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An Introduction To HubPage Referrals

Updated on January 24, 2011

What is a HubPage referral?

A referral is either:

a) Being a HubPage Author and referring a visitor to sign up to HubPages to become an author. Or,

b) Referring traffic to another HubPage Authors hub.

How does it benefit you?

a) If someone signs up for a HubPages account via your referral link, you get 10% of their pageviews for the life of their hubs.

b) When you refer other peoples Hubs you get a cut of the pageviews. 9% if they have been referred to HubPages by another Author. 12% if there is no prior referral involved.

How does it benefit the referred person?

a) If someone signs up to HubPages through one of your referral links they don't get less page impressions. It always stays at 60%. The reward to the referrer is taken from HubPages Inc's share of the page impressions. So the obvious benefit for the referred is they got to learn about HubPages!

b) Again the 9% or 12% that the referrer is getting is taken from HubPages Inc's share of the pageviews. And the benefit to the referred Author is that they get traffic that they otherwise would never have got. It certainly gives those with the talent and expertise in traffic generation and web promotion extra incentive to tap into their traffic streams and share it with others.

However you don't need to explain this to anyone. You'll just waste time and maybe even confuse matters if you repeat this information.

How do you do it?

HubPages sets you up with a default tracking URL. Which can be found here.

However you can also make your own. In fact I strongly advise you do.

I explain the system in greater detail and suggest and demonstrate words you can use to maximize your click thrus in How HubPage Tracking Works


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    • AaronBurton profile image

      Aaron Burton 3 years ago from US

      Good to know!

    • Ceres Schwarz profile image

      Ceres Schwarz 5 years ago

      Great hub on referrals. This can be a rather confusing topic but you managed to explain things well and clearly enough for people to understand.

    • baja2013 profile image

      Bajazid 5 years ago from Sarajevo, Bosnia

      Very nice explained. Now I am clear with all process. I wasn't sure about the referring the others hub, now I got it. In two weeks I have 7 referral trackers Ids, about 400 traffic views and one sign up, no hubs yet.

      Thanks for clarification!

    • profile image

      Liz McMahon 5 years ago

      What do I need to have set up in order to be able to be paid if I earn anything? I have AdSense set up and I associated my PayPal account.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 5 years ago from Texas

      Awesome hub, I need this info. Au fait sent me the title to this hub.

    • Gulf Coast Sun profile image

      Gulf Coast Sun 5 years ago from Gulf of Mexico

      Thank you for this wonderful article. I enjoy the advice and will following your lead. Kathleen

    • Lou1842 profile image

      Lou1842 6 years ago

      Thanks for this hub. It makes it all very clear for me.

    • mquee profile image

      mquee 6 years ago from Columbia, SC

      Thanks for this information, I find it very useful and helpful.

    • jfay2011 profile image

      jfay2011 6 years ago

      Very interesting hub. I didn't know about it until this week.

    • Brigitte Thompson profile image

      Brigitte Thompson 6 years ago from Austin, TX

      Thanks for the information. I have been using referral trackers, however not sure how they work. I looked at some of your hubs, but did not see a link (referal to another Hub) anywhere in your context. Am I doing this right?

    • Megan Coxe profile image

      Megan Coxe 6 years ago from somewhere between here and there

      Thank you so much! I've been using referral trackers without a clear idea how they work. Great hub.

    • doitex profile image

      doitex 6 years ago from Latvia

      Thank you! Does point [b] means that that even if people does not sign up in HubPages and do not write articles I can still benefit?

    • profile image

      Marzime 6 years ago

      Nice job darkside! I do have a question that I did not see asked.

      What if you have a direct referral sign up then that person gets sign ups? Any pyramid effect commission from those sign ups too? :)

    • mtariqsattar profile image

      Tariq Sattar 6 years ago from Karachi

      Thanks its very helpful:)

    • cheerfulnuts profile image

      cheerfulnuts 7 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      I finally understand what referrals mean. Thank you darkside!

    • ewd76 profile image

      ewd76 7 years ago from Hanover, VA

      Definitely something to consider. I will need to decide who would be most likely to sign up.

    • tritrain profile image

      And Drewson 7 years ago from United States

      Wow, we use the same footprints in our graphics.

      Great minds think alike, eh? :)

    • darkside profile image

      Glen 7 years ago from Australia

      It'll take a few passes over the information before you get a grasp of it. But once you do you'll realise it's the most rewarding system on the internet.

    • sligobay profile image

      sligobay 7 years ago from east of the equator

      Thank you Darkside. I obviously misunderstood the entire process when I posted on the forum.

    • Johnny Parker profile image

      Johnny Parker 7 years ago from Birkenhead, Wirral, North West England

      Hi Darkside, I'm a new Hubber and was referred to your article by Wordplay. Si I guess the system works.

      Good article and will read your others on the subject because I find the Referral system to be far from intuitive and Hubpages don't really provide any help on the subject.

      Many thanks

    • darkside profile image

      Glen 7 years ago from Australia

      You don't have to try real hard, but be sure to be patient. This is how I've done it:

      1) link from within your own hubs to related hubs with your tracker in the URL (as I've done several capstone hubs I have plenty of hubs within a related theme).

      2) On other sites, be it your own blogs, at other publishing sites, or in your sig for your forum memberships, again use a tracker in your URLs.

      3) When appropriate to suggest to a person to sign up (such as recommending HubPages in your profile) have a tracker URL to the sign up page, eg:

      Slowly you'll start to find more and more referrals being added to your tally. Plenty won't ever publish a hub, don't let that worry you. In fact, I only check once a day and copy and paste the stats into a document. I spare only a few moments to compare todays details to yesterdays, to see the difference. I'll be sharing some of those stats in my next hub about tracking where I answer some questions I've been asked in personal correspondence (I've kept my replies in the eventuality that I would share it with a wider audience).

    • agvulpes profile image

      Peter 7 years ago from Australia

      Now, when you spell it out that way it makes a lot more sense. Thanks for taking the time to explain, it would appear to be worth while looking for referrals!

    • darkside profile image

      Glen 7 years ago from Australia

      Hi agvulpes.

      1) You should be able to see the numbers rise in the Traffic Views ( for when people visit via your tracker. I use different trackers for different reasons and it allows me to gauge the effect of the tracker from where I'm receiving the traffic.

      2) A one in ten view of someone elses hub can get you an Adsense click or even an Amazon purchase. I am seeing things being sold on Amazon that I definitely don't have on my hubs (the same too when I look at my wife's Amazon stats). Sometimes people can buy something other than what they've clicked through from your hub, but when you see a run of things being sold from the same niche you start to suspect that that isn't the case. Upon closer inspection (and clicking through to see who your referrals are, which was easier to trace on my wife's account because she has less referrals than me) we discovered that one of the referrals is getting a LOT of traffic for some very specific product reviews, and that's where the sales were coming from, the 10% of the page views from HP HQ's cut.

    • agvulpes profile image

      Peter 7 years ago from Australia

      Have just read this Hub for the one hundredth time and I think it is finally sinking in :-)

      One question I have though is how do I know that the referral tracking is working (can I see a log of them anywhere) and what benefit financially is it to me to get that extra page views.

      Sorry that was two questions :-)

    • deutsched profile image

      deutsched 7 years ago from Egypt

      Wow, never knew HubPages was that generous!

      Thumbs up!

    • lilacgirl77 profile image

      lilacgirl77 7 years ago

      Thank you so much for this explanation. You made it clear & simple to understand. The only thing I don't understand now is exactly how you know how much you made from each referrals' impressions?

    • profile image

      ankigarg87 7 years ago

      nice hub

    • profile image

      TopUniverse 7 years ago

      Great explanation about hubpage referrals. I didn't know about it till i am reading this hub.

    • LillyGrillzit profile image

      Lori J Latimer 7 years ago from The River Valley, Arkansas

      Thank you. I am linking around... :p

    • SteveoMc profile image

      SteveoMc 7 years ago from Pacific NorthWest

      Still working on this. It seems that some of this stuff has a horrendous learning curve for me. I figure if I keep reading and trying stuff out, I will eventually have an epiphany. I am still reading and trying but have yet to have the aha! moment. That will be when I decide that I can explain it all to someone else.

    • abidareacode profile image

      abidareacode 7 years ago from Areacode , Kerala, India

      Still I am confused about my referal code.

    • volleyball-jumper profile image

      volleyball-jumper 7 years ago

      wow thankx for the info, i am new to hubpage but learing alot, thanx

    • kea profile image

      kea 8 years ago

      Thanks for explaining this topic so clearly!

    • DevinG profile image

      DevinG 8 years ago from Redlands

      Short and sweet! May I request a little expansion on how long the cookies last for, though. Or not ;) Still a great hub, thanks again :)

    • dragonbear profile image

      dragonbear 8 years ago from Essex UK

      Number 2 (of your 4 part series)is great! Thanks.

    • Cagsil profile image

      Cagsil 8 years ago from USA or America

      Believe it or not, I finally got around to reading this. Thank you very much Darkside. :D I know, I been here a while. :D

    • DevinG profile image

      DevinG 8 years ago from Redlands

      Very good hub! I wasn't quite sure how it all worked until I read this hub.

    • Cheeky Girl profile image

      Cassandra Mantis 8 years ago from UK and Nerujenia

      Wow! Cool info here! This deserves a book of its own! You have expanded my mind on Hubbing and Blogging! Thanks!

    • floating mind profile image

      floating mind 8 years ago from Chicago, Illinois

      Nice hub. Just what I wanted to know.

    • darkside profile image

      Glen 8 years ago from Australia

      It's kinda funny, but read it a few times. Leave it for a while. Come back and read it again. Go away. And then when you least expect it someone else will want to know how it works and you'll find that it all makes perfect sense to you! (Until you then try and explain it to someone else.)

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 8 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      The more I read about this the easier it becomes to understand. You've really helped me with this explanation. Thanks! Maybe it will finally click, lol.

    • livingsta profile image

      livingsta 8 years ago from United Kingdom

      I have come to learn a lot about hubbing and referrals. thank you again

    • Sexy jonty profile image

      Sexy jonty 8 years ago from India

      Wonderful explanation .... darkside .... keep the good work up ...

    • DennisBarker profile image

      DennisBarker 8 years ago from Newcastle Upon Tyne,UK

      Thanks for the clear explanation.

    • Ellen_C profile image

      Ellen_C 8 years ago

      makes more sense when you explain it! thanks!

    • JYOTI KOTHARI profile image

      Jyoti Kothari 8 years ago from Jaipur

      A good article explaining trackers.

      Thumbs up!

      Jyoti Kothari

    • bob711 profile image

      bob711 8 years ago from Clovis, California

      Dark Side:

      I want to thank Hugh for the specific help you gave me several weeks ago and your articles on tracking I found today. I believe this system is too complicated but I am glad it is here. I would prefer their was an affiliate link a referral could go directly to. I realize this is not your doing and I greatly appreciate your writing the articles to give help to everyone.

      I am having a major problem in trying to hear the audio phrases designed to prevent spam when initiating a page. Usually there is an unintelligible word at the beginning of the praise. The system says not to worry about this but the fact is it will not approve most phrases if you do not type it all. I have to get a new phrase 5 to 10 times and then the system hangs up. I realize again this is not your problem it is just a comment.

      The company has been outstanding in that it made a simplified system for those of us meeting assistive technology. That was extremely caring, kind and considerate. I have found that to be true of yourself and other members of the group.

      Thanks again,


    • Kmadhav profile image

      Kmadhav 8 years ago from New delhi

      I bookmarked this hub ....this kind of information I am searching on hubpages about thse referrals.........

    • lyla profile image

      lyla 8 years ago from India

      Thank you so so very much.I just could not understand it is crystal clear.I'm off to your other hub about how this works.Thanks a ton!:)

    • profile image

      newsworthy 8 years ago

      hey thanks for your well written response, darkside. im getting past number 1 strategy in your response, in hopes of absorbing and cultivating more number 2s in your response.

      The part about not worrying, i'll worry about when I get there.

    • gr8archer45 profile image

      gr8archer45 8 years ago from Pakistan

      Thank you for the briefing, I needed it in a bad way! m gna check out that other link you provided now!

    • darkside profile image

      Glen 9 years ago from Australia


      Referrals benefit me in two ways... I get about 10% (lets call it ten percent, rather than try and sort out the 9 and 12 percents) of the ad views on a page that I have linked to. How will I REALLY know that I got a click? I won't. Does it matter? No. I make a little money here, I make a little money there. It all ads up. I don't sweat it, I just go with the flow.

      The second benefit is that EVERYONE who has clicked through on that tracker, if they sign up to HubPages (and my tracking URL was the most recent tracking URL that they've clicked) I am the referrer. So I get about 10% of their ads views on ALL their hubs. Taken from HubPages Inc's cut of the pageviews (so the author still gets their 60%).

      Now the slight reduction of the percentage of pageviews only happens if someone else is referring traffic to a page of an author that I have referred.

      I do know a Hub Author who used to have a lot of hubs, but they were greatly reduced when HubPages HQ got serious about duplicate content (they had published the same content elsewhere, and linked to it quite heavily from HubPages). That person now only has a few hubs, but they do have a few referrals. One of whom has made a lot of hubs. And I assume he's getting a nice little trickle of revenue due to that author. From what I understand he makes more due to that author than he does from his own hubs. Having so few referrals and even less (own) hubs would allow a person to track the activity a little easier.

      My strategy though is to 1) be aware of how the system works, 2) work it to the best of its advantage, 3) not worry about it after that :-D

    • profile image

      newsworthy 9 years ago

      If you dont mind me asking an abecedarian question, from your heading How does it benefit you?.. what point, in what application or process, will I see that an author has been previously referred, before I refer his/her hub; therefore, learning beforehand whether Im earning a 9% cut as opposed to 12%? Or is this predetermined cut only seen on payday, after I have referrred said hub?

      Thanks for your reply and writing out how to hub so well.

    • Ktoo profile image

      Ktoo 9 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia, USA

      Thank you! Very useful information and I'm heading to your others right now!

    • 02SmithA profile image

      02SmithA 9 years ago from Ohio

      Very useful information. Thanks!

    • LondonDuchess profile image

      LondonDuchess 10 years ago from Farnborough, Hampshire, England

      Such a useful Hub Darkside - thank you very much


    • solarshingles profile image

      solarshingles 10 years ago from london

      That referral topic was the most hard to understand to me, but you, as always, did a great job of simplification. Thanks!

    • Rob Jundt profile image

      Rob Jundt 10 years ago from Midwest USA

      Very simple. Thanks again!

    • darkside profile image

      Glen 10 years ago from Australia

      Rusty, go on to to read more about tracking, this hub was just a brief overview.

    • Rusty Green profile image

      Rusty Green 10 years ago

      Hi Darkside:

      Excellent hub! I joined your fan club b/c your articles are great.

      I'm new, and I'm not sure where to look for this link to refer others to my or your hub. Could you give some more details? Thanks for your time.

    • topstuff profile image

      topstuff 10 years ago

      Thats good info about working of url trackers

    • belief713 profile image

      belief713 10 years ago from NJ

      OK, just making sure. Thanks.

    • darkside profile image

      Glen 10 years ago from Australia

      Yes, if they sign up within 30 days of first clicking through on your URL tracker and they sign up (without using another URL tracker in the meantime) you get the credited for being the referrer (and get the percentage of pageviews for your ads). You can send people to your own hubs, other peoples hubs or even straight to the sign up page.

    • belief713 profile image

      belief713 10 years ago from NJ

      You may have answered this and I am just missing it, but if I refer someone to one of my hubs (or any hub for that matter) using my referral tracker, and they sign up with that box on the top right of all hubs, do I get a percentage of that?

      Or do I have to send them directly to the hubpages sign up page to get credit?


    • stirls profile image

      stirls 10 years ago from Vancouver

      Thanks for thie information - As an affiliate marketer and a newbie to HubPages I was wondering how the referal program worked. You gave me exactly what I was looking for.

    • tommen profile image

      Tom 10 years ago from Irvine, CA

      Thanks for the information.

    • coolbreeze profile image

      Rik Rodriguez 10 years ago from Hawaii

      So is it improper hubbing to place our referral link on each one of our hubs, I guess I thought if someone read my hub and clicked on it and signed up that I would get credit for it?

      Thats the way it should be set up

    • Terri Paajanen profile image

      Terri Paajanen 10 years ago from someplace in Canada

      Excellent. I was always confused by the two "types" of referrals.

    • Kenny Wordsmith profile image

      Ashok Rajagopalan 10 years ago from Chennai

      Thank you, I didn't understand the concept at all before reading this!

    • sonia cabral profile image

      sonia cabral 10 years ago

      Yes this was very helpful! Interesting setup to encourage socializing and sharing!

    • ForTheLove profile image

      ForTheLove 10 years ago from Godforsaken, Iowa

      Excellent Hub! I think I actually grasp the concept of referrals now lol