ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

First Month At HubPages From A Post-Panda Newbie

Updated on November 24, 2012

Warning: Shameless self-promotional material inside

Yeah, this is one of those hubs: An introspective on my first month at HubPages. At first, I wasn't sure the world needed another perspective on a newbie's expectations and experiences with HP. After reading some excellent introductory hubs from former novice hubbers, I realized that I apparently reside in one of HubPages' smallest minority groups -- The underachievers.

Browsing through HubPages' section for new hubbers, I stumbled across amazing stories of triple-digit Google AdSense earnings, herds of adoring fans, unbelievable amounts of search engine traffic, and offers for lucrative book-publishing deals. Okay ... I made one of those up.

What you won't find, however, are stories of new hubbers who didn't really accomplish anything noteworthy in their first month or two. People who didn't make $20 in AdSense clicks, didn't have one of their hub's go viral, and didn't attract a huge following right from the start. I understand, of course, as success stories tend to be less embarrassing to write. For the hundreds of potential new hubbers who aren't SEO experts or future Pulitzer prize winners, though, I thought this hub might be relevant.

First Month 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
Don't let the awesomeness of these numbers intimidate you
Don't let the awesomeness of these numbers intimidate you | Source

Starting at the end: The results

Before I discuss the reasons why I signed up for HubPages and attempt to analyze my activities since joining, please take a moment to check out the stats to the right. If you have an aversion to numbers, tables, and graphs, you might want to skip to the next heading.

While I'm only assuming, my guess is that most new hubbers write 1-10 hubs in their first month. My 13 hubs place me slightly above average, but I will admit that a few of my hubs are repurposed articles that I had written for other websites. According to HubPages' own account statistics, these 13 hubs have received approximately 900 pageviews as of this writing, or just under 70 pageviews per hub.

Wow, not bad. Sure, I could have easily broken 1,000 page views, but reloading the page over and over again proved to be rather boring after several minutes (... I jest).

In contrast, pulling up my Google Analytics numbers presents a downright sobering picture. At nearly half of HubPages' page view count, the reported 256 visitors haven't exactly been pulled in by my magnetic prose. Google can be thanked for most of the traffic, though I'm very surprised how little direct HubPages-generated traffic I'm receiving. I'll revisit this thought later on in the hub (or not. Actually, it's better if I don't).

Ignoring the HubPages-specific metrics for now, the other major value I'd like to focus on is my total earnings through Google AdSense and the HP Ad program. I've joined at a time where there isn't enough data on the benefits and disadvantages of the HP Ad program to determine its value in comparison to displaying only AdSense ads. So, I decided to opt-in from my very first hub and experience the results for myself.

$1.14. That's not what I found in my pants pocket, by the way. A month of writing, involving myself in the community, and anxiously waiting for traffic has generated the whopping value of ... well, almost enough to buy a Coke out of the vending machine at work. C'mon, where's that $147 that I read about? Oh, yeah -- that was instructive hyperbole. Wow, do I feel sheepish now or what?

Let me clarify, though, that the HP Ad program accounts for all of my earnings thus far. Whether I really had 900 page views or just 478, the reality is that not a single one of them resulted in an AdSense click. Since my focus has been on product reviews, you might wonder why I haven't mentioned the Amazon affiliate program. Three words: North Carolina taxation. If I were to say anything more, it would require me to employ asterisks and hash marks.

The Amdro Phenomenon

Keyword research. That phrase is uttered around here like it had come out of the mouth of God (and maybe it did). Whether you are looking for a hub on the topic from a successful hubber, checking out HP's Answers section, or trolling the forums, keyword research is the bread-and-butter of making money at HubPages. Supposedly, anyway. Check out the graphic below for an example of my success at using keyword research to dominate Google's search results:

Frightened yet, Amdro?
Frightened yet, Amdro? | Source

That's right. If you Google "Amdro" as of this writing, my hub on Amdro's Ant Stakes shows up right under Amdro's official website and its advertising arm for ant bait ( Of the 191,000 possible search results, I rank just below the friggin' manufacturer's homepage! My secret? Keyword research. I wrote this hub just one week after I joined HubPages and it has been sitting in its current location at Google for nearly three weeks.

Turns out, however, that my knowledge of keyword research doesn't extend into generating traffic. Three weeks of intimidating Amdro with a scathing review of its worthless ant stakes, and I've only received 102 pageviews according to HP (and I'm sure at least 10 of those views are my own). I'd probably make more in "hush money" from Amdro than whatever advertising revenue it will generate in the future.

Three letters: W T F?!
Three letters: W T F?! | Source

Mistakes I've made so far

Only three of my hubs have attracted over 100 page views to date, and none of them are particularly verbose (650 words maximum). In fact, my lengthy pieces have all been ignored, including my review on the Ooma Telo VoIP box that comes in third place when you Google "ooma review". And forget writing about music or video games that aren't topping the charts at this particular moment -- even the crickets have better places to be.

Looking through Google Analytics again, one of my most amusing bungles relates to my hub on striking out writing for Textbroker. While nobody is finding it on account of searching for freelancers' experiences with Textbroker, I unknowingly have made it the 4th most popular article for the keyword phrase "Mathematical Materials Used As Therapeutic Tools". Who is actually looking for such a thing? Nerds? Uber-nerds? Or just other Textbroker writers who are as clueless about the subject as I was? Oh crap, now this hub is going to start attracting these people.

Other than doing some rudimentary keyword research and submitting my hubs to the free back-linking website IMAutomator, my promotional efforts have been aimed at the HubPages audience: Leaving comments on others' hubs, answering HP questions, and participating in the forums. While this isn't necessarily a mistake, I'm not sold on the idea that community involvement will generate significant traffic over the long term.

Why I'm not giving up ... yet

The tone of this hub has been mostly negative, but that is only because of my high expectations. Like I stated at the start, positive testimonials are what attracted me to HubPages, but the average person should be aware that huge success from the very beginning isn't guaranteed. Quality of writing is only one factor (not that I consider myself top tier), and you will need to also take into account:

  • The number of hubs published
  • Hubs relevant to search engine users
  • Strong optimization of keywords OR lack of competition for your niches
  • Number of back links to your hubs
  • Time

The last one is likely the most important, and the most difficult to attach value to for a first month perspective. This is my first reason for hanging in here.

Of late, a major factor that might explain why my traffic and income doesn't compare to previous new hubbers is the Panda effect. From what I understand, site-wide traffic is down at least 50% since the end of the 1st quarter of 2011. Since I started several months after Panda wreaked havoc on HubPages' relevance in Google's search, my numbers are likely more in line with someone who decides to start writing for HP today. Several measures have been implemented to address the damage, a few that have been very unpopular, but my hope is that the HubPages staff will eventually right its ship. Reason #2.

When I signed up here, the priority was for me to figure out how to seize my share of the residual income pie. Not that my goal has changed, but I've found that I also enjoy building my online presence by participating in the community. I'm not writing with the intention of sending it all to oblivion, and I'm grateful that posting my hubs here is giving my thoughts a place to be noticed and discussed. Well, all of my hubs except for the one on Glenn Beck (*hint hint*).

Looking forward

If nothing else, I hope at least one person reads this and finds it useful. By no means am I trying to discourage others from choosing to write for HubPages, but I thought adding a little balance to the first month success stories couldn't hurt. 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.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)