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One Year on HubPages; Making Money writing On-Line
Recently I passed the one-year milestone of being a member of HubPages. While I can’t believe it’s been a whole year, I have a silver accolade on my profile to prove it! (I think it’s actually grey… but silver makes me feel better about my accomplishment!)
I originally found HubPages because I decided it was time to finally start being paid for writing. I love to write and I had often volunteered my writing skills to on-line sites or local publications, but I’d never actually made any money. Finances were tight, so writing on-line and actually getting paid for it seemed like the perfect solution and HubPages seemed to offer what I was looking for.
It’s been a very interesting year writing with HubPages; Interesting, but not profitable – at least not for me. My initial goal to supplement my family’s income with my amazing writing skills that would cause countless internet users to flock to my hubs and click on my ads and purchase the Amazon products I painstaking chosen has not been realized… at least not yet. I am still optimistic.
What I gained from writing with HubPages is much more valuable, however, than a hundred dollar payout from Google. Writing with HubPages has given me an education; an education in the world of on-line writing. You can’t really put a price tag on knowledge. The concepts I’ve learned will serve me well in the months and years to come. By the time I accumulate my second year accolade (do they give those?) I am hopeful that this education will bring the payouts I was looking for at the start.
The first thing I learned was that I had a lot to learn! I was naive enough to think that my very first hub would start making money immediately. After I published it, I must have checked my Google AdSense account three times a day for a week. When I added my second and third hubs and still didn’t see any pennies starting to accumulate, I almost gave up. But then I realized that nothing comes easy. If I wanted to make money from writing on-line, then I needed take the time to learn the trade. There was a lot more to this than good spelling and grammar.
If you’re new to HubPages or if you are thinking about a career in on-line writing, I’d love to share with you some of the things I’ve learned. Perhaps I can help you to avoid some rookie mistakes or at least point you in the right direction.
Content is King!
If you went to any forum in HubPages and asked the question, “how do I make money with my hubs”, you may get a variety of responses, and some of them won’t be so nice, but the main theme of the answers could be summed up with, “write good content.” Write good content. Content is King; content, content, content. Should I say it again? Content.
If you write well written, well thought out, well researched hubs, then you are off to a great start. If you lack spelling and grammar skills, get some tools to help you. Ask friends and family to proofread your hubs before you publish.
There have been a lot of changes since I started writing for HubPages a year ago. I won’t pretend to comprehend everything that happened with Google and the Panda pandemic that’s swept across the HubPage community. However, it is my understanding that good content will cause your hubs to rise up in rankings where poor, spammy content will sink to the depths.
According to the official Google blog regarding the Panda update, “…It will provide better rankings for high-quality sites—sites with original content and information such as research, in-depth reports, thoughtful analysis and so on.”
Again, content is king!
The royal court
While content is king and always will be, every king is surrounded by a court. The royal court is there to support and promote the king in every way. King content is no different. Content must be supported and promoted by the royal court of SEO, keyword research, and backlinks.
This is where my education in on-line writing truly began. Previously, I thought that good content would speak for itself and that I simply needed to publish and my hub would find it’s own way on the information super highway. Having a basic understanding of SEO, keyword research, and backlinks, however will go a long way in helping those hubs find their way.
SEO is Queen!
Search Engine Optimization: That sounds fancy and difficult. When I first heard the term I thought I was really in over my head. While it sounds technical, it’s really very simple. All it involves is making your web page visually appealing. This will allow search engines, like Google, to rank your content higher.SEO partners with your content. Much like a queen should work together with a king.
Now you can learn a lot more about SEO from Hubbers who have been around longer than I have and have been more successful, but it is my understanding that there are a few simple steps towards having good SEO on your hub pages. When you “preview” your hub before you publish, take a look at these things:
- How does your hub look above the fold, or the part that is first visible without scrolling down? Do you see the first portion of your text? Is your AdSense ad fully visible? If not, go back and do some editing to make sure that you can see both text and the AdSense ad. Never put a picture above your text, even if the hub is about the picture or is a hub on photography. And never, ever, ever, ever, let that ad go below the “fold”. You do not want anyone having to scroll down to see the ad.
- Is your hub visually appealing? Do you have photos that complement your content? If not, go to a stock photography site such as Morgue File and Stock Exchange and look for free photos.
- Is your content broken up by different headings? Much to every writer’s dismay, most people really don’t read. If they do read, they don’t read every word. Breaking up your text by putting headers on different points or topics, will help the reader as they scan your hub. Huge, unbroken blocks of text will cause the average reader/scanner, to dismiss your content all together and search for something else.
Those are the simple things that I have learned about SEO. There are other hubbers who have mastered this concept and can give you a more detailed explanation. If this is something that you are concerned with and want to learn more about, pay close attention to the hubs written by some of the top HubPages writers. Don’t listen to everyone on the subject, only those who have been around for a long time and have a hub score above 90. Take a look at how their hubs are laid out. You can’t copy their content, but you can copy their formatting!
Keyword Research - Jack of all Trades!
Keyword research is pretty much the number one thing that I hate about writing on-line. However, it is a very, very valuable tool. Think of it as the Jack in a Royal Flush. I learned quickly that the titles I put on my hubs shouldn’t be cute or catchy. Instead, they needed to be carefully researched for the best possible keywords. If I wanted someone to find this amazing content that I’d written, then I needed to make sure that my title had the words that someone would be looking for. I also needed to make sure that my content used those same words abundantly, but not ridiculously.
The keyword tool is useful as long as you don’t let it paralyze you. Don’t get so caught up if trying to find the right keyword that you never publish or never even write about what you want. You can always edit your title if you see that it’s not getting a lot of views or if you notice certain search words being used that aren’t in your title.
If you’re really struggling with finding the right keywords for your titles, The Hubpages Title tuner is a useful tool to try. This handy little tool will give you some suggestions on how to adjust the hub titles you already have published to make them more search friendly.
Backlinks - The Ace!
Backlinks: It took me a while to understand the purpose and value of backlinks. Again, I thought that my hubs would find their own way. Backlinks, however are kind of like road signs that point viewers to your hub. Backlinks are links to your hub that can be found on other sites on the internet, it's the Ace you need to get ahead of the game.
Backlinking is done by using social media sights like facebook and twitter as well as bookmarking sights such as digg, stumbleupon, and reddit. These do take a little time, and you’ll have to be a registered user for each one, but they are well worth the effort. Another way to get backlinks is to write summaries of your hub (not duplicate content) and post them on your blog or website.
Think of backinking as a marketing tool. If you have the most amazing product in the world and you don’t market it, no one will know about it and no one will buy it. If you don’t market your hub, then it will be a lot harder for readers to find it.
Backlinking also helps you hub earn search engine traffic.While I’m still learning, I know enough to take the time to post these links everywhere that I can. You can learn more about backlinking from the HubPages Learning Center, A Guide to Backlinking.
Writing for HubPages has been an interesting journey. I’ve learned so much and have improved on my own writing abilities. I know that if I keep putting this knowledge to good use, the payouts will come. If you’re new to HubPages, be patient. Be patient, be cautious in the advice you read, and keep writing and learning these skills.
How long have your been with HubPages? If you found this hub helpful, I’d love to read about it in the comment section below. Don’t forget to give me a vote up! Thanks for reading!