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Is HubPages a Scam?
Hub Pages Scam
Is hubpages.com a scam? Well no, its not, quite. However, HubPages has gone from being one of my favourite ways of making money online, and one that I recommended to plenty of people, to a online money making method that is on my "don't bother" list.
Here's my personal view on why its not worth trying to make money on HubPages in 2011.
First: Rewind - 2007
Back in 2007 I was desparate to make some money online - in fact I had decided in September - that if I didn't make any money online by Christmas I'd have to look for a "real" job - and I really didn't want to. After several months of travelling around Australia - I still hadn't shaken my midlife crises - or the bit that told me I hated my job anyway.
I don't recall how I found HubPages - but I published my first hub about Budget 4WDing on 19 Sept 2007. To date - its made exactly $0 - yup I was clueless! And yes I had to get that job.
Fast Forward February 2011
In early February Adsense deposited in my local account the equivalent of over US$1300 in Adsense earnings for January. I don't say that to brag - I mention it to suggest that I've learned a few things over the years about how to make money online.
And I started that learning at HubPages.com
I used to make good money here, so did the people I signed up as affiliates. Now we don't. What happened?
How To Make Money With Hubpages
Or how did I used to make money from Hubpages? First off - I have multiple accounts here - my other aliases specialise in topics I don't know much about - yes most of the writing was outsourced. You see I learnt long ago that beautiful writing - will NOT make you money online.
To make money on hubpages - it was always about the keyword research. In fact Hubpages used to do it for you - as I explained in my How to Write a Flagship Hub, hub. (Surprise the program seems to be still running). Yeah being able to string some words together in a vaguely grammatical manner is handy, but its not an essential skill.
Good keyword research will trump beautiful writing every time.
Good keyword research AND good writing has made me good money over the years. And so has good keyword research and mediocre writing. Sorry - that's the way it is - Google can't read, not even close.
I know that some people made awesome money using Amazon and eBay - but my best money was in Adsense.
Along the way I wrote hubs that supported my own niche sites as well - backlinks and money - nice.
However HubPages, and NOT Google, ruined it.
HubPages were the ones that:
- made me remove my affiliate links for sites they didn't benefit from, but which my readers did;
- who drove plenty of big earners away from the site with their continual requests to change stuff on hubs;
- moved all my hubs to a sub-domain - destroying the internal linking structure and the age of all my hubs (one of the few characteristics that can't be faked online);
- de-optimized the Adsense layout so the CTR on Adsense is now dreadful;
- changed the rules on Amazon capsules to destroy the CTR on Amazon;
- started their own hubpages program which plasters hubs with irrelevant and garish banner ads - a method of advertising which consumers have been ignoring since 1999.
HubPages Earnings 2011
Google's "Panda" update saw Hubpages traffic drop like a rock - HubPages appeared to have been singled out - but it was probably just caught in a significant change to the Google search algorithmn which saw sites with lots of diverse content got slammed.
Through it all my little niche focused websites did just fine.
A lot of Hubbers thought that Google had it in for Hubpages. They didn't - in fact the people who make the most from Adsense (which Hubpages used to do very well with) - was of course Google (60% rev share to you, 40% to HubPages, and the other 100% to Google - yes it does add up!).
Can You Make Money With HubPages?
Yes, for the moment you can. But honestly - should you? I'm not at all convinced. It used to be much, much easier to rank a hub than your own site. Now however you will have to build just as much link building for your hub as you would for your own site.
And that's a bad return for your time.
Think of this way - if you rent a home - you may ask the landlord if you can repaint the lounge because the pink colour makes you sick. So you spend sometime, paint the lounge, enjoy the new cream colour for a year or two - and then move on.
If you owned that home you would have either enjoyed that new paint job for ever, or had it add value to your sale price when you sold the place. As a renter - you only got a temporary benefit.
And that's the problem with making money on Hubpages in 2011.
They may not be here in 2012 or 2015 - I don't know and I can't control whether the company stays in business or not.
Even if it does stay in business I can tell you for a fact - they've destroyed my Adsense income. Because they changed the ad layout - my click through rate is now dreadful - and there's nothing I can do about it.
You need to own your online real estate - it costs a little and takes longer to establish - but it will see you right in the long-term - just like buying a home rather than renting!
This hub is keyword optimized to an inch of its life. Its totally designed to be attractive to the search engines. Hopefully it reads OK to you humans to - that's the point for all the clowns in the forums who think that you can't write for both - of course you can, if you are a decent writer that is.
Just do your keyword research before you start writing - its not that hard!