When Do You Decide to Throw in the Towel?

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  1. Susan Kay profile image61
    Susan Kayposted 13 years ago

    Writing under another name I have over 100 hubs published over 6 months. I started getting some traffic and even some Google and Amazon revenues.

    I have increased my hub count on a steady basis using keyword research. I started submitting to RSS feeds. I have read all the greats on HubPages about getting traffic and followed some of the advice.

    Now I am ready to throw in the towel. The more hubs I publish, the more my traffic declines. I am now under 1 page view per hub per day, I was over five a month ago. It is sickening. Google has devolved to a few pennies a day at best. May is running at less than half of April. Amazon still gets traffic, but sales have droppen to zero when I was at 7% in the past.

    Considering these results, would you cash it in and do something else? I am curious on your opinion on when a person should do something else with her time. I am almost afraid to publish another hub. Everytime I do traffic declines.

    1. IzzyM profile image86
      IzzyMposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Nope, I would increase my backlinking strategies and maybe even try writing a link wheel like Sunforged suggests. Get that traffic to your hubs!
      If the articles are well-written and interesting, your hubs are just waiting to be found!
      Use analytics to determine the keywords than bring traffic to your most popular hubs and do what Sunforged suggests here.
      http://hubpages.com/hub/The-Ultimate-Wr … -backlinks

    2. TerryGl profile image58
      TerryGlposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Yes, most definitely.

      I would start my own blog and do what you do best. Write.

      You could then put to use the techniques you have learned about getting traffic and visitors to your blog.

      Blogs are a lot easier to rank and get visitors when it is unique in content and has regular updates.

      Your search engine ranking with Hubpages is generally a hit and miss affair that is not long lasting when it hits the highs. Blogs however seem to have a sticky on high page rankings.

      1. Marisa Wright profile image87
        Marisa Wrightposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        I couldn't disagree more, Terry.   I started a few blogs before I came to HubPages and they tanked.  It was only after learning about how to write online on HP that I was able to try again. 

        If you don't know the basics, it's far harder to get traffic to a blog than to a Hub.  If Susan hasn't cracked how to get traffic to her Hubs, she hasn't learned enough yet - so she'll do even worse with a blog.

        1. TerryGl profile image58
          TerryGlposted 13 years agoin reply to this

          Hi Marisa,

          I base this on my own observations and results. As anyone can see from my hubs I would not be classed to much of a beginner. I have my own blogs and make quite a decent income from those.

          Here's a few stats from my Adsense account for Hubpages:-

          September 7, 2006 - May 24, 2010

          Page Impressions :- 17,797    

          Total Adsense Income: A$79.34

          So in four years (minus the months I left) I have not made the threshold if Hubpages was my only source. To me and as you can clearly see from these statistics, Hubpages has not worked for me either.

          However, I do use it for promotion of my blogs and affiliate offers which makes these results pocket change. In fact, when I left after two years on Hubpages and populated my then hubpages to Bukisa, I have enjoyed seven times the income of $79.34 paid to my Paypal account from Bukisa in six months. In fact, my project wonderful ad space returns this ($79.00)each month.

          So based upon this premise, I recommend to anyone who is in the same boat as Susan, is to implement Hubpages with your own blogs. Sure some Hubbers maybe making good money here, but that is not the norm.

          That is why my opinion to Susan was to start her own Blogs. 100 hubpages in six months means one very healthy blog site with lots of quality content.

          1. Marisa Wright profile image87
            Marisa Wrightposted 13 years agoin reply to this

            My experience has been very different!   At the end of last year, I had almost exactly the same number of Hubs as you - 85, in fact.  From joining until then (about two years) I made a total of $1,300 from HubPages.

            In 2010 I've almost doubled my number of Hubs and have finally started to do a bit of promotion, and I'm seeing a major improvement in earnings.   At this point, my Hubs are making about the same as my websites, for much less effort!

    3. Marisa Wright profile image87
      Marisa Wrightposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Don't give up yet, Susan. Post a few of your Hubs in the Extreme Hub Makeover thread and ask people to suggest why they're not getting traffic.  Or tell us your other Hubber name, so we can take a look and give you some concrete advice.

      A common mistake is that people misuse the keyword tool - for instance, they choose keywords with high search traffic but also high competition.  If you do that, you'll get lost in the crowd.

      If you're writing "selling" Hubs, remember Nelle Hoxie's advice - she's the guru.  She does saturate her Hubs with ads, but she also writes at least 800 words.  Google doesn't like Hubs which are all links and not much text, especially with its new algorithm.

  2. watchya profile image61
    watchyaposted 13 years ago

    If you're only writing for money throw the towel. If you are writing for pleasure, who cares about traffic ?

    I write for pleasure.

    1. angela_michelle profile image94
      angela_michelleposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      I agree with watchya!

  3. Fiction Teller profile image60
    Fiction Tellerposted 13 years ago

    No...but I'd change several things and do them differently.  I mean the non-SEO things (assuming you are keeping up-to-date with your SEO strategies).

    I don't know what you're doing now.  But here's a checklist of things that, if I didn't do them, I wouldn't be earning a living wage via rev share.

    1) Write hubs that really, really help the visitor. That means three things -

    *Solving your visitor's problem - whatever that problem happens to be
    *Linking to other helpful pages on the web
    *Using VERY tight writing. And that means  writing hubs that are sometimes quite long and thorough, but always well-organized and easily navigable. 

    Why are these things so important?  Because you're writing for impatient people. 

    Warning: if you're an impatient type, skip the next three paragraphs. wink

    Imagine the most hurried and impatient Internet user you've ever met, desperate to solve a problem.  Now imagine that user clicking onto your page from the search results page, then staying on your page to find the information he wants, then - instead of defaulting back to his original search results for more information - being so pleased and satisfied and impressed with the information he got from you that he browses your page for other interesting links. 

    That's who you're writing for - if you want to make money, that is.  For impatient people wanting quick but complete help. 

    Not for people who have the time and stamina to wade through meandering, less focused writing for the joy of it.  Nor are you writing for casually interested people who are easily tricked into clicking on ads. And not even for people seriously interested in buying but not sufficiently satisfied information-wise, who click on ads out of curiosity, but are not yet ready to buy or commit.   At best, hubs written for those types of visitors will yield temporary income but get smart-priced over time.

    2) If you don't understand a subject AND the problem the visitor is trying to solve, either through personal experience, natural empathy, or research, then don't write about it. That's what's defined as spam, and Google's getting better and better at identifying spam.

    3) In the case of the other extreme - knowing your topic inside and out - be specific in choosing a topic for a hub.  This is hard when you know a subject well - you tend to want to tell everything.  So target your hubs to be very narrow and focused.  If you know how to use vinegar as a cleaning agent, for example, don't write a general hub on Using Vinegar as a Cleaning Agent - or even an exhaustive, e-book sized hub on it.  Write a short, tight, but utterly thorough hub on Using Vinegar to Clean a Scratched Formica Bathroom Countertop.

    4) Treat your hub like a magazine spread and give it an interesting, dynamic layout - that's one of the best and most underrated features of HubPages.  Make sure the Google AdSense ads fall at optimal places.  Put Amazon and eBay ads in eye-catching places. Split up text capsules to make ads appear in the middle of the text.  Experiment.  Observe.

    5) With Amazon capsules, don't use the keyword selection mode to choose products as a rule, but as an exception.  Hand-select product ads for Amazon whenever possible. Choose products you'd buy, yourself, if you were your visitor. 

    6) Don't waste your valuable time.  Before you choose a specific hub topic, make sure no other hub on HubPages covers the topic better than you will - at least, with the same keywords.  There's a good chance you won't be able to compete with it - similar pages within the same website seem to rank badly for the same keywords. And sometimes you can't compete with a similar hub even if you write a better one - particularly if the first hub has a LOT of comments. Though if you write a really, really fantastic hub, it may be worth trying...it's hard to say.

    7) Study the hubs that have earned, not for just a few months, but over the longterm, and compare them to the hubs that earn erratically or not at all.  Figure out what makes the two types of hubs different. It's not the topic - it's how the hubber treated the topic - their unique slant - and how they arranged their hubs visually and executed SEO.  Go over old hubs and tweak them to make them more like the ones that are succeeding.

    8) That said...don't get stuck by your own rules.  Don't think, "Ah, this was the secret!" and then fail to veer from the rule or change.  Always keep experimenting and changing, because the Internet is doing the same.

    9) Tighten again.  After a hub's been online for a while without earning, go in and try to reduce the word count as much as possible.  Eliminate unnecessary words.  Neaten up it's organization.  Ruthlessly edit it until it's very, very easy for readers to read.  I keep emphasizing tightness, but I've found it to be such an important aspect of earning, because easy-to-read means less bouncing, which (usually) means higher ranking.

    10)  Write to inform first and entertain, second.  Stop thinking of hubs as being monetizable based on how well they entertain visitors.  Their only value to the advertisers and networks who are funding your revenue is how well you match interested visitors to relevant products. 

    Writing "marketing" hubs is not "selling out" in writing - it's doing exactly what writers do, which is influence people.  Do it in an entertaining way, and there's no need to be blatant - in fact, subtlety is better - and you'll enjoy it and be doing what writers have been doing for centuries.

    11) Don't just hang out here.  Read every post in the Google AdSense official blog and read many of the AdSense help pages.  Then read every post in the Google AdWords blog and read as many of their help pages as you can.  Read forums on Webmasterworld.  Dig deep into forum posts there and learn. 

    These are all free sources and have such a wealth of information to help you understand revenue sharing and optimizing your content that I can't imagine people succeeding in the longterm without them.

    12) Treat writing hubs for money as learning a new career, even if you already write well or understand key points of marketing.  Expect to take some time developing a new skill set and set of tools, just as you would if you went to school and got a certificate or degree.

    1. pinkboxer profile image61
      pinkboxerposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Awesome advice! Thanks for these valuable tips which will assist me in being a better Hubber in the long run.

  4. Shadesbreath profile image78
    Shadesbreathposted 13 years ago

    List some hubs or tell me who your other name is, or email me where to look, and I'll have a look at grammar and style if you would like an honest and potentially painful (but polite) evaluation of grammar and style.

  5. BevsPaper profile image60
    BevsPaperposted 13 years ago

    I don't think that I would throw in the towel just yet.

    Fiction Teller is giving some wonderful advice.

    I'm new here on the Forum but not new to writing to help supplement my income. Traffic can fluctuate at different times of the year and most especially if some topics we write about are seasonal in nature.

    What I have found to work is to do as Fiction Teller suggested and write about things that I am passionate about and have a strong interest in. Topics that I actually get excited to write on and research. That enthusiasm for the topic shines through to the reader.

    Link wheels do work, I'm here to tell you! And in the beginning that was what I started to do here on HubPages...write a Hub as a part of a link wheel. I've become smitten with HubPages as a whole and now will concentrate more on writing here first. Some of my Hubs will still be a part of a link wheel, certainly; but no longer exclusively.

    One very important aspect that Google and the other search engines look for is freshness of content so a new hub, lens, blog post will sometimes fair well in a SERP when it is new. What needs to happen after the initial newness wears off is backlinks on other sites, updated content, traffic measured by comments and so on. Once written...the article, hub, lens, blog post needs some promotion...some juice to keep it going.

    So, before throwing in the towel think about ways that you can generate interest in what you have already written. Submit them to Article Directories, Social Media Sites, Bookmarking Sites and let people know that they are there waiting to be read.

    1. Glenn Raymond profile image61
      Glenn Raymondposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Never, ever throw in the towell.  What else would you wrap up in when the doorbell rings?

      We have got to stick with it.  The love of writing is one thing, and the need to be paid for it.....exists, yes, but we do not need both to survive.  Be like my wife and live off the land and love.  She is too young to have been a hippie, so I'm not sure where she got it.  This along with her "one thing at a time" philosphy seems to get her by though.

      The world needs your input so keep up the excellent work.

  6. NathanSyckel profile image61
    NathanSyckelposted 13 years ago

    If you want to give up on it then yeah throw in the towel. What got you started building hubs in the first place? Think about that when you think about giving up.

    There is always a way to do better is my motto. I know this is cliche as hell but, "Thomas Edison tried and failed to make the lightbulb 1000s of times. They weren't failures though. He was just learning how not to make a lightbulb"...or something like that tongue. - {I know I was way off on that one, but I didn't feel like looking it up.}

    The point is. Obviously you started doing this for some reason. Hold that reason strong and keep at it. Another quote and this one I actually remember: "Quitters never win and winners never quit".

    Hope that helps re-light the fire.

  7. Misha profile image65
    Mishaposted 13 years ago

    It's always the darkest before the dawn...

  8. profile image0
    Tilecleaninghubposted 13 years ago

    Fiction teller all you write seems to make sense.   You only have one hub though.  Do you have multiple accounts.  If you only have one hub how can you speak from experience.  Like I said all you said makes sense to me but I am not making any money neither.  Maybe that is the problem

    1. Misha profile image65
      Mishaposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      And you are right. Blind leading blinds...

      Read Peter Hoggan, Eric Graudins, Nelle Hoxie, Mark Knowles - the guys that KNOW what they are talking about...

    2. Fiction Teller profile image60
      Fiction Tellerposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Hi Tilecleaninghub,

      My Fiction Teller account isn't exactly what I'd call monetized.  smile  I have a lot of articles outside this account, both on HubPages and many other places, and I do well with revenue share - right now. That can change for any of us at any time, though...the Internet keeps changing, darn it. 

      The best way to learn is not to take advice blindly, though, but to do things yourself and see the results.  I wouldn't do every single thing I recommend if I were you - or that any other person recommends.  I'd do what makes sense to me and ignore the rest, and if that doesn't work, consider going back to advice I discarded. 

      I agree with a lot of folks about the different ways to succeed, and disagree about certain points - such as backlinking.  I don't do it - I wait for organic links - because for me it's a waste of time.  For others, it's not - it's the key to success.  But I write evergreen content that can afford to wait for organic links to develop.  Many people write seasonal or newsy items that need attention NOW, and have found backlinks work.

      I don't think there's only one way to succeed - if there were, there wouldn't be so many people making money at this.  smile

  9. Origin profile image60
    Originposted 13 years ago

    Practice makes perfect! Keep on plugging away and you'll eventually find something that works out for you. I wouldn't give up yet.

  10. Mutiny92 profile image63
    Mutiny92posted 13 years ago

    I would not throw in the towel.  If  you are getting frustrated, it may be worth taking a few days off...

    Enjoy your time here, and learn a LOT!  There are a lot of very smart folks who worked through these same issues.  See what they can teach.

    I have been amazed at some of my hubs that I thought would be really popular- and weren't...conversely, I am surprised at some that are very popular, but shouldn't be.

    I recommend getting your links out on forums with complimentary topics.  Do some backlinking, and maybe take  few days off.  ;-)

  11. Fiction Teller profile image60
    Fiction Tellerposted 13 years ago

    Tilecleaninghub...the hubs I looked at of yours look as though they have the potential to earn you money.  You really need to write more to make money at it, though...maybe 50, maybe 100, maybe several hundred eventually. 

    And you might want to do what Marisa suggested to Susan...ask for honest advice on improving your hubs in the Extreme Hub Makeover forum.  Or just experiment.  With a lot of hubs.  If you're not showing any earnings in a few weeks, that's a sign to try doing things differently.

    Whatever happens - and you'll hear this advice a lot here - this isn't a get rich quick thing...money trickles in more or less slowly before it snowballs and it can take a year or two to learn the ropes and learn to reliably create money-making hubs.

  12. MadCowWritings profile image61
    MadCowWritingsposted 13 years ago

    Don't give up Susan. Remember winner never quits just as I believe we are all here.

  13. Daily Matters profile image59
    Daily Mattersposted 13 years ago

    Some wise people say, when things start getting down it's time to change approach. Don't throw the towel, try to change your approach, there are a lot of techniques you can use to promote and your hubs and to get more traffic.

    Be positive it's the best technique of all !

  14. wrenfrost56 profile image58
    wrenfrost56posted 13 years ago

    Firstly I would whole heartedly agree with all the good advice already given and I'm sure if you apply it you will see a significant change. Secondly if you enjoy writing here don't quit. smile

  15. profile image0
    Tilecleaninghubposted 13 years ago

    Seriously Susan you come here asking for advice on your non profiting hubs and do not even give us the hub account.  Excuse the english but WTF.  Are you scared we are going to steal the secrets to your failure.  LMAO.

  16. Lisa HW profile image63
    Lisa HWposted 13 years ago

    I agree with Marissa, and was going to say something similar; but I clicked on Susan's profile, and there aren't any Hubs there.  Susan, if you're still "out there", why not give it another couple of months at least.  A lot of people don't start seeing much of anything for about eight months.  I'd hate to think you quit this close to eight months.  (Oh - upon closer "figuring out", I see the "other-name" thing.....   smile  )

    Also, if you don't have any, you may want to write a product Hub or two to get things moving.  You can still write whatever else you write, but product Hubs can give you a boost.


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