Social networks like Facebook, YouTube, Dailymotion, Hubpages, WordPress.com, eHow, etc. is a good way to attract people to your website or business. But it might not be the most viable solution for your particular audience or needs. If done right you indeed can have a passive income rolling in from such sites but understand that it’s a different landscape and their rules and constraints will limit you. Let’s explore and see why you should avoid these type of sites.
Focus on Building Your Own Authority
You want your website to be the one attracting traffic or get love from Google bots. This shift in mindset will allow you to see your site from an authority figure. Roosevelt’s Elite Club is quite premature in Google Bot’s eyes at the time of writing this post, but if you look at the quality of the contents and ideas shared on this blog, I am sure you will ask yourself why Google might not give this website more importance. Or you might be wondering why Google is not giving your contents more priority. It’s because search engines want to get to know your website before they will take you seriously. If you start a site and close it down after eight months, then it makes Google look very bad to its users. So, why would they bump up your content just because you are sharing awesome stuff?
Undoubtedly, if a celebrity links to your content it will trigger a different response from Google but what are the odds of a star linking to your content anytime soon? Chances are it’s low! And I firmly doubt an authority figure will want to link to your web page that provides little value or has affiliate links all over it. So, you need to adopt a different game plan to make your blog an authority figure!
Why I Discourage Social Networks like Hubpages, WordPress.com, etc.?
If you are a complete noob on the web and want to write for leisure and slap in a few affiliate products to make $50 bucks here and there then, by all means, go for these type of websites. But if your goal is to make big bucks, and I am talking about $15,000 or more per month then you need to adopt a different mindset. You surely can burn yourself out creating remarkable contents for those networks but what if I told you that you could make at least double that amount by building your website and building your userbase on your own domain?
When you publish content on one of such websites, they pay you 1% to 25% commission from the banner ads for bringing in people to their website. It’s probably good but what happens when such sites close their doors due to other issues they might have. Squidoo used to be one of the most popular Social Networking websites, and Hubpages bought it. Squidoo users had a different freedom and a different mindset, but Hubpages have their policies or system in place. So, there’s a chance that all your hard work can be wiped out in an instant or you might not get the same freedom you once had!
Like many sites, Hubpages was also doing great prior the Penguin update by Google. However, it suffered a significant blow when Google made changes to their algorithm and started giving a higher priority to quality contents. Google necessarily doesn’t penalize a single URL, but it tends to punish a whole domain. So, if you look at Google’s history, Google wiped out entire websites from its index without any remorse whatsoever. So, if you are putting up high-quality contents on websites like Hubpages but those sites are getting spammed by low-quality materials from shady marketers, a search engine might penalize the primary domain and thus punish you as well in the process.
There are plenty of scenarios I ran into with sites like WordPress.com, Hubpages, etc, where the moderators just didn’t understand the contents. For instance, if you are making a gossip blog and uploading funny memes or suggestive materials, those folks might not like it. Or their standards might now allow it. What’s worse is, sometimes these sites don’t even do their homework before they shut you down or ban your account, etc. Your subdomain on these sites could be hugely popular, you could be bringing in outstanding traffic, but just because their terms don’t allow it, a moderator will shut your account down in a heartbeat. There are plenty of horror stories where YouTube channels were shut down, social networks were closed out, and people lost their income almost overnight!
If These Sites are So Bad, Why Some Folks are Making Millions from These Sites?
Let me ask you a question, are you a famous YouTuber? Are you creating fun engaging contents? Chances are, you are not! So, stop living that illusion that your particular content might gain the same amount of fame as a comedian on YouTube, etc. If you want to make millions of dollars playing video games or doing funny stuff, then focus on producing those contents and no matter how ridiculous you are, YouTube might never shut you down. But if you are making videos with nothing but texts, cheesy slideshows and linking to affiliate sites, etc., then they will close your account sooner or later, or your contents will never hit your desired ranking in search engines.
The founding fathers of YouTube, Facebook, and other social networks built their websites to target a specific audience. If you look at the audience on YouTube, they appeal to a particular age group, but if you look at Dailymotion or Vimeo, they call to a different age group or serves a different purpose. So, don’t automatically assume that what works on one site will work on another. You might have to study the website, its use, its user base and then create contents that appeal to that audience.
Ok, Roosevelt, I Get It. Now, How Do I Build an Authority Website?
If you want long-term and significant success, you need to achieve two things. You need to provide better contents than your competition to your target audience (whether it’s articles, images, videos) and the other is to build brand awareness.
An authority figure has certain traits that set him apart than the rest. And the same is also true for an authority website. If you go to CNN.com, how does it feel? Now head over to Hubpages.com and notice how that feels? I am sure CNN.com will feel like a significant powerhouse over any other website even though the smaller site might not be small at all.
Websites like CNN.com, MSN.com, Google, certainly has the brand recognition but they didn’t earn this dominant power overnight. They provided high-quality contents, services, solutions, and people made them very popular. Google or most search engines recognize the high standards of these websites and gives them the benefit of the doubt. So, even though Google is not sure whether a specific content on an authority website is better than another site, it still gives them a higher priority. Who would you listen to for advice, a doctor with years of experience in his belt or a freshman in college? It’s possible that the freshman might have a better solution, but you might feel more confident about the doctor because he has more experience, etc.
You might scratch your head thinking that you don’t have the money, you don’t know how to write or you don’t have the technical skills to produce remarkable contents like some of these folks do. But let me ask you a question, why are you doing this? If your goal is to do nothing and make money, then you are living in an illusion. People at Google, CNN, Boston.com don’t make contents out of whim. They have a team, they have panels, and their materials go through numerous reviews before they make it to the homepage. So, if you want to build a high-quality authority website, you too will need to do the same. Folks on those top websites or authority websites are usually on top not because of some cool SEO tool they are using, but they are regularly testing what works and working hard to produce high-quality content.
So, you have to ask yourself how committed you are on a scale of 1 to 10? Do you seriously want to quit your job and run a blog for the rest of your life? Then you have to put in the necessary hours to impress people on your website! And you can impress people with excellent articles, great information, high-quality videos, solutions to any problem they might be having or sparking an excellent discussion!
If your dream is to make thousands of dollars per month, then it’s best to focus on building your authority website and your brand. Third party websites come and go, they shut down, they have their rules, and they will limit your earning potential. But if you have your authority website, own user base, private mailing list, fans, then they will take care of you no matter which site gets shut down next!
What do you think? What is your experience with websites like WordPress.com, Hubpages, etc.? Let us know in the comment section below.