I have been blogging over at HubPages for the last month or so to see what that is all about. I actually opened an account there last year but never really got active. At that time, I didn’t have much of a plan or strategy . . . I just dived in. Ok, maybe I did have a plan. I wanted to do something different so thought I would try writing humours story’s (at HubPages, posts are called Hubs). I wrote the first Hub, which was pretty good and even got some positive feedback and then followed-up with a couple more tries. The problem was that I was running out of ideas for funny hubs. Plus, I started thinking to myself, do I really want to write humorous stories all of the time. I stopped writing after that and my HubPages went dark.
My first hub from back in June of 2011: Holy Crap My Blog Stinks was kind of funny but didn’t bring the house down.
What is the purpose of writing at HubPages, what do I give and what do I get out of it? That is what has been on my mind lately. The answer should be that it helps my free-standing blog sites get traffic and be more productive. So if that is the case, I should be writing about some of the same stuff and linking back to this site (and others). HubPages does have a captive audience of users. Many are very serious and dedicated to that community. They read and comment on other hubs on a regular basis. Outsiders also find HubPages when searching for specific topics. So if that is the goal (driving traffic), does it really happen?
There are others out in the web that have had the same thoughts but there is a great deal of debate as to the value of these types of sites. Let’s call them “community websites” . . . which include HubPages and others like Gather or Squidoo. To compound the debate are the recent and sometimes continual changes in Google’s algorithms. These have tended to have a negative affect on these communities. HubPages was hit very hard back in 2011 when, at one point, they had lost over 85% of their visibility in Google searches. That was during the so-called Panda release by Google. This, of course, would be troubling for any writer and especially for those at HubPages who rely on an income stream from their publishing.
Here is My HubPages Profile Page (home page) . . .
One thing that is interesting to note; more recently, there in not as much discussion around the web on this subject. If you Google the topic, all of the posts and articles are from 20111 and it is hard to find anything from 2012. It is a fact that HubPages put forth a lot of effort to get past the blacklisting, overcome the problems that had arisen and make their platform more Google-friendly (as it once was before the all the algorithm changes). They also took a giant step forward when they assigned all of their users a unique URL (much like Blogger and WordPress do). So have all the efforts paid-off? It is hard to tell but it seems like they might have.
There is a bigger debate that goes beyond the Google algorithm discussion. This is a more general debate about the value of belonging to a platform like HubPages. There are bloggers who will argue that it is a good way to supplement your stand alone blog and drive traffic in that direction. You can reach out to another audience and maybe create some good backlinks. Others are just as adamant that vehicles like HubPages are a waste of time and you should put all that effort into making your stand-alone site better. They would point out that the revenue potential on these sites is limited and the links are not worth it. Both arguments have some merit. It also seems that those who argue that Hub Pages is a good for their blogging tend to be Hubbers (or using some other platform, like Squidoo) and those who argue the against this proposition are not Hubbers (or are former Hubbers).
How does Hub Pages work? – find out more about that here . . .
I have decided to make a renewed effort to be active on HubPages and see what will come of it. At the very least, I think it will broadened my horizons. So far, I have published eight articles in the last month and have a couple more in the making. Some of them might end up being funny but I suspect the vast majority will reflect my general interests and the content of thy other blogs (including ProNet 6).
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