I know, it's going down and down for everyone. We have good writers, good editors, and the game plan is similuar but different, to keep up with the internet. But this month was very disappointing. I've been writing for HubPages for 13 years. Amounts should hold steady or go up. Is our site in trouble?
More and more established writers have brought this issue to the forum. It's not a good sign.
According to Matt Wells, if I recall a comment of his some months ago correctly, HP is doing fine and is here for the long run. He seems to be the only staff member with any knowledge of HP income but I don't think it's in his remit to try and increase traffic and earnings? I'm not sure if he has access to the figures but I presume he has so he ought to know the issue needs addressing asap.
It'd be great to get some decent input from HP staff about the bigger picture, future structural plans and so on. We've been crying out for info for nigh on 2 years. But TAG has overall command as far as I can make out and they're just not interested in communicating with us, the writers.
Despite all the gloom, I've earned some extra cash from the new Ask an Expert feature this month. Three questions came my way within a week or so and I enjoyed the challenge of writing 'niche within niche' type articles. I wonder if any other writers have benefitted?
Great on benefiting from Ask an Expert. Even though Matt says HP is doing fine, it doesn't mean it's doing fine. Look, don't listen.
Until you mentioned the "Ask an Expert" feature, I was completely unaware of it.
They announced it a while back, think it was in the forums. I emailed and asked what the earnings situation was with Ask an Expert and never received a reply.
Here is a link to the official announcement for anyone who is curious. However, most of the sites listed no longer have the "ask an expert" link on the home page. Dengarden, Delishably, PairedLife, Bellatory, AxleAddict, & Owlcation are the ones that still have a form on the main page to ask questions. Dengarden seemingly is the only one with questions answered, as they have an ask the expert link in the navigation bar and none of the other sites do.
https://hubpages.com/community/forum/35 … rt-feature
Not everyone – my earnings are down about 5% from last year, not a tragic amount, and most of that comes from a decline in CPM, which is not in HP's control.
I wonder if there are other writers like me, who are generally quiet on the forum but are doing okay in terms of income and traffic?
I see you have over ten million views, and much of your content is focused on educational essays on bugs and insects. So, you found a niche that works well. We can all learn from you, Fred. Your results give us hope.
Thank you Glenn for the kind words! I have tried many niches over the years, including guitars for kids, travel gadgets, diet tips, vintage candy, action movies, shoes, and pet safety. For whatever reason, the insect guides stuck. So I guess my best advice for anyone here is to be experimental and patient. It took many years of trying and failing before I started getting views and $$ that mattered.
Thanks for the advice, Fred. However, the problem is that things have changed after Mavin/TAG took over. There is no way to know if their changes caused the issues. But in any case, it's not a matter of being patient with trying to find what works. Many of us had success writing on HubPages years ago, only to see a downward spiral.
"the problem is that things have changed after Mavin/TAG took over."
The question we asked ages ago "Do we still get the 60% share we signed up for?" has never satisfactorily been answered.
Could our income decline have anything to do with the distribution of profits since the takeovers?
Meanwhile, the bosses don't seem to do so badly at all.
https://www.idolnetworth.com/ross-levin … rth-278359
PS: I posted this photo a few weeks back on another thread. That post was mysteriously deleted. Hopefully you get to see this one.
For these kinds of posts, I always like to offer a hint of my own data to help people know what's happening on other accounts. It's hard to know if people are going through the same exact thing or something different... I think knowing more data helps in trying to find recovery for us all.
Anyway, for me this year has been pretty static. I've received roughly the same amount every month with little variance. November was actually the best month, but only by a small margin. The amount I've received overall this year has been significantly less compared to recent years. I'm making about 1/4 of what I did when I was at my peak.
I'm not too worried about the turn from December to January, which used to be a much more drastic fall for me. I think it will roughly be about the same as I'm earning now.
I think niche does have a role in this somewhat. I think Pethelpful writers have recovered better than some others. I don't have a lot of Pethelpful articles.
My relationship articles still dominate my earnings. I've noticed new articles for this year and last year did better than say 2019 and 2020. For some reason, 2019 and 2020 articles haven't done well. But 2016-2018 was (and has been) lucrative in many ways.
I think overall there was an update in September 2022 from Google and since then everything has been in a grind on HP to recover.
The new guidelines suggested update and change photos and unpublished articles that are not getting read. I did these things and now my numbers are going up again. Google changed again.
Given that the run-up to Christmas is historically the best time of year for CPMs, I suspect that January and February payments will be even worse.
This month is very disappointing for me, too. Years ago, I had four-digit earnings a few times. And we only had three ads per page in those days. This month, it dropped to two digits. I've been working on a new article but losing motivation.
In addition, my views today (Dec 1st) dropped considerably. This is not a good sign, especially since it means TAG is losing income, too, and I'm beginning to think this can't continue. I have backups of all my articles.
last month I made half the amount I did in June, and it just keeps falling.
That's the thing, it's been going on for over two years and we've not even stagnated at a low level, views and earnings just keep dropping.
HP have already done a lot but with no joy so far. They need to figure out a solution.
It's tough, as the updates come thick and fast nowadays. Sometimes they overlap with each other, which never happened in the past. Nowadays, when there's volatility in the search results, there can be a debate over which update caused it.
My November earnings were approximately 44% of the same period in 2019 and 88% of the level for 2022.
Just to chip in a bit. I've only been really active for the last 2 years. But my experience this year seems really different from the rest. My earnings and views grew tremendously even after multiple google core updated.
So far, I've been applying a few SEO techniques I learned from a few podcast (Blogging Millionaire and Blogging Genius). Perhaps some of their tricks and tips can help some authors here too.
It seems the google updates really struck hard this year - targeting specific types of post (how-to's and guides). I avoid writing those now and do my best to think how my content can be helpful for my target audience. I also heard lots of other website owners losing 20%-50% traffic worsened by poor CPMs (yes my CPM is also lackluster).
Looking forward, I can also feel the tension buidling among writers about the upcoming google generative AI search update. Personally, I can only hope, work, and adapt for this rapid changes.
It sounds like you've worked hard and it's paid off. Congratulations! That is so awesome! It's good to hear!
Maybe Manhwa (Webtoons) listicles are a thing that hadn't been fully explored previously and you've found a gap in the market?
It's difficult to assess what your traffic and earnings would've been if you'd joined the site earlier.
Hobbylark.com (the home for most of your articles) has lost nearly 75% of its traffic since its peak in 2019 with the biggest drop starting in early 2021 (according to SEMRush).
I think most of us old-timers are comparing our traffic and earnings now with historic levels. Mine peaked in early 2021 but there'd been good periods before that.
If you're like Glenn and have gone from earning 4-figure sums each month to just 2 figures, it's a tough pill to swallow.
I agree that on-page SEO is vitally important here and it's something that we writers can control. Everyone should follow the HP advice in the newsletters etc. and seek to maximize the SEO for their articles.
However, it also has to be noted that there are many SEO elements that are outside of our control.
Last month I earned the highest earnings I have had during my 11 years at HP. Having said that, my earnings, each of the first 3 months of 2023, were one third of November 2023 earnings. I expect another substantial downturn after the new year.
The delay in earnings was concerning. I am not aware of a recalculation of earnings; if there was one, it was a matter of pennies. So that means there is likely a cash flow issue somewhere. Either the advertisers delayed paying TAG, or TAG had other priorities for payments. According to their press release, 2023 third quarter cash on hand for TAG was approximately half of third quarter 2022.
It makes sense that we would be the last to be paid, as we can't threaten to standup and walkout, if we don't get paid on time in the future. We have zero bargaining power. Only individuals may get fed up and leave. Staff writers or AI would likely recreate our content in our absence. Pethelpful has "writers" churning out "guides" that rehash the most basic breed info to be found on the internet, on a daily basis. Plus the "News" which is mining the Tik Tok universe for insanely, hysterical videos that will melt your heart... these are discouraging advents.
Reaching out to current writers for Ask an Expert is the only bright spot I see in the relationship between TAG and the HP writers. I sometimes feel that upper management views us as leeches, draining their future earnings, when they could pay staff writers or implement AI to fill the site with mediocre content on every topic under the sun, and be done with trailing commissions.
So, while my current earnings should make me happy and optimistic, I never the less find myself fearful regarding January and an inevitable crash in earnings.
I earned the highest earnings last month and will receive my second payout on December 28. I took a break, but it didn't really affect my earnings.
Maybe CPM is weighted by network site on a rota to keep all authors happy.
I'm pretty sure that it follows the standard advertising system and keywords determine value. Some niches lend themselves to lower or higher value keywords, as has been recognized by others, but it's the keywords that matter.
That was always the case and obvious when we had Adsense. However, it took me some time to realize that the same applied when we switched to Hub Ads. The relative values of different keywords are not a secret.
The only weighting I've wondered about is whether relatively low views are slightly over-rewarded in order to encourage beginner writers. That's pure speculation, however, essentially a throwaway idea.
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