Ron is a retired engineer and manager for IBM and other high tech companies. He writes extensively and in depth about modern technology.
With the recent demise of a number of writing websites, such as Squidoo, Yahoo Voices, Helium, and a multitude of others, there’s one mantra online writers are constantly having drummed into their heads: diversify! Don’t put all your eggs in one basket!
So, to supplement my contributions here at HubPages, I’ve been diligently searching for other writing sites where I can place articles I don’t consider suitable for this one. They all have their own pluses and minuses as avenues for diversification, and I thought it might be helpful to share what I’ve found.
The Sites I'll Be Addressing
I currently write for HubPages, Bubblews, Writedge, Daily Two Cents, and Persona Paper, and will share what I've discovered through those experiences. I have not written for InfoBarrel, but have spent quite a bit of time trying to determine if that site might be a suitable home for some of my work. I'll briefly share my conclusions.
Although I have never used Wizzley, or Seekyt, I've included some of the information I uncovered about them in a couple of table listings. However, I won't be directly addressing the merits of those sites.
NOTE: As of January 2020, of the sites mentioned here, only HubPages and Wizzley remain in operation as revenue sharing sites. See updates at the end of the article.
Let’s start with some basic stats about each site’s online presence. Unless otherwise indicated, these stats are estimates from the hypestat.com website, and were recorded in mid-March, 2015. In my judgment, the HypeStat numbers are not precise, but they can be used as a rough indicator of the relative performance of each site in relation to the others. The number of users or members is as reported by the site.
|Site||Unique visitors per day||Est. Ad Earnings per day US$||Worldwide Site Ranking||Google Page Rank||# of pages on the site||# of registered users|
Daily Two Cents
- HubPages claims 905,267 published hubs as of 3/13/15. But apparently only about 480,000 of these are featured, meaning that they carry ads and are visible to search engines.
- 88,000 was the number of users claimed by InfoBarrel as of 2/14/12.
- Seekyt filings at flippa.com when the site was being sold indicate a 3-month average of 1497 unique visitors per day, November 2014 through January 2015. The daily revenue during that period averaged $43.38. These numbers differ significantly from the HypeStat estimates. However, the HypeStat numbers are shown in the table for consistency with the other site listings.
- The number of Bubblews users was estimated based on the profile URLs of the latest members of the site. Those URLs appear to be assigned sequentially, so the URLs of the newest members reveal the total number who signed up since the site began. Since Bubblews shut down in November of 2015, this information is of historical interest only.
Comments on Site Performance
- The ad revenues for most of the sites (all except HubPages, InfoBarrel, and Bubblews) amount to less than the average daily wage of a worker in the U. S. In fact, many workers earn more per hour than some of these sites earn in an entire day. And, of course, each site's income must be shared among the users who post to that site.
- I think this chart makes it clear why Bubblews no longer pays any significant amount for residual views. If view counts generated an average of even a fraction of a cent per day for each of their almost 9 million articles, the site’s daily revenue would be overwhelmed by the required payouts.
At the time of the initial publication of this article, Bubblews, Writedge, Daily Two Cents, and Persona Paper were all publicly stating that their advertising revenues were insufficient to cover their expenses. Bubblews has since closed down. Writedge and Daily Two Cents no longer pay writers directly (see update below). It appears that Persona Paper continues to sustain operating losses. The long term viability of these sites must be seen as highly questionable.
NOTE: An important update concerning Daily Two Cents and Writedge viability can be seen at the end of this article.
Site Posting and Payment Policies
The following table briefly summarizes the requirements for making posts to each site and how writers are compensated. Note that Writedge and Daily Two Cents are sister sites, run by the same team of owners.
|Site||Pay Rate||Article Length Requirements||Eligibility To Post|
60% of ad revenue. Payout: $50. (AdSense required)
700+ words recommended
Each hub must pass a quality assessment.
75% of ad revenue. Payout: $50.
Between 325 - 5000 words
At least the first 10 posts are reviewed.
Writedge and Daily Two Cents
As of 10/1/15 no longer pays per view [see update].
400 (Writedge) or 200 (DTC) words.
At least the first 3 posts are reviewed.
50-60% of page impression revenue. Payout: N/A
At least the first 5 posts are reviewed.
NO LONGER PAYS WRITERS
Article must be accepted by editors
Persona Paper [2,3]
2 coins/view, 1 coin/comment you make on others’ posts. Payout: $20.
500 characters exclusive of punctuation and spaces.
Must submit a writing sample to demonstrate English proficiency.
Read More From Toughnickel
1. IMPORTANT: Seekyt's new Terms Of Service state the following: "By submitting content to this site, you are agreeing to transfer your original copyright to Seekyt."
2. Persona Paper allows no more than 15 posts per day, and requires a 10 minute wait between posts. Current value of each "coin" is $0.0015. Since each unique view earns two coins, Persona Paper's pay rate is $3 for every 1000 views, which is twice the rate offered at Writedge and Daily Two Cents. It requires 13,334 coins to reach the $20 payout threshold.
3. As of March, 2015, Persona Paper has instituted a blacklist of countries from which it will accept no new members. The reason, they say, is because those countries get a lot of traffic, for which writers must be paid, but contribute little ad revenue to the site. The currently blacklisted countries are the Philippines and India. More may be added later.
4. On Wizzley payments are made directly from advertising partners, not the site itself. Ad network options include AdSense, Chitika, and VigLink. Affiliate linking to Amazon, Zazzle, and AllPosters is available.
Traffic and Income Potential
Here are my conclusions regarding the traffic and income potential of the sites based on my experiences and research.
It seems undeniable that HP is now the undisputed traffic champ among writing websites. Although the site has suffered due to recent Google updates, I’ve seen no claims that any of the other sites come close to matching HP’s productivity in both traffic and income.
When an article is first posted, it normally receives an initial burst of traffic from other hubbers. That internal traffic surge usually subsides fairly quickly. However, over time, search engine and social media traffic may build and provide long-term passive income. This is the HubPages model.
One thing I particularly like about HubPages is that, unlike any of the other sites I’ve written for, it’s rare for any of my hubs to go completely dead, receiving no traffic at all. When it has happened, it’s always been with hubs on topical subjects. When that topic is no longer in the news, interest in those hubs naturally fades.
HubPages Network Sites
In 2016, HubPages began assigning its content to a network of more than 25 HubPages-owned "niche" sites such as owlcation.com, healthproadvice.com, and reelrundown.com. Articles that pass an initial quality assessment are published on hubpages.com. They are then curated with respect to subject matter and an even higher quality bar. Those that meet the standard for a particular niche site may then be moved from hubpages.com to that site. The purpose of this process is to ensure that only the highest quality articles appear on the HubPages network sites.
The InfoBarrel model seems similar to that of HubPages. However, the anecdotal evidence is that for some reason, many IB articles are not being well indexed by Google.
Responding to concerns raised by Writer Fox, I conducted the experiment of searching for text contained in several articles that were featured on the InfoBarrel home page, and which had been online for about a month. That’s plenty of time for them to have been indexed by search engines, but only one of four was found by Google.