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How to Make Little or No Money on HubPages
I don’t know how many articles there are on hubpages about how to make money on hubpages, but I decided to take the opposite route and tell people how they can make little to no money on hubpages. (Please note that money comes from your affiliates not hubpages.) You might wonder why I’m doing this; who doesn’t want to make money? As we go along I hope you’ll see that writing without the intention to make money, might actually help you as a writer and a contributor. So let’s take a look at this process.
Network with others whose work you believe in.
When communicating with other hubbers, whether it’s on their pages or the forums, you don’t have to respond to everything that you read, nor do you have to give it a good score. Not everyone is a great writer, and not everyone did a subject justice. I’m not saying you need to be a jerk-wad about it, but if you don’t have something constructive to say, then don’t say anything at all. We’re trying to promote a positive community here and we aren’t really doing that when we say “great hub!” when we really thought it was crap. Being active is supposed to be something you want to do, not something you feel that you have to do in order to make money. Find hubs that share similar interests and writers who you enjoy reading. Then take the time to write them meaningful comments. If you just favorite everyone you see and post generic responses, then you might not be here for the right reasons.
Think of it like facebook. Sure, you could send friend requests to hundreds of different people, and it might make you look popular, but in the end, do you really have the time to talk to every one of them? How well do you really know that guy that plays castle age anyway? Are the people that you’ve never met and rarely communicated with really essential to your internet experience? The same is true of HubPages. It might look impressive, at first, to see that you have over a hundred followers, but how many of those followers are actually reading your articles? If you only favorite writers that you like, then you will naturally reduce the amount of updates you need to read and respond to. This will make the responses higher quality and put less stress on you to be up to date with everyone. That isn’t to say that you will be able to read all of your favorites’ new articles, there are simply too many of them, even for a smaller list. But if they are writers you like, you will be naturally interested to click on one of their articles every once and a while. It’s also true of the forums; respond to topics that you are interested in. And, if possible, respond to topics that don’t have many replies. The chances of anyone reading your comment on a thread with several hundred replies is miniscule and you’d just be posting for a sense of activity rather than content.
This method of networking won’t make you look as active as other hubbers, which in turn will make you earn less money, but it will strengthen the writing community as a whole.
Keywords are stupid. Let’s take what you have written (or want to write) and mutate it into something more marketable. So instead of telling someone how to change the oil in their car, give them an advertisement for Pennzoil and make sure they click on the phrase ‘ford 5150’ so you can get your article found by people who have no interest in changing the oil in their car. (P.S. I know nothing about cars.) Is money so important that you would change your writing to fit what someone else wants?
Now, maybe keywords fall naturally into your writing; that’s okay as long as you’re writing things the way you want to write them. There are certain scenarios where a keyword might go unnoticed in an article, and then there are those situations where you’re reading an article that seems really interesting, then when you get to the end, you find out it was just one long advertisement inevitably leading you to one product that “scientists have found” is the best possible product for you to buy. The reader almost feels like the victim of a prank. “Ha! I got you to read my advertisement!” And the last thing you want your reader to think is that you’re a trickster (or a corporate sell out).
What’s Popular Isn’t Necessarily What’s Good:
I suppose if you really want to, you can write about current subjects. There can be some great articles produced from things that are happening right now. But that doesn’t mean you should write an article just because it deals with something new. New things get higher search results, but stop and ask yourself if you really have something new to contribute to the subject, or are you just cashing in on the wave of web hits. Often times these quickie hubs have no staying power. They might make for an interesting read but a week later will anyone have any interest in them? I’ve heard hubs compared to a fine wine; they get better with age and will work more for you the longer they’ve been there. If this is the case (which I believe it is) then you want to write great hubs that will still be relevant a week, month, or year down the road. That isn’t to say that all current subjects won’t have staying power, but if you’re going to comment on the most recent episode of dancing with the stars, then you might want to ask yourself why you’re writing this article. (I like dancing with the stars, but my point is that a week later the article is irrelevant.)
Quality is better than Quantity:
I suppose a few sentences still qualify as a ‘hub’ but did you really put your best efforts into it? Maybe I have a short story that I’ve decided to publish as six different hubs rather than one long hub. Sure, long hubs can be difficult to read some times, but are you breaking it up to make it more readable or are you breaking it up to see your number of hubs go up?
I’m not saying that short hubs are always bad. I’ve read some good articles that were hardly two paragraphs long. But the shorter it is, the better the writing has to be. At the end of the article you want your reader to think about what you said, not to think “wow, that was short”.
And I’m going to take the opportunity in this section to point out that pictures do not count as writing. I don’t know how these things make it as hubs, but posting a series of pictures without any writing is an insult to the writing community. Pictures are meant to be visual aides for an article. And, if you’re an artist, then at least give us something to accompany your work; maybe a how to draw description, or some history of the painting. Put something there because otherwise it’s like a writer putting up a page of writing in an art show and making money off of it. Or, in the extreme cases, a website promising pictures of hot girls and you instead find page after page of text. My point is; if you’re going to post pictures, write something to accompany them.
Holier than Thou:
I’m not trying to be a stickler here; these are not iron-clad rules that one must follow. I’m not suggesting that my pages are any better than the other pages on this site either. I’ll admit right now that I’ve broken several of these rules; I’ve commented when I shouldn’t have (I really need to avoid the political forums) and I’ve thrown a little cleavage in the cover picture for some of my hubs. However I can guarantee you that if you follow these rules you won’t make much money. Why might you want to make less money? Well it’s easy to lose track of the larger scheme of things. We’re all here because we’re writers. And even though we share the dream of wanting to be rich and famous off our writing, we have to remember that the final product is the only thing that will ever achieve that goal. Therefore if we’re writing just to earn money, are we really doing justice to the craft? Are we really producing a product that deserves that money? Maybe you can make a killing just by posting half naked girls or articles about how to make money on hubpages, but is this writing community any better for it?