Today, I received and email from the folks at Bright Hub. Sadly, Bright Hub is shutting down.
Officially, Bright Hub and brighthub.com remain in business and the website will stay up along with all of the content they commissioned from writers over the years. However, revenue sharing payments will cease on December 15th and any new articles will be written internally or by a small group of writers who are contracted with on an “ad-hoc basis.”
In other words, Bright Hub, as it pertains to freelance writers, is closed. The writer forums were also unlinked or deleted. I was able to grab a traffic report to keep on hand in case I need a list of what was published when it shut down.
This is particularly sad for me. Although I haven’t written as extensively for Bright Hub in the past year after they cut the rates they paid for articles, I always had a special fondness for BH. When I started my freelance writing business several years ago, Bright Hub was one of my first recurring freelance writing gigs. It was a lot of fun and I published a lot of articles with them. Over the years I think we both made some good money.
I can’t say it comes as a surprise. After the second Panda hit Bright Hub there was a lot of panic. A wide swath of articles were pulled down in hopes of appeasing the gods of Google search results by eliminating “low quality content” that was supposedly weighing down all the good stuff. That didn’t seem to ever help much. More recently, Bright Hub cut the number of opportunities available to writers. Traffic never recovered.
The articles I wrote and published will remain at Bright Hub, although I’m not sure whether or not my name will remain attached to them. According to the email internal staff will edit and update the articles, so I’m not sure at what point they cease being mine and start being someone else’s.
If an article is deleted, I supposedly will be notified and the copyright will revert to me. I suppose I should find out which ones that has already happened with and republish them on my own websites or on HubPages, which ironically seems to have recovered quite well.
With the termination of the revenue sharing program, I certainly won’t be putting any fresh effort into linking or building up those articles that I published with them.
This episode serves as yet another reminder to writers about working for revenue sharing or other unguaranteed future earnings. After cutting the rate paid for articles, editors frequently tried to remind writers that the upfront rate wasn’t the whole pay because you also got revenue share. I feel sorry for those that bought too much into that argument.
By my count, with the demise of Bright Hub, all of the so-called content mills that paid writers for articles have shut down now, officially or just by never offering any writing assignments. It seems that the Panda arrow was well placed and the perceived beast of mass content has been slain.