I admit, I used to come to HubPages everyday to celebrate sales or money made w/ ads. Now I find no need...
I remember the good ole days when I would get a payment every month or two from HubPages..Now it's been since August and am still not even close~
Plus I am in a State that cannot use Amazon any longer so the once anticipated Christmas "bonus" check is gone ....W
What has happened to HubPages?
Panda happened on February 24, 2011. If that is when you started to lose income because of traffic, Panda is why.
The same thing that happened to many, many websites and blogs. The first Panda update did the biggest damage, but there have been hundreds more updates since then, many of which have hurt HubPages more.
There isn't a single revenue-sharing website that's doing well. All of them - Squidoo, HubPages, Infobarrel, Bukisa, the lot - now get a fraction of the traffic they did in 2010. Most of them have made major changes to their business model - some don't even pay their writers any more! But in spite of those changes, traffic hasn't recovered to previous levels.
Start looking for other sites that have copied your hubs. This has become a real problem. I am still getting good traffic, but Google is fading for me. It is all sent from Yahoo, Bing and sites that have added links over the years. Google is a love/hate relationship for me.
Paula, maybe this article by Paul Edmondson will help clear up things a little for you:
http://pauledmondson.hubpages.com/hub/T … Year-Eight
I looked at ten of your pages (not a huge sample, I know but... anyway).
None of the affiliate pages that I looked was in the Google index.
Non-affiliate pages seemed OK.
So, if I was you, I would take a careful look at your amazon pages.
Frankly, given that you cannot make money from them, I wonder why you keep them.
There is hope! I have raked in about $48 this month so far. Don't give up- you'll have to evolve WITH Google to keep them smiling down on your domain. My method has been working really well for me, clearly, and I think I've only got 36( I think???) published hubs. Keep chugging. Hubpages is actually standing in a very good position with Google. You just need to update your content, keep it above 1,000 words, and make them multimedia rich. And keywords, of course. I've got a hub that demonstrates what I've done; it's no big secret, just persistence and trial and error! I wish you the best of luck!
I no longer look forward to, or expect much earnings here any more. I went down from 100.00 months to nil in a year.
In Illinois, we were unable to participate in Amazon's program for over 2 years. Recently the IL supreme court overturned that law that caused Amazon to pull the plug here and the program was reinstated. Perhaps the same can happen in your state if enough people bring this to the attention of the right people where you live.
Now we are able to again, but Amazon rejected my account. LOL.
Oh no! I hope mine doesn't get rejected . I'm still waiting for official word back. I applied and can do all the capsules and whatnot. I just expected that since others here have it and use it, that it would get approved. yikes!
It would be nice to hear from someone out there who is still making more than a few hundred dollars a month just to know there is still hope for those who are floundering. Helloooooooooooooo ... Helloooooooooooooo ... are you out there ... out there ... out there...
There are many people making that much a month here, but most of them do not post on the Forum.
More than a few hundred dollars a month??? I'm lucky to be making a hundred dollars a year nowadays!
I'm sure of that Fox ... don't mind me. I'm just high on Gabapentin and feeling kindof froggy
I have never made any money from Amazon and have taken most of them down.
Agree...you can make very good money w/ Amazon. I received deposits monthly until MN denied the use of them....If you have it USE it for sure....
This is going to be a poor HP Christmas for me.
The views and money have dropped so much. Maybe something good will happen after the first.
Saturday, 12-14-13 Does Not Exist???
Today, (Sun. 12-15-13), I notice I made zero income on Friday, and there is no date line for yesterday: Saturday is not even listed on the left!
Yet, there is no notification at the top of the page (as I have become somewhat accustomed to seeing) regarding "...a delay in payment processing for xxx dates."
Historically, I never did get any spikes over the holidays; my day-to-day "income" (if you want to call it that) stays about the same year-round. For me a "huge spike" would be a day when I make, for example, $1.13 in a single day. Otherwise, everything stays between 60-something cents and 80-something cents per day. (Meaning I'm lucky to see a payout 3 times a year!)
(I think I have had AdSense and the HP ad program in place for about 2 years--I don't know where to find when I signed up for either/both.)
I have no idea what's up. I have studied and learned a lot about SEO, and implemented much of that knowledge into hub edits and new hubs, and gladly taken in tweaks suggested by fellow Hubbers, but my traffic doesn't change; I get very little "organic" traffic that I can determine outside of the chart here on HP. I have never been able to properly figure out GA. It confuses me, and I'm no wiser for having read that chart.
I never did expect to get rich or even make a living writing here, but it is frustrating not to be able to figure out how to at least reach that magic $30 a month payday...it would help with the groceries and gas.
HubPages staff don't work weekends, so there is no one in the office to notice and alert us to the problem.
Have you written any Christmas Hubs? Have you written any Hubs about specific products, or guidance on how to buy products, or how to make crafts? The Christmas spike occurs because people are looking for gift ideas - so if you haven't written any Hubs which will help them, you won't get it.
You may be surprised to know I find GA confusing too! This page tells you where your traffic is coming from:
Based on the Hubs I can see on your profile, I'm not sure you've really understood those lessons on SEO. The titles are not SEO friendly, and that's the most critical aspect.
For instance, you have a Hub about Dump Cake. You admit in your first sentence that few people have ever heard the term, so how many people do you think are searching for it? However, I bet there are people looking for an easy way to make cake. If you had really absorbed those lessons on SEO, you'd have called this Hub "An Easy Way to Make Cake" or "Easy Cakes from Scratch" or similar.
The best way to find titles is to think of what people might type into Google to find your topic. Try typing those ideas into the Google search box and see what options come up in the autocomplete. Also look at the "related searches" at the bottom of the page. They're all based on what real people are searching for. Don't rearrange the words to create a catchy or "clever" title - that destroys the SEO.
If you want to get more sophisticated after that, you can go to the Keyword Planner and check how many searches each of those phrases actually gets - but if you're not sure how to use it, the Keyword Planner can give you a heap of misleading information (for instance if you don't use "exact" match, the figures are meaningless - and most people wouldn't know where to find the box to tick).
The other problem you have, as I'm sure I've commented before, is that all the SEO in the world won't help if you're writing about things people aren't searching for. Before you even put pen to paper - I mean finger to keyboard - you need to ask yourself, "Are people looking for advice or information on this topic?" If the answer is no, and you write it anyway, you can't complain if it doesn't make money.
I do understand your situation and the significance of writing as an outlet for you, which means you don't want to be constrained in what you write. But you can't have it both ways, no matter how much you seem to hope that you can. There's nothing wrong with writing for your own pleasure or for the entertainment of your followers, but if that's your choice then you need to accept that income doesn't flow from that.
Thanks for your input. I didn't say that I had mastered SEO; merely that I had learned some. I realize I still have work to do. Thank you for the tip on the dump cake title; I'll fix it today.
I have written a couple of Christmas hubs.. but not many...and they are not new, so I guess I'm not surprised that their traffic has fallen off. I kind of have a problem with Xmas articles. With the way the retailers rush the season, I get burned out on it, and ignore it, and don't want to hear about it until like 2 weeks before the day, and at that point, I'm sure it's far too late to do anyone any good if they're looking for helpful info.
I've written a couple of craft/how-to hubs, but no product reviews. I don't plan to, either. It's not my cup of tea. Book and movie reviews are the only reviews I've done.
I did not mean to come off as sounding complaining; I was merely puzzled at the missing Saturday; I thought that was an automated feature, not a human-input one.
I was also basically just commenting about the main title of this thread, in that I 'can't relate' to spikes/drops.
My tip would be to go back over your Hubs and work on those titles as a priority, it's the one thing that can make the biggest difference. Don't worry that they'll be different from the URL if you change them: that really doesn't matter.
If they're featured, being old shouldn't be a problem at all.
Thanks again, Marisa.
I'm working on it--and still struggling--having been brought up in the print media tradition of the "hook/catchy title." The SEO-friendly ones just seem so, "blah, boring, who'd want to read THAT..." to me, plus, much harder to come up with originality.
There are probably a gazillion and a half "easy-to-make-cake" titles out there being searched...how do you make THAT stand out of the crowd, instead of being relegated to page 1,001 on the search engine?
That's where the catchy phrase comes in--but no one searches catchy phrases, so I find it kind of a catch-22 situation. ... Otherwise known as "damned if you do; damned if you don't."
You've just answered your question. The SEO-friendly phrase may be one in a million, but it's still got far more chance than a catchy title. So it's not catch-22 at all.
...but not if it's down past page 20--most people won't even search up to 3 pages of 'hits.' .... We live in a society of short attention spans. (Actually, merely short attention spans might be an improvement...)
That's where the catch-22 comes in...
What I'm saying, MsLizzy, is that if you choose a catchy title instead of an SEO'd one, it won't be on page 20. It'll be on page 200. An SEO title gives you some chance. A catchy title gives you none at all.
Ok--I've 'fixed' a few more hubs..I hope. I've changed my profile carousel to ONLY my holiday-specific titles...I hope that helps some, as well.
I guess part of my complaint about 'plain ordinary' titles is that sometimes they can get far too generic. When I did a stint at Demand Media Studios, for example, you wrote on topics they presented, and the titles were already in place; you could not edit them.
One I recall passing over was "How to Fix a Golf Cart." Well, how do you write that article? First, you have to know what's wrong with the thing, before you can address how to fix it. "How to Repair Golf Cart Brakes," or "How to Repair a Golf Cart Motor," or "How to Fix a Golf Cart Roof" would have been titles that could be written...but not the generic overall title I listed to start with.
And, those are supposedly titles gleaned from real searches. Well, if people are searching for such titles as those, and can't even be specific about their problem, then we're all in real trouble in this world.
I could search 'how to fix cake' and probably get recipes, but if I'm looking to find a rescue for overdone cake, or cake with a mistake in the ingredients, then I'd better be able to say so, or I'm not going to find what I'm looking for.
Sorry for the rant...I guess I was raised in a different era, and the educational system was far better than today's.
How about "How to Make Easy Cakes: Dump Cake" or "Easy to Make Cake: Dump Cake." I never heard of dump cake either.
I never heard the term "dump cake" till this morning, when some pleasant looking older lady was demonstrating how to make one on the "Today Show.".
It must also be noted that my six and eleven year old boys convulsed on the floor laughing every time the woman used the term "dump cake," because of course, to little boys the term "dump" means to... well, nevermind, you probably get the picture.
Try something that is both catchy and good for SEO, that way you get engagement and Google. For example for "easy to make cake" you could have "3 Second Easy To Make Cake" or "Sooooo Easy To Make Cake, It's Funny!" or "Easy To Make Cake Without Baking Or Sweating" or "Dump Cake: The Easy To Make Cake You'll Remember" etc you get the idea. Google will find the main keywords inside your heading, as long as they are in order and an exact match.
By the way, it helps to create a unique title with the keywords. If people type into Google "easy to make cake", up might come 20 pages all called the same thing. Your unique title will grab them more...and Google seems to place the engaged pages higher....so I'd work with making titles unique and interesting this sensationalist and newspaper heading type way, but containing the keywords.
+ I've read very recently that this is the way to go. If I can find it, I'll post it. The article also suggested spending more time on title creation, it's that important.
And if your hub is the same title as everyone else's in Google, you'll be omitted from search results for being too similar and people will have to click "include omitted results" to find you....not many people do that!
I changed the title of that article the other day to : "Cake Recipes: Make any Cake Fast and Easy" Then, I put "Dump Cake" in the summary and as the first capsule header. I also added "What on Earth is a Dump Cake" to the photo, as a MFP image....
But as Marisa pointed out, there mightn't be many people looking for dump cake in Google and there might be 20 million people with pages called "Cake Recipes".
You need to find a technique to find a keyword which works with the subject matter, then incorporate that keyword into the dump cake recipe, in the title, summary and twice or so in the text or captions (don't worry too much about headers containing it). "Dump Cake" is probably not your ideal keyword, it is too rare. You can still talk about the dump cake, just don't use it as a keyword.
Check out these instructions to help, which do assist a lot. Really try to follow everything here: http://angryelf.hubpages.com/hub/How-to … ccessfully
The MFP is fine and should work well, no need for keywords in there.
OK, now I will break it down into steps.
1. Use Angryelf's tutorial above to find a keyword phrase in the Google Keyword Planner and also check out results in Google as per what she did, for example "flourless cake recipes" could be a keyword phrase (example only).
2. Put this phrase in the title as discussed above.
3. Put this phrase in the summary. Put this phrase twice in the text.
4. Wait for traffic.
The phrase cannot be changed around at all. For example you cannot have "flourless red cake recipes", only "flourless cake recipes", in amongst other text.
Do this for only 1 keyword phrase per hub until you get the hang of it. Then, when you understand what you are doing, you can try to combine 2 or 3 of them.
I will look at those. .. and try again....
**dissolves into a sobbing heap of frustration**
Just look at the Google Keyword Planner stuff and the Google searches. Nothing else. Comment or email Angryelf if you don't understand anything, she's got it worked out good.
Hang in there, you'll get it!
Suzanne is giving you good advice. I didn't suggest using the Keyword Planner because I think you'll find it far too stressful. IMO you have to strike a balance between using SEO and destroying your enjoyment of writing altogether!
You'll get a long way using the technique I described (typing the words into Google and looking at what autocompletes). The key - and I'm pretty sure this is what you're missing - is:
- Keywords these days are more usually keyword phrases
- when you find a popular phrase, you have to use that exact phrase. Separate the words, or re-order them, and you've lost all the SEO benefit.
- As Suzanne says, there's nothing to stop you adding words before and/or after your phrase to make your title more interesting or catchy.
How did you come up with "Cake Recipes: Make any Cake Fast and Easy"? Did you try typing any part of that into Google to see if it auto-completed? I tried it and there was no auto-complete for "make any cake" so I doubt it's a phrase anyone searches for. Do you see what I mean?
Ack--no, I did that particular "fix" prior to reading today's posts...so no, not 'google checked.' I was merely trying to get rid of the 'dump cake' title, which supposedly was not a search term...but, apparently , it is.. ay, yi yi!
So, I think I'll change it back to the original title: Dump Cakes: Make ANY cake a "dump cake"
Apparently, I also need to edit the content of the hub to reflect the definition I know, because all of the searches turn up cakes with fruit added..and they way my aunt referenced it, is simply an easy way to put scratch-made cakes together as easily as a cake mix...there's no fruit involved.
...so you changed it after the advice I gave you, which was that you should type possible titles into Google to see what auto-completes? I hope you've got the message now!
If you're going to try the Keyword Planner, do please be very careful, read the instructions exactly and follow them to the letter. Missing just one little thing (like not ticking the "exact" box) will produce results which are extremely misleading. Better not to use it at all, than use it incorrectly.
I have to apologise for leading you wrong about the dump cake keyword - I had never heard of it, and took your word for it that it was an obscure term.
I just did a search on the Keyword Planner myself. "Dump Cake" gets 33,000 searches, but checking on Google, there are a LOT of results for that term.
You'd be better to target "Dump Cake Recipe", which has enough searches but fewer websites already using the phrase. As Suzanne says, use the phrase but add words before or after it (never ever split or rearrange the keyword phrase). So you might have "Dump Cake Recipe for Any Cake" or "Make Any Recipe a Dump Cake Recipe" - or something more imaginative!
(Have you noticed what a funny word Recipe is? It feels stranger the more I type it!)
OK finally got a lunch break.
I tested intitle:"dump cake" in Google and got 43,300 results. That's 43,300 pages with "Dump Cake" in the title that you would have to beat.
For intitle:"dump cake recipe" there are 7,280 pages. Still too much competition in my opinion, but far less than "Dump Cake".
Ok, I just looked for "keyword planner," and the page had a lot of explanatory text, including this message:
"All you need is an AdWords account. If you don’t have an Adwords account, learn how to create one."
Is this the same thing as our AdSense account that we use here and for the HP ad program? If not, and I think I came across this before, it didn't appear to be free, but a tool you have to pay for to use, as it's targeted to actual advertisers. I can't afford to pay: we'd have to make $10K more a year just to hit the baseline poverty level.
Adsense is for getting paid when you put ads up, Adwords is for you paying Google for advertising in searches.
But it is free to sign up to an Adwords account.
Just don't sign up for additional things or pay them anything for the additional stuff! Only get the basic Adwords account for free and use that to access Google Planner. You shouldn't need to pay anything at all.
Leaving work now then off to the beach. May login later, not sure.
I found one of the articles that I was referring to above. It's section 8 in the article. The entire article is very detailed with great links. It's been posted here in the forums before, but it's worth reposting if you missed it.
The links he references in Section 8 are worth reading, especially the links about studying the titles on specific sites. As I browsed through them, there were many that I would have clicked on to read simply because of the title.
You can also find helpful articles on Copyblogger.com about title creation.
I actually bought most of my Christmas gifts with HubPages money this year. I'm doing better than I expected by quite a bit, but I don't rely on Google. I use social media for my traffic, and amazingly enough, it gives a nice solid trickle of traffic to most of my hubs on a regular basis. I do get the spikes (sometimes viral), especially after posting a hub to my FB fanpage, but I also continue to get reasonable traffic after the spikes.
I also try and make my titles more interesting to the target market. I implemented that change after reading that tip in the forums. And I try and use cool images, which is easy for me to do because my main topic is photogenic.
I'm a niche writer for the most part, which Panda seems to love. Panda was good to me, and my Google results increased about three fold. That said, I still don't rely on Google. My main numbers are social media.
I'm not making huge bucks to be sure, but I didn't come to HubPages for a living. I'm reaching pay out or double payout most months now. The months I don't, I'm not "working" social media. This month will be low for me because I'm taking a bit of a writing break, but I will make payout this month. I think it takes more work to reach your target audience than it used to, and many people don't want to work the social media system. That's where the viral views are, though.
BTW, "dump cakes" are trending. I would be sure to have it in my title as the concept is becoming more popular. I think you'll see more and more Google searches for it, but you'll need to make YOUR dump cake title the most compelling.
I just did a fast Google search for "dump cake." I got 3.6 million hits. The top hits had super boring titles like "Dump Cake Recipe" or "Easy Dump Cake Recipe." Of course it's easy!! It's a dump cake!! None of the top titles compelled me to go read.
If they are trending, then maybe MsLizzy might want to take a social media approach instead of a keyword approach. I will leave this in your capable, viral producing hands as my social media is average...
Oh no, don't look to me for that!! I have a FB very niche audience, but haven't gotten a recipe to go viral yet. Wrylit would be the one to turn to as recipes are great on Pinterest. I haven't cracked Pinterest yet. I bet a really, yummy looking dump cake photo would go viral on Pinterest though.
True, an absolutely amazingly outstanding photo that outdoes all others will go viral on Pinterest. But it has to be pretty good to make it viral.
Anyway, after doing keyword research, MsLizzy might find that "dump cake" is the right keyword to use after all....and all that's needed is to make the title more attractive, add a brilliant pinterest photo and promote it more.
Alternatively, the competition might be too great and that's why it isn't working for her. She won't know until she does the keyword research.
This is the photo I used for the article/Pinterest. My daughter does cakes as a sideline, and I got the pic from her.
That's right, it is a rather nice pic! Personally, I would do the keyword research first, then look at promotion second.
In case you are not aware, there are 2 parts to keyword research in Angryelf's tutorial. The first part involves finding keywords to use in the Google Planner. The second part involves assessing the competition by going to Google and typing in the actual words in various ways to assess the level of competition. Anyways, good luck, I need to go to work!!!
Thank you, Suzanne; I'm reading the Hub by Angryelf now; in fact, I'm bookmarking it to keep referring back as I continue my struggle to master all of this.
For me, it's very hard, confusing, and complicated. When I was telling Hubby what I've been reading, he told me, "It sounds like you're making things harder than they need to be." But, he's not a writer, and has no interest in becoming one, so I'm "considering the source" on that critique!
I do, however, find a very contradictory set of instructions from everyone. First, you must search keywords that people are actually looking for, and in order for those to even show up, there would have to be a pretty high number of searchers. In the next breath, we're instructed that those numbers should not be "really high, or there is too much competition." It sounds like a nearly impossible balance.
Well, as I said, Angryelf's hub seems to be the best one on this subject, regarding what exactly to do.
You will need to do a number of searches. Find the good words (+1000 views per month) in the Planner, then test them out in Google to see which ones have the least amount of competition.
It's a balancing act - you need the most searches with the least competition.
Now you're seeing why I advised you not to get involved with the Keyword Planner! More technically-minded people will tell you "don't be silly, it's easy" but they forget that not everyone has the same mindset. It doesn't mean you're stupid, it's just not your thing. And I can imagine that with all the other issues you're facing, it's a bit much to get your head around.
Don't feel pressured to use it if you find it too confusing. I'd also be cautious about relying on a Hub written by someone with 10,000 views in 3 years. Have you read this Hub?
http://hubpages.com/learningcenter/How- … ndly-Title
I like this video too:
As for contradictory: I think you may be confusing different sets of numbers. One is the number of searches, i.e. the number of times people type those exact words into the search box.
The other is the number of results, i.e. the number of articles or websites already written on that topic.
Finally there is "competition" on the Keyword Planner which tells you how many advertisers are competing for advertising space on those articles. If that competition is low, advertisers don't have to pay much for the space, so you'll get paid less per click. If it's high, you'll get paid more.
I'm getting ready to cross into the 100k view accolade in about two months, maybe less I don't ask people to rely on my information, or trust it- I put up my journey so as to help anyone who's curious to learn about my own method. I don't really care if it's trusted, or if someone is suspicious about it.
((I'm tickled that Suzanne referred to me!! Thanks! Also, you can tweak the keywords with the Hummingbird update. It now reads queries as a question. and tries to direct towards a structured answer; fine tuned adjectives can be a huge help now!))
I'm earning my money and getting closer to my $300 a month goal. That's what matters right? That hub is ONLY up for those who want to see why I've earned what I have. Also, I wasn't actually active until this last June/July; before then. All of those that I had posted here before were for links to other sites; June was when I decided I wanted to come in.
Thank you to the supporters, and I wish EVERYONE the best of luck. It's not easy, but I'm getting on out of here now to go do some other things Goodnight!
If the Google Keyword Planner stuff is too hard, then I would definitely work with Marisa's autocomplete solution, which is far easier and still follows (roughly) the same principles.
Not sure about Angryelf's views, but I know that Angryelf is onto something as I've tried a couple of hubs her way and the views were way up (+ I made sure to write 1500 words for each). It seems to work for me.
There are many different opinions on what works and what doesn't, and I do believe you need to fit in with what you are capable of doing and be able to feel confident with it. So use Marisa's advice as a minimum to get somewhere and Angryelf's if you want to progress beyond that. But please don't beat yourself up over it!
This is very true! They can plug those auto fills into the tool too- my suggestion is to think of a phrase WITHOUT a competitive product or service and go from there. But with too many results/high comp, too hard to rank, lower searches usually implies low comp, it's all a very delicate balance. That keyword planner gives KW recommendations; which are very useful. I guess I need to do an entire BREAKDOWN on using the KW planner to help everyone understand step by step. I just don't have the time to
I think this is a great picture. If it doesn't work for you, change the text to something different. This looks like a rainbow of yum to me. A great birthday cake.
Oh I dunno.. I'm up to a whopping, $1.42 so far for this month... Hang on while I break out the champagne.
I used to get a reasonable payment here, but I've since focused myself in my art and drawing and am selling my own artwork to make money and am on my way to making some good self employed income again.
I can't find the same enthusiasm to write here or most other places much these days, but I do hope to return to writing again, but in the form of books and the stuff I am interested in enjoying to make my self employed life worthwhile. Chasing the pennies is not a good business model to follow, you have to adapt to the rules of the game and go beyond them.
Oh, a few years ago when I joined Hubpages, I used to earn cents and got a bit discouraged and left. But when I came back to dollars in the account, put up some hubs and earning dollars now......it all just seemed to fall into place for me and is working properly now. If you take time away, leave your hubs up and let them earn for you and see how much you get when you come back. I was suprised!
PS - you must have lovely artwork
When I first started here at Hubpages back in 2006 there was a great buzz for the site that I never really knew elsewhere. Sure there was Squidoo and others, but here I figured it out to earn something, even if it wasn't a huge amount like I expected. It was here that I learned how to grow income and write to earn...but eventually the motivation to do repetitive stuff really drains you....my drawing is ok, but definitely in a niche that is selective to the art market lol.
@Suzanne Day--I did the same thing as you. Took some time away, and came back refocused. Now, I am making money almost every day. It isn't much, but it's a start. Plus, I'm trying to write at least one or two new Hubs every week.
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