Visiting Old Writings from my Past

in writing •  13 days ago

On this otherwise slow morning, I spent a little time visiting some of my older writing.

No, not early posts here on Steemit, but articles on what is one of the very few surviving sites that paid people for their contributions: HubPages.com.

I actually have articles posted there that date back to 2007. What's kind of unique/unusual about that is that venues that pay contributors almost inevitably "die" at anywhere from a a few months to about 3-4 years of "age."

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One of our dramatic sunsets...

HubPages? Not so much. Remarkably resilient.

I still get occasional "revenue share" payments for content that is over ten years old! Some of those articles have been read 25,000, 40,000 and as much as 70,000 times.

That is one thing I really appreciate about that site: the value of "evergreen" content.

HubPages is definitely NOT Steemit, so don't go rushing over there!

For starters, 95% of the content I see on Steemit would never see the light of day on HubPages. It's a content site, not a social site, and everything published has to pass the "Quality Assurance Process" where it passes through several human editors before it is approved.

Even then, it may just end up where most content ends: as "published," but not "featured." The rub being that unless your piece is "featured" it will remain internal to the site, invisible to search engines, and thus doomed to live in a black hole for all eternity.

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A tiny spider's thread on a leaf in the evening sun

It's one of the reasons HubPages was always very unpopular with "Money For Nothing Seekers," spammers and content spinners. They were welcome to publish their stuff, but it would essentially remain invisible.

"It's not fair!" they would whine.

But why should you get paid for complete garbage nobody cares about?

"Because I want/need MONEY!"

What the fuck does that have to do with anything....?

HubPages is not really a "social" site, built around a community like we have here, it's a content site. Different structures, altogether. That said, a few people have made a name for themselves by purely publishing "inside" HubPages and building their own fan bases through Facebook, twitter and beyond.

Overall, it's not a big deal, in case you're getting all fired up over the prospect of another "make money" site. I get a $50-60 payment, every 3-4 months. It's just nice to know it's still there.

How about YOU? Did you ever write on other sites that paid for content? How did that go? Are those sites still around? Was it easier or more difficult to make an impact than here on Steemit? Leave a comment-- share your experiences-- be part of the conversation!

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(As usual, all text and images by the author, unless otherwise credited. This is original content, created expressly for Steemit)
Created at 180911 11:32 PDT

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I've actually got a HubPages site but I don't think I've visited it in ages, except to look up a couple of my old recipes. I should go check to see if any of my posts are still featured. hmm...

I've also written on Bubblews; formerly wrote posts for other people through Elance and Textbroker (hated it) - some stutter starts and stops with personal blog pages going back decades.

Though Bubblews closed down about 3 years ago, I still keep in contact with many of the writers there and I'm so frustrated that they won't give Steemit a try! I guess they feel like they'd gotten burned too badly to start on a fresh platform. Add "crypto" to that and they won't give it a second look. It's too bad.

Creating a tribe of people is HARD, especially when you're used to having a decent following and then going back to zero again.

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It's one of the things that has always baffled me somewhat... this "easy come, easy go" people seem able to take, and then I realize that most of "them" don't have thousands of hours invested in creating content, so they really don't care.

I poked around on Bubblews for a while, but it just felt like too much of a spam farm, and the way the rewards system was abused pretty much caused its demise. Steemit is faring a little bit better BECAUSE it's crypto, and that's "too difficult" for many of those who would otherwise be withdrawing their earnings every time they hit 25 cents.

HubPages and epinions were the only really good sites I wrote on, long-term. And Squidoo... again, a massive mis-management of attempts by people to rape the rewards system.

Sadly the "default" assumption has to be "People will try to game and rip off the rewards" and NOT "people will try to legitimately earn rewards." Sad state of humanity, that...

But yeah, it's hard to start over from scratch.

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I was a little late finding out about Bubblews but it was one of those sites where I immediately saw the writing on the wall; there was no way they could be sustainable with payouts based on revenue from ad shares, plus they were paying in USD, so the $50 I busted my ass for paid for pizza night while that same $50 could practically support a family for a month in India. Despite the spam, I managed to find a really cool core group of people and admittedly took advantage of their broken system while they were still able to pay out. I made sure to save the stories and posts worth saving.

And that segues into why Steemit appeals to me: The ability to save my work on the blockchain and, by all accounts, it will never disappear because the site went down. I am really sick of losing evergreen content! Blockchain is my solution.

I sold some content through a few freelance sites where you could write whatever you wanted and let it sit out there to be purchased and reused without attribution. (ConstantContent I think was the name of one of them). Downside to that is that it's impossible to build a name or a portfolio since you're not credited.

I also did some freelance work through Upwork, although that place is a fright and a total race to the bottom.

I had a somewhat steady gig writing under my own name on a small niche political blog. Problem was, the politics of the owners weren't the same as mine, and as much as they claimed to welcome all voices, I was pressured and edited towards their point of view.

I much prefer the format here. I write what I want, when I want, and sometimes I get a nice payout. All the while I am actually earning legitimate followers who faithfully show up to read and comment, and to me that is incredibly rewarding. Though I do have a 9-5 that supports me, so I can empathize with someone who is relying on their writing to feed their family.

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Ah yes, I remember ConstantContent and AssociatedContent... they were pretty similar, and suffered similar fates, as I recall.

My niche blogs (one about stamp collecting, one on psychology, on on ADHD) were fairly successful in their own rights. But even so, the AdSense revenue was negligible... if I was lucky, I'd hit the $100 payout limit once every 4-5 months. Enough for an occasional dinner out.

What's now Upwork was already getting to be a snake pit when it was Elance... and pretty much is bottom scraping with Fiverr; home of the extremely desperate to make a few cents, barely a step above Amazon's "Mechanical Turk" site.

Either way, this is currently my preferred writing venue... with 750+ top level articles, it's now the 2nd most "populated" venue I have used.

Blogging on Steemit is the first time I've written anything at all, other than business letters, since I left college. I still can't believe that people actually read what I write and I get paid for it as well. What's not to absolutely adore?

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That definitely sounds like a healthy "attitude of gratitude" there! I can think of far worse venues to have your first blogging experience than here.

very intiristing my frend

Hello @denmarkguy, thank you for sharing this creative work! We just stopped by to say that you've been upvoted by the @creativecrypto magazine. The Creative Crypto is all about art on the blockchain and learning from creatives like you. Looking forward to crossing paths again soon. Steem on!