Well, I have finally reached a point at which I'm actually seeing payments from the HP ad program. However, I see my income inching up by a penny or so a day...and it fluctuates...sometimes is less.
I've read and read about SEO, promoting, etc...and it seems to me, this only works well if you have nothing else to do but sit at the computer 24/7. My traffic is largely still from within the HP community, and I do see some from Google--but, in spite of my promotional efforts, very little from Face Book, and Twitter doesn't show up in the stats.
I have Twitterfeed to auto-post any new writing (Hubs, Blogs, Sales sites additions) to both Twitter and Face Book. However, I still have to make time to write and revise; time to make some effort at running my small business; time to help my disabled husband, including driving him to medical appointments; time to do all the household chores, and oh, yeah--time to eat and sleep. It's probably a dream in vain, but I'd also like some time off to visit my daughters or just go out window-shopping for some stress relief.
But, according to all I've read, this 'promoting yourself' thing is a full time job in and of itself, and all the more time consuming because of the (perfectly understandable and reasonable) suggestion that if you are going to use social media sites for the purpose, that you also spend time there 'being social,' and not just "advertising," because that turns people off.
Bottom line, I don't have TIME to be a super-promoter! So, I guess, I'm doomed to seeing a payout only about every quarter, because the income increases are not sufficient or steady enough to pay out on a monthly basis. With the delay of an entire month between being payout-eligible and actually getting the payment (crazy schedule, if you ask me), that's why I see infrequent payments.
Don't get me wrong--I'm actually delighted to finally be getting paid for my writing--by whatever mechanism, I'm just saying I don't see how to bump it up to a monthly payment. My monthly earnings are usually just about $15 or $20 shy of the payment threshold, so I have to wait through a second month to make up the difference, and then get the payment at the end of the 3rd month... And then, of course, it re-sets, and I'm back to square one (as is everyone).
I know the sites that promise "1k new leads a month..." etc...are either a scam and/or frowned upon. Besides, I've no budget to pay to have promotions done for me.
If anyone has any better ideas than what I'm able to do so far, and that won't handcuff me to the computer, I'm listening.....
I believe social traffic is a myth. It means a constant round of Twitter, FB, etc. to keep being seen and joining in the 'fun'. The best, easiest traffic is through keywords - the right title for the right content for actual searchers.
If you write anything any good then it might get picked up by social traffic and that is a bonus. But it is not the meat and veg - imo.
I think the biggest mistake here is the expectation that you will be receiving tons of traffic from your social networks. That just isn't going to happen unless you have thousands in your network. The whole message of socializing your content is missed. You don't necessarily need the traffic from your networks as you need the mentions (the tweets, the likes, the pins, the retweets, the repins, etc..) these mentions, likes, repins ect.. are calculated into the relevancy of the searchers query. As Mark here suggests, keyword and content are the most important factors. Example below:
I go to Google and make a search query and in a split second I'm given the SERP's. Google looked at every indexed page that contains my query, then it compared my query to every single page against the topic of the most identified keywords, the number of links that point to a single page containing my keyword query, the number of mentions of my keyword on popular social networks, the number of links on those social networks that are anchored to a single page of my query... and a bazillion other factors. It looks at where those mentions are coming from as well. If there are 200 hubbers that tweet and pin my content its not going to give me the same value as if 20 people that came from outside hubpages tweeted and pinned my content. Multiple mentions from the same domain are discounted. However, if those 200 hubbers have followers that are not hubbers and they also tweet and repin then that is even better since they are coming from multiple locations. The point is, the more repins, retweets and likes you get from multiple locations the better your content will fair in the SERP's.
Learning how to tweet and how to pin etc is important. Make use of #hashtags, they are being useful on all networks. Ask your followers to retweet and repin and like your content.... it's a call to action that most will comply with if you provided what they were searching for. These mentions will help you rise in the SERP's which is where you want your traffic to come from anyway. This is how you get traffic from your social networks... Remember the old phrase, "if you tell two friends, and they tell two friends, and so on, and so on." well that's what you are after, that growing network and not necessarily the 40 people following you on Twitter...
Thanks, "livewithrichard," for explaining the internal workings of the Google search function.
However, I have over 200 in my 'friends and acquaintances' list on FaceBook, and probably about 100 on Twitter, and it was exactly that 'share and they will share' as you explained that I was counting on...but...it does not seem to be happening. As I mention below in another reply RE: StumbleUpon, my interests are apparently too different from what everyone is searching for...I'm not into celebrities, fashions, gossip, or politics. I prefer topics that are useful for home hobbyists, DIYers, pets, language and writing, outdoor recreation, scenic parks, historical and educational issues..(including educating folks about the dirty tricks played by assorted major corporations/industries... my 'corporate greed' series, e.g. )
But, I guess not many people find any of those things interesting, and are not searching for those topics. Bummer. They say, 'write what you know' and don't regurgitate second-hand information just to write about a topic about which you know nothing and in which you have no interest, just to be writing something .... ... I guess that makes me officially 'screwed.'
Getting into Facebook and Twitter, as well as other social networks without having a plan is the same as tossing spaghetti on the wall to see if it sticks. You should have a separate Twitter account for each of your interests or at least combine a few... this way you get targeted followers instead of a mashup of everyone. If only 2 of your followers followed because of your shared interest in language and writing, are they likely to share your posts on pets? It is a lot of work to get social but you have spent a lot of time creating your hubs too so now you have to care for them as well as continue with fresh content.
You really need a Google + account. You can join the circles you want, circles that you are interested in and if you comment on posts, contribute to conversations, add relevant posts yourself, etc.. your circles grow... but unlike Twitter, you only need one account. You can have as many circles you want. Circles are just a reference on how you categorize the people you follow. I have a circle called Hubpages where I add my Hubpages friends. When you make a post on Google+ you can decide which circles you want to share it with. And you should make posts, just like blog posts, directly on Google + to encourage feedback and followers. You +1 content of others as well as your own content and then you need combine all your activities so they include G+, Twitter, Pinterest, and FB.
This way, you do write what you know and you don't have to compromise your self. It's a slow process but sooner or later it is something that everyone who writes online is going to have to come to terms with.
Ok, I do have a G+ account, but again, I haven't figured out everything it's good for yet...and am not there much.
"Pinterest," I don't have, and don't plan to--in fact, I disabled 'pinning' for my hubs--I read somewhere here on HP a while back that there are copyright concerns with that site.
(I do have 2 Twitter accounts--one is strictly for the "pets people.")
Thanks for the comprehensive explanations. Much appreciated.
I share the same feelings as you. I promote everyday face book, twitter, Google+, stumble upon, Digg, Delicious, blogs, and everything else. Most have not worked out for me with all of the promoting that I do. So what I do now is to write my hubs and promote them on some days and on other days I promote other peoples hubs. I think that as a community we have to help each other get traffic. Besides HB my other good source of traffic comes from Stumble upon, but the traffic comes in a short burst the first day that I post it then slows down again. We all must do our part to help the community. " Teamwork make the Dream work"
Hmmm...I just went back into my StumbleUpon account (yes, I have one; but I am rarely there...for the aforementioned time crunch reasons). I looked through my list, and lo and behold, at least 80% of the assorted articles (from various sites, and not my own articles) that I have shared have received zero views!!! The ones that were looked at had so few views (less than 5 each) so as not to matter.
So, apparently that site will do me not much good as a mutual share thing....I guess that means that what interests me is too far divergent from the interests of the rest of the population.
I had the same luck with StumbleUpon...Even after joining one of those follower building sites to get more followers (supposedly from what I read the more followers you have the better the chances of traffic)...My hubpages stats list about 8 hits a piece from Stumbleupon, but on the Stumbleupon website it says they received 0 views. I don't think its working for me.
Well, you seem to have just about the right amount of hubs to share every other day, or so.
On your social networking sites (Facebook,Twitter, Myspace, LinkedIn, Google+, etc...) I highly recommend you write a short blurb, like one paragraph, attached to a link to share with your friends. This shouldn't take all that long, maybe 10-15 minutes if you are doing careful thinking about your blurb. Like "I wrote this article last year, and I'm really proud of it, blah blah" and you friends of course will read it because they are your friend, but I have done this an friends have also shared the thing I shared with their friends! This is great publicity. Since you have so many Hubs, you can probably go down the list and share a new one every other day, and by the time you get through the list, a year would have passed, and you would have more Hubs.
If you do that^^^, you can post to G+, Facebook and Twitter at the same time. Or you could just copy and paste the information you first posted into whatever social networking platform.
Of course, I am by no means a high-earning Hubber, but I did employ these techniques when I did advertising for Real Estate sales; many, many leads were found off of social networking sites.
I hear you - it's not easy to get good traffic through social media unless you have a well known business or brand account with a dedicated team working on it.
But I do have one secret to share with you (and anyone else reading this) if you are looking for more social sharing...
Don't promote your work... Promote OTHER people's work, and let THEM promote it. Obviously this won't work for a lot of topics, but if you can feature someone else's work (it could be a piece of art they made, a blog post they wrote, anything...) in your hubs with a nice comment or similar gesture, and then email them to tell them you did so... 99% of the time they will be so grateful and honored that someone wrote about them they will very likely share your article on their own social media accounts. And voila, free social promotion
Good hubs to use this strategy are top 10 lists and other collection-type articles. I recently featured a top 10 list of my favorite phone cover designs on another site (not HubPages) and I got 23 Facebook likes in a few hours, via the artists' Facebook pages.
I usually receive most of my traffic through google and yahoo but I think that is because of my titles. I don't get a whole lot from hubpages and FB or Twitter, however, I am just like you....I don't have a lot of time to the promoting either. So, I make time once a week to dedicate a few hours to Hubpages and then I work on updating my articles or promoting, etc... However, I don't make a lot of revenue here either but never expected too. I did it for the sole reason of writing and writing better.
I feel your pain and wish I could help you more. Good luck.
After two years on Hubpages, and with 50 Hubs, I am nearly at the point of getting a payout every month.
- My first tip is keep writing hubs - you are nearly there to getting a payout each month.
- Also, make the most of the hubs you have - Look in the stats box or use title tuner to keep an eye on the phrases that people are typing in that lead them to your hubs and tweak the titles to reflect the most commonly used phrase. I did that to a couple of hubs this month and traffic to them has quadrupled. Maybe review them all once a month
- My way of promoting my hubs is to make sure my hubs are easy to find by readers by paying attention to the keywords people are searching for, then throughout and at the bottom of the hub, I put links to related hubs that I think the reader may like to read.
- I don't bother with promoting my hubs - as you have found it takes time. Last week, one of my hubs was listed by someone on Reddit and got 10 times the normal amount of traffic. I was so excited, but it only earned me a couple of extra dollars.
My hub earnings are usually between $5-$7 monthly though once I have earned more than that. It took a bit over half year to earn my first $50. I wish I could earn at least the minimum $50 payment every month and wish I knew how to do that. Some people earn thousands of dollars a month on hub and wonder how they manage to earn that much.
@DzyMsLizzy - the best point so far was Richard's - 20 organic links are better than 200 social links
I found the following very helpful for me.... and since you are very active in this forum, it should seem a little less like work for you
Find other forum communities related to one of your publishing niches, and a topic that interests you - for one of my accounts it was camping
then join a couple and create your profiles. Most allow a linkable signature, and if not, most use simple BB code (very similar to here) which you can use to create your own linkable sig to include in your posts.
then participate - spend less time in these forums and more in at least two of those
honest participation - no linking unless asked
each of your posts will include a backlink, plus your profile will have one
of course for SEO all those links - coming from the same domain - will essentially be valued as one link
but, others in the forums will check you out and potentially generate more traffic and organic links for you.
This won't be a massive traffic booster - but I think it is more valuable than spending the same amount of effort on social networks, and has more potential for building valuable relevant organic links - at least it worked for me
just a thought,
I have a question about that...If the 200 social hits boost your page up to number 2 on google, wouldn't that in turn bring in targeted traffic? I'm new to this so I'm just trying to understand. I submitted one of my Hubpages to a social site and got tons of hits which put it back and forth at 1 and 2 on googles results and I immediately started getting tons of google traffic and my earnings jumped $3 a day. Is it just a coincidence?
Again, it all depends on how competitive your keyword phrase is. Those social mentions could have been what brought you up, but what happens when your competitor gets 300 mentions... then yours gets none for a month or two? Your position in the SERP's drop as your competitor rises. There is a 'freshness' quotient in the search algorithm. The social mentions are just a small part of the total equation. You may get a trickle of traffic from StumbleUpon, but the more varied the mentions are across a number of social networks, the better your content will fair in the SERP's. Also, 'Liking' 'Pinning' 'Tweeting' 'Stumbling' etc.. your own content is not very beneficial to you other than it getting a placement in your networks. The search engines do not count your own mentions to your own content and no matter where your network is, it is attached to somehow to your profile or email or some other identifiable information that links it to the author. Post links with a comment across a variety of social networks but you first have to establish a presence on those networks otherwise, it's like I mentioned above, tossing spaghetti at the wall to see what sticks.
On Facebook, though it is the largest of all social networks, the majority of us only view the feeds of our close friends, family, and co-workers so posting your links to them is going to get irritating sooner or later and they will just hide your feed. Best practice is to find Groups and Fanpages on Facebook that share your interests and post your links on those walls.
On Twitter, you need many accounts that are directly correlated to a specific topic and then you need to populate those accounts with like minded followers. You do that by searching for your interest and first follow them. Interact, send a messages, ask them to follow you back, post links to your contend but also little tidbits that have no links at all but are completely related to your topic. Even though this is supposed to be a 'social' network it is more like a job. Make sure you make use of hashtags, these are keywords that many networks use to find what is trending. If you can't think of any, go to hashtags.org for some ideas. Also, use the hashtags #followme, #followback #retweet, and use Google's URL shortener, it has an analytic component built in so you can see what works and what doesn't work and your click through rates.
On Pinterest, you only need to 'Pin' pictures linked to your content if you have the permission to use those pictures and if they are properly attributed. Pin them on boards that you create that are categorized to topics of your interests. There are unlimited ideas for boards. Search others that have the same interests and follow them and repin their pictures. It's a slow process but it grows quickly and then provides you with a link to your content from many others that repin your pictures.
Google+ you create your account, build your profile, link to your content by claiming 'authorship' then you search out others that share your same interest and follow them. You do not request they follow you back, you just post contend directly on your Google page. Read other people's content and +1 it if it meets your criteria of good information, comment on those +1's. Also, engage the people you follow by commenting on their page posts, this gives them a notification on their profile page and gives them a reason to check you out and add you to their circles as well. It's important to engage them on their Google Page.
I rarely bother with any other social networks. Not that they're not important in the total scheme of things, it's because I have a day job and there are just not enough hours in the day to do it all. Facebook is the biggest time killer for me as it is the most social (real life friends and family) Google+ is second but only because it is fairly new to me and I love the 'hangouts' feature that allows me to video chat with my sisters across the country. Twitter and Pinterest take about 10 minutes each per day but are very valuable.
I know, I could have made this a hub but I've chosen not to make these types of hubs anymore since this place as well as the Internet is always changing. What is good information today maybe headed for the trash heap tomorrow.
Wow...thank you for explaining that with such detail! I appreciate you taking the time to post that response. It was really helpful.
Very well explained, indeed. Thank you for taking the time.
RE: posting links to your own stuff--is it recognized by your user name/e-mail address, or what have you, or does it track your IP address?
What I'm getting at, is, what if you post it when not signed in to HP, or from a different e-mail address?
If it tracks IPs, then you'd be SOL there...but... I guess one could always enlist family/friends to help post stuff... ;-)
On most social networks that I know of, you have to be signed into that network in order to post anything. There really is no reason to sign out of HP to post since some how your profile is going to track back to you and not by the IP address that you use but by your online behavior and routine.
You are not doing anything wrong by bookmarking or posting links of your content to your social networks. You're not going to get credit for the social mention of your own content but it puts it all in play so that others can get you the mentions. Family and friends are a good place to start because they can introduce your content to their networks... that's how the "you tell 2 people and they tell 2 people etc..." comes into play. That is the networking and cross networking that gets you the mentions needed to help boost. Of course the first and primary goal is to create worthy content and in theory that is all you need to do... but we are all in a hurry to get the process jump started and as content creators and content marketers there is nothing wrong with that.
I don't think its a problem if you post links to your own Hubs on social networking sites. That is, because its a network of your friends, and I don't know of anything wrong with sharing you work with your friends.
I think that the most successful writers are purely the ones who keep writing. If you hit the mid to high hundreds of hubs then the money starts to go up drastically, I remember reading someones hubs who actually said that they didn't do a lot of linking or promoting but just kept on writing, I think they have written at least a 1,000 hubs! I have sort of figured out that each hub a day earns a cent, or penny in my case, so if you write say a hundred hubs then you get a dollar a day and so on, some days it goes down, and other days it goes up, but it does seem to stay pretty constant.
I write on other sites with my HP link attached. Don't know if it will help since my score has never hit 100 like yours but promoting the other articles helps to 'sprinkle' your link around, may help. I also write on a 'niche' blog so that helps bring traffic for me, though not a lot I don't do too much either for promotion, as with you, time contstraints but try out other writing sites or a 'niche' blog where you can insert HP articles too. Just a thought.
This has been such a beneficial forum, Lizzy-thanks for airing your problem here, because I experience the same frustrations. There just does not seem to be enough time in the day to devote to this and keep all other areas of life balanced. Sometimes I feel I am chasing the carrot!!!
Great info here, everyone. LivewithRichard: I really learned a lot in the discussion-thanks!
I want to officially thank everyone who took the time to explain so many things! I am sure I will find time (or make time) to implement a few of these ideas each week or month....
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