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Doing Absolutely Nothing At HubPages For A Year: The Results

Updated on December 18, 2012

Just call me Rip Van mskills

I can't believe it. When I retired my grand HubPages-style career last year for the greener pastures of urban serfdom (aka the "day job"), I adamantly declared to myself that I wouldn't let the allure of trickling pennies to ensnare me once again. And yet, against my questionably better judgement, I'm back again and writing this hub ... for mere pennies ... oh man. *hangs head*

The catalyst for my, uh, reawakening can be attributed to HubPages, coincidentally. In my absence, my account had apparently encountered two milestones. I thought I had turned off all HP-related correspondence, so the back-to-back arrival of two official HubPages notifications captured my attention. In one year, my neglected hubs had commanded the gaze of 10,000 pairs of eyes (making exception for the visually-impaired, androids, and cyclopes of course).

Three hundred and sixty-five days. Ten thousand page views. In addition to giving Captain Obvious a valid reason to fear employment, I'm capitalistic enough to realize that this HubPages thing is worth giving a second look.

Me (altered and enhanced for optimum badassness)
Me (altered and enhanced for optimum badassness) | Source

A peek back into time

"If I'm still here in 6 months, I will write an update to this hub and decide if HubPages is the right place for me." -mskills, First Month At HubPages From A Post-Panda Newbie

Basically, I lied. Right after publishing that last hub and responding to the initial deluge of hopelessly devoted fans and wannabe groupies, my attention was drawn towards more lucrative ventures (again, the day job). Forget checking back in six months. My bag was already in the trunk. The key already in the ignition. My mind's up had already been made. Alrighty, already.

The point of this, as I'm sure you're about to ask, is that I've positively done nothing to promote, bolster, prop up, or otherwise improve my hubs since my departure. If there was ever an ideal control subject for a typical HubPages newbie who started off with some iota of success only to turn around and toss it in the proverbial wastebasket, I would be that guy. Well, me and a couple other hundreds of thousands of similar sob stories, but who's counting?

One Year Stats

Hubs Published
Author Score
Average HubScore
People Who Follow Me
Comments On My Hubs
Feedback On My Hubs
Total Pageviews (HP stats)
Total Earnings (HP + AdSense)

Numbers, stats, and math -- try not to scream

Enough digressing. Please take a look over to the right. If you've perused the hub that my quotation was ripped from, you might be experiencing the same déjà vu that is haunting me. Eerily similar numbers arranged in a familiar way. A striking statement of verisimilitude , or just plain laziness? You be the judge.

Let us concentrate on the portion that you give an asterisk about: The Money. In 1 year, my 13 hubs have netted me a nice uneven $49.36 (all numbers in this hub have been converted to shorthand for your reading convenience). On average, this means that each hub has generated around $3.80. I'd estimate that I invested around 20 hours total into writing these 13 hubs, giving me an hourly rate of $2.47. Since this is the metric that I compare all of my financial endeavors by, all I can say is @*!#.

I know, I know: residual income. Let's say I continue doing what I'm best at (nothing), and double my earnings in the next 6 months. My hourly rate doubles while the invested time remains the same. Okay, a little better. Now what if I quadruple my earnings by this time next year while typing absolutely no characters whatsoever. The result is nearly $200 at a princely (in some countries, not mine) $10/hour. All of the sudden, this HubPages experience isn't looking so wasteful after all.

A squiggly line is worth at least 10 words

TL;DR: Good things are a happenin'
TL;DR: Good things are a happenin' | Source

Since I've been away, Hubpages has apparently been pillaged and ravaged by mouth-frothing pandas and penguins. I honestly can't make much sense of the nomenclature Google deploys for its various marionette pirouettes, but the general consensus agrees that many keyword stuffers and amateur SEO black hats are dog paddling in their own tears. About time, I say.

My hubs, on the other hand, are frankly kicking asphalt. At least, that is what the pretty little graph provided by my HP account relates. Sure, my page views tanked once I made my retreat last year, but something has revitalized my hubs in the meantime. I recall listing time as the most important factor in succeeding at HubPages in my first month review. What a difference time has made ... for me, at least.

Unfortunately, I've conveniently left out some teensy, pesky facts that skew my results a bit. Even though I tidily averaged up my earnings per hub, the truth of the matter is that only 3 or 4 hubs are pulling their share of the load. Talking smack about a freelance writing website is good business (4,722 page views to date). Crapping on a 10+ year old videogame is not even worth 100 page views, apparently. Long story abridged, 4 hubs rope in 80% of my total traffic. Zounds.

HubPages Family Feud

mskills says "Time" is the answer to being successful at HubPages. SURVEY SAYS:

See results

Other stuff that isn't about money

Besides the surprise that my hubs are finally producing dimes instead of pennies, I'm perplexed that I'm still receiving comments and feedback. Originally, my goal was to respond to every comment, no matter how spammy or inane. Obviously, being absent for much of the time, I've failed. So I'd like to give a huge shout out to those who have so graciously chosen to devote (waste?) their time to my content instead of their own.

Another shocker: My follower base has nearly tripled in size. Why, I'm not exactly sure. No Hubtivity to speak of and no chance of reciprocity can be attributed to this phenomenon. I'm even fairly positive my family knows nothing of my mysterious, text-slinging alter ego. So, to those of you who stuck by me all this time, here's to more of whatever it is you liked about me in the first place.

The End ... of this hub ... zzz

Looking back over this, I now realize that you probably haven't learned anything useful. I'm mostly sure there was a helpful tip buried somewhere in it, but I've also been known to be wrong on occasion. The important thing to take away from all of this, other than the rest of your life, is that HubPages is akin to investing in the market. Start early, think long term, don't worry about knocking each investment out of the ballpark, and you're 99.99% more likely to see results than if you hadn't signed up in the first place.


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    • mskills profile image

      mskills 5 years ago from North Carolina, USA

      I'd apologize for the long delay in responding to everyone, but y'all probably aren't surprised considering the subject matter of this hub. Anyway, to the phones.


      An admirable attitude to have. Once I've racked up a couple million in an offshore account in the Caymans, I'll be right there with you.


      I'm actually flattered. If a more productive spell overtakes me in the near future, I'll take you up on whatever assistance you can provide. Until then, I'll sit here and smile contentedly about what could've been...


      "it can only get better" - famous last words of mskills circa 2011

      Just kidding. About the famous part. Seriously, though, you are an example of what I am striving for here. Sure, you've been prolific while I've been mastering Angry Birds, but overall we're on the same wavelength. Thanks for the encouraging words.


      Thank you. Next to swimming through mounds of gold Scrooge McDuck-style, I can't imagine anything more exhilarating than checking for my daily share of pennies from HubPages. $1/day, here we come!

    • hoov45 profile image

      Terry Hoover 5 years ago from Denham Springs, Louisiana

      I enjoyed this hub. The pennies coming in are fun to track. I'd love to average $1.00 per day. It'll take more work on my part.

    • luciano63 profile image

      Luciano Bove 5 years ago from Paris

      Hi, I also felt the same way after the first year...however I began to write again and today I am here with 52 Hubs and over 100,000 read Hubs and lots of comments to which I answer.

      Since new Hubpages advertising I almost doubled my income far so good!

      Stay here it can only get better...

    • Paul Edmondson profile image

      Paul Edmondson 5 years ago from Burlingame, CA

      Ha, yes. Becomes is the operative word. You have a great style. Hope you write more and take a look at the apprentice program. If you apply, let me know.

    • jpcmc profile image

      JP Carlos 5 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      Hi there mskills. I wish I could say it's lot but getting something something is better than nothing. Besides, I get some from doing something I like. I'm not expecting anything in return but hey, little is better than nothing.

    • mskills profile image

      mskills 5 years ago from North Carolina, USA


      You're learning quickly. Until this time next year ... maybe.


      Out of curiosity, I quickly scanned your profile page and ... WOW. For every ill-gotten penny I've plundered from Google, you must have accumulated them threefold. Great work, and don't let ludicrous hubs (like this one) convince you otherwise.


      Hurrah! My aimless attempts at injecting a little fun into my otherwise useless writings haven't been in vain. Thank you for the virtual pat on the back.


      Your attempts at humoring me are greatly appreciated. Honest. But I do have to ponder about this "very successful" bit ... are we reading the same hub?

      All (most) joking aside, I'm grateful that I could add another data point to the HubPages experience. Thank you for making it possible for me to profit on my commercially-bankrupt musings.

    • Paul Edmondson profile image

      Paul Edmondson 5 years ago from Burlingame, CA

      I enjoyed your recount of your HP experience. Your graph is pretty typical of the type of author that becomes very successful writing online. It does take a bit of time and hit hubs tend to do the heavy lifting for traffic.

    • LaetusViator profile image

      LaetusViator 5 years ago

      Love the humour. Cheers for the smile!

    • jpcmc profile image

      JP Carlos 5 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      I've been with HP for more than a year now and the little pennies are slowly coumpounding. But of course that's they icing on the efforts of writing - not big, but still thankful for the trickles. I know about the changes google is doing but my knowledge is limited to their names alone - Panda and Penguine. What they do I just haven't explored it yet. Suffice to say. I just write to my heart's content and share with others. The rest is just clutter.

    • BizVT34 profile image

      BizVT34 5 years ago from USA

      @MSkills I.. no wait, darn it, forgot, I quit 91 minutes ago.

    • mskills profile image

      mskills 5 years ago from North Carolina, USA


      I'm glad the hub didn't bore you to tears. Waiting for Google to deliver the masses, on the other hand, is on a level of boredom leagues below watching paint peel. Thank you for the kind words.


      I made an exception and temporarily returned in order to respond to your comment. $50/year might qualify as poverty level, but the fringe benefits must not be forgotten. Where else are you going to be awarded an honorary badge for just showing up from time to time?

      Anyway, back to whatever it is that I do when I'm doing nothing at HubPages. I appreciate the support.

    • BizVT34 profile image

      BizVT34 5 years ago from USA

      Nice, somehow you manage to make poverty level results seem like a worthy goal...I think I'll take a year off and see what happens. voted up...oh I're already gone.

    • supermom_in_ny profile image

      supermom_in_ny 5 years ago from NY

      I like your writing style and enjoyed your hub. You're right. Time does play a big part in making money online, especially when you need to get search engine traffic to profit. Voted up and useful!

    • mskills profile image

      mskills 5 years ago from North Carolina, USA


      Thank you so much! I had forgotten how nervous submitting a new hub makes me while awaiting feedback. Even if every successive comment makes fun of my eye patch or tendency for making up words, I'll have your comment to remind me that I didn't spend 8 1/2 hours writing this hub for nothing.

      Doing nothing is a difficult technique to master, but I'm positive you can succeed at it as well if you practice a little bit each day. I can't be sure, but the ratio of income to nothingness is most certainly worth investigating.

      P.S. 8 1/2 hours is an exaggeration. 7 and 3/4 hours is more approximate.

    • Karen Hellier profile image

      Karen Hellier 5 years ago from Georgia

      I haven't ever read any of your work before, but I must say, I do like your writing style very much, and I hope you are back on Hub Pages to stay! Congrats on your earnings...not bad for doing nothing!