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Writing HupPages for profit - My experiences so far

Updated on March 26, 2010

I started writing for HubPages with the goal of making $2/day of passive income from my writing.

Why $2? Well I've read that 50% of the world's population survives on less than$2/day so although it's not much in North American terms it represents a living wage in many developing parts of the world. $2 a day also equates to a coffee a day at my favorite Vancouver coffee house, The Artigiano Cafe. And I reasoned that if I could make $2 with say 100 articles, I could just scale up my writing - 500 articles should earn me $10/day. 1000 articles $20/day and so on. I imagined myself happily wintering somewhere in Central America living off the spoils of my mini-publishing HubPages empire.

I opened up a HubPages account wrote a few articles and then quickly got distracted by life. It was only in November, 2009 that I decided to get serious and published about 30 articles over a month to test out my plans. The results have been underwhelming, I've made all of $1.30 in four months (I'll try to keep my profile updated with my earnings). Meanwhile I've spent about $25 on coffee - I like to write at Cafe Artigiano away from all the household distractions; childrens' homework to review, laundry, shopping, dishes and the odd battles over whose turn it is to use the Wii.

So back to my publishing empire. I'm making a penny a day with a total of about 40 articles. At this rate I'll need 8000 articles to reach my $2/day. Since an article takes about an hour to write. 8000 hours translates to about 160 full-time weeks of work or 3 years of writing full-time. To achieve my Guatemala dream of $20/day would take 30 years of full-time writing. This month my earnings have fallen to an estimated 1 cent for the entire month. The Google Gods give and the Google Gods take away. To make matters even worse, Google doesn't pay out until I have at least a $100 dollars of earnings in my Google account.

I'm not giving up on my passive income odyssey, but I definitely have to change my strategy. I'll share what I've learned so far. All my $1.30 has come from two articles, "Bodum - Make A Perfect Cup of Coffee" and an article on "Visa Gift Cards". My most popular article by far "Write one true sentence - Hemingway's advice" earns zero clicks.

I think the keywords "Bodum" and "VISA gift card" make it easy for Google to give a related ads - the Bodum French Press and Gift Card Offers. I need to rewrite a couple of my articles about coffee to mention Bodum and also add some more articles related to gift cards.

Any article that reviews a popular brand name item should be easy for Google to target with ads. This month I intend to write an article about a multi-took for bicycles - "The Park multi-tool" which I really love and my experiences with the Dell mini 10v netbook. I'll give an update in a couple of months on how my writing/earning experiments turn out.

The creative writing and personal writing like the Hemingway article isn't making any money. I guess because it's not as easy for Google to target with an appropriate ad. I've added a link at the bottom of the Hemingway article to the Bodum story in the hopes of gaining some more traffic and clicks (this is known as adding a backlink). Plus some Amazon links to try to earn some alternative affiliate income.

I also use Google Analytics to analyze what's happening with my articles. Originally the bounce rate (users who click on the article and then leave in a couple of seconds without reading the article) was 95%. Since rewriting  articles and adding photos the bounce rate is still about 80% which is terrible. When I work on customer sites (I'm a web developer I try to keep the bounce rate at 25% or less). The typical reader reads 2 articles per visit.

I'd love to hear from other HubPagers on how they've increased traffic and clicks to their articles. What kind of bounce rate are you getting. Please leave a comment or send me an email.


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    • Tonu1973 profile image

      Tonu1973 6 years ago from the outer reaches of reality

      I enjoyed reading your hub and following your journey thus far. I have been writing on HubPages for three weeks now and just earned my first 7 cents. Keep fighting the good fight and hopefully you'll get your Guatemala dream.

    • cabmgmnt profile image

      Corey 6 years ago from Northfield, MA

      Interesting hub. You should read some of the hubs about keywords, back linking, and article marketing. Any link that points traffic in the direction of your hub is an eventual dollar sign.

    • Seek-n-Find profile image

      Jenna Ditsch 6 years ago from Illinois

      I'll be back to check out your progress--hope you reach your goals! :-)

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 6 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Useful, interesting, voted up! I enjoy reading about other hubbers' progress. I have been on here 5 months, have 66 hubs, and average about 100 views per day, I guess. Sometimes more, sometimes less. My first month I made very little, but it has risen, and December is my biggest month at almost $14. I think we get a payout for HP ads at $50, don't we? I'm hoping to do that in the next few months. We'll see. I look forward to following your progress! Thanks for sharing where you've been and where you're planning to far...

    • justateacher profile image

      LaDena Campbell 6 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz...

      In the last two months I have made about two dollars per month. I don't have one particular hub that makes more than the others, I get random views on random hubs. I have about 60 hubs written so far. I don't have any idea what the "bounce rate" is - don't know how to find that out! Although I initially started writing on HubPages for the money, I now write just for the fun and sense of community.

    • profile image

      Cool dude 6 years ago

      Very useful information

    • youmeget profile image

      youmeget 6 years ago

      You're frank.

    • johndvan profile image

      johndvan 7 years ago

      Thanks James - it's good getting some feedback from other other writers. 70 visitors sounds very respectable - that's about 2K visitors a month.

      Is most your income coming from one or two articles? Could you share which of your articles is doing the best. It might give me some ideas how I can pimp up my own stuff.

      What's your bounce rate like?

    • climberjames profile image

      climberjames 7 years ago from Steel City

      Good Hub! I get about 70 visitors a day over 77 articles (all of which are social bookmarked, backlinked and automatically posted to Twitter) and I dont earn a penny ($1.40 during the whole of February) but I still enjoy writing on HubPages and one day I hope it will pay off - climberjames

    • johndvan profile image

      johndvan 7 years ago

      I'm getting about 10 visitors a day to my 40 articles on HubPages. What's typical for HubPages?