When you join these online, writing platforms (content farms) you are supposedly to earn from the articles that you place on their sites. However, the only one that seems to make the bucks is the site owner of the site you are placing your content on. This was the worst mistake I ever made. Here is my experience and reasons for not writing on content farms.
Reasons For Not Writing On Content Farms
In 2010, I was taught the way to make money online was by writing online, and publishing your articles on sites like Hub Pages, which is one of the many content farms that existed.
What Has Happened To The Writing Sites
The Most Popular Content Farms
Many of these sites have gone by the wayside, some without warning, others without allowing writers to remove their articles.
Squiddo no longer exists, and some of the content on that site was transferred to Hub Pages. There was an announcement that Hub Pages had bought Squidoo from Seth Godin, leaving writers to scramble and grab their content. Some Squidoo writers were not even aware of what happened, only to find that some of their content was on the Hub Pages site, under some name, Hub Pages gave to the writer. It was a mess to say the least.
At one time, there were writers making a decent income from Hub Pages. But then, due to problems with the site such as spam that was ignored, poorly written articles that were ignored, many of the older writers made an exodus. Some took their content with them, others left their articles, but stopped publishing anymore of their work on this site.
There are rules about word count and product ads ratio, yet Hub Pages will still and admits that they may defeature a hub for overly promtional (too many products, even if they followHub Page rules.)
Of course, you can find the same writers over and over again, who will write a paragraph or two and then add 20 Amazon products, yet continue, year after year, to get away with it.
Hub Pages Buys Squidoo
The merger of Hub Pages and Squidoo created a lot of issues for the Lensmasters, (writers on Squidoo), worries by those on Hub Pages who considered the content on Squidoo to be substandard, sales pages. Of course, many of the hubbers were not concerned about the substandard articles, copied content, sales pages, that were already on Hub Pages.
Hub Pages started making changes to the site, which made it appear that it was using some of the features that had been used by Squidoo. They catered, somewhat, it seemed to the writers from Squidoo.
Hub Pages already had properly issues with bugs, income dropping, traffic dropping which seemed to increase once the transfer from Squidoo to Hub Pages was finished, which was over a year ago.
Today, nothing seems to work on Hub Pages. The usual response is:Clean your cache, etc because it must be your computer. I must note that all other web sites, writing platforms worked just fine, with the exception of Hub Pages. Stats for traffic, views, earnings, etc, is never up to date, and recently some writers are questioning the correctness of the earnings from Hub Pages, which is pennies a day for many.
Hub Pages Unfeaturing Hubs
Hub Pages didn’t care about sales pages, etc on the site. They then began to change the rules, over and over and over again. People were seeing hubs, which may have been several years old, being unfeatured for some lame excuse or another. Hub Pages began to attack the articles that they acquired from Squidoo, which had been declared “only the best” when the merger occurred. HP was taking only the best content from Squidoo.
Yet, it is the very best of Squidoo, that Hub Pages is now unfeaturing, causing writers to rewrite, rewrite and rewrite to the point of being ridiculous, to have their hub featured, and then unfeatured again, which means Hub Pages tells Google to de-index these hubs and not show them in their search engine.
Unfeaturing For Low Traffic
Hub pages provide share buttons for social network sites such as Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter so that writers or readers can share the hub they are reading, should they decide to do so. Then, Hub Pages unfeatures hubs for low traffic when most of the traffic comes from the social network sites. Does this make sense? Of course not!!!
Hub Scores and Hubber Scores
Let’s not even get into the hub score which is a computer generated score given to each hub which fluctuates by the second. It goes up and down more often than the wildest roller coaster ride there is on earth. Why? Who knows, Hub Pages won’t reveal that information. The hubber score, which is seen on profile of each writer is just as crazy. Previous HP employees have posted in the Hub Pages forums that these scores are meaningless, they mean nothing to Google, only to HP and really should be abolished. Hub Pages refuses to do this. My guess is it keeps those who worry about these stupid, meaningless numbers to keep changing their hubs, doing a bit of rewriting, adding to a hub, taking away, etc, over and over that Google may see this as updates which makes Hub Pages look good in the eyes of Google, even though they are not in good standing with Google. Google does not like content farms!!!
Like Hub Pages and Squidoo a lot of game playing went on. There were a lot of spammy aritcles on these sites, as well as plagiarized and poorly written content which continues on Hub Pages which was and continues to be allowed. There was and continues to be favortism,which means on writer will be flagged repeatedly, while others continue the same practices are never touched.
Suddenly, Zujava, found itself in trouble. An announcement on the sites blog let writers know that the site would be shutting down, and they have a couple of months to move their content elsewhere. Of course, the site was down for two weeks, so nobody knew if writers would get a two week extension or not, but in the end, they did not get an extension. Again, writers who had content on the site, do not even know Zujava is shutting down, will lose their content forever, if they don’t get the news before July 1, 2015.
Many asked Can Squidoo Do This?
Hub Pages-Squidoo Merger Articles
When you write on a platform such as Hub Pages, the only one making money will be the site itself. Hub pages started a cute program which is called Hub Pages Amazon Program. This program, came in handy for writers that could not open an Amazon Affiliate Account themselves due to state they live in, because of the online tax laws. For others, earning 8 percent commission sounds good, when you only earn, in most cases, 4 percent if you use your personal Amazon Associate account. However, once you have 7 orders shipped, using your own Amazon account, your commission is 6 percent for most orders. There are some categories that have fixed rates which could be lower or higher than 6 percent regardless of how many products are sold and shipped out.
However there is a big difference between using your own Amazon affiliate account, or HP Pages Account. One big difference is if you join the HP program, you use the Amazon modules for products. You can text links using your own Amazon account, but are allowed only 2 text links.
You can use your own Amazon account, without joining HP program, which then enables you to use the Amazon modules for products.
However, it is a win-win for Hub Pages. Hub pages gets 40 percent of your sales commissions, earning from clicks on ads. But which product did customer click on? Where is list of all products sold? Oh, Hub Pages does not provide this information to you. They only show you what they claim was sold under your ID that they gave you and control while you are a member of the Hub Pages Amazon Program. So, you have no way of knowing if they are cheating you out of sales, ad earnings or not.
The only way that you can see which product was clicked on, which ones were ordered, paid for/not paid for/returned is if you use your own Amazon Affiliate account. However, they dangle that 8 percent commission when using their program as bait, the candy to persuade you not to use your own affiliate account.
I don’t want to write a book about content farms. However, I will let you know that I left Hub Pages and took every bit of content with me. There are those there that will give you a number of reasons as to why you should write on Hub Pages, or some other content farm, while they are jumping through Hub Pages Hoops, watching their traffic go down the toilet and earning pennies a day.
Some leave content on content farms, maybe even add new when they get an idea for an articles that really doesn't fit their own website. However, these sites sit on the back burner and are no longer the focus for writers who have left them.