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What Happened at HubPages?

I was pretty excited about my HubPages earnings when I first signed up. I wrote about 20 Hubs (well actually 19) to test the waters.

Initially, I started out with a bang. I earned about $17 and was real excited. I left those 19 articles to sit and marinade for a while. I occasionally linked to one or two when appropriate, but didn’t do any real article promotion. I used the same promotional tactics at HubPages as I do with Suite 101, eHow or any other site I write for. I place an occasional link here or there, but no real promotion.

After two months I decided to analyze my progress. Once I took a look, I realized something wasn’t right.

Here are my numbers:

Month Google Kontera Total
August $16.63 $1.93 $18.56
September $3.53 $2.19 $5.72

My page views and revenue seem to be working backwards here. I realize that I haven’t spent any time on HubPages since posting my first 19 Hubs, but for my numbers to drop by about 70% is a little weird.

19 Hubs is not enough to make a huge difference when it comes to residual earnings, but I tend to monitor my progress when I write for a new site to see if I should continue spending my time and effort populating the site with more content.

Is it Just Me?HubPage Earnings

Not wanting to take my own numbers as the be all and end all, I did a little research to see if anyone else was undergoing the same traffic/revenue drop as I experienced. I came across this thread. It seems that I’m not alone.

From the looks of things, I don’t think I’ll be spending anymore of my time writing Hubs. I have a few more lucrative sites that have a better page view/revenue reward.

Always Something to Learn

Oh well, the only way to know if something works is to try it, monitor it and re-evaluate. If I continue to earn a few dollars a month off of my 19 articles, that’s great, but I don’t think I’ll add anything else there.

{ 25 comments… add one }
  • prerna October 6, 2009, 7:30 am

    Hi Felicia,
    Thanks for sharing this. I had been feeling kinda left out of the HP party but now don’t feel so bad. Do hope that it gets better and that your Hubs bring in some decent rev.
    Oh, and another thing- i came across a site called Askables.com and have signed up. They have an interesting payment plan. Do check it out sometime.
    .-= prerna´s last blog ..Being a Home Maker: Meal Planning =-.

    • Felicia October 6, 2009, 7:54 am

      Thanks for the heads up, Prerna. I’ll check out Askables.

  • Deanna October 6, 2009, 12:22 pm

    Hi Felicia,

    As always – thanks for sharing. It helps all of us to more easily navigate the many writing sites available.

    I started at HubPages about 18 months ago and had around 17 hubs there. After a few months and only making a little over $3.00 there, I deleted the articles and moved on. Recently, when I read you were doing so well there, I decided to try them again but only received a few pennies for my efforts. I know that some people claim to make a good income from HubPages, and they just may be, but like you I think I’ll spend my time at the sites I know make money for me instead. I do think HubPages is a good community site and people do enjoy that. Also, there are some really interesting writers there. I think we all chose sites where we can get what we need – some do for the money, some for the community, some for both.

    .-= Deanna´s last blog ..Orato.com – Writing Site Review =-.

  • Deborah October 6, 2009, 4:33 pm

    I’ve actually stopped writing for them myself. I had a really good hub. It was even on the first page of Google for a commonly sought after question. Yet…no revenue whatsoever. One click, no earnings. While I love the community and I appreciate the attention, I need to earn. That’s what I’m there for.

  • Julie @ Write for eHow October 6, 2009, 4:40 pm

    Same thing here, Felicia. Aug – $14.27 Sept – $0.23.

    It’s too bad too because I really do enjoy building Hubpages. I did get $15 in Amazon affiliate earnings from one sale, however. That was a nice consolation.

    I think that, like you, I’ll focus on other things right now unless I want to build a Hub for the do-follow banklink.

  • Julie October 7, 2009, 9:24 pm

    I too gave Hubpages a try and posted two articles. I do admit I had fun building the Hubs I believe that I could have made more off of the articles if I submitted them to AC. I am thinking about removing them from the site and transferring them over. The pennies I made from the articles compared to what I make from other sites makes it hardly worth the effort.
    .-= Julie´s last blog ..Revamping Work-at-Home Mommy Blog =-.

  • Kidgas October 9, 2009, 4:05 pm

    I am concerned about the potential trend that is developing at HubPages. I wonder if the rapid growth has caused the quality and authority of the site to be questioned leading to lower search engine traffic.

    While I have been earning at HubPages, I have diversified my writing to various other content sites as well. I am thinking that the next step will be to get my own domain and develop my own site.
    .-= Kidgas´s last blog ..Playing in Google’s Sandbox =-.

    • Felicia October 9, 2009, 4:55 pm

      Kidgas, developing your own site is always a good thing.

      I have one that I use as my playground. I learn what does and does not work, but I also earn money from it in the process.

  • Marilynne October 10, 2009, 5:48 pm

    I had a similar experience on Today.com. Good money to start and they followed the rules they’d stated. Then things went down hill from there.

    Today.com kept my posts, but I took the photos off. It’s been about 6 months now and my photo-less posts are still there making money for Today.com.

    I quit writing for them when they changed the pay rate. A girl’s gotta stand up for something.
    .-= Marilynne´s last blog ..Chica and Annie =-.

    • Felicia October 10, 2009, 7:53 pm

      Check out one of my posts about my experience with Today.com. I’m in the same boat. My posts are there, but I no longer write for them.

      HubPages, at least, didn’t lock us out of our accounts. We have the option to leave.

      You’re right, a girl’s gotta stand up for something. Good for you!

  • Ryan Hupfer October 23, 2009, 8:46 pm

    Hey Felicia! I just read this post, along with some of the comments and just wanted to throw a few thoughts into the conversation. I understand that everyone has their own view on what works and what doesn’t and each person will use HubPages just a little bit differently, so I’ll try to generalize a bit.

    First, as far as traffic goes, we have actually had a record week here at HubPages and the Hub Views are off the charts, which means that Google is indexing more and more content and neither our growth, nor anything else is hurting our ability to perform for our writers.

    Secondly, I remember when you wrote the ‘HubPages Is A Keeper’ post about 2 months ago (http://www.nojobformom.com/2009/08/20/hubpages-is-a-keeper/) and it’s amazing how quickly your mind has changed after publishing only 2 more Hubs since then. I noticed that you have written nearly 70 articles for eHow and the earnings aren’t very impressive, either.

    From my perspective, I would try to publish some more content before you decide to leave us altogether because from my experience when you only have around 20 pieces of content your earnings can take a pretty big swing from month to month.

    Also, from a traffic perspective, it looks like you are still gaining traction and that your daily views are just below your all-time daily high. Also, I’ve found that until you consistently get around 300-500 views a day your monthly results are still going to be all over the place.

    So, what so ya say? Maybe we should figure out a way for you to produce some more content in September? Maybe we could even create a ‘Felicia’s November 30 Hub Challenge’ so that the rest of the HubPages community and your blog community could all join in and see what happens? I’m up for it if you are. Heck, I’ll even spring for a prize for the best September HubChallenger if you want. Email me — I think that we might just have something here. 🙂

  • Ryan Hupfer October 23, 2009, 8:48 pm

    p.s. HubPages would never lock you out of your accounts. You own the rights to the content you produce and can do whatever you feel like doing with it at any time want. Just sayin’…
    .-= Ryan Hupfer´s last blog ..A Record Week For The HubMob! (and a shout-out to Simple Tim, a HubMobster maniac) =-.

  • Felicia October 23, 2009, 11:39 pm

    Hi Ryan,

    Thanks for giving me the opportunity to sponsor a HubPages Challenge, but I don’t think I’m up to the job.

    I do, however, want to clarify my position on HubPages and why after only two months I’ve decided to place it a little further down on my priority list of sites to write for at this point in time. I say this point in time because things change and when they do I reprioritize my list.

    Anyway, getting back to the point, I think a chart will better explain why I’m putting it on the back burner for now. Below is a comparison of the first two months for three sites that I write for. Because I keep strict records of what I write, when I write and how much I earn I’m able to compare each new writing venture:

    Month Suite 101 Hub Pages eHow
    # of
    $$$ # of
    $$$ # of
    Month # 1 4 $5.28 9 $18.56 15 .10
    Month # 2 11 $28.94 19 $5.72 117 $37.73
    Between 400
    and 500
    Over 700 Between 200
    and 250
    For more detailed info on my eHow earnings check out
    this post (your comment mentioned something about eHow
    and 70 artilces not performing well, but I think you might have
    me confused with another writer).

    You mention that it’s not until Hubs are regularly receiving 300 to 500 page views that earnings become consistent. Unfotunately, over the past two months, my page views have fallen rather sharply making it more difficult to reach that magic number (I’m getting about 1 and a half page views per article each month).

    The above chart does not include the ease or lack there of when uploading articles via the site’s user interface. While I did enjoy writing hubs, of the three sites listed, HubPages took more time and effort when uploading an article for public viewing. That coupled with the word count and the 70% decline in income, I don’t think I’m the right person to run a Hub Challenge.

    After spending a couple of years writing on the internet, I learn to evaluate sites rather quickly. I do, however, re-evaluate sites often to see how things have changed.

    My experience with HubPages is just that, my experience. I’m sure there are other writers who are doing well with HubPages. Lis is Hubber that comes to mind.

    I don’t want you to get the impression that I’m slamming HubPages, it’s just that at this point it time, it isn’t working for me.

  • Deborah October 25, 2009, 5:01 pm

    Wow. Your Suite101 and eHOW earnings are TEN TIMES better than mine. It must be the subjects you’re writing about or the SEO knowledge you have. Even my financial articles have not seen that much revenue and I’ve been doing this whole residual earning thing since September. I could certainly use a revenue increase with the way things have been in my household. Do you have any pointers? Is there something I am not doing correctly with my articles? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    • Felicia October 26, 2009, 7:33 am

      I think my initial success had a lot to do with the subject matter. Most of my articles were written on the topic of insurance. Actually, the articles I placed on Suite were variations of the ones I wrote when I was creating my mock site for About.com. After I didn’t get the About gig, I figured, why waste the articles, so I modified them to fit Suite’s guidelines and placed them there.

      Early on my SEO knowledge was non existent. I think Suite did a lot to help improve that.

      I took a quick look at your Suite profile and it looks like most of your articles are on the topic of freelance writing. I enjoy writing about writing, but I’m not so sure if it’s very lucrative. Try writing about a variety of topics to see if your revenue improves.

      Also, go over the learning hubs on Suite’s site. They should help improve your earnings. Keep in mind, however, that you have only been with then for about a month and earning money with Suite takes time.

  • Deborah October 26, 2009, 8:35 am

    Thanks, Felicia. Yes, anything finance and insurance related seems to pull in the best revenue. But for a creative like myself, it’s easy to get bored with those topics. I actually bought hosting and set up my own blog now on my own domain. It’s angelic-warrior.com

    I’m thinking it might do quite a bit to improve my earnings. My friend is building me a custom design but in the meantime I am very proud of just being able to have my own blog that’s not on a free site. You really helped inspire me to do this.

    • Felicia October 26, 2009, 10:25 am

      Deborah, I understand what you mean about getting bored with such topics. That’s why I write on so many different subjects. I most of my Suite 101 articles are not on the topic of insurance. As a Feature Writer I have to write once a week on insurance, but I also write on subjects that I truly enjoy. It all balances out in the long run.

      I’m also happy to hear that you’re working on your own site. It think its important to have your own corner of the internet where you are free to write the way you want on topics you enjoy.

  • Clare October 26, 2009, 1:01 pm

    I started pretty much the same way as you. The earnings to start with were great. Unfortunately, it went downhill from there. I have 90 hubs now and 9 PR1 hubs – earnings? Seem to be $0.13 a day!!!! I think they are playing around with the earnings, the amount of times that the articles have been viewed on a daily basis means that they really are scammers. I’m not one to make accusations, although after comparing the earnings, and unique visits in my Google analytics it just doesn’t seem to ring true.

    • Felicia October 26, 2009, 1:25 pm

      Wow, 90 hubs and 13 cents a day. I don’t know what’s going on over there. It started out great and then things just fizzled.

      I’m not so sure I’d use the ‘scam’ word, but something odd is going on. Usually earnings increase as time goes on, not decrease.

      Oh well, what ever is going on over there, I hope it picks up soon. 90 hubs is a lot of work for only 13 cents a day.

  • Ryan Hupfer October 26, 2009, 2:55 pm

    Hey Felicia — I appreciate you taking the time to comment back and explaining further your situation on HubPages (as well as the other sites that you are currently writing on). I understand that running a Hub Challenge might not be a good fit for you right now — I just thought I’d ask. Like you said, some sites are a better fit for some people than others and for you it seems like HubPages isn’t in the cards, which is OK.

    As far as the low earnings for some of the other writers commenting on this post, I would say that the earnings you receive are based directly on the amount of revenue that your Hubs generate (60% to the author and 40% to HubPages). So, if you’re generating $0.13 a day, that means that we’re only seeing about $0.09, which we don’t really like to see either.

    I honestly think what what we need is a way to better educate our writers on how the web’s writing-for-revenue model actually works and how to better their chances of getting a bigger piece of the pie. We obviously want all of our authors to be successful, so something like this could potentially go a long way for our writers.

    So, finally — I guess what I would ask for are suggestions on how we can make HubPages better for all of the writers out there and for the writers who aren’t seeing the results that they would have liked, what could we do differently to help.

    I would love to hear your feedback, so lay it on me. 🙂
    .-= Ryan Hupfer´s last blog ..Frank, The Official HubPages Office Mascot =-.

    • Felicia October 26, 2009, 3:24 pm

      Ryan, thanks for your comment. It makes us all feel better knowing that you’re willing to take suggestions to improve the situation.

  • Tom Lindstrom December 7, 2009, 6:26 am

    I have read a lot of blog posts regarding this and the common factor for earning money on hubpages ($200+ per month in passive income) is to write hundreds of hubs.Not all of the hubs will earn you money, only about 10% will.

    Here is what I found:
    .-= Tom Lindstrom´s last blog ..Ad.ly And Twitter =-.

    • Felicia December 7, 2009, 9:38 am

      Thanks for the link, Tom. Pretty interesting.

  • Alexander Mark June 23, 2011, 6:13 am

    I know this post is old now and maybe even irrelevant after Panda, but the one common trend at HP I am noticing here is the eerie drop in revenue after a “honeymoon” month. I started writing again in February of this year and had to stop because of overtime at my job. The earnings climbed upward steadily and predictably. After Panda, I wasn’t able to repeat the magic. Then HP offered their own ad revenue program, which I signed up for because my Adsense was only creeping upward. The first month was pretty good in comparison to the fallen Adsense ratings, but now in the second month, the amount of money coming in has dropped substantially. I think Hubpages promotes you the first month and then lets you ride that wave of hope after that.

    Don’t get me wrong, I love Hubpages as a community and a place to write, but it seems like you are seeing earnings at other sites that far outdistance HP and make more sense, not to mention your own websites. As always, thanks. I am stuck in limbo right now about my next direction. What I really need is to see some positive growth results from my efforts and you opened my eyes to the fact that HP doesn’t provide it for everyone and it’s time for me to step out of my comfort zone (this is why I’ve been dawdling on creating a blog of my own).

    Thanks for this old post!

    • Felicia June 23, 2011, 7:47 am

      Alexander, you might have just explained my recent uptick in HubPages earnings. I wrote 3 articles over the past two months (the first Hubs for the year) plus I signed up with their ad program. My earnings for the past two months are significantly higher than my prior four months. Maybe it’s because they’re promoting the new articles and I should expect a decline over the next few months.

      I’ll keep an eye on things and let you know how it goes.

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