HubPages is a residual income site that allows you to create "hubs," or pages, filled with written content, pictures, videos and links, and earn a portion of the ad revenue generated by these pages. HubPages has a unique revenue model, which may or may not be a good thing for creators looking to make money. Let's take a closer look....
Earning with Your Hubs
HubPages features numerous ways to earn revenue including through Google Ads, Kontera, eBay and Amazon affiliate programs. Perhaps the easiest and most profitable way to earn is through Google Ads, which are displayed automatically on your hubs, but just like any other residual income site, you don't keep 100 percent of the profits.
You must have a Google Adsense publisher account to earn with HubPages, and you are paid directly from Google, not the site itself. This makes HubPages a great way to easily add a new revenue stream to your Adsense account. However, I believe it's the way the revenue is split that results in earnings a bit less than other sites (such as eHow and Suite 101).
This is how it works. You receive 60 percent of the ad impressions for your hubs. To put this more clearly, when a reader visits your hub, they will see ads linked to your personal Adsense account 60 percent of the time. The other 40 percent of impressions are linked to HubPages' Adsense account. If someone clicks an ad during your 60 percent, you keep 100 percent of the profits. If someone clicks an ad during HubPages' 40 percent, they keep 100 percent of the profits and you earn nothing.
This revenue model is a bit different that other sites we're familiar with, such as eHow and Suite 101, which pay us a portion of EVERY ad click our pages receive. I think this is the reason why HubPages writers earn a bit less, even when they have done their SEO correctly or even exactly the same as for other sites.
Next to Adsense revenue, Amazon is the next best thing for earning on HubPages, but don't count on it too strongly. You must have an Amazon Affiliates account in order to earn revenue from the Amazon modules on your Hubs, and you can also choose not to display anything but Adsense if you desire. The 60/40 impression split is the same on all ads, even Amazon ads. However, you are able to choose which products you want to advertise, which makes it easy to personalize for a greater chance of getting clicks and hopefully purchases.
I don't use the eBay or Kontera ads on my Hubs, but the 60/40 split is the same. You'll need accounts with both of these companies in order to earn from the modules. For eBay, a regular user account won't work; you'll need an affiliate account. See the eBay website for more information on this. I am not a member of their affiliate program, so I have no advice to give on this one.
HubPages Affiliate and Traffic Referral Programs
The site also offers an affiliate program so you can earn a little more money from referring new writers and a traffic referral program for earning additional impressions. I've yet to try either of these, but here's how they work.
With the HubPages affiliate program, you refer new writers to the site and if they join within 30 days, you'll receive an additional 10 percent of impressions on these Hubs for their entire lifetime. This DOES NOT take away revenue from the new writer. If you're considering signing-up with HubPages, you can use my referral link by clicking here, but don't feel obligated to do so. :)
With the HubPages traffic referral program, you can earn an additional 9 to 12 percent of impressions when you send traffic to any hub. For example, if you find a hub that relates to an article or blog post you're writing, and you link to it from said article or blog post, you'll gain 9 to 12 percent of impressions for that hub for sending the traffic its way. Again, this DOES NOT take revenue away from the author of the hub.
You'll earn 9 percent more impressions if the hub already has an affiliate associated with it, and 12 percent if there is no affiliate. Make sense? If not, check out the HubPages FAQ for more information.
What You Should Know About Writing for HubPages
There are a few things you should keep in mind when considering if HubPages is right for you. First, you keep ALL RIGHTS to the content on your hubs. However, if your content is found to be published on another site, you will incur a HubScore penalty for duplicate content. While it's allowed, it may make your Hub look like it's poorly done when unknowing visitors see a low score. I would recommend always creating unique content for any site you write for, unless you're doing is strictly for promotional purposes.
But, this brings me to my next point. HubPages does not accept overly-promotional hubs, and you will be asked to change or remove hubs that they feel are advertisements. According to the HubPages FAQ, "Purely promotional offers and Hubs designed only to promote other sites or businesses are not allowed." How do you know if your Hub is too promotional? Keep the following points in mind while you create your content:
- Do not link repeatedly to the same site throughout your hub. It's okay to link to an article or blog post on another site, but HubPages prohibits linking to any one domain more than twice in a single hub. This means you can link to one or two of your eHow articles or blog posts, if they are related to the hub, but no more.
- Do not link to products or pages which have nothing to do with the content of your hub. For example, don't write an article on your hub about baby toys and link to an affiliate marketing course. Get it?
- Promotional links are not allowed AT ALL on content that has been published elsewhere on the web. I think this is a great policy, because it keeps spammers from dumping the same article already published on a gazillion other websites onto HubPages to promote various affiliate programs or websites.
- Do not link to the same domain in the content of your hub and in an RSS feed, which you can add while creating your hub. Choose one or the other if you want to link to another domain.
If you do any of these things that HubPages deems "promotional," your hub can be removed. I've found, however, that they usually give you a chance to fix any problems before ripping your content from the site. The best advice I can give is treat your hubs like an informative article more focused on helping the reader than helping yourself, and you'll be fine.
Another good thing about HubPages is that you can join even if you don't live in the United States. As long as you are eligible for an Adsense Account, you can earn with HubPages regardless of where you live. If I were an International Writer, I think I would give HubPages a fair shake, as not many sites allow writers outside of the United States.
My Personal Experience with HubPages
I first looked into HubPages in February of 2009 and published 8 hubs. I have made in total about $44 from Adsense Revenue from these hubs and about $2 in Amazon Affiliate sales. Is that great? Not really, but it's my own fault. I had much less knowledge of SEO back then and I also chose keywords which didn't pay very well. With the knowledge I have now, I believe that I could double or even triple my earnings on future hubs, if I ever get around to creating any more.
HubPages in Comparison to Other Residual Sites
While HubPages offers a unique revenue model, it's not as good as eHow's or Suite's when it comes to how much you can earn. This is because you don't get a portion of ALL ad clicks. You do, however, get 100 percent of ad clicks on 60 percent of ad impressions. This can be good or bad, depending on how you look at it. Here's an example.
Let's say you create an awesome hub with super high-paying keywords and it gets tons of traffic. Let's also say you have one ad that appears occasionally and garners $10 per click. This is great if the ad appears during your 60 percent of ad impressions. However, if it appears during the other 40 percent, you won't get a dime. At eHow and Suite, you'd get a portion of that $10 click EVERY TIME. It's a gamble with HubPages, but you could potentially do very well there. Just keep in mind that sometimes you aren't getting anything for clicks, but most of the time you get all of the revenue.
Also keep in mind that HubPages doesn't get as much Google Love as our other famous residual sites. In comparison to eHow and Suite, HubPages is close but not quite as well-loved by the king of search engines.
HubPages has a page rank of 6/10 and an Alexa ranking of 282. This is very good! However, compare this to eHow and Suite. Ehow has a page rank of 7/10 and an Alexa ranking of 173. Suite has a page rank of 7/10 and an Alexa ranking of 891. While there is some controversy on how relevant these numbers are to Google anymore, I always seem to make more money when publishing on websites with higher page rank.
Also keep in mind that the site is growing every day and may soon rival the larger sites. In fact, according to the HubPages Blog, the site has recently become one of the top 100 websites in the United States. Getting your hubs created now may pay off in the future. I'll bet the writers who created some of the first eHow revenue share articles are quite happy with their investment these days. :)
A Breakdown of the Pros and Cons of HubPages
There are many good things about HubPages. Here are the positive aspects of the site:
- You have complete creative control over your content and can write on any topic you choose, as long as it isn't illegal, pornographic or otherwise against the terms of service.
- Payment is made directly from Adsense, Amazon or the other ad partners, rather than through HubPages itself.
- International writers can join and earn from their hubs.
- Unique revenue sharing which could benefit you if you understand SEO and choosing keywords.
- Affiliate programs can increase your earnings if you don't mind advertising for the site a bit.
- Widgets and banners available for embedding into your blog, website or social network.
- Great tracking reports that show you how much traffic each hub has received, and also details on which hubs are gaining or losing traffic.
- Detailed stats on your published hubs are also available. You can see an approximate revenue potential score from a scale of 1 to 5. This gives you an idea of how much the hub may be able to earn over time, so you aren't left completely in the dark. Other metrics include the level of backlinks to the hub and word count.
- HubPages is fun! That's right. I said it. Go create a hub for yourself and see if you don't agree. The interface is easy to use and you can create your hub any way you like.
- The site also has a great community with support forums and the staff has always been quick to reply to any question I have. You won't be lost and alone if you have problems and the other writers are also more than willing to help in my experience.
For all of it's good aspects, HubPages also has a few negatives. Here are the cons of the site:
- Revenue share model may result in lower earnings than other residual sites offer.
- Page rank and Alexa ranking aren't quite as high as other residual sites with better revenue share options.
- You must have an approved Google Adsense account in order to earn. If you've been rejected by Google or had your account banned, HubPages won't earn anything for you.
- No promotional articles. This is a good thing in my opinion, but if you're looking for a place to dump your affiliate links, HubPages is not for you.
HubPages Strategy to Make the Most Money
I would recommend using the same keyword strategies for HubPages that you use to find profitable keywords for eHow articles. You need high-paying keywords to make the most money, as ad clicks equal revenue here. Here are some more tips for creating the best possible money-making hubs:
- Make sure each hub has a minimum of 400 words of written content, although more is always better. I try for 1,000 to 1,500 words for each hub, since this is what HubPages wants for its flagship hubs.
- Follow the guidelines for the flagship hubs if possible, and you know you'll be creating hubs that live up to the standards of the site. Although a hub may contain nothing more than a few paragraphs of text and a Google ad, you'll make more money if you fill your hub with relevant content, pictures, videos and links, since this content will keep readers on the page longer and increase the chances of ad clicks.
- Visit the HubPages Forums and find out what other hubbers are doing to make the most money on the site. Read the FAQ's and make sure you understand how the site works before beginning.
For more information on Hub Pages visit any of the following links:
- HubPages New User Guide
- HubPages Frequently Asked Questions
- Take a Tour of HubPages
- HubPages User Forums
You may also want to visit the following Hubs written by prolific HubPages users. You can get an idea of what a good Hub looks like and also learn a few things at the same time:
- The Hub Pages Insider
- Improve Your HubPages Earnings
- HubPages Help - A Reading List for New Hubbers
- How to Create A Search Engine Friendly HubPage
- How to Make Money Writing on HubPages
Insights, comments or questions? Leave them below. I'd love to hear from you regarding your personal experiences with HubPages!