I admit, I've almost been behind the curve on the internet trends and how people get ahead in link building. Whenever I get too stressed out, I dive into my artwork and ignore the outside world until I have a few more works uploaded. In fact I usually avoid watching the news on television and got out of reading internet news. I just don't have time to read depressing things I can't change.
As my faithful readers know, I recently moved my blogs and sites from self-hosted WordPress to Blogger and Google Sites with custom domains and I added a few experimental blogs without custom domains that are more focused niches.
As part of my strategy for 2011, I had decided that I'd try to write an average of one post or article a day for my site or other sites with revenue sharing. Yet as I was thinking about it a few weeks ago (before the big Google Content Farm and Scraper adjustments this Feb 2011), I thought it would be more interesting to write new articles for 3 sites at a time. One article for one of my custom domain websites. One article for Squidoo. One article for Hubpages. What about ezinearticles? Well, I never got much traffic from the 20 or so articles I added there and they don't share any adsense revenue or have any option for promo links to market there so it really seems like more trouble that it is worth to regularly add articles. Perhaps I'll add one once a month just to see that happens. It just seems silly to work daily to build their site when I could work on mine and revenue sharing sites.
So far I have 7 new articles this February which I rewrote manually and completely for Squidoo and Hubpages. I'm not generating duplicate content. I would write an article then just thinking about the topic would write without looking at the first one. Then without copying I'd write the third so really 3 unique articles about the same exact topic (but different titles and text).
Of the 7 new articles on Squidoo, their statistics show one view and it came from Google.ca.
At Hubpages I see two comments on the 7 articles and 93 views for the week although I wouldn't be surprised if all of those views were internal to Hubpages. Hubpages always seems to get many views from the start, but whenever I look up statistics for an individual page I just see Hubpages as the referrer.
I think that especially with the Google Content Farm update affecting social writing and article sites, these articles have probable not yet been added to the index.
Of course I also included a link in each article on both Hubpages and Squidoo back to my most relevant site. If I could get a fraction of Hubpage readers who see a new article to click through and enjoy my sites, that would help my traffic. There seems to be quite a community there.
I've made a huge list of article and blog post topics to write about. I've been spending about an hour and a half writing the 3 articles every day this last week for the experiment and also spending about 20 minutes brainstorming and writing down ideas as they come to me. I have enough ideas written down to last me the next month.
Of course the true test of the experiment is not in views or comments but in clicks and sales. Squidoo doesn't have any info on that, but I can see if a "lens" has made money and if there is a sale to Amazon through a lens it should appear, but I haven't yet. Hubpages on the other hand just uses percentages in determine whether or not to use my code or theirs so I can go to my custom URL tracking for Hubpages in Adsense and in Amazon Associates to see if there were clicks or sales coming from there when my codes were used.
Why the experiment when I could just put three times as many original articles on just my own sites? First I want to get some backlinks and traffic from those websites to my own. Many people still use them and I know if I don't get my sites out there, no one will see my content.
Second I like the interface on these kinds of sites. They both make it easy to add Amazon products and the other ads are automatic so I can focus on content. I especially like the Hubpages editor and how I don't have to manually type in the HTML code for links. They both offer some cool interactive modules for reader feedback like surveys. While I can do the same for blogger with Google docs forms, it isn't so quick to set up.
Finally I am curious to see if it is true that you can make enough money from these sites to make an income. I've seen testimonials from different people on both sites about how they are making hundreds of dollars a month from advertisements just from writing on one site or the other and just from writing a few hundred articles. I can do the same thing if I really organize my time, have topics ready to write about and get a good night's sleep. I was thinking if I could spend 3 hours a day writing and 3 hours editing artwork and uploading it on the three days during the week that I don't teach English, I'd have all my weeks writing done and have the weekend off to read blogs, go for long walks and enjoy life.
What am I not doing? I'm not sharing any of the new articles on Squidoo or Hubpages via Twitter or Facebook. I will only share new artwork and posts on my sites and blogs so my own blogs should get more traffic and clicks even though I doubt they will at first.
I'm really not sure if I can write for 3 hours without stopping. I'm still learning how to write and organize my ideas on informative articles. Writing doesn't come as easy for me as working in Adobe Photoshop, Corel Painter 11, or with a digital camera, but I'm sure I'll get better with practice.
How many articles or posts do you write every day? Have you found success with Squidoo or Hubpages?