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One Year on HubPages; Making Money writing On-Line

Updated on June 4, 2012

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!
Content is King!

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 best tool for keyword research is Google AdWords. The HubPages Learning Center can also help you with this with their hub, “How to use the Google Adwords Keyword Tool”.

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!


Submit a Comment

  • lisabeaman profile image

    lisabeaman 6 years ago from Phoenix, AZ

    Thank you so much! I had a lot of fun with the cards and the theme. I'm really glad you enjoyed it!

  • Modern Lady profile image

    Modern Lady 6 years ago from Chicago, IL

    Such a cute idea to illustrate with cards. I love it! I wish you much success in your next year (and beyond)!

  • carozy profile image

    carozy 6 years ago from San Francisco

    Helpful hub with good info.

  • profile image

    kims3003 6 years ago

    Very impressive hub - genuine and helpful. Great writing style.

  • vocalcoach profile image

    Audrey Hunt 6 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

    Hi Lisa - I'm so glad I came back to re-read this. It's even more helpful the second time around. So...I will start reviewing all my hubs now and make the necessary changes. I've learned so much from this hub. You are just great to share these tips. A big UP and a big thanks!


  • Millionaire Tips profile image

    Shasta Matova 6 years ago from USA

    What an excellent way to think about the tools. Very interesting and voted up. I really love the layout of this hub - it made it a pleasure to read.

  • NotSoPerfect profile image

    NotSoPerfect 6 years ago from United States

    Thanks for sharing! Very helpful hub. Voting up, useful and interesting.

  • htodd profile image

    htodd 6 years ago from United States

    Great post...Thanks

  • lisabeaman profile image

    lisabeaman 6 years ago from Phoenix, AZ

    Welcome to HubPages KLRomano! I'm so glad you found this hub helpful. Thanks for the comment. I wish you the best in your new HubPages adventure!

  • profile image

    KLRomano 6 years ago from Small town OHIO

    I'm so glad I found this, as a new "hubber" it makes me realize that I have alot to learn, thanks!

  • lisabeaman profile image

    lisabeaman 6 years ago from Phoenix, AZ

    Thanks Sarah! I say the same thing all the time!

  • Sarahredhead profile image

    Sarah Jackson 6 years ago from Southern United States

    This inspired me!! Now...if only I could find more time to write...

  • lisabeaman profile image

    lisabeaman 6 years ago from Phoenix, AZ

    Thanks for the vote up and the follow davidmoral! I really appreciate your comment. There is a lot to learn in this world of on-line writing! Sometimes I think the more I learn the more I realize there still is to learn.

  • davidmoral profile image

    David Morales 6 years ago from Modesto, California

    I find this very helpful even thou I have to read it again and again to understand it further because I'm trying to learn how to paste my code into my hub help any one.....I really like this up I vote up and I am following you.

  • lisabeaman profile image

    lisabeaman 6 years ago from Phoenix, AZ

    Thanks Ubanichijoke! I appreciate your comment and your encouragement! I'm so glad you liked it!

  • ubanichijioke profile image

    Alexander Thandi Ubani 6 years ago from Lagos

    A master-piece. Great hub. Keep hubbing. You re doing great Lisa

  • muscledouble profile image

    muscledouble 6 years ago from United States

    I'm not linking anything yet. I'm still trying to get the feel of Hubpages. I've been reading a bit of other people's stuff here to. Thanks for the advice. ^_^ You're the best!

  • lisabeaman profile image

    lisabeaman 6 years ago from Phoenix, AZ

    Muscledouble - right! Earning money from something you love to do is a real bonus. Are you linking your hubs to your blogs? You can use your blog to point others to your hub... but I guess you don't want to link your hub to your blog (I'm not 100% sure why that is though)... but you could link your hub to a facebook account and the facebook account could link to your blog that links to your hub. Just a thought!

  • muscledouble profile image

    muscledouble 6 years ago from United States

    Thanks Lisa. Actually, I'm reading more about what and what not to do in hugpages. I just started blogging and all and I finally decided I could earn something from it too. What could be more fun than sharing your knowledge and then earning from it right?

  • lisabeaman profile image

    lisabeaman 6 years ago from Phoenix, AZ

    Thanks Health 4Life! You are on the right track by looking around the site and learning all you can. This will help your hub-career get started on the right foot. Welcome to HubPages! I will be on the lookout for some of your upcoming hubs - I wish you the best!

  • Health 4Life profile image

    Health 4Life 6 years ago

    Thank you Lisa for sharing this valuble content. I'm just starting with hubpages, in fact I haven't published anything, I'm going around the whole site trying to learn the most I can, and your article has helped a lot. Thank you very much again and congratulations!!!

  • lisabeaman profile image

    lisabeaman 6 years ago from Phoenix, AZ

    Thanks Muscledouble! I'm glad you enjoyed it! And I love your user name :)

  • muscledouble profile image

    muscledouble 6 years ago from United States

    Congratulations and thanks for sharing your wonderful insights!

  • lisabeaman profile image

    lisabeaman 6 years ago from Phoenix, AZ

    Thanks Seafarer Mama! I've really enjoyed getting to know you during this year!

  • Seafarer Mama profile image

    Karen A Szklany 6 years ago from New England

    Hi Lisa,

    Congratulations on your first year on Hub Pages...and for inviting me to be a contact on LinkedIn.

  • MissSelfEmpowered profile image

    MissSelfEmpowered 6 years ago from Virginia

    Congratulations on your first year! Great article, I voted up and will surely follow your works! :-)

  • lisabeaman profile image

    lisabeaman 6 years ago from Phoenix, AZ

    Thanks Barbara! I don't always use borders... but I do think they help. I've seen others do that and it seems to give the hubs that little something extra.

    Thanks Pamela and Cagsil! You have both been great friends to me this last year.

  • Cagsil profile image

    Cagsil 6 years ago from USA or America

    Hey Lisa, congratulations on your first year on Hubpages. It's been a pleasure to know and learn from and with you. You've done an awesome job on the hub and touch on many aspects that are really important to helping oneself get traffic. It appears as if you've come along way, in a short period of time. Thumbs up! :)

  • Pamela99 profile image

    Pamela Oglesby 6 years ago from United States

    Great article and you explained the most pertinent keys to success very well. Rated awesome.

  • Barbara Kay profile image

    Barbara Badder 6 years ago from USA

    I love the way you used borders between each section. This is an excellent hub.

  • lisabeaman profile image

    lisabeaman 6 years ago from Phoenix, AZ

    Thanks Vocal coach! See... I told you you were an encouragement! You are honestly the type of person that anyone would love to have as a close friend. But don't wish that you'd written mine, yours was great! Yours was heartfelt and touching.

    Whether I like it or not, however, I am a teacher to the core (I'm not really a teacher, but that's only because I rebelled against the teaching tradition of my family... but it is deep in my blood). Most of my hubs will take on some type of teaching/instruction tone.

    To answer your question about images... It's really just a matter of SEO. If you have a picture at the front, then most likely, a reader will have to scroll down before they see the ad. Plus, most people that find your hub found it because they are looking for information. Your first paragraph should let them know that they found what they are looking for and entice them to want to scroll down. Images are there to support, supplement, and compliment your text.

    Your hub celebrating your 1 year anniversary is a good example. You have the image at the top. When I go to read it, I have to scroll down before I see the ad. However, because it's a hub that seems to be written to other hubbers, it's not a big deal. It's not "wrong" because I already know I'm in the right place. Does that make sense?

    Thanks again for the encouragement! You are a rock star!

  • vocalcoach profile image

    Audrey Hunt 6 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

    I am loving your hub on your first year at HP. (I wish I would have written this) - see, like I said when replying to your comment on my recent hub, I am always inspired by your writing. And this one is no exception. I have a question. . .you wrote "Never put a picture above your text,". Why? I have been guilty of doing this.

    So my question is - Why is it wrong to put an image above the text? Thank you and a big congratulations! Rated up, useful, awesome, beautiful.

  • lisabeaman profile image

    lisabeaman 6 years ago from Phoenix, AZ

    Thanks Rosie! I'm glad you enjoyed it! The playing cards was a last minute light-bulb... I'm glad it worked :)

    Thanks to you too, JamaGeene (nice hat, btw)... you're so right about spelling, proper grammar and punctuation! I get very frustrated when I read hubs that are lacking in those areas - and even more frustrated when I see an error on one of my own!

  • JamaGenee profile image

    Joanna McKenna 6 years ago from Central Oklahoma

    Congratulations, Lisa on sticking with it for a whole year at Hubpages! Yes, there's a medallion for the 2nd anniversary AND each one thereafter.

    This hub hits THE MOST important points on being a successful writer at HP, other than spelling, proper grammar and punctuation, of course.

    Thank you for emphasizing breaking up large blocks of text! That seems to be one point many hubbers don't "get". Even without headers, space between paragraphs makes the hub more visually appealing and soooo MUCH easier to read! ;D

  • Rosie2010 profile image

    Rosie Rose 6 years ago from Toronto, Canada

    Hiya Lisa, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this hub. It's not only very helpful, it is also well-written and the relation to playing cards is excellent. Great job! Voted up and definitely useful. Congratulations on your first year on Hubpages.

    Have a nice day,


  • lisabeaman profile image

    lisabeaman 6 years ago from Phoenix, AZ

    Thanks jtyler! It was a lot of fun taking the pictures! Glad you liked it! :)

  • jtyler profile image

    jtyler 6 years ago

    Nice hub. I like the way you used the cards to illustrate your points.


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