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HubPages vs. Vocal



Gaining Context


I opened my account at Vocal around two years ago when I published my first article. It was a syndicated article from my golf blog, which surprisingly has done better than all other articles since.

Around three months ago, I decided to give Vocal a real chance with a renewed effort and by becoming a Vocal Plus member. They enticed me with half off a year’s membership ($50 for a year, usually it is $99 annually or $10/month).

Since this renewed effort, I have published nine articles; six were written originally at Vocal (four were for Vocal Challenges), and the other 3 were syndicated from elsewhere.

The plan for Vocal was to publish my creative writing there originally, which meant I had to switch from HubPages where these were published originally before. The distracting ads and lackluster RPM helped make this decision, although I’ve been writing on HP for over a decade.

After three months of “working” Vocal, I’ve realized it isn’t worth paying the $10/month. I’ll explain the details.

Where are the Views/Reads?


Essentially, it’s very difficult to get reads at Vocal. I even have one article with four likes and only one read, and two articles with 0 reads. While they pay $6 per 1000 reads, these reads are really hard to get! Even with a decent effort at networking the site and sharing the article to my social media sites (with a total of over 18k followers), I was only able to get around 25 reads in nearly three months!

With HP in the same period without publishing, promoting, or networking, I received around 1,000 views on my 40 existing articles. Unfortunately, these views only pay around $2 per 1,000, yet this is more money than Vocal ($2 vs .15 cents).

Pros and Cons of Vocal


Vocal does have frequent writing contests and a weekly leaderboard to make money from, yet these seem to go to the same writers, or at least the same type of writers each time — I never made any money from my four entries or the weekly leaderboard.

See, Vocal is a very liberal, left-leaning platform; they tell writers not to write about their Christian faith. I was bucking the trend writing there, as I’m a conservative Christian who is open about his faith and views. To give them credit, I was never censored with the scant Christian views I expressed.

HP is much more egalitarian when it comes to politics and religion. They welcome diversity and different types of writers. I’m not criticizing Vocal, just explaining what I see, as they have the right to be what they want.

There is also the problem at Vocal of not being able to delete an article without writing a support ticket. Also, non-members cannot even edit their articles without doing the same.

Ultimately, $10 a month isn’t something I’m willing to pay when views are harder to get than truth in politics. HP is looking better once again.

The nice thing about HP is I don’t have to network to get views. It would help if I did, but it isn’t necessary. When I share an article on my social media platforms, I immediately see an uptick in views. Maybe these views aren’t reads, yet overall they pay around $2 per 1,000. That is even a recently low amount considering over the last decade the average has been around $6 RPM. Here is an article I wrote explaining the details:

RPM for HubPages: My Experience

Conclusion


With all that said, I’m going back to HP for my creative writing. It doesn’t have a membership fee, gets many more views, and isn’t ultra-liberal.

The good part is I can still enter Vocal Challenges, at least the ones open to everyone and not just members. So, I can keep writing at Vocal, building upon the 10 subscribers I have and the .52 cents I’ve made over the last 2 years (they gave me an additional $10 when signed up, so $10.52 total earned) — the bad part is non-members have to reach $50 before a payout. Who knows, maybe I’ll place in a contest or make money with the weekly leaderboard — it’s fun trying.

When it comes down to it, I only wrote two articles at Vocal that would have been published at HP. I can’t syndicate them over to HP because that isn’t allowed, so they are permanently at Vocal as vestiges of an effort gone awry. Still, they will be placed in my next creative writing book, the second volume of this sort.

For those interested, here is the first book with my creative writing:

Stories From the Lonely Abode


Maybe this comparison and the experience I’ve had with Vocal will help others decide where to put their efforts.

Ultimately, I appreciate being able to share my writings with these platforms and hope for their success in the future.

Originally published on Medium at New Writer's Welcome

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