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Inspiration for Making Money Writing Online for HubPages

The Writer's Paycheck

Since I started writing online two years ago, I have been able to pay off my mortgage, sell my house, fund a Ugandan orphanage, and buy a villa in Tuscany, where I now reside. When I'm not riding my horse through my vineyards or dipping bread in olive oil, I write a HubPage now and then, and decide which member of my family will get a new car from next month's earnings.

Just kidding.

Before you click the back button on your browser, let me tell you that I have, actually, received paper paychecks in the mail from my writings on HubPages. And I have cashed them. These paychecks surprised me with their size and frequency, and the amount I have earned grows exponentially over time, even when I'm not writing any new articles.

Like building any business, building your traffic-generating articles online and reaching an appropriate market takes time, effort, and the posture of a learner. But, unlike some other business models, writing online really does pay in accordance with the quality and quantity of effort you put into it! Let me help you evaluate whether or not writing on HubPages is a good business for you.

Can you make money writing online?

Can you make money writing online?

Don't Try to Earn Money Writing Online Unless You Enjoy Writing!

First, you must actually enjoy writing. Or, at the very least, thinking. The market for online writers (growing by the day!) doesn't care about regurgitated facts or stumbling, fractured sentences hastily thrown together with a link at the end. Online readers want real people with knowledge gained from experience (imagine that!) and careful study (really!?), who can thoughtfully put together a string of paragraphs in the King's English that briefly but thoroughly answer their questions.

Fiction or Nonfiction? What Online Writers Should Know

Second, you must be willing to write mostly nonfiction. This is gravel to the teeth of Jo Marches and budding Hemingways everywhere, but it is the truth about the online market. Most people don't type search terms into Google looking for tear-jerker romances or springtime birdsong set to rhyme. Unless you are a paper-and-ink published poet and are giving out sneak-peak previews of your next book to a following of avid fans, then it is unlikely that your creative writing on HubPages will bring in very much traffic or earnings. However, if you do love writing, and do sign up for HubPages, you will find it irresistible to not publish an occasional Ode or Fantasy.

And that's okay.

I do it too! My poems get one reader a month, but I'm sure that that one person went away very inspired. Sometimes all it takes is one very important reader to lead to many more writing opportunities in the future. You may even be "discovered!" Quite a few HubPages writers have received job proposals because of the superb writing in their HubPages articles.


Write Online: a business plan that works if you work!

Third, you must treat your writing on HubPages like a business. Do your market research (what do people want to know about?), count the cost (do I have time and patience to write at least 50 articles the first year without receiving a paycheck?), educate yourself (study search engine optimization techniques, brush up on your grammar and comp., learn how to use the HubPage capsules and tools effectively, study highly-searched keyword patterns, etc.), and work faithfully, diligently, and sincerely. Your HubPages business will grow slowly through trial and error, just like every business.

Some good things about building a business of writing online on HubPages are:

  • being able to work anywhere where there's internet
  • building an article base and then sitting back and watching the money come in
  • getting to interact with other writers and receive free feedback
  • being READ (every writer's dream)
  • receiving the earnings from 60% of all viewers that come your hubs (other online writing websites only let you keep 50% or less)
  • getting to have the technical expertise and high-traffic of one of the most popular online writing websites on the block
  • receiving earnings from hosting high-powered, expensive ads on your site
  • receiving earnings from the HubPages ad program itself (new as of March, 2010, but already showing more earnings than  Google AdSense ads!)
  • "How exciting!" you say.

One thing you must be aware of when considering writing online for HubPages is that your success is really, truly up to you. Those people who are earning a lot and appear in the HubPages success stories have more articles and more relevant articles than the average lackadaisical Hubber. These are also usually people who have done their keyword research, which  will—almost automatically—succeed in making you money writing for HubPages.

Now, one thing that HubPages never promises is that it will bring you a substantial amount of money. HubPages Admin. say it works great as a replacement for a part time job or as supplemental income, or even as a fun hobby that makes some extra money, but don't count on your articles on HubPages going solo and feeding and clothing your entire family. I have, however, received regular $100+ paychecks from my HubPages earnings for about a year now (after I reached the 50 hub mark and really figured out what Search Engine Optimization was all about), and I'm working towards larger goals.


Be a Real Person Online

Fourth, you can't be creepy. There are too many creepy people online, and a creepy person who is trying to get other people to read his or her articles and to somehow "make friends" will only do the opposite.

Follow the rules: both the innate, unspoken rules of decorum, and the rules set forth by the HubPages administrators. Don't steal text from other writers or other websites without due attribution (under HubPages' recently enforced rules, longer passages of quoted text from another site will be flagged and unpublished until you change it). And don't promote your HubPage articles by putting your URLs in the comments section of every blog or article you read.

Also, be a real person, and understand that you are writing to real people. This may seem trite, but you will understand when I point out that many people seem to think this is the era of unaccountability in internet interactions, and they don't put effort into what they say to make sure it comes across tactfully. I can't count the number of undesirable comments I've deleted from my HubPage articles, ranging anywhere from marriage proposals to advertisements for window washing in Sri Lanka.

If you don't understand the importance of this, let me give you an example. Just for a second, imagine that we are having a real conversation right now, over a caesar salad and soup at a lunch buffet. I am telling you (because you have asked) about writing online and what it entails. Now imagine that all of a sudden, you pick up a tomato from your salad and plop it into my water. Then you tell me that you will do it again for me if I will take your business card and visit your website. Um, no.

Please don't be creepy! Treat your internet reactions as you do face to face interactions. Don't say or do irrelevant things in order to promote yourself or your writing. Instead, look for chances to build personal relationships that will allow these marketing opportunities to happen naturally and in the right timing. Craig Newmark, the founder of Craigslist, said that the best business models focus on community service before they focus on profit. This is as true with the writing online business as it is with anything else.


How to Write Well Online in Order to Attract Readers and Earn Money

Fifth, you may need to learn a new writing style. Here are a few things to note:

Online readers love subtitles and headings to tell them if they're in the right place. Search engine "crawlers" do too! (Search engine crawlers are the little bots that scurry around your site at night to see if you have anything important to say; they figure out what is pertinent in your articles by reading  your headings and bold titles.)

Online readers also love lots of paragraph breaks to help with the challenge of reading something made of light pixels. Remember that most computer screens are farther away from the eyes than a book or magazine would be, which can make tracking difficult if the lines of text all run together with no white space.

Use photos, videos, graphs, maps, and surveys to convince your reader that you have a fascinating multi-media presentation to offer him, with comprehensive information on the subject. Yes, you are not only an online writer, you are also a professional advertiser, communicator, entertainer, and presenter! You will wear many hats when writing online. Don't forget to include a comments capsule so that you can interact with your readers and keep them coming back to find out your answer.

One thing never changes. Good writing attracts good readers, and they will keep coming back—often bringing their friends behind them.

Write Online


Can YOU Make Money Writing Online?

So, I've counted the cost, and done my best to scare you away. But now it's time to convince you to stay! Oh my, here I am getting poetical on you... Anyway, we do have a lot of fun around here, even though most of us call it work. Hey, we even get paid for it once in a while!

If you want to write online, here's where you start. Create your Hubber identity, build a profile, and start writing your first article here by signing up to be a HubPages author. Or, you may like to read a little more about it before you decide to jump in! That's okay too, and here's a great place to find out more.

Feel free to leave a comment if you have any questions about how to get started and succeed at HubPages! I have helped several new hubbers get going, and I love to hear those "aha!" moments when something clicks (and I don't mean readers clicking on AdSense ads, though that's a nice sound too!).

And some day, when the golden Tuscan sun sinks below the horizon and you look across the plaited rows of your very own olive garden (purchased using HubPages earnings, of course), you'll thank me.

So here's my poll for you (see, I follow my own recommendations!)


ut kashy on October 31, 2019:

Thank you Jane for this informative article. It helped me a lot. Keep writing.

Farrah Young from Lagos, Nigeria on April 18, 2019:

I'm already signed up and loving every minute of!

You are so right in that your first year or so writing on hubpages will earn you very little or nothing at all. I am at that state- counting pennies. However, the fact that I live writing keeps me going and I hope to be earning a decent amount on here very soon.

Ramachandra A Pai from Vasai on June 23, 2015:

You surely seem to have learned a lot at Hubpages. It reflects in your writing. Useful hub. Thanks.

Ridiculous Man on April 09, 2015:

Thank for the motivation Jane... I'll be in touch!! Take care...

Ann Leavitt (author) from Oregon on April 09, 2015:

Hello Munish, Thanks for your note! I enjoyed reading your story and I think you should definitely give HubPages a try. I love India, though I've never been there. It seems like a beautiful culture. I hope that your writing will reflect the beauty that comes from your unique background, and also the things that you are learning. I'm glad you liked my article! It was fun to write but, boy, I published that awhile ago! Still getting paychecks though, which is nice. :) Let me know how you get on with your writing!


Ridiculous Man on April 08, 2015:

Hey Jane,

you know what just happened I took my time and wrote a long comment and then it just didn't got posted, i guess i wasn't signed in. Anyways, here I'm again writing it... believe me it is worthwhile.

Its been only two days that I've joined hub pages and I've been researching on how to get started. It just happened that I came across your article. Wonderfully written and clearly crafted! Thanks for sharing your experience and knowledge.

Although I'm bad when it comes to technical aspects, but as you said that you gotta educate yourself with the technicalities like search engines and hub pages, I'll try to do my best, but believe me its really hard. I'm not able to make out heads or tails of it. Anyways it's just that I wanted to tell you that very recently I quitted everything and have gone into seclusion and have decided to become a writer. By the way I've been regularly writing about all the things that pop into my head since I was a kid but just never pursued it professionally. Well maybe that is because I come from a very small town in India where everything comes down to becoming doctor or engineer. But I won't be that harsh on my family, they never forced me to do anything what I don't want... It's just that due to lack of proper guidance and exposure at the right age I started very late. I don't even know why I'm telling you this but just felt like it...

Anyways, as i said I happened to come across your article, I read that part what you said about non fiction work. Well I'll be very glad to write more and more of it, but it's just that it falls mostly under social and philosophy kind of genre. I hope it works as well... Although yesterday I wrote a hub... actually some of it yesterday and much of it few days back, but i just got the answer from the site itself that it needs revision, I guess it's because that some part of it I've already written on my personal blog. Well its okay, I'll write a new one....

Goshh... whatever I'm writing has nothing to do with you... anyways thank you so much for this inspiring article... It was what I needed at this moment... I'll try my best... and also keep in touch for further guidance from you on my advancement, if you don't mind... You take care... thank you very much once again... Munish

Heather Ann Gomez from Monterey, CA on November 06, 2014:

I liked reading your hub. I felt engaged the entire time. It is evident that you practice what you preach and have a unique writing style. It's very conversational which happens to be my favorite type of writing style. I look forward to reading more of your hubs. :-)

Don Colfax from Easton, Pennsylvania on March 20, 2014:

HAHA That opening! I almost fell off my chair with laughter, excellently done! Great hub, Thanks!!

Ann Leavitt (author) from Oregon on January 31, 2014:

Congrats on your first $50! I actually like the HubPages ad program more than Google adsense. And I'm guessing you don't have to wait for the first 100$ to get paid with the Hubpages ad program?

Ghaelach on January 31, 2014:

Hi Jane.

I've given up worrying about scores on HP. I just try to do my own thing and see how it goes.

It would be nice to make bit of money, but I'm not going to be able to by a Ferrari for another 100 years at my rate of going. This month is 2.05$ and next month should break my first 50$ in 3 years of trying.

Take care and have a nice weekend.

LOL Ghaelach

Ann Leavitt (author) from Oregon on January 31, 2014:

Hi Ghaelach,

Thanks for your comment! I have removed the outdated video-- thanks for the head's up on that! I wish there were a good one to replace it with, but they all look outdated. :)

Also, you seem to be a level 6 commenter. Way to go!


Ghaelach on January 31, 2014:

Hi Jane.

Nice article and a lot of information that will interest our newcomers. I can only add that if they follow your advice they won't go far wrong.

Two points for you to have a look at (1) your video is now out-dated, because of all the changes HP have made over time. (2) Looking at the hubber comments, there doesn't seem to be too many of them (hubbers) very active these days, sad to say.

Have a nice weekend.

LOL Ghaelach

Carole from Papua New Guinea on December 17, 2013:

Thanks for this very useful hub! :)

PADDYBOY60 from Centreville Michigan on July 04, 2013:

I enjoyed reading your hub, and I think I might even have learned something. :)

Ceres Schwarz on April 12, 2013:

Great hub with a lot of useful tips about writing online and making money. It would be great if your opening paragraph was really true. But it's wonderful to know that we can make money writing online although it would take a lot of hard work but that's only to be expected because these things do take a lot of hard work.

Ann Leavitt (author) from Oregon on October 06, 2012:

I'm glad this has been helpful to you folks! Thanks for leaving your comments and letting me know. :)

Michael Tully on October 05, 2012:

Thanks for the very practical and encouraging advice, Jane. I've been on Hubpages for three weeks now, and definitely like what I've seen so far. I have a lot to learn about SEO, and will definitely keep in mind what you said about lots of paragraph breaks and white space.

Thanks again, and have a blessed day.

Steve Mitchell from Cambridgeshire on November 28, 2011:

Great article. You had me hooked from the start because of what you said about your financial standing....then reality hit. You were joking.


jenubouka on September 15, 2011:

I will defiantly look at her hubpages. I tend to over complicate the simple things. Thank you

Ann Leavitt (author) from Oregon on September 14, 2011:

Jenubouka, If you do some reading on it from other HubPages writers, it won't take long before you learn the important stuff! I really like Rebecca E. (a hubpages writer) for sound advice on what to do and how to do it.

jenubouka on September 06, 2011:

That would be great. i am stil trying to get the niche of google adsense and hub together, Sometimes I want to throw the techies in the kitchen and give a 10 course menu and say good luck, some of the linking, blogging brower source, etc. gets a little screwy

Ann Leavitt (author) from Oregon on September 06, 2011:


I certainly hope that your writing career here at HubPages will be much more comfortable than a human punching bag! Though it's not easy to make a lot of money right off the bat, I do hope that my advice is helpful to you and gets you further, faster, than most others who start without knowing what they're doing! I'll take a look at your hub in a moment to see if there is anything I can give you some pointers on. Thanks for stopping by-- it's encouraging to know that I've helped someone!

jenubouka on September 03, 2011:

This was a god send. I am trying to change gears in my professional life, and have always desired to write. Just have been hitting a lot of road blocks. Your hub has given me a ray of hope. I published my first hub about a week ago and would love your input and suggestions, criticism. I can take it, I was an executive chef for 10 years, everyday I held the role as a human punching bag. Hope to hear from you soon. Thank you so much

Ann Leavitt (author) from Oregon on August 09, 2011:


Glad it was useful to you! Let me know if I can advise you in any other way.

powerofknowledge1 on August 07, 2011:

Very informative. Thanks for sharing

Ann Leavitt (author) from Oregon on July 29, 2011:

PurpleLizzard, you'll have to come on by and tell how your experiment with a fiction hub works! I know there are a few out there who have a regular following of readers who are anxious to hear the sequels, but for the most part people read articles online to be informed, not necessarily entertained. I hope it does well for you though!

purplelizzard on July 27, 2011:

I found very useful tips here :) I'm going to post a fiction story just to see how it works, its about "fantasy drinks" lol. Nice hub!

Ann Leavitt (author) from Oregon on May 24, 2011:

JSP, that's the most thoughtful thing you could've said to me! That was my intention exactly, and I'm thrilled that you found it compelling! May more writers be winsome and more readers be edified.


JSParker from Detroit, Michigan on May 22, 2011:

Jane Gray, thank you for this well written article. I voted "up" and "funny". Although humor was not the purpose of the article, it made it so much more enjoyable. "Gravel to the teeth of Jo Marches and budding Hemingways..." that's nice writing for your audience of writers. ~JSP

Ann Leavitt (author) from Oregon on May 18, 2011:

Hello KoffeeKlatch,

Thanks for your sweet encouragement! Yes, I have found HubPages to be a great community- especially when I've convinced friends to join me here! I hope your work on HubPages will be well rewarded and that you will receive many rewarding readers. May your pen be fruitful!

Susan Hazelton from Sunny Florida on May 05, 2011:

Jane Grey, I am loving it here at HubPages. There is so much support and wonderderfully friendly people. Great advice and tips. Rated up and useful.

Ann Leavitt (author) from Oregon on April 16, 2011:

CJames, I was glad to be among the first chosen for the earnings directly from HubPages, especially since it has proven so profitable.

Aren't all "How-To's" inspirational in some sense? Many of us may know how to do all the necessary actions of making money on HubPages, but we have to means of girding up our minds to the task-- or even knowing what it will require. My goal with this article was to dispel some myths about writing online, and to show, practically, what is required of each writer.

CJamesIII from Minneapolis, MN on April 13, 2011:

You are one of the lucky ones in the test program! I thought it was a how-to from the title, but more inspirational for new writers.

Ann Leavitt (author) from Oregon on April 11, 2011:

Thanks, Rose! I'm glad you liked it. I have a big beef against writing that's not fun to read. :)

The Jet from The Bay on April 04, 2011:

Nice indeed. Haha.

Rose West from Michigan on April 04, 2011:

Ahhh, there's nothing quite like a bottle of wine made from your very own vineyard, is there? I loved how you began this... I'm still smiling :D This is, btw, one of the best online writing hubs I've ever read!

Ann Leavitt (author) from Oregon on April 04, 2011:

Hey, The Jet! That opener did exactly what I intended-- nice! :)

Ann Leavitt (author) from Oregon on April 04, 2011:

KimBrewaa, keep at it! I hope you will make money from HubPages as well. I am actually very pleased with the HubPages new ad program. I wasn't expecting it to bring in much, but it actually has paid around $30.00 a month, immediately, for my hubs, which was quite a nice surprise, as I'm sure you can imagine. :)

Ann Leavitt (author) from Oregon on April 04, 2011:

Upal19, if there are any other tips you can think of to contribute, I'd love to hear them! Everything in here I have learned from experience. I could not have written without two years of struggling for my own success under my belt.

Ann Leavitt (author) from Oregon on April 04, 2011:

Barry, it may just be another one of those Hubs, but hopefully it contained some things that we need to be reminded of to keep writing! I'm happy you found some new tips, though! I never want to write dry stuff.

Ann Leavitt (author) from Oregon on April 04, 2011:

Revmjm, I'm glad you liked the humor! I laugh at myself a lot, especially when I am talking about my writing, because it just amuses me how much I love it. :) I hope the truth was helpful to you, and thanks for leaving your kind comment!

Ann Leavitt (author) from Oregon on April 04, 2011:

Aethel, I'm so glad that my advice has been helpful! I hope to continue to help you as your HubPage readership grows. May God bless your endeavors as you seek to bless your family with some extra income! And thanks for sending this along to some friends of yours. I'd be happy to help them personally as well.

Ann Leavitt (author) from Oregon on April 04, 2011:

Viking, Good for you! Glad to hear you are loving it and making money! Thanks for leaving your note-- I hope others will be encouraged by it. :)

The Jet from The Bay on April 04, 2011:

Truly, a wonderful opener. Had me fooled... I'm here sitting and thinking, "Damn, I want a villa..."

LOL. Nice hub!

kimbrewaa on April 04, 2011:

I am still fairly new to Hubpages but i do enjoy it. I haven't made a lot of money yet but I imagined that it would take some time and effort. I have definitely been putting in the effort and now only time will tell I guess. I have done the necessary things to increase traffic and I have also found a great site to get paid for my content (blogs, pictures, links etc) while I create excellent backlinks! If anyone is interested here's the link to check it out:


I have already been paid $25 and I have only been there 2 months! great opportunity to increase traffic too.

Ashraf Mir from Dhaka on April 04, 2011:

This is an another helpful hub for the people struggling with success. Thanks for the tips.

Barry Rutherford from Queensland Australia on April 02, 2011:

Thought this might be another hub on how to make money on hubpages but there were a couple of new ideas here...

Margaret Minnicks from Richmond, VA on April 02, 2011:

Voted UP and USEFUL because that was what this article was. You had a combination of several things I liked: humor in first paragraph, poem a little later, and truth throughout. Your profile isn't 99 for no reason. Keep up the good work and continue to pass on your tips to us.

aethelthryth from American Southwest on April 02, 2011:

Already was signed up, thanks to you. I had heard of HubPages before, but didn't know any "real people" who had made any money, so I didn't look into it. I think your advice has saved me a year of wasting time writing things nobody would read. And of course, I wouldn't have kept wasting time for a year, so I would have already quit HubPages by now. Your advice about online writing has also improved my blog. I am sending this link to some friends to whom I think it will be helpful.

L M Reid from Ireland on April 02, 2011:

Yes have been a member at hubpages for a year now and loving it too!

I am making money too

Ann Leavitt (author) from Oregon on April 02, 2011:

Scribenet, I've enjoyed it at every step as well. I love how the work we put into our writing directly correlates to getting readers and profit. You're right-- just being read and having people like you stop by and comment is a reward in itself!

Ann Leavitt (author) from Oregon on April 02, 2011:

Hubbers Row-- sounds splendid, Midnight Oil!

Maggie Griess from Ontario, Canada on April 02, 2011:

Jane, Great Hub! I have enjoyed Hubbing from the start; HubPages is a great community and a good place to learn how to do online writing. I also agree it takes time and effort,in order to earn money, however,having readers is a reward in itself! Rated up, useful and awesome!

Midnight Oil from Isle of Man UK on April 01, 2011:

I think it will be Hubbers Row in Tuscany - I have the same dream too, but the reality takes a wee bit long, but you have to work and work at it. Nice Hub, enjoyed the read.

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