CorrespondenceWritingQuotationsPoetryBooksCreative WritingNewspapers & Magazines

HubPages Introduction 101

Updated on June 23, 2017
jackclee lm profile image

Jack is currently a volunteer at the Westchester County Archives. Jack has worked at IBM for over 28 years on museums and libraries.

Introduction

HubPages is an online publishing community. It has been around for about 10 years. There are currently about 650,000 published hubs written by some 38,000 hubbers worldwide. A hubber is someone who publishes on HubPages.

- June 2017


History

HubPages was started in 2006 by three entrepreneurs who were former Microsoft employees. It joined a slew of online publishing sites that was competing for writers and viewers including Squidoo, a company founded by internet marketing guru Seth Godin. In 2014, after a shakeout in the industry, HubPages acquired Squidoo and the two sites merged. Currently, HubPages has about 25 employees and the site serves approximately 38,000 hubbers with a combined assets of over 650,000 hubs.

What Is It?

It is a free self publishing web application that is easy to use. It incorporated the philosophy of Web 2.0 design which believes in adopting a multimedia platform Including text, images, video and hyperlinks and products ads along with reader comments and feedback. This interactive platform gives the author a slew of tools that enhances the communication of ideas though the web.

It is not for professional writers who wants to keep their content private for sale or royalties. It is ideal for amateur writers who wants to get their ideas and creation out to the public quickly and seamlessly.

The Basics...

HubPages has several components. The main component is called a hub or article which is basically a web page on a specific topic. There are about 20 topics that one can choose from and each with sub categories. In addition, there is a Question and Answer section where users can ask about anything and others can reply or comment. Finally, there is a Forum section which is similar to the Q&A but designed more for discussion on a specific topic.

To manage your account, HubPages provide a dashboard that allow users or hubbers to check on their contents, keep tabs on how many views and check on feedback and comments to approve or delete.

There is also a mechanism for hubbers to "follow" other hubbers. This just mean that you want to be notified when a hubber you follow publish a new hub or a forum or ask a question... Of course, others can also follow you and HubPages keep track of the numbers and show that on your home page.

There is a list of rules and agreement that you sign when first registered. One such rule is that you are not allowed to self-promote. If you violate it, you may be temporarily banned for a day or so from posting. After a few violations, the penalty increases and can lead to permanent ban. Personal attacks and bad language are also not allowed. Any user can flag a post as inappropriate. Also, there are spammers who may use HubPages to spam by inserting links that are not related to the topics.

You are encouraged to promote your hubs outside of HubPages such as Facebook and other social media sites.

One feature that I personally like is the ability to receive reader comments. They can be from other hubbers or anyone who are called guests. These comments are submitted at the end of each hub. The creator is notified via an email. You can review the comment and determine if it is appropriate and decide to post or not. You can choose to respond to the comments directly which often lead to a dialog of back and forth discussion.

A Screen Shot of My Dashboard

How Much Can You Expect to Earn?

One main attraction for some is the ability to earn some money by publishing via HubPages. It is not a lot of money but it may give some a satisfaction that their words are worth something. The way it works is based on revenue sharing similar to Google Adsense. With each published hub, HubPages insert a few ads on the page. This is how they get paid. They will share their revenue with each hubber based on some obscure algorithm but basically it comes down to number of views. If your hubs attract a large number of viewers or clicks, and those viewers or readers stay on the page for over 3 minutes, it is an indicator that your hub contains "quality" content.

The actual conversion rate changes over time and it is up to HubPages management to decide what the payout ratio is. In my experience for the last two years, it has varied from 3 views per penny to 7 views per penny as of today. That is if you get 100 views per day, you can expect a payout of 15 cents. (A little over $50 per year) not great. The payout has a threshold of $50 and it is manged through a PayPal account Only.

The more views you get, the more you can make. In my own case, I publish here for fun and not profit. I choose to donate all my earnings to help my Alma Mater CCNY.

A Screen Shot of Earnings Report

Advantages...

Besides the ease of use and the multimedia aspects, the primary advantage of HubPages over a personal website is the search ranking. IMHO

HubPages and Squidoo (before the merge), both have an intrinsic advantage when it comes to Google search page rank. The domain name and its internal structure with multiple cross links, creates an environment where each hub may show up very high in Google search. I personally have numerous hubs that show up on the first page of google search, that is top 10 results out of millions of hits. How this happens is sort of magic. No one has been able to explain it in a convincing way. It just take advantage of how Google perform its indexing and ranking of webpages and optimize the results.

Periodically, Google would change it's algorithm and a noticable drop will occur in viewer count.

In recent development, to combat this, HubPages has created "niche domain sites" for approximately 20 topics. The hope is that the niche site would be treated more favorably due to their limited number of hubs and the quality is of higher standards. Time will tell if this new strategy works.

Google Search Page Ranking

If you type "my trip to china" on google search, you will find my hub showing up ranked number 1 out of 15 million hits after 4 paid ads. It is one of my most viewed hub and it happens also to be one that was chosen to a niche site called Wanderwisdom.com

A Sample Screen Shot of Search Results

HubPages By the Numbers

Summary

What will the future holds for HubPages, no one knows. The overall ranking of HubPages by Alexa has gone down over the past few years. The payouts has also decreased in the conversion rate. This is not a good sign for any business. However, I am optimistic that things will turn around. This is a great medium for people like me who just want to write and share ideas. I have published hubs on all kind of topics of interest to me, including travel, recipes and technology and religion and politics and climate change...

To keep track of all my articles, upwards of 400, I have created an index of sorts. I called them hubbooks. They are a collection of my articles on a similar topic. I have received over 38,000 views so far and have over 100 followers.

The most important part, I am having the time of my life here on HubPages.

© 2017 Jack Lee

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • jackclee lm profile image
      Author

      Jack Lee 2 months ago from Yorktown NY

      Carolyn, I am familiar with your writing. Thanks for the kind words. Let's hope HubPages survives. I wrote this guide to introduce HubPages to members of my local writer's group. They are very talented and would help raise the standards at HubPages.

    • Carolyn M Fields profile image

      Carolyn Fields 2 months ago from the USA

      Thank you for this very informative article. I enjoyed your sharing your screen shots. You have been VERY prolific. I have a mere 75 hubs so far. I, too, just enjoy writing and sharing, without worrying about running my own website. Perhaps, one day that will change. For now, this is a creative outlet for me that I find fun. I have also built a "portfolio" of sorts, so that I can point to examples of my writing if need be.