Girly_Girl09 joined HubPages only 9 months ago, but she recently announced in the Forums that, despite having published the majority of her Hubs earlier when she had free time, she continues to earn about $200 per month even though she has shifted her attention to her studies. She took some time out of her busy schedule, though, to answer some of my questions and offer some very valuable advice to those Hubbers who are looking to earn money from their Hubs.
1. A consistent $200 or so per month on 136 Hubs written over 9 months is not too shabby! How does this compare to your earnings expectations when you started at HubPages?
It’s really exciting and unexpected! I am honestly astounded to be earning money every month in the form of a residual income. There was a period of 3-4 months last year where I unfortunately didn’t have a lot of time to play on HubPages, yet my earnings would still appear in my bank account near the end of every month. That, in itself, was a huge inspiration for me to continue to write as much as I can, when I have the time!
2. You mentioned doing some SEO research. What are some top-level suggestions you learned that ended up working for you?
If you research it, write about it and “SEO” it, they will come.
1.) SEO research is key. You really need to understand the basic concepts and work from there. HP was my first attempt at SEO (Search Engine Optimization) so I had a lot of learning to do. Search engine traffic is where 99% of your income will come from; it’s crucial. The good news is – you don’t need to spend a fortune learning SEO! There is a plethora of free and helpful information out there. I read countless blogs and hubs on SEO and of course ask lots of questions on the forums. While we have a wonderful community of eagerly helpful hubbers, I do recommend learning the basics for yourself, this way, you can grasp the general concepts and individually apply them to your individual hubs and marketing needs.
2.) Keyword research is very important! I suspect that if you conjure up a topic that is of interest to you, other people will be searching for information on it. However, the way you word your title and article content may not be written as it should be for SEO. This is why you really need to research which keywords you are using. I occasionally publish portions of my papers that I’ve used for class assignments and re-write them so they contain keywords that have earning potential and viable traffic. You can take almost any topic and find relevant keywords that can, in turn, earn you money.
3.) Write about what you know or can take the time to research. In my opinion, there is nothing worse (or boring!) than writing about topics simply because they are profitable. It’s one thing to do the research and write a great article, but I find it silly that people write about topics such as weight loss or mesothelioma, without even knowing what they’re talking about. Trust me, you can find a profitable topic, no matter your interests. Google ranks hubs based on many factors, one of them has to do with how much time a reader stays on your page. The longer and more helpful your article is, the better you’ll rank with search engines.
I have some further advice in my hub Increase Google Adsense Revenue. It was written for hubbers that already have great hubs already published, but just need to tweak them a bit for SEO purposes.
3. Glancing at your Hubs, I see a wide range of informational Hubs, mostly about products as diverse as flavored popcorn and pink shower curtains. They seem to be niche products that you know quite well. How do you determine what products to review in your Hubs?
In order for me to write a hub, I choose topics that I either know well, or can research and present effectively for readers. 9 times out of 10, the topics I choose are profitable because I write to earn money. I do choose really random topics or products, but I have a “rule” that I have to be interested in what I write about.
4. Most Hubbers’ earnings seems to follow the 80:20 rule (20% of their Hubs generate 80% of the revenue). Has that been the case for you? What have you learned about which Hubs attract traffic and generate earnings for you (or is there no pattern)?
I would say that 20% is about accurate, however I’m finding that with fine-tuning my keyword research skills, I can guarantee that I’ll eventually earn from each new hub I write. One or two of my first 35-50 hubs do have some exciting earners (by chance!) but a lot of them have only earned a dollar or so and I don’t expect much more than that.
5. In the same forum thread, you mentioned learning about entrepreneurship from your family. How does HubPages figure into your other extracurricular entrepreneurial activities?
HubPages gave me the courage to purchase my own domain and start up a new site; the revenue model will be based on Adsense. HP is a phenomenal place to research what topics work and expand from there. If you write a really successful hub and are earning a lot from it, then it may just be a topic that you can expand to a niche website. Not to mention, I have a few PR (Page Rank) 3 hubs that I can directly link to my new site to give it a search engine boost. While I still have massive amounts of work to make my new domain profitable, it is a small piece of internet “real estate” that I’m proud to own.
Thus far, I’ve found that it is much easier to earn money from HubPages then on my own domain. HubPages is still my preferred method of earning income online. I don’t have to worry about coding or server issues!
6. Tell us about your career in politics and your future career in law. Sounds intriguing!
I worked in politics for about five years. It started off with volunteering on a gubernatorial race which led to a position on that campaign. Shortly thereafter, I was hired as Projects Director for a political party in my state. I loved my job, the unique experiences I endeavored and the fantastic people, candidates and legislators that I had the pleasure of working with. There were daily challenges with many solutions and something exciting or shocking was always happening. In 2008, I naturally transitioned over to a presidential campaign. It was the best time of my life – thus far! It was a 24/7, demanding job, with my phone constantly going off at random hours. To sum it up in as few words as possible: copious amounts of Red Bull, traveling, hotels, car mileage, conference calls and Excel spreadsheets! I dealt mainly with election law procedures and logistics of campaign staff and volunteers on Election Day and the three days leading up to it (aka 72 Hour). Campaigns are actually built backwards from Election Day, so the whole experience was fast-paced all year long, not just in November. The project was where I solidified my desire to eventually attend law school. I was inspired by the ethics and professionalism of the attorneys that I worked with.
Presently, I’m pursuing an undergraduate degree in legal studies. I understandably have a huge passion for election law, but that is not something I can really make a career out of. My other interests include copyright & intellectual property, criminal law and legislative law. I’m quite certain I won’t know exactly what I want to practice until my last year or so of law school. Until then, I enjoy learning about a wide array of legal topics. While I honestly miss the 60, 80, 100 or 120 hour work weeks (depending on the “political season”), I now enjoy being a full-time student and pursuing new goals outside of the political realm. It’s great to be in classes where your professors actually want you to argue with them. What could be more fun than that?
7. Finally, you are noted for your contributions on the site in the form of comments on others’ Hubs and forum posts greeting and helping new Hubbers. How has interaction with other Hubbers contributed to your overall HubPages experience?
If there wasn’t a community on HubPages, I most likely would not be an active member of the website. Upon joining, the HubPages forum encouraged me to learn about SEO and alerted me to the fact that it was indeed possible to earn money on HubPages. I don’t have as much time to spend on the forums as I’d like, but I always try to give a helping hand where possible.
I’d also like to give a few shout-outs to some hubbers that have always been really helpful and have enriched my experiences on HubPages and expanded my knowledge of online writing for profit. Just to name a few – in no particular order! Nelle Hoxie, Misha, Darkside, Eric Graudins, Relache, Whitney05, Mark Knowles, Sunforged. Thanks everyone for making my HubPages experience a fantastic (and profitable) one!