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Former Hub Moves to WebNuggetz

My unfeatured HubPage was moved to WebNuggetz yesterday


Since the quality of my work is not good enough to HP, it's got moved else where. Actually, what I did is delete a similar page on my own site and pasted the former Hub instead.

The deleted page was entirely reworked (rewriting all texts and missing products replaced) and posted on WebNuggetz. This is because the Hub was too long and readers would have been bored with the huge amount of info. WN is perfect, ideal, amazing, wonderful, incredible for visual pages. The former Hub is too long and needs additional pictures. In addition, I have to find related products to feature as after the move from Squidoo I had to remove 90% of the featured masks from it.

Fingers crossed for the page to be as successful as it was on Squidoo. I'll never know how it's worked on HP since it didn't have a chance to make a season. Never mind, it's now safely hosted, hehe.

EPD features discovery

While working on that "nugget", I also discovered some specific features on Easy Product Diplays. I knew some of them but never thought of using them, and some, I never knew. 

The first one I really love is that I can have a product floating to the right or the left of my text directly form my EPD dashboard. This feature is a time saver especially when I want to copy and paste a former lens or hub into a new page. This feature helps me not to have to paste the content first on a Notepad so as to get rid of the formatting code contained in those old pages. The system allows basic HTML, though. I can thus add titles, subtitles, italic, bold, underlined texts along with text links. 

Another feature I love is that I can opt out from displaying a buy button. That is something I accidentally discovered. And with this great option, I can even add text beneath my featured products just like I did in Squidoo modules (well over there text was to the right of the product).

It was fun to make. All I had to do is uncheck the buy button option, and type text in the product name form. Then I changed the font into one that matches my site and pasted the code in the page.

Because I forgot to add a buy button to some items, I also worked with the import code feature for the first time. This one is a big thing! When you create an array of 12 or more products form your affiliate programs, you don't want to have to re-do all of them in case of missing products. This is where EPD is fantastic! Instead of searching for all item codes, just grab your existing EPD code, go to "get code" tab in your EPD dashboard and click on "import code". This will make the system display your articles and enable you to just replace the missing ones.

It saved me time when I had to just add a "check price" button! 

Price comparison for the same product is also easily done using Easy Product Displays. How many times do you find a product that is cheaper in an online store than in another. However, you know people will want to buy it from the other store. Doing a price comparison will help them buy the cheaper one. 

Another use for such a feature is for example, some products that come in sets of 2 or 3 products (perfumes, beauty products, etc.) Using EPD I can show that this store sells a set of 3 for the same price as that store sells a set of 2. I plan on using this option for future gifts and Halloween costume articles I'll post on my sites. 

When searching for products, for example, Venetian masks, if I want VIVO products displayed first, all I have to do it type "Venetian masks - VIVO" in the search feature. This way these authentic masks will appear first in the results. If I do not want them to appear in the results, I will type "Venetian masks -VIVO" (--> minus sign).

Also if I'm in a very productive mood - which happens very rarely - I can search for dozens of related products before adding them to my article. In EPD, I can type up to 10 ASIN codes each separated with a comma. The system will provide me with the 10 products so that I can add them to the display.

I hate having to copy and paste all Zazzle codes and then remove excess code from them in order to paste the good part on my pages. Using EPD, I can just use the link code, then click on the fetch button and the Zazzle item will magically appear in my EPD display. 

How to use the fetch feature

Well, that's it for today. See you soon for another trip in the fabulous world of Internet marketing.

Posted by Holly Day a WAHM who is able to turn any day into a holiday.


My First Unpublished Hub for Quality Matters

Spammy Hubs

So early this morning (I'm in Europe so evening for you is morning for me) I've received my first notice for a hub unpublished for quality reason. Hm... the title was "friendly" - "A Friendly Heads Up: Your Hub Could be Featured!" Er... my hub WAS featured yesterday. Let's read (portions of) this email.

Dear justholidays,

We wanted to let you know that Best Venetian Masks for Masquerade Parties has the opportunity to become Featured! Didn't know it was not featured...
Featured Hubs are... They are also made available to search engines... strongly recommend dusting it off and making a few improvements. I just updated that page (second time since it made the transfer from Squidoo)

The perks of a Featured Hub don't end at increased visibility online. Featured Hubs are likely to be more successful... Not sure about that, traffic started to increase as soon as I updated it, but when it was still OK for you it didn't get any kind of traffic at all! Not to mention that my HubPages traffic is dysmal compared with dying Squidoo traffic (incredible uh!)

It's possible that your Hub is not Featured because it contains spammy elements. Thank you so much for insulting me! Perhaps it was written for a link, Wow! keep on insulting me, please, you can't imagine how pleased I am! or has too many unrelated or distracting products capsules. Yes, 7 Amazon ENTIRELY RELATED capsules on a grand total of +/- 2,500 words. Even Hubs... We recommend that you remove any spammy elements that might be present in your Hub. Unless Amazon capsules are spammy elements, I can't remove anything BUT content... which is not what you want, is it?

What else can you do to improve your Hub? High-quality Hubs are original.... My Venetian mask hub was probably not a high-quality page but I was proud of my work and don't want to ruin it so as to match your standards. I'm sorry but Venetian masks are VISUAL stuff not just boring endless content.

Thank you for taking the time to update and improve your work! I won't waste my time reworking a hub that doesn't get me the same traffic rate as it did on its original home so as I always did when Squidoo started getting mad at locking lenses, I deleted the hub. It's going to generate money for me on another site or platform.

Cheers, Cheers :)
The HubPages team Justholidays

That is how I fix a low quality, spammy, violation, whatever page on a platform where I can't control anything. Even though we don't have complete control over our work, we always have the liberty to pack and leave. 

I've deleted 9 hubs since the big move from Squidoo. More will follow, of course, especially the Venetian pages since the one deleted today was part of a series. Without it, the others don't have any meaning any more. 

Thank you HubPages for making me feel like a spammer, a cheater, a loser... Well actually I don't feel like that, but if I was as sensitive as some writers are, I'd be really depressed. I'm not, writing is not my life, I just write to earn an income to enable me to get together with my foreign partner some times in the year, because he is not allowed to travel from his country to Occident (documents are hard to get and my country doesn't deliver such visas nowadays). That's all my writing is meant for. It's just going to earn me money else where.

More screenshots of this hub


Yes there are big pictures on the page, but these pics are there for illustration purpose, no link on them. If they're part of a mask that is for sale on Amazon, I added the related Amazon capsule somewhere. Is there anything more related to a Colombina mask than a Colombina mask? 

White Colombina is there to show what an original one looks like, the other one is just more intricate and makes the page look nicer. OK, I could remove the white but I've never agreed to test over and over again just to have a page republished. There are only 24 hours in a day and I have different sites to take care of.


How to make a moretta mask tutorial - what a spammy capsule!

Personally the only spammy elements I can see on this page are the floating ads that follow me wherever I go on the page. Impossible to get rid of them. This is what I call nuisance... I rather liked the older ads, those that don't move, that are text based and don't distract me from what I read. Even the new Adsense layouts are absolutely ugly and a real shame. There's nothing that claims "I'm an ad" more than those.

Since I updated another hub yesterday, I'm pretty convinced that it's going to be unpublished as well in the coming hours. However, because it is one that is part of those Venetian pages, it is going to be deleted anyway.

I feel that I'm beginning a long, very long journey deleting unpublished hubs... 

Posted by Holly Day a WAHM who is able to turn any day into a holiday.


My Favorite Affiliate Product Display Tool

Easy Product Displays Search Feature
My favorite affiliate product display tool is what I'm going to talk about. It is not Squidoo or HubPages related. It's an entirely different subject. Yet it is the perfect tool for those who plan on leaving HubPages for greener pastures (hear: their very own site or a platform that allows page personalization).

How to display products on a page

Nicely displaying products on our pages is a must for us, former lensmasters and other webmasters. We were accustomed to nicely craft our pages and still love doing so. However there are very few online software that enable us to do so.

My sites are now all on a WordPress platform and although I was accustomed to HTML and CSS writing manually on my older sites, I enjoy the ease of use of that platform. This is a big time saver and I definitely love writing on it. 

But when I want to add products on my pages, I still have to play with HTML or CSS so as to display the items in a good way. This is where I waste time. And believe me, I often waste a lot of time, because I want my displays to be as nicely crafted as I can. Then when I conceived the table, I must look for the products on sites like Amazon. Once I found the product, I must make sure I enabled the right tracking ID so as to know which site generated which sale.

After that, I must open each product page or go in my affiliate site backoffice and search for each product in order to get the URL, the image link and the product name. Paste each of them in my table. Once one table is done, I must create another.

There are some free tools I tried for the purpose. However, once again, I had to look for products, find links, copy and paste them into the forms and then copy and paste their code into my pages. Most of the time, I had to get back to the settings so as to have my product display fitting within my pages.

I even paid some plugins to do the job. Sadly one of them doesn't seem to be updated in a long time as it doesn't work any more. Another doesn't enable anybody to reach the actual product page. When I realized that, I had to deactivate them and look for another way to add affiliate links and images in my pages.

Easy Product Displays 

Easy Product Displays Layout (flow - 200 pix)


A friend of mine offered me a free trial with Easy Product Displays, a superb tool that allows me to create affiliate displays on all of my pages, in any way I want. Plus I don't have to browse Amazon or Zazzle to add those products, all I have to do is type my keyword and choose the product directly from my backoffice. 

My affiliate program IDs are saved in my profile, so when I start my search for products, I only have to select the appropriate program and ID (once for all searches).

For other affiliate programs like Share a Sale or Commission Junction I must copy and paste the product links, though. However, they will soon integrate Share a Sale into the system. This will help me save big time once again!

The little plus is that I can choose between several layouts (14 different static layouts and 7 flow templates). I can also add borders or no border, I can also choose what I want to be written on my button, choose its color and even select some pre-designed Amazon, BuyCostumes, Zazzle, etc. buttons in addition to be able to link to a customized button I host on my own site. 

Everything can be personalized in a display. Want a big 400 pixels image? It's ok. I prefer 3 x 200 pixels images? It's ok as well. I can set the font size for the description and the button. Border, no border, rounded button, square button, and so on.

As soon as I'm finished with the desired settings - which I can save for later use on another display - I grab the code and paste it into my page. The code is designed to fit within most Web pages and the way products are displayed will adapt to my site. 

As an example, when I select 150 pixel images, my site will feature 4 x 150 pixels products in a row. I can add as many products as I want, they will all become 4 rows of 4 products. The last row will include the remaining products - 3 if I added 15 items and 4 if I added 16 items. 300 pix will enable me to present a choice of 3 items per row and so on.

On top of that I can also add text and align images. But there is more... As a marketer, you surely know that you have to update your product pages all the time. I hate that task! 

With EPD, I can easily upate them, all I have to do is import my old code into the system and replace the missing products, then grab the new code and paste it into my page. There are so many things I can do with it. Too many to be listed here, actually.

So if you are looking for a tool that helps you save time when you want to display arrays of products on your web pages, then don't look further, Easy Product Displays is the only one you will want to use. How to videos are available on the site. 

Check EPD in action

I definitely recommend this tool.

Posted by Holly Day a WAHM who is able to turn any day into a holiday.


Squidoo vs HubPages Traffic

So early September, my 36 remaining lenses moved to HubPages. As the announcement stated, HubPages is now the largest site of its kind. However that doesn't mean that former lenses get as much traffic as they deserve and used to get. 

HubPages traffic is dismal...

When former lenses turned into Hubs, traffic was not a big problem as they generated the same traffic rate as on Squidoo. For some, number of visits was even higher. But as soon as Google launched their latetest update, traffic dropped like a stone and never really stopped. 

Right now, with Christmas season in full action, my only one related Hub doesn't get more than 15 visits/day. It's a page that was successful on Squidoo, not for its traffic, but for its huge number of sales. 

Christmas trains riding around the tree add to the magic of the season. This former lens used to receive if not an incredibly huge amount of visits, at least it generated a huge number of sales! Those visitors were actually buyers.

Now that it's turned into a Hub, it's getting very low traffic - 15 visits/day is nothing compared with what it was on Squidoo - and it has not generated a single sale since the move. Last sold Christmas train was in the latest days on Squidoo.

It's unbelievable!

Unfeatured Hubs

I've been without an Internet connection for a few weeks so when I got back online in the end of November, I found some threads about unfeatured Hubs in HubPages forums. 

It seems that a few rules have changed since the initial FAQ put together at the time of the big move. Now Hubs that benefited from the 4 months grace period aren't protected against "lack of quality", "lack of engagement and traffic", etc. They thus can be unfeatured without warning for those motives.

This new rule is, in my humble opinion quite unfair to former lensmasters since many of them, caught in the big holiday season hullabaloo, couldn't fix those moved lenses. HubPages knew it, Squidoo staff knew it as well. Still instead of waiting till the beginning of the year for the move, they acted right in the middle of the biggest season for Internet marketers.

A more natural way to move 450,000 lenses without hurting HP as a whole would have been to unpublish all of them when they reached HP's site in January, then have each former lensmaster rework/fix/modify/whatever, in order to publish them one by one. At their own pace. Less stress, less worries.

There would have been no grace period, many lenses wouldn't have been deleted by lensmasters who knew they couldn't work on them in the 4 months grace period. 

Most lensmasters would have left their holiday lenses on Squidoo as they knew the site would have got decent traffic from Halloween till Christmas. Not the traffic rate we were accustomed to, however we would have had a decent holiday season.

There wouldn't have been this mass exodus we witnessed in August and HubPages would have transfered the best lenses instead of a good balance between good and bad pages.

On top of that, Hubbers wouldn't have been angry after Squids for having joined the party and wouldn't consider them as guilty for HP's traffic drop.

A ruined holiday season on both sites

Because of this, many have got their holiday season almost if not entirely ruined. A big part of these now unfeatured Hubs have been deleted as former lensmasters were misled when they agreed to move from one site to another.

Some play the game, mostly because they have no other place to host their former lenses. Others trust HP enough to give a try to fixing those unpublished pages. But those who have their own sites or are members of other platforms move these Hubs else where.

I'm convinced that the only one individual that earned something in the selling of "Squidoo's best content" is Seth Godin. He sold that content to HP and thus made a profit. HP bought the content and right after the transfer, was hit by Google's update which in addition to its average mess penalized the site for spam or something like that. The "nice" side of Google is that they don't tell you more than "spam"... so you don't know what to do to fix the problem either.

As said, because of this update, HP lost traffic and thus money. Former lensmasters lost traffic and thus money. I'm also convinced that, apart from a few exceptions, even those who moved their lenses in August didn't make as much money as they did on Squidoo with those specific former lenses. 

None of my Hubs were unfeatured for lack of quality yet. They might be hit one day or another, though. However, given the poor traffic figures, I don't think I'm going to take the chance to allow them to stay on HP. Valentine's Day is near and I will unpublish most of these Hubs so as to delete them and move them else where. Hopefully they'll get their traffic share - I'll relocate most on my own site and those that are too similar to existing pages will be hosted on other popular platforms.

So here we are. Another poor Christmas season. Another badly conceived project. Another proof that we definitely should have control over our work and our assets.

Posted by Holly Day a WAHM who is able to turn any day into a holiday.