The niche sites have been a great idea for HP. Combined with the new EBDA (Exchange Bidding), many hubbers are seeing an increase in HP income. This is awesome to see. I believe this alone will inspire more hubs of higher quality.
My concern is for LetterPile. I have a lot of stories and articles on that particular niche site, and I appreciate HP's decision to move each one. I would like to see one more step taken with LetterPile. To me, it is a step that will render all that has been done up to now even more effective. Also in my opinion, without this added step, LetterPile will be much less effective at attracting organic page views, i.e. search engine traffic as opposed to visits from other hubbers.
My feeling is that there are people out there looking for short stories, flash fiction, and poetry. They end up on the online magazines. We want them to find LetterPile. Once they have found our niche site, we want them to stay. But what do they see once they arrive on LetterPile? They see a page full of Pictures and titles. The headings get lost in the clutter. If I was a visitor, I wouldn't stay. Seriously, I wouldn't.
The site needs to be organized so that a visitor can come in and choose where they want to go just like they choose where to go in a real bookstore. In a bookstore or library, we first go to fiction, for example. Then we look for sci-fi or suspense or thriller, or comedy or romance etc.
How is a visitor to LetterPile supposed to find a sci-fi story? Right now there is only one way for them to find it; by accident. That is no way to treat a customer and that customer will return such treatment by walking out the door, or in the case of LetterPile, by closing that page of their browser.
When a visitor comes in, they should see Clearly identified headings for flash fiction, short stories, poetry, articles about writing and any other appropriate categories. After that, the material should be subdivided by form and genre. This is the most critical step. Without this, LetterPile is just that; a pile of fiction with no organization at all. This is not a thrift store bookshelf, it is original creations of some very good writers. We deserve a better presentation of our work, and the visitor deserves a clearer presentation of the offerings of the site.
I would like to see some discussion on this matter and hear what the HP staff thinks about this idea.
In short, I am asking what hubbers and the HP staff think about organizing LetterPile by form (fiction, poetry, articles) and genre(sci-fi, romance, comedy, suspense, thriller, historical fiction etc.). If you are confused about the difference between form and genre, see my article in LetterPile...if you can find it.
Chris, this is a fantastic idea. It makes perfect sense to set the site up as a bookstore. Internet searches have no time to be confused or to figure out how to navigate a site. Titles alone don't always reveal the form or genre. I sincerely hope HP staff takes your suggestion into consideration. More importantly, I hope they implement.
I just googled Letterpile out of interest. There are some sub-titles under the main heading an interested reader could click on - Poetry, Creative Writing, Essays, Quotations and so on. Once on the site there are then more subjects to choose from - Humor Writing, Books, Inspirational Writing to name only a few.
So there is some guidance and choice for the visitor BUT I think you're right Chris there should be a drop down list of subdivisions or something similar. Perhaps a separate box for the visitor to type in specific needs?
Yes there are headings, so we are partway there. But to me it seems it is disorganized and very difficult to separate the headings from all the titles. HP is definitely heading in the right direction. I have no complaint about that. In fact, I have no complaints at all. I would just like to see them continue down the same path and make some Decisions that I think are pretty logical.
My knowledge is not great and I know very little about this. I feel that Kirsty and Team are trying their best in a rapidly changing market. It is not always so black and white. Still, if your ideas make sense then it may be useful to look at them also. Peace.
I admire what the staff has done so far. Niche sites were a brilliant move. I just feel there is more to do in some of the niche sites. I have articles in several, but I've really only focused my attention on LetterPile.
I totally agree with the OP. Recently about 9 of my poetry hubs were transferred to Letterpile and even I have a hard time to find them there. I thought I had read somewhere in a HP blog that they planned to reorganize Letterpile and only put poems and short stories in there and find another suitable place for the rest.
I'm not sure what has been put into place. I've gone back to the blog, and it seems some things have changed. I'm having a hard time seeing it though. I believe articles about how to write fiction have moved. I have one that deals with the meaning of genre in fiction, but that remains on LetterPile, or it was last I looked.
Thanks for the support on this topic.
Hi Chris,,very interesting step,,it’s really necessary for google readers to catch some attention on LetterPile and some steps needs to be taken in order to get readers interest.Like categories should be done for fiction or non-fiction stories.
When you go to the site now, it is broken up in to seven categories: writing, Poetry, Humor, Inspirational, Creative, Personal essays, Books. This is good. But I would like the Creative Writing category to be expanded. When you click on that link, you are presented with dozens of stories in different genres. This is where the effort needs to be placed. Break it down according to genre.
These are very good suggestions, and I hope the HP staff gives them serious consideration. Thank you, Chris!
I'm sure HP is not looking for another mountain of work to do and this project would be just that. In the meantime, one thing we can do is to put the genre of our story or Poem in the title.This would not organize this site by genre, but it would at least give the visitor a way to find what they're looking for. I've been doing this with all my stories for a long time. When in HP edits my work they do not take the genre out of my title.
I'd like to see sub-headings in the other categories too.
Edit: Poetry definitely
I agree. They should be added where it would give visitors the chance to find what they came for. Part of the problem is that it is a lot of work and HP has only so many staff. I wonder if they accept volunteers.
I agree with your valid suggestion, Chris. I also read that they are supposed to be reorganising Letterpile so it is only for original fiction and poetry and reviews etc of classic poetry and the like would be moved. I see that doesn't appear to have happened yet and may take time. I also have trouble finding anything of mine that has been moved if I visit the site randomly.
John, I have no idea how much time and effort it would take to organize things on LetterPile. My concern is that other niche sites will feel the need for the same, and maybe that is a valid point for them as well. It may require patience on our part, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't insist on more progress. These poems and stories represent a lot of time and hard work on the part of writers on HP. We deserve every opportunity for our work to be read.
I do believe some changes have taken place on LP. I've read in the blog where some hubbers mentioned their work had been moved to another niche site. So things are still happening.
Good suggestion. Two of my poetry reviews were moved to
Letterpile so I submitted my next one there - and received an email telling me that they had placed it on Owlcation, which they felt was a more suitable location.
Here is another reason more work needs to be done on LetterPile. I recently posted a ten-part short story over a series of a couple of weeks. All parts were moved to LetterPile. But Part 8 (eight) has been placed in a prominent place apart from the others. The Other nine parts have only gotten between 27 to 57 page views. Part eight has 501 pageviews. Why couldn't Part One have been given that prominent place. Readers may have been more inclined to read more of the story.
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