Are HP merely just creating new niche sites and hoping Google will pick them up? or are they actively promoting the sites in the wider world of the niche the site is based on?
Precisely the question I asked in another thread http://hubpages.com/community/forum/136 … ost2809714
Have you seen any mention of them by other sites on Google?
I looked for Feltmagnet - and just kept coming across a lot of sites which are referencing magnets with felt on for the fridge! It doesn't even make the first two pages of Google.
So basically this is just an exercise in SEO then?
As I said in the other thread, Admin appears to be doing exactly what they did almost ten years ago when HubPages first launched.
To the best of my knowledge, this company has never advertised itself in the past ten years, so it doesn't seem that odd that they are not doing that now.
How would a struggling content site who never had a clear focus or direction in all that time, whose CPMs have fallen 90% in the last five years, get an advertising budget anyway?
Officially, HubPages' line has always been that it's up to the individual writers to promote their own work. HubPages has always promoted itself to writers, but not to readers. I did meet someone once who claimed they were paid by HubPages to do Facebook Likes, Tweeting etc for Hubs but I'm not convinced it was true.
Well if they want to increase traffic but continue to rely for marketing on the same writers this must mean they assume that just putting "the best writers" and "the best content" on a category site (they're not niche sites) is all they need to do.
Which means any difference in traffic (between HubPages and new site) is down to the individual author?
Hmmm - we'll see what difference it makes.
So basically HP is just free content hosting with monetising tools?
It really could be so much more
If you think about it Adam, there was a good reason for HubPages' policy. How do you effectively promote a site that covers hundreds of different topics?
Sharing on social networks is futile unless you're able to build a big following, and for that you need to offer something special - expert knowledge on a particular topic, or fast access to news for instance. Who would want to sign up for a Twitterfeed to HubPages - it would mean being bombarded with random articles all day every day most of which you wouldn't be interested in. And if HP were going to create separate social accounts for every topic instead, they'd need an army of staff and they could never have afforded it!
For the first few years of HP's existence, the site was so successful that it wasn't an issue. But it's one of the reasons why generalist sites find it so hard to survive now - it's a big problem for all of them.
It's also still a problem for the so-called niche sites, which (as MakingaMark rightly points out) aren't really niche sites - they're not specialist enough. Even if they decided to try social marketing, no one is going to want to sign up to follow them. People who do craft don't want to see posts about photography and vice versa, so they would soon get tired of following FeltMagnet. RV'ers will give up on AxleAddict because they'll see too many posts about cars. And so on.
Meanwhile those of us that do know a thing or two about niche topics and who set up our own sites and are also prepared to make an investment in the social media marketing required can see a major increase of very targeted traffic. I've been amazed at how much traffic I get for one of my niche sites which isn't even recognised as a sub-niche within the HP set-up. Nor is it likely to be!
If I search for a 'Cat Cave' for instance, I come up with my felting tutorials on the first page. If I search for feltmagnet I get exactly what you got, magnets or every description. I think the site name makes little difference, but searching for the subject matter does I promote my writing here as much as is possible with google +, Pinterest and Twitter and less often Facebook. I don't want to spam my friends. I do however think it is up to us to promote our writing.
To reach this FeltMagnet thing...you need to spell it exactly as they posted it here; FeltMagnet (even reading it hurts my eyes!) Make sure that the search results keep both words together.
Anyway, I have begun copying my over 755 hubs to a word doc to use in an ebook. Once that is done I shall part into the Sunset.
You can have an ebook and the same articles online. You are not required to remove the hubs.
That is a shame. Would I be correct to say that you could put them into an e-book and they would not be considered as duplicate content? From what I can gather this is what many people do! Why not leave them to earn here as well?
It does not seem to matter how you spell the FeltMagnet thing you still get fridge magnets and a lot besides:)
Content on an ebook does not count as duplicate but I am so disappointed that right now it does not make much sense to keep anything here plus I have lost the joy of posting anything here anymore.
The idea of moving so much content is a daunting prospect. If there were an easy way ..............
Sally - it works the same way as doing anything that's big. Get started and do a bit at a time. Bite off small chunks and get chewing!
The main thing to do is get an archive of all your pages first. That way you can preserve what you wrote and all your live links. Safari (for Apple users) makes great webarchive pages with live links. Evernote also takes a complete copy and keeps the live links. (Everything else I tried when moving from Squidoowould lose bits or links.)
Luis, why don't you use them to create a website of your own? 755 Hubs is more than enough content to create a good-sized authority website.
You'll need to be generating quite a lot of income to cover the costs of your own site though. Please correct me if I'm wrong.
Cost of running a website: less than $10 annually for the domain name, plus cost of hosting - $4 to $6 per month.
The biggest obstacle to having your own site, for most people, is the learning curve of setting it up. Once you've done it a few times you realise it's actually simple - but if you're not technically minded it's a nightmare the first time!
If you want to play with the idea, then the best way is to join Wordpress.com and start a site there. If you buy a proper domain name for it, then when you're ready to move to self-hosting you can transfer the whole site easily and seamlessly, and not lose any traffic.
(To explain, the reason you wouldn't stay with Wordpress.com forever is that you're not allowed to put advertising on the free version of Wordpress.com).
Or if you have enough for what I call a "Mega Niche" (that's a proper dedicated niche topic but it's a big one with different aspects which you can cover properly) then it's worth looking at creating a static website for the static content with an embedded blog for the dynamic stuff.
I'm using Weebly to do this and I very much like the combination of the proper website for the information which may get updated from time to time and the blog for current stuff, new announcements etc. It works really well.
However you need to use a Starter Pack to get out from under the fact Google does not index the free sites so you need to have a LOT of content to make one of these worthwhile.
I don't do blogs, I do websites. Wordpress works just as well for websites as it does for blogs and you can do exactly the same thing on it as you can do on Weebly. I prefer Wordpress because (a) it's cheaper and (b) it's fully transferable - if I'm dissatisfied with my host at any time, I can transfer to another host painlessly, whereas if Weebly's service goes downhill you will find it very difficult to export and rehome your content while preserving your URL's.
I can never remember if you also sell your own services as a Wordpress expert.
Here's a link that seems to summarize the pros and cons quite well.
Yes I do, but I do it for free (or low-cost) for friends far more often than I do paid work! I just finished making the site for Jodah and his creative writing friends.
That article gives a fair comparison and I wouldn't argue with it. However, I come back to the question - what will you do if Weebly closes down? What will you do if Weebly increases its fees again?
With Wordpress, your website is easily transferable to another host and you can continue with business as usual, with only an hour or two of downtime. You'll keep all your URLs, all your comments, all your images, all your links. With Weebly, you can use the RSS feed to transfer your posts but you'll lose all your images and your comments, and your URL's will probably change which means you'll lose all your 'link juice'.
If you're happy to say "hey ho" and just start again somewhere else, then it's not an issue. If (like MakingaMark) you're trying to build traffic and earn income, then having to start from scratch elsewhere would be a disaster.
I don't get the point
I can copy my site really easily and I'd also keep all my URLs and links. (My domain name registration is entirely separate - with another provider - to my weebly subscription)
What's the problem?
Things may have changed at Weebly since I tried it. At that time, it wasn't possible to export the site and import it into another website software, because the Weebly website builder is unique to Weebly. So if you wanted to move everything - not just the pages but also your menus, images, all the comments you've received, tags etc etc - then you'd have to do it piecemeal (which would be a big job for a large site). You might also have to tinker with the permalink structure to get it to match the one on Weebly.
Whereas with Wordpress you sign up with your new host, tell them where your site is currently hosted, and they will usually move the site for you overnight.
But I determine the permalink structure - in its entirety.
Comments are also not an issue. Pages also don't have comments - only the blog posts. I deal with queries offline.
I think maybe you need to go and recheck Weebly before counselling against it.
Did you read the link in Mark's post? I agree with the assessment in that article. Weebly works fine and if you prefer it, you're welcome to use it.
I guess I'm just averse to trusting my content to any single provider any more, after having written on so many sites that have closed down! Whereas with Wordpress, I can use the software forever - even if the company closes down, it just means no more upgrades, it doesn't mean my sites will stop working. And I don't have to worry about my hosting company going bankrupt or getting taken over by a shonky outfit - I can move my content as often as I like with very little effort (and it's automatically backed up once a week so I've got a recovery copy if my host disappears without notice).
I value that independence, but that's me.
What do you mean that Google does not index free sites? The blogs on Blogger are indexed by Google, unless you meant something else.
Some time ago, Weebly made the decision to no-index blogs created on its free service. If you want your blog on Weebly to be indexed, you have to pay.
Excuse me, but in that case, screw Weebly! I mean seriously.
Well, it illustrates why I chose to go self-hosted instead of trusting a provider like Weebly or even Blogger. You never know when they might start charging - and once they start charging, how much the price could escalate. I'm sure the people who had Geocities or Knol blogs never thought of the fact they could close down one day.
It just means you can pay for using Wordpress or you can pay for using Weebly or you use Blogger for free
@ LuisEGonzalez - Do NOT copy to Word. Not unless you copy somewhere else as well. Word loads your content with lots of unnecessary code - which other html sites won't like.
My personal favourite for fast saves is Evernote. Try it and you'll see why.
What about the HubPages Twitter and Pinterest accounts, don't they promote hubs?
HubPages has approximately 14k followers on Twitter. Twitter has approximately 1.3 billion users, of which 65 million are US users. If you take just US users, HubPages followers would potentially represent just .0215% of them. That's not much reach.
...which is why efficient use of hashtags would help spread tweets to a wider audience of non-followers. Personally however, I find very few people seem to click on links in tweets even though they may re-tweet or like. I've often had tweets with over 20, 000 impressions without a link follow. Pinterest seems to be a better source of traffic.
As with everything people are more likely to retweet and click the link if it has an image attached
+1 on that. It's surprising how many Twitter accounts seem to broadcast a constant stream of boring text.
There are thousands of useless Twitter accounts set up by bloggers purely to auto-tweet their posts. Those bloggers may seem to have a decent following, because what they did when they joined Twitter was to look for members with the same interests, and follow them so they could get followed in return (there are even programs to help you do that). But in reality, they never look at anyone else's feeds and may never log in to Twitter at all.
I'll be honest, I have a couple of Twitter accounts like that, because that's what we were all advised to do years ago. I should do something about it but can't remember my logins! Twitter could easily clean up a lot of the dross by suspending accounts that haven't been logged into for a while.
What will I do if Weebly closes down?
Oh heck, I don't know Marisa. I have stopped hoping to make even a few hundred dollars a month from it - that was never my game and the last year of playing with Weebly has proven that. So I would not lose much if they disappeared.
What it has enabled me to do is experiment fairly easily with layouts, ideas, and attempts at sales and income. And prove to myself that I can't do commercial. Weebly is my hobby thing - an honest place for content which gradually becomes more visual and less written.
If they closed down I suppose they might sell on the subscriptions and things would just carry on. Or maybe give some sort of warning so I could copy out anything worth keeping. Maybe I'll do a back up sometime.
If they increase their fees... well that is pretty much guaranteed. No one reduces their costs. At present I cover their costs plus a bit spare. My guess is my income will rise sufficiently to cover any costs they think they can get away with throwing at me. It is not an issue.
To answer a question you didn't ask I think the content market is doomed. If major media players cannot survive on the internet - such as Yahoo for goodness sakes and there are many others - then the monetary options for minor content providers, especially in the 'humour' or 'creative' areas are especially poor. It seems to be a race to the bottom apart from a few stand out winners such as FaceBook (for now).
So arguably - nowhere is safe.
If it's just a hobby thing, then Weebly is absolutely fine. In fact the reason I tried Weebly was that I used to recommend the free version of Weebly to all hobbyists, and eventually I was asked to set up a blog on Weebly for someone - which is when I realised the problem of transferability.
The other issue now is cost, since the free version is not indexed. $8 a month is not much, but it's still more expensive than your own hosting. If you're only earning pennies, then the difference between $50 a year and $96 a year becomes significant!
On Weebly you're paying extra for the ease of use. If you can't cope with the extra learning curve of using Wordpress, then that's fine - but unless you are really really technophobic (which I know some creative people are), then it's not actually that hard.
You're right, nowhere is safe, That's why I like to be sure that I have full control of my content and can painlessly move it anywhere I like, any time I like. The internet is a hobby for me too, now - if I had to muck about copying and pasting pages, I probably wouldn't even bother reconstructing my websites.
I think you forgot the cost of buying a decent theme!
Buying a domain name is of course identical for both.
My point is that most people want to focus on their content and not on the technical side of things. For those who like things nice and simple and easy and above all FUNCTIONAL then I think the hosted webware option is one worth looking at.
However if you don't mind being on your own and wasting a lot of time when things go wrong by all means look at those solutions which involve more independence........
The bit I've never understood (especially given the fact that HubPages was set up by techie web people) is HP HQ don't offer the HubPages webware as a website with an option a pages within the website i.e. everybody is on a completely separate domain name and creating a genuinely independent niche site - and HP Q then gets its revenue streams from
EITHER adverts on the sites of people who use the webware to create their own sites
OR subscriptions to use advert free webware
Renewed this morning for $96 for TWO years including taxes. My minimal Adsense will cover that.
Re technophobe - well spotted! I am in the process of finishing a career in IT which I have grown to hate. As my creative side has emerged I find all IT things to be almost painful. The absolute last thing I want to do is go anywhere near code, experts, gurus, consultants, systems, processes... I'll stop.
All I need, and I appreciate it is different for some, is a basic navigation system (menu), title, text, image and spacer. Especially as mobile takes over the world all the rest of the fripperies are simply time-consuming and annoying.
I have a little point to make about niches. There are hobbyists out there, some like me, who are not surrounding their content with adverts and all the other stuff. They do it for fun, love, freedom. The HP 'niches' will be competing with people who can outbid them in terms of content to advertising relationship.
That's the race to the bottom.
The HubPages niche site are not niches - as MakingaMark pointed out, they are categories.
It worries me too. When they first announced the niche idea, I thought that's what they really meant. A niche site can cover a broad range of subtopics and that's fine, but they seem to be grouping topics that aren't that closely related. You'd think they'd be aware of the potential problems with that, considering their criteria for what's related in Amazon capsules.
All they're doing is breaking up the existing site into its categories and shaving off little bits and leaving out quite a lot of existing content.
I'm at a loss as to why they think this is a bright idea - it's certainly NOT about introducing a number of niche sites in the sense that Google recognises and of the type that does well elsewhere
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