HubPages has become one of the largest networks of amateur online content on the web. They have attained this rank through a combination of their own growth and acquiring other content hubs, primarily including Squidoo.
HubPages is a focal center for content on the web for one reason; they pay writers. More importantly, they accept virtually anyone, on the premise that the best content floats to the top and earns the most for the authors. Content that doesn’t meet expectations settles to the bottom and is either quietly removed or largely ignored.
Those familiar with SEO might wonder about this strategy. Wouldn’t such an unfiltered and variable quality feed lead to massive SEO penalties? Well, you’d be right; HubPages was hit notoriously hard by Panda, and struggled for years to recover. Part of their solution was to filter their worst performing content onto subdomains, reserving their main domain for only the best content.
The end result of this strategy is that the main HubPages site is full of great content, and that great content reinforces the quality and search ranking for the rest of the content on the main site. Meanwhile, poor content is shuttled off to branch sites, where it quietly dies under the grip of Google penalties.
As a writer looking to make money from HubPages, this means you need to produce great content. If you produce mediocre or poor content, well, it’ll just end up in a dead and dusty corner of the site, where views are low and payments are measured in pennies. If you manage to get your content in the central hub, you join a network of brilliant earners and can make a lot of money with relative ease.
This makes HubPages an incredible fickle place to try to make money online. Some writers are making hundreds or thousands of dollars per month. Others struggle to make pennies and abandon the site in short order. You can find reviews from both perspectives online, which makes it hard to figure out just how to be one of those big earners.
Before you can figure out how to make money, you should understand how the monetization process works on HubPages. It’s fairly simple.
Essentially, all you have to do is publish content and sign up for monetization. From there, each time you publish content, advertisements are added to that content. When readers click those ads, HubPages earns a commission. You, as the referring writer for that click, also earn a commission.
Sound familiar? It’s basically CPM and Affiliate marketing, through a centralized hub. In fact, some of the monetization methods are directly affiliate marketing. In addition to the standard HubPages Earnings Program, you can also sign up for their Google AdSense integration, their eBay program, and even their Amazon Affiliates program.
Amazon, as anyone who has investigated them before knows, pays a commission based on volume. Sell more products in a given month and your percentage commission increases for future sales. HubPages, carrying everything under one banner, has a significant throughput and thus maintains a higher level of commission than an individual user might.
If you’re looking to make money on HubPages – and I’m talking dollars, not cents – here’s a quick and easy guide. Make no mistake, however; it’s going to take a lot of work to reach an earnings tier that’s worth the time.
The registration process for HubPages is really quite simple. All you need to do is fill out a quick form with a pen name, an email address, a password and a captcha. You may or may not need to go through some tutorials before you can get to work; this tends to change from time to time.
On HubPages, they refer to a given page as a Hub. A hub is basically a blog post or article, but with a little extra functionality thrown in design-wise. Think of it like a midway point between purely writing content and running a blog of your own. You don’t have control over the site design, but you have more control than just plugging in words in a form.
At this point, you’re stuck in HubPages boot camp. This is a sort of beginner scrutiny and filter period, where HubPages admins monitor what you write and may reject it for not fitting their guidelines. Fitting in is beneficial, because it keeps you in their good graces.
HubPages offers several monetization plans. You have to sign up for the HubPages Earnings Program in order to access the rest. Think of it as an umbrella “I want to monetize” button, which gives you access to the other methods of monetization.
The exact methods are eBay affiliates, Amazon affiliates, and Google AdSense. In each case, when you sign up for a program through HubPages, you’re given a special affiliate ID. This runs at a 60/40 split with the overall HubPages ID. In other words, if 100 people visit your Hub, 60 of them will see ads with your ID, wile the other 40 will see ads with the HubPages ID. As a result, your payments aren’t cut by HubPages taking a slice of the pie, they just take a slice of your traffic.
At this point you’ll probably notice that your earnings are either zero or close enough to it as to make no difference. This is primarily a trap new writers fall into; writing about anything, rather than writing about popular topics. If you want to make serious money, you need to pick your topics according to what people are searching. You need to learn keyword research.
The world of SEO keyword research is too large to cover in this post, but thankfully it’s been covered in great detail elsewhere. I recommend this guide from Moz, but you can use any resource you find that works for you.
HubPages has one benefit over running a blog or website; freedom. When you run an affiliate website, you need to stick to one niche and mine out every potentially valuable keyword you can find. On HubPages, you’re not limited to one topic; you can write about anything with a keyword you think can earn you views.
Now that you know how to pick topics according to their potential value, it’s time to write with a real passion. Write as much content as you can about as many valuable keywords as you can. If you find that certain topics work better than others, investigate related keywords and expand your content. Avoid editing and adding to existing hubs, unless you think improvements will dramatically increase views; most of the time, it’s better to get another hub earning than it is to try to refresh an existing hub.
Hubs earn you money through views and ad clicks. Get more views and ad clicks by sharing your content anywhere you can, legitimately. That is, don’t spam your hub links in comment sections or unrelated forums. Instead, share them on social media and post them as resources in relevant discussions.
It takes a long time to rack up enough search clout to bring in views. It also takes a while to learn keyword research and get a feel for what does and doesn’t work with HubPages and their audience. Consider that some average-level HubPages writers make around $2 per hub per month, and you see the scale of content you need to make any significant income. Write a lot, publish a lot, and keep it going.
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