Like most online writing sites, Bright Hub made changes after the Panda algorithm change. Each site reacted differently to these changes including cutting back on new writers, changing up front payments and generally changing how they do business. Bright Hub was no exception. Since we previously reviewed Bright Hub it seemed appropriate to update the review so that writers could review the latest changes.
Reaction to Panda
Several hundred articles were removed from view and prevented from being viewed on the Bright Hub site. This was in response to the Panda roll out that was actually Phase II. Some writers lost a few articles while others lost several. The theory was that poorly written or sourced content was being penalized and the site overall was being penalized. The methodology was not 100% clear when this occurred but it appeared to be articles that were getting low page views that were put in holding.
While initially writers might have been frustrated with how quickly this took place, the articles are being reviewed internally for potential changes. Flags are being put on the articles to bring them into compliance with the new standards (more on that below) and writers are being encouraged to update the articles.
Like it or not, this was a wise decision on the part of Bright Hub as it allowed for some cleaning house. In spite of the fact that Bright Hub has strict editorial control over articles, there is always room for improvement.
Then came June
The beginning of June saw Bright Hub make some substantial changes in how content was produced and accepted. First, several channels were merged with other channels. This caused some initial confusion but is likely to be more beneficial over the long run. Most of the changes appear to have been very practical and only time will tell if this works out or not as a long-term strategy.
Pay changes also were announced in June. Current writers who are writing in Editorially Managed channels will now earn $15 per article. This is not to be confused with the “Senior Writers” pay although it is at the same level. As of this printing (June 8) it was unclear if Senior Writers would receive more per article or not.
Editors also gained traction with the new pay rates, articles that are edited are now paid at $6 each. Another really nice thing that happened was for editors who rejected an article that was not later submitted, a payment was made on these as well. While this may sound confusing, it’s important to note that the editors do spend time reviewing work even if it’s never published. Writers who fail to update articles that an editor does not feel is well written will get their articles deleted.
There has been no announced change to advertising revenue share rates so one must assume that they are currently at the same levels as they have been since January. This does make sense since there is less traffic since the roll out of Panda.
Also, articles that were in holding can now be updated by the writers and resubmitted for reconsideration to be put back online. Writers who review articles and make the changes will be paid $1.00 for updating their work if it is subsequently republished. While this may seem like a small amount, the fact is that writers should be “taking care” of their work anyway so I’m not sure how off-putting this is to anyone at this time.
Finally, the major changes that have had an impact on earnings potential. First, all articles are now required to be a minimum of 750 words. For some writers, this meant that they now have to do more research which for some is causing frustration. Many feel that the payment increase wasn’t worth nearly doubling the minimum word count (use to be 450). For the most part, I don’t see this as particularly negative unless you really have to “stretch” to get something to be longer. Writing to the “minimum count” is not writing, it’s meeting a goal. There are also less opportunities for writers to claim titles and deadlines will be far more carefully monitored. Bright Hub is still a great choice for freelance writing, writers will just have to be more careful about presentation and decide if these changes will work for them.