I'm a returning Hubber with an 8-year-old main account that I haven't used for many years. I created a new account, because I want to write on a very niche subject and I want to keep it separate from my main account, which I will probably not return to.
I was away a very long time, but this site just didn't let me forget about it, as I still receive HP payments from Google to this day, despite the fact that I haven't touched my hubs for years. I have some questions about how the site works right now, though.
1. Is this site (Hubpages.com) a good place to write about gaming and more specifically MMORPGs?
2. Is an 500-1000 word article with 2-3 pictures considered acceptable or standards are different now?
3. Can I publish my articles myself, like in old times, or are they moderated now before they can go live? How long does it take to get an article online after I finished writing?
4. And anything else I should know about before returning?
1. I can answer one question, at least - HubPages is VERY good for gaming articles. If it's good enough, it'll be moved to the niche site LevelSkip. Many writers here make a lot of money from gaming articles.
2. At least 700 words is recommended. Was the "goals" section on the right side of the page there last time you wrote here? Try to reach the suggested goals such as word count, photos, and extras.
3. An article goes online right away, but it's likely to get more traffic if it's moved to a niche site (which is done automatically, or you can submit one manually every 14 days).
4. As Marisa mentioned, you should probably stick with your old account, especially if you're already making money from it.
My advice - don't start a new account. Your new account might "keep things separate" in your own mind, but in Google's eyes, there is NO separation between our accounts whatsoever. All Hubs are simply part of HubPages and Google doesn't know or care who the author is. We no longer have our own sub-domain.
If you start a brand new account, you'll need to go through boot camp and have all your initial Hubs approved, which is a pain. Also you're going to have to hit a separate payout threshold. So you'd really be better off using your existing account, where you can publish without that hassle. Hubs still go through a thing called QAP before being published, but provided you don't break any rules, you're likely to have no trouble.
On that note, I suggest you read my Hub on The Basic Rules (it's on the slider on my profile) which covers all the rules you need to follow. They've changed a bit while you've been away.
The other big change that's happened is that HubPages is no longer just one site. It's been split into several "vertical sites", each one specialising in a broad topic area. It's an attempt to please Google's demand for specialist sites.
All the most successful Hubs have been moved from HubPages.com to the vertical sites, and all new Hubs are automatically considered for transfer shortly after publication. There is a site for gaming, it's called Levelskip (yes, I know, lame name).
Take a few minutes to visit Levelskip, the site that Marisa mentioned to you. If the subject you want to write about is already covered, you might not be moved and even if you are your traffic is going to be poor.
If not covered, go for it. Make sure your article is good enough to be moved.
Marisa, you have been here the whole time and your avatar is the same? This kind of blows my mind, but in an awe-inspiring way. I look up to you. (I always have.)
Thank you for the good advice, guys. About starting a new account... that's really something I will reconsider now. The fact that you said basically all the best-traffic hubs have been moved, it's major. Tbh, I never liked their experimenting with weird stuff like subdomains, then back from subdomains, now specialist sites. It seems like they are trying to please Google way too hard. Way too hard. Wouldn't i have been better to keep everything on HP, the way it originally was, the whole time?
Unfortunately, I've never heard of levelskip, but I assume it's a new site. What I will do now is I will see if I can publish my new hubs on directly Levelskip under my old account. They will not be fancy, I just want to answer real questions people ask on gaming forums a lot in an accurate way. I may throw in some images where appropriate and see if this works at all.
Thank you again.
Why should I change my avatar? I like it!
You can't publish anything direct to Levelskip. What happens is this:
1. You publish your Hub to HubPages, in the same way as you always have (HubPages.com is now a kind of clearing house for the niche sites).
2. Your Hub goes through a process called QAP, to check that it doesn't break any rules and that the spelling and grammar are OK. If it passes, it gets published on HubPages.com immediately.
3. Your Hub is then placed in a queue to be considered for one of the niche sites. Each of those sites has its own editor, and some sites are more popular than others, so you may wait just a few hours, or it may take a few weeks.
4, The editor looks at your Hub and decides whether it's suitable for the niche site. They consider the standard of writing and the quality of the information, but they'll also check to make sure the topic isn't already over-saturated on the site.
5. If your Hub is considered suitable, the editor will move it for you, and you'll be notified. If it's pretty good but still needs a few tweaks, the editor will email you and let you know it needs work. It's usually a standard email and it can be hard to work out what needs done - so the best plan, if you get that kind of email, is to post on the forums and ask us to help you work it out.
6. Once you've done your tweaks, you re-submit it to the niche site using the button at the top of the Hub.
You will still manage all your Hubs from your Account page, regardless of which niche sites they get moved to.
I'd love to know who your other account is!
Re the "pleasing Google way too hard" - I can understand why they do it. HubPages has always relied on Google for traffic. HubPages gets over 90% of its traffic from Google, it's the way the site is set up to work.
HubPages couldn't "keep everything on HP the way it originally was" because the algorithm change in 2011 wiped out three-quarters of that traffic (and therefore income). Since HubPages had only just broken even at that point, losing that much income was a disaster. Although it was tough on Hubbers (and I disagreed with some of the things they did), management did well to keep HubPages afloat.
If they hadn't introduced sub-domains, which resulted in a rise in traffic, I think the site would've gone under - like Associated Content, Squidoo, and most of its other competitors did. Unfortunately, Google changed its algorithm again and the sub-domains stopped working, so traffic dropped again and HubPages had to try something else to survive. The niche sites are the solution, and so far they seem to be working, mostly. Fingers crossed.
"It seems like they are trying to please Google way too hard. Way too hard. Wouldn't i have been better to keep everything on HP, the way it originally was, the whole time?"
List of sites which didn't experiment with this stuff which no longer exist = very long, and includes Squidoo.
List of sites which still exist = 1 basically, hubpages.
Subdomains was pretty much just a loophole they discovered which worked for a while but was then closed.
As Marisa said, with no niche sites this place probably wouldn't exist.
I do admire Paul Edmondson's dedication to do everything he can to keep this site afloat. I should be more cautious to judge their past moves as long as they worked out the way they did.
Thank you for spelling out the process for publishing a Hub to me. I like the way it works now with the editiors. I did get a bunch of emails over the years that told me some of my Hubs needed editing or were moved. However, they seemed to always do all the work for me and I never needed to come here.
It is pretty clear that quality is in the eye of the beholder or rather it's just determined by the amount of traffic a Hub gets, which is fine.
I was a more social Hubber back then, even HP élite for a time. When Haruko left, I felt that it was very abrupt and unexpected and that she left a vacuum in the CM role, so I guess it played into my leaving in some way. But more than that I felt that my career as an online writer was coming to a natural closure as I was no longer feeling the enthusiasm and initiative to write. I am still deciding on my next move. I can see many are still here that I used to talk to. I don't know if this sounds horrible but I would like a clean slate mostly because I won't be that social anymore and I'd also like to avoid a situation where people come to read and comment on Hubs they have zero interest in just because it's me publishing. It's been a while and I'm older now and I'm not the same person.
I'm also impressed with the way that hubpages has adapted and survived, considering how many 'revenue sharing' sites have gone. Its the last man standing really.
A lot of challenges for literally any site which relies on ad revenue as its primary or sole income source, the rise of ad blockers over the past couple of years is scary.
I ran a script on my website which detected and recorded which visitors were blocking ads. Only ran it for one week because it affected site speed, but it came out at about 25% of visitors. It would be even worse for sites which aren't generalist, e.g. tech focused sites would have an even higher proportion of people running ad blockers.
I do wonder whether those people who surf with ad blockers will one day be moaning about how you used to be able to find free information on the internet, when it no longer exists.
It's entirely up to you, whatever makes you comfortable. I guess what you have to consider is, are you going to keep your previous identity a dark secret? You've already let the cat out of the bag, so I suspect some people will start playing guessing games, or start badgering you until you reveal who you are - and then they will have exactly the same expectations as if you'd "come clean" right at the start.
I would be inclined to use your existing account but post on the forums to announce you're back, but you're here to "just write" - you don't have the time to participate in the community any more. Some people might get a little upset at that, but if they're that intolerant you're probably better off without them anyway!
Thanks guys. It is lovely to see you, Ryan. So it's safe to say that years later it turns out making money with rev-sharing sites might not be viable even when you are sharp enough to build a fairly popular one. Good luck to you, anyways. I know you'll find a way.
Marisa, yep, I forgot to mention that I'm not here for the money. I'm not good enough to go after big money writing. It takes more faith and dedication than what I have. I'm part of some gaming communities now where there is a severe lack of accurate information. Worse than that, there is lies, trolling and myth-making that poison people's experiences. When I look online for guides, there are some nice ones but nothing that tells me with "surgical precision" how exactly to do things that virtually every gamer in a particular game wants to do. I mean to say there are a lot of gaps to fill, myths to debunk, and I could do that. I've been too lazy to do that and, being the "forum person" that I am, it wouldn't let me be. So now I might just do it to get this out of my system and maybe have some fun along the way.
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