HubPages is a site for writers, photographers and other creative people to post their original content and optionally earn money with their own Google AdSense account or their Amazon Associates, and/or eBay Partner Network accounts (commonly called "affiliate programs" by Web marketers). While not everyone on HubPages participates in each of those revenue-share affiliate opportunities, I do use each of them, though there are rumors the eBay one won't last. The only revenue sharing money-making opportunity HubPages offers that I don't participate in is Kontera (both because I don't like the ads and because I've read of various bad experiences with Kontera in the HubPages forums.)
Basically, I still really like HubPages, and I'm trying to get articles up as fast as I can, though it isn't easy while chasing after the wild toddler. My earnings are better what I expected--and I was afraid that nobody could top eHow's money-making model. Yet my per article earnings are nearly comparable to eHow, though my Hubs are only half as old. But it's the website and customer service where this writing site excels. To me, HubPages is the best around when it comes to flexibility of format and the way they treat their writers. And the search engines like them. Given their new status in reaching the Quantcast top 100 websites and an excellent search engine ranking, they're on par with eHow from my perspective.
What I like:
- I've had very good customer service experiences with HubPages. It's a small staff, but they know their stuff. Many of the staff post updates on the forums. (Once they never responded to an email I sent, but I forgave them, since it was a busy weekend, and I think some glitchiness was happening around then.)
- The article format is extremely customizable. You can publish a multi-article series or a single article. You can put quick links in a hub linking to another section of the same hub.
- You can create tables for your articles. You can insert RSS feeds, polls, news feeds, quizzes...it's impressive. You can put in your own tags, choose the words in your URL (great for SEO). You can moderate the comments in your own article, or take out the comments module altogether if you care to.
- As long as you're not being overly promotional, you can insert links within your articles where it's natural to put them. If you're careful to follow their guidelines, you can put up to two self-promotional text links in each article, too, as well as backlinks (that are dofollow if your score is above a certain number--I think it's 75.)
- You can move your text, photos, and other modules strategically between two columns to get the best ad placement.
- You can track the number of impressions for each hub. And you can track the performances of the hubs and stats about visitors through Google AdSense channels and Google Analytics.
- There have been no "article sweeps," as occur regularly on eHow. Some people get their hubs "unpublished" (not deleted) when they break a rule.
- The CEO of HubPages has published over 200 hubs. To me, this means he's his own customer--which I take as a major vote of confidence in his site.
- HubPages has a talented tech team. Their programming is fantastic for a site that offers users so much control of the Web page layout. Every so often, features get buggy or glitchy. But the staff gets on it and fixes it. I haven't often been frustrated by glitches there, because they communicate well and fix them fast.
- HubPages seems to continually make improvements to the site. New features, new functionality, new design. Not always what people are requesting, but sometimes, yes. I like that, because it means they do some internal research and development to figure out what's best. New feature launches tend to be well-thought-out and welcome.
- I don't even mind giving them their portion of my impressions (they get 40 percent to my 60 percent) because they truly earn the "fee," which I think of as a rental and maintenance fee for the space they let me use.
- The forums can get quite hot and bothered. HubPages has a strongly diverse community, with writers and marketers whose opinions are expressed loudly and tenaciously. Happily, they recently added a new home page format that allows you to follow only those forums you want to follow.
- Their home page doesn't look all that professional. Articles get featured automatically, from what I can tell, leaving some pretty weird articles on the front page. As it happens, this isn't a big issue, though, because I gather that most people don't enter HubPages through the home page, but via search engine traffic.
- It can take longer to put up a hub than to write and put up an eHow article (although with the recent eHow publishing bugs, that's debatable). It is worth the extra time, in my view.
- I don't particularly like Kontera, the network that provides their in-text content ads. But I venture to say there will be other offerings in the future, given the innovative changes HubPages regularly makes.
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