I've just noticed a couple of my WW1 hubs plus another history hub moved to "Owlcation". Topics are Academia, Humanities, Social Sciences, STEM and Agriculture and Farming.
Don't know what to say about that mix!
They've snipped and dumped some of my hubs there, too. Views on those hubs have slumped, but it may take a period of adjustment. As there's no opt out on this, there's nothing to do but wait and see.
Maybe I'm turning into a grumpy old woman, but I find these bizarre site titles deeply irritating!
The Hubpages I joined a few years ago doesn't really exist anymore. I'm sad because my little subdomain was doing just fine and I had all sorts of plans for it. I've stopped writing here now as a consequence of recent changes because there's no way to fulfill a longer term strategy. My freedom to choose how my work is handled has been taken away.
I'll give it a couple of months to see what happens to these hubs, and if it's not working I'll probably delete everything and take it elsewhere. This may signal the end for me at HP. But as I say, I'll give it a chance first.
I can recall years ago, trying to tell you it was unwise to plan a longer term strategy for your sub-domain because you can never plan long-term on a site you don't own. If you had started your own site then instead of writing here, you'd be going gangbusters by now!
Even if your traffic does recover with the new site, I still think it's unwise to plan on it being a long-term home. HubPages has started a whole suite of niche sites but they are not reliant on each other. There is nothing to say that HubPages will keep all of them - my bet would be that they'll keep the high-performing ones and ultimately dump or sell the rest.
Thanks for the "told you so" reminder! Well, you were right. I'm looking for a good domain name right now...
If you need some help getting started, PM me, happy to offer advice.
The best way to start your own site is to sign up for hosting somewhere (I like ASmallOrange for newbies, they're very helpful) and install Wordpress - but there is a big learning curve!
The easiest way is to use Blogger and attach your own domain name - not as flexible, harder to create really good navigation but easy to get up and running.
A third way is Wordpress.com - the catch is that you can't put ads on the free version, you have to upgrade to their paid service. BUT the good side:
1.There is a community there (you can follow other sites on your subject, chat on the forums etc)
2. It's a simpler version of the same software you would use on your own hosting (so you're learning useful skills, and it's child's play to transfer to your own hosting in future if you want).
It's quite likely you wouldn't earn much from advertising anyway until you've built a readership, so if you want to try the free version, not being able to monetize in your few months isn't a huge deal IMO.
Be cautious about signing up for website builders like Weebly or Wix, or on a hosting company's own website builder. Things change fast on the internet - you want to build your site using software which allows you to download and move your site anywhere you want, any time, if something goes wrong. You can do that with Blogger and Wordpress (.com or .org), you can't do it with most others.
Thanks for the tips. I'll certainly be doing my research and educating myself before "taking the plunge." Wordpress sounds like the best bet.
Seems a bit bizarre, but at least there's a niche home for history articles now.
I didn't even know they had a niche site for history articles. Thanks for the heads up!
Well at least your articles are on a site next to 'How to House Chickens in your Backyard'. How exciting is that?
I hope you're as thrilled as when I found my photography articles next to 'Home Depot Plywood Cutting—Right the First Time!'
From the sublime to the ridiculous! (apologies to plywood cutters!)
Well, they've always been on a site with lots of other unrelated hubs, so in someways it's no different. They're now just on a smaller site with an odd name and unrelated hubs. If the traffic improves, I'll be happy. If it gets worse, I may have to think up an odd name and set up my own niche site.
I just had a bunch of history, nature, religion, and astronomy hubs put on this site. It doesn't seem very niche to me. Can't we have separate sites for some of this? I doubt we'll get the advantage of being niche. The layout and categories don't seem very intuitive either. Some are very specific; others utterly general.
I have a hub on reincarnation beliefs on Exemplore, a word I never heard of. And then it's under the heading Paranormal. I have always been interested in New Age or metaphysical subjects, but I thought Paranormal was off the track.
Reincarnation is a major belief in other main religions of the world, except for Christianity, the Bible has a few verses that could be about reincarnation. I think my hub should have been on a religion or philosophy niche.
People who are typing in search terms will probably find our hubs, no matter what oddball words they make up for these niches.
I agree, HubPages' definition of "niche" is not the same as any other website!
A broad niche is good - it means you are never going to run out of content and can attract more readers. So Pethelpful is a great niche - all of it's sub-categories are clearly and obviously related to the main niche AND to each other..So I'm not surprised it's doing well.
However, some of the other sites - including Owlcation - are not like that. For instance, the hobby site has several sub-categories for Games and one for Performing Arts. While both are hobbies, so they relate to the main niche, they are completely unrelated to each other. Owlcation is an even more glaring example of the same thing.
Knowing how Google hates sites with unrelated content, I don't see how these new sites can succeed. Disappointing.
Disappointing indeed. And some of my best hubs were moved there. If I remember, Hubpages has always had an "education" category that lumped these things together. It was silly then to consider it a category, and now they've compounded it. There are enough quality history articles on hubpages to make an excellent niche website devoted solely to history. The subcategories would then be really easy and interesting to navigate - based on different eras and locations. There could be a science site too with easily navigable categories.
Instead we have this hodge-podge that is destined to fail.
I'm assuming they've set themselves a limit on how many niche sites they're willing to create - who knows why. And then, it seems they've been reluctant to omit any sub-categories, and that means they had to shoe-horn some to make them fit.
I can picture the meeting, a big whiteboard divided into sections (one for each proposed niche site) and a whole pile of magnetic strips with all the subjects written on them. Then they shuffled them around until they came up with a mix that got all the subjects on the board. Trouble is, they were so focussed on getting the subjects on the board, they lost sight of whether the combinations of subjects made sense.
Of course, these days they probably did it electronically but you get the picture.
I received notification that one of mine was chosen, too. I admit, I don't fully understand this niche site yet, either. Appreciate being picked but I'm slow with the title: is that a play on words regarding wisdom? I hope it does better than some of my other niche hubs that seem to have gotten lost in the shuffle (pun intended).
Presumably it's something to do with the acronym OWL (Online Writing Lab), an extension of a university writing centre.
Yea really not sure about the "owl". Maybe if I wrote a nature hub on owls it would do well there...
I think it's a play on the word "education" as that appears to be the niche... but education is a hugely broad "topic" that includes dozens of unrelated sub-topics. I'm not sure search engines will think of the site as niche. It's also not very educational to invent a word like owlcation, lol.
Incidentally, I went to owlcation, clicked on STEM (I'm a scientist and I had to look up what that meant), and the 3rd article listed was "Owls in Western North Carolina". Coincidence? I think not. This is an owl led conspiracy against hubbers.
On reflection, I think that "Owlcation" sounds like a travel agent for owls.
Owls, are you tired? - go on vacation! Book your tickets with Owlcation.
I may be overtired today
Looking at the first page of STEM articles on owlcation, I'm now seeing two articles about owls on the 1st page. I'm starting to think this site is actually about owls...
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