Other Hubbers worry about hubscores or follower counts or featured/unfeatured. For me, it all comes down to one sordid number.
What's so magic about $12.50?
$12.50 / week = $50 in 28 days, or an average of about $1.80 a day. That's how much you need to reach Hubpages' minimum payout threshold every month.
Everybody requires a different number of hubs to achieve that average, depending on how many visitors your writing tends to attract. If you're earning anything per day, you should be able to get there. Once there, you can be sure your HP account will tick along like a solar panel, passively contributing to your monthly income. (In fact, it's very much like a solar panel, since it easily covers one person's electric bill).
It feels mercenary to be thinking in such bald terms, but that's the bottom line, if you're using HP for more than just to get your words out.
...and at the same time, I never forget that I'm not automatically entitled to any visitors or earnings; those only come if I'm providing some kind of content that really is useful, or at least interesting and entertaining, to somebody.
Totally agree with you GreekGeek, earnings here are earned and are not an automatic entitlement. Although you can never really tell what will take off traffic-wise, there are more searched for topics than others. The subjects I write on don't garner huge amounts of traffic, but I have written enough hubs that I generally hit pay out now every month.
Unfortunately, I don't know enough about finance and technology to write articles on these topics lol!
Thank you for this perspective. It is certainly something to aspire to!
Luckily, I make the payout EACH MONTH. To me, it's all about the $$$$$$!
And you don't have to have a high personal score to make that. I see people who average a score of 100 on a regular basis that aren't making much money if any at all. Meanwhile there are some here in the 80's that make a regular income.
So don't assume those people with high scores are the most successful. You want to learn and make an example of the ones who are actually making money here not just getting a high score.
Committing to working towards earning this amount per week would be a great goal for many hubbers. It's helpful to see it broken down to the bare bones like this. I think it's really important to have small, incremental goals to keep pushing towards to keep motivation up.
You can also look at earnings in terms of traffic required to earn that amount. So if we estimate a low CPM of $3, hubbers would need to be aiming for weekly traffic of around 7,000.
7,000 Breaks down to...
60% (4,200) for the hubber @ $3 per 1000 = $12.60
40% (2.800) for Hubpages
Of course if you have a good amazon page that converts well you can do a lot better than that, but that's the minimum.
Very nice breakdown. For the past several months, I'm reaching the $50 mark or more every 2 months. I haven't published anything in the past few months, but I'm still getting what I consider decent traffic on several of my hubs. I'm fairly satisfied with how often I'm reaching payouts on here, especially considering that it took me a year just to reach my first one.
Right, specially the last paragraph. Earnings from this account covers the payment for my electric and smartphone bills.
To get to that magic number, I would need about 300-400 hubs. It's just not worth the investment in time for me.
There are other alternatives besides writing that many hubs. You can study SEO so search engines can find your hubs, or manage to stumble upon a lucrative topic or write a hub that goes viral.
May I reply again: I do write quality and please stop implying that I do not!
I am so very tired of being patronised here.
Before going freelance ten years ago, I had fifteen years of experience in writing and presenting scientific content to government agencies and the European Commission, scientists in academia and industry, the general public, students and school children.
If you write quality you WILL get traffic, and it won't take 300 hubs, either.
BUT...quality is defined as what brings traffic. That has very little to do with experience in non-web writing, or presenting scientific content to anyone. It has to do with understanding what large numbers of random people want and how to present for both them and google. A high school dropout wanting information on how to change the oil in a 1995 Toyota will not find "quality" in a scholarly article with words he can't understand but that is appropriate for the European Commission.
I've read some of your hubs, and it is indeed of high quality - for academia and perhaps industry. Not for happy homemaker that can't read anything over 2 syllables. Unfortunately there are LOTS more of those happy homemakers than there are students or professors.
I think I'll just write what interests me and makes me happy. If others enjoy reading it great, if it makes any money, great. If not, so what, it's all writing practice and experience and I increase my own knowledge.
IME large numbers of random people want info that can be absorbed quickly with as little effort as possible. It's our job to make the complex easy.
Susana S I agree with you, but if we are correct, then why is HP telling us that we need to write longer hubs?
I think the word count should be determined by what the subject requires. Some articles might need 400 words, some 6000 and others a word count somewhere in the middle. HP have used their stats to determine that somewhere in the middle tends to attract the most traffic, so that's what they encourage.
Writing in an accessible way, ie: a way that almost anyone could read and understand, is not the same as writing short pieces.
But then again it will depend on the topic and the keywords you target. You can have 2 articles on the same topic, yet one is geared to the masses and uses colloquial language and the other is geared to research scientists and uses technical language. The former is likely to get a lot more traffic and earnings than the latter. It's just the way the internet is.
By analogy with your definition, McDonalds provides the most sublime of gourmet experiences and plastic mass-produced rubbish from China represents an art form far superior to items made with love and care by skilled craftsmen.
Sorry, I am not prepared to accept this Newspeak. I am indeed fortunate that my circumstances do not force me to do so.
Certainly your choice. I decided some time to limit my "scholarly" work here and concentrate on what the readership calls quality in return for $$. Just another money grubbing fool.
I will put my well written stuff elsewhere, at least for the most part.
Actually, it's kind of a bummer that you had to be so elitist. Many people actually enjoy McDonald's once in a while and this doesn't make them lowly. On the same hand, I've been known to enjoy Smithsonian AND People Magazine on the same day. I haven't written a huge number of hubs but my most popular happen to be about a certain misdiagnosed kind of headache, Rosacea, and Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome! The subject matter may not be rocket science, but I've written them so people find the articles and can understand the information.
WriteAngled, you don't need to rethink your attitude or the way you write, but it would be nice if you came to the conclusion that being condescending might spill over into how you write and no one wants to read something that makes them feel belittled.
Well, I suppose if I was starving, in the physiological sense, I would eat a McDonalds meal, but in normal circumstances I would rather choose to go hungry until real food became available.
Returning from food to publications, I do actually write in exactly the same way as I speak in normal social intercourse. To attempt to write in any other style would mean being dishonest to myself and denying my true voice, which would make me sound artificial. If some people find my voice "elitist" that is truly their problem not mine.
It is rather surprising that similarly "elitist" writings I place on Squidoo and on my own web sites bring in 4-10 times the amount of revenue that I receive here.
Despite my supposed "elitism", I have often been told that my writing displays a talent to explain complex concepts in a manner that is easy to understand. Perhaps, however, the "man (person!) on the Clapham omnibus" in the UK, for whom I write, is a different species from the "happy homemaker" in the USA cited by Wilderness.
Please forgive me for posting this link here, some of you might be familiar with this guy; his blog post is very relevant to this thread.
http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog … itist.html
Seth may call himself an elitist, but his Squidoo.com website has lost 80% of its traffic since November 1, 2012. I call that stupidity.
Squidoo just seems to be all over the place. First I was "kicked out" of the Giant Squids program (I was accepted back when it was fifty outstanding lenses, not 25 lenses with lower standards to get in) because I don't have any recipe lenses -- sorry, not interested in producing a lot of recipe pages. I have two on Hubpages (maybe three) but those are built into broader topics as well. Then I got a message telling me that one of my formerly top lenses was going to be locked if I didn't "improve its quality."
So Squidoo is crawling with lenses that are lacking in any content at all, and you're going to tell me that my writing isn't up to the standards of Squidoo? I've only gotten one of these notices, and it's on a lens that I know is up to scratch because I've pruned it and cultivated it several times since it was first written two years ago.
I'm disgusted with Squidoo's latest shenanigans. It seems to me like the people who are in charge over there have some explaining to do. My guess is that somebody flagged my lens because they wrote one that competes with it, but what can I do? I'm now moving (little by little) all of my Women of Strength and Courage and Hunger Games content over to Hubpages, re-writing it and cultivating it better than ever before.
Squidoo's loss. My quality lenses were beaten out by lenses doing nothing but selling products, and now they're telling me that my work isn't good enough. Leaves me wondering who's really in charge over there any more.
However, what he said is true. That's all I was looking at. Material success almost never speaks to whether what someone says has value; which is the point I've made at various points in this thread. But most people have no understanding whatsoever of what has true value. Success of a website, sorry, is way down on the list. And the dialogue has now become ironic.
Many of the loyal writers on that website feel they have been betrayed and mistreated, and that speaks of Seth's true value as a human being in the eyes of others. It has to do with a lot more than money, although I can't imagine his shareholders are too pleased with his management nor what he said about their rights. Even minority shareholders have certain rights in a corporation.
I don't know Seth. But what he said has value. It's more important to pay attention to what is said, not who said it. It's either true or not, has value or not, what is said. You either get it or don't, see it deeply or superficially. What was said is where I saw value. Seth I don't know. Can't say much about him. I've only written at his site off and on, it was not really my style; I preferred HP from the beginning, for the record. However, what Seth says is insightful, often; more often than not. And what I linked to was incredibly, and actually, relevant to the discussion here. So much so, to me, it said everything I meant to say and nobody gets. At any rate, it's fallacious to attack the speaker and not address what he said.
I have followed Seth for many years, communicated with him occasionally over the course of devoting a good five years of my life to Squidoo, and I used to be heavily involved in the Squidoo community that he inspired. I looked up to him a great deal. Unfortunately, he's one of those marketing gurus who's good at startups and insights, but doen't always apply those insights to the businesses he's founded.
I haven't seen him involved in day to day Squidoo since 2008 or so, although that's from the view of a dedicated member looking in, so no doubt there were behind the scenes things going on that I didn't know. That didn't really matter until his effective second in command, Megan Casey, left Squidoo about three... golly, has it been that long already? ... three years ago to found her own website. I argued strenuously with Megan at times, but she was an excellent day to day CEO.
Since then, the site has gone in directions that don't work for some of us. I'm actually making more money on Squidoo than Hubpages -- although nowhere near the $1000+ a month I used to -- and my Squidoo traffic is finally coming back up after taking a brutal hit along with the rest of the site. But I disagree with some of the approaches they've taken to do damage control, so I've been working on diversifying.
Anyway. A sort of... neutral? ... response from one who's been through the ringer with that guy? And I became active here again after HP got hammered in 2011 precisely because I was trying to learn what did and didn't work under the new Panda algorithm. It's easy to forget now, but Squidoo had its best run during the time when Hubpages was in the ICU.
Reasons for diversification: Exhibit A!
Well I was doing pretty well there, but my earnings at Squidoo dropped by 80% which is pretty crappy (I have several accounts there) and I still don't see any signs of recovery.
I think they are using a lot of automated software which is a pretty blunt instrument - it is frustrating as once your lens is locked it is very difficult to get it unlocked in my experience. It's easier just to move it.
The frustrating thing is that there is obviously lots of crap at Squidoo. They seemed to be encouraging people to write personal diary style articles at one point, which seemed a little bizarre to me.
Jumping in here (late) I'd like to say that quality is quality (and thereby I disagree with some of the previous statements made regarding the fact that "quality" is whatever attracts visits -- IMO it's not) but I'd also like to say that it's possible that Google struggles to identify your keywords (phrases now) based on the language used in your hubs.
If you're not here to generate massive amounts of traffic and to earn money, that doesn't matter so much, but for those looking to earn via Hubpages, language can be everything.
Your titles are good though. Sometimes it just takes time. Good titles should do it if the topics you're writing about are something people want to learn about!
This issue makes me think of musicians. It's rather well-known that the worst of music is what is popular and if a musician wants to make money they have to cater to what's popular which is the lowest common denominator. It's no secret and that's how business works. A person either has to do it or not or choose some other route. It's pretty basic, the facts are all there. You make music that makes people jiggle or you make music that touches on something deeper; up to the musician to do what they need to do or what they feel is right.
Edit: The reason, however, that that is unfortunate, is that what takes precedence is always what is popular but basically unimportant. I'm not saying people shouldn't get what they need if they search the Net for "how to tie my shoes" or whatever; that has a certain degree of importance. But it shouldn't overshadow and dominate questions of deeper significance, like what is it in human consciousness that creates war and poverty (for instance). There's no way to change the fact that most people don't think about that kind of thing. I'm just saying it's unfortunate and leave it at that, and then go on to figure out what's searched for on the Internet, research it and write about it (in some cases, not all the time).
Hi WriteAngled - IMHO I don't think you're being patronized at all. "Quality over Quantity" seems to be the coined term here. It's all over the help forums so don't take it as a personal attack or we would all be under fire too.
I've seen your articles as well and they are well researched, well-written and quite interesting but my interpretation is this: keep writing your quality articles!
Google Analytics & Adwords are based off of quantity because of key words, meta tags and that system is based off of popularity and volume. For example: I could write about Alkaid and hardly anyone would Google search it - but if I said the Big Dipper I would get more traffic. That's not really HP's fault. This is probably one of the best forums I've found especially because of high-quality hubs.
It's in no way a personal reflection and you are VERY lucky you don't have to rely on generating income from here. My goal is to supplement my income to pay my electricity bill!
Personally, if I wanted to generate more traffic to my hubs I might be working on stuff about the Olympics but I would much rather be working on my psychology & recipe hubs. Hope that was helpful?
Oh how interesting! I was wondering what the math was because I'm so horrible in math.
Thank you GreekGeek for the breakdown in daily & monthly numbers. My dad always said If you love what you do you'll never work a day in your life. If you get paid while doing it - even better!
I'm at about 12 cents a day right now but I'm a newbie to HP so I have goals but really no expectations right now.
Currently takes me three months to get $12.50, guess I have to work harder.
Thanks for the bottom line, Greekgeek, always appreciate your down-to-earth wisdom. This gives me a new perspective on where I am and where I could be, hopefully sooner than later.
I do a happy dance when I rake in .50 a day, so it'll be a looooong time and lots more hubbage before I reach that 1.80/day plateau.
....nah, screw it. That's too much like work.
Thanks for the math... I will reach 12.50 dollars a week in about 10 years from now lol!
Haha! It won't hurt to believe that you can, and that you will! In fact, you may end up earning that much within a year.
Admittedly, I am not yet earning that much, but I am getting there as well! We can defnitely make it rohanfelix!
The earnings are what counts for me as well. I think all the other things are an attempt to find ways to drive that daily or weekly number up so that it is possible to get a weekly payout.
Hi greekgeek, I always appreciate your insights as well.
I think I am just shy of that $12.50 a week. This month and last month, anyway. December was a far better month, though. It makes sense, because quite a few of my hubs are centered around the holidays. I am trying to remedy that so that I can earn money the rest of the year. A lot of the stuff I write about, I do mostly for myself, so it's less about the money, and more about doing something I enjoy. It's a hobby that pays me money, instead of costing me money.
If you focus on improving the quality of hubs with length, layout and photos, you'll find you need to write less of them to reach certain goals.
That is actually a very offensive observation.
A number of my hubs are long and based on a careful review of the scientific literature using my educational background (up to PhD level) and scientific work experience over several decades. Taking research and writing together, each of these hubs represents 12 hours or more of work.
However, it seems this is not what the masses on the Internet want. I see other hubbers preening on the forums here about getting a huge number of hits for similar topics. Often, if I check out their hubs, I find them to be shallow, unscientific and uncritical, if not downright ignorant, and covering the topic in a sensationalist, irresponsible manner.
If that is what the masses want, so be it. I, however, will not prostitute myself in that way. Hence my conclusion it is not worth my while to invest much time and effort here. Fortunately, I do not need to rely on this activity to earn my living.
Your observations about the Internet are spot on. People are not searching for any subject matter that is deep in any sense of that word. To make money, truly, a person has to dumb it down, make their writing extraordinarily simplistic and write about subject matter that has no meaning whatsoever. There's no doubt in my mind about that at this point. A person ends up making a choice on whether to dumb it down or not.
Edit: I want to qualify what I said somewhat. With some keyword research a person can write on searched-for subject matter and give an article on the subject some substance. But it is still, even with that, generally true that the Internet audience is not looking for any deep meaning in content, and therefore most content out there on the Net has no meaning or depth.
Thanks for the edit, NateB11. I was going to take issue with that as I don't think I've ever felt like I was dumbing down my content, just saying it in a way that readers can relate to. I think the bottom line is if they aren't looking for that particular topic, your article will be lost in cyberspace, no matter how good it is. (I thought we were following each other, too. Thanks.)
Actually, I somewhat regretted having said it because it wasn't quite right but I definitely empathize with WriteAngled on this issue; certain topics are not popular and especially when covered with true breadth and depth; I've been disappointed with that a bit in the past, because there's quite a bit of popular tripe out there, but have since resolved my disappointment by studying a little SEO to the extent of finding topics that I can give decent attention to and write articles about them that have at least a bit of substance or something or another I think is valuable (even entertainment value). I truly don't feel bad about that and I also realize that there are some topics that I feel passionate about and that have value that can be written about, even without SEO, in a way that is "quality" and will still get traffic (I have done it, somehow). And, bottom line, I would like to make money; I'm not self-righteous or pretentious with that issue and would never claim that money is not a factor; money is a factor for everyone, except those independently wealthy, as they say. I am, without a doubt, interested in that which drives traffic to content and what "sells". And I think a very intelligent and straight-forward article with valuable information and even insights can get traffic. You're very correct about writing content that people can relate to. And you're correct that if people aren't looking for something on the Net, they just aren't. It's a bit of a business doing online writing; and business generally has to do with what people want and to some degree what they need. And if I can slip in something a little deeper, I do.
Edit: And actually I love to write, so I'm always having fun no matter what I write about or in what way. I've recently started researching more topics that I know are searched for, and I've been having a lot of fun researching those topics and learning about them; and they are important topics. I have a passion for writing that really keeps going and there's probably not much I enjoy more than writing and definitely prefer it to "jobs" I've had.
Edit (Again): And writing in a way that people can relate to is like teaching. I've done quite a bit of teaching in the past and it's fun to convey things, get them across to people, in a way that they can relate to and is digestible. I like doing that in my writing too.
Excellent points you've made here, NateB11. Thanks for expounding.
I use the internet to read scientific journals that I cannot get ahold of here. Those journals are not published on the internet because I am the only reader. There are thousands and thousands of people around the world that want to read information that they are not able to get ahold of where they live, and the internet is the means to do so.
Those scientists in other countries are not looking for dumb ehow type pages. They want to learn. The internet is also set up for people to learn.
Yes, good point and I can see exactly what you're saying. I think venue might have something to do with it. There is always an audience for particular subject matter somewhere and if it's presented in the right place, it can be found; not that I know how to do that, but I see the logic and possibility and potential of it.
I think the problem with HP and authoritative, exceptionally well written and researched articles such as WriteAngled's is this platform's demographic. If my memory serves me correctly, the site's readers tend to be women with children but without a college education, and aged in the region of 20-40 ish.
Therefore, and without wanting to sound 'condescending' or 'elitist', I would imagine that many of HP's readers wouldn't necessarily recognise a contributor who writes with authority about a given topic, although I acknowledge that some will. For example, WriteAngled's 'Coffee protects women from cancer of the uterus lining (endometrial cancer)' is not only highly pertinent when it comes to this site's demographic of readers, but evidence based and incredibly easy to read and understand for the layperson. What's missing is WriteAngled's credentials and why the information in the hub is trustworthy. The author has taken data which is complex and difficult to evaluate for the rest of us in its raw form, and translated it into a page that anybody could understand. AND TRUST!
Unfortunately, there are too many quacks on the internet who are misleading those who are unable to construe scientific data for themselves, which I imagine is many of us and clearly some authors who do not have a clue what they're talking about. However, if HP were to move away from the 'everyday experts' rhetoric and highlight the 'real' experts in their field on this site, surely that would encourage the readership to acknowledge and value 'real' authority and would also educate.
I'm not suggesting for one minute that authors without an academic background shouldn't be highlighted and valued. Unlike the readership, (and I'm really not being patronising) HP authors are diverse and varied, with much to offer in different areas. We have vets, scientists, artists, historians, philosophers and more, who write alongside authors who may not have degrees, but offer lots of valuable information and well written articles.
I suppose that I think the site needs to move away from green tea and acai berry specialists, who are chasing high paying keywords but have little, if anything, to offer.
And now I'm going to suggest this to HP too. Apologies for the rant and ramble!!
I suppose though that anyone on the Internet can claim some authority on any given topic -- if they want to. Regardless, listing your credentials on your page is always welcome. When I write about topics from personal experience, I always try to state that I'm not an expert, but that I'm writing from my own experience. This is usually parenting articles, but (ahem, please don't throw flames at me, anybody) things like tarot card reading, etc. I'm not an expert on that subject, but I'm an experienced reader. This should grant me some authority, even if not credence.
I agree, and I certainly wouldn't throw flames at you, I find the Tarot fascinating! I just think the problem lies with authors who have no experience, or qualifications, in areas such as health or science but whom declare themselves experts.
I have a degree in the social sciences, but I'd never write about health, rewiring a house or installing solar panels and a wood burner. Unfortunately the internet is full of 'specialists' who write about topics such as these, because they believe it possible and profitable. But it's also dangerous!
I don't believe there's anything wrong with writing about parenting if you are a parent and have had experience. The problem comes with the 'expert' status, imho.
Write Angled: From what I've seen those who market their work do much better than those of us who do not. I'm not very good at that, nor do I like doing it. I think all of us here must decide whether we want money or the opportunity to write those articles we feel really matter. 7000 views per week is an unbelievable amount of views for someone like me to even consider achieving, and I am not sure if those views are coming from marketing, good topics, good writing or what?
Recently someone here wrote one article about baked cheesecake and because she put it on a social networking site it hit big and she made a bundle. While I am happy for her good fortune this news made me realize that my chances of ever making much here are limited. It was a hard but good lesson and one we should all pay attention to. After two years here I can honestly say that I have absolutely NO idea how anybody makes money here, but fortunately for me, I don't need to make any as I am retired and financially secure.
Socially networking your Hubs isn't the only way to make money here. That I can assure you. I'm a horrible social networker outside of HP (which maybe I'm not as good as I'd like to think either) and do okay without it. That said, I'm definitely looking into it more to try and increase my earnings. I just wanted to chime in so that everyone doesn't think that's the only way to do well. There are a lot of us that don't have a ton of "friends" and I wouldn't want them to be discouraged.
I do absolutely no social media networking promotion on my hubs and I am still doing well here. I suppose I am more of a "Google" person myself and most of my hubs are tailored for search traffic. Whilst many say that social media networking is needed for success, a constant stream of traffic from Google is better, in my view.
I think it depends on the types of hubs. Things which suit the short attention spans or are beautiful looking go well on social media.
Informational articles would do better in Google search, as they answer questions better and suit people looking for more detail than a little fling with text. The trick is to figure out what type of hub it is and how best to market it to the people who want it.
For the informational hubs, getting some high quality backlinks with educational, medical or government institutions would be a good way to market rather than social media, which is more lighthearted. These links would help regarding gaining more traffic in Google search (as long as people in general are looking for answers on that topic).
I did read something interesting the other day, which was that if you don't put potential keywords into a hub, Google just won't find it. So I guess looking at having a few different words to work with would be a goer (but not keyword stuffing).
Every hub has a potential marketplace, it just might be completely different to the way other people are doing things.
It's possible that you'd be better off in an environment which allowed you to build a following. Certainly there's nothing wrong with continuing to write or Hubpages, but this site doesn't allow for non-members to follow your account. Do you, or have you considered, setting up a Facebook "fan" page to help you to promote your written works? This may serve you better for either a specialized topic or for a particular writing style.
I should also put in here that each hub likely has a maximum traffic potential based on the topic and tone of the hub. If you choose a subject which is particularly niche (and which therefore has only a handful of people searching for that topic or those terms), then your traffic will always be limited.
It will not, obviously, matter how much you "improve" your content, you'll always be limited in terms of traffic. The notion, therefore, that improving quality will increase traffic is clearly mistaken.
My first year I was just a little shy of that, but I was surprised that I made as much as I did. I forgot to set up a Paypal account, so I wouldn't have gotten paid anyway. I don't even check anymore because I write in my spare time for fun. I am well paid at my regular job for editing and rewrites, so I don't feel deprived. Now when I retire, I'll probably change my tune.
Apologies WriteAngle, didn't mean to offend. I didn't go check out your hubs, just wrote a general observation as a forum comment. Don't take it personally!
But if the quality of the hubs is great, maybe it's looking into the keywords with more traffic that could help.
There is one more factor you need to consider, Suzanne. You can write a long hub of the highest quality, but if not enough people are searching for that topic, it will never do well.
I can see Hubs on my account which are very similar in length and quality, with due attention to keywords, yet one gets huge traffic and the other barely registers because it's on an obscure subject.
Too true. If only 40 people a month search for it, the day to day traffic will look like zilch. I usually go off the monthly figure. But usually best to aim for 1000+ visits per month on keyword of your choice if you want to improve the traffic as you go along.
Or do what some others are doing well, target the highly selective keyword with low traffic, paired with the general words high traffic keyword phase in the one hub.
Remember to everyone else wanting tips - the hubs need to mature to reach their full potential, so traffic takes time to appear even with the right keywords.
You're assuming that everyone should choose their topic based on keywords. Many Hubbers choose their topic based on their own expertise in particular subjects, and use keyword research to ensure they're using the right keywords, not to dictate what they write about.
I write on things that interest me. However, much like a college student employing APA and academic writing conventions, or a book publisher learning what kinds of titles, blurb, and cover art are needed to attract a book's target audience, I try to use techniques that work in the publishing space of online writing. It's taken me some trial and error to figure out what works, and I'm always learning. For me, using keywords and specific language are the equivalent of making sure an academic work is filed correctly in a library database: it's of no use if it's misfiled so that nobody who wants it can find it!
Also, whenever I mine my areas of academic study for topics, I try to emulate popularizers of knowledge like Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Joseph Campbell, Michael Wood and Iain Stewart. We can't be the next Carl Sagan, but we can at least try to be translators and docents to some of the treasures we've uncovered in the Ivory Tower. Just because a museum guide uses non-academic language to describe things to museum visitors doesn't mean she's "prostituting" her knowledge by "dumbing it down." She's teaching. She's sharing. She's providing a service to people who really are interested, but don't have the time to devote to library or academic research in order to learn about it.
My hubs may not be jewels of scholarship, but I'm not going to apologize for using Harry Potter, Dorothy Sayers, or famous volcanic eruptions in order to geek about Latin or my favorite piece of ancient art. (Total weekly traffic on those 4 hubs: ~650).
(raises hand) That would be me....except for the "choosing keywords" part. I wouldn't know a keyword if it bit me on the butt. I just write about whatever the heck I feel like writing about.
Absolutely, writing on what you care about still matters most! I will NEVER subscribe to the idea that one must go chasing popularly-searched topics and write on those. Because someone's going to know those subjects better than you do, and sooner or later, there will be webpages or websites that cover them better than you.
I've spent years studying SEO, learning about various tools people use to leverage keywords for traffic and conversions and all those other hardcore marketing needs. I wanted to understand the nitty gritty. But I generally do NOT use any of those tools; I just wanted to figure out how keywords WORK.
What keywords boil down to for me is this.
-- People find things on the web by searching words or phrases.
-- Search engines are forever trying to figure out user intent in those search phrases. Search engines then try to serve up the content that best matches those search terms.
Search engines often FAIL in this endeavor. But that's irrelevant. If you know what they're aiming for -- matching the best content that fits each search -- then, over time, you should do better if you consistently try to make your content the best it can be to satisfy your readers' queries.
My keyword thought process goes something like this.
-- What kinds of people would be interested in my content? What searches, queries or interests does this particular article of mine actually satisfy? REALLY. (Honestly is very important, much like the dumpy middle aged person coming to grips with the fact that he/she is probably not in the right potential spousal demographic for 20something Olympic athletes or unwed royalty.)
-- What search terms are the people who genuinely want the kind of content I'm giving them liable to use to look for my articles? What would they ask?
The best way to find out is to start typing into Google yourself and see what kinds of pages turn up. Also, once you've started getting SOME traffic, you can go into your own keyword stats and see what people are searching to find your pages. Google suppresses a lot of this data now (grrr) but over time, you still start to learn something about your core audience of readers, the kinds of things YOU write that OTHER people are interested in.
The biggest keyword trick I use is simply to employ specific language. I used to title my articles with witty puns and clever wordplays, until I realized that search engines are too stupid to guess what I'm talking about unless I SPELL IT OUT. Make sure your subject is in the page title. Break your articles into sections with subheadings, and be specific in those. Use nouns and names and the jargon (and relevant search terms) commonly employed by your target audience for that topic in your article, not euphemisms or elliptical, poetic language. Stay focused on your subject. Be tight, organized, relevant.
And you can do that without using SEO tools.
....blast, I though this post was going to be more helpful than it was. I hope it's slightly useful; speaking of unfocused, I'm being a little muddy today. Apologies!
This was exactly my point, previously. There is some subject matter, you might love to write about it and it might have great significance but it will get no traffic; no one is looking for it. At that point, you realize it's pretty much off limits as far as money and traffic go, and you move on to what works. Unless you're just entertaining yourself by writing what you want, which I guess is okay; but if you want something more serious, like people finding your work, or you want to make money, you'll have to venture to other topics.
Edit: One wants to give everyone a copy of Idiocracy to get the point across. The movie's not fiction and it's very revealing. Ironic. And Mike Judge is genius. Glad somebody said it. Those insistent on being simplistic with superficial understanding will remain just like what they want.
Yes! This is the point I'd been trying to make above. Serves me right for not reading the whole thread haha.
Thank you for the info...I'm new here so I appreciate it! Sharon
I have been here for two years and have tried writing on numerous topics. I feel my articles are well written (I was a Language Arts teacher), long enough, laid out well, etc. I have won three hub nuggets awards and have been told my some of my readers that they think some of my articles are the best they have ever read. And yet...$1.80 per day seems far, far away. I do some SEO and my main niche is very popular and accounts for more than 2/3 of my total views...and yet...
Google just isn't rating Hubpages in the search engine like they once were. A couple of years ago my hubs showed on the first page most of the time. Now it is a struggle to get them there and most of them aren't.
I do make payout every month, but there has been a lot of work put into it.
When did they change the payout threshold????? It USED TO BE $30...and I have reached that a few times...about quarterly....and now, I am finally on track to get there monthly, and you tell me it's now MORE/HIGHER???
It has been at $50 ever since I've been here as far as I know and that is almost 4 years. Congratulations on the hubber score of 100 by the way. I haven't had that in quite awhile.
Thank you, Barbara Kay!
I think there may be a difference between the Google AdSense payout, and the HP ad program payout.
I began with Google's, but did not think I'd even live long enough to see their payout .... but after I signed on to HP's ad program, I did start getting payments when I would hit the $30 mark... Usually it was a little over $30, because it would take me over a month to hit the $30, and then I'd get whatever was rolled over from the following month, (for example, April earned $27.50, and May earned $9.00--they'd add the two together, and I'd get a payment for $36.50).
It was very erratic like that for a long time, so I'd only get paid about 3 times a year. (I still don't understand the month-long delay in payment, though! Since it is a few days, up to a week, tops, for payment/income to be 'verified,' and we can see that daily, I don't see why we are not given February's earnings until the end of March.)
It may have started at $30 and I just don't remember, but it is at 50 now and has been long enough that I don't remember 30. Google Adsense is at 100.
HP ads has always been $50. Adsense always $100.
Maybe I am wrong, but I also thought the threshold here used to be $30 in the early days of Hub Ads? Oh well, I guess it doesn't matter, as it's definitely $50 now!
I know Google was $100--that's why I said I didn't think I'd even live long enough to reach their ridiculously high threshold.
But, if HP has "always" been $50--then how did I get paid lesser amounts from $30 and up???? (And I haven't been here "forever," I just got my 3-year accolade last year.)
Reaching this number is now my new goal. Very interesting and insightful thread, thanks to everyone for sharing their insights.
well I think I need to pump out some more hubs. $50 a month would be nice to have for coffee money. Hmm so then I could write more and then earn more and then have more money for more coffee and write more and drink more coffee and and and and and aaaaaaaaaaaaaahh
I think word count significance depends on the site you are posting from. If you are on a news website like CNN or any other highly ranked site, a 100 word post will still rank highly.
On a lowly ranked website, even 10,000 words will not make a difference. Believe it or not, even a Bubblews post will rank higher than a HP article if keyword (SEO) research has been done--I have proof of it.
That's to do with website trust. Sites like CNN can rank for anything because their trust factor is so high. If you write for CNN then the issues surrounding creating a passive income will not apply! If you're writing on HP or your own blog then 100 words is unlikely to cut it.
I would like to see the proof you speak of over a number of keywords/topics/niches.
Thanks Susana S for your insights and comments-- I am still learning these things and do welcome input from experienced writers like yourself.
I am still investigating the theory I proposed above and will therefore give you a very specific example of what I am talking about:
I joined HubPages in October 2013 and must say it is a very good place to learn things about online writing and all. The biggest learning I have gained here is about keyword research and SEO (though that has not translated to increased traffic or earnings yet). I also joined Bubblews (despite my revulsion of the whole concept- money is the motivation there) which I have used as an experimental platform. The posts I write there have some element of keyword research and SEO. At the moment I have around 130 posts which have earned me around $60 thus far. I was amazed that when I type in the title of my posts on Bubblews, they are within number 50 on the SERPs. I estimate that around 30% of my posts are within this range. Consider the following example:
I posted on Bubblews an article titled "TAILS--Why do animals have them" after doing keyword research on the phrase "Why do animals have tails" which showed monthly searches of 1,600. When you type the phrase on Google Search, the Bubblews post shows up at around number 22 on the SERPs (in my locale at least, which is Kenya). The post is no more than 120 words full of "Bubblewspeak" and nothing much in terms of content.
This post ranks higher than another Hubber's article titled "TAILS: 5 Reasons Why Animals Have Tails".
Do the search and get back to me, thanks.
I've notice this with Bubblews too. So why is Google treating Hubpages as a lesser site? I write on Bubblews occasionally too and some of the junk you find on there is unreal. Hubpages articles are so much better. It makes me wonder about Google.
One of the reasons is the difference in the homepages of the sites. Bubblews puts each new post on the homepage temporarily and HP puts new Hubs on Topic pages. On Bubblews, the homepage is all about the articles on the site and it displays the articles with the most number of page views. On the HP homepage, there are five links to the HP blog, three links to the HP Facebook page and two links to sign up/join now.
Also, Bubblews is treated as a news site by Google and HP is not. Bubblews has about 2 million pages indexed by Google. HP has less than 1/2 million.
I don't write on Bubblews and I don't like the site. But, the writers there and the management are clearly focused solely on income and that's what makes the site work. On Bubblews, a "quality post" = a highly visited post. On HP, a "quality Hub" is one with a high QAP score.
Writer Fox The amazing thing is that some of the worst garbage I have ever seen gets really high views and thus makes a ton of dough. I cannot figure that one out at all. I've seen people write about having a cup of coffee in the morning that will bring in hundreds and hundreds of views. Go figure!
I know. But most of those views are from other writers on the site, not from Google traffic. The advertising program Bubblews is using pays for eyeballs, i.e., page views. It doesn't care where those views come from. It's all mass marketing advertising, just like an ad on TV for toothpaste. It's a different business model than HP.
Some of those people have thousands of followers. It's a "you read mine and like it and I'll do the same for you system." I'm not willing to work that hard to get followers there and then write garbage. The readers like short little snippets there with nothing too serious or at least that is what it seems to me.
I've read stuff there about what people made for supper. Is that good content?
@ Writer Fox - you are absolutely correct - it is a much different business model than HP and the traffic is almost entirely writer (member) driven. The connection 'racket' was just that - a racket. It was stressed by veteran members that if you didn't make just so many connections per day (and visit/like at least 3/4th of them per day so they reciprocated), then making payout was going to take a very long time. If they paid you. I got paid, but many posted they did not.
The 'garbage' posts were precisely why I stopped writing there, along with the time investment. I deleted all my posts, then deleted my account. I was spending far too much time there "visiting, liking and commenting" and only a fraction of the time "writing" and it just wasn't worth the time I was wasting. I left before they raised the payout to $50, and it is just as well.
@ Barbara Kay - You are correct in the way you describe the reciprocity system - you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours.
Making connections accounted for a good hour each day to build up the numbers, then more time spent reading, clicking like, commenting if someone commented on yours or if you had something to say on their posts.
When I was there 9/20 to 12/1/2013, there were 5 to 10 people on that site (probably still there) who wrote their obligatory 10 posts per day but they were primarily "instructional" posts, telling people how to use the site to get paid, reiterating TOS, answering questions, explaining what kinds of posts they needed to write (minimally) to get paid. The comments under many of their posts numbered in the high 300's to low 500's. If they interacted with the commenters, the count of course increased. All payable. In each case, they had more than 3000 connections. That is why they got paid $25 every 2 days (which they bragged about every other post!) and wrote solely on Bubblews.
The one gal even said she stopped contributing to wikinut because she just didn't have time anymore. To me, it just wasn't worth the time investment to be sitting in front of the computer for upwards of 8 hours per day doing 'that' when I could be spending half the time doing better things that I would be proud of.
Backlinking was also explained in many of their posts, telling newbies how to get the most bang out of their posts by submitting URL's to Google and plastering their FB and Google pages with posts. I did it too, sorry to admit, but deleted them all when I left there. I have never been so happy to not work on a website in all my life. I look back on that time and it is a fog in my memory, it was that intense.
Sorry to go on and on...it is a sore spot. lol
Maybe the difference is backlinks? Just a thought.
I have nearly 300 hubs here, but a lot are poetry, which get some views, but not as much as other hubs. I've been getting paid monthly for the last year or so. I agree that hubbers could get paid monthly for fewer hubs, if they are stellar and hubs that people are searching for. That's key--what are people searching for?
I have a lot of luck with seasonal hubs at the moment. During holiday periods I routinely make this amount *daily* (and more) so this has worked out pretty well. It's not always the best solution between holidays, but it makes up for itself during the seasons.
love this, the $12.50 milestone - very achievable (tho i'm not there yet).
I appreciate someone who breaks down the nuts of bolt of writing, and of how to earn something with them. I am pretty incapable that that sort of thing, and this info gives some structure to what it takes to succeed at the goal of a payout.
You always have such interesting discussions and posts, Greekgeek.
For me, the magic number is to hit 600-700+ views a day. Ideally, I'd like to double and triple that, but all in good time.
There was a time I was getting paid every month, last year before August before they destroyed everything. Now I have to wait about 3 months.
It'll be much easier to reach 12.50/week by selling amazon product through hubpages!
Personally, I'm hoping to be able to get off the pay-as-you-go thing and get an actual phone contract with this, but suspect I have a ways to go to hit that magic $1.80/day.
It's nice of you to do the math for us semi-mercenary types though. Thank you.
This content here is one of the useful contents and it tells me something i failed to pay attention to for some time before now. I salute hard working writers.
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