I've been approached by a number of specialized sites regarding a number of my articles on Guitar product reviews.
Obviously I was quite proud and humbled to be even considered to write content for these sites, some of which are huge, but all I'm getting in return is a back-link to my hubpages account, which isn't generating that much traffic.
Of course now I'm thinking that the content will found on the external site first, rather than hubpages, which will actually hurt my traffic overall.
On the other hand though, I would have regretted it if I had of turn them down.
What would you do?
In short, stop writing for free.
The guitar sites contacted you with the goal of getting content without paying for it. Which they seem to have achieved.
What was your intent and goal in writing for the guitar sites? Did you research or otherwise investigate if you could achieve your goal from the interaction?
Because you are in the UK, all the usual rules and regulations I know and would follow don't apply to you, because you are not governed by the same web regulations as we are in the USA. You need to learn what recourse your web governing body has established and what procedures you need to follow.
I had a similar situation awhile back and was even offered a fair amount of money for my article. I refused. It was my most popular and biggest earning article that now has 86,000 views. I would never allow anybody else to publish it because when I do, I lose total control, but my name stays on the article.
It's flattering, but it's not worth it.
It really irritates me when these big shots try to steal work from writers. That alone would make me say no.
I wouldn't write anything for free unless it was for a charitable cause. You are a writer, so be a professional writer.
I would ask them to unpublish your work as you have reconsidered. Should they wish to keep it, then work out your price/per hourly rate.
Did either of you sign a letter of agreement? Did you state how long he could post your article or did you say he could post it forever?
You own the copyright. It is your article. You have legal rights about its use. If you didn't sign an agreement or say in writing anything about how long he could use it, I would follow up with him and ask for the following:
I would let him continue to use it for free if I received a "dofollow" backlink that has SEO value for your site. Although it's nice to get audience from the links, the dofollow backlink can have value greater than a payment because it potentially increases the search engine audience for your site.
If they agree to dofollow, have them sign a letter of agreement stating their publication rights and requiring them to remove the article if they change dofollow to nofollow. You can find plenty of contract templates online. Also, make sure any article used by someone else has your byline.
Just to sweeten the pot, you might offer to write another article or two. If he refuses to cooperate, file a DMCA complaint against his hosting service.
For future reference, always use a dated and signed contract / letter of agreement on any reuse of content.
Been there and done it many times.
Unless the Hub author is a US citizen, and the sites he gave his articles to are USA-based, filing a DMCA complaint does not carry any legal validity.
I would never, ever, let a website republish one of my Hubs only for a link in return. I don't care who they are. By reusing your content and not compensating you a website is basically getting free content. It sounds like they are doing you a favor with the link, but they are not. Why would anyone follow the link to your original Hub when they could read it on the other site? Unless they are giving you a byline and sending people to your profile here on HP. Even so, meh.
I am not suggesting they are intentionally taking advantage of you. Maybe they are, or maybe not. But this arrangement certainly does not seem to be in your best interest. If a website likes your content they can either link to your original content with a short teaser, or pay you to write more content for them.
Or, they could make an offer on your current content. You could sell them the Hub and remove it from HubPages. However, I have many Hubs that have earned far more here on HP than any website would have been willing to pay for them upfront. I'm not so sure I'd even do that.
Remember that your Hubs are an asset of sorts. They don't just earn money now, but for years to come. By letting someone have them for nothing (a link is nothing) your are shooting yourself in the foot. It's bad enough people steal our content left and right.
So, that's what I'd do. Of course it is your content, and you can do whatever you want.
I take it then, legally, I can get them to take the content down ?
I really hoped even a link from such a site would reap reward, looks like I was sadly mistaken
Adam, did they re-post your HP content or did you write original content for them? I'm a little confused.
Always beware of bloggers and site owners who think they are doing you a favor by re-posting your Hubs and linking to you. In some cases they really do have good intentions and think they are "getting you more exposure" and "sharing your content" so more people read it.
I usually send a polite email telling them thanks, but I'd rather they not re-post my content. Sharing a link is fine. Almost always they are cool about it, because normal people who care about their websites really don't intend to screw over other content creators. Sometimes they just don't know.
In this case you have already given them permission. You can ask them to take it down and hopefully they will. If not, I don't know where you go from here from a legal POV.
I had my orignal HP content "Re-purposed". I.e. they edited a little and included more pics, but basically it's my content. I've already messaged him to politely take it down.
Ugh. Sounds like you've been HubPro'd by another website!
Nobody HubPros me but HubPages. NOBODY!
Good luck. I hope they comply. Whatever happens, chalk it up to a lesson learned and move forward.
"Nobody puts Baby in a corner...NOBODY!" (from Dirty Dancing)
HubPro'd haha. Made me laugh. I agree with everyone too, I'd never let them republish a hub or any other piece of content written by me. Everyone learns through mistakes. Hope they take it down. Good luck.
No, I agree with everyone else.
Never ever let another site use an entire Hub in exchange for a link.
A backlink is valuable IF all they're doing is quoting the first few paragraphs and linking to your Hub so people can read the rest.
However, if it's the entire article then it can do more harm than good. If it's a large, reputable site, their copy of the article will outrank your Hub and steal your traffic - so as well as not being paid, you'll lose income on your Hub.
Since you already agreed to let them publish them, all you can really do is write and say you're withdrawing your consent, and hope they'll remove them.
Adam, I have a different view. It never hurts to have other "larger respectable website" have backlinks to your articles. This might offers you a chance to get a bit of traffic. It depends on the website you are dealing. If the website has a specific niche, and your articles fits that niche, you most likely will get some traffic via your back-link. Extra traffic couldn't hurt. It might benefit you more if you require the site to add the backlink to your profile page, this could work to promote all your Hubpage articles. When posting articles at another website make sure that your articles aren't copied word for word, the articles could produce duplicate content. If you feel the articles that you supplied this site are going to be considered duplicate content, ask them to remove the articles, and offer to re-write new articles. You may want to also consider selling newly written articles to the website in question that will not contain your name. if you are in fear of unwanted changes to the articles you have submitted. It's just my opinion but I don't think it hurts to consider other writing opportunities.
I was really excited about it, and humbled, that such large web-resource site would consider my work, so there was no way I was ever going to turn down the opportunity. If my traffic had seen a significant boost there would have been no problem. All I was offered though was a link back to my HP profile at the end of the article which hasn't done a lot. Duplicate content is not a problem as they have ways and means around that.
No, duplicate content is not a problem FOR THEM because there is only one problem with duplicate content: Google will look at the various copies, choose ONE and ignore the rest.
The problem for you is that because that other site is more reputable in the guitar world than yours, it's their copy which will be adopted by Google and your Hub that will be ignored!
I agree with the others that you shouldn't give your work away for free. But I do have some instances where I would. If there is a site that gets a lot of traffic,and they let me write up a short blurb that pretty much serves as advertising to my hub, website or blog, veiled or otherwise, then I don't mind spending a few minutes of my time to write this blurb. But the site must already be proven to have lots of traffic,b e reputable, etc.
It's a very high traffic site, but all I'm getting in return is a link to my hub profile at the very bottom of the article. It's just not generating enough payback.
It can't possibly generate any payback, because the reader is able to read the entire article on that site - they've got no incentive to click on the link. Plus like I said, it is probably causing Google to ignore the Hub and give the other copy preference.
It would be different if you had written a NEW article for that site, with a link to more of your articles on guitars - then it can be valuable.
I've had a change of heart and will keep the site up (If they'll let me), as I'll never get the opportunity again. It's only a newish hub with not a lot of traffic anyway so I have nothing to lose. Of course I won't publish more content elsewhere in the meantime. I see this an experiment.
In terms of content:
* having somebody else link to your site is a good thing
* having somebody else take your content, repurpose it and add a few more images in is not a good thing - UNLESS you agreed to take down your content and they pay you a fee commensurate with its value
People who publishing in a "proper way" never ever want your original content to be still live on the web. I have to sign agreements saying that the content I write for published magazine articles and books has not appeared anywhere else i.e they want original.
Those who want good content for their site do what these people have done to you - which is basically rolled you over and shaken out your pockets and wallet - for the sake of a link.
I link to other people's articles all the time - but I introduce them and say why they are good and then leave others to visit the original content on the site of the author. They write and I curate and create compendiums of links to great sites with great info. plus add in my own original content. Works for me - and the people I link to.
You've just swung me the other way again (so to speak) !
Glad to be of some help!
Look at it another way - if you're writing good content then why not write on your own niche site. Then use that as marketing and charge proper fees for others to licence more of your your content eg in print articles. i.e. don't give everything away online. Think about the income stream and think about the pathways for marketing it.
If you just want something simple then I guess a Hubpages niche site might well work for you. If you have more ambitions then start developing a plan...
The deed is done. Content has been removed. Not before getting a lecture on 'why it's good to share' etc though !
Next step - licking it into shape and then asking Guitar Magazines and/or other websites whether they might be interested in an article!
Plus polishing up an invoice to remind you your work has value....
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