Do I see benefits from my HubPages?
You put a lot of work into your Hubpages - do you see any benefits?
This was a question that one of my followers, owner of Basse Copette, asked me on Twitter. Like Les Trois Chenes, Basse Copette is a Bed and Breakfast with luxury gites in France but while we are in the South West, on the borders of Limousin, the Charente and the Dordogne Basse Copette is in the North, in Normandy.
I was about to reply on Twitter but soon realised that it would take a good many tweets to outline the benefits I may gain, or hope to gain through writing for HubPages so I thought I'd write a Hub about it and send the link!
When I'm not writing for HubPages, I'm running Les Trois Chenes, a guest house and gite in Limousin, S W France
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Why I started to write for HubPages
It started with my web site for our chambres d'hotes near Rochechouart, and our painting courses. I managed to put together a site and, at the same time a friend lent me 'E-Bay for Dummies' - how to set up a business on E-Bay. A section of this book was about marketing yourself on the Internet: leaving messages on forums, building up links etc which led me along a tortuous path into SEO (search engine optimisation) and cyber country. Bob at Angel Web Designs gave me the information that I needed to get my site up and running on the interenet, and from then on I passed my life in a daze of websites but a couple of people / sites really helped me understand what I needed to do to get the message out - Briquesetclics and Flyte, both of which offer regular (but not too frequent or pushy) and informative newsletters. I learnt from them about social networking, SEO's and how to get back links. I signed up for Facebook and Twitter
Having digested all their advice, along with many other excellent sites, somewhere, along the way I came across HubPages. I thought that I could write articles with links to my web site so that my site would benefit from back-links and if people picked up on the articles, there would be a link to my site. The example at that time of a good Hub was a 'How to make Yoghurt' and I thought that I could write about the low-tech method of making yoghurt that I leaned from my Turkish mother-in-law. This led to a number of recipes as they were easy to set up; I simply photographed what I was cooking!
Why I continued to write for HubPages
At first I just tested the water. I don't have a lot of time to devote to honing my skills, but bit by bit I found that the HubPage site is an excellent classroom. Plenty of articles about improving web sites and articles, writing on line and, quite frankly, about practically every aspect of life. There is a huge pool of hubbers out there willing to help you on a one to one basis. I have also recently discovered the brilliance of the Questions and Answers section where you can get good advice on almost any topic. You can also use these to test ideas for Hubs. I don't know what the real purpose is - perhaps I'll ask that question and write a Hub about it!
It didn't take too long before I realised that each Hub acts like my own personal web site. They have very good SEO's, and of course if you take the advice of the Hubber experts, you can get your Hubs on the first page of Google easily. (I'm afraid I have yet to address this - but come the winter ...) Despite my lack of real diligence in the 'Key Word' department, my Hubs outrun my site by miles. For example, if I search for 'Bed and breakfast Rochechouart' it is my 'Story of a Bed and Breakfast in France' that appears on Page 2 of Google, long before my main site, and for 'accommodation Rochechouart' my Hub 'Rochechouart and the land of the meteorite' is on Page 2, again before my web site!
All I have to do now is to read the links on this article and improve my tag techniques!
And the next move?
Armed with the knowledge that I've gleaned haphazardly over the last couple of years, my plan of action for winter 2010/11 is to create a set of hubs about the B&B, the Gite our animals and garden, but also about art and painting and the area around us. Not only the food, but the castles, tourist sights, events, festivals, wildlife etc etc (I'll certainly never run out of material) and have a more structured approach to using tags and key words. Perhaps I'll write a Hub to say how successful that has been!
So what are the benefits?
To get back to the benefits of writing for HubPages. Remember that I'm still learning and the benefits that I list here are just the tip of the iceberg. Also, do take into account that I am not an expert and the information that I'm giving you about Hub Pages and how they work exactly might not be 100% accurate - this is not a 'how to do it' Hub, but I have put in lots of links to those who do know so do go and have a look at some of the other excellent articles out there. These are the benefits as I perceive them:
- Hub Pages perform well on Google and other search engines, even if you don't perform well yourself with your tags!
- These hubs can generate many views. With 44 Hubs I have almost reached 10,000 views in 11 months - but remember, I started with one hub, and it is only very recently that I have had all 44 articles on line! A percentage of these viewers will go to my site.
- Update I now have 66 hubs and have been a member for 14 months and have just passed the 22,000 view mark. (See below for more updated information). This is chicken feed compared to the real big Hubbers, though. Check out Ryankett and Misha, for example.
- Hub pages allow you to use lots of photos, videos and now maps. Excellent for the tourist industry.
- I gain back-links. Google gives precedence to sites with lots of good quality links into the site. Every Hub that I write carries a link to my site. Some of these might be 'no follow' ie don't count with Google, this is one area that I need to look into - see this answer to my question on the value of Hub back-links, but some people have picked up on my hubs and have asked to link to my site on the strength of them! This happened with my Hub on using geese to mow the lawns.
- There is a supportive community and HubPages is a great way to learn about on-line writing and advertising.
- The HubPages community has helped to spread the word about Les Trois Chenes. Have a look at this Top Ten Things to Do in France
- The answers section is useful for your own every-day problems; when I couldn't get a new memory card for my camera I put a question to hubbers and received three excellent and useful answers. A bit like twitter - instant help available.
- The pages themselves look attractive and are easy to manage once you have jumped the initial learning hurdle. All the text formatting is done with a Word-like tool bar. (I have 11 hubs with Squidoo and still don't know how to format text. I think you have to use html)
- I can use the more targeted articles to answer questions for my clients: what there is to do here, where to eat, which museums, where to buy porcelain etc etc Again, writing these articles is going to be my winter activity, but I am building up a bank of photographs taken in the summer sunshine to use as illustrations.
- You can store links to other sites and make contacts with people in various areas. I put a link to the website of the goose breeder onto the Geese as green lawn-mowers Hub if I want to contact him, I know where it is.
- It's a great way to store your own information. In our house most things are lost most of the time, with HubPages I can actually find a recipe when I want one.
- I've had client enquiries about the Bed and Breakfast and gite from my HubPage articles.
- HubPages can be fun. They hold competitions and Hub mobs to give you that adrenalin push to finish off those hubs. This brings me nicely onto the subject of money because if you are lucky enough to win these competitions, you get a nice little bit of pocket money, which is always welcome.
- Update Since writing this I was fortunate enough to win the overall prize with this Hub: Where to buy Limoges Porcelain in Limousin France and won more than a little pocket money!
- Update January 2011 my articles The City of York - Tips for a Vacation on a Budget, and Tips for a Budget Friendly Holiday in France were Staff Pick in the Money Grows on HubPages competition.
- Have a look at these competition winners:
And finally you get paid
I've left this until last because at the time of writing, 3 August 2010, I've clocked up about 18 euros via AdSense and nothing from Amazon. But the potential is there! My Hubs on Rochechouart or Videix lake are not going to be big crowd-pullers. I'm going to put my mind to writing more commercial hubs - perhaps about Club Penguin or skate boarding - with the aid of my son. It will be interesting to see what can be done. As you build up a wider web of articles you'll gain more hits. I'm guessing that this will be exponential and hope it will have the rice on the chess board effect!
Date 13 November 2010
Since starting this Hub I've realised that I can use it to monitor the increase in earnings according to number of views and number of Hubs, so this is my own little set of accounts that I'm sharing with you.
- 3 August 2010 earnings are about 18 euros
- Update By 13 October 2010 earnings have risen to over 30 euros. Have a look at my profile and do the maths
- Update 14 November 2010 Sixty six Hubs and 20733 Views: earnings have risen to over 40 euros
- Update 14th December 2010 Seventy six Hubs and 25271 views. Earnings 55.25 euros
- Update 13th January 2011 Eighty six hubs and 28642 views. Earnings 64.39 euros
- Update 15th February 2011 Ninety seven hubs and 33,237 views. Earnings over 75 euros. First Amazon payment of about 0.57 euros!
- Update 15 March 2011 108 hubs and 37,603 views. Earnings €85.60
Update: It is now March 2011 and I've saved enough data to make a small graph, (see below). Unfortunately, neither the earnings nor views seem to be exponential after all! To earn 2000 euros a month I'll have to write many, many hubs at this rate - 10 hubs = 10 euros, so I have to write 2000 hubs a month to earn an income of 2000 euros - ie a living wage. Hmmmmm .......
I've reached my first pay-out so the system has changed so I'll be charting views and earnings one month at a time.
- Update 14th April 2011 113 hubs and 42,558 views. Earnings €13.06
- May 2011 $8.59 Dollars from HubPages Ad Programme and €22.32 from Google AdSense. On 5th June I have 115 hubs and 48,852 views.
Update Thursday 13th September
Since writing this Hub I've been very hard hit by Google Panda et al. I've seen my traffic reduced from 500 views a day to 30 and my earnings have dropped accordingly - despite the fact that HubPages is paying its writers better than ever. Because of this I've put my writing here on hold until I saw which way things were going to go.
Moral of this story? Don't put all your literary eggs in one basket!
Have I whetted your appetite for online writing?
If so, why not join HubPages and give it a go? See if it works for you. It's free and you'll lose only a few hours of your time (but it does get a bit quicker to put a Hub together).
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