A few days ago I was advised to look into Hubpages as a good place to collate my reviews. So yesterday I posted my first review. This was not something that was knocked up in a few minutes, no usual steam review of "10/10 would play again" but my usual detailed and fair review. It had already been spell checked in google docs (my word processor of choice) and each paragraph taken through the Grammarly editor (as a Dyslexic 38-year-old I use all the tools I can to make sure silly mistakes do not make it through).
When I started using the editor here I very quickly fell in love with the capsule system, what a fantastic tool for reviewers! I know me and the site would be fast friends.
An hour or so if tweaking adding images, getting it just right I hit publish, confident that the bootcamp risk existed to weed out spammers, not for legitimate posters such as myself.
I linked to the review in the steam pages, I advertised the link on social media, I linked the developer of the game to the review, all was good, I had found a home.
Then disaster struck, middle of games night I get an email telling me that the review had not met with the sites quality control, seems it was not just for spam after all!
Luckily the person that rejected it had included a reason, a detailed explanation of way, they had said "proof read", Ok so clearly there must have been a mistake? I apologise to my guests and load up the site, I read through the article, I look for the rest of the Quality control person's message as to exactly what was wrong, I find nothing. I drag my guests over, they are fellow gamers, after all, we read my review, a couple of sentence structure changes later and we are all confident that it will be ok....publish.
Then I wake up to find some people dismayed that the link will not work for them, jokes of me getting the link wrong, questions as to why I pulled it. I quickly check my email, there is a duplicate of the original "we pulled your article" only this time it has no reason to it at all not even those oh so helpful 2 words.
I ask the community via your "help me be approved" forum, and I get a suggestion that maybe I should drop the link, the rating and I need a space between each paragraph....surely the site would not be so pedantic as to unpublish my review due to some arcanic tradition of spaces, but I complied, I also removed the link though it was clear the link was not an affiliate one or anything dodgy and linked to a well known and trusted site....Steam. I then also removed the rating, a bizarre thing to not be ok in a review but hey, I am new. Published again.
in the meantime, I am putting the finishing touches to my Pinball FX3 review and publish that. I get a notification someone else has posted on the "help me" thread, they mentioned I have a lot of grammatical errors and had taken the time to re-word a lot of the first part of my review...there was a lot of changes and it really changed my tone, my style, my uniqueness. To go that route would cease it being a gamer reviewing a game for other gamers and be more in line with the generic game reviews that I dislike so much (and one of the reasons I started reviewing a few years back). No says I, that can not be it.
Then my review is unpublished AGAIN. The worst thing is that for the 3rd time the editor that unpublished it decided that the time and effort that went into writing the article was not worth their time to tell me why!
If it sounds like I am angry it will be because I am. It is your site, It is your choice what is published and what is not, if my style does not fit with your vision then that is fair enough, but tell me, do not make it a mystery, do not waste my entire day trying to work out what could be wrong. Do not, in short, have so little regard for the time and effort it takes to write an article as to not even bother to let the author know why you are breaking his link and tossing his work into the preverbal wastepaper basket.
Take the few minutes it takes to tell an author why you feel the work they spent hours on is not worth posting on the site.
It's really frustrating to read a post like this without being able to see a link to the article. If we could, many of us would try to help you to figure out what the problem is.
As it is, there is nothing anybody can do to assist you.
Like all of us, you should take the time to read what is in the learning center and school yourself with regards to what is expected from you here as a writer. Writing "blind" is a recipe for disaster for most people.
You cannot expect to be successful if you don't even know the rules of the game...so read, learn and try again.
I would also suggest that you take the time to read articles from some of the other writers here that have passed QAP so that you get a feel for what will work.
Here are some tips:
1000 words minimum or more
excellent photos that are properly credited
content that reflects the title/topic
videos, polls or maps
excellent grammar, spelling and structure
good use of capsules
minimal linking, even to your own articles
correct use of product ads
careful use of keywords
good and appropriate summary
There are two reasons why this is one of the last content sites standing. Firstly the adapt quickly to changes in the online environment. And secondly the hire a minimum of staff and used mainly automated and rapid systems to save costs.
If you want a full editorial interaction you will find you have far less creative freedom and a slower system with higher standards--think Medium or Huffington Post. If you want to write however suits you you can monetize your own blog or website.
Tried my own blog route, paid for 2 years for a domain and a site, traffic to it was an issue as I did not have enough to afford an ssl cert and so the recent changes google made to chrome really hit hard. My reviews do not make money (nor is that really my goal) but I also do not wish to lose money, which is what my blog has essentially done.
I was looking for a place I could just collate and share my reviews, I was told here was such a place.
If it was a computer algorithm that rejected my review 3 times then the lack of human consideration is understandable but it also makes the site much worse to me. (and calls into question the usefulness of such programs as Grammary which did not detect any issues with my work.
It was a human whose job requires them to assess too many hubs for a written reply to be possible.
I would suggest that you consider a fully free blogging platform. Blogger or Wordpress can be used with no costs at all. Blogger is easier to monetize.
Please understand I am not trying to get rid of you at all , but Hubpages is what it is. If the style guide and QAP system don't meet your needs you need to find something that does.
It is word press I used for my site, I had to pay for the domain, the site hosting and I believe the theme, it added up fast!
I will look into Blogger, thank you.
If it was a human then they really do need to say why a person's work is rejected, we may have to agree to disagree but a lot of work goes into writing an article and to simply rubber stamp it no is unacceptable. I posted this so they will know it is an issue, It will not change my circumstances and will not get back the time this site has cost me, but may help the next guy.
I know the community is the only reason I did not simply delete my account and the help is genuinely appreciated. I do believe I am, sadly, not a good fit for the site.
You don't need a domain or to provide your own hosting to use Wordpress, try moving to a Wordpress.com blog if you are already used to the system. Although Blogger has the advantage of Adsense built in.
In the email, was there a link you could use to post the article in the forums? If so, you need to give us that link - it's a special one which will enable us to see the article.
Having said that, I'm not sure HubPages is the right place for you. Although you have an account on HubPages, it's not true to say you will have "all your reviews in one place". HubPages is a network of sites: your best quality reviews will be moved to the specialist gaming site, whereas your less accomplished ones will stay on the main site. Most readers will never visit your profile and see what else you've written - they're more likely to browse around by following the "related Hubs" which appear next to your article. Also, there is no way for readers to follow you on HubPages - here, you're more like a staff writer on a big magazine than an individual blogger.
Blogger does sound like the right place for you. Yes, it's hard to build traffic and get readership, but if you are active on gaming forums and link to your blog in signatures, on Twitter etc, it will improve. Choose a name for your blog that says the site is about game reviews (i.e. not your name!). You need to be posting a new review or post about once a fortnight regularly.
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