All About HubPages – An Interview With Jason Menayan

Filed as Interviews on August 27, 2010 8:56 am

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This is an interview with Jason Menayan, the Director of Marketing at HubPages.

Q: For our readers that are unfamiliar with HubPages, why don’t you give them a brief description.

HubPages is a social content community where authors write about what they know and love, with over 900,000 topical articles (what we call “Hubs”) published by over 170,000 authors. The breadth of topics, vibrancy of our content base, and constant weeding out of substandard content ensures that great-quality content enjoys quick provisional ranking by the search engines, and a steady stream of revenue-generating traffic for years after publication. Our authors earn via Google AdSense and other advertising-/commission-based vehicles, with many earning hundreds of dollars a month on what they’ve already published, and more than a handful that are earning thousands every month. We’re the 57th largest site in terms of US traffic (according to Quantcast) and get more than 28 million visitors monthly.

Q: As the need for Web content has grown exponentially, so has demand for bloggers. So have empty ‘get-rich promises.’ Sell our readers on why your publishing methods are legit.

Well, we’re certainly not a “get-rich” scheme and never promise that. In fact, it takes diligence and patience to earn on HubPages, but both are rewarded. We are is a site that helps authors realize the lifetime value and retain ownership of their content, instead of surrendering both at the outset. What this means is that writers can publish and unpublish/delete their content at will, and can see a steady stream of income through their Hubs that attract traffic for years.

I’ll use my personal account as an example. I’ve published 140 Hubs on the site over the course of the past 4 years, and have earned a bit more than $7,000 from them (and I continue to earn). I figure that based on the time I spent researching and writing my Hubs, I’ve earned about $75 per hour writing on HubPages (although that doesn’t count moderating and responding to comments, although I find that fun and it’s optional; factoring that in, it’d probably be more like $65 per hour). So, while I haven’t gotten rich from publishing on HubPages, I have certainly earned more here than anywhere else I’ve written online and it’s been enjoyable because I write about the things that actually interest me.

Q: How do bloggers earn money with HubPages?

They earn via the ads served up on their Hubs. Google AdSense is the most popular earning option, and ads appear automatically. Authors can also optionally earn via Amazon Affiliates, Kontera, and the eBay Partner Network. We split impressions with our authors on a 60% (to the authors), 40% (to us) basis.

Q: Since I know many bloggers are skeptical that they can earn real
money from their content, would you mind sharing one or two success stories?

I’ve shared my personal success, but we also profile a handful of the authors who have come out to share their success in our blog’s Payout Chronicles. One story I’d like to share also is of AskSusanPeters, a pet groomer from Oklahoma, who had written hundreds of Hubs on pet food reviews shortly after she started over 3 years ago. Then the pet food recall broke in April 2007, and people were scrambling to find out if their particular brand of pet food was safe. AskSusanPeters’s Hubs were there to share information on many specific pet food products, and she earned about $2,000 that month alone in ad revenue. Her earnings continued to stream in even when she took a year-long hiatus from publishing on the site.

Q: What are three qualities that you believe a strong blogger must possess? What makes a great “hub?”

The ability to write niche “evergreen” content – the kind of informative article that people will be searching for years after they’re published, is one key factor, as is the ability to learn from our extensive lessons in our Learning Center. We are invested in our authors’ success, so we (and other successful members of the community) share best practices that we’ve seen work. Finally, I would say patience is critical, since the earnings don’t happen immediately. Most Hubbers report having to wait 6-9 months before they earn their first $100 payout from AdSense (I had to wait 8 months) but then the traffic and earnings climb.

As for a great Hub, it should be informative, ideally tackling a niche topic that people are searching on, written well, with judicious use of other rich media elements that we enable, including maps, pictures, embedded videos, polls, quizzes, etc. An often overlooked but critically important thing is titling Hubs correctly.

Q: You are nearing 1,000,000 published hubs. Planning and celebrations?

We just passed our 4th year anniversary and our billionth Hub view, but our millionth Hub is a milestone that we’re certainly looking forward to. We’ll have to keep our celebration plans a surprise for now…

Q: What is your goal/dream for HubPages?

We want HubPages to be a household word among those who love writing online, among bloggers who want to write off-blog articles that will enjoy an audience and earn for them for years, and even people who are writing more casual content who would like to experience the joy of having a readership and ongoing ad royalties. I’d love for our authors’ content to be as well-known and accessed as Wikipedia’s.

Interested in writing a hub of your own? Sign up here.

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