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Benefits of Blogging with HubPages
As a freelance writer who is well-established enough to get plenty of paid positions in blogging, I hesitate to start working with any site that is revenue-based. That's due primarily to the bad experiences that I had blogging for people for free. It's easy to do a lot of hard work and to earn no money from it. In most cases, I'd say that it makes more sense to set up your own blog and then keep all of the revenue than to work for someone else under a revenue-sharing program. However, that general rule doesn't apply to my opinion of working with HubPages.
Here are the benefits of blogging at HubPages as I see it after a considerable amount of time spent writing my own articles for the site:
You get paid.
Plain and simple, you can make money writing on the topics that are of interest to you. Yes, it's a revenue-sharing program. However, it's one that works for many people. If you write good content and write regularly and you know how to set up your Google AdSense account, HubPages can help add some dollars to your bank account. Will you get rich off of it? Not likely. But it can provide a dependable source of monthly income if you're dependable with your writing.
How does this differ from blogging for yourself? It's the better option for someone who is just getting started in blogging. It can be really difficult to figure out the ins and outs of getting advertisers and using AdSense to earn money. With HubPages, it's all set up for you. You just need an account and you're good to go. It allows you to focus on blogging, not on obtaining advertising.
How does this differ from blogging for another network? It probably doesn't for some but I speak from experience when I say that there are bad blogging networks out there. You don't want to work all month, posting on a tight "one post per day" schedule and then only earn $2 because the network doesn't work to drive traffic to you. I know, I speak from experience.
You can write about anything.
Well, okay, it's almost anything. You can't post lewd content so if you want to write erotic stories, HubPages isn't your place. But for the most part, you can really pick and choose the topics that are of interest to you. Some of the people who blog on the site use it to really establish a niche for themselves in writing about a certain area. They focus on fabulous shopping finds and write numerous articles about different designers. Or they make "health" their general area of focus and provide articles that fall into that category. Other bloggers (like myself) use HubPages to explore a whole range of different topics and areas of interest. This can be a way to write about things that interest you but that don't really fit anywhere else in the freelancing that you're doing. This means that there is a lot more flexibility in content than on many of the other sites that you could work for. And if you can't think of something to write, you can head to the requests page where people are asking questions that you might know the answers to!
You can easily add videos, photos and links to your content.
If you're setting up your own blog, you need to learn how to use the blog tools. You need to find permission to use certain images. You need to learn to crop and resize those images. You need to locate URLs for video and often need to learn some basic html to make those fit right within your articles. It's a hassle that can cause many headaches. Not so with HubPages. It's super-easy to follow their links to add video and whatnot so you can brighten up your articles without the headaches. And that boosts your revenue, too, of course.
Putting your name on your writing and having it on the Internet where it can be linked to helps you establish a portfolio of writing that can be used when applying for other writing jobs. Furthermore, you can use the links section of your Hubs to link to your other work (assuming that it's on topic to do so) in order to gain additional exposure for the writing that you're doing. Furthermore, when you write for HubPages, you retain the rights to your content.
There is lots of help.
HubPages has figured out how to make things easy for people to work with them. They supply a starter's guide that makes setting up the account easy and answers questions. And they provide help along the way if you need it. This is nice for everyone and is especially nice for newer bloggers.
HubPages is really a community.
When you blog, you connect with other people. This is usually just your readers but can also be others (such as your social networking friends). When you blog for HubPages, you have the opportunity of also connecting with other bloggers. The site uses a newsletter to let you know about what others Hubbers are up to. And some Hubbers support each other on TopHubs, a social networking site designed specifically for Hubs. (Note: As of 10/09 this site is no longer active however there is still a great HubPages community right here on the site.)
In addition, there are social networking style features on the site itself. For example, you can become the fan of anyone on the site, which is similar to befriending or following people on social networking sites like Digg and Mixx. When you become a fan, you get updates about the hubs that those people publish. You can then read those hubs and comment on them, often starting back-and-forth conversations about the topic at hand. Furthermore, HubPages provides you with a "hubtivity" update on your main page so that you can see what the people you're fans of are up to, including the things they've written and the comments they've left. There's a real community atmosphere to it which makes blogging at HubPages just plain fun.
There are pros and cons to working for any sort of blog network. (Read this article to learn more about those pros and cons.) But working for HubPages really does provide the best of both worlds in many ways.