Over a year ago I started contributing to Hubpages, I would have to say it has been a successful journey so far, I am a freelance writer and it allows me to set up a series of tutorials along with compiling informative hubs on niche topics I find on the web. so I would recommend hubpages to anyone who wants to be part of a community of like minded authors, journalists and bloggers.
How To Make Money Blogging The Easy Way: HubPages Gets You Started
The question of how to make money blogging is a perennial favorite, and with dedication, hard work and a well-chosen niche-topic it is definitely possible. But for many people looking to get started, negotiating the issues of building traffic, SEO, blogging platforms and monetization options can be baffling. Luckily there is a simple service that takes care of all of that and lets you turn your passion into ad revenues the easy way.
There is no doubt that you can make enough money blogging to make a living if you have the time to master the skills and services that will turn your passion into cash. But for those just starting out there are only so many hours in the day, and a seemingly endless amount of groundwork to lay before ad profits reach anything more than a few measly dollars a month.
To raise ad-revenue you need to think about search engine optimization, building up RSS and newsletter subscribers, site design and usability, careful placement and choice of contextual advertising units and other monetization options, and that's before you have even started writing quality web-optimized content.
While the newly made-over online publishing platform HubPages will not turn you into an overnight millionaire, it might just be a good way to get started putting out your content while having all of the finer details taken care of for you.
If you want to be taken by the hand through the process of putting together web articles, provided with multiple points of content monetization, and handed your slice of a daily audience of 2.4 million readers, this may very well be a great way for you to make a start in the world of online publishing.
HubPages - Overview
HubPages is an online publishing portal that makes it easy for users to contribute content, or browse and locate articles of specific interest to them. While a blog provides a single publishing platform from which multiple articles on various subjects are written, HubPages revolves around the creation of one-off articles or 'Hubs'. Nevertheless, these hubs can be grouped together, and readers can subscribe to the different articles produced by a particular author.
From an end-user perspective, HubPages makes for an easy way to find articles by popularity, category, tags, author, or how recently they were published. Like social news sites like Digg viewers can add their vote to an article to increase its standing, and bring it to the attention of other readers, adding a competitive, interactive dimension to the publishing and reading experience.
As contributors articles are voted on over time, so their own standing within the community rises or falls, and they have the chance to become experts in a given category or niche-area.
The act of contributing content to the community is very straightforward and streamlined, and HubPages truly takes the user by the hand in putting together multimedia articles that can include text, news and RSS feeds, photos, videos and links. In addition, HubPages also makes it exceedingly easy to set about monetizing your content with popular advertising programs.
The HubPages Portal
When you create an article, known here as a 'Hub', it is added to an easy-to-navigate portal that end-users can search through in a number of ways.
In addition to the expected search bar, by which you can look for articles by keyword, it is also possible to find content to read using a simple navigation menu at the top of the page. The first and most obvious way to search is by 'Hubs', and here you have three options available. You can search through by:
- Hot Hubs - articles that have received a lot of recent traffic
- Best Hubs, which are ordered by their Hub Score, a rating conferred upon a particular article based on a number of variables that emphasize the creation of regular, quality content by an author
- Latest Hubs, which are obviously ordered by how recently they were created
Moving along the navigation bar, you can also search through content by authors, known here as 'Hubbers'. Authors articles are sequenced either by status within the community, based on a points system, or again, by the latest to be published.
Perhaps more useful is the ability to look for articles by topic, and from within the broad categories such as food, or arts it is also possible to search by user-generated tags, or to sort categorized hubs further by means of the aforementioned 'hot', 'best' and 'latest' criteria.
When viewing articles, there are a range of social features, which include the ability to:
- Share an article using popular social bookmarking services
- Rate an article with a Digg-like thumbs-up or thumbs-down
- Flag an article that you think contravenes good taste
- Click through to other related articles, or tags
- Subscribe to the RSS feed of the author
- Join the author's fan club, which will give you benefits such as email notifications of new articles by the author
For the reader, then, HubPages offers a range of social features and points of interaction. Furthermore, if they then feel inspired to start creating content, but aren't sure where to start, there is a useful user-generated idea bank full of topics that fellow readers would like to read about.
Every step of the way you are given prompts and advice, from choosing a catchy, search engine friendly title right through to publishing your hub to the world. Once you have chosen your title, URL and tags the creation process begins, and this has been made drag-and-drop easy.
The first thing you will do is make some basic choices about the overall article. You are prompted to decide if you want your advertising set to high, low or off, depending on how much you are looking to monetize your content. You can also add summary text for your article, or else let HubPages create an automatic summary for you.
Furthermore, you can create a new group or add your article to an existing group if you have already created other articles - this gives you the opportunity to create a series of interrelated articles should you choose to.
With this meta-data out of the way, you can then go about adding in content, and this is done by using the 'Capsules' menu. Capsules are types of content that you can add to an article, and briefly they comprise of:
- Text - which you will edit using a word processor like text editor
- Photos - which you can either upload from your computer, or source from the Internet
- Video - which you can bring in using the URL of a web-hosted video, such as those at YouTube
- Links to other websites - which can either add manually, or search for from within the interface
- News feeds - which you create by keyword search and can limit the number of items that will appear
- RSS feeds - which allow you to manually import your own RSS news feeds, and select how many news items will be displayed
- Comments, which allow your site visitors to leave their thoughts on your article
- Optional eBay and Amazon advertising units, which you can configure to display items best suiting your article
Adding these different capsules is as easy as clicking on the appropriate selection from the Capsules sidebar. You can then choose to edit each capsule from the main interface, which will open up a pop-up contextual editor with a range of options for the particular capsule you are editing.
The text-editor will let you quickly format your text much as a word processor would, for instance, and each of the capsule editors is simple and versatile.
Further to the editing of your content items, you can decide which order they will be displayed in either by clicking on up, down, left and right arrows in the main interface, which will quickly determine the layout of your article, or by dragging and dropping the capsules in a simple sidebar menu.
It is quite possible in the space of a few minutes to have a formatted, multimedia article ready to publish, and if you are uncertain, you have the choice of previewing or saving your article without publishing it, to make sure that you get it just right.
The whole process couldn't be simpler, and really does make creating and publishing articles a breeze as compared to the need to make use of at least a little HTML code in the usual blog-authoring process.
Support and Guidance
Where HubPages really excels is in providing a step-by-step solution to web publishing, and in addition to giving you advice all the way through the wizard-like content authoring process HubPages also features a useful forum where you can elicit help from fellow Hubbers and advice on Hub improvement, among other topics.
Among the advice included as you put together your content are tips on how best to title your article, how to select a good URL for it, and even how to go about effectively tagging your work to help out in search engine optimization. This is all sound, useful advice that many bloggers starting out will be very glad to learn about, and is fully transferable to the world beyond HubPages.
This is just the sort of guidance that a lot of us making our debut in the world of blogging really wish we'd had from the word go. It's amazing to see how many blogs use default, generic URLs for their posts, for instance, rather than descriptive search-engine friendly web addresses, and this is just one of the lessons that HubPages brings to the foreground very early on.
In many ways HubPages is more than just an easy publishing platform, then, as it also serves as a tutor for those looking to learn the blogging basics.
Of course one of the main sources of appeal for HubPages is the fact that it makes monetizing your content so easy.
HubPages offers you three different ways to bring in revenue from your content, which can be used simultaneously or individually. In brief they are:
- Google Adsense - a contextual advertising platform that is far and away the most popular source of income for bloggers
- The eBay affiliate program which lets you choose eBay items to promote in your articles and profit from sales
- The popular Amazon associates program, which lets you choose Amazon items to promote from your HubPages articles
This makes for a sound selection of monetization sources, and of course one of the key benefits of publishing through HubPages is that you already have a potentially huge audience to view and click on your ads. So what's in it for HubPages?
Basically, HubPages works on a revenue-share basis, and its terms seem a lot better than those offered by popular blog networks such as 451 Press, who offer publishers a 40% cut of ad-revenues.
HubPages in contrast work on the basis of alternating ad impressions, so that 60% of all ads served on your articles give you 100% of any revenues earned, while the remaining 40% go to HubPages. Considering the infrastructure, traffic, content authoring and hosting supplied by HubPages this is well above the market average and isn't to be scoffed at.
Furthermore, if you refer a new writer to HubPages, you can claim 10% of their articles' lifetime impressions, and if you send traffic to any article (or 'Hub'), you are also entitled to between 9% and 12% of total impressions, so there are plenty of opportunities to monetize your content.
Given that HubPages currently has 2.4 million unique visitors per month, is growing at a rate of 150%+ per month, and is making use of a Behavioral Formatting Yield Technology that has seen a 43% increase in ad yields per page, now seems to be a good time to take advantage of what the service has to offer.
Stats and Tracking
Further to these excellent authoring tools, HubPages also provides you with an easy to use way of tracking the success of your articles, allowing you to check your ongoing 'Hub Score', comments, page views and affiliate settings in addition to being able to seek out sound advice on how to increase your traffic.
This rounds out an otherwise well-developed feature-set, and makes HubPages a complete publishing platform, boiling the entire blogging process down to the basics from a single platform. Where other solutions require you to keep tabs on multiple tools and services in the average blogging day, HubPages gives you a pared-down, one-stop solution, and that will appeal to those just starting out.
If it is really so easy, though, why isn't the entire pro-blogging community switching to HubPages?
In a nutshell, it comes down to control, branding and revenues. A well-established, serious blog with consistent content, a solid audience-base and strong reputation is going to be better off going it alone even if that means a considerable amount more work.
A niche-targeted blog such as Master New Media takes time to build an audience, attract advertisers, and establish a presence and reputation in its field. After time, though, opportunities open up - opportunities to try out the latest monetization platforms ahead of the pack, opportunities to land scoop reviews and interviews due to reputation and stature, and of course opportunities to finely hone both content and advertising optimization.
HubPages works well because it deals with a lot of the donkey-work of the blogging business for you. It guides you through the process, and then automates the publishing and monetization of your content. This is a great way to get started without having to devote a significant amount of time to earning a living from your writing efforts, but if you want to take things to the next level, it doesn't quite cut it.
Certainly people are making good money through HubPages, and it has been reported that the top publisher on the site is currently making $1800 a month, with a handful of earners on $1000 a month besides.
That's a very nice supplementary income if you can get it, but doesn't quite touch on the six figure sums being earned by pro-bloggers here and elsewhere.
At the end of the day, it all rather depends on your aspirations, goals and the amount of time and patience you are willing to put into building your blogging career. This doesn't detract from the fact that HubPages makes it very easy to get started, get published and start earning some money for your efforts. There is of course nothing to stop you from using both HubPages and your own homegrown blogging solution simultaneously.
HubPages is an excellent way to get started in publishing and monetizing your online writing, and while it is unlikely to make you a full-time living, it also manages to help you avoid taking on a full-time blogging workload.
If you want an easy publishing platform that will take you by the hand in the creation of niche-targeted, search engine optimized content, along with multiple monetization options it may well be worth taking a look at HubPages.
While it won't give you the flexibility that setting up your own blog and monetization sources from scratch might, it makes up for its shortcomings by providing you with the following:
- A wizard-like content-authoring process that helps you out every step of the way in adding text, RSS feeds, news items, photos and videos to your articles
- A high-traffic portal growing at an impressive rate and currently bringing in 2.4 unique visitors per month, giving you an instant audience that you don't need to laboriously build over months or years for yourself
- Automated monetization options that make use of optimization algorithms to serve up well-targeted advertising to your readers and increase your chance of earning ad-revenues without you having to do a thing
- Suggestions for content as requested by the active community of readers, should you be unsure of where to start
In short HubPages isn't quite going to give you the resources to quit your day job, but it may well set you on your way to doing so and give you an excellent chance to cut your teeth before diving headlong into pro-blogging, or indeed provide you with a fun outlet for your knowledge and supplementary income in for the bargain.
Making money from blogging just got a lot easier.
If you would like to learn more about HubPages, you might want to check out the following links:
- The HubPages website
- HubPages comprehensive FAQ
- Duncan Riley's review of the new, improved HubPages
- Will Price discusses HubPages in the context of SEO
- The latest buzz around Hubpages via Technorati
[ Read more ]
Originally written by Michael Pick for Master New Media and originally published as: "How To Make Money Blogging The Easy Way: HubPages Gets You Started"
Hubpages seems to be a lot more strict about how many outbound links you have. They also flag hubs as spam if you start them and don't get around to finishing them immediately. I think to be successful you need to be publishing at least one hub a day for perhaps a few months before you'll see any reasonable income. The nice thing is that you can publish from just about anywhere - get an idea for a hub and just drop into Starbucks to write it out.
The concept is similar to that of oondi (http://www.oondi.com) except that oondi will pay out 100 of the advertisement profits to the authors. Their hosting costs are covered by clicks which occur on non-author owned pages like the index but I suppose it’s basically a non-profit organization similar to Wikipedia rather than a commercial one like HubPages or Squidoo.
Thanks for the feedback. I think in many ways the feature set of HubPages is very close to that of Squidoo.
One point of compasison in HubPages favor is its 60/40 revenue split on all ad impressions, whereas Squidoo pays out only on profits, first deducting their expenses, giving another 5 to charity and then giving a 50 split of what's left to the author.
How important that is will depend on your priorities, but it could feasibly make a fair difference to your earnings.
Squidoo has a good comparsion of the services here: http://www.squidoo.com/hubpages/
Thanks for an informative article.
I find it difficult to see the difference between HubPages and Squidoo. I like Squidoo! Does HubPages have anything that Squidoo doesn't already?