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Squidoo vs Hubpages
If you're a Lensmaster you may have heard of HubPages.
What is it? How does it work? Can I make money? How do they pay?
This lens is a close look at HubPages, how it works and what's in it for you, looking from the viewpoint of a Lensmaster.
HubPages looks and works differently. But that doesn't make it any less of a web 2.0 vehicle.
And while there are a lot of differences there are also a lot of similarities.
We'll look at HubPages with Squidoo as our reference point. So you can quickly come up to speed by comparing and understanding the differences.
While I am pitting the two against each other this isn't about an opinion on who is better. Though there clearly is a winner. And the winner is...
Squidoo vs HubPages
A brief overview...
At Squidoo you are a Lensmaster.
At HubPages you are an Author.
Squidoo allows adult content. Though it is allocated its own category and only viewable if you've got your account setting set to show X rated lenses.
HubPages used to, but no longer allows adult content.
Squidoo, as you probably know, has an official forum: SquidU.com.
HubPages has a forum too. Though not as established or with as many active members.
Modules vs Capsules
At Squidoo we call modules... Modules!
At HubPages they call modules Capsules.
HubPages is quicker to add 'capsules' then Squidoo is with 'modules'. As well as rearranging them.
Squidoo allows html. If you're handy with the Hyper Text Mark-up Language then you'll enjoy adding text styles and formatting on the fly.
HubPages doesn't allow for extra HTML (currently).
It's quicker to fill content into a lens. Though when I say this it's because I do most of my work offline. I prepare my 'lenses' and 'hubs' in Notepad documents and then copy and paste the content. That means it is a little slower for me to add things like bold to my HubPages. Because I have to use the bold tool. Whereas with Squidoo I just add the HTML for bold while I'm typing. For a newb it may be easier therefore quicker, but for someone experienced it will slow you down somewhat.
The same goes for hyperlinks. No raw HTML means you have to stop and create the hyperlink using the tools. Some may see this as an advantage. But for me, not so much.
Squidoo limits the Text/Write Module to 2500 characters. Which I don't think is necessarily a bad thing. It forces the Lensmaster to think. And plan. Though to be honest if it were 3000 characters it would be better. The same restraints do not apply at HubPages. There is no character limit for a Text Capsule. Though I think it may be to the Hub Authors detriment. It will cause them create larger slabs of text. But seeing that we're self restrained well trained Lensmasters that shouldn't be a problem. We'll still carve up our content into easily digestible module sized bites, while reveling in the ability to splurge and get away with 2505 characters!
UPDATE: The character count of a Text/Write module has been lifted to 10,000 characters!
Lenses need at least 3 modules to be counted as developed for it to properly publish. Hubs need only one capsule (though it's not recommended). But if you've got a poem you want to publish and you're not interested in hawking products through Amazon then it'll suit you down to the ground.
Squidoo guestbooks have 300 character limit. Which I've always thought is far too limiting. HubPages guestbooks have NO LIMIT for visitors. This allows for (and I've seen it happen) visitors to really get detailed in their responses, and supply some really good meaty content for your hub.
Update: Squidoo Guestbook character limits have been increased to 1000 characters.
Default Template Setting
Squidoo gives four options
* I want to get the word out about CHOSEN TOPIC (easiest option)
* I'm gonna sell CHOSEN TOPIC stuff and earn $$, for me or for charity (money maker!)
* I want to make a list of my favorite things about CHOSEN TOPIC (most popular)
* I just want to do my own thing.
I usually go with "I just want to do my own thing". As I'd just have to rearrange what the other templates give me anyway.
HubPages also goes with the no frills approach and has one default which starts you with a text capsule, photo capsule and comments capsule. They do however, have written on their short list, plans for users to create custom templates.
It's quick and easy to add more Capsules too. We'll look at that in a moment...
Adding Extra Capsules/Modules
Assuming you are in edit mode...
With Squidoo you need to (assuming you are in edit mode) click on the Add Modules button. You're taken to a page for which you are absolutely spoilt for choice.
With HubPages there is a palette on right called "Add More Stuff". Just click on the ones you want and it will add them in the order in which you click.
Two down from that is a palette called "Capsule Ordering". You can "Drag and Drop" to organize the order. Double Click to make say the Photo Capsule half size and you can drop it onto a Text Capsule which will give you an image beside text or the wrap around effect. The same for Amazon and a few other Capsules. Be sure to click on Reorder Now to execute the changes.
You can also use the green arrows on the actual capsules to rearrange the order.
Probably the most fun module that Squidoo has that HubPages doesn't have a corresponding Capsule, is the Poll Module. But otherwise HubPages seemingly limited selection has all I need to adequately communicate my thoughts, ideas and articles.
The advantage HubPages has is you can upload and insert really BIG pictures (though I recommend not going larger than 500 pixels in width).
Downside... you can't insert images with a hyperlink.
There is a limit of 40 tags on Squidoo.
(Currently) there is no such limit at HubPages.
If you know how to use tags at Squidoo then the same applies to HubPages.
You'd pick your URL much the same way as you do at Squidoo.
Though while HubPages doesn't use the www, Squidoo does.
For some reason, HubPages has a directory name between the domain and your chosen article name.
Squidoo is like this: http://www.squidoo.com/article
HubPages is like this: http://hubpages.com/hub/article
At Squidoo visitors (registered visitors) can give you a score out of five stars. Whether one star out of five means it's an average lens or if 3 out of 5 means it's average is not known. As a one star rating can have a positive effect on Lensrank.
At HubPages people can give you a "thumbs up" or a "thumbs down".
That pretty much cuts out the confusion right? It's either good or it sucks. No middle ground.
Statistics and Scoring
Squidoo has Lensrank. A ranking system out of... however many lenses are in the system. 1 being the highest. And the lowest being somewhere near 250,000 (or however many lenses there currently are in the database). Being in the Top 100 is highly valued. In the top 1000 means you're doing something right. In the top 10,000 is nothing to be sneezed at. Making it into the top 100,000 is easy if you make half an effort to publish a lens with four modules.
HubPages has HubScore. A point system out of 100. 1 being the lowest and 100 being the highest. So there can be several lenses with a perfect 100.
HubScore is updated every 10 minutes.
Lensrank updates only once a day.
Squidoo shows the traffic for the last 7 days on the "Dashboard". It used to get hard after a couple of weeks to know exactly how much you're pulling in per day for visitor numbers. Thankfully a few months ago Squidoo HQ unveiled "Stats 2.0". Now the stastistics are far more detailed and you can see how much traffic you got today, yesterday, for the week just gone and for the whole month. As well as the life of the lens.
HubPages used to tell you stats for the last 4 hrs, 24 hrs, 7 days, 30 days and the life of the Hub in "My Account". Now it shows it for 1 day (the current day), 7 days, 30 days and the life of the Hub.
For quite a while HubPages had an advantage over Squidoo in this area. But Squidoo has made up for it with some killer stat tools.
For referring a person to Squidoo you get a one off $5 payment. Which is credited to your account once that person has made $15 themself (as a means of avoiding fraud) and the referred person also gets a $5 bonus.
HubPages has a referral system. If someone signs up for a HubPages account via your referral link, you get 10% of their pageviews for the life of their hubs.
Which is the better system? It depends entirely on the person signing up whether or not they have the talent and ability to earn $15 at Squidoo or get plenty of traffic so your 10% Ad pageviews gets enough click-thrus.
If you sign up the right person then Squidoo will probably deliver your bonus quicker. Whereas HubPages can be more beneficial in the long term.
However HubPages referral system also rewards you for the traffic you send to other peoples hubs. If you refer other peoples Hubs you get a cut of the pageviews. 12%, or 9% if there's already a signup referrer involved (who is getting a 10% cut of the pageviews). This cut comes again from HubPages Inc's share of the pageviews. So it's a win/win situation when you promote or link to a fellow Hub Authors page. Their article gets exposure and you get a reward for sending them traffic.
Squidoo of course has no such system.
Squidoo pools all the Adsense revenue and then splits it, according to Payrank. And Amazon, Ebay and the other affiliate programs are split 50/50 with the referring Lensmaster.
HubPages on the other hand has you using your own Adsense Publisher account. And your own Amazon uses your Adsense account. And your own Ebay affiliate account. And you get 60% of the pageviews. So if someone clicks on an Adsense ad or makes a purchase on your pageview, you get 100% of the commission.
Getting set up with an Adsense account is EASY. You can do it through HubPages without even having published any content. You sign up after you've registered at HubPages.
Using Squidoo AND HubPages
Should I have accounts at both HubPages and Squidoo?
By all means go for it.
Should I run my articles and pages consecutively on both sites? Can I make a Lens and Hub on the same topic?
You know what they say about not putting all your eggs in one basket? Avoid putting the same egg in two baskets.
Don't republish all your Squidoo content over at HubPages. And vice versa.
However if you write two articles, each different, on the same subject then by all means do.
Advantages Of Squidoo
Far more lenses on lensmaking than hubs on hubmaking.
More active forum.
Using your Paypal account to receive payments can be less hassle then arranging for an Adsense Publisher account, Ebay affiliate account and Amazon Associate account.
Affiliate sales has you getting 50% of EVERYTHING, rather then a 6 in 10 chance of scoring the pageview if someone buys something. Also Squidoo moving more product means they're a premium Associate. The commission is double. Therefore you're still getting the same as if you operated your own account.
Advantages of HubPages
When you get the page impression the Adsense click or Ebay or Amazon purchase it is all yours.
Immediate income reporting. Though you have to wait for the likes of Google and others to pay out. But you do see an almost up to the minute live report of page impressions, click thrus and earnings.
The referral system continues for the life of the new member. Though a one off $5 payment may come quicker and be more then what you'd get for the months and months of it would take for 10% of pageviews to equate to $5 worth of click thrus. Long term though HubPages keeps rewarding. However be mindful that not all referred sign ups are going to convert into prolific publishers. Indeed they may be talented writers but might be hopeless at SEO and web promotion.
There is an incentive and reward to promote other peoples pages.
And the winner is... YOU!
Bottom line... do both. Even if you do one more than the other.
Being able to pick and choose given the different strengths has us spoilt for choice. If you keep your content original for both sites (no duplicates!) on any given topic then you'll have two chances of being indexed by the likes of Google and other search engines.