Brandon Riederer got his MA in English from National University in 2016, and writes about linguistics, narratology, and cognitive poetics.
How I Made My First $50
So, it's not what you think—I did not make my first $50 overnight. I didn't even make my first $50 in the first month, first 50 articles, or even first year. It was a long and arduous process, but, hey, I made it!
Beginning your HubPages journey is hard. Establishing your niche is not easy. Creating your unique identity—what separates you from everyone else—seems like a daunting task. After all, what can we offer the world if it seems like everything anyone could ever want to know is already there on the Internet? This brings me to my very first piece of advice for new writers looking to make money on HubPages.
1. Establish Your Identity—Write on Your Expertise!
This is critical. I don't care if you wash windows, bus tables, or take out the trash—if you are the best at it, share it with the world! I am an English Professor. I know a thing or two about writing, literature, and philosophy. These areas of information are not widely searched on the Internet. Even worse, there are even fewer people interested in the very specific details regarding these fields unless they are students.
For this reason, I gear nearly all of my material towards college-age students and popular topics or books that I know they will have to read or write essays on. It's not a 'get rich quick' formula, but it has helped me establish my unique identity as a writer, and it helps me create a clearer vision for future articles.
Now, for you, your niche could be anything! What are you great at doing? What is widely searchable content? Don't be bashful. Surely, there is something you can offer.
2. Find Small Spaces and Think Big!
So, my most popular article is "The Day They Burned the Books: Values, Identity, and Otherness." Again, this is a very specific article discussing one particular short story by Jean Rhys. However, this is a relatively popular short story with little commentary offered online. I noticed this void, so I decided to write this article for students reading the story for the first time or students who had an assignment to write an essay on it.
Essentially, I found a small space on the Internet needing information, I wrote an article to fill the void, and the impact was big! Replicating this approach is 'easier said than done.' However, it will help you avoid wasting precious time and energy writing on a topic already exhausted on Google search pages. This actually brings me to my next point.
3. If Possible, Create Widely Searchable Content!
This is where my own expertise fails me. Not many people care about learning APA format or if Shakespeare actually wrote his own plays. Nobody cares! However, perhaps your expertise is something a lot people desire. Look at some of the best HubPage writers out there: They are car mechanics, cooks, arts and crafts experts, DIY geniuses. Notice: These are all highly searchable areas of content. After all, each of these fields of information offer some practical advice that can help people save money in the long run. Who doesn't want to save money?
4. Persistence Is Key
Persistence is effort over time divided by blood, sweat, and tears. It took me 3 years before I made my first $50 on HubPages. It took more than 50 articles to publish before I made my first $50. In the beginning, I was making pennies per day. Hey, at least it's something, right? Don't become discouraged! Some days, I still make a few cents. No big deal, though. Down days make the good days taste much sweeter.
The key here is simple: Keep moving up, keep publishing content, keep yourself engaged in active pursuit of your goal. You never know when you will publish that one article that just takes off.
© 2019 Instructor Riederer
Lawrence Hebb from Hamilton, New Zealand on January 18, 2020:
This was a great article, thank you for it. I've also been with HP for about three years, I moved over when HP bought Squidoo out and haven't looked back.
I still haven't made the $50 threshold but what it has done is open up other doors for me, I learned that people enjoy my fiction stories, and I learned how to take the next step, result a small but growing income as an Indie author and having a great tome writing the stories.
Keep 'em coming.
AL from South Equator, East Pacific on December 21, 2019:
Great article, I think new hubbers like myself should be referred to this article. I have been here for only a week and i have 3 articles, nowhere near payout. It gets really discouraging, but to hear how much hard work and effort established writers had to put in, it motivates new writers to work harder.
Doris James MizBejabbers from Beautiful South on December 21, 2019:
You're right, everyone has a niche, but sometimes it takes a little effort to find it, and sometimes it isn't very popular anyway. When I first joined HP, a writer had to reach $100 for a payout, so it was several years, I think about five, before that happened for me and it was one "magic" article that did it. However, it isn't a subject that I can keep repeating to make money. As an editor of 33 years, my expertise is in writing, but I've found that those articles don't pay. So I'll just keep writing whatever I like. Who needs money anyway?
Kari Poulsen from Ohio on December 21, 2019:
This is a very nice article about what it takes to make money writing. Finding your niche is the hard part I think.
Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on December 21, 2019:
Hi I am here seven years and had several payouts. A lot of hard work to earn fifty dollars and in the end it is reward. Thank you for the helpful tips and for sharing your experience.
Venkatachari M from Hyderabad, India on December 21, 2019:
That's a nice achievement on your score. I congratulate you on this occasion.
I am here for 5 years and not yet reached my first payment limit. So, it is really an appreciable accolade on your part.
Miebakagh Fiberesima from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA. on December 21, 2019:
Hi, there, thanks for sharing and I value your contribution to our learning. Many thanks.
Shaloo Walia from India on December 20, 2019:
I have been here for five years but still nowhere near payout. Congratulations for your first payout and wish you many, many more!
BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on December 20, 2019:
Good advice to not get discouraged.
I have not been on here a year yet...but still no payout.
I am learning more each day. I am always delighted when people read my work. I write mostly poetry but I am starting to branch out to short story like essays.
Thanks for sharing.