Well, I've done a fair amount of research on my own, not necessarily understanding all of it, and I've read several articles by fellow hubbers that explain things more simply, still requiring me to bookmark the hub for future reference, as I cannot retain it all in one reading.
There seems to be a recurring theme, however, in these articles, and it revolves around selling products, reviewing products, or referring people to websites to purchase products!
None of that interests me in the least, and is not the reason I joined Hub Pages! I only wanted a place to write, share my writing, hopefully get 'noticed' and provide educational / interesting / informational articles that folks would enjoy reading. I hoped that, incidentally, Google might condescend to place sufficiently appropriate ads that folks might click.
(What seems to happen instead, is that I write educational bits decrying certain things, and Google places counter-ads for the very kinds of things against which I am writing!)
At first, I did not even have AdSense enabled on my HP account--that came about many months after I signed up & began writing here...as our situation was/is becoming ever more desperate, and I was seeking out all possible sources of income.
However, I now feel, as I have felt for some time, that I may not even live long enough to reach the Google payout threshhold! I've said this before in many assorted posts. But, I keep hoping to find the "magic combination" that might at least allow me to earn up to that $100 threshhold--each month--that would help some!
As for Amazon--I offer a rude salute to them--as a CA resident, they've simply dumped me precipitously. (No love lost there--I never earned a red cent from their program, anyway.)
So, I guess my question/complaint is, if my writing is not skewed toward selling and promoting, am I totally "screwed" as far as making any AdSense money, and need to find some other way to find earnings? It is all very frustrating.
The popular slogan, "do what you love and the money will follow" seems to be a huge lie and deception. I love to write; I hate to sell; I've zero interest in writing to push products! So, I'm writing my arse off, and making no frelling money!!! It feels as if I'm wasting my time and efforts.
Most of my hubs are not aimed at selling and before Panda I was reaching payout every month from Amazon, so there is hope for you.
Thanks for your input, Uninvited Writer...
I hope you are right.
However, Amazon if out of the picture for me..and I think I should go through my hubs and remove all of my Amazon capsules--why should I refer any business to them if they are refusing to work with California's new law about tax collection? ALL California affiliates have been unceremoniously dumped by Amazon. Phooey on them!
So, my problem remains solely Google. In just under a year on their program, I have yet to reach even $20, let alone the payout threshhold.
Most often said by people who just LOVE selling shite to other people I'm afraid! I love to travel and to dance - both cost me a lot of money and make somewhere between little and no money.
Adsense is not a great fit if you are writing hubs ranting against insurance companies - insurance pays very well - but people reading a hub about how crappy the insurance industry is (and i agree BTW) aren't going to click ads selling the very insurance niche you are ranting against - are they?
And yes that's exactly what Google will show on that type of hub - the algorithm can't read - what the see is "health insurance, blah blah, insurance for health blah blah" and of course you get - health insurance ads - it is what it is.
If you can actually write - why not self-publish- most marketers are scared of writing a book - it doesn't look like it would be an issue for you (and yes you can publish through Amazon regardless of the state that you live in)
LOL--hmmm... I wonder if I could rant against insurance without actually using that word.... .... ...
I "could" self-publish..but .. it is not cheap, and I've no funds for it. We're on the ragged edge here..trying just not to lose our house, let alone spend $ we don't have trying to put a book up.
Why not try publishing a Kindlebook. Some have good things to say about their earnings through Kindlebook sales.
I have short mystery stories on both Kindle and Audiobooks, but they are stories I sold or was conned out of, so I cannot vouch for any earnings from them.
Hmmm.. thanks, Randy--I may just have to look into that sort of thing. I was thinking e-books... and that is somewhat related....
I'm sorry to hear you got cheated out of your earnings, though. That sucks!
Thanks Dzy. Yeah, life sucks sometimes but it usually renders a good experience worth more than the loss. But death sucks even more.
Yes, I'm working on an e-book myself. At least whoever gets the money from my previous e-books enabled me to be listed as "acclaimed author Randy Godwin, Best known for his 5 Minute Mysteries." Cool beans , huh?
Just kidding, Dzy. But it is cool to hear the one on Audiobooks narrated by someone else. I don't care because I sold it for $50 several years ago.
Diversification is crucial in this business. There is so much competition from writers around the world these days. Anyone who owns a computer-and some who do not- is a potential rival for any subject imaginable. I still write for fun, though. The money is merely "gravy," as my late great dad liked to say.
You are mis-understanding me - I just self-published a book - it cost me a few dollars because I paid for a cover design and editing - but I could have done it for free and plenty do! I'm not talking physical books - I am talking ebooks on Amazon and Smashwords - it costs you nothing but time - check out my latest hub on self-publishing and my linked blog. All you need is what you already have: a story, and an Internet connection
Oh and if you are seriously in need of money NOW - I will tell you what i've told many others - you can make money online but it takes months if not years to develop the skills to do so and build that income. If you need money NOW - get a job, get several jobs, take in boarders, make the kids pay board, rent out the house and go live with friends/in a trailer - whatever it takes.
Thanks, Lissie, but none of those things are options. We are senior citizens on fixed incomes; hubby is disabled; I ran into age discrimination while job-hunting 15 years ago...and in this economy...it would be worse, besides I have my own physical limitations now--AND I need to be home to help hubby. So working from home is all I can do.
We are empty-nesters..kids long since out... house not large enough for boarders..and .. losing the house by ANY means...whether by foreclosure or renting & moving out, is not an option, as we would then lose ALL means of making ANY money with our small sideline ceramics business ..as there would be no place for the equipment and molds. It doesn't make us much money, but every little bit helps.
We've already sold off all the extraneous "stuff" we had...I'm damned near to the point of being "one of those people" tin-cupping on street corners!
And sorry for the misunderstanding on your book publishing post. It sounded as if you were talking about physical books. Yes, I am, in fact, considering looking into the e-book route. Thanks for that.
If you wish to make money you must sacrifice your principles a bit, Dzy. I write for enjoyment and also for money. Sometimes I can even combine the two for a dual purpose.
But I understand your point of view too. Luckily, I am a person of many skills and interests so this gives me many different subjects to write about.
I am pleased with my earnings here too. But only a small portion of my hubs make most of my money, with the rest being for me to enjoy writing about with no expectations at all.
MsLizzy, you've already posted about this and we've already explained that to you.
Google decides what ads to show based on the words you use in your Hub. It's an automatic system and it can't read context, only words. So if you write a Hub about insurance, whether it's positive or negative, Google will show ads about insurance.
Is there a reason why you haven't signed up for HP Ads?
Yes, I know... but...it is all in programming, and there is no reason their program could not be made to catch phrases or groups of words (after all, that's what keywords/phrases are all about..'long-tail' and all...) ... and recognize a negative word next to or in the same sentence with a supposed 'product' word. It's the exact same technology.
Everyone loves to blame the programs and "algorithms," completely forgetting that those are written by people. I know, I know..they aren't going to bother to do that...I'm still just venting about that aspect.
However, to answer your question, I was playing "wait and see," since the HP Ads is a new program, and the initial outcome seemed to be a loss of Google revenue--when I am already making precious little--I did not want to shoot myself in the foot.
Don't wait any longer!
You will lose some Google revenue because the HP Ads take the place of the Adsense ads - but then you'll get HP Ads income instead,and it's quite possible that will work better for you.
Some people felt signing up for HP Ads cost them money - but it didn't. What happened was that they signed up for HP Ads just when Google Panda took effect - so traffic dropped, and that caused the drop in income.
The great thing about HP Ads is that you can switch them on and off as often as you like. So if you do find you're losing money as a result, you can turn them off for a trial period any time.
So--HP ads replace Google ads...meaning, that I do not ever get to their income threshhold, and effectively "lose" the few dollars I have made? Hmmm.
Well, it doesn't appear that I'm going to make it to that magic $100 anytime soon, so I guess I might as well give the other a try.
However, will doing so de-activate the AdSense account, so that if I revert back, all is lost there, and I'm starting from square 1?
Activating HPads does not de-activate adsense - in fact you must have adsense in order to use HPads.
I use both, and while adsense has gone down considerable, I still make a few dollars a month off of them. HPads does much better, which is why I use both.
oh--ok... thanks, wilderness for that clarification. My brain is in the spin cycle tonight, I guess!
Ok--here is a surprise, and another confusion. This morning when I logged in, I found I've already made a few cents from my brand-new HP ad program...much faster than any "income" I'd gotten from AdSense.
HOWever, there is an aspect I am still not comprehending: For the 'few cents' I earned, it listed a "CPM" (whatever that is)... of almost $5.00 I understand a share goes to HP, but not being a math/numbers person, I don't understand the humongous discrepancy. Do we earn on the order of .000001% of the HP share???
No, HP ads don't replace Google Ads completely, there will still be some on your hubs!
I have made very little on Google Adsense, too, but after switching to HP ads, I'm at least getting a little more than I was with Google. Plus the payment threshold is only $50 with them, which I like...
Edit: Oops, wilderness beat me to the punch, so sorry about the double info you just got!
Hang in there...I know what you're going through--we've went through something similar, and had to downsize drastically because we DID lose our house, after my husband had lost his job. But, no regrets, no looking back--we are only focused on the future now, and hoping and working for a better future!
We're not blaming, MsLizzy, we're just acknowledging the reality of the situation. As you say, Google is not likely to change it any time soon. Next time you vent, you might want to clarify it's just a vent and you do know the score - otherwise you'll get lots of people explaining things unnecessarily!
I think you've answered yourself here.
If you're writing to make money, you can't just write to please yourself. That's true anywhere.
For instance, if you were a journalist on a magazine, you wouldn't just write whatever you wanted. Your editor would tell you what the magazine's readers were looking for, and you would write accordingly. On HubPages, you have to be your own editor.
That doesn't mean you can't write about things you love. I write about dance - not because it pays well or I found some great keywords, but because I like writing about it. I don't make a ton of money but I guess you'd be happy if you could achieve my earning level.
The key is to pick a subject you can write a lot about, then ask yourself "what do people want to know about this subject?". Rants and cute-sy articles are pointless - write stuff which is actually helpful to people, which provides answers to their problems or questions.
So for instance, if your goal is money, it's a waste of time writing poems about cats or a memorial to a beloved pet - but if you write about how to house-train a kitten or assimilate a new kitty into an existing household, you could be on to something.
Helpful, informational Hubs don't make as much money as selling products or reviewing products, but they do make money.
Ok--I get that--FYI--the poems were my early-days stuff--before I signed up for AdSense.
My camping hub was well recieved...even won a prize... and lots of comments...so I'm guessing that fell into 'what people want to know.'
But it still didn't earn any ad money to speak of. I guess that's what I find confusing...a popular article earns nothing.
::: shrug :::
I was not thinking of my corporate articles as 'rants,' but as educational bits...many people just don't know what these yay-hoos are up to behind our backs....I guess they need a re-write if you more experienced folks think they have a 'ranty' edge to them...
I guess I still have a lot more work to do.
What do you mean by "popular" - where did the visitors come from Hubpages or Google? Hubbers won't click on the ad - period - they are too scared of getting their own Adsense banned - searchers may click on the ads - it will depend on the topic (whether they need to buy) and the relevance of the ads (which u can control with yoru use of on-page SEO - see the advice earlier in this thread)
That hub was a "Hub of the Day" and "People's choice" winner in the contest. I'm assuming, therefore, that most of the views came from within HP.
In looking at my stats...it seems that probably 75-80% of my traffic IS from other HP'ers. I have such a hard time getting outside traffic that HP almost feels only like a mutual-admiration society. And I know what you mean about not clicking on other hubber's ads... :-(
Just when I thought I was 'getting the hang' of SEO and keywords, etc... I find I still know virtually nothing, and have not 'gotten it' at all...
Well received within HubPages or by people outside HP? If you mean other Hubbers, that doesn't tell you anything about its earning potential.
I confess I didn't read them and made that judgment from the titles - my apologies. However, that's not relevant. You may be trying to inform people, but that kind of information has no hope of making money, because there's no advertising that's relevant (as you've discovered).
While I can look at Google Analytics and to some extent Hub Metrics to determine traffic sources, I have no way to tell who is finding the articles useful or interesting outside of HP, given that the comments are the only means of judging that.
And since HP has made it so that the ability to comment appears to outside traffic to be enabled for HP members only, none of them leave comments, unless I happen to have sent someone I know personally to read a particular hub, and advised them as to the fact that the 'only members' is a false front.
( IMO, HP should change that to more clearly reflect that "guests" are able to comment, and there is no need to sign up with HP to do so.)
I guess I'll just have to re-study everyone's input, and find topics more conducive to income generation, and not even bother activating ads on the educational hubs...as I will continue to write those.
Thank you again.
Very few of your visitors will leave comments, that's just the nature of the game. I'm not sure how knowing who your visitors are would help, though.
You can easily tell how many visitors you're getting. If you look at the "Traffic Sources Overview" pie chart on Analytics, you can see what proportion of your traffic is coming from search engines and how much from other sources. Hubbers will be in the "direct" or "other" categories.
Click on "Traffic Sources" in the left sidebar and you will see exactly where your traffic is coming from, and what keywords people are typing into the search engines to find your Hubs.
That said, I've sent you an email. I don't believe most of your existing Hubs are worth doing much more work on. We all made mistakes in picking our topics in the early days: sometimes it doesn't matter how much you tweak a Hub, it will never make money. I make all my money on less than half my Hubs: I regard the other, less successful ones as just part of my apprenticeship!
You have ceramic art to sell: if you focus all your efforts in that area, you can make money writing Hubs on how to make ceramics AND publicise your craft work at the same time. That way you'll get lots of cross-promotional opportunities and every effort you make will be more productive.
No, adsense is not a forlorn hope.
I scanned three of your hubs, with an eye toward monetization. I see the following:
Photography; contains several adsense ads that are pertinent.
Animal story book: contains ads that are pointed towards animals, not kids books. Also some that have nothing to do with the hub
Codes, ciphers, etc.: contains ad for buying books of brain teasers. Also contains ads for check engine codes and promo codes. Again, several that have nothing to do with the hub.
Observations: I think adsense is having a hard time picking up what the hub is about. All of the hubs need a good dose of on-page optimization. Capsule titles need keywords in them. The first paragraph needs those same keywords. They need repeated occasionally throughout the hub.
Such optimization will also result in more traffic as searchers look for your keywords. Make sure (use the keyword tool) that the keywords you use are those being searched for.
The prime ad spot - upper right - is usually taken up by a photo. Keep this space clear! Use more capsules to accomplish this.
Either I'm not seeing your summaries correctly in a search, or they definitely need work on them. Do you write your own? HP no longer provides them, and any you did not write are gone. Important not only for SEO but for "hooking" a reader.
On the average, you can write for fun while earning a little to boot. It takes more time and effort, and sometimes a little compromising, but it can be done.
Wow! Thank you for taking all that time and for those pointers!
I suppose I was trying to walk what seems like a thin line between having appropriate keywords, and "keyword stuffing," which is apparently counter-productive from what I've been reading.
Summaries??? I was not even aware.... Where do they show up--after the fact, I mean? In the Google search? Or what? (I also have a small shop on Etsy, and Google automatically picks up the first 140 or so characters of your product description as what shows up in the search engine description. I was not aware I had to write my own separate intro on here.
Is it an added capsule? Does it show up IN the article?? This comes under 'learn something new every day.' (I think I've learned several things today--not all of them pleasant.) ...
In searching for my articles.. I don't find them...at least, not where anyone else would. I can search on my pen name--THAT pops up readily...however, my articles, by keyword search, pffft... NO searcher would go as deep into pages as I have looking, just for reference. They are beyond buried,..anywhere from 15 to 30+ pages in!!!!!!!!
Only if the EXACT title is known, will it show up on the front page(s).
The button to make a summary is right next to that used when you add tags. To the right of the hub. HP used to pick up the first few words, yes, but that stopped and now you must write your own. I had to go back and write around 25 or 30 where I had counted on HP to pick up those first couple of sentences.
I searched for your hub using it's URL - didn't even try the keywords. And that's part of the problem - your SEO isn't working. I've only got a few hubs on page 1 or 2, but those are the hubs that make the money and get the traffic.
Have you tried the title tuner? It may give ideas for additional words that should be in your title that searchers have looked for.
Dzy, I emailed you - keep an eye out for it.
OK--thank you.. and yes, I have tried the title tuner... it hasn't done much but suggest oddball words that wouldn't even 'fit' and where I did add the suggestion, it accomplished zip.
I will go now & look for your e-mail. Thank you so much.
I have nothing much to offer. I haven't cracked the search plus Adsense game either. But just wanted to say that this thread indicates all the great things about HP - query raised and a selection of helpful, knowledgable people ready to help.
Thank you all so very much for your information and extreme patience. It is much appreciated.
I have only one more question before I get to work on improving my hubs in one way and another.
This regards Amazon. Since I am in California, and Amazon cut us off, is there really any point to keeping those capsules active? It is no going to produce revenue.
Is there a consensus as to whether I should perhaps just delete them all?
The official line is that HP is waiting for a response from Amazon. However, even if they reach a deal to allow HubPages to continue offering Amazon capsules, it's unlikely they'll come up with a solution that will allow Californian residents to use them.
So I would recommend removing them.
P.S. I just noticed you don't have a link to your Etsy page on your profile. Please fix at once!
Paul Edmondson suggests in this thread that you hide the capsules rather than delete them, as HP are hopeful of a workaround. http://hubpages.com/forum/topic/78184?page=9
If you either hide or remove your capsules, does your hub suffer? Do you reference that Amazon capsule in the text? Does it leave behind a huge white space or change the appearance in some other way?
If so, you might want to consider leaving them. They aren't doing any good right now and probably won't for the forseeable future, but they aren't hurting you, either.
I have no references to the Amazon capsules in my text--they were just there. I've deleted a few so far; and one of them I replaced with a simple sidebar listing titles; no links.
Lizzy, as a general rule, you won't sell an Amazon product that's not also referenced in your text.
I suspect you were finding that to be the case? If so, there's no point retaining your Amazon capsules. As others have said, HP is working on a solution to enable the site as a whole to retain Amazon - but it's highly unlikely that will offer a solution to individual Californians.
Well, they were sort of 'indirectly refernced' I had mosly books...and not mentioned by name in the text with the exception of my hub on animal storybooks for kids...
Otherwise, the references were for books that were about the subject matter covered in the hub....as "additional reading"
Since they dumped us CA folks anyway...no love lost there, so I've no attachment to keeping those capsules .. "tit for tat" you might say. LOL If I'm going to be cheated out of potential earnings by their reaction to that stupid new law; then why should I send any business their way?? Pffftt
Have you thought of joining a freelance job board? I've earned about $1,500 on Elance since I first started using it seriously in April this year. Here's a link to Elance (via my referral tracker FWIW):
In case you're not aware how these places work, buyers post jobs (which can be either hourly or fixed fee) and invite people to bid on them. Placing a bid uses up one "connect" (if you have a basic - i.e. free - membership, you're given ten connects a month with the option to upgrade). You also have the option of a category to subscribe to - in your case, "writing & translation" would seem to be the way to go.
Some buyers go for the cheapest bids, which is why you get a lot of people being paid $1 or $2 for a 500 word article. But there is better-paid stuff out there, and although you're unlikely to earn a full time income from Elance you will at least be able to pick up a bit of extra dosh here and there which might make all the difference.
As I've said, I haven't been an active member for long but there are a few things I'd recommend:
1. Don't start any fixed fee job until escrow has been funded
2. If you accept hourly-paid work, you should download Elance's Tracker software which takes screenshots of your PC monitor while you work, at five-minute intervals. This proves to the client that you've actually been working, rather than playing Minesweeper or chatting on Facebook.
3. Craft a nice profile that tells potential buyers what you can offer them and what your areas of knowledge/expertise are
4. When you put in a bid, add links to relevant hubs/articles you've written. HubPages has been invaluable for me in this respect.
Thank you, EmpressFelicity, for that tip and the information.
I had been doing some writing for Demand Studios, but got rather fed up with their impossible-to-meet research standards (i.e. "blacklisting" 99% of the sources that are going to come up on any search....and failing to realize that Google search (which they advise using), does NOT necessarily deliver the same set of results in different parts of the country.) There are other issues with them, but I won't go into that here.
It is always good to learn of new sources, and I thank you again for that.
Have you thought of freelancing from home as an editor/proofreader? I don't mean for the publishing industry specifically, because it is difficult for outsiders to break into that and you do need to learn conventions for marking up texts. I'm thinking more of providing a service for college/university students (projects, essays, theses) and possibly also local businesses (catalogues, leaflets etc). Advertising can be as simple as a small home-produced card or leaflet pinned up on a noticeboard. You can get business cards to distribute for just the price of postage with Vistaprint's free offers (use a discard email address, because they spam mightily!).
You would probably need to go out and physically advertise your services once in a while, as well as using whatever internet resources you can. The work itself could however take place primarily by email.
I know someone who has managed to build up such a business within a couple a years. The plus is that you start earning with your first commissions. (The downside is that you are not creating residual income.)
If you do start to think along this direction, please do not fall for the editing/proofreading courses that are vastly advertised. Most of them are scams. The most you really need to do is invest in some of the style guides that are commonly used to define requirements, particularly in academic writing. Even with these, a lot of the information is available for free on the Web.
Hi, Write Angled,
Funny you should mention this option--it is already one of my sidelines.
I've so far proofed 3 novels for a self-published author (friend of mine in RL, as well as HP author), and I do have a self-published business card, done fully from my own printer. (The downside to that is, I had colors, and my color printer took dump, so I'm reduced to B&W.)
I was an English major in school, so I have no intention of taking any of those advertised courses. LOL
Thanks for the suggestions as to where to put the adverts!
There's also book indexing, Dzy.
My original plan for moving out of employment into freelancing was to do so by becoming a book indexer. I do still index books now and then. In the end, though, my unplanned foray into translation turned out to be the better option for me personally.
Indexing is not rocket science, but it does follow certain practices and conventions. I think some training does help. In this field, the training is usually organised by national indexing societies. I have written a hub about becoming an indexer.
I must say I have never used the Amazon capsules because of the way they paid us in Australia, so I have not lost any income from them.
It was chicken feed coupons when I started here.
I should have been using Amazon capsules more, but my earnings from this site have all pretty much been Ad Sense. The rare and occasional surprise payment from Amazon is nice - but really rare. There's only so many ways a person can divvy up his focus on Hubs, and I just haven't really had the extra time to devote to Amazon. I did what MsLizzy did with Amazon, mostly: Mostly books related to the subject of the Hub. People who read my Hubs aren't generally shopping, though.
Now that it looks like there's the possibility that a decent part of my earlier earnings from here might return, I've been in the process of trying some very weird (I like to think of it as "innovative" ) approaches to my online to online writing in general. It'll either fail (in which case, I'm hoping my earnings from here and a few other places sort of get back to where they were, and I'll stop with the "innovative" approaches) or work (in which case - great).
The CPM is the amount you would earn for 1000 impressions. An impression only counts when the visitor stays on the page for more than a certain minimum period. You only get impressions counting towards your earnings for 60% of the time, and HP takes the earnings for the other 40%.
The CPM also varies depending on the "quality" of your visitors, which determines whether well paying or poorly paying ads are shown.
The reporting system is not transparent at all. When I have HP ads switched on, my impressions come out at about one quarter to one third of total views. I know Randy has raised the suspicion that HP grabs its 40% of the time at peak viewing times by the highest quality visitors, leaving us the 60% dregs. Effectively, that would mean HP takes far more than 40% of the total earnings gained by any hub.
I do sympathize about your internal conflicts about the subject matter of your hubs.
I have a couple of hubs that exist only in my mind -- well, bits and pieces of the action ended up in my blog -- and I decided they will never become hubs, even though they would be interesting. I have a tendency to come up with reasons why you shouldn't do something, as opposed to "should." That's not very good when it comes to Adsense! Good Adsense hubs should encourage the reader to take a positive action, which comes down to clicking on an ad. And when they get to the ad page, they need to be serious enough to take a further action, like leave their phone number or email, buy the product, sign up for a newsletter, or what have you. Otherwise, eventually your click values are going to take a dive. That's not good for you, or your earnings.
You might end up doing better with HPAds. It's partially impression based, and partially click based. I'm not using it because I don't have enough traffic since Panda -- and also because my tests revealed that I do a little better with just Adsense. Using just HPAds will provide the reader with several sponsored ads dominating the page and very little Adsense, but the HP Ads probably won't be related to the subject of your hub. You just have to try and see what works best for you in the long run.
Thanks, gracenotes, for your input in this confusing matter. I have, in fact, just within this past week, signed up for HP ads. I have already made a couple of cents...which is WAY faster than my first couple of cents with Google Ads--that took a few months!
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