I often see forum posts about how the site is 'dying', or asking why people would continue writing here after they've earned success on their own websites. So I thought I'd start a thread about WHY people still write here. To start, here are some of my reasons (I haven't written much in the past year, but I'm looking at a few more hubs that I need to write):
1. It's great for orphan topics. Sometimes I only have 1,000 words to say on a topic, so Hubpages is a great home for single topic articles which don't fit on any of my niche sites.
2. It's great for testing topics. Sometimes I'm just not sure if it's worth building an entire website around a topic - so I write a hub and leave it for a few months to see how it goes, comment and traffic wise.
3. It's great for viral topics. When you write a time sensitive article about a topic such as a new Social Media change or the latest tech trend, you need to rank quickly. Your traffic is also going to be low conversion, as they prefer an answer to a question, rather than buying or clicking adverts. Using Hubpages for quick viral hubs means fast rankings and good pay per view earnings.
4. All the updates are handled by someone else. For those who own websites, I'm sure you'll agree that they're HARD WORK. From keeping up with the latest SEO updates through to updating privacy policies, updating plugins and keeping an eye out for issues - it's something that can be quite exhausting, thanks to the hundreds of changes per year with Google's algorithms and the number of hackers and spambots out there. Hubpages has a team who keeps up with SEO changes and site security, so we can just get in there and write, instead of worry about those things.
5. Adverts are optimised. One of my sites has a large advertising partner, along with a range of affiliates. That means making sure everything works, that adverts don't conflict, that there aren't any spam ads and that affiliate links and images don't suddenly go to 404s. Not to mention - choosing adverts that will match in terms of keywords and actually earn money and interest visitors. Luckily, Hubpages does all that as well.
What are your reasons for still writing on Hubpages?
I just enjoy writing about different topics and sharing them with my friends...
When I started writing here 5+ years ago my plan was to write on a bunch of different sites, plus build my own. Over time it became clear that HubPages was the best return on my time investment, compared to other revenue sharing sites. I gradually whittled it down to where I only write here, and most of those sites are gone now anyway.
Same with building my own sites. Why spend countless hours just getting everything to work right and look how I want, when I can use the same time to post a dozen articles on HP and have them earning immediately? It just makes more sense.
It costs zero dollars to write here, though you are giving up 40% of your ad income. However, that's money you likely would not have earned anyway if you weren't on HP's platform, so I've always considered it a good deal.
HP is very powerful. Even in the dark days before the niche sites, my niche Hubs could compete with and outrank the big-name sites in the field. Now with the niche sites its even better. Compare that to starting your own site, struggling to get links, build content, gain authority and inch your way up in the SERPs. It would take years to get the same results.
You can do well here. Don't believe the naysayers. If you have a niche where you are an expert, understand a little SEO and are willing to put in the work, the money will follow. Why start a site when I can do better here?
All that said, I am beginning the process of starting my own sites once again. Not because I don't believe I can continue to do well here, or because I have lost faith in HP, or because I think I can do better on my own. I'm pretty sure I can't, but we'll see.
If I knew everything would stay as it is on HP I'd never consider writing anywhere but here. But as it stands I am downright terrified of the next big change to come around the corner. Will HP get rid of Amazon ads or drastically change how I can use them? Will they give the editors even more control over my content? Is there something coming down the road that will make it impossible for me to do well here?
I still intend to make HP my main focus of attention online for the foreseeable future. It would be silly not to. But I need a backup plan just in case they initiate some change that will make the situation here untenable for me.
In the beginning I did it to promote a blog, but now I also have to say it's because of the money.
I understand why some people get discouraged after a while. It takes a lot of work to optimize an article and promote it effectively before ad revenue starts to make a difference.
The majority of articles may not be worth it. A handful can produce great results.
It took me a couple of years to settle into the right list of habits and results.
1. They do the work of maintaining the site, monetizing and providing tools that save me work; for instance, I don't have to try to input code for H2 tags, it's already in the subheadings. So glad the site has good engineers. They deal with all that technical stuff.
2. HP is mostly search engine friendly. Articles get indexed quickly and very often move up in the SERPs quickly too.
4. I've learned a lot while writing here and still learn. Seeing what does well here and comparing that with the performance of my own sites, for instance, brings me some insights.
5. I like the tools and the look of the site.
6. I like the site in a sort of general way; I like the admin, how the site is constantly improving and adjusting and how that benefits everyone here; I like that writers have a place to publish their work on a site that brings their work to a sizable audience since articles do generally get good positions in search results.
My reasons are somewhat different than some of what has been mentioned here.
I came here from Yahoo, where I had a horrible first time online writing experience. Lots of prima donnas and big egos and very little help.
I wanted to produce articles that would be helpful to people, but I had very little knowledge about online writing.
Immediately upon arrival, I discovered one of the most cleverly put together and user friendly sites I had ever seen. I also discovered, after awhile, that there were really good people on the forums who were willing to help me to learn. Some have become very good friends over the years.
I was 69 when I began writing here. Now I'm 74. I've had some very serious health problems during that time, and have found that although I have become somewhat limited due to my health issues, writing is something I can still do that is fun and fulfilling and kind of keeps me "in the loop".
I never intended to earn here, but about 2 years ago, my income started rising, and it continues to do so. This has shocked and pleasantly surprised me, as has the rise in my page views. Right now I have about one million five hundred and sixty thousand views! For someone who took 6 months just to make the first payout, this is an astounding figure!
Arthritis and other health problems may make me stop writing one day, but until then, it's HP for me. The founders, the staff, the writers, the technology are all wonderful. Why in the world would I ever go anyplace else!
Why do I write here?
I have to get things out, and also I hope there are a few who get what I'm writing.
Knowledge. Given and received.
Ease of compilation.
Money. Since the niche market opened up.
Just wanted to say thank you to WryLilt for starting this thread and to everyone who has commented here. It's really good for those of us on staff to keep in touch with why you love writing and what makes HubPages a site you want to do it on.
Thanks Christy. I started writing here originally and I have to say - it's still one of the best sites of its type on the 'net! It's hard to keep everyone happy (especially Google) but you certainly do a great job trying (better than many of us back seat drivers I'm sure, haha).
All great reasons for writing here! For me, I am often forced to work in other areas. My personal site suffers from a lack of attention while HP keeps things humming along over here. This alone keeps the site fresh as well as my pages and keeps views relatively stable.
Forums often provide a heads up on SEO changes or Google updates; it's good to see how others are being impacted on my niches as well as others.
Under another account I have orphan hubs that have provided over half of payout in Amazon sales, that I would never get with a mere one or two posts on a site of my own.
Many espousing moving to one's own site have years of evergreen articles to draw on. Bully for them; I just don't have the time to keep up 4 sites. Thank you HP for making this a great platform for many of us with diverse interests and other arenas of occupation.
The social aspect, there is a great community here and I find it much better as a social site than Facebook or Twitter. Also, it is much easier to post your articles here and gain followers than it is to maintain your own website. To me money isn't an issue, so this is still a great place to write.
I'm stressed out by the idea of operating my own website. I think that is reason numero uno why I write for the Hubpages network. Second is I am making more money here now than ever before, so it would seem prudent to continue on.
Thanks Wrylit for being a part of this place. You were one of the first persons I saw, years ago, who I could tell knew what they were doing.
Great subject, Wrylilt. I don't really write for the money, although it's fun to earn a few hundred bucks a month doing something you enjoy, so it's a form of entertainment for an old dude, and a way to stay in touch with other writers and friends. Plus the folks running the site are great people.
All of those points are spot-on as to why I like writing here. Hubpages has helped me evolve my online writing abilities, which I'll be able to use once I create my own sites.
The money aspect has been great but the feeling of having millions of people come across your articles is what truly motivates me to keep going.
I have not written anything new on HP for a long time as I tend to very much work on my own sites which do considerably better than here. That being said I tend to check in here almost every day to see what is being said in the forums etc.. I will often find out about a new update or other change from the forums here rather than elsewhere.
This is where I first earned online and cut my teeth.. Without the help of HP and the community here I would not be earning as I do from my own sites.
I agree in particular with point 1.
I have a number of my own sites but, like you say, if I don't have enough content for a whole site then this is a good place to put it.
I have updated and moved some of my unfeatured hubs (which I think are worth keeping) over to one of my own sites, which is a general site, as it boosts content there.
But yes, if I sell off or shut down my own sites I know I can leave content here (with occasional updates) and know that someone else will take care of the infrastructure etc and I can just leave then to it!
I haven't written much new here for quite a while but if I do come up with something I think would be useful then I will add it!
I am confused with the phrase "content for a whole site". What does it mean. A site can have 100's of posts or may contain only 10 articles. So, you can post even a 500 words post at your own site.
I think Azure11 is referring to having sites around a single topic. For instance, I may want to write one article about dealing with dental phobia, but none of my other sites are even slightly related - in that case, I don't want to make a whole new site just for that topic, I can throw it on Hubpages.
Google judges a site's authority based on how close it stays to a single topic or two. So if your site talks about dentists one day, food the next and then Social Media another, Google will have no idea what you're an authority on and you'll get less traffic.
Yes, that's true. You need to create content according to the relevancy of the site or blog. My blog is about Lifestyle Tips which can cover a wide variety of topic around lifestyles. One should keep this point in mind while christening his blog. Thanks for the clarification.
My reason for continuing my writings at HubPages is that this site attracted me at the very first sight. I got much impressed by the form, design and look of this site. I can easily present my topic in a beautiful way with the help of the built-in capsules like text, images, tables, polls, videos, etc. It is the most appealing way of presenting all your ideas and thoughts in an elaborate way to your readers.
The next point that I love here is the friends made at this site. They are so nice, gentle, wise, intelligent, and friendly people that you cannot find on any other platform.
So, I never think of leaving this platform even though I am not a regular writer. I always interact with people here on daily basis by reading their articles and placing my comments there.
I love you all my friends and the HubPages staff.
I'll admit to being one of those who felt the site was dying a few years ago. I don't see that sentiment being expressed anywhere, since the niche sites were introduced.
I still think the main HubPages.com site may become just a clearing house for the niche sites, but I am actively encouraging people to write for the niche sites now. They are a perfect solution for people who want to write, but who don't have a specialty subject. I don't know of anywhere else that offers the same opportunity.
The niche sites are also ideal for people who do have a speciality, but don't have the time or the inclination to run their own blog. Blogging isn't the "Four Hour Work Week" dream any longer - if you want to run a blog, it's a proper job, and it's hard work. Not everyone wants that.
I honestly don't know how people can run their own stuff and make a decent profit because of the time and effort it would take to make it happen.
You could literally be putting in 50-60 hrs a week on your sites/blogs and not see a dime for months, I envy those who have the skills and patience to do that knowing how uncertain it may be.
I wonder what percentage of sites/blogs make more than 100 dollars a month or even 10. I read somewhere that 80% make under $10 a month, which is insane given how many there are.
You're absolutely right, Chris. The trouble is, the image of a blogger lounging on a beach while the income rolls in is a powerful one. The guy who wrote the Four Hour Work Week, Tim Ferris, is still blogging about "escaping the nine-to-five", but it's actually a bit sad when you read his blog now - it's pretty obvious that he's the same as most bloggers, having to chase various streams of income to sustain his lifestyle.
If you have genuine expertise on a subject (or a stellar ability to research!), and you're willing to make it a full-time job, you can make a living from blogging. The lucky few will make a LOT of money, but it it's exactly like any business venture - there will always be some companies that have huge success and others that stay small, or fail.
I also think some people would rather work 50 or 60 hours in their own business than work 40 hours a week for someone else - even if working for someone else is more secure and pays better.
I worked out a long time ago that I could earn more working two days a week in a shop, than working seven days a week on my blogs and other writing. It's no fun working in a shop, but it's only for two days - and that gives me five days of the week when I can do what I want.
I support my family entirely off my website earnings (and Hubpages to a much lesser extent). It's possible but it's very hard work - that said, it's initial work. It's the learning and the creating at the start. I haven't actually written more than a couple of things in the past year, and the income still comes in.
However I try and be innovative or controversial in my content - do the opposite of what the majority are doing. Few people seem to be able to do that.
I love it here. Though I have not written here often as I should, this site is what I called my "baby" writing platform. I have learned a lot from all of the hubbers that I have met. Hubpages is the best site that I have encountered. Of course, the passive income is the bonus that I recieve from one of my hobbies. I hope this site will stay forever. God bless to all!
I agree with so many of the writers here (and it feels like we are all friends). I love the ease of using the site, and the fact that HP keeps improving it. The look and feel for readers has been updated to be more contemporary, and HP has instituted some filters and policies to ensure the content is high quality.
Since my life has been very busy the last few years, I haven't written that much new content, but I've edited several things and have kept HP in mind when I see new ideas. I like to write, and I am reasonably certain I would not be great at creating and maintaining a freestanding site. So HubPages is a good choice, and I'm glad my content is here.
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