So I thought I'd look into the site a bit further.
What is BubbleWS?
Basically, Bubblews is the new revenue-share kid on the block. They share the revenue generated from Google Adsense ads and a few other advertisers on their site with the users. The site is set up much like a social networking site, where you're expected to make connections and read posts by other users. Of course, you're expected to write things and post to the site too if you hope to make any money.
What's Different About This Site?
Most revenue-share sites (including HubPages and Squidoo) have their own little communities. However, Bubblews is a little more like a social networking site than a content site. You're expected to make connections and you're expected to leave comments on any new posts your connections publish.
Now, you're definitely NOT allowed to suggest that other people leave comments on your own posts. You're also NOT allowed to link back to your own posts or add referral links to other sites.
However, because this site has such a strong social feel to it, there's an unspoken agreement that the more posts you read and leave comments on, the more likely it is that those people will come and read yours in return.
Obviously, the more Likes you have and the more page views you get, the higher your income is supposed to get.
What's the Catch?
Bubblews wants you to sign up and just write! Write about anything you want, on any topic you feel like. They don't mind. They'll even accept international writers, as long as you can accept payments via Paypal.
What they DO want is that each of your posts is longer than 400 characters. Read that part again properly. I didn't write 400 words per post. I wrote 400 characters! This is around 100 words or so, which won't take long to write.
If you can do that, you're ready to start making money on Bubblews. In fact, if you can't find a way to make money anywhere else online, this is a great way to get started earning a few bucks here and there.
How Does Payment Work?
When you first sign up, you'll be paid $1 for your first post. After that, it seems that you're paid based on how many views your posts get and how many 'Likes' they receive. Apparently you're paid $0.01 cent for each page view you receive, $0.01 cent for each Like you receive, $0.01 cent for every comment you receive and $0.01 cent for every social media share you get.
Join the community and make some connections. Visit them and they'll visit you too. Leave comments and they'll come and comment on your pages. It seems to be the only real way to keep your page views high. Unfortunately, the majority of people who connect with you without any prior contact are those who are hoping you'll like their bubbles or comment on their bubbles. They have no interest in you or your writing at all. Sad, really - but very prevalent on this site.
The minimum pay out amount is $50 USD through Paypal. As long as you have more than $50 in earnings in your account, you can ask for a payout.
Is There a Referral Program?
Yes, there is a very lame referral program. Yes, I used to have an evil referral link behind every mention of Bubblews you see on this page. They pay a pathetic $0.20 cents for each person who joins up AND who writes a 400 character post. Not exciting. The referral program is not really worth the effort.
Is Bubblews a Scam?
Before I wrote this article, I spent some time researching what other people have to say about Bubblews. The reader who originally emailed me about this site was concerned that more than $125 in earnings had disappeared unpaid.
A quick Google search confirmed that there are LOTS of writers out there that haven't been paid by this site. There are plenty of writers out there who just didn't get paid for the time and effort they put into this site. Actually refine your search and type in "Is Bubblews a Scam?" and the results you get are astounding. Then try searching for "Bubblews doesn't pay writers". You'll get the same staggering results.
Most people who haven't been paid have legitimately read the terms and conditions. They haven't done anything to contravene them. The comments on their complaints are from readers who all say the same thing... "Oh, you must have broken the rules". Those commenters don't look any deeper into the problem and dismiss those complaints.
However, the exact same Google search also showed me lots of writers who make some decent pocket money on the site AND get paid regularly. It appears there are even a few writers out there pressing that big green 'Redeem' button quite a few times a month and getting paid each time. It's still VERY low earnings, but it's not bad for spare change, right?
It seems to me that Bubblews is still new and finding their feet. They have lots of glitches and bugs to work through.The site is often offline for hours at a time. They also have some downtime problems, where the site goes down due to being overloaded. If those unfortunate writers pressed the big green 'Redeem' button during one of their downtime sessions, then it's likely their payout request was never received. Unfortunately, another glitch on the site is that if that request disappears, it doesn't come back. You lose.
What Are My Concerns about Bubblews?
Okay, so I've had a look around the site. I've spoken to a few other writers and I've searched the internet for any information I can find about Bubblews. I even created an account there and aimed at reaching payout to see if they actually paid or not.
The site is slow. It's filled with incredibly mundane, low-quality content. Its quite amateurish in its design. And its filled with absolute newbies who think being paid 1 cent per page view is a huge amount of money - and then instantly brag about how much they're earning.
My biggest concern is the number of writers complaining about not being paid. There are LOTS of them out there. The majority of them say that they've adhered to the terms and conditions. Sure, there are some that admit they've posted referral links. There are some who realize they may not have attributed the rightful source of various graphics.
But the rest have done nothing wrong. They didn't get paid.
My next biggest concern is the apparent lack of communication or support from the site owners/moderators when users email or contact them.
Another major concern is that the business model for Bubblews just isn't sustainable. There have been a lot of decent sites disappear due to lack of funding over the years. Now, Bubblews does have sponsors and it does earn ad revenue through Google Adsense ads and various other network ads shown on posts. But is this enough to sustain it through the start-up phase and on into prosperity? I'm doubtful.
There's also the concern of so many low quality posts shown on Bubblews. Seriously, you can write ANYTHING at all and you'll earn money if you get page views and a few Likes. But I'm thinking about all the Google algorithm changes that actually punish low quality content.
Can a site with no real, actual quality content remain financially viable? Doubtful. Remember what happened to Squidoo, Suite101, Triond, Associated Content, Ezine Articles, Xomba, Article Dashboard, InfoBarrel and other sites like that?
Yeah. They all got punished for their amazing array of low quality drivel and either had to change their tactics, improve their quality or just vanished totally.
I've decided that I can NEVER endorse this site as a viable option for serious freelance writers. The pay is pennies-per-hour slave labor that anyone with a passing knowledge of the English language could out-earn without much effort on any other professional freelance writing site.
However those few pennies might be a decent start for absolute beginners and amateur hobbyists. I've seen some excellent reviews and some very positive comments about Bubblews. I've also seen some very negative, disturbing and worrying comments and reviews at the same time from writers who feel ripped off by the site for not being paid after doing what they were supposed to do.
I also read a LOT of comments from writers who had their work on Bubblews deleted, removed or otherwise censored, just because their posts mentioned other writing sites that could help other writers to earn more than a few lousy pennies.
I personally had multiple posts deleted from the site for daring to mention that there are other freelance writing sites around that people might find more profitable (that was before I vandalized, trashed and otherwise deleted my own account once my research was finished). Apparently Bubblews doesn't like any form of competition, despite them claiming to love 'freedom of expression'.
Yes, folks. If you dare to say anything negative about the site at all, the chances of you getting paid are very close to ZERO. Including saying anything on private blogs, social media or other sites AWAY from Bubblews. If you want your money, play nice, play dumb and act like a total newbie. Those options seem to be the only way to guarantee you'll get paid on Bubblews, sadly.
And then there's my own time
Bubblews is not worth your time or effort. By the time you
If you've already joined the Bubblews community, I'd love to see your comments about your experiences there! Have you been paid? Are you earning money? Or are you one of those who has lost their earnings and not been paid, despite the time and effort you've put in?
Let us know!
Update 1: here's a quick look at some simple freelance writing math using Bubblews as a basis for earning vs not being paid. http://ravens-writing.blogspot.com/2013/10/lets-talk-freelance-writing-math.html
Update 2: it's been 4 weeks since I joined this site and tried to reach payout minimum. Geez I'm BORED!!! There's no bigger motivation killer for a full-time freelance writer who's used to earning more than $50 per hour than being paid $0.10 cents per hour for your work. I'll persevere until I manage to reach that payout mark. At the rate I'm going, plus the boredom factor, plus the fact that I prefer to actually get paid for my time and effort, I find it difficult to find enough motivation to even log into the site. But I'll continue! Just so I can post here whether I actually got paid by this site or not. Then we'll see whether my SEO skills are up par or not.... he he he
Update 3: Did I Get Paid by Bubblews?
So I reached redemption amount and I got paid. Yes, they actually paid me. It took them four days to process the payment request and another three days for the payment to clear. I got paid twice that month.
But, do you know what? For a lousy $25 that took a month of wasted time and effort - I can say that Bubblews is NOT worth the effort. Spend your time and talent elsewhere. Anywhere else. Seriously.
Update 4: Bubblews is for Amateurs
Well, I got my payout without hitch, so the rumors that Bubblews doesn't pay aren't exactly true. I also got a couple of residual payments from them from the lame dribble posts I put up there. I decided to test their resolve and see how much they'll deal with before deleting my account.
My experiment was quite simple. I posted a screenshot of my earnings from ONE day from ONE other freelance writing site, showing that it's very possible and very easy to earn 10 times the amount of money the more prolific people say they're earning from Bubblews. It took 24 hours for that post to be deleted. I ranted, raved and complained in a subsequent post about having my post deleted. That post was also deleted (can't say anything negative about Bubblews, remember? They have no confidence in themselves, so they won't allow it).
So I chose to delete EVERY SINGLE POST I had created on the pathetic amateur pennies-per-hour slave labor site (lucky there were only 59 little 90 word posts there, huh?) Apparently, when you delete your own work, you owe THEM money. HA!! My account went into a massively negative figure. Within 12 hours, my entire account was blocked or banned or deleted or whatever.
I don't care. I don't miss it. The amount I earned from writing this review out-stripped the pathetic amount I received from Bubblews during my research, so I don't see the point of continuing with Bubblews in any form. I don't lament the loss of a mob of newbies who think they're suddenly rich for earning $50 per month, which is something they could easily do by returning bottles and cans to the recycling depot or by cleaning toilets for less than minimum wage in any country on this planet. Ridiculous.
If you're still happy writing for a site like Bubblews, I am truly sorry that you don't value your time or efforts for what they're worth. I have spent years on this blog trying to show writers that they are worth so much more for their time, their talent and their skills, so it pains me to see writers thinking they're getting a "good deal" by being ripped off by this ridiculous amateur site.
Good luck! You'll need it ...