My Hubpages Review 2015
The answer to that question is increasingly “no”, but until very recently it had been a “yes”, and I think it might resume the affirmative. Right now it depends on how the transition is made as Hubpages continues to try to please Google.
For those unaware of what Hubpages is, here is a short summary:
It is a community of online writers using a module based writing platform.
The income of ads and Amazon products are shared between the writer and Hubpages.
A Bit Of Background On Squidoo Turning Into Hubpages
If you have read some of my reports in the past you know that I started out on Squidoo, which was a writing platform with some similarities. While writing there I did quite well, getting some rewards and earning enough income to help support some of my other web writing – selfhosting and domains for my blogs (including this one).
Squidoo was bought out by Hubpages and merged, after which all the articles (christened “lenses”) became “hubs”.
Squidoo struggled with the same issues that are a trouble to Hubpages, now: penalties from Google for poor content, spamminess, and just because they consider them to be “content farms”.
Hubs Get Hit
The fact that Hubpages pay compensation means they have tended to draw some very questionable authors along with the worthwhile, talented, and honest ones. After Google Panda slapdowns (where the traffic was severely impacted), the struggle was on to try to eradicate the source of the problem. This included little to no links to one’s own blogs, or affiliates, and much fewer Amazon modules.
This has resulted in dropping income for many writers on the site (which explains my initial “no”, it is very difficult now to make any money on the site).
Compensation is still paid, but it is much more difficult and greatly reduced at this time (in my own experience).
What Has Changed In Earning Income?
For the things that created income, the ad income is less, the Amazon modules are restricted and discouraged. Also, an arbitrary system of relegating articles to “unfeatured status”, wherein HP tells search engines not to index the hubs, results in less visitors for that “hub”. Ebay has not figured into my own earnings, or much for most others from what I have read.
One thing that has changed is the clarity by which a person may judge whether their writing is meeting standards on the site. Unfeatured for quality can mean almost anything for having outgoing links, to too many, to unrelated Amazon products, etc. It could also have to do with the writing… it is a mixed bag and changes often.
Are We Having Fun Yet?
Yes, sometimes. However it is a lot of work keeping up with many changes, and the compensation is steadily dropping. What tends to work?
- Having a large number of articles still seems to matter. Part of the reason my income dropped is that I took a number of my articles down when they seemed unresponsive to improvements (I couldn’t get them out of unfeatured no matter what I tried).
- Writing long articles of 700+ words.
- Writing along a very tight topic focus (unlike Squidoo which seemed to reward ranging widely across the topic and covering everything).
- Having few or no outgoing links, restricting them to one per text module.
- Having very few Amazon products and keeping them to those mentioned in the article.
- A number of strong pictures/photos, but not too many.
Another change is the scoring of articles based more on visitor interaction, and less on raw traffic.
A robot editor now corrects grammar and spelling.
Start Doing This
If earning some revenue from your writing online is a goal, try some of these suggestions.
- Build up your own sites if you wish to try your hand at making an income writing.
- Diversify among different streams of income: sites like Hubpages, your own blogs, social media, Amazon, Zazzle.
- Find your niche
- Work hard
For now, that is my report on the everchanging landscape of creating a business and income online.
So many writers are complaining in the Hubpages forums and many are leaving or threatening to do so. I take that to mean that there is a sitewide drop in income. Mine is about a third of what it was last year, but I don’t know if that is the common experience or not.
The benefits remain for those who simply wish to have experience writing and possibly getting feedback on their efforts. The community there is also a way to keep a touch on the pulse of the web as it impacts this type of writing (mostly informational articles).
This is simply information given to the reader to help you decide for yourself if you think joining and writing for Hubpages is a promising endeavor for your efforts.