I remember some years ago that Web 2.0 properties like Hubpages, Squidoo, EZineArticles, and all those other article mills/marketplaces where quite the hit. The reason was because you could dump content to these sites for some easy backlinks and you could also earn a few dollars in the process.

The good writers used them for gaining exposure for their work – they put in the effort. The shifty marketers would spin articles like crazy just to overload the platforms for links (which hurt the community … go figure).

These sites have been demolished because marketers are like jackals … ready to pounce on anything that shows promise for the quick win.

When is the last time you heard someone talking about article marketing?

This makes me wonder … are these sites even relevant anymore?

Not even in the sense of link building and branding but as far as content goes. Have marketers ruined this platforms for the worst? Let me explain.

The Good Ol’ Days of Web 2.0 Platforms

For two solid years I was highly prolific in producing articles for platforms like Helium, Squidoo, Hubpages, and EZineArticles. I did so because it would earn me some passive income. At the height of using these platforms I pulled in a few hundred extra bucks each month.

The content was sincere. I treated the platforms as if they were my blog which meant I took the time to really put effort into the content. I mainly used the platforms to explore topics that wouldn’t fit my blog(s) such as doing a movie review or talking about a recent travel experience. These platforms were great for this kind of thing.

And then something changed …

Suddenly it was about article marketing. Everyone was doing it. I watched as the tight-knit writer community began to crumble because the platforms were flooded with spun content.

It became less and less about writing good content and more about just having something that passed as content but worked as a vehicle for a link. Some writers also got far too brash with their work and flat out made articles that were nothing more than link after link to an affiliate product with copied text from the sales pages.

It was the beginning of the end …

Google rolled out the Panda update which basically demolished these sites because they deemed them too low quality.

Overnight I saw my traffic and article views get cut in half. Months went by and platforms like Helium and EZineArticles would show only a dozen or so views from the content I had produced. I was mad because I really did put in a lot of effort into those pieces but there was nothing I could do about it.

Web 2.0 Viability

The platforms are still there and you can certainly publish content to them but I’d say it’s not really worth it in the long run.

The Panda update hit the sites real hard. The sites are still being filled with mediocre content. You’re better off finding different outlets for your content.

Such as:

  • If it’s a piece that isn’t going to fit your site (because you just wanted to write something different for the day) then consider selling it on an article marketplace.
  • If it’s a piece within your industry but not something you really want to have on your site then consider using it as a guest post.

There are also other outlets like expanding on the topic and turning it into a white paper for your newsletter or lead generation. You could use it as a script for video production. You’ve already done the hard work in creating the content so now use your creativity and knowledge to see what you can do with it.

So, wrapping this up: Web 2.0 properties probably aren’t worth the effort, publish (or sell your work) on your properties (or others), and try thinking beyond the blog post to get the most of it.