How To Build An Empire On Hubpages - The Write Way
Want to become the genuinely unique writer that you really are? Want to practise writing easily and without stress? Learn how to write sustainably to build a huge empire of hubs, have fun at the same time and earn some extra money without an overload of other tasks that overshadow your writing ability.
I’m a prolific writer. I’ve been published over 500 times in print and on the web. In my day job, I write company blogs and Facebook posts (my hubs helped me dramatically further my career in writing).
When I first started at Hubpages a few years ago, I went through a very long journey with it, involving writing all sorts of hubs and staying up to midnight worrying myself sick about keywords and traffic sources. I had spreadsheets of complex random linking patterns I would follow, and mathematically calculated keyword formulae that worked with the Google Keyword Tool. I never did crack the magic golden words, though I knew what I was doing.
I followed forum posts on making money and read extensively about what experienced hubbers did and I even followed some bad advice and took all of my hubs off Hubpages, put them on my own blogs, made money (not much) and then let the blogs die and came back to Hubpages again. Writer’s block was a constant shadow whenever I had to write something new….because I just didn’t feel like writing anymore, due to the stress of it all. I gave up after awhile.
Fast forward 2 years...
When I came back to Hubpages and viewed the few remaining hubs I had left on it, I was pleasantly surprised to see that a few of them had done rather well and were pulling in regular money for me. These were the hubs that I’d written with passion and interest and that I’m sure other people enjoyed reading very much. The hubs which died a slow death and made no money at all were those sales-pitch hubs, where the writing was basically ad copy, keyword-rich, linked extensively and were totally boring for my audience.
All of this has taught me some very important things about writing - to build an empire on it, it needs to be sustainable, exciting, enjoyable and a form of soul therapy. You need to be having fun to make it a hobby or a lifetime commitment. You also need to understand that it takes time...sometimes a very long time.
General writing tips
- When you think about writing, ask yourself whether you are informing or entertaining an audience and use the appropriate writing style.
- Study what you are reading on the internet. What appeals most? Try to write like those you read - you'll enjoy it more and will develop as a writer.
- Writing is therapeutic - but only if you are genuinely proud of what you write.
The Truth About Making Money On Hubpages
You can certainly make money on Hubpages. Not huge amounts in the beginning, but it can be built up into a fantastic empire. I see experienced hubbers every day on here who have managed to write 400+ hubs and I’m sure they are getting the equivalent pay of a second job!
How did they do this? Well, they wrote a lot of quality hubs. Or, they wrote twice as many sales-pitch hubs and were robot writers or hated every minute of it because they had to follow formulas and templates to make cents and dollars. Just thinking about writing 400+ hubs would have been enough to scare me in the beginning and cause writer’s block. Not anymore. Today I write for enjoyment about topics I feel passionate about and I don’t even care if I make it to 1000 hubs. Because I love what I am writing about and it makes me feel good to achieve quality writing and share it.
This hub is about all the tips and tricks I learned about how to make writing for Hubpages sustainable and enjoyable, so that you can have the confidence and energy to build it into an empire of hubs – one that you are proud of!
What To Write About
Find topics you are interested in writing about. It's easier said than done, but here are some common suggestions:
- Things you really like
- Things you'd like to learn about
- Travel and holidays
- "How To" articles
- Your culture
- Your country
- Food or recipes
- What you do for a day job
Every time you think of a specific idea, add it to a list which you can pull out and use when you're inspired enough to write.
Remember – the best sales hubs are the ones where you aren’t selling anything except you, as a writer.
Why do we write?
Firstly, ask yourself why you want to write. Is it because you want to make money? Well, if so you need to close this page now and go hunt on your nearest job site. It’s a very, very, VERY long journey on Hubpages if you are completely money focused, and I firmly believe only 1 in 10,000 would make it if this is your only inspiration for writing.
If you were a writer before coming to Hubpages, you probably write because you enjoy the writing process and enjoy achieving a finished piece. You love it when someone else appreciates your work and you believe you are contributing something useful to the world. This can be a very satisfying feeling.
Whether you are a new writer or an experienced one, writing WILL provide you with a sense of achievement and fulfillment, making you strive to do the best you can and to be proud of who you are. It is definitely soul food. But you need to do it the right way to feel these things and to be able to do it for years on end with inspiration and passion every time you write.
What To Write
You can tell I really enjoyed writing this article, because it's personal to me and entertaining to my audience.
- How To Make Words And Influence People: Wordplay With Made Up Words
Exercises that you can use for wordplay to invent made up words. Create a business name, write an unusual poem or come up with your own slang words!
What Not To Write
I've left it up as an example, but I absolutely hated writing this one as it's one long sales pitch designed only to make money (and it didn't even do that).
Writing For Enjoyment vs Writing For Profit
If you are to feel good about writing an empire’s worth, you need to feel like your writing is being appreciated. This comes in the form of other people commenting or voting on your work, on being picked to be the Editor’s Choice or by otherwise engaging your audience and attracting their attention. You cannot do this if you are writing a sales pitch.
To be engaged, an audience wants “meat” in their sandwich. What is said needs to be easy to read, have something important worth saying and should leave a reader feeling like they’ve gained something from reading. Everyone’s tired of pushy ad copy these days – but everyone wants to read interesting things online.
Forget the art of selling and write with passion!
Amazon does a much better job of selling items than I do. Not only do they have an audience of millions of people who go directly there to shop, but Amazon pages are keyword-rich, offer all the commenting/rating benefits of Hubpages and allow price comparison as well. Plus, I’ve never really enjoyed writing product reviews in Amazon-style copyspeak. No one seems to want to read them when they come to Hubpages either. It’s a lose-lose equation.
All it takes is for Google to get smarter and use Pandas and Penguins to prevent spammy writing and any sales hubs will be made worthless!
Why learn this lesson later? Build your empire with Google in mind, right now.
What gets me out of bed to write with energy in the mornings is a desire to creatively express myself. Whether it’s a hub about my latest travel adventure, or a hub on my latest craft idea, I’m having great fun putting it all together. This excitement shows in the presentation of the piece – from the attractive images I choose to the style of writing I use. I must admit I can become a bit of a perfectionist when I’ve got something of value to write about and this drives me to produce my best effort.
But What About The Money?
Well, if you want to be highly paid for your writing then you could do better than creating hubs here. Why not go out and get a copywriting job at a newspaper or a technical writing job? You’ll be paid more there per hour for less effort than here. Though you might not get to write exactly what you want, that’s the price you pay for a salary.
You will make some money here if you do quite a bit of writing. How much depends on whether people are engaging with your writing and whether the topic is searched for on Google. I could write about the mathematical angles in the pavilion cut of a malachite stone, but I doubt many people are looking for it in Google. However, if I wrote about where to find malachite, I think I’d get a bigger audience.
Best practices for interacting with the Hubpages community
- If someone comments on your hub, it is polite manners to read one of their hubs and leave a comment in return.
- If someone follows you, it is nice to look at their profile and see if you want to follow them back too. Leave a fan mail to make it obvious you are following them.
- Talking in the forums is a great way to get to know people outside of reading their hubs.
- Participating in the forums is as easy as posting on Facebook.
Joining The Hubpages Community
Why join the Hubpages community? Well, it’s a bit like Facebook. If you have only 5 friends, you’re only getting a very small taste of the whole experience of fun and social networking. Of course, it can go the other way too, where it becomes work because there is too much going on, but that’s up to you to control!
There are some unspoken rules of etiquette and useful procedures for best practice if you decide to participate in the Hubpages community. You don’t have to if you don’t want to, but remember that if you want to build a writing empire on Hubpages, the community is one of the best ways to get the most of your Hubpages experience and to help boost your hubs and improve your writing.
If you’ve used Facebook before, then you know what I am talking about. We all know someone on Facebook who posts a lot, who doesn’t communicate with anyone else, who ultimately drives people away because they don’t want to like, comment or otherwise interact outside of their own page. Hubpages can be a little like that. In order to have people make friends with you or your hubs, you need to reach out and interact with other hubbers too!
Reasons For Taking A Long Term View Of Hubpages
- You’ll become a better writer
- You’ll make new friends
- You’ll make more money the longer you stay
- It’s a fun hobby
- You’ll feel good achieving things
- You’ll learn about yourself
- You’ll get appreciation for your writing
- You’ll be prouder of who you are
- Your hubs can be used as a showcase to get writing jobs and gigs
The Benefits Of Committing To Hubpages
Decide whether or not you will be committing to Hubpages. No, it’s not like a marriage. You aren’t forced to do anything. You can write 20 hubs and forget about it for a few weeks or years if you want to, until you are ready to write again.
One of the benefits of this is, that as your hubs get older, Google places more value on them and they automatically become higher ranked in search results. All you have to do is make sure it is high quality writing, sit back and reap the benefits of Google sending more traffic your way due to the age of your hubs.
Like Facebook, over time you’ll grow a network of friendships on Hubpages. It’s fun, interesting and addictive, with the ability to earn money the icing on the cake. Being active in the Hubpages community is a good way to interact online (much better than reading the news or filling out surveys in your spare time – it’s a much more emotionally positive and rewarding experience).
If you commit to Hubpages, forget about moving all of your articles to your own blog. I did it twice. I actually made a bit more money than Hubpages gave me. But to be successful like that, you’d need to be a prolific writer and only focus on one main topic per website so that it ranks well as an “expert” in Google’s eyes. If you’re like me, you’re going to get really bored writing 500 articles about the same thing with different words. In the end, you’ll hate the topic in question and will never want to look at it again.
Take my advice and don’t go there! Plus, each website you make needs to be paid for with a domain name and hosting space…and these cost more than most of the money you’ll be making anyway, unless you are a writer who can pump out huge volumes of articles with keyword proficiency consistently and still remain interested.
When Things Go Wrong
Here are some common reasons why things go wrong and some solutions that might help.
The best solution for writers block is to turn off your computer and go do something else until you are bursting at the seams to write again. If you don’t ever feel the urge to write, then you are not a writer and your time would be better spent elsewhere.
If you really want to write and can’t, it usually means that you either don’t have enough practice at writing or the thing you are trying to write about is not something you are passionate about. Find something else which spills from your mind onto the page effortlessly. If you aren’t practiced at writing, get an audio recorder and speak into it when you are relaxed, then transcribe it.
No Traffic And No Audience Interaction
This means one of two things. Either people are not searching for, or not interested in the topic you are writing about (you are writing about the wrong topic) or they don’t want to read your writing because there is something wrong with it (ie, it’s boring, has spelling errors or is presented in a way that is hard to read).
Find some articles that you really like. Why are they interesting to you? How are they formatted on the page? Try to make your hubs more like those admired articles.
Don’t forget to interact with likeminded individuals in the Hubpages community. A quick way to do this is to click at top right on Explore/Hubs, select the topics to look at and read a few hubs and leave positive comments while introducing yourself.
Feeling Like You Are Unimportant Or You Don’t Matter
There’s millions of writers out there. Sometimes it seems like there are more writers than readers. But, regardless of you being a writer on Hubpages, everyone is constantly a reader on the internet and everyone craves new things to read. The internet’s main form of communication is reading. And that’s not going to end anytime soon!
If you constantly feel bad about not being unique or the best in your field, realise that these feelings stem from feeling like you’re in competition with the rest of the world and that you fear globalisation. I’m here to tell you globalisation has already happened with the internet, whether you like it or not. And you’re still here and you still have many things to contribute. You just have to figure out what they are!
The Golden Rules Of Writing Hubs
Here are the rules which I am working by in order to make the most of my time at Hubpages. You might find them useful as a best practice guide for writing hubs.
Are you passionate about what you are writing about?
If not, forget it.
Only write when inspired.
When you have to force it, it’s time to turn off the computer.
Write a minimum of 1000 words as a benchmark.
This means you’ll only write about things you care about (because you’ll have to put in some effort) and it also means you’ll get more relaxed about writing. Get creative. Explore different angles.
Edit formatting to make sure it is acceptable for an audience.
No long blocks of text if you can avoid it. Break up the page. Put in some pictures, etc.
Don’t let any hub take too long to write.
Declare a finishing point. Otherwise it begins to feel like work. You can always edit it more later when you’ve rested away from it and come back refreshed.
Don’t watch traffic or money stats too closely.
If you’re logging in every 5 mins to check on your status, you’re going to be disappointed and get writer’s block from worry. Check traffic and money once a week. Focus on writing instead.
Feel free to have a break.
Whether it’s days, weeks, months or years (in my case!) I know I’ve mentioned this before, but wait until you are inspired to write before writing.
Follow common best practices for interacting with the Hubpages community, as listed in this hub.
There’s only really three things you need to do to be successful in the long term on Hubpages:
- Aim to write lots of engaging, quality hubs with good English.
- Interact with the Hubpages community and build a network of friends who you support and who support you.
- Grow your skills as a writer and as a hubber.
Take a long term view, rather than a short term one. If it’s all about the money, there’s plenty more well-paying jobs out there!
Write what you feel creative and passionate about and make it your best work. Be proud of yourself. Make friends. That’s why you want to do this as a hobby, isn't it?
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© 2013 Suzanne Day
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