Author Topic: Are You A Hubber?  (Read 5443 times)

Offline Mark Austin

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Are You A Hubber?
« on: March 09, 2011, 12:30:27 PM »
Are You A Hubber?

If you're not then you are missing out on a website that offers you the chance to make some serious money Ė if you know how to use it properly.  HubPages is often compared to Squidoo, but while the two do have similarities, they are also very different in many ways.  And if you know and understand what those differences are, you can look forward to making the most of HubPages.

So what exactly is Hubpages? HubPages is a website that contains lots of different pages Ė or hubs Ė that have been created by Ďhubbers.í  Thatís the name given to the members of the site, which you can join completely free of charge.  That means it is a great place to get some free advertising, since you never have to pay for anything here, and hubs can pick up some good traffic if you put some work into them.

And the good news is that you can write about virtually anything you like.  What that means is that there are lots of ways that you can make money from HubPages, as weíll soon see.

What makes a good hub?

If you know the answer to this, you will find it much easier to create great hubs that are enjoyed by lots of other people.  And the answer isnít a huge secret either!  The basis of each and every hub is information.  Some hubs are created purely for enjoyment by their creators, but for our purposes, we want to know how to create a good hub that will also make us money.

Now the most common mistake that a lot of people make is to start trying to sell the minute they create a hub.  It sounds like reverse psychology I know, but if you go in and start promoting something right from the start, you will turn people off.  You might also get booted off the site for abusing it, so make sure you donít just jump in and get started selling your products or services right away.  Understand what you can and canít do first.

Your number one aim should always be to help people.  In fact, donít think of your intended audience as potential customers at all!  Figure out what they want to know about and make sure you give it to them.  THEN, and only then, should you get your link in and make your sales pitch.

Good hubs are also well written and well organized.  If you start browsing around the site, you will see that a good number of hubs have sub-headings in them.  This helps to guide the eye down the page and makes the content easier and more pleasant to read.  The same goes for bullet points and other ways of breaking up your content.

You might wonder why all this is necessary.  Well, the easier you make it for people to read and digest your content, the more likely they are to stick with it until the end.  And that means there is a greater chance that they will buy something or click through to your website as a result.

You should think of a hub as being an article.  Many people actually do write their hubs offline as an article in Notepad and then transfer it to HubPages to publish it.  Donít write less than 500 words if you want to write something that is worth reading.  Many hubs are a lot longer.

The benefits of building a fan base

If you take a look at any hub on HubPages, you will notice that the author has an info box on the right hand side.  This will tell you what their score is (i.e. how popular they are), how many hubs they have made, and most importantly, how many fans they have.

You need to do just one thing to start building a fan base of your own and thatís to build great hubs on a regular basis.  The more you can build, the better, but even one or two a week will start to get your name known around the site. Whatís more, once someone becomes your fan, they can receive an email notification every time you publish a new hub.  That means more instant traffic for you and an even better chance of making money.

HubPages also has a forum that you can become a part of.  Participating here is another great way of becoming better known on the site.  People will see your name popping up and they will be curious to see what hubs you have written.  And of course, the more experience you get, the better known and the better regarded you will be.

In short, the more you interact with the website, the better your chances are of becoming a recognizable and well-respected force on HubPages.

Making money with hubpages Ė the easy way

Okay, so letís start to explore how you can make money with this website.  There are two ways to do it; the way I am about to show you is the most basic way that you can get started with straightaway.  This applies even if you donít have your own business or you arenít involved with any affiliate programs.

When you have an account with HubPages and you have signed in, you will see a number of options along the top of the page.  Click on ĎMy Accountí and wait for the next page to load.  When it does, youíll see a gray box on the right-hand side.  There is an option in there under the ĎYour Accountí heading called ďAffiliate Settings.Ē  This will reveal that there are four built-in ways to earn money directly from your hubs.

These are Google, Amazon, eBay, and Kontera.  The first three you will no doubt have heard of; the fourth is an advertising medium that can bring you another stream of income once your hubs are enjoying more traffic.

What you need to do is to sign up for each one individually, following the instructions given on the respective site.  EBay is the trickiest one to apply for, but itís up to you whether you want to apply for all of them or not.  HubPages does give you a reasonable amount of guidance on what you should do and how you should do it, which is useful.

Once you have joined each one and you have the relevant ID, all you need to do is go back to this page and fill them in, making sure you save each one.  In the case of Google ads, they will be applied to all your hubs.  But with eBay and Amazon, itís up to you to make sure you make the most of your affiliate status.  You will then need to sign in with Google or eBay or Amazon directly to see whether you have made any sales.  HubPages merely gives you the opportunity to use them; they donít manage the sales in any way.

When you create a new hub Ė or edit an existing one Ė you will see that you have two revenue capsules to choose from.  One is for eBay items and the other is for Amazon items.  Now, obviously, if you donít get accepted by eBay for its affiliate scheme, then there is no point in using the eBay module, as you wonít earn money from it.  You can still use it if you wish, but any sales made through your hub wonít credit you with any cash.

The idea is to make sure that the content of any affiliate modules you add Ė whether it is eBay or Amazon Ė matches the content of your hubs.  So if you are writing a hub about wild tigers, you could go onto Amazon and pick some books that tell you more about wild tigers. Donít expect too much in the way of cash from your efforts to begin with.  Just concentrate on building up an audience of followers and publishing hubs regularly.  As you progress, so will your earnings.

Making money with Hubpages Ė the advanced way

This is by far the best way to make money with HubPages.  If you want to go beyond what eBay and Amazon can offer you, then you can do so by using this method.  People use HubPages in lots of different ways.  Some people promote their businesses on there.  Some people promote affiliate products for other people, earning a commission with each sale.  And others offer freebies in the hope of building an email list to market items to later on.

All of these ways are perfectly okay to use Ė provided you do it the right way.  Letís take each route in turn to see how they work.

Promoting your business

This is a way of making money indirectly from the website.  Letís say for example that you have an established online business as a graphic designer and you want to find new clients. What you would do is to create a list of article ideas that you can use as hubs.  Each hub is basically an article, after all, so you could come up with dozens of ideas.  Each one would focus on a particular aspect of graphic designing as it would appeal to your potential audience.

What you would do then is to write a useful, informative, and helpful article on each subject and publish it on HubPages.  But before you do so, you need to add one text module at the end of the hub.  Youíll find this module under the heading in the edit screen beginning with ĎAdd More Stuff.í

This text capsule should say something like this:

ď[Your name] is a professional graphic designer specializing in [insert relevant category].  You can visit his/her website at [your website address].Ē

If your article is good enough, you will end up with quite a few of your readers clicking through to your website.  Lots of people who have online businesses get more business in this way.  HubPages doesnít actually earn you the money in this sense Ė but it can win you lots of new (and paying) clients!

The key is not to sell during the hub itself.  Donít push yourself onto the reader or they will be put off and go elsewhere.  Give them value and insightful content before you tell them what you do.  And notice that even in the example above, you arenít directly selling to them.  You are simply telling them what you do and where they can find you.

The other thing you need to remember is that you wonít get an outstanding response from just one hub.  Regular efforts really reap rewards here and you will learn more about how to promote yourself successfully with the more hubs you publish.

Promoting affiliate products for other people

You donít need a product or a service of your own to make money out of HubPages!  All you need is to have some knowledge about a product or service that you can promote.  There are two main sources of these products, although you may well find more elsewhere as you become more knowledgeable about your chosen subject (more on that in a moment.)

The first source is Commission Junction.  This is a huge website that brings together hundreds of affiliate programs from hundreds of companies.  Itís free to join; you then choose which programs you want to sign up for.  Once they accept you, you simply have to get the links you need to use in your hubs.

What you would do here is to think of a subject you have an interest in.  Letís say for example that you like fishing.  Okay, so you write a hub about some aspect of fishing and then you finish the hub off by including your affiliate link to a particular product that you have found on Commission Junction.

Ideally, you should narrow down the subject of your hub so that it relates to the product you are promoting at the end.  So for example, you could write about top-of-the-line fishing rods and why they are worth buying and then link into the best one that money can buy. But once again, donít make it a super hard sell at this point.  Just say something like, ĎFor more information on one of the best fishing rods available today, visit [link] for further information.í  You can experiment with the text to see what gets the best results.

And, obviously, there is no limit to the number of hubs you can have or the number of products you can promote.  Itís advisable to begin with items you know something about or have an interest in though Ė as we will find out very shortly.

Giving away freebies to build a mailing list

This is another technique you can use to boost a current business Ė or indeed, an Internet business that you are thinking of starting.  The idea is to build hubs on subjects that are related to free items that you have available to give away.  The best type of item to give away for nothing is a downloadable one, since it is the most hands-off form of giveaway you can have.  Once you have an autoresponder set up, someone can join your email list, request the free report, eBook, or whatever you are offering, and receive it Ė all without you having to do anything.  You can simply watch your email list grow for future use Ė and of course, you have plenty of time to continue building new hubs too!

But it is important to remember that you need to build a hub in the right way.  Letís say you have a report on making money by selling items in online auctions.  You wouldnít tell people that you have a report until the very end of the hub.  If you make your hub into a selling point for the report, you may end up offending people as it is too promotional.  Remember what I said earlier about making each hub useful and helpful before you put your link in?  Thatís what you need to remember here.

In this example, the best bet would be to write a selection of different hubs, all dealing with some aspect of selling successfully through auctions.  There are lots of possibilities here; you could write separate hubs giving advice on selling different categories of items, for example.  And then all you need to do is mention that if the reader goes to your website, they can get a free report on making money in that very way.  See how it works?

In this way, you are using HubPages to help you create a mailing list and it will be that mailing list that will make you the money later on.  So make sure you donít just think of HubPages as being a site that you can directly make money from.  If you know how to tap into its benefits, you will see that you can make money in more ways than one.

The secret of successful selling Ė choose a subject you love

If you are going down the affiliate route, you want to get the best results you possibly can.  And the secret of doing this is to choose subjects you really enjoy writing about.

What are the benefits of this?  Well, think about some of the material you have read online in the past.  Iím sure youíll agree that the best material has been that where the author has clearly loved what he/she was writing about.  That enthusiasm really comes through on the screen.

Now, if you can write about something you love and find links to items related to that topic, youíll stand a much better chance of making better money from it.  And because HubPages is a community where good writers and people who know a lot about their topics tend to become well known, it really does bode well for your future as a moneymaking hubber!

Donít tread on any toes Ė be careful with your links

If you have been on sites like Squidoo before, youíll know that some of them are quite relaxed about the number of links you can put into your web pages. HubPages is a little stricter than that.

If you start building hubs with lots of links to items you are trying to sell, youíll shoot yourself in the foot twice over.  First, you will probably find your hubs will get flagged as being overly promotional.  And second, you wonít build the audience you want to build Ė purely because you will be flouting the rule I gave you earlier.

And I canít stress this enough.  Always, always, always make sure you are giving your readers a great and valuable read.  That should come above everything else you do.  I know you are on HubPages to make money, but by focusing on the people you are trying to connect with, the money will automatically flow anyway.

The other thing you should remember is that you cannot have more than two links to the same domain in a hub.  It is also possible you could end up with a problem if you want to build lots of hubs and are going to link to one site throughout all of them. The best bet is to read their help pages thoroughly before you do anything to make sure you understand all of the rules.  You also need to keep up-to-date with them so that you are aware of any rules that have been newly implemented.

One way to make the most of the site is to build groups of hubs that each devote themselves to a different subject.  So, for example, you could build half-a-dozen on fishing, half-a-dozen on Internet marketing, and so on.  The rules of HubPages may seem limiting, but while they are stricter than some other sites, you can still abide by the rules and make money at the same time.

And believe me, there are plenty of other people on the site doing exactly that right now.

One bonus method for making money from Hubpages

This is a really advanced way of making an extra stream of income from HubPages.  Itís a way that not many hubbers are taking advantage of, but you need to be good at writing to make it work for you.  Itís also important to make sure you have a following and that you are known on HubPages before you do it; otherwise, you wonít get the best results.

What you can do here is to offer to write hubs for other people.  You could link to your own website on occasion and then offer the service from there if you wish.  You could even mention it on HubPages!  If you want to give this a try - and it is better reserved for trying when you have mastered all of the other ways of making money from HubPages Ė make sure you have plenty of published HubPages yourself.  The other thing that will give you the best chance of making a success of this method is to ensure that you have published a wide variety of hubs on lots of different subjects.

Iím sure you can see why this is necessary.  If you only publish hubs on two or three subjects and someone would like a hub written on something totally different, it could lose you a potential client.  They might take a look at what you have written and assume that you canít write about anything else. 

But if you have lots of hubs on lots of subjects, they will be able to see that you are a versatile writer.  So bear this in mind for future use.

The advantage of building lots of related hubs

Here is a good way to leverage as much traffic as you can from your hubs.  It stands to reason that if you have one hub that is doing very well, youíll want to build other hubs around that same subject.

But donít just build them Ė make sure you link them together.

One useful feature that HubPages gives you is the ability to group hubs together.  So letís say for example that you did go ahead with that hub on fishing rods.  If you then created other hubs on the topic of fishing, all you need to do is create a group called ĎFishingí and put all the relevant hubs into it.

This will enable people to see the other fishing hubs you have created whenever they visit just one of them.  Once you have grouped some hubs together, all you need to do is go into a hub in that group to see how it works.  Right at the bottom of the hub, just before any comments that are made, you will see links to other hubs in that group.  Two other hubs will appear as links on that page and arrows will indicate that there are others to see as well.

This means you can capitalize on one successful hub by building and drawing attention to others on the same subject.

Learn from your traffic stats

Your account stats hold a lot of useful information for you.  But among the most useful of all are your hub statistics.  This is where you can find out how well your hubs are doing. Every hub you have published will appear in a table on this page.  Whatís more, each one will show you how many visits it has had in the last day, week, and month.  Obviously, this will fluctuate from time to time, but you should keep a close eye on it because it holds clues as to which hubs are proving to be the most popular.

Itís obvious that the more traffic you can get, the more money you stand to make.  So figure out which hubs are receiving the most interest and think about whether you could write more hubs that are similar in topic to your successful ones. Itís very important not to copy what you have already done.  But if you have hit on a successful topic, why not mine it further and make more cash from it?

For example, letís say you have three websites of your own that deal with three very different topics.  You have written half-a-dozen hubs for each topic, each one with a link to the appropriate website. After a while, you discover that two out of the three subjects are receiving a lot of attention and click-throughs to your sites.  The third one, however, isnít doing very well at all.  From this information, your best course of action would be to capitalize on the success of those first two sites.  That doesnít mean you should ignore the third one Ė it just means you should focus on what is working first.

Later on, you can try a different tack with the third site and see whether you can improve on your traffic and click-throughs.  Always make sure you employ the reverse psychology trick Ė donít go in for any blatant selling.  Make sure you are giving good value and writing useful hubs.  This should always occur before your own needs!  People will then reward you by using your service or buying your product.

Getting traffic to your hubs

At the end of the day, more traffic equals more chances to make money from your hubs.   So think about the various ways in which you can increase the flow of traffic to your hubs.  It has to be said that HubPages does have a very active community of writers and readers though.  This means that as soon as you publish a new hub, you can expect a small flow of traffic to start visiting it.  The size of this flow will depend on how big your fan club is, so work on building it as large as you can!

But make sure you link directly to hubs from other sources as well.  If you have a blog, write some posts around the subjects of any hubs that are relevant to your blog and link to them.  The same goes for your website.  You can also write free articles that link back to your hubs and send them to all of the article directories you can find.

You can see how well your hubs are doing in two ways.  First, you can sign up for Google Analytics to get detailed information on how your hubs are performing.  Youíll find the sign-up information under the affiliate settings section of Your Account.

But HubPages does provide you with some stats to look at too.  Youíll find these under ďTraffic SourcesĒ in the ďYour HubsĒ section of your account information.  You will probably find after a while that Google provides a lot of traffic to your hubs, as does HubPages itself.  But you will see whether any of your other attempts to get traffic are working too.

In the end, it is a question of experimenting with building your sources of traffic.  The more you can bring in, the more people you are going to have looking at your links.  So make sure you donít just rely on HubPages to bring you visitors.  Youíll get out of this site what you put in.

And finally Ė earn from hubbers that you introduce!  Within the help pages, you will see that there are a number of buttons and banners that you can use to attract more people to use HubPages.

But why would this be of any benefit to you?

Well, you can create your own unique link when using these banners.  And if you do that, you will earn from the writers who sign up through that link.  The site gives you a tutorial to tell you what to do to make this work, so I wonít go into it here.  Suffice it to say that itís worth doing because, once you have set it up, it doesnít require any more work from you.  This provides you with another small revenue of income that joins with all the other sources of income that HubPages can bring you.

So you see, there are actually more ways to earn money with HubPages than you might have realized.  The best way to make the most of it is to start with one method at a time and then build things up until you are using all the methods at once.

Itís important to recognize too that you will get the best rewards over a longer period of time.  Donít expect your efforts to reap huge paychecks in just a week or so.  If you stick with it and make it a long-term venture though, the limits on what you can earn will only be set by you.

ďKeep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that,
but the really great makes you feel that you, too, can become great.Ē
~ Mark Twain