A Realistic Look at Earning Money on HubPages
Welcome New Members
Since the merger of Squidoo and HubPages (or buyout if you prefer) there has been a huge influx of new members to HP, and I’m sure they all have questions floating around their brains about this place called HubPages.
To answer those questions, you can certainly go to the HubPages Learning Center. There you will be told what the HubPages management wants you to know.
Or you can listen to me and be told the reality of the situation.
If you are still here, then let me give you my observations about earning potential at HubPages, based on my two years and eight months here. I will try to be as realistic as possible, and I’ll certainly be truthful based on my experience. Those who know me here know I don’t deal in b.s. I tell you these things because I want you to have your eyes wide-open as you begin this writing journey.
HubPages is a business, so obviously they are going to skew their information so that HP basks in a positive light. I, on the other hand, have no hidden agenda. I’m just a writer, like you, and I believe in full disclosure.
So here are my observations about earning money on HubPages.
A Quick Overview
I know writers who have written on HP for several years who have never seen a payout. I also know writers who make hundreds of dollars each month. Most of us fall somewhere in-between. How much we make depends on several important factors. Let’s take a look at those factors now.
If you plan on writing one article per month, then settle in for a long, tough haul. Making money on HP requires writing often and following suggested guidelines. I’ll talk about those guidelines in a bit, but right now concentrate on the fact that the more you write, the better your chances are of making money.
Following Hp Guidelines
The Learning Center can tell you everything you need to know to make your articles SEO-friendly, and SEO is the name of the game when talking about online passive income. It is suggested that articles be at least 1,250 words long. It is suggested that keywords be used. It is suggested that high-quality photographs be used, and other capsules like polls, maps, etc. be used. All of these suggestions increase your chances in the SEO game.
Will you definitely make money if you follow all those suggestions? No! But you do improve your odds.
What to Write
When I first started out, one of the first things I read in the Learning Center was that poetry and essays do not do well at HP. True words my friends. I know exceptional poets who don’t make a dime here. I have managed to make a steady flow of income despite the fact that many of my articles are essays and reflective pieces, but I am the exception to the rule and maybe I just got lucky. If making money is your goal, then stay away from essays and poetry.
So what should you write? “How to” articles are huge, as are recipes, travel articles, “how to make money” articles, and “how to save money” articles. Craft articles do very well. If you think about it this makes sense. Most people do online searches because they are looking for information on how to do something, or how to make something, or ideas for special occasions. Few do searches for poetry about life.
Does Commenting Help You to Make Money?
I believe that indirectly it does. Having said that, though, I know of one writer who never comments on articles written by other writers, and she makes over $500 per month just from her online views and Adsense income.
The reason I believe commenting helps you to make money is because becoming an active part of the community means that more people will share your articles with their friends, thus increasing your views, and thus increasing your chances of making money.
Choose Your Ads Wisely
There’s money in them thar ads, so take some time and choose Amazon products that will attract your readers. Does it really make a difference? Yes, it can, to the tune of hundreds of dollars.
How About Good Grammar?
I would love to tell you, since I am a writing purist and snob, that good grammar is important for online writing, but I have seen no evidence of that fact. It turns my stomach and makes me want to upchuck, but that’s just the truth. I have seen articles chosen as Hubs of the Day that looked like they were written by barely-functional cavemen, and yet they have done well online. Maybe that says something about the general reading public. Maybe not. I don’t know, but I do know there is no direct correlation between good grammar and making money. The SEO game cares little about proper English.
So, If You Do All Those Things, You’ll Make Money, Right?
Not so fast there, Bucko! There are no guarantees. How good are you at catching lightning in a bottle?
Let’s say you do all the things suggested. Then let’s say you start making a little money. You get your first $50 payout, and the next month you make $75, and the next month, $90, and you are on your way to a nice passive income you can count on.
Every once in a while, Google changes the rules of the game, and along comes a thing called Panda, and then all hell breaks loose. I’ve had friends leave HP because their earnings went from a couple hundred bucks per month to less than payout. I had it happen to me two months ago. I have been receiving monthly payouts since the second month at HP, and those payouts have increased monthly until I was making some pretty good money….and then….Panda 2 hit, and last month I failed to even make the minimum payout. In other words, two years and seven months of gaining, followed by a month of nothing.
It certainly wasn’t anything I did. I didn’t change my writing at all. The same articles that were making me money for over two years suddenly couldn’t attract flies.
So, besides all the other guidelines I mentioned earlier, we also must consider the pure randomness of it all. There are some things that are simply out of your control, and that’s just the way it is here at HP.
I know that before the Squidoo takeover, writers were leaving HP faster than the deckhands left the Titanic, and that kind of mass exodus signals some serious disgust and disappointment in the way HP is operated as a business. Will the problems at HP be rectified? Only time will tell. I see no signs of it happening yet, but hope springs eternal. At one time, HP had regular contests for their writers, with cash prizes, but those have all but disappeared. I guess those contests didn’t fit into the overall plans of the HP management.
I’m Sure I Haven’t Answered All Your Questions But….
I at least tried. The bottom line is this: it is possible to make good passive income at HP. It is also possible to flounder in obscurity for years and not see a penny.
I have serious issues with the staff and management of HP. I have no issues at all with the community of writers here, and I want you all to do well. Let’s hope you all get filthy rich here at HP. Let’s also hope that Santa Claus is real.
As always, if I can be of any help to any of you, feel free to reach out and ask.
2014 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)
“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”