Don't you all miss the good old days when someone on forums was always threatening to leave Hubpages? And then hilariously making some kind of error in their post like calling Hubpages "Hunpages" and then someone would jump on it and make fun of it. Don't you guys miss the days of people predicting the collapse of Hubpages every couple months?. Good old days. Well, there's a long list of things that used to happen that's pretty hilarious in retrospect. Not that it can't all happen again, I'm sure it will.
I haven't been here long enough, but I have at least seen enough to make you wonder if you have boarded a sinking ship...
2012-I joined HP, but found out that I was too late and learn that had I joined before 2011 (Google update) I would have been okay. HP is going to die this year.
2013--Forums proclaim that HP will soon collapse.
2014-HP purchases Squidoo. New HP members from that site tell us that HP will soon fail.
2015-niche sites introduced, but it does not matter as HP will soon collape.
2016-the end is near
2017-the end is near
2018-the end is near
2019-the end is near
2020-the end is near
Don't forget 2013, when hordes of "writers" abandoned HP to join Bubblews, but kept coming by our forums to tell us how stupid we were for staying with HP.
Boy, they sure showed us, huh?
Bubblews:the site that proved that it is okay to put all of your eggs in one basket!
I must confess that I briefly left for Bubblews too, thinking I’ve found a small goldmine
To be honest, I made a few hundred $s before that ship sunk with some of my money.
Though I've been pessimistic about HP in the past, you'll find plenty of posts from me warning writers NOT to leave for Bubblews and a few similar wannabes. Precarious as HubPages might be, it has always been, and still is, the best bet in an unpredictable market.
Medium is the only other site I would look at, but only if you can write material to suit their audience. And it has never made a profit either.
It was glaringly obvious from the start that Bubblews couldn't possibly survive. I did join Bubblews with a view to making a few quick bucks while it lasted (which I did) but I didn't invest too much in it, so I didn't grieve when it folded.
Yes, pretty much what I'm talking about. I remember the Squidoo acquisition bringing a big influx of dooms day prophets.
At first I took it all a little bit seriously but then like a lot of people realized it was one of those things that just seems to happen around here.
2019- The Maven acquisition was proclaimed to be the coming of Thanos...
2020- The virus suddenly shuts down everything...
It's a good start for me, I look forward to sunshine and rainbows next year...
The two year period that the staff have since the acquisition is not over yet. I cannot find a source for this, I remember it though and someone, Marisa I think brought it up on another thread with a link.
I remember the person Freddy is referring to, that was hilarious. The squids were busy swinging their 8 arms and 2 tentacles around proclaiming doom, while MAM or whatever her name was used to hijack about every forum thread to spread doom.
I joined in 2020 Jan, so I'm still new to this site. It's always nice to hear the people who have been here longer talk about "the good old days". It's super encouraging.
I never paid any attention to those kinds of posts, and I confess I never followed the official communications, either.
The site has its flukes. Some changes I like; others not. My upcoming situation has nothing to do with any concerns of HubPages folding. My potential lack of participation has everything to do with a new lifestyle that demands constant earnings.
I did receive an interesting email to which I responded, which may or may not bear any fruit. So, my presence on HubPages could possibly continue, although, from a practical standpoint, it will be greatly reduced.
We do have a nice community. Even if HP folded, somehow I think we would find each other again,
I feel disappointed for those hubbers for throwing a wet blanket over it.
Whether to leave or stay put here, one should not put threats which is very childish.
My favorite was the Jesus freak who announced she was leaving due to alleged "Satanic" material in the "related hubs" attached to her articles.
Let's be honest here. Over half those people threatening to leave were either doing it for attention, or they inevitably came back anyways via their original accounts or a new renamed one. Me personally, I doubt seriously this site is going to die out soon, but only time will tell.
I think overall if you're sole/main purpose for writing on here is to make money, then chances are you're going to get discouraged easily writing here because it's hard to make money on this site.
But if you're like me, and you're just doing this crap for fun, and don't expect people to read your work most of the time, then I don't see why I would leave. Now if hubpages started censoring my content to where I couldn't publish on the topics i wanted to write about, then i'd probably just close down my account effective yesterday, without telling nobody on this site about it, and just disappear without saying a word. That's just me. lol
I guess it falls to me to be the new prophet of doom, although I will not be spanking anyone for going off topic in the forums. The Squidoo acquisition coincided with a devastating Google algo update, from which one account of mine, which made payment monthly, never recovered. That account now earns $2.48 a month.
Most of us still here missed out on the era of earning $10,000 per month. So if I had been one of those folks making $10K+, I would concur that the site was dead post 2012.
Paul and Robin have pulled rabbits out of their hats time and again, and I have total faith in them and their abilities. Sadly they have thrown their lot in with Mr. Heckman, and he appears to be the controlling element. The Sports Illustrated purchase of the rights to publish under that name was ill advised in the moment, given its price tag, and now a colossal mistake given that all sports have been cancelled, they have pissed off and lost their most valuable assets, their writers who unionized in the face of the brutal treatment they were receiving under new management, and the massive amount of high interest debt they are now saddled with at the start of a recession. The fact that advertising rates for many topics have fallen through the floor is just a cherry on top.
So, if someone was mentioning that the 2 year contract period has not yet expired in the hopes that HP can get itself disentangled from Maven, that would be a thought that would cheer me up. Maybe then we could get at the truth about Amazon earnings, and what we should expect to earn in the future.
Why in the world would a data transfer glitch prevent us from knowing what out new commission rate is?
Wait. . . People actually made 10k+ writing on hubpages?????
Yes, easily. Just before the 2011 crash, I was projecting my earnings would be around $20,000 for 2012, even if I didn't bother to write any more Hubs. I think I had about 25 Hubs at the time. Needless to say, it didn't happen - everyone's earnings dropped by around 75%.
There are some long-standing members who still make several thousand a year here.
Several thousand a year? I thought writers like you and theraggededge still make several thousand a month.
Well, I never had more than about 25 Hubs, so no! After the 2011 crash, I (and most of the other big earners at the time) turned my attention to my own websites and blogs. Unlike some, I didn't remove my Hubs from HubPages - I still enjoyed the social life here and occasionally wrote a Hub on a subject that wouldn't fit on my own sites.
I'm only well known because I was always active on the forums and I could offer advice (mainly based on my learnings from running my own sites).
I have no idea how much the big earners are making on HubPages these days. Try logging out and looking at the HubPages front page - do they still disclose how much those high earners are making per month?
LOL, not me. But there are some writers, or teams of writers, who have thousands of articles. Last year, Matt (I think) posted a notice saying that they could now make one monthly payment to those earning over $10k instead of splitting it.
I know this lady is up in those higher echelons: https://hubpages.com/@alexadry
One thing that stands out is that they are always active on their articles. They don't waste time in the forums like us.
I'm sure there are quite a few making several thousand a month, I know of a few members. I almost hit a thousand last month and this is without Amazon which is typically a little more than 50% of my earnings during the gardening season.
Regarding those who were threatening to leave, many did.
Among those whose presence I miss and no doubt the site misses are Writer Fox, Relache (rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic as her signoff lol) Lean Man, Mark Ewbie, Crazyhorsesghost, SimiC, Cardisa, Dale Hyde, Millionaire Tips, LuisEGonzalez, ologsinquito, colorfulone, Snakesmum, Barbara Kay, rebekahELLE, JayneLancer and of course Paul Edmondson. among others...
I do not know colorfulone, but yeah, those were some good hubbers. I had no clue Millionaire Tips left, I just thought she became inactive.
Lordy, lordy, Mentioning Crazyhorseghost really brought back the memories. I remember checking every day for any new installment of his. That guy was a real writer.
A lot of those names I remember; they had great presence in the forums and were the best and most talented. But one person I recently recalled who was so sweet was Faith. I believe her name was Theresa. I miss her.
At this point there's no point in predicting the collapse of HP, just the collapse of my earnings. Last month was the first time I didn't hit payout in years... That was after months of steady dropping.
So now I just lurk, starting draft after draft that always go unfinished because I can't figure out if there's even a point in publishing them anymore. Ahh I miss the old HP. The one where I made good money and got to troll the answers and questions section.
Oh man, that used to be my favorite part of this site
I will never forget the angry, almost-English threatening email I got from one spammer dude who'd included a photo of himself in his "Question" post, and I told him that "selfies are not necessary here, this is HubPages, not Grindr."
...good times, good times.
Those people threatening to leave were often funny for 2 or 3 days. But the joke wore thin when they were still attention-seeking 2 or 3 months later. (They always had a site that they were going to where everything that they thought was wrong with HP was kind of magically perfect.)
I think HubPages has had some trying times. Shortly after I joined in 2011, there was a Google update (Penguin?) which hit HP hard. It took a long time for the site to recover. The recovery was not guaranteed. I remember they had some star hubbers on the front page with graphs of their earnings - the line just went up and up, like climbing a mountain, then when the algo update hit, it fell off a cliff.
When I joined, there were quite a few sites like HP, but they nearly all went under. Squidoo was the last main rival, so when that went down, the situation looked ominous. I really did wonder if HP was next in line for the chop.
I am still pretty optimistic about the Maven thing. I think it's best to be positive generally, but remember that nothing is guaranteed.
I have been one of those doomsayers in the past. If you weren't involved in the Great Crash of 2011, it's hard to explain how traumatic it was. We lost 75% of our traffic and income overnight, and in the ensuing panic, HubPages treated some of its most successful Hubbers very shabbily indeed (the responsible senior staffer left soon after).
Once you've been through something like that, you get twitchy! What made it worse was learning that even in the "good times" before the Crash, HubPages had been operating at a loss. It still is - HubPages has never broken even, let alone made a profit, during its entire existence. Once you know that fact, it's natural to be concerned every time there's a wobble.
All credit to Paul Edmondson for doggedly keeping the site afloat in those circumstances....which is what makes me worried now. I thought Paul was supposed to stay at the helm until the two years was up - do I take it that he's no longer here?
I think he still is at the helm. He just does not post on the forums much or at all. HP never broke even? That's news to me. Any idea how much it costs HP to be afloat for a month? It does not have to be right now, but any time in its history would be interesting.
During the Great Crash of 2011, it was mentioned that HubPages had been just about to break even, for the first time in its existence, when it happened. The post is on the forums somewhere but good luck finding it! It has never managed to get back to that level of income. And of course, you know (from Paul's interview which has been shared several times here), that if he hadn't managed to strike a deal with Maven, HubPages would have closed, because the investors wanted their money back.
It's not unusual for internet companies to make no profit for years and years and yet be regarded as successful. Look at how long it took Facebook. I don't think Uber is profitable yet either.
Yup, I do know of the financial troubles they had prior to the deal with Maven, but I'm surprised about them having never made a profit. It's true about online businesses being considered successful without an actual turnover, I don't really understand how. Economics was never my strong suit.
Me neither. If you track back through some of those articles and interviews, you will find mentions of them not achieving profitability. However as you say, I now understand that many dot com companies make a loss for years, so HubPages isn't unusual. I'm not sure if Maven has ever made a profit yet either?
Maven, nope they are in debt. They have the funds to go on until the end of April next year or so with the current funding. They have a lot of sponsors, but I feel those sponsors are just investors who would want their money back.
Businesses operating with debts isn't necessarily a bad sign, it can even signify the complete opposite. It depends on what the money is being spent on. For instance, in business terms, it can actually be very wise to do some big borrowing in order to expand, update, or promote. Debts are more of an issue if they are from borrowing to cover everyday running costs and revenue is stagnant or declining.
The debt/profit thing in itself is not really a straightforward signifier of anything. What's most important is that a business is fulfilling or exceeding their business plan (providing, of course, that the plan is sound). It may sound counter-intuitive, but a business can be in profit and failing.
I don't proclaim to be an expert. All I'm saying is that there's a lot involved. A lot of the business/economic discussions I see in the forums are based on incorrect assumptions about how companies operate, as far as I can see.
You are absolutely right, Paul. It can take a few years to get a new business into profitability, and venture capitalists (who invest in startups) know that. However, with bricks-and-mortar businesses, they expect the company to hit agreed benchmarks year on year, otherwise they are likely to pull the plug.
The 2011 crash would've wiped out any chance of HP meeting its benchmarks for that year and for at least a year or two after. Then HP was hit hard again in 2014 and in 2015. If it were a bricks-and-mortar business, the investors would've walked away, because profitability is obviously too volatile to be worth the risk.
However, I have learned that investors are far more patient with online companies. It's probably because there aren't many assets to strip - if they do pull the plug, they get almost nothing back, so they hang in there and hope things improve. I'd say that's why HubPages was able to survive - the investors would rather get something than nothing.
But we are not dealing with the original investors now. They have been paid out, and now we are reliant on Maven and its investors. .
Very interesting and informative thread. I think I'll go an publish a poem.
How can I ever forget Bubblews? I was just a couple of cents short of making my first payout when it folded. My heart still aches thinking about it now. Haha!
One big difference between past HubPages pessimism and today is that never before have our earnings been held up for over a month. I have always tried to remain positive through the gloom and doom but this just feels bad.
HP could make it a lot better with improved communication, but they are unable or unwilling to do so. That lack of interaction alone is a major shift from their past relationship with the community.
I do not doubt that HubPages will continue to be around for quite a while longer. But, if it exists in a form where people aren't getting paid, staff keeps writers in the dark, and the voices of the people who create the content are disregarded, how long are good writers going to stick around?
I keep telling myself that one day I will wake up and all my previous Amazon earnings will be there - wham! The daily disappointment is relentless. If the problem is at Amazon's end, as we've been told, I'm not sure what more HP can do... I mean, they rely on that revenue too.
That is something that no one seems to want to address here. If HP loses 1/3 to 1/2 of its income (I have no idea what percentage Amazon contributes to their revenue) then they will probably end up signficantly reducing the ad revenue that is paid to the writers. I think many of us are concerned about that.
My guess is that the percentage rate may go down. But the increase in Amazon sales will compensate.
I've always understood it that the Amazon and Hub Ads revenue are essentially independent. That may be wrong, but that was the situation when I started here, I believe. (Well, it was Amazon and AdSense back then, but same idea!)
There are a few things HP can do, starting with more transparency and better communication about the situation. Last week I created a post asking HP to either let us use our own Amazon account or assure us that our data is still being tracked. Despite posting this in the forum that is supposed to be monitored by staff, my post was completely ignored.
Solaras has asked Matt several times whether or not our percentage will be changed. I have not seen an answer to that either.
If this is simply a problem with data, those questions should be easy to answer. Instead, we have been ignored. They could say yes, no, or we don't know. Or even "We don't want to talk about that until we know more." All of the above would be fine. But don't ignore us.
The percentage is guaranteed to go down. Amazon is profiting spectacularly from the worldwide lockdown with sales going through the roof. If you read the chatter among affiliates, the theory is that Amazon believes people won't go back to high street shopping after the pandemic is over, because they'll have got so used to online ordering. So they think their current success will continue and they won't need affiliates any more.
I've always thought Amazon and eBay were rather contemptuous of affiliates even before this. Even though HubPages is a large affiliate, I'm afraid it looks like they're being given the brush-off over this commission problem.
I was referring to the percentage of ad revenue that the writers are paid, not the revenues from Amazon. If HP is no longer able to make money from Amazon they are no longer able to provide us with a 60:40 split, or whatever it is now.
HP will still make money from Amazon, as I understand it. I've heard nothing to say otherwise. In the very worst case scenario, I suspect we'd go back to having our own Amazon accounts and earning the standard rates, which are pretty poor, but products are selling well.
My own Amazon account, independent of HP, is doing fine. It seems unlikely to me that Amazon would give HP a worse deal than individuals.
Yes, in the worst case, HP would be treated as just about any other affiliate out there. But, there's no guarantee that Amazon won't further cut commission rates across all niches for general affiliates. I believe it's time HP begins looking into other services, something like viglink where they can sign up to other affiliate programs, including Amazon if the hubbers decide to link out to Amazon. It can also be set up to leave amazon links as they are.
Good point. When I was an active affiliate, I preferred Skimlinks to Viglinks as I found their system a bit more sophisticated with more accountability - but then that was a while ago.
When I first looked into them, it was a 50-50 share of popularity, with skimlinks being the better at one point in time. Viglink over took them towards the latter days, but I gave up on them a few years ago because on my site it was mostly amazon that people were using. I did not really try to promote any other stores though, amazon was the cheaper option.
Do you remember the days when we had eBay? It wasn't very successful unfortunately. But it was another option at the time, and suited to some products, though not others. I personally never made much money off it, anyway.
The beauty of Amazon is the broad range of products and it's a well-recognized brand with a big reach. But yes, for affiliate purposes they are out to squeeze as much money as they can out of everyone they are involved with. They've become too powerful, in my opinion.
ebay is just like Amazon, but a much much weaker system, so they are no real competition. There are thousands of smaller niche-specific stores out there that would do well. A brief look at Jobes where a lot of my amazon sales comes from and I notice they have their products sold cheaper on their website compared to Amazon, people would surely want to buy from them instead. Maybe not everyone, but the thing is smaller retailers have much higher commission rates, especially if they already sell on Amazon, because when they sell on Amazon they have to cover the Amazon fee which includes our commissions (meaning the amazon fee is more than 8% product cost).
Walmart and the like also have horrible rates. With other networks you target smaller stores that sell just the product you are recommending, often it is the manufacturer or some niche store.
Typing this on the phone, ignore formatting or errors.
When I switched to my own websites in 2011, I chose eBay because I was serving an international audience, and Amazon serves only a handful of countries. eBay also had a wider range of the kind of products I needed. I did very well from eBay for several years, until they started slashing commission rates.
I was an affiliate for a number of independent stores, too (ones that shipped internationally). They always paid much higher commissions but sales were lower because they were generally higher quality, more expensive stuff. A few times I earned $500 commission for one sale.
Indeed, I'm expecting that HubPages' Amazon rates will go down, and that will be passed on to us - but I don't quite understand why that would mean they'd change the ratio. And I agree, HP will either get the same as individuals, or slightly better - unless HP has done something to upset Amazon, which I doubt.
I was wondering why my Amazon earnings suddenly dried up after 2017. I just assumed Hubpages removed all of my Amazon capsules, and I didn't bother to investigate. I had much bigger problems with my lack of motivation to write.
Third party affiliates such as Skimlinks have been cutoff by Amazon as of April 2020. They will pay them and viglinks (sic) nothing.
Amazon charges 10% of shipping and product revenue plus $39.99 a month for a pro account. Huge sellers, over $1 million a year, may be able to negotiate better fee rates.
That we are getting no data whatsoever is peculiar. No other group or entities are crying out on the Internet that Amazon has failed to send them any information, due to a data glitch, for 6 weeks. So it is just not the case. HP has a cash flow issue. Surely the sudden cut in Amazon commissions was not accounted for in their projections for the future.
HP already unexpectedly failed to pay us on payday earlier this year, with no warning, and a vague data glitch explanation was offered. I do not expect to see any more earnings from Amazon on HP. I think they need that money to continue operations, given many advertisers have decided not to advertise for this and the next quarter thank to Covid 19.
About Amazon not going through Skimlinks or Viglink anymore, that is really a no brainer, because the Amazon affiliate program is easy to use and why give viglink or skimlinks any commission share from those?
About the late payment earlier this year it was for a legit reason, they switched their payment source from Hubpages to Maven and it was communicated to us (maybe after someone asked?).
There are not many other revenue sharing sites out there that deal with Amazon the way HP does. Some big players in the market definitely have deals with Amazon, the New Yorker maybe? These places do not have a forum like we do with contributors wondering what is going on. They pay writers for their content and it's not a revenue share option.
As Eric pointed out earlier:
"If this is simply a problem with data, those questions should be easy to answer. Instead, we have been ignored. They could say yes, no, or we don't know. Or even "We don't want to talk about that until we know more." All of the above would be fine. But don't ignore us."
It would be nice to have answers, but I wouldn't say they had a liquidity issue a few months ago. Maven has funding for operations until April 2021, I assume this is their salaries and hosting fees, etc. Any payments that come in are kind of like a bonus to the Maven team, I believe. So there's no issue in giving us our share. They would eventually want to make a profit and not rely on investors, but that's a whole different story unless they took into account ad income into their calculation which is something they shouldn't be doing if they did it right because that would be projections and not a surety.
Yes, Amazon is easy to use on its own, but that's not the point.
The principle of using Amazon with Skimlinks or Viglinks is the same as HubPages. Those companies recruited individual website owners and negotiated a higher rate with Amazon on their behalf. The benefit to Amazon was that they could pay one big amount to Viglinks and Skimlinks, and those companies looked after distributing the payments to its members.
How is that different to HubPages? The only difference is that Viglinks/Skimlinks enabled its members to use their code on any site, whereas HubPages' code is used on its own sites.
I'm a little worried now.
Are you sure that Skimlinks and Viglink had a higher rate? Because Viglink had the same default Amazon commission rate a few years ago when I had checked.
I can't recall what the Amazon rate was to be honest. For me it was all about convenience, because outside the US you get a cheque from Amazon - and I'd lose $30 in bank fees every time.
Where a site offered tiered affiliate payments (e.g. if you sold A amount of stuff you got paid x% and if you sold B amount of stuff you got paid y%), then on Skimlinks you would always get the highest rate, due to their consolidated spend.
However whether it was higher or not, the principle still applies - those companies, and HubPages, are offering Amazon the benefit of not having to deal with individual small affiliates.
From Maven's 10-Q Filing:
"The ability of the Company to continue as a going concern is impacted by the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 and could therefore be dependent upon the Company’s ability to raise additional funds to ultimately achieve sustainable operating revenues and profitability. From October 2018 through April 2020, the Company has raised aggregate net proceeds of approximately $139 million through various debt and preferred stock private placements (see Note 18). The Company believes that based on its current assessment of the impact of COVID-19 it has sufficient resources to fully fund its business operations through April 30, 2021.
However, due to the uncertainty regarding the duration of the impact of COVID-19 and its effect on the Company’s financial performance the Company estimates that it may require additional capital in capital markets today, which are less liquid given the lack of clarity surrounding COVID-19."
That is a big "However." The company wants to spin this as positively as possible, yet they find it necessary to state explicitly, they may need further funding to survive.
Meanwhile, they are under pressure from Authentic Brands to reverse their cost cutting measures (the firing of SI writers). Authentic Brands does have the ability to cancel their contract with Maven if they feel it is damaging their brand, Sports Illustrated.
Of course they require income to maintain operations until not only 2021, but to survive until September 2020.
Having lost $3400.00 in operating capital to the Sears bankruptcy reorganization, I am gun shy about pie in the sky promises regarding accounting glitches. We were promised for 3 months that they would correct the accounting error and get us paid, "please keep shipping." Then we lost everything due to an arcane ruling about how marketplace vendors are perceived by the bankruptcy courts.
There is nothing legit in my mind about not paying us on time. Who makes a banking change the day before or even week before the only day of the month that payments are due to be made. Now we sit without Amazon sales data or word of when and what to expect for over 45 days.
My point in mentioning word on the internet is that if Amazon had just shut down reporting of sales figures to other organizations, it would be news. And yes, Amazon Affiliates do have forums on Amazon, where they openly discuss getting shut down by Amazon or getting screwed by unethical buyers.
Everything on the internet is volatile. Like I said, I do believe HubPages (and now Maven) live a precarious existence - but the fact is, where else is there? Only Medium now, and then only if you can write on subjects to suit their market. And they're not not profitable either.
Having heard that Amazon dumped Skimlinks and Viglinks in April, I must admit I am now worried what Amazon might have done to HubPages at the same time.
This is why I asked earlier, perhaps on another thread on this topic, is HP/Maven considered a third party affiliate or a publisher? I would expect the latter, but I don't know.
Not sure, but look at the model of Skimlinks and Viglinks. They have a central affiliate account which they allow individuals to use. Amazon then makes a single payment to their company and they distribute the commissions to individuals.
How is that different to HubPages? The only difference is that Skimlinks/Viglinks lets you use their code anywhere, whereas we only use the HubPages one on HubPages' sites.
When we were using our own codes, it would've been a different matter IMO.
I joined 2009. Wasn't active when Helium was back then the King of Revenue Sharing Sites. I remember some hubbers saying Hubpages will die as a result of Google updates.
For the past 11 years or so, am still active and despite exodus of some features; it will be a long time before Hubpages rests for life.
I think Vocal.Media is par with Hubpages but I earn better here than there. 2 years there I have earned only $1 like I used to with Hubpages in the early 2010s.
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