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Hubpages – Tips from Finding Topics to Generating Revenue to Avoiding Mistakes

Updated on April 15, 2020
tamarawilhite profile image

Tamara Wilhite is a technical writer, industrial engineer, mother of two, and published sci-fi and horror author.

Where Do You Find Topics to Write About?

If you are looking for ideas to write about, research the questions others are asking and then publish a hub answering them. You’ll at least get read by the person asking the question if you use the “Write a hub about it” option.

You can research high value key words per Google tools, identifying high value key words that aren’t already highly utilized. Once you find the terms that currently have economic value and little competition, you can try to create content to fit that topic.

Google’s site has evolved from search engine optimization based on keyword stuffing to linking sites based on how well they think your content answers the question Google thinks the user is asking. If the question the person is asking can be answered in a two sentence explanation or a few bulleted steps, find something else to write about. If the question the user is likely asking requires a detailed explanation and you can write quality content to answer it, go for it. You don’t have to be an expert in the field, if you can reference works by those who are.

You can write about things you have personal experience with, especially if it is unusual or rare. For example, parents who write about a child with a rare medical disorder periodically hit critical mass because they are the only person writing in detail about the subject in verbiage the average reader understands. Likewise, an engineer can write about technical standards in plain English, providing a service for those who can’t understand the technical jargon or only need a 500 word synopsis of the technical standard to understand what is called out on their requirements list. If you can simplify a subject others cannot readily grasp or answer questions few others will explain, you have a high traffic hub even in niche areas.

Write about what you can reasonably explain, without getting into too many generalizations or citing common knowledge.
Write about what you can reasonably explain, without getting into too many generalizations or citing common knowledge. | Source

How Do I Generate an Income on Hubpages?

If you are looking to generate an income, first start with Google Adsense. That’s common sense, because you have to sign of for Google Adsense to generate the basic advertising revenue on Hubpages. Expect to earn fractions of a penny per article view, unless your hub is generating a lot of traffic to the Google Adsense ads. Unless you’ve excelled at providing first rate answers that land in the top few search results of a Google search on the topic, you’ll need to monetize the content in other ways to generate more than pizza money.

The next step is monetization of the content. You can do this by adding Amazon product links (and becoming an Amazon affiliate), adding eBay links (especially if you have your own eBay store) or linking to your own blog or professional website.

For example, a number of HVAC companies have written how-to articles on Hubpages, with links to the company website in the hope of generating sales leads for new system installations. Hubpages then becomes the funnel to lead those with HVAC problems to the HVAC repair firm’s site for service.

For others, the Hubpages site is a lead into paid-for content like books and eBooks. I personally link to the Amazon pages for my books to the short stories I’ve published as Hubs. The short stories are thus free leads into the paid content, the eBooks and print books. Others use Hubpages to demonstrate their professional expertise with links to their consulting firm.

If you don’t have a business that Hubpages can help you promote or content for sale outside of Hubpages, the Amazon and eBay capsules are your best bet for a second stream of income. However, you need to use them sparingly to avoid problems. Overly commercialized Hubs suffer in Hubpages rankings and turn off readers, hurting sales more than tactfully and strategic monetization techniques.

Likewise, capsules that show barely related products with high profit margins will not generate sales. If you’re doing a Hub on Swedish massage, it is appropriate to add a link to a Swedish massage practice or capsules retailing Swedish massage oils. You may even sell one here or there. Littering the page with ten different, somewhat related products means you’re rarely going to sell anything, because most readers move on to the next article in the Google search results or even more applicable Hubs listed as related on the side of the screen.

Tamara Wilhite is a science fiction and horror author, in addition to her technical writing and engineering consulting work.
Tamara Wilhite is a science fiction and horror author, in addition to her technical writing and engineering consulting work. | Source

What Hurts Your Hubs?

There are a few things that will hurt your Hubs, both in traffic and rankings. These errors will hurt your hubs even if they aren’t overly commercialized, perfectly written to fit Google’s criteria and generate traffic.

Poor Grammar and Syntax = Poor Impression with Readers

Poor spelling, grammar and syntax are like stumbling blocks, throwing off readers as they try to follow your reasoning. They detract from your credibility, regardless of the quality of the content. After all, if you’ve misspelled a key term or misplaced commas, these literally elementary level English mistakes make them have second doubts as to the validity of your content.

Too Much Commercialization = Spam

Overly commercial hubs will lose a reader’s interest and hurt your Hub rankings. You can link to an external site such as your own business’ website or personal blog, but only do one of the two. You can write a Hub promoting a type of product as part of the solution to the user’s problem, but limit yourself to one eBay and Amazon capsule. For every long Hubs, one capsule per screen length is acceptable, such that they only see one capsule selling something until they scroll down to the next section. Anything more starts to become spam.

Generalizations Are Vaguely Annoying

It has been said that all and never should always be avoided and never used in writing, unless you’re laying down the law or dealing with the laws of physics. Too many generalizations make you look like you’re glossing over content (at best) or don’t really know enough to give the specifics.

Use specifics such as “never co-sign a loan unless you’re willing to pay off the loan, because you’re obligated to pay if the other person goes bankrupt” instead of "never go into debt". Limit universal generalizations unless it is universally acceptable common sense advice, such as “Always maintain an emergency fund of three to six months of expenses, because if you struggle to pay your bills now, you will struggle when you lose your income.”

Timeliness = Too Late

Avoid writing an article on your opinion of a current event or modern controversy. Nothing disappears from the internet faster than the impassioned stance on one side of last week’s news. Your opinion will be dated as soon as new information comes out. The only regular exception to this is explaining the interpretation and impact of a new law, new technical standards or medical procedure - in short, Hubs that answer the question "What is X?"

Evergreen content, from recipes to technical explanations to medical Q&A, fair better on Hubpages. Yet even evergreen content can wilt. Periodically review your Hubs, from making sure the products in the capsules are relevant or still available. Update links to supporting documentation. See if more suitable pictures are available.

General Relevance = Irrelevance

General advice is rarely useful, and it is even less likely to get preference in search engine results. For example, generic advice on spending less than you make or maintaining your car to save money lose out to content by financial gurus like Dave Ramsey. Generic advice on maintaining your health or treating a condition on Hubpages loses out in Google searches to content by WebMD or the Mayo Clinic. Generally relevant advice is irrelevant in most search engine results, so you need to find a tighter niche where you may yet stand out.

See if your generic answer to a common question can be targeted to a tighter customer base more likely to pay for an answer. For example, tips to improve HVAC (heating ventilation air conditioning) efficiency like replace your filter every six months are inferior to explaining how to fix various error codes for a specific brand of dehumidifier. Double check your spelling and grammar, and ensure that your acronyms are both correct and spelled out at least once.


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