I am at a point where I don't know if I should spend the little time that I have updating my numerous hubs across 4 accounts, or just ignore, and write new hubs.
It has become tiring. I haven't had the inspiration to write more, just because I am made to feel that all I have written in the past requires constant attention.
Yes, updating does help in some cases; no doubt about that, but honestly, in my case, it is taking the fun out of writing. And Hubpages is not the only place where I write.
Additionally, we still have no idea what's happening re-Amazon earnings. If that goes or gets axed to the bone, it will adversely affect many of us who write mainly to earn some money. Just thinking about this makes writing online not-so-attractive to me anymore.
You must be really busy! I admire your tenacity, despite the challenges over the past two years - and the extra hassle of the disastrous pandemic.
For me, HP still offers opportunities to get my work out there in a relatively simple and efficient manner. I've built up a healthy following - students mostly - and do quite well from the earnings.
To stay fresh I do update continuously but also write new, say one or two articles a month, sometimes three. This allows me to stay competitive, crucial if I'm to retain the readership. Updating is self-editing so I find it a necessary thing to do.
Most of my earnings come from organic traffic so I'm not really affected by the Amazon saga. This pandemic has however knocked me back but I'm confident the situation will improve in time, given that HP stays healthy.
I'll continue as before, no reason to change tactics at this point in time. Hope you weather the storm and come out smiling.
How about updating just your most popular articles? And then write a few new ones. It doesn't have to be a lot of new articles.
I understand how your feel about updating articles. I updated all of mine (200+ at the time) plus all of the articles on my website (another 200+) at the beginning of the year. It took me 6 weeks. It was horrible. But my traffic has improved tremendously over last year, even before shelter in place orders caused gardening to become a very popular activity (my writing niche).
Seeing the uptick in my traffic and the corresponding uptick in earnings has given me the incentive to continue writing new articles.
Since I write guides for games I often have to update them or make small changes. It is hard to say if doing this gets more views or not. Things seem to stay about the same I would say.
I have tried updating some hubs that get low views in the past and pretty much nothing changed. Even after I made what I thought was a much better version of the hub.
Some of my hubs for whatever reason just don't get Google Search traffic often enough to care. There could be multiple reasons why. It is hard to figure out and understand why.
I just declare some hubs dead and pretend they don't exist or in some cases delete them entirely. If a hub gets two - five views in a month every month (SIGH!) then I pretty much just give up.
By writing hubs that don't get any views I get a better idea of what subjects don't work. This doesn't always lead me to find ideas that do work. But it helps I suppose.
I have found it is better to more carefully plan my new hubs instead of trying to save hubs that just might never be popular.
I try to learn what I can from the few hubs I somehow accidentally write they get considerably more traffic.
Surprisingly, a couple of my deadwood hubs came alive again after a re-write and do well now, but just a handful of them.
I just don’t have the heart to ignore them.
I like the idea of writing new ones based on the the ones that work well though.
Thank you for that tip.
This made me ask myself the same question. To be honest, I've left my articles alone after publishing. I only go back to them if I get broken links notifications or emails from Hubpages telling me they've made edits. My earnings go up and down even though I've totally neglected my few hubs. I've tried learning SEO, but it just gives me a headache. So I'm blindly walking along the path. :-D
I have noticed that when I update the traffic picks up. Sometimes right away and sometimes it takes a few months but there is a pattern.
During my pandemic-fueled down time I've updated a good bit of my back catalog, but I haven't seen any effect on traffic from doing so.
For now I'm going to concentrate on writing new stuff, which I'd rather be doing anyway, I know revising/updating is a necessary evil but it's also a bit of a drag. (haha)
Like you, I’ve updated quite a few over some months but I haven’t seen much effect on traffic, except the couple that HP edited/worked-over. Those bring me good traffic.
Maybe I should try to write one article a month. Maybe. It’s now between publishing those I’m working on now, or expanding on them to turn them into KDP ebooks.
To be fair you have a good number of hubs. If I had 200 hubs I also might be not so excited about updating all of them.
It took me over a week to update (at the time) most of the 30 hubs I had then.
If you are getting better at writing profitable hubs it is better to let those with the lowest traffic go without refreshes so you continue to write new hubs. The best gain for refreshing hubs is usually those with moderate to good traffic already, showing the topic has appeal.
Every time you write a new Hub, you're taking a gamble. Will it be a popular subject? Have I got the title right? Will Google like it? Even if you've done keyword research, those tools only tell you so much - so basically, you're throwing mud at the wall to see what sticks. Some Hubs work well from day one; some Hubs don't work well at first, but you work out how to fix them; and some Hubs will just never do well, no matter how well-written they are, because no one is looking for them.
There's an oft-quoted 80/20 rule: 20% of your articles will be successful and earn most of your income. The other 80% will never quite take off, no matter how much updating you do. That rule has been questioned often, but I've found it to be a pretty robust rule - not just on HubPages but on other blogs and websites as well.
In the first year of publication, it's worth tinkering with those 80% Hubs to see if one of them will suddenly fly, but after that, the reality is that they're never going to do well, so you may as well just let them lumber along earning a few pennies.
There seems to be a lot of focus on HubPages on updating old Hubs, but updating too often can be detrimental. When you update a Hub, it can adversely affect its Google ranking for a while before it settles down - so it's not something you want to do often. A thorough refresh once a year is probably plenty.
Thank you Marisa.
“A thorough refresh once a year is probably plenty” ... I guess that is what I’ll have to consider. Looking at it this way makes it not so bad after all. I should be able to handle that. Especially as I can now concentrate more on updating the moderate to high-traffic hubs. That will give me time to write the occasional hub now and then.
I must mention that you have inspired me so much in the past and I’m glad that you are back. It was through you that I learned how to start my Wordpress website and set up my blogs on Blogger, amongst many other tips.
Thank you once again.
I just do whatever I feel like on any given day. When it's not fun, I don't do it.
Same here. Write stuff, throw it at the wall, see if the Internet likes it. If not, I write more stuff and try again. Lather, rinse, repeat.
I updated an old hub last year and traffic is up 700%, it gets a little over a 1000 views a day. It was kind of stagnant for a few years prior to this massive update, where just the topic and the URL stayed the same, the content was completely re-written.
I've also done massive updates on other hubs where I have seen increases in traffic, but not to the same extent, not even a doubling in some cases. I do, however, update my top hubs often to make sure that they continue to stay the best on the internet for the topic. These updates happen maybe once a year or so, some times less often.
If I were in your situation where you had to decide, I would say update one hub for every 5 you publish or make up some other rule, so you don't have to worry about what needs to be done. It's best to update hubs that are doing well, but only if you know what you are doing (in terms of SEO). If you are not sure, you should update hubs that are getting traffic, but not as much as you think they could. Hubs that are in the low double digits should be the last priority unless you see the potential for a massive update.
When it comes to SEO, I’m totally lost. Like others are saying too, I will concentrate more on the medium to high traffic hubs. Thank you.
SEO isn't nearly as complicated as it used to be. There used to be lots of tricks you could use, but Google got wise to all of them - so if you use them now, Google will penalize you for it.
Fundamentally, good SEO means asking yourself "what would someone type into Google if they wanted to find this information?" Then make sure you use those words and phrases in your Hub, especially in titles and sub-titles. But don't over-use them or use them artificially, because Google will notice that.
This is very helpful. I got overwhelmed by the keyword research tools showing all sorts of data that went over my head. But your explanation makes a lot of sense. :-)
This is so good to know and it kind of simplifies it for people like me...."good SEO means asking yourself "what would someone type into Google if they wanted to find this information?"
That's about how far I usually go. I always assumed SEO is much deeper than that.
Thanks masses Marisa.
I believe that the official HP advice is to spend 80% of time on editing and 20% on new material. Like you, I've spent quite a bit of time on trying to get poor hubs to perform, but I am heading towards a position where I "streamline" my stock and delete a bunch of bad hubs. I think it's easier to increase views for hubs that are already doing well, rather than to breathe life into a dead one.
Editing is pretty tedious though. Writing new hubs is more fun. But earnings matter to me.
There are so many unknowns and unpredictables nowadays, what with the virus, Google updates etc.
I suck at SEO. Always have. I came to the conclusion long ago that I do not "get" it. So I just write about what I like, post it, and leave the rest of it up to the Internet Gods. It's less stressful that way.
Exactly what FatFreddysCat says. But, I suspect the Internet Gods have figured out I don't worship at their altar.
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