every author? This is the problem that Google sees with "content farms" and why the game has changed so much over the years. It is also why HP is doing so much to moderate content, hide (unfeature) anything that Google may have a ? mark over and to bring in editing and fact checking. IF they can convince Google that the content on this site is quality and not solely aimed at just harvesting revenue generating keywords then just maybe this site will have a good future - so far when you compare the success of this site over it's competitors it appears to be winning!
Whoops - got carried away..... off to the bar and the disco for a wild and crazy Saturday night of debauchery... (All funded by my earnings from HP)..
I agree with you LeanMan. To earn money, you have to write the type of hubs that searchers search for, and their needs are satisfied once they find your hub.
The anniversary letter is something they tried to do to be nice. All you have to do to earn the letter is to have signed up that many years ago. That's it. I doubt you even have to write a single hub. I agree that the letter could be spruced up.
Telling us what gift that anniversary is is off-putting since they are not giving us a gift, and directing us to stellar hubs does have an implication that we don't know how to do it. I have a feeling that whoever wrote that script probably wrote it when the stellar hubs idea just came out so they just wanted to make people aware of it, but now, it seems off-putting.
I doubt that the intention was to criticize the Hubber. The letter needs to be revised. I think HubPages has better things to do with their time than to craft personal letters for each person for each anniversary. I would prefer they do what they can to make the site better and make me more money.
@LeanMan, have you read any of billybuc's Hubs? If you did, you would see that they can't be compared to your comment of "the same tired advice..." For that matter, there are others here, who use SEO, and everything they can find to make a few cents. I think you need to re-think your criticism of someone who has made money for HP for over 3 years. And remember the old poem..
" First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me."
billybuc is speaking for many, even you and eventually, on HP there may be no one left to speak for anyone.
Hi Nancy Hardin; the "tired advice" comment was aimed at the sites and people that tell you how to write online not at Billybuc..
He is a very good writer, far better than I am. Unfortunately being a good writer is not enough if you don't write what people are actually searching for.
Consider how many copies of the classics will have been bought by people this last year to be read compared to Harry Potter or the Twilight saga.
Quality of writing unfortunately is not what counts if you want to generate traffic and earn money.
What you write on HP needs to be aimed at the platform and the audience that it receives if you want success. Would you write a recipe for a magazine that was about political activism?
There are many things that HP could do better with regards to communication etc as I agreed, but the writers here also have to understand that it is a business that is aiming at getting traffic from the search engines and that means doing what Google wants.
Lack of traffic is not down to the site; it is down to the understanding of the individual writers if traffic is their aim.
Leanman, I'm so glad someone is sticking up for HP. I read Billybuc's hub when he first wrote it and thought that it was one of the most selfish hubs I've ever read. It was just me, me, me. HP is a business. It is not run solely for his benefit. I'm sorry that he is not making payout. Neither am I, but I don't blame HP. I blame Google. Google has declared war on content farms. They want to put them out of business. My traffic from Google is virtually non-existent. That's Google's doing. It's not a fault of HP. Billybuc and his ilk should stop whining and start helping HP to regain its standing with Google.
Maybe someone needs to defend HP just a little
Some years ago- perhaps the summer of 2010 or was it 2011 HP sent Simone over to the good old United Kingdom and what a lovely lady she was.
We were invited to meet her in London and we did and she was lovely- there were just 2 of us, me and CMHypno - I guess it was a date that did not fit with other peoples diaries- I am not condemning people for non attendance cos if circumstances had been slightly different I could not have gone. What I would say is that HP made the effort and they didn't get a lot of support- which was disappointing. Contrast this to Bubblews who don't even pay and I think they are great.
I would love to meet some of the HP staff. It must have been very useful for you Case1worker. I support HP 100%, I value the time they spend reading my hubs and scoring them, without this I wouldn't know if my writing was any good or not.
Glad some of you can see only the good in HP. I love HP's platform, and I do think they try on many levels to be the best platform they can be. However, I think some also miss the point.
In defense of Bill, he's been one of the top guys here at HP. For them to send him a crappy automated anniversary email directing him to one of their blogs on "how to write stellar hubs" is just not kosher (in my opinion or the opinions of many). After all, Bill wouldn't be one of the top guys if he didn't already write stellar hubs. Instead, HP should have been more thoughtful - maybe write a personal note to one of the guys who has helped keep HP afloat.
On another note, I do agree that we writers need to write thought provoking articles to attract readers. Thus, we should stick to Google rules in doing so. However, we are encouraged to write stellar hubs with payouts that are less than what they were originally. Also, some hubbers use to receive bonuses because they did attract so many readers. Those bonuses have been done away with for all that received them. Yet, HP is still getting paid a nice fee from all the advertisement they are doing. Their site wouldn't be alive if it weren't for us writers.
I do think HP's platform could be better, and this is why I wanted to direct HP staffers to Bill's hub. I don't think he will be leaving HP. Nor will I. But, it takes team effort to build a great place.
I will say that I do receive an anniversary email each year (8th yr, coming up; 15.6 million views right now and monthly payout, for which I am glad) and I have never received a "Stellar Hub" directional link in the congratulation, but then, I was here when we began the Stellar Hub program and jumped on board. I might get the link in 2015
I think the link is just a reminder and a promotional link for HP writing in an atmosphere of Continuous Improvement that increasingly has taken root in business.
I think HP is always improving, with some glitches and some things that don't work - but that happens with most major companies, I think.
Thanks for reading.
I have to agree with Patty.
Each year's anniversary letter includes a little factoid and a link to encourage you to keep writing new content. That's pretty standard for any of the writing sites I've been involved with. If a person chooses to be insulted by that action, that's their choice.
914 Hubs and not making a payout means if you don't like that, you need to do something differently.
I had my eight year anniversary in July 2014. I'm almost at 12 million pageviews. I never had more than 200 Hubs published, and it's even less than that now, and I've only ever not made payout about a half dozen times overall.
Everyone's experience here is what they themselves make of it, because with just about fifteen staff, there aren't actually enough people with enough minutes in the day to devote to being out to get you.
relache, "small staff" was one of the excuses we got at Squidoo, too. Just sayin'..........
I was saying that people who think HubPages is out to get them are just tripping because with a small staff, they don't have time to devote to "getting" single users.
After spending the last eight years writing (profitably) on Squidoo, I don't actually know what you're "just sayin'..."
Every time there was a problem at Squidoo, it was blamed on "limited staff," or "small staff." Or did you never encounter any problems there, relache? If you didn't, you have to be one of the few.
On both sites, I started while they were first developing, so sure there were problems. Both sites invited me to test new features and functions when they got developed, and that's essentially being asked to look for problems or try and create them.
I got to file bug reports directly to giltotherescue. I can email or Tweet Paul Edmondson directly if I wish.
My experience on the two sites has always been similar. Neither is/was better or worse than the other. Just slightly different.
Because you choose to hear your own voice and no other.
No one mentioned the payout percentage. I think it would not destroy HP for them to up the pay for long standing Hubbers who write quality Hubs that bring advertising dollars.
Thank you HubPages
I totally agree, Lilly. They did do that for a while, but they have taken it away unfortunately.
I don't see why. We are paid a percentage of the advertising revenue actually earned by our Hubs - so if a Hubber is attracting lots of traffic, he's automatically getting paid more.
A % is the fairest way. That's how it is.
If HubPages wants to start paying me a little extra, I'll accept it.
If I want to earn more on HP, I need to discover what is going to work for me. I would need to stretch and grow, and make some changes to reach my goals, because what I was doing wasn't working?
I like and respect billy a lot and I've read many of his hubs. I follow his work, like many others here. I read his hub and thought perhaps he was taking things too personally. HP is a business. They've streamlined their staff out of necessity, concentrating on what's going to help the site provide the best platform for publishing quality articles. They allow those writers that also want to write more for the community than search engine traffic.
I think HP has always been community focused. As far as more recognition for reaching specific anniversaries, I think the auto-generated letter could be modified to a simple congratulations. I reached my 5th anniversary in August and received the email but thought nothing personal about it. They simply don't have the manpower to send personalized messages to everyone who reaches an anniversary.
Throughout the years, anytime I've had a question or concern, I've emailed a staff member (including the CEO) and received a prompt response. I think they care a lot about their writing community and realize without one, HP wouldn't exist.
+1 I agree, RebekahELLE - I always receive prompt responses and help from staff. I have always been treated fairly, promptly and with respect by HP Staff. HP is community focused and do a lot more for the writers than other sites I have worked on.
I just (today) got my three-year anniversary email. I think the little note is a nice touch, and I don't blame the site for creating a 'generic' message. They're going through a lot these days, and I'm just glad they're working hard to keep HubPages a quality site, to keep it alive, and to adapt to the many changes Google puts in its path.
Here's what I like about the site:
1) They do the work for me to keep it up and running - no complaints on my end. That lets me do what I want to do (write hubs).
2) I get paid for the traffic I generate to my own hubs - fair enough.
3) The staff is unfailingly polite, supportive and caring - even in a virtual community and miles from where I live.
4) I've met wonderful people here - a few in person (too few - would love to meet more!) and many more through the community we have.
Thanks, HubPages, for three years that have taught me a lot, and have enriched my life. Here's hoping for many more!
Those who did the Happy Dance at Squidoo telling others that complained, who didn't do the Happy Dance, who pounced on those who spoke up for others, who made excuses for Squidoo are now just like the rest of the writers from that site; they got left out in the cold, and woke up one morning to find out about the deal between Paul Edomonson and Seth Godin without any warning!!!
If HP does not want hubs with products on them, that is an easy fix. Eliminate the use of them!!! Eliminate affiliate marketing all together.
HP still allows 1 capsule per 50 words, but then jumps on some of those who put products on their hubs even when number of products is LESS than allowed!!!
Linda Smith, what you say is so true! To the others on this forum, billybuc has stated that he stays because he has friends here that he enjoys. That's why he doesn't leave. He didn't even say anything about leaving...he simply wants HP to improve its public relations ability. He is correct in his analysis, and I don't think that's too much to ask.
I have found that when you have a problem, the best way to actually get what you want is to specifically say what it is that you want.
So what do you want? Specifically.
Do you want each Hubber to get a personalized anniversary message? Is an email okay, or would you prefer a phone call or something mailed to your house? If someone signs up and doesn't write a single hub, does he also get a message? What criteria should be used to decide who gets one and who doesn't?
I make payout every month. I want a box of candy and a hug.
And besides, there is only so much of us any sane person can take.
I read billybuc's letter and feel it was really uncalled for. However, he is a co-hubber and just like all of us, he has the right to freedom of speech and his own opinions. Personally, I feel he is being ungrateful. A few years ago, when he received the "best all around hubber" award, he wrote a similar open letter to HubPages that was also sarcastic and demeaning. I believe there was also a pile of dog poo in that letter, just as there is in this recent letter of his - which is quite rude and a big turn-off.
One comment early in this thread says that she believes billybuc speaks for all of us. Excuse me, but he does not.
We each have our own experiences and opinions with HP. I receive the "automated" anniversary email and it makes me feel good that my time here is recognized. I even get an accolade for it that all can see. To ask for more than that would be rather selfish and demanding. I also get paid for my time and creativity. What I get paid is due to my own efforts.
HubPages does more for their writers than other sites I have worked on. I worked several years for one site that did send personal emails to writers for anniversaries and birthdays. However, at the time there were less than 500 writers on the site and several volunteers who assisted the manager. To expect a site as large and active as HubPages to send personal emails is unrealistic.
No one person on HubPages is more important than any other member. We are part of a community and should do our best to make sure it is a positive experience for all of us. To openly criticize the staff in a demeaning way and put it out there to the public is certainly not helping the community any.
We all get the congratulatory email and the accolades and earnings. As Relache said: "Everyone's experience here is what they themselves make of it,..."
Sorry, Billy, to be so honest here. I am sure you are personally a loving and kind person.
Phyllis Doyle, thank you for being so honest.
HubPages is what we make it.
Amen to that and much success to all Hubbers and their families!
Thanks, colorfulone. You are so right - HP is what we make it.
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