If so, you may be confused by all the websites, advice, tools, and "rules" that seemed to be geared towards people who already have a little (or a lot) experience in freelancing and blogging.
If so, then this week, I am going to talk about Hubpages can save your online writing career before it even begins, and provide you with some terrific resources and benefits along the way.
What is Hubpages?
Chances are, you've read an article or two that has been published on Hubpages (or HP, for short). HP is not a personal blog, and it isn't a content mill or freelance job site.
Its a huge self-publishing platform, where writers can create an account, publish articles and earn ad revenue.
The best things about Hubpages are not the earnings, but I will get to those in a minute. For beginners, this site is valuable because anyone can join, regardless of your experience with online writing.
In fact, it can benefit people at all levels, although the more experienced you are, the more you may feel cramped by the publishing guidelines.
That's okay though. As long as your articles are live on HP, you can continue to earn from them and use them in your portfolio, even if you decide to start your own website or blog.
Great! Read on, and I'll explain how Hubpages gave me the boost I needed to pursue writing full time and a basic introduction to the site, along with feedback on the new site "remodel", (and how it started earning me more money!)
You've probably seen tons of tutorials and articles on how "anyone" can launch a freelance writing career right now. No experience needed, they say.
Then they share their success story, and you find out that even though the author didn't start out as a freelancer or blogger, they did work in a career that gave them tons of experience.
Maybe they were copywriters, designers, campaign managers, marketing consultants, etc. They came into the game with a lot of knowledge and skills, and were probably already comfortable using the internet and a variety of digital tools.
But what about you? What if you don't have any of that? What if you can't tell the difference between SEO and LOL? What if you don't think you can write because you don't have the words "editorial" or "marketing" anywhere in your resume?
You can still do it. I know this because...
Hubpages Got Me Started
The first time I ever logged onto the internet was in 2002. (I couldn't even type.) Many experts you see today were already well established by that time.
I had no idea about writing online. I had no idea at that time that bloggers made money. I don't think I ever read a blog. I hung out on art sites most of the time.
My "real life" job then was working in a nursing home. I never worked a job that required touching a single piece of office equipment. (I have still personally never sent a fax.)
It wasn't until years later that I made my first dollar writing online.
And I did it on Hubpages. because I was a broke, stay-at-home mom who just wanted some pocket money.
How Hubpages Helps New Writers
You don't need any professional skills to join Hubpages. You don't have to be an expert to write on a certain topic. What you do need is an email address, good grammar, and patience.
There are a lot of guidelines to learn. HP likes longform content (over 1250 words), broken up by images, tables, and video. If you are nervous about building your first hub from scratch and getting it to look perfect, you have the option to use a template, which guides you as you write.
Before you even begin writing though, take a week (or more) and dive into the archived posts, the Learning Center, and forums and read everything you can about how to write perfect hubs.
Not only will you find a treasure trove of writing tips for HP, you will find dozens of articles on blogging, SEO, marketing, freelance writing, small business, coding, design, etc.
When I first started writing for Hubpages, I had never heard the term SEO. I didn't know what a tag or a keyword was. I learned all of that from reading articles written by other Hubbers.
Readers, Writers, Community:
Hubpages also has a huge community of writers. Plenty of them have been there since the site first began, and they will be some of your first, and most valuable contacts.
They are writers who are also successful bloggers, website owners, freelance experts, and eBook authors.
Follow their blogs. Follow them on social media. They have huge networks and tons of advice that can help you both on and off of HP.
They will also offer you feedback on your articles, and sometimes a little constructive criticism that is hard to handle at first.
These days, hubs go through a quality assessment process before they go live. If your post doesn't get approved, its not the end of the world. You simply edit and resubmit. You can do this over and over until it passes.
It might seem annoying, but this process teaches you a lot about writing structured articles. The better your articles, the more chance you have to earn a little income.
Hubpages used to have a daily feature, and an award (accolade) for best hub by a newcomer. My very first hub won the daily feature one day, and a days later another article won the accolade.
The site no longer uses these, but the confidence they gave me (along with wonderful support from other hubbers) is what took me from "earning pocket money" to becoming a freelance writer.
Earning With Hubpages
This is probably the part you are most eager to learn about. You might be disappointed though.
You are not going to make a ton of money on Hubpages. There was a time when some authors earned their entire living on HP, but by the time I started writing there, that ship had sailed.
However, its possible to use HP for a decent side income stream. Even if you stop writing on Hubpages, your articles will earn money as they stay published and draw traffic. (you can make sure they stay live by tweaking them a little every few months or so to update content.)
Hubpages uses ad revenue. That means you will need an Adsense account. If this is your first time making money online, and you've never even heard of Adsense, then this is the easiest way to get approved!
To begin with, you will earn pennies. My earnings took off very slowly, because I made the mistake of trying to write lots of funny articles. Funny articles are not money makers.
Stick to publishing helpful, evergreen content, and your articles will get more attention, more traffic, and more income.
The New Hubpages
A year ago, I would have told you to not bother with Hubpages. Traffic was dying out and the earnings had dropped back to mere pennies per day. They seemed destined to follow sites like Helium and Yahoo Voices to the graveyard.
Then, HP did a site overhaul. They started building niche sites and moving articles. It was like someone zapped the earnings with defibrillator!
Some of the niche topics include:
- Personal Finance
- Home and Garden
So far, I have about ten articles that have been moved to those sites. Those ten are drawing as many as 1200 views per day, and over $100 per month.
Doesn't sound like much? Hey, that covers two bills, and I don't even have to work for it. I fully intend to add a few new articles. I will definitely share updates if anything amazing happens!
Lets look over the benefits of the New Hubpages again:
- Anyone can begin
- Hundreds of built-in resources
- Built-in traffic
- Niche sub-sites to maximize your views and earnings
- Supportive community of experienced writers
- Instant Ego Boost
- You don't have to pick a niche.
If you start your own site, it may be months before you ever see a comment, a share, or traffic that doesn't come from your relatives.
Its easy to start thinking that writing online was a bad idea and you consider giving up.
Because Hubpages has been around forever (in internet years), you are able to tap into the large amounts of traffic already visiting the site.
Think of it as setting up a kiosk in a huge shopping mall. The shoppers are already there, all you have to do is get their attention.
Plus, by making friends with the community, you are gaining some visitors for your own blog or website later on.
Basically, Hubpages is a great place to practice your writing skills, network with other writers, build up a social media following, earn income, sell affiliate products, and access thousands of in-depth writing tutorials. All in one place.