It’s always a good idea to diversify when you invest your time in writing online for residual income, and write for more than one or two sites–just in case. Since several readers have recently inquired about the potential value of writing for HubPages, I asked a friend, Carla Chadwick, who has extensive experience with writing HubPages to share her own tips with you.
The following guest post is an overview of HubPages by Carla, with a link to more information. Thanks, Carla!
How to Build Residual Income with HubPages
By Carla Chadwick
If you’re a writer who wants to build residual income, you’ll eventually run across HubPages. I consider myself lucky that I did so early in my Internet marketing career, because my hub revenues now provide a large chunk of my income. It wasn’t easy at first, because there wasn’t anyone to give me an overview of how HubPages works. That’s why I wrote How to Make Money Writing on HubPages, which gives step-by-step instructions on how to build hubs and monetize them.
Even though the hub linked above is about as long as War and Peace, there are still subtleties it doesn’t cover. So I’d like to address some of them here. My goal is to give writers who are considering investing their time in HubPages a better sense of what awaits them.
Do-follow vs. no-follow links
Many people want to know whether HubPages links are do-follow or no-follow. The answer is that they can be either; it just depends on your status within the HubPages community. If you keep your HubScore (the score attached to your profile, not to individual hubs) above 74, your links will be do-followed. Your links will automatically be no-followed if your score falls below that.
You can keep your score above 74 by making sure that at least some of your hubs have more than 1,000 words. If some of them are even longer, so much the better. It’s also a good idea to include some of the extra capsules provided within each hub, which allow for the inclusion of polls, quizzes, news and RSS feeds, photos or illustrations and videos. The more capsules you add, the higher your HubScore will be. One caveat, though: there should be no more than 100 outgoing links on a hub, including RSS and news feeds.
Speaking of links, it’s important to note that you’re allowed only two links to each domain in a hub. That restriction is waved, however, if you include an RSS feed to your blog. Feed capsules allow for up to eight links, as long as you don’t have any other links to that domain within the same hub. Also, be aware that if you have two sites connected by redirects, those will count as one domain.
Residual income potential
HubPages offers four official revenue streams: AdSense, Kontera, Amazon and eBay. AdSense is run by default if you have any “commercial” links (links that provide any SEO and/or marketing value to the hub owner) within your hub, so you’ll want to enter your AdSense affiliate code immediately. Otherwise you may miss out on some revenue. The other programs are optional, but I’ve found they all produce revenue.
HubPages doesn’t split revenue with their authors; they split impressions, at the rate of forty percent of the impressions going to HubPages and 60 percent going to you. That means that if a visitor lands on your hub when your affiliate code is being displayed on the page (which happens 60 times out of 100), you will get 100 percent of the revenue, whether it’s AdSense, Kontera, Amazon or eBay. HubPages gets 100 percent of the revenue from the other 40 out of 100 clicks.
You can use your own affiliate links too. If you do, the revenue from those would be 100 percent yours. There’s also an opportunity to build even more residual income by signing up other authors under you. The payment formula is a little complicated, so I won’t cover it here. You can read about that in the hub I’ve linked above.
As with most Internet marketing endeavors, HubPages revenue is entirely dependent on the keywords you choose, and how much you promote and optimize those pages. One of the things I love about HubPages is that someone who won’t click on an ad elsewhere will click on an ad on HubPages. I don’t know why, but I’ve seen that behavior consistently, and so have other Hubbers. So if you get the traffic there and the hub is well-optimized, you will make money.
Because of this, I and many other Hubbers have niche blogs that exist primarily to send traffic to hubs. Blogger blogs work nicely for this, because there’s no money needed and they’re easy to maintain. If you should pursue that approach, though, make sure your blog is relatively plain. Fancy backgrounds and a lot of colors will only distract your visitors from clicking over to your hubs. I use graphic ads to get people to click through, but you can use text links if you want. You can see an example of how I direct traffic through ads on my WordPlay blog.
Naturally, if you already have niche blogs that are getting traffic, those would also be great places to post links to your hubs. Using web properties that already have traffic to direct visitors to your hubs would greatly speed the time it takes to begin generating revenue.
Because of the diversity of reporting methods for revenue sources, it’s not really possible to tell you how much I make on individual hubs. But I can tell you that I made approximately $2,000 in December 2009, using the four standard HubPages revenue sources, plus a separate affiliate program that I promote on some of my hubs. That revenue came from a mix of 153 hubs of varying ages and was higher than I usually experience because I have quite a few holiday hubs. I anticipate the revenue for December 2010 will be even higher, because I will have built more hubs by then, and my existing hubs and their incoming links will have aged.
The revenue the rest of the year goes up and down for me, depending on which of my seasonal hubs is getting traffic at any given time. I built many of my seasonal hubs first, because they have a tendency to pay more and generate huge bursts of traffic. But that’s not enough to create a consistent income, so I’m now in the process of building more hubs on topics with year-round appeal.
I promote my hubs through article marketing, link exchanges and other link-building. Hubs get an initial lift in Google because HubPages.com is a strong domain. But that lasts only for a short while and won’t happen at all for some more competitive keywords. So if you don’t plan to do link-building for your hubs or at least for blogs that point to them, save yourself some time and don’t build any hubs at all. If you’re willing to build links but don’t know how, though, the hub linked at the top of this page will explain it and give you linking resources.
I’ve found many supportive and wonderful people who write for HubPages. These people have become my fans on Twitter and often leave comments on my hubs. Truth be told, though, there are also Hubbers I don’t like as much. That’s life though. I’ve found that staying out of the HubPages forum is a great way to avoid the more toxic element. Don’t get me wrong; there are plenty of nice people who frequent the forums. But unless I have a support issue I’m researching, I stay away. Your mileage may vary, though, so if you like to mix socializing with money-making; those connections are definitely available on HubPages.
I have also found HubPages management to be helpful, and any issues have been resolved quickly by writing to their support team. But be forewarned: HubPages is picky. If one of your hubs doesn’t have what they perceive to be value, you’ll probably be penalized by a lower HubScore or even being unpublished until you alter it. This is how HubPages keeps their good standing with Google, so in the long run their pickiness is great for everyone who builds good content.
I hope this overview has helped you evaluate whether HubPages is right for you. If you join, please feel free to stop by any of my hubs and say hi.