I am a small time online content investor from California and I have recently been turned on to the HubPages community by a friend in the same field of business. I am interested in purchasing a HubPages account that has already been established, has featured content on the niche sites, and generates consistent views each month. There are two reasons for this post:
1. Are there any rules or regulations here at HubPages prohibiting small time investors such as myself from purchasing full accounts along with all associated content? My initial research on the topic suggests there isn't, but if the good people of the HubPages community would provide me with additional information regarding this, it would be very helpful. I am not looking to step on anyone's toes.
2. Please contact me if you would be willing to consider selling your HubPages account to a content investor such as myself. I will ask for a few items from you that show the statistics associated with your account and the content within your account, and I will make you an offer for your account. You can take it or decline it, either way is fine. If an offer is accepted, we will use a safe online escrow account (such as escrow.com) to ensure the transaction is smooth and safe for both parties.
Thank you to everyone who took the time to read my post, I look forward to hearing from you!
I had someone offer to buy my account not long ago and I did some checking, I did not find any rules against it. That being said, that person never got back to me.
I would be willing to entertain an offer for my account along with all my content :-)
I have a ton of ideas for a whole new niche if I were to start again. This could be a good opportunity to do just that!
I can't see any problem with transferring an account to someone else. I've known children take over their parent's account when that parent passed away, for instance.
Whether money changes hands is none of HubPages' business.
Thank you for the replies! I definitely respect those who aren't interested.
theraggededge, it looks like you've put a lot of work in on a very interesting niche! Keep up the good work, I definitely respect you having no desire to sell. It looks like you love the stuff you write about, that's for sure.
Wolfy, please send me a message at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can discuss it. Thank you!
Hmm, as long as my articles are consistently getting views (and thus earning), it would take quite a bit to get me to sell my account. More long-term moolah. Plus, I simply enjoy writing.
Like Jeremy, it would probably take a considerable amount of money for me to give up an account. I'm making some passive income that's paying a few bills at the moment.
Interesting timing for this inquiry, given the HP Blog post and the maven.
I've been speaking to this person and he says it's pure coincidence. He does seem to be genuine and is offering reasonable figures to purchase (i.e. he's not expecting to pay just a few hundred dollars for an account that's got good monthly earnings).
He has a nice site a bit like this one. Seems to me he could run it just like this one and just pay the writers for views instead of paying 'reasonable figures' upfront for an account. Who would be doing the writing once the money had been paid? Might be a silly question but surely you have to have an interest or at least have some knowledge of the subject being written about by the Seller? Please enlighten me.
Maybe I can help shed some light on what I do a little for you since your curious. First, I tend to only be interested in websites (or in this case hubpages accounts) that have "ever green" type content. I try to still update the content on occasion to keep traffic up but I do try to buy content that isn't high maintenance.
For example, if someone wanted to sell me a bunch of content all about the current hot celebrity gossip, I'd probably have no interest in buying. That stuff has such high maintenance requirements. It needs to be constantly updated to keep readers.
However, how-to articles for example tend to do ok on their own for a long time with very little maintenance requirements (still some, but not much). As I said earlier, I am very "small time" with this stuff and don't have the means to employ a squad of people to keep content updated. I do a lot of the work myself. So even if it isn't something I know a lot about, usually I can at least keep it updated if it's semi "ever green."
So, when someone agrees to sell me their account for some number, I'll have them sign an agreement that basically says they are giving me ownership of the account and all content within the account for me to do with as I see fit. All interest in the content (articles, images etc) is released by the author. Money goes to an escrow account (escrow.com is who I usually use) and the login credentials are exchanged. I check the account and compare stats to make sure the stats I received prior to the offer being made are legitimate and that the content hasn't changed since I reviewed it last. Then I tell the escrow guys that everything looks good and they send the payment to the author.
Once I have the account and the sale is done, I'll do a number of things depending on what I think is best for that specific content. Either let it sit and age a little (don't do anything), or add/update the content, or transfer content to another site where I think it'll perform better. It's kind of case by case.
Maybe that sheds some light on the whole process? I hope so anyway. I was a writer before I started an interest in investing in online content so I can get a little winded with these explanations, hopefully I didn't lose you part way through!
I was once told that new material is key, to having Google look favorably upon a site but writing evergreen material certainly goes a long way towards maintaining traffic. I appreciate your explanation, thank you.
Sally, you were told right. New material is key. However, that doesn't necessarily mean updating old articles, it means adding new ones to the website. On HubPages you don't have a website, you're writing articles for a site where other authors are adding new articles all the time. So if you stop writing for a while, it's not that big a deal. If you think about it, Huffington Post or the New York Times don't go back and add new material to their old articles, do they?
I think this second to last paragraph explains a lot. The buyer will be transferring some of the content to other sites.
To be honest, that's kind of my very last resort. I usually only do that for the stuff that gets zero (or close to it) traffic. I learned once (it was a painful lesson actually) that if something is performing well, not to dare move it. You'll never get the incoming links it had back and you basically have to start over with the search engines ranking it. If it ain't broke, I don't like touching it.
No, I don't think that's the case at all. The OP is looking for HubPages accounts which can survive on their own for the long term, without much attention besides approving and answering comments.
Isn't that what investors do? Buy and then sell for a higher price if possible?
I'd be happy to write content for you, JWilliams. Of course I'd need to be paid in one way or another. Either revenue sharing or directly.
I'll keep you in mind! This hubpages stuff (reading hubs, researching about this Maven thing etc) is taking up most of my time at the moment but I'll let you know if that might work down the road. I'll keep your name in mind! I've hired authors directly before with solid results. Thanks for the reply!
I can tell you that I definitely didn't see this Maven thing coming, as I have been kicking around the idea of acquiring some hubpages content for awhile now (so far my experience has been mainly buying smaller websites or straight from authors). This is something that's new to me.
The Maven announcement adds some unknowns to the equation which, since I'm an investor, isn't something I necessarily like very much.
Anyway, I'm still looking for one or two more accounts (one purchase is in the works and should be done soon). Then I'll stop there and move on to other outlets. Since the HubPages thing is a bit new to me, I don't want to get too involved in something that I don't have much experience with just yet. If it works out, then maybe I'll be back someday.
Let me know if you are interested in selling your account and associated content (the best way is to email me). I'll ask for stats at some point and spend some time reading your stuff. There's never any obligation to accept my offer (if I make one, I can't buy everything) and I love reading hubs anyway, so it's no sweat off my back!
Given the editorial input of HP staff to many pages, they might feel they have a right to recompense.
Why, if the account remains intact on HP?
Nope the content is still ours that is in the TOS.
It is a bit much though to use HP to refine your page, provide editing services and test the market, only to flog it to someone else who may or not keep it here.
Also, the buyer may not have the skills to update and maintain the page, if it does remain on this site.
What's the difference who owns it? If someone is thinking of selling their account, then you have to ask yourself why. Perhaps they were thinking of leaving HP anyway, and in that case, selling it instead is a better option because the material is MORE likely to stay on HubPages.
Besides, if you'd bothered to read the OP's posts, you'd see that he's not interested in articles, or in taking Hubs and using them elsewhere. He's interested in accounts with long-term earnings potential here.
If the buyer is buying to make money, then he'd be a bit stupid to take on an account which he couldn't update and maintain, wouldn't he? I think he would consider that.
I don't sell stuff that someone else has contributed time or money to, without their express consent. But maybe that is just me.
Even with the consent I feel dubious about the moral aspect. But I accept that others have fewer scruples, lol.
Oh lol. Will is on a mission to make other hubbers feel guilty.
It has already been explained to you that the material, if doing well, will remain on hubpages. It makes no difference what name is on the account. Neither the readers nor HP care. Really.
What if someone is facing financial difficulty and their only means of raising capital is to sell their account? What if a hubber has passed away and their next of kin has no interest in keeping it going? What if a writer has returned to full-time work and no longer has the time?
Where does your 'dubious' moralizing stop?
Give it a rest for pete's sake.
I don't see how its my problem if you feel guilty.
There you go again. As I have no intention of selling my account, I am unlikely to be feeling guilty, am I?
Don't be obtuse. You know what you are doing, and you do it all the time. You take the moral high ground as if you have exclusive rights to it, and, in your opinion, no-one else is able to match up to your standards. And you express it with snide remarks like, "maybe that's just me," and "I feel dubious about the moral aspect." and "I accept that others have fewer scruples." Moral pomposity combined with snark... it's not endearing.
Can't have people taking the moral high ground, lol.
Anyway...think I will plod on saying what I think is true, regardless. And you will just have to cope as best you can.
The trouble is, Will, in this case, you have no high ground to take. There's simply no issue here. You are highlighting something that doesn't exist because the hubs will remain on HubPages. The creator of the account is giving up their rights to ownership in return for a sum of money. Just like you'd sell a house which a previous owner had improved using money donated by their parents. You're not likely to go back to those parents and ask for permission to sell are you? Even if the house had increased in value and you benefited substantially because of their efforts.
Your stance, in this case, has no substance. So please stop being judgemental of others who decide to take the selling route. It's none of your business and you have no right to challenge their morals.
You took the words out of my mouth. Moral pomposity. I must remember that phrase.
So Will, by your logic, a Hubber can NEVER delete their Hubs from HubPages, because HubPages has "contributed" to them and therefore the Hubber is under an obligation to allow HP to earn a return on those Hubs for ever more?
When you think about it, a Hubber who deletes Hubs is far more despicable in your eyes than merely selling their account - because if they sell their account, HubPages continues to earn from it.
The big flaw in your logic is that none of us has ever ASKED HubPages to contribute to or edit our Hubs. We don't have the option to decline that editing - allowing them to edit our Hubs is a condition of being allowed to have our Hubs on the niche sites. For that reason, I don't feel any obligation due to THEIR choice to work on my Hubs.
Interesting. Just to add to your argument Marisa. It could easily be argued that there is fair exchange for Hubpages efforts on our articles - 40% worth to be exact. This combined with the fact that the content is mine to delete or dispose of as I see fit would ease any guilt I might feel at selling my articles.
TIME: I presume the editors are paid an hourly wage, rather than a percentage of the profit generated from the content they edit.
MONEY: Hubpages paid them that hourly wage. They've since sold their business, the new owners didn't pay for those edits.
SUMMARY: People can sell their content guilt free.
Personally I'd sell pretty much anything at the right price, even a kidney. If I was offered enough money for one kidney at a price which means I didn't have to work again, then I'd hedge my bets that this would actually extend my life rather than shorten it.
I am still looking for one more account to purchase and then I will be done for awhile. With the whole Maven takeover I am not looking to get too involved with HubPages just yet. I have worked with a few of you and most are surprised by what I am willing to offer for your content.
So please, if you haven't yet and are at all interested in possibly selling your HubPages account for one nice lump sum of cash (or even just curious about what I might offer), please get a hold of me at email@example.com.
I protect my branded name so I wouldn't sell content under it, or allow anyone else to expand on it. But if anyone wants to become a clien for me to write something -- NOT on spec -- that's what I do. Honestly, I am surprised that this other concept is OK with HP, and I'm surprised that any author here would consider selling what they created under their own brand, but then, we all have different goals to achieve and different paths to follow.
You might be surprised how many writers on HP are not concerned about branding, or who deliberately use a different name here to avoid diluting their brand elsewhere in life.
As I've explained before, it's impossible to build a following on HubPages, so most people who are trying to build a brand wouldn't consider HP as part of their strategy, it's not an effective way to do it. On HubPages, you're just the equivalent of a staff writer on a magazine, neither Google nor most of your readers are aware of your articles as belonging to a single author.
Unless you are consciously creating a brand, and HP is part of it. Some people use HP to demonstrate examples of their work. Alien to you and me but they do it. I accidentally created a brand by writing under my kennel name. Now puppy people have read some of my work, while researching breeds and breeders.
For those hubs that HP edited, it was for their own service. They touched up a few of mine, added new photos, etc. I did not ask for it, it was more or less chosen to be done by them. They make money on us, like every other publisher that I write content for. If a hub is making enough and they want to put effort into making more after I have written it, that's there prerogative. I know that it hasn't made much difference though. If anything the views have went down and it hasn't went viral again. So morality of it? Nah, it's just business. If someone wants a lump sum instead of the trickle of passive income that is afforded here, well that's their choice. If it is in the TOS to do it, they wrote the conditions that made it possible, so any time put into improving my writing is on them. They've been compensated. Just like HP moving our hubs around as they see fit, I can drop articles as I see fit.
Not sure rational debate is allowed here. But plenty of points for trying.
How is "accepting others have fewer scruples" rational debate? I am making rational points; you are the one doing the belittling.
I know that you don't even care about the moral view, and I know you will often take the opposing stance just because you can. It's another opportunity to have a dig at people for your own amusement. It's so very plain because you always go in for the snide remark, rather than directly answer the points being made. It's a troll-tactic.
You haven't even addressed the main fact which is, that if an account is sold, the hubs remain on the platform and HP keeps earning from them. What is your response to that rational and repeatedly-made point?
This all goes back to the expert review thread of a few weeks ago. I obviously upset you and others by suggesting that expert opinion had a value and that shoddy work in YMYL areas was unacceptable.
Experience has taught me there is no point in arguing with someone who is purely interested in winning an argument for egotistical or emotional reasons.
You mean like, some day, you'll take back your words when you can get a signed copy of my work at the Thrift Store...
Pot calling kettle black (while at the sane time, avoiding the question).
Ha ha... it's his stock-in-trade.
He makes a point. Someone disagrees and offers an opposing view, he ignores it completely and goes straight to the veiled (or not so veiled) insults.
Will, you did not upset me. You have never upset me. Again, you made some statements that were easily refutable. I can't remember anyone saying that an expert's view didn't have value, just that those particular expert reviews under discussion didn't add value, and the way they were implemented by HP detracted from the articles themselves. Writers weren't informed or involved in the process... and some of the criticisms made by 'experts' were just plain wrong. Remember now?
Can you not, for once, leave out the derogatory comments and, instead, focus on the point in question, i.e. the hubs are remaining at hubpages. Or maybe you can't argue with that at all?
Edit: Surely an article moved to a niche site shouldn't be 'shoddy' in the first place?
I've been talking to a broker about selling one of my sites and he estimates 4 x yearly income. Will you pay that for my Hubpages account? lol
Empire Flippers is a good place to sell sites WryLilt, they have an extraordinary success rate (%).
Gosh, that's high. A common sale price for a small business is two years' profit, so 4x seems like a lot to ask
You're not kidding, and doubly so for an internet based business.
In four years we may find that every post on the net, past and present, must be reviewed by 6 lawyers, a congressional committee and the TSA before it can be seen. Or that advertising is banned. Or Bing buys out Google and scraps their SE in favor of their own. Who knows?
I doubt there has been a faster moving business environment in the history of the world.
The reason they'd be paying that much is because they expect the site to have huge growth. If a site ha been growing fast, then potentially it could earn four years' income in one year. But it is a big gamble, as you say.
It's one of the concerns I have about Maven. It has been doing really well in its first few months, but that's not unusual for a new site. There is never any guarantee that exponential growth will continue.
For 4X yearly income I would definitely take the offer for my accounts. It would get rid of a debt and I'd have something left to invest or play with, whatever. I'd be seriously tempted for 2X the yearly income. It would seriously get rid of a current major headache.
Would that just be the Ad revenue or Ad+ Affiliate revenue?
I can truly understand why someone would be willing to sell their HP account, but I'm just curious to how it actually is done. I understand the part of getting money in exchange for the login credentials and giving up your copyright claim, but what happens to the name of the account. Will that stay the same, or will it proceed under a different name? I thought that one can not change the name of an account, so what if the account name is the personal name of the seller? Like my account for instance. Not that I'm considering selling my account, because most of my articles are way too personal, but I'm just curious to what exactly the procedures are.
Why do I have the feeling this is some kind of scam? Do you have any credentials you'd like to share?
This was happening on Infobarrel several years ago. It is just a way to invest.
Well there aren't any credentials that I know of needed to invest in online content. However, I don't mind telling you a little more about myself to give you a better idea of what I do and who I am.
Like I said in my original post, I am a small time investor in online content. Meaning I am a single person business and don't have a team of employees or anything like that. I work a normal 9-5 job during the week and this is a side business I enjoy doing. I am also a writer myself which is what originally got me interested in online content.
I have a number of smaller websites in my portfolio, however this is the first time I have ever considered any content hosted on a revenue sharing type website such as HubPages. I see potential though, but to be honest I am only looking for a couple of accounts at this time since it's more of an experiment right now for me.
Some of the small websites I have invested in are:
- Knowledgebunker .com
- 50birthdayideas .com
- Superprepper .com
Again, these are not huge websites by any means and many of my sites are still “works in progress.” As I said previously, my plan is to leave content on HubPages and possibly even expand it. I like to be diversified as any good investor would, so if one of my sites fails tomorrow I could still have other options for generating traffic (such as HubPages).
Anyway I hope I shed a little light on what I do… anyone is welcome to e-mail me at any time and ask any follow up questions!
Also, a BIG thank you to the HubPages community for being so welcoming to me, it is much appreciated!
Are you still looking to purchase another account?
People sell fb, twitter, etc. all the time. Nobody can really stop them, as nobody knows.
Hub could be just as easy, as they would never know.
Hub could make it unprofitable by locking your payout paypal.
They could make it impossible to change.
Google adsense has some setting like this to avoid selling adsense accounts.
If course one could just "promise" to deliver any money...
If one just wants hubs to edit to promote, probably would not be a good idea.
Changing links, etc. would/probably get flagged and undergo a review.
Interesting, those 3 sites he mentions: one has had no updates since 2014 the other since 2013. I am curious how much revenue they generate with no new posts. From what I see most have less that 40 articles.
Something does not seem right to me. I wonder how much info people are giving "John" in order to get an offer. If I wanted to know what topics generate traffic and what income I could expect, this would be one way to go on a very informative fishing expedition.
Superprepper should be the only one making him money unless the other two get traffic via social media or email outreach. I just did some quick research on the ranking and traffic stats.
Yes, those sites have mostly run their course. KnowledgeBunker was my first and I started using that for my e-mail and main contact point which is why I still use it today. Those other two sites definitely aren't updated anymore but have done well in the past; earning my initial investment back plus a little extra.
I still get a little from them though, but not much. As I said, they did serve their purpose. I don't usually discuss any of my current projects.
If you gentleman have any specific questions for me, feel free to ask. I will answer as best as I can.
Thanks for the interesting info about the sites. To be fair to John, he referred to them as smaller investments, and I don't think it's unreasonable to want some basic info about a potential purchase. Of course, always exercise caution, just in case.
I don't believe he's a scammer, but if he is he's doing a better job than the Nigerian Prince and Free Cruise Destination hoaxes I'm accustomed to.
Yes, he would be better than a Nigerian Prince. But why give us abandoned sites as a reference. And at any point in time he, as a part time author could reinvigorate those sites with a few new articles. Just my thoughts, seems odd to pay for something and let it run fallow, when an occasional tweek will make it gleam again in Google eyes.
Hmm, it may not be that easy. With our hubs that become unfeatured due to traffic, small edits may feature again, but typically only for a bit. Similarly, a few new articles might not be enough to save entire sites. Plus, John said he made his money back, so the investments weren't a waste either way.
I see your point, but if I stopped writing for HubPages, I'd still likely slide it into my resume years from now.
Anyway, to see exactly what data John needs, we'd have to contact him, and only then could we adequately determine whether the requested information is fair. Perhaps getting in touch with past partners of his could help, although it may be difficult to verify their authenticity.
You can't always make a website gleam again with just a few tweaks. Take his knowledgebunker site for instance - I'm surprised he's even bothering to keep it live, considering what we know about Google 's attitude to generalist sites. No matter what he did, that site would never thrive.
Another limitation is expertise. If he bought a site to capitalize on a popular subject, but he doesn't have knowledge about it himself, then he'd have to weigh up the cost/benefit of paying people to write posts for him.
In both cases, you might wonder why he bought them, but remember, just a few years ago you could create a website and then just sit back and let it earn money, you didn't have to keep adding content. So the purchases would have made sense then.
I am not really invested in this discussion, but I will say, you don't need to be an expert on a subject to research it and add an article. Why purchase sites you have no interest in or expertise in. How do you select sites totally randomly, with zero interest in the topic? There are millions to choose from.
I joined in 2012 and started a blog at the same time. It was not an era of sit back, write on anything and earn. And 2012 predates both purchases.
Anyway,if someone wants to cash out, so be it, HP will make the account more active than a blog that has been abandoned. But I must note, several of those 10 million views+ hubbers who abandoned the site have not had many if any hubs moved to niche sites. Rest not on your laurels, lest you be left in the HP dust bin.
Well I can assure you I am not a Nigerian Prince... although that would be a pretty cool title! I also can appreciate a healthy dose of skepticism. On a more general note; I just have to say that it is sort of sad this day in age that if someone (like myself) wants to make a legitimate business deal online, people need to even have the thought of a "Nigerian Prince Scammer" in their head at all. Anyway, I am a little off topic...
For what it's worth, any account purchase I make will take place with the help of Escrow .com. If you have ever bought/sold a website before, you have probably have heard of them. I am fully verified through escrow .com with no limits on the transactions I can do through them. What this means is that they have verified copies of my driver's license, utility bill, various personal information, and other documents on file proving I am who I say I am.
Escrow .com also has a lot of protections for the seller as well as the buyer which is really nice. Also, for any transaction over $1,000 that I do online, I have a personal policy that I like to talk to the person over the phone before sending the money. It just helps reassure me before I send large sums of money over the internet (and hopefully the seller too). I have already spoken to one person so far from HubPages on the phone. I will not specify who without their permission, but I have.
Anyway, anyone is welcome to ask me questions directly, e-mail me, or even reach out and ask to speak on the phone if that would make you feel any better.
In the end though, no matter how much reassurance I give or how many company's have verified my identity through various documents, I would never want someone to do something they don't feel comfortable with.
@ John, the OP. Just for clarity, we don't actually own our accounts. We only own the content for which we hold the copyright (i.e., excluding free pics from Pixabay, etc.) The actual account, minus the content, is owned by HubPages.
What we have is exclusive use of our accounts provided to us by HP on joining, and in return, we grant them a non-exclusive royalty free licence to publish any content we upload. They can revoke that exclusive use at any time, and we can delete our Hubs at any time.
We can SELL our content and we can TRANSFER our accounts. The only place I know where HP mentions account transfer is somewhere in the Help section regarding deceased Hubbers' accounts being transferred to next of kin, etc. I've no idea how they view it being done for commercial reasons. Maybe, they don't care, but I can think of a couple of reasons why they might care: comments and bios.
If you're buying content on topics you're unfamiliar with, how will you handle comments or answer questions? You'll either need to put a disclaimer informing people that you're not the author OR else disable the comments section. As HP provides a comment section, they obviously feel it enhances Hubs - so they won't see that as a plus. The same goes for bios. Many Hubs have short bios that show the authors' expertise. You can keep those bios, of course, but your profile will be very different. Someone may read a great Hub you've acquired and want to follow the author and send some fan mail - only to find you're not the expert who wrote the Hub but an anonymous investor. It kind of goes against HP's ambition of creating a community of knowledgeable authors that Google will look favourably upon.
Then there's the thorny issue of image copyright. Many Hubbers don't provide a source for images they've used because HP makes it optional. If your purchase of the content involves also acquiring the copyright, you'll have to check the source of every image. Those that are owned by the seller will become yours and all the others, such as free-to-use images from Pixabay, etc., obviously won't - but you'll have to check to know which ones are now yours and which aren't.
In my particular case, it wouldn't be practical to transfer the copyright of my own images, because they're also published in many places apart from HP, including photo libraries like Shutterstock. Legally, I would have to track them all down and remove them as they would no longer be mine. Not only would that be impractical, it would be a money loser as every copy of every image on other sites is a potential earner, however small.
Anyway, interesting thread, and I'm looking forward to reading more. Good luck.
Hmm, I don't think comments would be a problem. Many don't require a response, and a bit of research can usually sufficiently bring an investor up-to-speed if they ever do feel the need to reply. If they felt deceitful, perhaps they could include a small disclaimer in articles (or bios, or the profile) that the articles are now managed by another.
You're right that we harbor jagged image policies, but for unsourced photos, could John not simply leave them be? It may present a risk in some cases, but the same risk that the initial hubber was taking. I suppose this could be a bargaining point.
About shared images, fair point, from my understanding that could be problematic if you're legally obligated to hunt other pictures down.
Thanks for the interesting post, chasmac, I also look forwarding to hearing more thoughts on the subject.
Hi Jeremy - Yes, he can use the pictures on HP as they are. It makes no difference to HubPages. I was meaning from John's perspective. Personally, I can't imagine having an image and not knowing whether it belongs to me or not. Ah wait - I do have one surviving image of Led Zeppelin taken in the early 70s but I can't remember if it was I or my friend who took it. It's annoyed me for decades!
Hi chasmac - You bring up many good points that I have spent considerable time exploring. As for how the account is managed after transfer (replying to comments, author bio etc) I will just say that all my methods are not exactly an open book I am willing to share. I can tell you about what I have done in the past though. In the past I have hired editors to reply to comments, or done them myself if it's a topic I am knowledgeable with. Other websites I decided to disable comments on, it really is case by case. Again, I have never bought a HubPages account in prior to this so we'll see how things fall into place.
As for the images and other copyright issues; I basically ask the seller to sign something guaranteeing me that they are not selling content to me that they do not have the right to sell. In other words, they are signing a guarantee that they are not selling me an account with a bunch of stolen images that they didn't have the right to use it in their content. If they are images with a free use license (such as one taken from UnSplash or Pixabay etc) then of course it wont be an issue because those images are free for anyone to use.
Will I know with 100% certainty that none of the images are stolen from somewhere else without a right to use them even though they signed saying that they weren't? Of course not, but I can only do the best I can do on my end to try and mitigate any of those issues. Of course if they purposefully misrepresented their content when they sold it to me, then that's an issue.
I find that people, especially in the world of writers, are generally good honest people. They usually aren't out to shortcut anything or scam me. I have yet to run into any major issues. Writing and building a quantity of good content generally takes a lot of patience, dedication, and hard work. Characteristics that a crook generally doesn't have. I have been lucky so far and everyone that has reached out to me has been very upfront and honest from the beginning.
Hi John - Thanks for your reply. As for the photos, I wasn't really thinking of illegally used images, I was assuming all the images on any accounts you acquire would be legal. What I meant was that you'd have to know which ones were owned by the seller (and now belong to you) and which are from free sites.
That's because the usage rights are different. It's not a problem while the images remain on HubPages, but, as you said, you may move the content elsewhere in future. You can do what you like with the images that you now own in addition to using them on HubPages. For example, you can sell them or have them printed on a thousand T-shirts or coffee mugs and sell them via companies such as Zazzle. You can't do that with images from free sites. So I just mean that, for your own protection, you should make sure you keep track of which ones you own, which are from free sites, and what the usage rights of those free images are (e.g., whether crediting the photographer or providing a link back, etc. is a condition of use).
I feel you're over-thinking it, chasmac. Yes, it's true that a buyer could use the images for other purposes, or move the articles elsewhere including the images - but both those things are secondary.
As John said in an early post, when he buys a website (or HubPages account), he's not just buying the articles, he's buying their age and reputation and Google ranking. If he moved the articles elsewhere, they would instantly lose all that, and be worth a fraction of what he paid for them. So he would be crazy to move them unless something catastrophic happened (in which case, the photos would be the least of his worries).
So, a sensible buyer would be buying the HubPages account as a "going concern", to be kept whole (and expanded further) - it's of little value if broken up into components. It's true that a buyer could make some extra money by using the photos on Zazzle etc, but that would be a bonus, not the main game. Since it would involve extra work in establishing rights of photos, etc, it probably wouldn't be worth bothering with. After all, he's not going to buy an account which isn't already making a good profit just from HubPages.
You mentioned the problem of someone following him because they think he's an expert - not on HubPages. The great majority of followers on HubPages are other writers, not readers. Readers do not sign up for a HubPages account to follow a Hubber, so it's not really a concern.
Hi Marisa - Yes I agree moving the content from a Hub account that's performing well wouldn't be a good idea - and so does John - I think he mentioned it like a last resort if his current experiment doesn't go as planned, That's why I singled out image rights. All of those images that he now owns are assets that he can exploit immediately without removing them from his Hubs. Google penalises duplicate text, but it doesn't penalise duplicate images - and neither does HP. He can do what he likes with them provided he owns them.
If I suddenly came into possession of a bunch of images, I would be looking at what to do with them. Are they good enough for e.g., Zazzle, Shutterstock, etc.? Forget Hubpages - the images are still on their Hubs doing nicely by themselves. So I'd be looking at how else to earn from them, or at least find good uses for them apart from HubPages, but before I did that, I'd need to know which of the newly acquired images are mine.
But I guess it depends on the direction, John wants to take. I'm more of an image guy - maybe John is more of an article guy and won't use the images independently of articles.
As for the followers. Fair point - only Hubbers follow.
But you're a photographer, so that's how you think. If I were buying HubPages accounts, re-using the photos wouldn't even cross my mind. As a photographer, you've probably got some great photos on your Hubs but the average Hubber uses average CC-licensed or free images which wouldn't have any great value for re-use.
Not a photographer Marisa; that sounds too grand. But I do have a strong interest in photography, especially making money online from it. Anyway, the very fact that many Hubbers select particular images from free sites to use on Hubs proves that images from free sites DO have re-use value. It’s not about great images – it’s about useful images. Most of the images I upload are nothing special - but they're useful, and I'm only uploading pics that I'm prepared to let other people use.
One site that I upload to is Freerangestock. It’s a free site like Pixabay with images of around the same quality ranging from dull and boring to excellent. Like Pixabay, all the images are free to use, BUT, unlike Pixabay, it’s Adsense enabled. It’s one of my my best Adsense earning sites. It’s not as good as the HP Ad Program but better than all the HP and niche site Adsense streams combined. It’s also better than most of the microstock libraries I upload to.
One time I visited my brother in Suffolk and we went to Ipswich docks to try out his new camera. I took a bunch of pics and then handed it to him. But first I pointed the camera at the sky and took a boring shot of the clouds just as a marker so we’d know that all shots up to that sky shot were mine and later ones were his. Back home I uploaded some of those images to Freerange including that boring cloud shot. That pic got (and still gets) more views and downloads than all the other far more interesting shots I took at Ipswich docks – and it wasn’t even meant to be a real pic.
People aren’t looking for great images, they’re looking for usable images, and, as it turns out, pictures of clouds are in demand to be used as background images over which users can put something whether it’s words or another image. For example, someone might have a great pic of a mountain but with a horrible, over-exposed white sky. So with a bit of Photoshop or GIMP know-how, they can have my blue sky with white clouds instead of an unsightly grey or white sky. My sky pic is a very boring standalone image – but as a background, it works perfectly well.
So my point is that if John acquires actual ownership of some usable images, he too can place them on Adsense-enabled free sites like Freerangestock and Stockphoto plus on paid sites like Shutterstock or Getty Images and gain additional income streams without affecting his HubPages earnings. And unlike Hubs, once posted (and found acceptable) they require no maintenance.
Sorry to go on so long, but I've no-one to talk to, today
Of course he could use them and it's a potential extra income stream, but I thought you were suggesting that not knowing the rights to the photos would create a problem for someone buying a HubPages account.
I'm just saying, it's such a small problem it's barely an issue. I bet the great majority of Hubbers never even think of using their Hub photos in other ways. So why should the OP fret about it? If the account is profitable enough that it's worth buying, then that's all he's worried about. Yes, he could use the photos as you describe, but it would be a bonus not the main game.
Ah ok - I see why you might have thought that. No, I was only meaning the two that I mentioned, i.e., comments and bios as possible problems when taking over an account.
The next part of my post regarding "the thorny issue of copyright" wasn't meant as an obstacle to acquiring and using HP accounts. It was only to advise him to be aware of the usage conditions (credit, link, etc) of each free image if he ever did feel the need to move Hubs in future, OR if he wanted to use their images at any time elsewhere in addition to HP.
Sorry for the confusion.
Hello every one, lately, we just heard marven has take over hubpages. And, lately, we are having one issue after the other. Who is this guy any way?
Maven, not Marven.
And who is what guy?
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