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Five Lessons for HubPages Newbies

Updated on January 30, 2016
My First Year at HubPages
My First Year at HubPages | Source

My First Year At HubPages

On December 10th 2012 I reached an important milestone – my first year at HubPages. I've enjoyed reading the first year accounts of other hubbers, so I thought that this was a good time to add my own. The one year mark is a great time to reflect upon my HubPages experience, and to analyze what I've learned, and what I hope to accomplish during the next few years. That's right, I said the next few years because I've decided that HubPages is something that I would like to be into for the long haul. I enjoy this site for the following reasons:

  1. HubPages offers a wonderful variety of capsules that help authors make their hubs more structured and visually appealing.

  2. HubPages offers plenty of useful tutorials.

  3. HubPages has a great community of writers, with active forums.

  4. The HubPages staff is very helpful and responsive.

Off to a Slow Start

It took me quite some time before I started to write regularly for HubPages. The only other writing site that I have ever been involved in is Yahoo, and I wanted to branch out and explore different opportunities. I joined Hubpages in December of 2011, and moved one of my travel articles from Yahoo to HubPages because the article wasn't getting much traffic on Yahoo. Although I had deleted the article on Yahoo, I got a duplicate warning on HubPages. I sought out the help of the HubPages staff, and told them that the article was deleted on Yahoo. They responded immediately, and informed me that even though I had deleted it, it could possibly still be showing up on Yahoo. After informing Yahoo about the problem, all was well, and the HubPages staff took off the duplicate flag. I was impressed with how helpful and friendly the HubPages staff were during the incident.

Since my husband and I travel in the winter, I didn't really bother much with my writing until July of 2012. During the winter months, I took my time learning the mechanics of the HubPages interface, and how each capsule worked. I also read many articles on SEO. By the time June rolled around, I had only written 2 hubs, but I was really enjoying the writings of other Hubbers. You can find so many excellent writers on HubPages, and I found it helpful to look at the articles that I enjoyed and think about what made them good Hubs. Many writers talk about writer's block, but I think I was actually suffering from reader's block. By the time July rolled around, I figured that I should get in gear and start to write more Hubs.

Finally - I got a 100 hubber score!
Finally - I got a 100 hubber score! | Source

My First Year Goals

I realized early on that I wouldn't make much money immediately, so my goals weren't monetary. I decided to focus on three things:

  1. Strengthen my writing skills
  2. Learn more about on-line writing, including SEO.
  3. Find out what my niche was.

I tried to pick subjects that were of genuine interest to me, and that I enjoyed researching and writing about. I found that I was drawn to writing articles about traveling (since my husband and I travel for about 6 months out of the year), medical and health issues, technology (since I'm a former software designer/developer), the impact of science on society, and politics (especially activism). So far I've only managed to write 24 Hubs (not including this one), not very impressive compared to the huge number that I see others writing. I know that I could write more, and I may decide to up my game in the future. However, I'm retired, and this is not a full-time job for me. Right now I'm happy with writing for the love of it and to make a little extra money. I was thrilled that I finally received a hubber score of 100 in November. I feel that I've accomplished my goals for this year, and that I've written enough to analyze what I've learned, and where I should go from here.

Five Things I Would Advise Beginning Hubbers To Do

Based on what I've learned during this year, these are the five most important things that I would suggest to any HubPages newbie:

  1. Make your goals realistic.
  2. Have patience.
  3. Choose quality over quantity.
  4. Learn about SEO.
  5. Stay active in the HubPages community.

Make Your Goals Realistic

I've seen quite a few writers on this site put in a remarkable amount of time and energy only to become frustrated and disappointed with the money that they are making. I figured that it would take quite awhile before I would see any payday, and this has been true. I've only earned $25.00 so far, but of course I've only really written steadily for 6 months. Based on my average CPM (about $6.00) I'm getting on ads in the HubPages Ad Program, I've been able to put together the following table of expected annual earnings with various average views per hub per day.

Yearly Earnings at an average CPM of $6.00

Number of Hubs/Week
Daily Views/Hub
Year 1
Year 2
Year 3
Year 4
Year 5

This is only a very rough approximation, based on averages. In reality, views on one hub may immediately get 200 views, and then fall off. Another hub may steadily increase in views, then gradually taper off. Some hubs may only get one view every week, others may drop off to 0. However, over time, if I consistently write new hubs, rewrite and update older ones, and replace old hubs that I've deleted with new hubs, I think that these numbers are realistic for me to expect.

As you can see, the name of the game is to try to keep your average views per Hub high, and to keep on expanding the number of hubs. The whole effect is cumulative, and so if you write quality hubs that can be found on Google, your views will continue to rise and so will your paycheck.

Have Patience

It takes time for articles to mature. I've watched my Google hits increase as time goes on, and when I look at the statistics on my hubs (shown below) I see that the percentage of Google hits is rising. I'm pleased to see that some of my hubs are on the first page of Google, and that my Google page rank is rising on many hubs. At first, Google didn't find my articles at all, but after about 4-6 weeks, I started seeing the numbers rising. I've noticed that as time goes by, the majority of views are from Google rather than from HubPages or other sources.

Percentage of Google Hits

Total Views
30 days
7 days
33% of views
83% of views
94% of views

Choose Quality Over Quantity

This is the best advice that I can give anyone trying to write on-line. Make sure that your hub doesn't get published with spelling or grammatical errors. Read it over many times before you publish. I've gotten into the habit of writing a hub, then letting it go for a day before I publish it. Often times, when you get a fresh look at something, you find mistakes, or you see sections that should be edited. I just started doing work for Mechanical Turk, the company that HubPages uses to rate Hubs. I figured since I often used the Hub-Hopper, I might as well make a little bit of money by doing the same thing for Mechanical Turk. There is nothing that can cause me to give a hub a low rating faster than spelling or grammatical errors. I try to keep that in mind when I write my own hubs.

Know Something About SEO

I don't write around key words or try to pick topics simply because I think that they will get views. As I stated previously, I write about what I'm interested in and enthusiastic about. However, once I pick a topic, I've gotten into the habit of checking out Google Keyword Tool to try to choose the best keywords to use for my chosen topic, and to help me select a title. I've made some mistakes with titles, and I've gone back and changed the title later. However, it's better to choose the right title in the beginning, since a matching URL and title will probably give the article a higher Google rating. I choose my titles carefully and try to keep my first paragraph strong, with well placed keywords.

Stay Active in the HubPages Community

There are so many talented writers in HubPages. I've had no problem finding interesting, well-written articles concerning the subjects I'm interested in. I try to take time to study writers that I feel are especially gifted, and analyze what they're doing right. I'm careful with choosing whom to follow, and try to follow only writers that I genuinely enjoy. I like to comment on articles written by Hubbers I'm following, but you can only allow so much time for reading and commenting, or you'll never get any of your own writing done. Therefore, I try limit the number of writers that I follow so that I will be able to comment on their work. Of course I keep running across writers I really like, and so my list keeps expanding. The forums are fun, and I love peeking in on them and occasionally adding comments. I've noticed that many other hubbers agree with me that the social community on HubPages is one of the best.

My Goals For Next Year

I only have two goals for next year. They're not overly ambitious, but I like to keep my goals realistic and achievable. Here they are:

  1. Write 50 new hubs to get my total up to 75. This will mean writing an average of 4 hubs a month. If possible, I'd like to get up to 100, but since I'll be traveling, that may not be possible.

  2. Increase my views to an average of 4 views/hub.

So there you have it. I've certainly enjoyed my first year at HubPages, and am looking forward to many happy years ahead – as I said, I'm in this for the long term. To my followers – thanks so very much for your support. I'm always extremely grateful and happy to see you show up, and hope you continue to do so. For those of you who have just met me, I hope that you'll read more of my writing as I continue on my HubPages journey.

© 2012 Margaret Perrottet


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