Thursday, December 11, 2008
Squidoo Alternatives #1 - HubPages
This is the first of a series of reviews of what I have described as "Squidoo Alternatives", basically because I can't think of another description. In order to qualify for these reviews the sites must allow for people to post their own content, there must be some opportunity for making money, and there should be some opportunity to link back to own site or blog (if you want to). Once I have completed these reviews I will post a comprehensive list.
HubPages is the main competitor to Squidoo, so this seems a good place to start. As with Squidoo, HubPages provides a place for you to post your content about pretty much anything - here they are known as Hubs. You are provided with a number of modules including text, photos, video, links, news, rss feeds, comments and poll.
Unlike Squidoo, in order for you to make money from your Hubs you will need to sign up with Adsense and sign up as an affiliate with Amazon, Ebay and/or Kontera. HubPages rank well on search engines so putting links to your website or blog (if you have one) will certainly help it get found. Nevertheless, you still need to put in a certain amount of work to get your Hubs found. HubPages has a lively community element including a forum and fan club.
HubPages does have certain rules which if you breach you will find your Hubs banned. The main issues are that your Hubs should not contain adult material, and your Hubs should be spam. What constitutes spam is, I guess, somewhat subjective, but basically your Hub should contain some sort of useful content. Also, if your Hub contains more than 2 links to the same destination then your Hub is likely to be flagged as spam. Also, if your Hub contains content that is duplicated elsewhere on the internet then your Hub will be flagged as duplicate content and will affect its scoring, meaning that it is less likely to be found.
In some corners of the internet, debates rage about which is better, Squidoo or Hubpages. For me, there are pros and cons to each, and which you use can depend on what you want to do. Squidoo contains more modules and gives you more options in terms of layout. But the interface for HubPages (I think) is easier to use. There are no restrictions on what you post on Squidoo (provided it's legal!), but the restrictions in HubPages means there are fewer Hubs and it is more likely that your Hub will be found. I tend to find that the community element on Squidoo is stronger and the forums on HubPages have a reputation for being a little unfriendly.
I haven't decided yet whether HubPages or Squidoo has the best revenue model - with your earnings being lumped together with Squidoo, you get to see your money much sooner. But having another opportunity to add to my Adsense total means that maybe I might actually see a payout some day.
So, in my view, Squidoo and HubPages are as good as each other, but the two formats lend themselves to a different style of content, so it depends on what you want to do.