Thursday, August 12, 2021

Hubpages Review, Pay, and How it Works

In this article I will discuss my review of Hubpages, what you can expect as a payout, and how I use the service. As a writer, my goal is to have my writing read. The best way to have that happen is through marketing and practicing my craft. However, marketing costs a fair amount of money. To help offset that cost, I write several non-fiction articles on Hubpages.

Before I begin my love letter to Hubpages, here is the niche this service provides in the market:Anyone can start a website blog and build content on that blog. However, search engines may not rank small blog information relevant. The market niche Hubpages provides is to bring your content alongside similar content. That makes the search engine rank your specific information higher. The higher the rank in the search engines, the more clicks you get. The more clicks you get, the more ads that can be shown. The more ads that are shown on your content, the greater your share of the revenue. In addition, Hubpages adheres to search engine best practices, so writing it their way will also work best for the search engines.

With that, here are six reasons I write on Hubpages:

1.) They practice SEO diligently and it shows.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a tricky subject, because it is often a cat-and-mouse game. Poor players try to game the system, Google/Bing change to kick out the terrible players, and they hurt good players. However, the glorious thing about Hubpages is that they work towards being an excellent player. They know that the hand that feeds them is Google/Bing, and it shows that they care. In a recent Hubpages community forum, where people were asked where their traffic comes from, the vast majority say Google and Bing. There is a community of readers within Hubpages that drives traffic… but they are just a small part. The real big part of the traffic is coming from Google. So when a big search engine update comes down the line, Hubpages aggressively works to adhere to those updates. In the end, that means that I (as a content creator) do not have to pay attention to every little nuance. If my article makes Hubpages happy, it will probably make Google/Bing happy.

2.) They are one-on-one partners, not a corporate overlord.

Here is the next wonderful thing I love about Hubpages. Not everyone will like this. They will take your article and look to improve upon it. For example, if you have grammar mistakes or a broken image, they will work with you on those. If your header graphic isn’t that great, sometimes they will replace it. That seems cruel, but the truth is they are working towards getting you a higher ranking on Google. That makes writing articles on Hubpages feel more like teamwork than one man doing it all.

3.) They have an active community that wants to help.

The other significant thing about Hubpages is that they have an active community. If you notice some oddities, you can scroll through forums and see if anyone else is having that problem. If not, you can make a message for others to respond to. In addition, you can hear about the latest experiences of others, which can drive up your own success. The goal being simple: rising tides raise all boats. By pursuing success together, it is more likely the individual will succeed.

4.) They introduce quality scores to each article.

This may seem arbitrary on the outside, but I can tell you it’s very important. Knowing how your article ranks is a way you can measure against Hubpages benchmarks. Again, Hubpages benchmarks are made against SEO best practices. That means, the higher your article score, the more likely it will be liked by search engines. This gives you a sense of how to write wonderful articles.

5.) They look out for bad players.

There are two sides to this coin. The first is that if my content is junk, they let me know. Hubpages not only tells me what is wrong with the article I just wrote, but how to fix it as well. Besides helping inside the house, they look outside to see who is stealing content. That means that people that rip off your article are shown to you. You can then message them to cut it out, or message their host about the plagiarism. Keeping your content protected is a great way to ensure that Google knows who the original source of the article is.

6.) You own your content.

The last reason I love Hubpages is that you still own all your content. I can remove the articles from Hubpages and publish them elsewhere. I am under no obligation to keep them on Hubpages. That means that if I have a selection of articles that are simply not working well, I can republish them elsewhere. For example, I could take these articles and build an eBook from them. I could take these articles and repurpose them on my website. I could take these articles and simply go to a competitor. Whatever my decision, the content created is mine.Probably the number #1 question people ask is about payout. I don’t blame them. You want to know that your efforts are met with some type of reward. That’s what makes this writing thing so difficult. Let me tell you what I saw personally and then we’ll go into some averages.

The minimum payout is $50. That means you need to earn $50 for them to send you money. So how quickly did this happen for me?

I earned my first money on August 26th 2014 = 5 cents. I had only one article. I wrote a bunch more. I finally reached the $50 threshold on May 15th of 2016. That took nearly 21 months to reach the threshold. When I hit that threshold, I had 8 published articles (and a bunch unpublished). When I hit that threshold, on average, I was getting $1.32 per day. That experience is a lot worse than what average new Hubpage creators experience. Why did I fail so badly at Hubpages? I have 43 unpublished articles in Hubpages, most written in 2014. Their average Hubpage Score is a 69 out of 100, which is pretty bad. Ultimately, I learned that low content click-bait stuff wasn’t the road to success. I also wrote whatever I felt like in the moment, not caring about what was needed. Since I didn’t get paid quickly, I kinda forgot about Hubpages until 2018. When I came back to the platform, I was still getting about $1.08 per day, even though I had let it rot since 2014. That’s the power of evergreen content: It makes money for a long period.

I started writing for Hubpages again, making longer and high-quality articles. I made 16 articles in 2018, with an average quality score of 81. For 2018, I made an average of $4.02/day. In 2019, I made 15 more articles, with an average score of 82. For 2019, I made an average of $3.76/day. I know you might want to point to the additional work for less pay as a bad thing, but that’s how search engine traffic works. There is a natural flux, which is why I rely on Hubpages to help me ride those waves. In 2020, I made just 5 articles with an average score of 82. For 2020, I made an average of $4.50/day. This year (2021) I made 6 more articles, with an average score of 79. For this year, I am making an average of $6.29/day.

So that’s my experience with the pay. How does this compare against other Hubpage creators?

One user reports it took her a month to earn $2, but seven months until her first payout (Way better than my 21 months). Another user wrote 52 articles within 4 months until they hit their first payout. A small poll (30 Hubpage creators) was conducted about this topic. For 33% of those polled, they received their first payout within a year. Another 10% received it by the end of the next year (month 24). That means that nearly 57% never had a payout.

The biggest two reasons behind never having a payout are creating bad content and creating content no one needs. Creating bad content is easily fixed. You can read the Hubpages style guide and listen to their suggestions on your articles. In addition, creating content that is needed is also easy, if you know the tricks. Here is how I find content that is needed:

1.) Google Keyword Planner

This is a free tool that allows you to put in either a website or a set of keywords. It looks for similar keywords. The interesting thing about this tool is that it tells you the amount of competition for each keyword and the relative amount of traffic. I look for “long tail” keywords with low to medium competition, but good traffic. When I say “long tail” I simply mean phrases or sets of words that are 3 words or longer. It is easier to rank for keywords that are longer.

2.) Google Trends

Next, I take a list of potential keywords and I plug them into Google trends. I then set Google trends to 5 years. This allows me to rank potential keywords against each other. When I know a keyword with the most traffic after 5 years and that has low/medium competition, I write an article about that. I know the article may or may not succeed with Google. However, if you constantly look to fill needs, you will be more likely to hit a home run. That is an article that is desperately needed, which you rank in the top 10. You then gain a lot more traffic and make regular funds on Hubpages. When you have enough of these “home run” articles that are evergreen, you gain some sort of constant payout.

Hopefully, this article has been an excellent review of Hubpages. I’ve covered why this website exists, why I love Hubpages, what it took for me to get my first payout, other people’s average first payouts, and some tips on building articles. I am also going to include another video review below.

Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Opportunity Cost Definition, Examples, and Antonym

Opportunity cost is a fallacy that is often treated like a law. In addition, the opposite of opportunity cost provides more value than the idea of opportunity cost. To start, let’s examine the definition of opportunity cost and an example.

Opportunity cost is described as losing a potential gain because you chose an alternative. For example, if you invested in bonds and make 1% back you may not be happy (Ex. getting $1 yield for that $100 bond investment) . You might be disappointed because you look at your stocks and you got 9% ($9 for that $100 stock investment). That lost $8 from deciding to invest in bonds, instead of stocks, is opportunity cost. However, opportunity cost can be described outside fiscal frameworks as well. A student who spends time studying history may have some opportunity cost, when compared to their engineering classmate. They both had the same amount of time, but the engineering student may received a job offer for more money than the history major. The way most people boil down opportunity cost is to simply call it “bad decisions that cost”.

So, why do I call this a fallacy or lie? There is the obvious that you simply don’t know what might have been, because it never happened. The history student above might have transferred to engineering, hated it, and dropped out. It might have been a maximization of their efforts to study history. The same is true for the bonds example above. The stock might have been a loser compared to the guarantee of the bond yield. You never truly know the accurate opportunity cost of decisions. However, there is a second fallacy I would like to point out.

There is an analogy I watched on YouTube (video below) that describes how workers gain wealth through automation. However, it is not a straight line to success. Instead, each automation of a process produces less and less yield. The first automation of a process is ground breaking and provides massive changes. The 100th automation of a process might only produce a nearly unrecognizable gain. While not a law of nature, it’s great to keep the pareto principle in mind. That theory states that 80% of the outcomes come from 20% of the causes. You can think of those first automations as the initial 20%. They are put into place and now the process is 80% automated. To get the process to 90% automation, you may need to layer on innovation after innovation. It is a lot more work.

So why does this prove that opportunity cost is a fallacy? The answer is that opportunity cost is often thought of as a straight line. However, opportunity cost is on the same pareto principle curve. Using the same example above, it may not matter if you study history or engineering if your father has a business he wants you to run. While it’s true that engineering may help you fix stuff around that business, it’s not enough to be a large change in profits. The same is true for stocks and bonds. If you plan to sell either inside a year, before they’ve had time to produce compound interest, it doesn’t matter the investment vehicle. Opportunity cost isn’t a straight black and white ratio, but instead needs to be reflected on end outcomes.

So why does the opposite of opportunity cost provide more intellectual value than the idea of opportunity cost? To examine this, let’s see what the antonym would be. Some people describe this as opportunity benefit. In their model, your actions lead to more possibilities. For example, a wise investment leads to more capital, which means you can make more wise investments. I personally don’t like this concept because it assumes that more choice is good. I believe that analysis paralysis (having so many choices you can’t chose any of them) breaks this idea. Simply having more possibilities doesn’t show that they are relevant to outcomes. For example, a wise investment may be a fluke and lead to an ego where one thinks they can ALWAYS make wise decisions. That’s not accurate.

Another antonym for opportunity cost I’ve found is the ‘reverse victory’. The idea for this is that the more you are successful, the worse the overall outcome. For example, an investor scared of losing out diversifies to a lot of investment vehicles. By trying to go everywhere at once, they never travel far enough down any particular road. They gain an average return on their investment, instead of having a superstar investment that outperforms the average. I like this framing better because it has a much more solid grasp on outcome. However, this thinking still is too closely connected to the opportunity component. I don’t think the number of opportunities is as important as the impact of opportunities.

So what do I describe as the reverse of opportunity cost? I changed both words and produced the phrase ‘energy gratitude’. Let’s break this down a bit more. Instead of opportunity, we have energy. This reverses an intangible quality, opportunity, to a tangible one: energy. In addition, this reverses the end result (an opportunity) and instead focuses on the beginning of effort (energy). Next I break down the ‘cost’ part of ‘opportunity cost’. My reverse for this word is gratitude. When you look at cost you are examining the potential amount that needs to be given to make it work. The cost of a cup of coffee is the $5 you need to give to make that happen. The flip of this is to realize that nothing needs to be given out, but instead reflected inward. Instead of looking at what needs to be extracted, you look at what can be retained. This is where gratitude comes into play. Looking at what you have inside instead of looking to what you can extract out from yourself. Another way to break this down is: opportunity cost is like making a mistake then being specific on why you regret that decision. Energy gratitude is like knowing what you can accomplish and taking a moment to revel in that.

So, by this point, it should be somewhat obvious why focusing on energy gratitude is more important than opportunity cost. Beyond the psychological gains from positivity, there are also the end outcomes to consider. By focusing on opportunity cost, you are looking at the past. What did you lose out on? By focusing on energy gratitude you look at what your energy COULD do. It is focusing on the future and being happy about that. To me, that’s the real way you use the pareto principle in your life. Focusing on the big parts you can control and being grateful to have that ability.

As promised, here is the automation video I referenced above:


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