Four months ago some of us noticed that certain topics were ill-distributed on the new vertical sites. Now that the sites are up and running more or less successfully, is it now time to rekindle the discussion / negotiations on creating a couple of additional sites to better host certain "buried and lost" categories/topics?
According to the original thread started by RonElfran4 months ago:
http://hubpages.com/community/forum/137 … niche-site
Hubbers proposed creating a couple of additional sites for the following topics:
1. History currently under owlcation.com
2. The Arts, under which Photography, Performing Arts and Fine Arts, Famous Artists, Art History, Art Dealers, Galleries, Musea, Exhibitions, etc... would fit instead of burrying these major topics as mere personal hobbies under feltmagnet.com
We had ZERO response from staff 4 months ago. Perhaps they will listen this time before certain hubs vanish in the dungeons of inappropriately topic-overstuffed sites which was HP's problem in the first place?
I do think an Arts niche site is desperately needed, because of all the subjects it's the one that has been most badly "shoehorned" into niches that are totally unsuitable.
However the fact is that the Arts in general are not a big traffic draw, and I suspect that's the reason HubPages didn't want to invest in a niche site just for them.
What I think they need to remember is that right now, tagged on to niches where they don't fit, they might actually be damaging those niches. We all know how Google hates irrelevance and for instance, the dance Hubs tacked on to a niche site about games look dangerously irrelevant.
If HP staff believe that History and the Arts are not important, they ignore a large proportion of the public. I'm sure Google would appreciate a little more culture to even out the lack of it represented on the Internet.
And I totally agree with you Marisa that hubs tagged on to niches where they don't belong, might actually be damaging those niche sites.
Well to hear MaM talk, her arts mega niches are a huge draw. No pun intended lol
Making a Mark - Squidoo transfer. She has her own art blog, making a mark with over 10M views, and she has been transferring her articles from HP to new art based niches, which she says are growing like gangbusters.
BTW if they created a fine arts or high arts niche, I would be willing to contribute with some pieces on modern artists and southern outsider artists.
I've got a number of hubs which remain here and I don't think are going anywhere fast which would be suitable for such a site.
I see you still have 80+ excellent hubs to contribute! Maybe HP could hire you to help vet the Arts other hubs to get that site going - Marissa and Sue might be up for combing through performing arts. Just a little daydream of mine lol.
There is also no niche for Mythology. Because my main niche is Astrology, my moved hubs always end up in Exemplore. Myth does not belong there. I have also written about Buddhism, a World religion with millions of followers, and it's on Exemplore. And Reincarnation is under Paranormal, when many religions accept it.
I wrote about Safe Water Bottles and it's in SkyAboveUs, but some of the categories are so obscure I can't even find my own work.
Days before the Presidential Election, my Hillary hub was on Exemplore and Trump was on my HP A/C. I had to fight that by threatening to delete my 60+ hubs on Exemplore, and it only showed up a day or two before the Election and all of a sudden I was a "Featured Author."
The traffic to the niche sites get a big spike in traffic, and it dies down to nothing after about 3 months. It may get better, but I am beginning to have doubts.
And there is a reason why we call it "Arts and Crafts." They are two different things, and to put quality art hubs, such as Marisa Writer's Flamenco dancing hubs in with crafts is just plain insulting.
Pethelpful is maintaining its gains and then some. So I think each niche site is its own animal.
I have wondered about some of the editors and their ill considered choices. Even in forums, threads are haphazardly move from one forum to another, in some instances based on a single spammy irrelevant post.
The same with hubs being unfeatured for spammy elements when they aren't spammy at all. I think management needs to explain the spirit of the rules or there needs to be consequences for absently flinging hubs, forum threads, hubs or whatever to another site without examining it carefully.
I long ago came to the conclusion that some of the hired help know an awful lot less than the authors - and that's the main reason behind some of the more bizarre decisions taken.
As I mentioned in the previous thread, I would be prepared to volunteer to comb through some of the Performing Arts hubs.
I have to confess that I'm absolutely staggered by how much traffic I am now generating for the two websites I've set up so far.
After 18 months, one of my sites which comprises 6-8 old hubs (which I have been building slowly over this period) is:
* now running at about x40 the traffic I used to get
* coming up to 150,000 visits
* just about to top 200,000 pageviews .
The increasing trend on traffic is switching to exponential.
(By way of context my entire HubPages account totals just over 250k pageviews)
For me it demonstrates that if you have a very well focused macro niche (ie big enough to get traffic and small enough to keep it from being too diverse) then you can reap the rewards within the field of arts.
I'd almost be inclined to say that an Arts Hub site might almost be too big.
For me the weakness overall within HubPages has been the very weak moderation of which hubs get listed under which category. Mixing up different topics (as in FeltMagnet - which is a joke for those with Fine Arts hubs) makes a site or category much less attractive and much less likely to keep people's interest and lengthen their stay. So even if a site were to be set up in future it might not achieve what can be achieved by a site which is under your own control UNLESS moderation of categories was significantly improved.
For those wanting to plough their own furrow, can I suggest you have
* a very focused and highly specialised AND authoritative site - stick closely to what Google says it likes (it likes authority!)
* for a very specific audience
* a very well organised site which makes it easy for people to see what is available on your site.
* Plus add in a blog to the website and then an associated Facebook page. The two together is what makes traffic really take off....
Did I mention how neither Google nor Amazon seem to think my organisation of content is a problem (although it breaches HubPages rules according to a number of the hubs which were transferred!)?
In fact Google sites from all over the world are the main driver behind my traffic....
P.S. I link to hubs where they provide good and relevant content for my websites! Going forward that's one of the ways I think we can continue to maintain some of the relationships we've built online in the past. But it's strictly business - the link is because of the content and not the friendship!
OK...can you teach those of us that are not that savvy how to go about doing what you did, including suggestions; Blogger,etc...
Blogger would be no good for something like MakingAMark's website because the navigation on Blogger is far too limited.
To make a niche site work well, you need menus that allow you to show categories and sub-categories and related categories - whereas Blogger just has labels and that's it.
I believe MAM uses Weebly. I have reservations about Weebly because it's a unique platform. If, one day, they do something you don't like (like put up their prices or provide poor customer service), there is no way to pick up your whole website and move it elsewhere. I should say, no easy way - because of course it would be possible to keep a copy of all your content and rebuild it from scratch elsewhere, but that's something I would rather avoid!
That's why I used Wordpress. The software is widely used so you're not stuck with one company, and you can start FREE on Wordpress.com. You can't put advertising on a Wordpress.com site, but it does let you get started without having to get your head around hosting, programming etc. Once you're confident on Wordpress.com, you can transfer seamlessly to a hosting company or upgrade to their paid service, which is about $100 a year.
And actually if you are selling your services, you might never have to upgrade - I've created websites for dancers and entertainers and craft sellers, and because they don't need affiliate or Adsense advertising, the free service will suit them forever (and by the way, if you need help getting started, I do a basic setup service for $50!).
Yes - I use Weebly and it works fine for me.
The reason I use is it is because I don't have to think about all the extras that those who use Wordpress have to do and I don't have to think about hosting. The price is inclusive.
It's also a lot more resilient and way bigger than some of the people providing services for Wordpress. There's something like 40 million Weebly websites. That makes it feel safer to me.
For anybody looking to think about where their content is best hosted I'd recommend reading around a bit online and looking at it from different perspectives.
I took a look online and there are a few recent comparisons of Weebly and Wordpress - here's an example which charts the main differences
http://www.websitebuilderexpert.com/wee … son-chart/
At the end of the day it depends on what you want to spend your time on - your content or maintaining your site. If you want a website with no technical skills required you'll like Weebly.
Your comparison isn't relevant because you're comparing Weebly with a Wordpress.ORG site on your own hosting.
I'm comparing Weebly with a Wordpress.COM site. They are very very similar. No technical skills required for either, no hosting involved. Wordpress.COM is every bit as resilient and well-respected as Weebly, and has about 37 million users (plus about the same number who use the same software on their own sites).
The difference is that with Wordpress, it is possible to move your whole website with a simple download and upload at any time, and you have a choice of other companies who can host it for you. That's not the case with Weebly. I like that future-proofing - things change on the internet. Just because Weebly is big doesn't mean it won't fail - I'm sure you can think of any number of large companies, with lots of customers, which still shut their doors.
I'm not suggesting you should move your own sites, that's entirely your choice. But if you are going to make statements disparaging other platforms then please do make sure you understand those other platforms.
"After 18 months, one of my sites which comprises 6-8 old hubs (which I have been building slowly over this period) is:
* now running at about x40 the traffic I used to get
* coming up to 150,000 visits
* just about to top 200,000 pageviews .
The increasing trend on traffic is switching to exponential."
I notice you have very long hubs, so are you breaking them down into smaller posts? How many pages do you have on this niche site? What is your ultimate goal for the site size wise etc... Do you also sell products from this niche site?
I broke up a couple of VERY long hubs and distributed content across a number of new pages.
However each 'artist hub' has transferred to one new page on the website. I also expanded the content - mainly using more images and by adding content to the timeline and organising that in a more coherent way.
However since the transferred hubs now create a NEW mega hub/niche this means that it makes a lot of sense sense to add in brand new pages for more very related content.
As such one of my websites is now already recognised globally by its audience as an "authority" site - and comes top in Alexa rankings for very similar sites for relevant keywords
Bottom line Google LOVES authoritative websites. It doesn't mind if they are big if each page has a very clear focus and a unique URL and description
* Mine has lots of pages
* each of which has lots of clearly differentiated content - all of which clearly relates to the mega-niche
* all of which are very focused on the target audience - and segments thereof (eg continents)
I do sell products. Each product is highly related to associated content on a page and products are consequently spread across the site.
My website will keep on growing because....
* Google always knows when you update and it likes fresh content.
* So one of the MAJOR strategies for generating traffic is to never ever finish a website.
* Always have new topics to add in or content which can be improved.
* That's where the blog comes in....
Thanks for the reply - it is food for thought!
I am very lazy with my sites because they're not my focus any more, but I agree with MaM.
I broke up Hubs to make several blog posts, because one important purpose of the blog is to show Google your content is fresh and current: you want a steady drip-feed of new posts, and if you make them shorter your material will last a lot longer! Then you don't publish all those blog posts at once: you schedule them to appear once per fortnight or once per month. I know it can seem silly to have material already written that won't get published till this time next year - but it does pay off with Google.
I sell products but they are in a separate shop and I don't sell any products on the blog section. The risk with having a separate shop AND having ads on your blog as well, is that Google may see it as spammy. If you have a separate shop then Google wants to see that you're selflessly providing authoritative information on the accompanying blog, not just doing it for promotional purposes.
As for size - there should never be an ultimate goal. Google LOVES size, provided you stick to your topic! That's why it's so important to break your Hubs up into smaller chunks, because if you're in it for the long term, you're going to need to keep on adding blog posts to the site for years and years. If you post long blog posts, you're going to start running out of new ideas eventually. Blog posts shouldn't be shorter than about 350 words though.
Thank you, Makingamark for coming on board so positively and revealing your secrets to success. The thing is, your websites are even more specialized than what we are suggesting here for HubPages, namely a more general Arts site which would include Fine Arts, Art Materials, Photography, Performing Arts (to include dance, ballet, classical music concerts, theater plays etc.), Famous Artists, Art History, Art Dealers, Galleries, Musea, Exhibitions, etc...
So you think such a proposal is still too generic? Should the subcategories of such an Arts site be split up into further additional vertical sites? That may be too much to ask for at the moment but I'm sure you are right. And this goes to show how terribly misplaced the art related hubs are at the moment. To save labour however, maybe a generic Arts site could be a good start? Then as it grows, it could possibly be split up further in future. Or is that the wrong approach?
As for an History site, that should go without saying. The previous thread on the matter:
http://hubpages.com/community/forum/137 … niche-site
shows that HP already has more than plenty available content for an independent site on History.
How generic can a niche site be? That's a question that's been hotly debated by internet professionals.
Once upon a time, the advice was "the narrower the niche, the better" - but that is no longer the case. That was in the days when you could create a very small site and Google would still love it. Nowadays, Google dislikes very small sites, and also dislikes sites that aren't updated regularly. So if you choose a very narrow niche, there's a risk you will run out of new material after a few years and the site will die.
So, it's important to make your niche wide enough that there's potential for your site to continue to grow in the long term.
Having a very wide niche isn't a negative, if it has clear boundaries. Look at PetHelpful for instance - it's about all pets, not just cats or just dogs or just horses. Perhaps it would be even better if it was split into a separate website for each pet, but because the term "pets" is a clearly defined space, it's still doing very well.
Where we have a problem with Arts on the HubPages sites is that they are in niches which don't have clear boundaries.
What I can actually suggest on this topic might not be something you're expecting...
First off, having this network sites is stupid. In SEO side, Hubpages has Trust Flow of 66, compared to the network sites that are averaging between Trust Flow 36-40. Same with Domain Authority - Hubpages url has Domain Authority of 88 - while all these network sites again have very low Referring Domains (or backlinks). And since they already done a good job on cutting those who merely want to take advantage of the site (such as limiting the DoFollow on external links unless they reach a certain figure of their Hubscore profile), this apparently eliminates the spam, making the site more valuable to google. (If only they know what they are doing, which I think they don't)
They want to avoid penalties, they say? Duplication is definitely not a problem. They need more exposure. So since they are not using Wordpress platform, they (Hubpages) should install something like Yoast SEO plugin that enables them to focus on certain keywords with meta descriptions, and it wouldn't take them too long to achieve great results, such as being on top of certain keywords since they are already considered as Authority site.
And these niche sites.... they ALL have links from Hubpages main site, which apparently defeats "their main purpose" of creating a clean slate to avoid penalties. I betcha these niche URLs are also registered to the same nameservers and same hosting. This is a COMPLETE FOOTPRINT and Google is not too dumb not to notice that.
Having these so-called network sites diminishes the exposure, because the URLs starts from scratch, with no history of any traffic in it OR backlinks from them. Hence, they get pushed down by search engines, no matter if they are very niche focus or not.
And finally, having one separate URL for each category -- that would be a very daunting task. Instead of just focusing on one URL (hubpages.com) to boost exposure and make constant update that would enhance the entire performance, they're juggling 10+ domains, unable to create something creative that would entice or rather encourage old members, such as contest, improved accolade awards, etc. Hence the reason a lot of valuable members are leaving.
What I would suggest though is to have a complete website make-over (in terms of how it looks) wherein all of the articles are back on "hubpages.com" and categorize them PROPERLY and shuffle old posts for exposure. Categorization could go a long way instead of building a new niche site without (again) any history at all. In a way also, what I suggest about having a plugin similar to Yoast SEO, that alone can generate traffic using search engine results, and not entirely dependent from Hubpages members only.
That is just my 2cents, although I know the topic is just about Arts.
Just chiming in after not visiting the forums for quite sometime. I have written alot of arts hubs, many step by step art lessons, many for children. HubPages staff really liked them and encouraged me to write more, but they are pretty time consuming and of course life had other plans for me, so I haven't done any in quite sometime. The hubs do OK, but don't get the traffic I would have expected. I think some careful thought should be given to this topic and how to "classify them"....I think there are many readers who appreciate quality arts hubs written by passionate artists and writers who have some amazing ideas and techniques to share.
Could be a niche that no one else has, sort of the SOHO of Hubpages if you will.
We regularly read the comments. We've been given feedback from google to limit the number of sites we create. Their first recommendation was five sites I believe. It's certainly been debated by us on how many sites to create. For today's environment HP is too broad. With the sites we've launched, all but one has exceeded expectations. We are in a good spot to evaluate and hopefully have a dialogue with Google about refining our sites.
Just to say this again, we often ask people outside of our community and google about what we are thinking before we do it. We don't always get helpful comments, but sometimes we do. We try and consider all the feedback, reasoning and risk before making a decision.
It's been a very good year. HubPages is healthy. We have lots of work to do, but I'm looking forward to 2017 to create a stronger unique value proposition for our authors.
Keep the comments coming.
The main comment I would make is to think first and foremost about what sort of audience you are targeting when you create a site.
It seems to me that the HubPages approach to categorising/selecting content for the new sites is dictated by the content available and NOT by who the audience is and what they are interested in.
That's another way of saying that mixing up arts and crafts is a guaranteed way of losing traffic!
I was very excited when the niche sites were launched as I've been wishing HubPages would go down that route for a long time. It is very encouraging to see how well some of the niches are doing, but I'd love to know which ones were doing well and which were not so.
If you've been told to limit the number of niche sites then I can see why you feel you've had to force some square pegs into round holes, but frankly I think you are shooting yourselves in the foot by doing so. A niche subject is a niche subject, it needs to be a clearly defined subject area that Google recognises as coherent. You can't go making up your own niche from a bunch of tenuously related topics.
As you know, Google is fussy about relevance and hates it when a website includes content which isn't relevant to its core subject. I suspect that some of the niche sites are being held back because a few "orphan" topics have been shoehorned on to them.
For instance, I am convinced that the inclusion of Dance and other actitivites on the HobbyLark site - which is overwhelmingly about Games and Puzzles - is holding that niche back. I think it would be far more successful if it focussed exclusively on Games and Puzzles. Similarly, I think FeltMagnet would be going gangbusters if it was exclusively about Handicrafts and not making strange bedfellows with the Visual Arts.
That's the reason behind our call for a separate Arts site. If that's not possible, then I honestly think it would be better to move them back to the main HubPages site, than to have them muddying the waters on the niche sites - even if that does mean some of us miss out on the opportunity to be on the niches.
Another thought - I don't suppose Google would be in the least bit bothered how many niche sites HubPages created SO LONG AS THEY WERE GENUINELY INDEPENDENT.
By linking all the sites back to HubPages - irrespective of their domain names - well that to me is just like giving the original categories unique URLs .
So far as Google is concerned they know that it's still all the same site because all the underlying structure and coding is identical.
This is something that confuses me too. I was puzzled when you said Google had advised limiting the number of niche sites.
If you are genuinely creating new, independent, authoritative niche sites which offer value to readers in a specialist area, surely it doesn't matter how many you have? And surely, that's what you should be doing because that's what Google has said it wants.
If you asked them about creating pretend offshoots of HubPages just to get out from under a penalty, then I can understand them telling you what you might get away with - but surely that's not what you should be trying to do.
Absolute agree... I have created dozens of websites using Weebly....A most user friendly site indeed.
It's a shame that most of the oldies are no longer participating in the forums. Well, at least we got a response from Paul this time.
To facilitate submissions and to see where some topics don't fit in, I just made a list of niche sites by URLs, listing their topic areas for reference on this thread:
http://hubpages.com/community/forum/138 … ost2854073
History under another site rather then owlcations is particularly a good idea. Some of my hubs related to history look alien on this site but nevertheless they are doing well on owlcations.
Here is the list of sites and sub topics again for reference.
https://tatring.com/ - Tattoos & Piercing
FIXING A TATTOO
https://pethelpful.com/ - By fellow animal lovers and experts
FISH & AQUARIUMS
REPTILES & AMPHIBIANS
FARM ANIMALS AS PETS
https://bellatory.com/ - Fashion and Beauty
HYGIENE & GROOMING
https://delishably.com/ - Food and Drink
APPETIZERS & SNACKS
DAIRY & EGGS
DESSERTS & SWEETS
SAUCES, CONDIMENTS, AND PRESERVATION
SPICES AND SEASONING
https://axleaddict.com/ - A community of car lovers, enthusiasts and car mechanics sharing our auto advice
ALL TERRAIN VEHICLES
AUTO BUYING AND SELLING
CAMPERS & MOTORHOMES
MOTORCYCLES & SCOOTERS
TRUCKS, SUVS, & VANS
https://caloriebee.com/ - Diet & Exercise
GYMS, STUDIOS, & CLASSES
PSYCHOLOGY & MOTIVATION
VITAMINS & SUPPLEMENTS
https://feltmagnet.com/ - Crafts
TEXTILES & SEWING
https://dengarden.com/ - Home and Garden
SWIMMING POOLS & HOT TUBS
https://levelskip.com/ Video Games
FIRST PERSON SHOOTERS
https://reelrundown.com/ - Entertainment
https://spinditty.com/ - Music
ARTISTS AND BANDS
INSTRUMENTS & GUEAR
LEARNING TO PLAY
ADVANCED ANCIENT CIVILISATIONS
FORTUNE TELLING & DIVINATION HEALING
UFOS & ALIENS
WICCA & WITCHCRAFT
https://toughnickel.com/ - Money
FINDING A JOB
SCAMS & FRAUD
STARTING A BUSINESS
https://kindredbond.com/ - Family
ADOPTION & FOSTER CARE
HAVING A BABY
https://turbofuture.com/ - Technology
GRAPHIC DESIGN & VIDEO EDITING
HOME THEATER & AUDIO
https://wanderwisdom.com/ - Travel
PACKING AND PREPARATION
TRAVEL PACKAGES AND TOURS
https://letterpile.com/ - Writing and Literature
NEWSPAPERS & MAGAZINES
https://holidappy.com/ - Celebrations
https://soapboxie.com/ - Politics
https://skyaboveus.com/ - Outdoors
CLIMBING & HIKING
HUNTING & SHOOTING
https://hobbylark.com/ - Games and Hobbies
https://owlcation.com/ - Education
AGRICULTURE & FARMING
https://healdove.com/ - Health and Wellness
ACHES AND PAINS
DISEASE, ILLNESS& CONDITIONS
HEALTH CARE INDUSTRY
https://pairedlife.com/ - Relationships
SOCIAL SKILLS AND ETIQUETTE
You can copy/paste the list into a document on your laptop, or, bookmark the permalink of this post for future reference.
by Kylyssa Shay 7 years ago
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