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My First Five Years on HubPages: Things I Wish I'd Done Differently

Paola Bassanese is a freelance author and writer specialising in food, lifestyle and entertainment.

Writers need coffee to function.

Writers need coffee to function.

Things I Wish I Did Differently When I Joined HubPages

I joined HubPages in 2013, but I didn’t start writing until two years later. In other words, I have been on the platform for a total of seven years but have only been active for five years. I remember joining the platform at a time when I was busy with various freelance projects, and I thought I would look into HubPages when I had more time. Two years down the line and with a less hectic freelance schedule, I was researching websites for writers and then realied I had signed up with HubPages without doing anything about it.

If I could do this all over again, I would have started writing hubs (articles) straight away. There are many reasons for thinking this:

  • if you start writing soon after joining the platform, you gain momentum
  • articles that have been published for a longer time are likely to also have better traffic
  • the sooner and the more frequently you publish, the sooner you are likely to start generating advertising income

I didn’t have a specific game plan for HubPages, so I waited for the inspiration to strike before I wrote.

Titles I thought would do well weren’t attracting enough readers (mostly because I didn’t do enough research on keywords).

Another thing I wish I did differently was choosing niche topics to write about. I didn’t have a content strategy and, while I still write about topics that I believe may be of interest to other people, I was jumping from one topic to the next.

Do your research before you write a word.

Do your research before you write a word.

How Many Articles Does It Take to Start Earning on HubPages?

While HubPages’ terms and conditions of use forbid authors to discuss earnings, I can give you some broad ideas of the timescale to start earning advertising income based on my experience.

I received my first payout after 19 months on HubPages. As you can see, this is not the quickest route to earning money. What I did wrong was the following:

  • in 19 months, I only published 26 articles
  • in my second year, I only published eight articles
  • I wasn’t publishing articles on a regular basis

I received my second payout nine months after the first and my third payout four months after that. The time I have to wait between payouts is getting shorter, but it’s not because I have been publishing more. The main reason is because my oldest articles have gained a good amount of traffic over time. Collectively, three articles I published in 2015 are performing better than all the others. They have similar themes and have also attracted a good number of comments (so far about 50 comments on my best-performing article).

If you are curious to know if I am making a regular income from HubPages, the answer currently is no. I have published a total of 35 articles in three years, therefore I would suggest to invest more time publishing more high-quality articles. I know I want to publish more articles, and I am sure this will have a positive effect on earnings.

I wouldn’t be able to tell you the perfect formula for publishing on HubPages; I suspect one article a month may be too low a number. I guess I will have more data to work on when I reach 100 articles and more articles have “matured” over time, by which point I will be able to draw better conclusions.

Keep publishing high quality articles.

Keep publishing high quality articles.

Making the Most of HubPages as a Freelance Writer

So far I have used HubPages as a way to test new ideas and to share my experience. For example, every time I learn something new, I like to share it in case other people may find it useful.

If you are planning to earn income on HubPages, the best way to make the most of the platform is to find a topic people want to know more about and that hasn’t been written about extensively. Ideally, find new angles and create series to have readers coming back for more. Have I done any of this? Not really. I have created articles that referred to other articles, for example, so they could be read together as a series. However, those aren’t currently performing too well, simply because I overestimated the level of interest the public has in that subject.

I do believe that HubPages is a great way to test the popularity of a topic. The other side of the coin is that I have deleted a few articles that weren’t getting enough traffic. A couple of them became unfeatured (unpublished) by HubPages because of low traffic.

Articles that are more popular are “evergreen," i.e., they don’t talk about a topic that gets old or out-of-date soon. In fact, a couple of articles commenting on specific events received hardly any attention.

Over to you: how long have you been on HubPages and how many articles have you written? Please share your experience in the comments.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

© 2018 Paola Bassanese


Paola Bassanese (author) from Ireland on July 06, 2020:

Hi Alexia, it might take a couple of years to earn income to be honest - best to research topics that are likely to generate high traffic. All the best!

Paola Bassanese (author) from Ireland on July 06, 2020:

Hi Abby welcome! It's an ambitious target, it is achievable but sometimes life gets in the way haha! I'm sure you'll do great!

Abby Slutsky from America on July 05, 2020:

I am new here, but have been published on other sites and in-print, as well. Thank you for your insight. I am hoping to do four articles a month, but we will see if that is too ambitious.

Alexia Ochoa from México on June 25, 2020:

Hi, I just started here and although what I care most about is experience, I was also wondering about the income. I'm a student so the idea of passive income sounds amazing.

Reformed Eve from USA on November 09, 2019:

Thanks for sharing this. I appreciate it. I second your advice. I can definitely see the impact one could make on Hubpages... In the community and in your wallet. The extra money is nice, but you're right, you gain momentum as soon as you start. And I learned, you must network..

Paola Bassanese (author) from Ireland on May 11, 2018:

Hi Natasha

Thank you for reading this article too. I saw on your profile that you have rejoined the platform, how does it compare now compared to how it used to be?


Natasha K from Kansas United States on May 11, 2018:

Thanks for another great read. You answered a few of my curious questions. I guess I just need to get writing more. I would like to earn something eventually so I am all for these tips and advice.

Hani Khalid from Karachi,Pakistan on May 09, 2018:

Hey Paola!

Truly agree with you :). Thanks, for the best wishes.

Paola Bassanese (author) from Ireland on May 09, 2018:

Hi Hani

You can always expand the first article a bit more with newer information when you have the time. It's a marathon, not a sprint :)

All the best


Hani Khalid from Karachi,Pakistan on May 09, 2018:

Hello Paola! Yes for sure. Actually I am hardly getting time to proceed with my little ones! So I kind of freak out at times but not giving up for sure! My second article is still in process hope to get it done asap.Just because of tough schedule I am giving less time to writing. The first article has started loosing traffic which was going pretty well. I am afraid by the time I publish my second the first might get unfeatured. Anyway not losing hope that soon:)

Paola Bassanese (author) from Ireland on May 08, 2018:

Hi Hani, give it a go for 6 months to a year and see how it goes. You never know...

Hani Khalid from Karachi,Pakistan on May 08, 2018:

Hmm! well said :). thank you for wishing me luck. As I am already asked by many hubbers to show some patience:).

Paola Bassanese (author) from Ireland on May 08, 2018:

Hi Hani

I have been on this platform for five years and I respectfully disagree with some of the points you make. Hubpages provides a publishing platform so they bear all the hosting and development costs. Writers don't share any of the costs and risks. Payouts are from AdSense which has minimum payment thresholds, so that's a policy decided by Google and not AdSense. It takes a while to build traffic and it's up to the writer to research good topics and promote hubs on social media. Thank you for your comment and best of luck with your hubs!

Hani Khalid from Karachi,Pakistan on May 08, 2018:

Well i am also new to hubpages. In a way you can say i am starting my career here. But somehow i feel it has too many restrictions for its users. Firstly we share our knowledge and we write giving our 100% they receive our data and get profit from it but like for the writers they make it long to earn! I appreciate if someone can justify their policy.