How to Earn Money Writing on HubPages
Earning a Passive Income on HubPages
I know a lot of people who want to write. It seems to be everybody’s dream. Yet few manage to do more than host an unsuccessful blog or earn more than a few pence a year from it. While I can’t pretend to be one of those mega hitters, I have, at times earned $35,000 a year from writing, and I do a reasonable job on hubpages as I do reach payout every month. For those who don’t know what that means, it means that I have a steady income of $50 or more per month. This is passive income. It happens whether I write new articles or not.
So let me tell you how to get there.
Write What People Want to Read
There seems to be a fallacy that writing is about expressing who you are, and that you can write anything you like, and if it is good enough, then it will be published, and you will be rewarded financially. It’s a fallacy.
You see, even bad writing gets rewarded financially – if it’s what people want to read. The Cellestine Prophesy and Fifty Shades of Grey are examples of this.
The major concern of the reader is whether the topic is what s/he wants to read.
Write According to the Number of Searches on Search Engines
Google, Bing, Duckduckgo, etc. are search engines. Your biggest market on a content writing site are not your followers on a social network like facebook or Google Plus. It’s not even all your fans on hubpages. It’s the readers that Google sends to your article.
So you have to write something that people are searching for, and then you have to use the exact words that they put into the search engine for the title of your article. That title needs to be a longtail keyword. Preferably, it needs to have two or more longtail keywords.
That said, it might be worthwhile for certain over-presented topics to consider getting to the top of the SERPS for other search engines.
If you haven’t heard the phrase before, it means the list of words that people put into the search engine. So, for instance, if people want to know what the latest cricket score is, they might type ‘cricket score.’ That’s a long tail keyword. It comprises more than one word. Or if they want to know the time zone in another country, they might type ‘time zone Canada.’ That’s another longtail keyword. There are hundreds of thousands of longtail keywords that the search engines respond to.
There’s a problem, however. If you were to search for “Michael Jackson Bio,” hundreds of thousands of articles would come up. There would, however, only be one article at the top of the Google page (SERPS). And it probably isn’t going to be yours.
So it’s not only a matter of having your title(article) recognized by the search engine; the title has to meet other criteria.
Write on Topics For Which Little Has Been Written
You have to walk a tight rope between sufficient people on the web searching for that topic and very few articles having been written about it. Twenty years ago, that was an easy thing to do. Now it’s not. Now it’s the most difficult thing of the entire aspect of writing on the web. That’s why you can’t afford to write about what you want to write about – not if you want to earn money, and the clue to earning money is being read.
This is why writing as a specialist in a niche market pays big dividends. If there are only a few people writing about a particular topic, then you have a good chance of making the top ten on the Google SERPS. Google has most of the traffic on the web, so that’s why it’s important to consider the way that this search engine works.
The other aspect of writing for a niche market where you are one of few experts is that you will develop a following because there isn’t much competition.
Of course, if you are not an expert on anything (like me), then you have to do the research so as to discover which topic will be suitable.
Writing for money is a job - not a passion
If you want to earn as a writer, then you have to approach it just the way you would any job for a client. It's the client that dictates!
The Artwork is Vital
I learnt a lot from my posts going viral fairly frequently on Google Plus. At times, the number of views would hit almost 1,5 million in 24 hours, plus it would have 5000 or 6000 likes and 500 comments (the maximum). The number one thing I noticed was that it wasn’t the headline that drew people – it was the picture.
I’ve seen that on HubPages as well. At one point, an editor changed the illustrations on one of my articles. My traffic dropped by a third. I left it that way for three months. Then I changed the illustration to one that was even better than it had been previously. My traffic immediately climbed and was better than before.
The first picture you upload is the one that is attached to your article when you share it. Whether people even read the headline is 100% dependent on that photo. Take good care that it draws attention, and that it is very, very powerful.
Your grammar matters more than you can ever believe possible. Most people are unaware that we speak in a colloquial (informal) way, and that if we write as we speak, then we will not be writing grammatically. Writing is a formal exercise.
It is not a matter of ‘if your reader understands what you are saying, it doesn’t matter.’ The truth is that grammar enables people to understand what you are saying, and if you do not use grammatical rules, no editor will publish you, and you will not be paid. It’s one thing self-publishing your blog. It’s quite another being selected for publication.
If you’re struggling to earn money as a writer, then I suggest you take the time to go and do a grammar course. The best way to learn English grammar is to do an ‘English as a Second Language Course.’ For some reason, those who teach English as a foreign language do a better job than first language English teachers. I learnt more about English grammar in my five years of Latin than I ever did in an English class!
Avoid purple prose. Decorative language is not highly desirable in good writing. Cut out every word that isn’t absolutely essential. Vary your sentence lengths. Be rigorous in dividing up each new idea into paragraphs. Above all else, make your information easy to read. People will not struggle to read your glorious, highly decorative prose.
I’ve been on the web since 1994. Actually, I’m not sure of the exact date, but it was around there. I do know that I was curious as to how many websites there were on the web. There were 3,300 websites. I was in despair as I thought I could never read that many! The gist of what I’m saying is that I’ve written a lot on the web during the last twenty years, and if you want a content writing site, HubPages is the best there is. It is under excellent management, and you are not going to do better.
I’m not telling you it is going to be easy. Writing is probably one the lowest paying jobs there is, and if you don’t believe that, check with the IRS.
Yes, there are people who earn millions, but not many. And it’s probably easier to find a man (if you’re a 60 year old woman), than it is to make any sort of meaningful money out of writing.
You can, however, earn an additional sum of money that could be useful to you.
Have you ever been paid for an article you submitted to an established print magazine?
Where Does the Income Come From?
Your income is the result of people clicking on ads while reading through your work. It can also come from the Amazon affiliate program, but that is rare. However, you are not permitted to click on your own work, and if Google even suspects for one moment that you are getting an uneven number of clicks, then your account will be closed.
The amount you earn is dependent on what the cost of the ad is. You will get a percentage of that price. Some ads are very expensive while others don’t bring in much. In the old days, the ads used to match the article, but this is no longer so. These days, search engines place advertising according to what the searcher is looking for.
This is not an immediate reward.
Firstly, one has to have a certain number of articles plus a certain amount of traffic in order to be accepted into the Google Adsense program. So that will take a few months. Next, there will be learning curve as to what works and what does not. For the most part, some articles will draw traffic while others will flop. It’s not a precise science.
Vertical Sites on HubPages
HubPages has topic-specific sites which are separate from HubPages. If your article is good enough, it will be selected for one of these sites. Selection does include an editing process, and you have to allow the editor licence. This is where there is an increase in traffic and the opportunity for increased income. It’s worth studying what the sites want and writing according to those specifications.
All things being equal, if you’re a grammatical writer, select the right topics, and provide good artwork, you should do well.
Questions & Answers
© 2017 Tessa Schlesinger