I know we discussed this on forums before, but a few weeks have passed. How does everyone feel about this feature now?
I am considering turning it to Pause. Most of the people who write in to me have not even read the article. They are trying to get astrology information. I don't mind a few, simple questions, but most want a whole, free astrology chart for which I charge $100.00, in that little comment box. They are devious too. Once they find out I will answer a few things, they keep writing in under different names. I finally caught two of them, writing in every few days with longer and longer questions. I've given them links to other articles, but they are too lazy to read one which will provide a much better answer.
Also, I am not a psychotherapist. I get people who ask, "I've been in this relationship for (insert amount of years). I'm Cancer and he's Aries. Are we compatible?" Firstly, shouldn't they know after spending years together? And if I had one mission when I began writing about astrology, it was to teach it, that's what I do. Most people can read any of 100 hubs and learn every planet, the Sun and the Moon are all in a different sign at your birth time. There are no birthdays "on a cusp". There are 12 astrology houses. The distance between the planets matter. It's a 10-12 hour job and it's a 20 page report that I write myself, it's not computerized.
Those sun sign horoscopes people hate were put in newspapers and magazines to divert people from thinking about WWII for a few minutes a day with something entertaining. I have preached this since I joined HP.
I love astrology because many clients tell me how much I have helped them. But I am not writing a disclaimer on all my hubs, I have a business from home and spend too much time here. I feel very torn. Most of them are rude people who want something for nothing. But then I get someone I really want to help.
Plus most of the questions are borderline illiterate, and I'm tired of fixing them to be presentable on my work.
How's it going for you? Sorry, Miss 3 names just got to me tonight!
Well, I get them along the same lines as you, sans astrology. I answer some, and ignore the rest. I don't think about it or give it too much consideration. Click and it's gone.
The thing is, the total visits are over 20k now and that's extra income. So, at the moment, I see it as beneficial.
Is it significant extra income?
On busy days (like Sundays) I get almost 1000 Q&A page views per day. That is 600 impressions, minus those that do not stay on the page long enough for the ads to even show up. (I asked HP about this, and they told me that the ads load a lot faster than they do on the regular hubs. No idea how long it takes though.)
For a CPM of $5 (for example), if you are getting 500 impressions per day, you are earning only $2.50. Please correct me if I am wrong.
If the Q&A is meant to help readers, great. If this program is improving our page rank, it is well worth it. If it is viewed as a source of extra income, I do not think it is.
I have no idea. I don't monitor anything. I see my visitor count and then I see my earnings All holding steady. My Q&A views do go up and down like crazy. 500+ would be a good day. The trouble is, I ignore so many - I should go back to converting them to viable questions.
I do not get nearly as many views as you guys, 297 total views. With only two or three questions getting a view or two a day. I have not had too many questions as of late but I got a doozy of a one this morning. I do not know why they thought I would know about arbitrary Catholic bylaws. I was raised Catholic, but have been non-practicing for about ten years now. I never stated I was or had been a Catholic so it was all just very weird. The article wasn't even about Catholicism. My best guess is they googled some terms with leadership and stubbled upon my article, and decided "hey they wrote about leadership, I'll ask them.". My article is not about leadership within the church, but leadership is leadership I guess.
I find the Q & A annoying. Either the questions could have been answered by reading the article or they ask completely unrelated questions that have nothing to do with what I wrote about and therefore have no knowledge in how to answer it. I mean I suppose I could Google an answer, but I have other things to do than look up an answer to a question that they can do themselves. I had one ask me if they could ask me questions...It's a Q & A, is that not the point of a Q & A section?? I hid the question, but they never came back to ask any related questions.
I know the Q & A is suppose to bring in traffic and increase our page ratings and all that, but I feel like it only creates headaches for me. Not only that, but if we are all hiding questions what type of message is that sending? The Q & A was suppose to increase "relationships" between the author and readers, but hiding, creating a new question, or simply not answering questions is doing the opposite in my opinion. If I ask a question that I felt was genuine, even if it didn't directly relate to the article I would expect some form of communication back. A simple I do not know the answer or a direction of where to look would suffice I think. It's difficult though as an author to tell what the serious questions are and what would be spam or other nonsense. It's also unreasonable to expect us as authors to answer every single questions with an "I do not know" or other vague answer.
I will admit that my biggest turn off when reading a blog, article, or other forum is seeing readers ask questions or add comments and the author not respond in any way. I generally will not return to those sites, as I cannot get all the information I need from them. The point of a comment or Q & A section is to create relationships, and by not answering said questions you're leaving them in the dark. Readers will go elsewhere and the article/page/site will ultimately lose readers, because they can get everything they need some where else.
For example if I'm searching Delishably and come across several articles asking about switching out ingredents and there are no responses I will find a different site where the authors or commenters (in some cases) have answered these types of questions. If someone is new to cooking they might not know that certain spices/herbs or what have you are interchangeable and Googling an answer is not necessarily going to help them with the specific recipe especially if it was created by the author. There are so many recipe sites, that little things like not responding could greatly end up effecting our views. I know most people probably do not sit down and surf through our niche sites and come across them in Google searches, but it's still something to consider.
All that to say, I still do not like the Q & A. I feel like I'm forced to answer questions, because as a reader that's what I expect to happen. However, as an author I know it's impossible to answer all questions and it's even harder sometimes to tell who is genuine and who is not.
The most promising things I have noticed about the Q&A pages is that they do get search traffic, and they have a relatively low bounce rate compared to articles.
Based on those analytics, I have continued to answer a few questions a week, because it at least looks potentially positive. But I really have no other way to measure whether they are good or bad. I don't know how much they are helping or hurting my hubs, how much I am earning from them, or whether they are good or bad for the niche sites.
In other words: I have no earthly idea if they are worth my time or not.
As other people have noted, there are a lot of bad ones I can't really do anything with, so I hide most of them. Does this turn off readers from returning to the site? Probably, but I simply can't answer every question. It's frustrating.
I would love it if HP would weigh in on best practices. Surely this feature has been live long enough for them to have formed some opinions.
Thanks for the input, fellow authors!
I can't say it's adding to my income, and never took clients from HP either. I also spend time answering questions which I don't think the people return to find. I don't see that I've formed a "relationship" with my readers. I suppose I will ignore more of them.
I get about 500 views a day. My answers tend to be lengthy.
I just got one from someone who wanted to know how technology had changed the media referencing an article entitled "A Brief History of the Media." Technological change and its effect on media was the entire substance of the article. Shrug. Sigh. Most of the questions I get are in much the same vein. Seems like a pretty useless feature to me.
No one has asked me any questions yet - it seems like everyone else with the feature has had lots?
I don't think I write about the right sort of things.
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