I love Hubpages because I get to write about different genres, and the money is great if you put yourself to do the work.
Ex. I have been here for 4 years but I don't even have 100 hubs, though I do clean up my hubs by deleting old ones that don't get views because of being out-dated or if they are not the best. I try to keep my hub current and to the best of my ability.
then i work with Blogger there I have a few blogs that I dabble in but the ones I am really writing with are daisyfstephenkingproject.blogspot.com
and the theworkfromhomemuse.blogspot.com
they are both doing rather well, though they are fairly new.
I use to write for helium and they are good if u are awesome, (too freakin picky) I say if you are making at least $20.00 per article then by golly go ahead be picky BUT helium wants perfection and if u have that gift then go ahead I actually got some magazine articles paid through helium...
In the end Hubpages is where I find myself the happiest.
Associated content is good too because their pay out is cents straight to your pay pal but they too are picky.
Advice find your niche write for a few places and see which one works best for you.
What makes your work, well WORK is writing the best and writing each and everyday. dedication is the number 1.....issue to make any mill work for you