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The Overcommercialization of Hubpage Articles.

Updated on December 8, 2010

Sure, make money but have fun, too.

"It's money, honey, my little sonny.... And the rich man's hub is always funny!" photo credit
"It's money, honey, my little sonny.... And the rich man's hub is always funny!" photo credit

Writing Hubs has to have the "FUN" factor

The title has a word with some heft to it! Yes, it should be two words, or hyphenated; I don't care, it sounds just fine as it is and says just what this humble scribe wanted it to say: that he is getting a wee bit antsy about hubs written about writing hubs, especially where the subject of affiliates occupies the whole text, yadderyadderyadder. Maybe it's because there is no little residual envy there on my part, tempered with genuine dislike of seeing slick vehicles - popular because of what they promise - written more for the writer's personal gain, although well hidden behind the clever, altruistic message, such as , "Do what I do and get your clicks up to high heaven, etc."

What generates the old askance is the fact these "how to" hubs literally groan with the author's own affiliate advertising, often overwhelming the text 2 to 1 or more; many, from Amazon mostly, are books on how to further make a bunch of buckaroos from the same old litany: "run your hub activities as a business." Then there is the comet's - tail of congratulatory comments by all the fish in the article writing game - as well as some that have been writing hubs for years. And the vast internet audience must be looking for this self-help advice as well, because this type of hub is proliferating, suggesting the authors must themselves be getting huge monthly payouts from Adsense, even though the majority of hubbers are counting the gain in pennies at the end of each month.

I, too, read these hubs, even occasionally bum-sucking! And have gained the odd nuggets of useful advice, too. The one stand-out piece of sagery was found on a video added by one of our top hubbers. The chick making the flick said, “You need to develop a NICHE, it’s no good having a hodgepodge of dozens of different subjects if you want to make serious money.” Huh!? I gazed forlornly at my lengthy list of 200 patchwork quilt articles. My pride dropped away replaced with no little dejection. “That’s me,” I said to self, “You have really fudged up; why didn’t you read this article and watch clips like this BEFORE you decided to write like someone who learned his craft in the Tower of Babel?” On further inspection of the titular alphabet-soup that was my hub list, I did see one sort of nichey picture emerging. That was insects and arachnids, etc. I seem to be one of the leading authorities on Hubpages with the crawlies and have received some useful and pleasing comments. One of my articles on the poisonous caterpillars of Brazil and the Amazon area has had close to 10,000 hits and still is at the top of the tree. (Lomonia). My fishy pieces on Giant Squid, etc., also do well. So if I wanted to develop this as a niche, I have the bare bones done. But just look on Google and see the literally millions of articles, some far more erudite than my own, on nature! So if I had known what I now know to be true, that one has to find a lesser-known niche to bring the clicks like hailstones, I would have left the spiders in their webs and the squidies in...their squidery, I suppose. I might have written on constipation; I am an expert in ridding the word’s sufferers, apart from one, of accumulated dung. Or perhaps w-----g, I am sure that would get some ardent, ahem, admirers. But these subjects, slave to them as I might be, don’t hold my attention, except for ten minutes of straining in the morning and another 3 minutes in front of a well-known video site at night a couple of times a year. (Google doesn’t like me mentioning it as they made clear recently by refusing to advertise on an article they though a little too risqué, not withstanding that they carry all this stuff themselves! might watch out for that, as you are developing your there‘s some advice you can use!)

But in writing about something I knew little about; had to research day and night; meanwhile yawning and suffering from shattering boredom...where’s the fun in that? Here’s the next bit of useless advice. Writing has to be - what is was for 15 years of reporting for me - FUN! Sometimes it was a slog, but as I usually only accepted work where I had my own column and minimal interference from two species of pond-slime know in the trade as copy, and managing, editors, I usually loved what I did and getting to know the host of interesting creatures, biped and otherwise, that came my way.

I find it surprising that not more hubbers are also employed journalists. Especially hacks who might be able to get permission to develop their “hot news” pieces into full articles on follow up for Hubpages. I suppose we have them, I just haven’t found them yet.

OK Let’s not drift off in the nether world of maybe’s and perhaps’s.

In conclusion, I just want to say that I have no intention in looking for, or developing a NICHE with no fun-factor, unless I get visited by a Martian or get a rare fulminating fungoid disease that enables me to publish, based on exclusive knowledge of something no-one else knows a thing about. Hoo hoo hoo, then watch them clicks come a‘ runnin’!



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    • agilitymach profile image

      Kristin Kaldahl 5 years ago

      I think that is just it. We must write for fun. Fortunately, I find writing for my "niche" fun. I appreciate this article as it is something I've been considering after watching the pennies dribble in. :)

    • RunAbstract profile image

      RunAbstract 6 years ago from USA

      Thank you!

    • diogenes profile image

      diogenes 6 years ago from UK and Mexico

      Hi Trish:

      It has to tell you something, doesn't it? I have a "popular" site, I think, and I have made just 120 quid from HP in two years! (All adsense). I suppose I run around 4 to 5 pounds per month. As a columnist I got 100 dollars per 1000 words! And THAT wasn't high by any means. What are we, loosers?? In my case, I am retired really, so it fills in time: I would have never worked (or had to) for pennies like this during my working career!


    • Trish_M profile image

      Tricia Mason 6 years ago from The English Midlands

      Thank you, Bob. That's vey kind. :)

      Your hubs are often amusing and informative ~ a good combination ~ plus you have your poetry. They certainly seem to be very popular ~ and with your background, you should be a star earner on this site!

      I think that I have made almost $2 so far this month! What on earth shall I spend it all on?!

    • diogenes profile image

      diogenes 6 years ago from UK and Mexico

      The secret seems to be, think of a subject - any subject. Google it: if it has few mentions, research and write about it. There is just too much on the Internet these days for any individual to do well, except these mythical hubbers who make thousands a month and no one knows first hand. They are probably all red herrings anyway! If anyone deserves to do well financially from their excellent hubs, it's you Trish...Bob

    • Trish_M profile image

      Tricia Mason 6 years ago from The English Midlands

      Hi :)

      Since I cannot get to grips with 'SEO' ~ whatever that is ~ I have decided to just get on and write.

      However, when I learn that some people are earning hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars per month, I must admit that I do try to read and follow the advice on these 'how to hubs'.

      Hundreds or thousands of dollars per month would be nice!

      If I could solve the mystery of how to turn my writing into a readily available fortune, I might ~ provided I didn't have to write boring stuff, about finance or whatever. :)

    • diogenes profile image

      diogenes 7 years ago from UK and Mexico

      So true, dablufox, so very true. Nothing worth while comes easy and there's no free lunch. I feel sorry for all the folks with high ambitions to make a serious living on HP; maybe 1 percent do...Bob

    • dablufox profile image

      dablufox 7 years ago from Australia

      Interesting hub! I agree that many hubbers, most of which are pretty green when it comes to writing, SEO and online marketing can flog an internet marketing affiliate product that they hardly know anything about let alone have purchased and used. Not to mention the countless 'penny hubs' that have all but 250 words but just as many Amazon products.

      From trial and error I have learned that you really have to earn the trust of your readers by providing top shelf content either by sticking with a niche that you really do know a great deal about or being prepared to do a whole lot of research.

      The cold hard fact is that Hubpages is not the gold mine that many bloggers/internet marketers claim in order to get readers to 'buy my product....please!'

      Nothing worthwhile comes easy!

    • diogenes profile image

      diogenes 7 years ago from UK and Mexico

      Hi Princess. Hubs lie dormant for months and then spring to life again. It's a strange game. Thanks for your comment...Bob

    • prairieprincess profile image

      Sharilee Swaity 7 years ago from Canada

      diogenes, just discovered this old gem. Thank you! I agree that writing should be fun, and I'm glad you pointed that out. With all the changing rules now, at HP ... use RSS feeds. Don't use RSS feeds. Put in News capsules. Always leave news capsules ... it's getting stressful! And I just wanted an outlet! So thanks for a great reminder. I needed to hear this!

    • diogenes profile image

      diogenes 7 years ago from UK and Mexico

      Hi Sa'ge: Thanks for the cheering comment; glad you got some moisture over there. Bob

    • diogenes profile image

      diogenes 7 years ago from UK and Mexico

      And for yours, too, HH...Bob

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 7 years ago from London, UK

      Thank you for the heart warming words.

    • Sa`ge profile image

      Sa`ge 7 years ago from Barefoot Island

      g'day Bob, hope your weekend is going grand, we finally got tons of rain here after years of drought. :D sorry had to say that, so excited about all this rain.

      I so enjoyed reading this hub. I love the way you write. You are so right about hubs, most of them anyways. It has happened that I would start to love a hubber then all of a sudden, well, they would start to write them about hubs bugs. oh well, :(............ And they all say the same thing, and are so boring and uninformative.

      Thank you for the way you write, you know who to say things that be the same thing, but of so with that twist that adds spice to meat and changes the flavor enough to make a big difference. Dancing on them buttons my dear, hope I don't break them on my way out. :D hugs :D

    • profile image

      diogenes 7 years ago

      If I had such a magic device, you would be the first to share it, HH. What I meant by that was "page clicks" - viewers of the hub, not adsence clicks. Feel better? Bob

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 7 years ago from London, UK

      I am of the same opinion. May I have you magic wand for the 10,000 clicks. I am glad you wrote that hub and brought it all into the open. There is one top hubber and that person wrote the same thing as long as I am here. Never gives a real tip. Just churning the words and sentences around and yippi everybody cheers her for a great hub and tips. Times and again I read the new hub and I thoought aha today is the miracle where it is revealed - again the same thing.

    • profile image

      diogenes 7 years ago

      Hi Nell Rose: Thank Gawd...I though I was suffering alone! Yes, too many defects to list, but they do the job - barely. I nearly have a stroke at times, though, waiting for windows to open and even text I have just written to show. Bob

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 7 years ago from England

      Hi, just came back to say I have got a T-mobile dongle too! it has been playing up something awful this week! lol

    • profile image

      diogenes 7 years ago

      What a marvellous metaphor!!! I have never heard it put better....Bob

    • Christopher Price profile image

      Christopher Price 7 years ago from Vermont, USA

      A niche is very near a pigeon-hole is very similar to a slot is very like a rut.

      If I find mine there is little chance there will be room there for anyone else!

      I write and publish on hubpages because, as my profile page says, I have things to say, stories to share and songs sing.

      If I expected money I'd have charged admission!


    • profile image

      diogenes 7 years ago



      Nell Rose



      Please excuse me not answering individually. I am getting a lot of feedback on this article and I am grateful for all of it. Heartening to see so many of you agree about the "fun factor." I will return here and look you up individually. I operate with a T Mobile "dongle," having given up on BT a year ago, so my broadband is slooooow. Anyone on a dongle will understand this...Bob

    • profile image

      diogenes 7 years ago

      There's a hubber having fun! Thanks for comment FloBe...Bob

    • FloBe profile image

      Flo Belanger 7 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I make a list of what I want to write about and then once I sit down to write, something entirely different happens! So, I've given up trying to be organized about it and now I'm just enjoying the process. If I can fit it into a specific category, then so be it...if not, oh well! I'm really enjoying myself.

    • nell79 profile image

      nell79 7 years ago from United States

      I've heard that word (niche) in the short time I've been here. I just can't do it. Yes, I'd love to make money here, but ultimately, I want to enjoy what I'm writing too. So that means I write about what I feel like writing about at whatever moment I decide to write it. Ah, well, at least I'm in good company! ;)

    • Karanda profile image

      Karen Wilton 7 years ago from Australia

      That is a really nice quilt happening with your variety of hubs and the sincerity in your writing shows through. I can't find my niche either. It went missing about the same time as my car keys. I wonder if they're in the same place?

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 7 years ago from England

      Hi, don't know about patchwork, I am more of a bayeux tapestry! lol I must admit to adding a few buy me buy me please! hubs near christmas, but the rest of the time I write about all sorts of things, from strange people in history, (no money there then) to silly things that have happened in my life. I like to enjoy what I am doing, mind you I do have a funny story to tell, everytime I write a hub about cooking, (about three so far, not exactly a chef am I?) lol I try the recipe first, and my kitchen ends up looking like an explosion in a spagetti factory! Ho hum never mind! cheers nell

    • stephhicks68 profile image

      Stephanie Hicks 7 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      I do agree that some people at HubPages appear to be only in it for the money. I sadly have seen some hubs recently prepared by people that I knew when I first joined the community in 2008 and the very first capsule is amazon or ebay. To me, that is nothing but spam.

      I don't have a clearly defined special niche in my articles here at HubPages - I write about what I enjoy. When I make money, that does make me happy - so I do try to use good keywords and a dash of SEO. :)

      Thumbs up for this thoughtful hub!

    • Scribenet profile image

      Scribenet 7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I agree writing on Hubs or anywhere for that matter should be fun!

      This takes time and in the "real" world many of us wouldn't be able to publish at all. HubPages is just a great community to find good established writers like yourself and learn by reading and hoping some of the skills "rub off" on us so we can try to emulate.

      Sure, earning on HubPages would be nice; maybe if one wants to market mercilessly, but I am just pleased to be able to write and marvel when I get ten cents in one day..but I think; for earning money, I prefer my day job!

    • profile image

      diogenes 7 years ago

      Hi menfrac@gmail,com. Yes, they don't actually promise one and all a lot of money, they just tell you about the top hubbers who are making a killing (so they say). Anyway, unless you are really the flavor of the month right away, it does take around a year and quite a few hubs online before even a modest amount can be garnered through Adsense. Many use Ebay and Amazon but I can't be bothered. Bob

    • profile image

      diogenes 7 years ago

      Hi j.amie: I was writing these articles for a year before I even hit on the "niche" concept through another hubber. Well, at least you got an early heads-up about the situation and can decide which way you want to go as well as latching-on to a niche if one comes a'knocking...Bob

    • profile image 7 years ago

      Very well said diogenes, I read in between the lines this: HubPages promises a lot of money and fun, but fail to deliver any money, the fun is up to yourself of course.

      I am saying this just because I do not see any money coming my way: I wonder what I do wrong?

    • j.amie profile image

      j.amie 7 years ago from PA

      It's difficult to write about something you have absolutely no interest in. Sure, there is a certain discipline to be learned from such things, but if you aren't interested in what you are writing about chances are you won't write much about it (in your true tone at least) that anyone else is interested in reading.

      I believe I read the same article just last night. I took a look at my infantile list of Hubs and considered that I have begun a patchwork of my own, severely lacking a niche. At that time, I dismissed the thought with a shrug and a note to self that I'm just getting started anyhow. If a niche is to be had, then a niche will come. I will not go in search of one!

    • profile image

      diogenes 7 years ago

      Hi M.T. Alaways good to see a comment from someone who has "walked the walk." Yes...I sort of just go along with the flow at present and see what fate might bring and am enjoying keeping the writing muscle in trim! Bob

    • M. T. Dremer profile image

      M. T. Dremer 7 years ago from United States

      As far as I'm concerned, the 'how to make money' articles on hubpages were only useful to me when I first started writing here, and that's only because I had no idea what adsense was or how to use it. But the interesting thing is; the information is all available through hubpages' sign up procedure, so these articles aren't really necessary, yet they are extremely abundant. So much so that I wrote an article about how NOT to make money just to break the trend.

      But you're right about niches. Without even realizing it, I cornered the DAZ Studio market here on Hubpages. If you type it into a keyword search, my articles overpopulate the top ten. They also bring in the most traffic. However, there is only so much I can write about the program and it wouldn't be fun to write ONLY about that.

    • profile image

      diogenes 7 years ago

      Thanks for interest...what? A long-tailed widow-bird? Sounds a bit racy...Bob

    • tonymac04 profile image

      Tony McGregor 7 years ago from South Africa

      I totally agree! If it's not fun what the heck? Thanks for this. Just hope my Hubber score goes up a bit and maybe somebody, somewhere, clicks on a few ads! That would add to the fun, no doubt! Long-tailed key words? I prefer long-tailed widow birds! LOL!

      Love and peace


    • DiamondRN profile image

      Bob Diamond RPh 7 years ago from Charlotte, NC USA

      Astute observations, Diogenes.

    • profile image

      diogenes 7 years ago

      Hi Bobbi. That's a comment with some meat in it, thanks. Don't tempt me, I have had enough of the sUcKs! Bob

    • BobbiRant profile image

      BobbiRant 7 years ago from New York

      Boy, do I love this hub. You hit the nail on the head, Baby! What a great read and so well written. Psst! come on over here and make some money. LOL I love this one.


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