7 Years and Counting - My Experience on HubPages

How I Got Started On HubPages

People sometimes ask how I became involved with HubPages and what my experience writing for HubPages has been like.

My experience with HubPages began over 7 years ago as I published my first Hub on September 22, 2006. That Hub was entitled Holidays - Celebrate the Web with OneWebDay. That Hub was about a new holiday which its promoters hopped to be the first annual, world-wide celebration of the Internet and World Wide Web.(NOTE: while not well known, OneWebDay is still celebrated every year on the web)

I had read a reference to this proposed holiday a few days earlier and, after doing a little research, decided to try my hand a writing for HubPages by writing an article about OneWebDay.

I first heard of HubPages one morning a week or so before I published that first Hub.

Having just finished publishing a post on my No Free Lunch blog, which I used to publish occasional articles on economics along with items for the students in the online economics class I teach on the side.

Getting ready to log off before going to work I noticed that one of the Google AdSense ads on the blog was for a site called HubPages and it was advertising for writers. Having to get to work, I simply made a mental note to check the site out later and then headed for work.

I saw the ad again on the blog a day or two later. Of course I couldn't click on it without risking having Google cancel my AdSense account, so I simply made a note of the URL that was printed in the ad on a piece of paper and then opened up a new browser window and typed the URL in the address line.

With a Little Help From Drax and I Was on My Way

At first I couldn't figure out how the site worked as the instructions made it appear that you had to pick a topic area and then write articles around that topic and link them to a central hub. I visited the site a couple more times exploring and trying to figure it out before I ran across a short series of Hubs by Drax  who, in addition to appearing on the first page of the site as one of the top five or ten Hubbers, billed himself (as he still does) as Unofficially the Official Hub Poet. 

Drax had been writing for HubPages for about a month and was already an old timer on the site given that Hub pages had just started a couple of months earlier in June or July of 2006. However, among his Hubs was a short series of articles for newbies explaining how HubPages worked and how new writers could get started on the site. Thanks to Drax, I quickly understood how the site worked. I clicked on a link from Drax's site and began writing.

I Haven't Become Rich, but The Money is Good

While I have enjoyed increasing financial success, in the form of monthly deposits to my checking account from Google AdSense each month, I am not earning my living from HubPages. My family and I still rely on the income from my full time job as a program manager of a business and office vocational training program at a community college. I also have a part-time teaching position as an adjunct economics instructor at the same college from which I still earn more than I do from my HubPage writing although, at the rate my HubPage income has been rising, it may soon equal or exceed my part-time teaching income.

In the year to two prior to joining HubPages I had been publishing occasional articles on two blogs I had (and still have) on Google's Blogger service. In that time I had managed to accumulate a grand total of $4 and some change in my Google AdSense account as a result of that writing.

With HubPages my earnings steadily rose and by the end of December 2006 the balance in my AdSense account was a little over $100 which resulted in my receiving my first check from Google in January 2007. Beginning in January of 2007 my HubPage earnings were a little over $100 each month with the exception of August when I ended the month with $99 and sixty some cents - it was a few cents short of Google's $100 payout minimum and I did not receive a check in September 2007 (however, the August earnings plus September earnings resulted in a payment of a little over $200 in October 2007).

I Made My First Money by Entering a HubPages Contest

This is not to say that I didn't receive any money from HubPages in 2006. In late October or November of that year HubPages launched a contest in which they held a daily drawing and awarded $25 or more to the winning Hub.

The rules were simple, participants had to select a topic from HubPages' Idea Bank of user requests and publish a Hub on that topic. The drawing was random and individuals could write and submit as many Hubs as they wished each day. While the number of people writing for HubPages was growing, this number was still small in the Fall of 2006 and the number of people who entered the daily contest was even smaller with the result that the number of entries each day was frequently less than ten. Since my entry or entries were the only ones on many days while on others three of the four or five entries were mine, I frequently won and by December had received close to $350 in winnings from this contest.

While the money was great, an even greater benefit was both what I learned from this contest and the number of high earning hubs that I produced for that contest. As the contest came to a close, I wrote a Hub entitled How to Continue Winning With The HubPages Writing Contest Idea Bank, in which I explained how, by requiring me to write on assigned topics rather than those of my choice, I was forced to expand my writing skills while, at the same time, seeing that there was money to be made in writing articles on topics that the HubPage marketing team had determined people wanted to read.

What I Have Learned From HubPage Contests

Over the course of the last three years I have made more than $350 in AdSense earnings on the Hubs I wrote for that contest. People laugh when I tell them that I made over $50 between August and December of 2008 on an article entitled How Many Quarts in a Gallon.

I myself was dumbfounded to discover that that article has been a steady money maker ever since it was published as it seemed like such a commonsense thing that everyone should know. Then, a couple of years after my new wife had taken over all of the cooking and had not only effectively chased me out of the kitchen, but had also cleaned out the kitchen drawers and thrown out all of my papers with recipes and notes for cooking, I found myself having to cook one day and didn't remember either the recipe or the fine details of measurements. Like most other people in today's world, I turned to the Internet and went to my articles on HubPages.

In addition to forcing writers to branch out and write on different topics, contests of this nature also put time limits on article submissions which, in my case at least, force me to focus and think and write fast. In the first contest one had to click on a link in the bank of questions and then proceed to complete and publish the Hub before the end of the day. While it was possible to click on the bank, select a topic and then exit and write the Hub at you leisure, there were a large number of topics in the Idea Bank and when one clicked on the link for topics they would appear, ten or fifteen to a page, in random order. While one may have found a good topic on the first couple of pages before exiting to write about it, when that person went back to find the topic again to click on and enter their submission that particular topic might not have appeared until a hundred pages later.

On a later contest in February of 2008, the Hub team posted a topic at noon one day and those wanting to enter had to write and publish their Hub no later than noon Pacific Time the next day. I participated in that contest as well but did not win anything - however, the Hubs I wrote for that contest continue to earn money for me. So contests are very good as are periodically scrolling through HubPages' bank of requests (this was the original Idea Bank, it then became the Requests tab on the black bar at the top of each page and is now called Answers). I still periodically go to whatever the current name for requests is and look for things to write about.

Lately, I have also been trying to write regularly for the HubMob (which can be found by clicking on the Forums tab, then clicking on the Hubbers Hangout and then HubMob) which provides a new topic each week that anyone is free to write on and then watch as the HubMob aggressively promotes that week's Hubs. Hubbers Princessa and Shirley Anderson do an excellent job of managing and running the HubMob topic area.

The HubPage Affiliate Program Provides Added Income

Over the last three years I have managed to steadily increase my monthly income from a few dollars over $100 in January of 2007 to close to $400 per month now. Of course I been steadily writing and publishing on HubPages so that, as of today I have published 425 Hubs (this is my 426th) that have been viewed just under 1.4 million times.

In addition, 28 people have joined HubPages by clicking a referral link from me and these people have published a total of 1,095 Hubs that have been viewed almost 3.5 million times. Just as Drax has been earning a commission equal to 10% of my total Google Adsense, Amazon and eBay earnings (this 10% comes from HubPages' 50% share of each Hub's earnings and not from my 50% share of the earnings) my monthly HubPage income includes funds from the earnings on the 1,095 Hubs written by those who have signed up under me. Currently, HubPages simply credits the 10% percent that I and others in the affiliate program earn in the program to our Google, Amazon and eBay accounts but does not provide any reports as to how much of our earnings are from the affiliate program.

To learn more about the HubPage Affiliate Program and how to use it to increase your earnings click on the affiliates block on the bottom of each HubPage or click on this link http://hubpages.com/tour/affiliate/

There are Many Non-Monetary Benefits to Writing for HubPages as Well

While I obviously cannot live on my earnings from HubPages, they are a growing stream of income which is enjoyed by my family and me. Since I am approaching retirement in the next year or two, after which I will have more time to devote to writing, I am expecting my HubPage income along with my teaching income and income from a network marketing venture I am in to supplement my retirement income.

In addition to the money and the chance to express myself by writing and publishing on any topic that interests me, HubPages has given me the opportunity to help people as well as meeting and making new friends. Reading and commenting on each other's Hubs has given me the feeling of getting to know and becoming friends with people like Ralph Deeds, Jimmy the Jock, Robin and Paul Edmondson and others much as I have gotten to know and developed friendships with people I work with, and have worked with, in my regular full time jobs over the years.

There are also readers who have left comments thanking me for providing information that has helped them in some way and that feels good as well.

Then there are the more personal contacts. My Hub on Matthew Juan is a work in progress in which I am still trying to solve the mystery of why he changed his name before entering the Army and, if I can learn this I may attempt to expand this to a long article or book. While I haven't found the answer yet, two people who have read that Hub have contacted me and shared additional information with me offline. Another contact came when I mentioned my Uncle Walt in a Hub about A Trip Around Canandaigua Lake and recently received a nice email from a woman who wrote to tell me that she was one of the neighbor children during the time my great aunt and uncle had their cottage. I remember my Aunt and Uncle talking about these children and remember seeing them swimming in front of their parent's cottages when my family and I visited may aunt and uncle at the lake when I was a child. This email brought back some nice memories of those days.

It is Also Great to Be Able to Grow With a Great Organization

Finally, there is the satisfaction of being a part of a fantastic organization and having the opportunity to grow with it. Paul Edmondsom and his team have created and built a great site that gives anyone who wants to join and write the opportunity to write and easily publish on almost any topic they want while also having the opportunity to make money while doing it.

While Hubbers expecting to make money have to produce good content that people want to read, writing good content alone is not sufficient to make money with their writing as it is important to also bring readers to the site.

The HubPage team continually does a great job of marketing and promoting the site in order to bring the reading public in to read what we write. All of us also benefit from the fact that the has attracted and continues to attract large numbers of good writers who help to both attract and hold a growing number of repeat readers many of whom surf around HubPages after reading their favorite author or authors and discover more of us.

I can honestly say that being a part of HubPages these past three years has been very rewarding financially, emotionally and professionally and hope that you and Hubbers and potential Hubbers who read this will benefit as much as I have.

© 2009 Chuck Nugent

More by this Author


Comments 38 comments

chaturrajneesh profile image

chaturrajneesh 4 years ago from India

Thats really inspirational!! thanks for the hub.


htodd profile image

htodd 4 years ago from United States

Inspirational..very helpful for newbies as well experienced .Thanks


Ibrahim K. Shafin profile image

Ibrahim K. Shafin 5 years ago from Dhaka, Bangladesh & Washington DC, USA

I have read the hub. It's really worth of reading. You're the person whom I followed first on HubPages. I like the way by which you show off yourself. Not so rough, not so timidly, a perfect writing style you have - Hope you grow bigger day by day, I pray to Allah.

Thanks,

Shafin.


bizchickblogs profile image

bizchickblogs 6 years ago from Tucson

Hub newbie here. I'm finding it more addicting than blogging, which is what I actually do for a living. :) This is encouraging. I think it'll become a great side hobby for me.


DGS Choudhury profile image

DGS Choudhury 6 years ago

thanks for this! I am still working hard!!!


kea profile image

kea 6 years ago

Great hub! It's awesome and very educational to read about your experience with Hubpages!


jenniferhughs profile image

jenniferhughs 6 years ago

Great information, thanks.


wannabwestern profile image

wannabwestern 6 years ago from The Land of Tractors

Chuck, you are both modest and transparent but I'm glad to learn at the feet of a pro. Your writing has a professional clarity that impresses me. How you manage to do all of those things is amazing. I'll be reading more of your hubs. Thanks for sharing your personal experience and continuing to encourage us.


cameciob profile image

cameciob 6 years ago

Chuck, i picked up so many good ideas from your hub that I just wantet to say thank you for posting them.


Benson Yeung profile image

Benson Yeung 6 years ago from Hong Kong

thanks, Chuck, for sharing your experience so freely.


supermom_in_ny profile image

supermom_in_ny 6 years ago from NY

Sorry. I don't know why, but my comments keep posting twice. I changed this one. Hope it doesn't publish twice again...

;]


supermom_in_ny profile image

supermom_in_ny 6 years ago from NY

Great article.

Funny, I joined in 2006 and published my first hub yesterday. I'm a Squidoo lensmaster and thought this site was similar. Boy was I wrong.

I've been reading hubs catering to the newbies. I've already read 4 of yours. Just wanted to say:

Thanks for the great information!

:)


GeneralHowitzer profile image

GeneralHowitzer 6 years ago from Land of Salt, Philippines

Great info thanks Chuck for sharing I'm bookmarking this...


eyeofh profile image

eyeofh 6 years ago from New Jersey

Thank you for the great info!


Bukolalove 6 years ago

I find your story very informative. One can be successful by observing what successful people do and do the same. I think I have to continue to observe your writings for the great ideas packaged in them.

Thanks and God bless


jacobkuttyta profile image

jacobkuttyta 6 years ago from Delhi, India

Thanks for sharing your experience with hub pages.

It is very encouraging and informative.

Thanks a lot


Blogging Erika profile image

Blogging Erika 6 years ago

Great article, thank you!


Wood Dragon profile image

Wood Dragon 6 years ago from France

This kind of personal experience is of great interest to a newbie like me and very encouraging. Thanks.


stars439 profile image

stars439 6 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.

informative. god bless


Jennitasia profile image

Jennitasia 6 years ago from Arkansas

My goodness! I should learn from you!


Roffi Grandiosa profile image

Roffi Grandiosa 7 years ago from Bandung, Indonesia

Very informative article! Thanks!!


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago

Thank you for the informative article. I learned a lot by reading about your experiences.


Jane@CM profile image

Jane@CM 7 years ago

Excellent hub with great information. Thank you.


abbas73 profile image

abbas73 7 years ago from hubpages

thank you for sharing your experience with new hubbers


kartika damon profile image

kartika damon 7 years ago from Fairfield, Iowa

This is great to read! I am a newbie and am finding this community very interesting. There is some fantastic writing here and lively discussions in the political arena - I have followed Ralph Deeds also and love his articles among others! You gave me some inspiration about the earning potential also!


jayb23 profile image

jayb23 7 years ago from India

Chuck,as usual wonderful hub. Thanks for sharing this info. Loads to learn from you


Army Infantry Mom profile image

Army Infantry Mom 7 years ago

Nice hub,..I look forwards to my 3rd anerversary on hubs, Still working on my first year. I hope I have success like you.


JYOTI KOTHARI profile image

JYOTI KOTHARI 7 years ago from Jaipur

Hi,

I have learned a lot from your experience. Some of my experience is similar to you.

Thanks and thumbs up!

Jyoti Kothari


E. A. Wright profile image

E. A. Wright 7 years ago from New York City

Thanks for sharing your experiences and perspective. As a (relatively) new writer here, it's fascinating to read about what this site was like in its earlier stages. Though now you have me wishing I'd been around for those contests!


livelonger profile image

livelonger 7 years ago from San Francisco

Hey Chuck, I've been here for about 3 years too, and now earn a bit more than $300 per month via AdSense.

Similar to your "quarts in a gallon" hub, you would not believe how much I earn off my "how do you call a phone number in london" hub: $50.05 over the last 6 months!!

HubPages money covers my eating out for lunch every day. Friends can't believe it.


Chuck profile image

Chuck 7 years ago from Tucson, Arizona Author

Paul, Thanks for the nice compliment.

I am happy that I found HubPages and have enjoyed being a part of HubPages and am looking forward to more years of writing for HubPages.

As I have said in this and other Hubs, you and your team have done a great job of creating and marketing HubPages.

Thanks again.

Chuck Nugent


Paul Edmondson profile image

Paul Edmondson 7 years ago from Burlingame, CA

Chuck, It's been our pleasure having you as part of the HubPages community. We may have to bring back the "Grow the Pot" contest. I don't know how many people understood the point of it - to give them an idea about how to write on topics that produced traffic and revenue like your "How many quarts in a Gallon" Hub. The value of practical information is still largely unrecognized.

We are nearing in on four years since we conceived the idea for HubPages. Recently we have just added two fantastic engineers - nearly doubling the staff:) so there will be more improvements coming soon.

In those early days, I wasn't sure we would make it, but people like you, Drax and Robin (my wife) were huge in being patient as we improved the tools, figured out how to deal with adult content and experimented with contests.

I think we have some exciting stuff planned that I'm looking forward to getting out to all of you in the months to come.

Thanks for this Hub. It made my day!


emievil profile image

emievil 7 years ago from Philippines

Hi Chuck. I sure was glad to see this hub of yours. It's very informative and inspiring. I hope three years from now I can have as many hubs and as many fans as you have. Cheers!


Vizey profile image

Vizey 7 years ago

Your story is great. I have started writing recently and facing lot of competition due to popularity of hubpages. You must not have faced any or much competition at that time.


seamist profile image

seamist 7 years ago from Northern Minnesota

Thank you for sharing your story, Chuck. Considering the low earnings most writer experience in the beginning at Hubpages, your story is an inspiration.


judydianne 7 years ago

Thank you for this good information. I didn't realize the importance of bringing in new hubbers. You have opened my eyes.


sunforged profile image

sunforged 7 years ago from Sunforged.com

Wow Great story, I bet you will be an inspiration to many aspiring hubwriters


Hmrjmr1 profile image

Hmrjmr1 7 years ago from Georgia, USA

Great info for us new Hubbers. Thanks a bunch!

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