10/2/13

Can You Really Earn Money Writing for Bubblews?

Recently, I received an email from a concerned reader telling me about a site known as Bubblews . The reader was worried that the site may potentially be a scam, as that reader had amassed earnings of around $125, only to find that the account had been de-activated, closed down, and all earnings removed.

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.

My Verdict?

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 spent wasted on the site trying to research for this post. I spent wasted quite a lot of time posting silly things and trying to get the account up high enough to see if they would bother to pay me. Of course, I only bothered with the site AFTER my main income-producing writing gigs were finished for the day. There's NO WAY I'm going to earn pennies for my time and effort when I have clients that pay REAL adult income levels for my time and effort properly.

Final verdict:

Bubblews is not worth your time or effort. By the time you spend  waste hours trying to make new connections and read other people's stuff in the hopes that they *might* drop by and read one of your posts so you can earn one more penny, you'll make more money flipping burgers at McDonalds. Seriously.

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 ...


19 comments:

ebele said...

I joined Bubblews earlier this year. Took my time writing there. Wasn't in any particular rush to reach payout. When I reached it, requested payment, took screenshots 'cos I had my reservations. Didn't get paid, and hardly received a response, after chasing them for weeks.

I gave up. Quit the site.

Decided to return few months later. It was only then that I found out that it's likely I didn't get paid because I placed referral links in some of my posts. Bubblews didn't state anything about ref links in their rules back when I quit. It was when I returned months later that I saw they'd added the rule.

My referral links weren't intrusive or repetitive. They were also placed within reviews that were very comprehensive. As far as I'm concerned, Bubblews' lack of clarity worked in their favour.

When I returned to Bubblews months after, I deleted all referral links, wrote some more, reached the minimum payout, requested it and didn't get paid, again. Didn't bother chasing them up this time - didn't have the energy.

I will NOT be going back and will not recommend the site. I don't trust them. I think they're calculating and have a suspect way of operating.

Kristy said...

I wrote for the site and as soon as I hit $25 (the amount required for payment) I requested payment and was never paid. I wrote about this in more detail on my blog but I sent several e-mails which were all basically ignored and I've never gotten my money. Naturally I deleted my articles and moved on. I think there is something weird going on with them anyway. Money just pours into your account on there but why is it that all the other more established sites (like Hubpages, Squidoo, etc.) can't manage that? If something seems to good to be true it's probably not. But by some miracle some people really are getting paid so my advice to anyone wanting to sign up is to cash out AS SOON as you hit $25 and wait and see what happens. You might get paid or you might not. As far as I can tell it's pretty much 50/50 so to anyone considering signing up, good luck.

Bianca said...

Wow. This is disturbing. Two comments from unpaid writers already - and neither of you lovely ladies is the original person who emailed me about the site, so there are plenty more of you around. I guess I'll wait to see whether the owner of the site decides to respond to my email before I edit and amend the post. I'm starting to get a really bad vibe about this site now...

Satin said...

Just a look at their "support" page tells us a story. You see people literally begging there for their own money. Ebele pointed out that their rules aren't clear and works in their favor and that's so true. They proclaim to be a writing site but if you see the support staff's English (there are only 2 people in their support staff) you will probably end up laughing. The whole system is a joke as they probably want to make money quickly and get away. I also doubt there are any chances of taking legal action as their rules aren't clear and they can argue about it anytime. Oh and BTW, if you complain, they say "leave the site if you are not interested as nobody is forcing you". Any other site states a reason if you are going to be paid or not. Here, it's just silence. They test your patience as they make money when you write anyway. Stupid site. STAY AWAY.

Tanya Taylor said...

I am also a writer then and I do get paid every payment so far, I have eight of them PAID none not paid. Those who preach they haven't gotten paid are the ones usually breaking the rules such as putting referral links in their articles, asking for share,comments or to connect back which you are not allowed to ask for not even on your profile I see "Connected please connect back" You can't do that.

Some also say their account has been deleted, they don't just delete your account unless you've copied text and plagiarized. That includes from one language to English it's still plagiarism . A few people i know have done that and wondered why they didn't get paid, kinda answers your questions. Some people that "know" they haven't broken the rules haven't been paid either, why? Maybe if they read their own back posts and were more aware of what they are writing on profiles, on comments and in their articles.

Really I'm sorry for those who didn't get paid, but you kind of have to ask yourself that. WHY? not because the site is a scam because if it was no one would get paid.

Rachael Monaco said...

I joined Bubblews in March 2013. I didn't do much with it at first because I have concentrated my effort on my freelance writing. But then my husband was hospitalized twice between January and April 2013 for a total of 20 days.
I started blogging on Bubblews. I take pride in my work, even if it's a blog post about something silly. I quickly hit the $25 (about 3 days) and hit the redeem button. Paid.
I kept blogging and very quickly I was able to request my $25 daily. I started reading about people not getting paid but I had no problems. I even let my money accumulate until I had almost $200 and hit redeem. Paid just like all the others.
I will admit, I have had two occasions where I was not paid. I emailed the site founder directly and was paid within 24 to 48 hours. The last incident they sent my payment to the wrong email address, one that wasn't even close to mine, but the person's name was similar to mine.
I sometimes place links back to other posts on Bubblews I have written and I also sometimes put links to things I've written on other sites, as long as they are relevant and enhance the post. Never had a problem. I also have included links to my Bubblews posts in articles I have written for other sites.
There is most definitely a lack of communication between support and writers. Is there a solution to that problem? Probably not anytime soon. Why? Because they just do not have the staff to keep up. It also seems there is a LOT of distrust from the site owner/support towards the people who blog on Bubblews. I have repeatedly emailed the site found to remind him that I have been doing this for years, my reputation is spotless and I'm not going to scam Bubblews over $25. I have told him repeatedly to Google me and he will find I write consistent quality work.
Would I recommend writing on Bubblews? At this point I probably wouldn't. There are too many kinks to be worked out and it seems as if the problems get worse instead of better.
Personally, I have had a positive experience with Bubblews except for a couple of minor hiccups.

Bianca Raven said...

Okay, so it seems we're getting a decent cross-section of responses from writers. Some say they didn't get paid at all and got no support from the site admins. Others say they get paid just fine.

Here's what I'm going to do. I'll actually use the site in what little free time I have and reach payout. If I get paid, I'll edit the post. If I DON'T get paid.... well let's just say smart SEO tactics can manage to get a simple post on a little blog like this up to the first page of Google searches very quickly.

Let the experiment begin....

Kimberley Darrell said...

I started writing for them on September 16. I hit the redemption button on Saturday and was paid within the 72 hours specified. So.... so far so good for me. As long as they continue to pay I will continue to write.

Jesus Ruiz said...

I had joined Bubblews and was expecting to receive payment but to no avail.I wrote in to their "support"(which might as well have been a bunch of poop slinging monkeys)and received no answers.When I finally received an answer I was told to give them time to do their job.Exactly how long does it take for them to pay someone?It has been 3 months and they have still not paid me and have now stopped responding to my emails all together.

You would have more luck striking gold than you would ever have of receiving payment from bubblews.

Bianca said...

This comment is for Jennifer Jafri - the reader who placed a link to her own blog about how to earn more money on BubbleWS in her comment above.

I took the time to check out your profile. I visited your blog and noticed your BubbleWS profile name. I read some of your 'bubbles' on BubbleWS.

It appears that you also haven't been paid by this site yet. Your own bubble points out that Paypal isn't available in your country and you can't get pay out any other way.

But thanks for commenting anyway :)

Sophia said...

I joined November of last year. I had no problems redeeming three payments. When I went to redeem my fourth payment, it never came. I sent multiple emails with no replies. In August, Bubblews Support Staff gave a new email address for unpaid redemptions. I emailed them with the requested info and got a canned reply that they'll look into my account and to be patient. I have heard nothing back since then. It has been over four months and I haven't received my last redemption.

For the person who said they don't delete for no reason, that is false. One I person I know threaten legal action because of missing payments and their account was deleted the next day. Coincidence? I think not.

Join at your own risk, but I highly don't recommend writing for them.

ebele said...

Tanya Taylor: it's not black and white. Not everyone who hasn't gotten paid by Bubblews has broken a rule. Like I said, Bubblews had NO rules about ref links when I joined, neither did they have it when I left. Which means they came up with the 'rule' and shared it with no one.

Scam sites do pay people - a select percentage of people. That's how they keep going. A lot (not all) of those who get paid won't see what the problem is 'cos they're getting paid. While most of those they don't pay will see a problem. The ones they pay will then defend the site while obviously the others such as myself won't. The discord b/w members keeps the site going and distracts from the truth. But eventually, as with most dubious sites, the truth comes out and everyone sees the sun.

Bubblews is a scam site that's paying some of its members. That's all.

Arthur Foxake said...

ebele,
What you describe is a very well known technique of Ponzi scheme operators.

Janelle Coulton said...

Bianca, what is your user ID on Bubblews? I am from Australia too, not sure if I told you that earlier, I live in Canberra. Anyway would love to check out your writing and connect with you.

Cheers, Jel

Janelle Coulton said...

Arthur and Ebele, I would not personally make that call yet, however it is looking pretty bad for them and their site is getting a bad reputation. While all the bad publicity will not harm them, given there are hundreds of users signing up everyday, it will become obvious to many more people that there is a problem. Whether it's a scam or ponzi scheme remains to be seen, I am still hoping that they can get their acts together and fast as it is looking bad for the site.

It is also not a simple case of people not following rules that don't get paid, there are many who follow the rule who have missing payments and some who have simply stopped receiving payments, like me. I have chosen to be proactive about this and move onto other sites. Time will tell where Bubblews ends up.

ALRADY said...

There are some very real issues with payment for some... (others deserve no pay because they are cheating). BUT for some they are being told to be patient whiel we do our work of review... yeah right 3 months?

They do not answer by email complaints about harassment by other members. My friends account is subject to deletion by BBS1 because my friend has been flagged by trolls (same as me) MORE than i have.

The site has announced some things to make it better but I am very concerned about the quality of customer support when they tell peopl to just leave and go elsehwere OR they today announced both on profile and another members article about what bubblews said - that they will delete all members that use the BBS1 profile to inquire about payment status.
REmember some have been holding on for months or weeks and some have emailed with no answer.

ALRADY said...

That said if you go in knowing that you can't share to any one social media site more than once, that you can't expect support for some things and that you can't use Bubblews screen shots, you will do okay.. they pay pretty doggone good and you choose when to redeem. It is like Facebook on steroids. IMHO

dreamstore said...

There are a lot of issues with this site people.
I dont like that each time you hit the redemption , you have to pray to GOD and rely On your LUCK.
I hate this site.

Sophia said...

I just want to update...

I still haven't received my fourth missing payment. I did redeem on Monday for my fifth and I did it to see if they would pay me. Well, I'm shocked! I received PP notification today funds are on its way. I have done nothing since the end of May in regards to writing or promoting my posts. So why did I not get paid for my fourth redemption? Who knows?

I still don't recommend them because they are unprofessional. Why should you help them make money when they only pay some people, some of the time.