One persons failure, is another persons success. Of course, you did not define failure. Many hubbers have read claims of those making hundreds of dollars here. However, anybody who is making beyond a dollar or two, have been here for years, are experience writers, and have hundreds of articles published here. Other reasons why some do better than others is that they may be well established on the Internet and have followers.
One small tip is that if you do not know how to use keywords and tags correctly, no matter where you write, you will not fair well.
These sites were not developed to earn money for writers. Imagine, having a site, where you have thousands of writers posting articles daily on it. Your money will come from google ads, and other advertisers. Why? Because John Doe who has a blog with 100 articles is struggling to get more than a Page 2 ranking, even though he does everything right. Your article submission site has thousands of articles that keep growing which gives you content that is also categorized. Because of your writers, your traffic, advertisers are willing to pay you to place an ad on your site. But, ole John Doe will be struggling, advertisers will ignore him, because he is one simple person writing a few articles a day or even a month.
There is an advantage to Hub Pages even though the pay here is not good. You are placing your articles on a highly ranked site within the search engines, giving you better exposure when people search on your keywords. Your article will be seen faster from a high PR site, than it will from your low PR ranked blog.