Make Money Blogging: Hubpages vs. your own blog

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Few months ago I stumbled across a small e-book about how we can make money with Hubpages. For the people who don’t know about the site (I found out about it then), it’s a place where people can post content and will earn advertising revenue (ad revenue share, Adsense and affiliate marketing). All you need to do is create an account, start posting GOOD meaningful articles and set your Adsense/Affiliate codes. You should also become active in the community and do some serious SEO (so that your articles get more visits, thus more revenue for you).

While in theory it all seems nice and there are some editors who make good money, for me Hubpages is still not the solution to earning a good passive income from blogging. Here are the pros and cons for both of these solutions: running your own blog and being an editor on Hubpages.

make-money-blogging

HUBPAGES

Advantages

  • all the admin work is done by someone else. You don’t need to worry about installing WordPress, running plugins or any of the tech mambo-jambo. You create an account, start posting and someone else worries about servers, downtime and all the fun.
  • ideal for someone who’s starting out – while I personally like challenging myself, many to-be-bloggers are scared about the idea of running their own ‘show’. This allows them to start posting content and understand how SEO, promotion and community administration look like.
  • a truckload of advice and a very nice community – there are some excellent editors there and many are sooo helpful. I mean any beginner would get immediately a ton of advice and support, plus the community is really well behaved and helpful.
  • you blog for free – no need to pay hosting, premium themes or worry about your domain name expiring. You are part of a big content site and have your own page (link) to promote.

Disadvantages

  • absolutely no control over your blog/content – just as with other similar places that host your content, all your hard work can vanish in a moment, if they site stops working or is closing down. You might say it’s too big to fail, but recent online history taught us that nothing is 100% safe.
  • you’re just a small peon in a huge ‘army’ – branding yourself is not that easy, even if you can surely make your page stand out. There are many other editors on the site, so you’ll be a small part in a huge community.
  • the ad revenue is pretty small – I have made around 2 bucks in 6 months since being a member there. It’s true I posted only 6 articles, but still the traffic to my article pages is pretty dismal, thus small revenue. I would need to post tens of articles (or more than a hundred) to see my numbers climb). Am not sure I’d like to put as much effort into a site that just ‘hosts’ my content. In order to make some serious money you’ll need to: 1. post A LOT of articles, 2. be VERY active in the community and 3. do it for quite a while. This means a lot of work and many hours, I don’t think the earnings cover any decent hourly rate at the end of the day.

YOUR OWN BLOG

Consider me a snob, but I do consider that ‘your own blog’ means a domain name, a hosting account and having your own WordPress installation

Advantages

  • 100% control over your blog – you call the shots, you close it down, you open it, you choose what to post, when to post and how. The site will close down when and if YOU choose so, you are the boss and nobody can tell you what to do.
  • easier to establish a brand – I’m sure you can remember dojoblog.net easier than bydojo.hubpages.com. Not to mention my theme here is custom made (by me), so it stands out compared to other blog themes. I am unique as an individual and my blog is the same.
  • while it costs me money to have a blog, I don’t break the bank – 11 bucks/year for my domain name and 12 bucks/year the hosting plan I am using are really not such a huge deal. Let’s say 23 dollars/year for your OWN site is actually a pretty sweet number. Sure, it’s not free, but it doesn’t cost me too much either.
  • the learning opportunities are immense – I learned how to design web sites, when, back in 2002, I started a small one about karate. I knew NOTHING and yet I didn’t go with any free plans/pre-made sites. I chose to learn and get my own site up. Now this is my BUSINESS and I earn a very decent income doing for others what I had to do for myself back then. While it’s nice to have others worry about a site, learning what this means and how to run one surely won’t hurt you.
  • choose your own advertising revenue options – do you want to do paid reviews? Place banners? Provide affiliate links? Promote your own services? There are no limits to what you can try on your own blog. Some of these advertising opportunities will work better than the others, but you have the freedom to test out and see for yourself.
  • you don’t promote hubpages, you are promoting YOUR own site – whenever I promote an article here, what I’m promoting at the end of the day is MY project, dojoblog.net. I don’t work to advertise anyone’s project but mine. SEO is not difficult to do and I can surely get more visitors to my articles here than on Hubpages.
  • everything I do is for me – sure, I need to post frequently here and be active on other blogs, by leaving insightful and useful comments. And yet the effort I make to drive here the traffic I need is SMALLER than what I had to work on on Hubpages. With 30-60 minutes of work/day, reading and commenting, I can easily drive way more traffic than on my hubpages profile.
  • more money to be made – I have only recently started working seriously on the blog, the reason why the advertising page is not yet up and running and I don’t promote too much the fact I will provide ad options for my readers/visitors. I do try to grow my traffic some more, so that it’s really worth it for my advertisers to spend money here. Interesting enough, I already get emails from various readers who’d be interested to advertise here, even if I haven’t yet opened the ‘marketplace’. Once I feel confident I can offer you a good deal (which shouldn’t take more than 4-8 weeks), something tells me I won’t end the month with 30 cents, as I do on Hubpages. I need to spend 2-3 months to get my site to a decent level, but the ad revenue will be seriously bigger.

Disadvantages

  • you are 100% in control of your blog – and yes, for some this can also be a disadvantage. You need to learn few things about running a site, set up some plugins,  a theme etc. If anything goes wrong, you’re the one to blame.
  • it is not free – while running your blog is not a huge investment (if you know how to keep it small), it’s not free either.

Posting on Hubpages has been a pretty nice experience for me and it helped me understand better what I want from myself as a blogger. I have been posting articles on my Romanian project for more than 6 years, but this is my main attempt to get to a wider audience. It’s not an easy task, especially since my web design business does take most of my time, but it’s something I enjoy.

I have understood that a limiting account, as on Hubpages, is not what I am looking forward to. While the site is very nicely run and the community is made up by some excellent people, I’d rather use it to get more article ideas and hang around, than build my blogging career on it. I love the freedom running my site brings in, I love the challenges and I am sure that, with hard work and dedication I’ll surely be able to bring in some much needed ad revenue.

My choice is to put my work and time into my own project, brand myself and work hard to provide you with the best content I can possibly provide.

How about you? Have you tried Hubpages (or other similar projects)? Is it better for you to run your own blog?

11 COMMENTS

  1. Oh…. HubPages. I have actually set up an account more than 1 year ago, but forgot about it, so I started posting over there just recently.

    I only have 2 articles published, although I have written 3. That’s another disadvantage: they have the right to NOT publish your articles, if they don’t like them. Did you know that?

    • I did know about it and it’s not such a huge deal. I mean I don’t let our guest bloggers here post anything that’s not up to par with my quality standards.

  2. I would agree with that Dojo. Perhaps this is a good idea for someone to test the water before they take the plunge fully with their own site and see whether they sink or swim (sorry, just back from the pool, hence the swimming metaphor overload)

  3. I gave Hubpages a try back in the days when it was a lot better than it is now (it’s been heavily hit by the latest Google updates) and I didn’t manage to make any real money with them. It was a nice experience and an easy way to get some backlinks and I knew people who were pretty satisfied because the articles posted there ranked better than they would’ve if they were on their blog. I do prefer to keep the content I write on my blogs than give others a piece of the pie :))

    • Yeah, I also liked to try it out to see for myself. I do consider I’ll be way more successful with my own project than on HP. We’ll see in few months if I make more here than there 😀

    • Well, it costs you nothing to try it out. I don’t think it will make a huge change in your finances, since the earnings are very small, but you can use the experience 😉

  4. I started my own blog but became attracted to the easy quick traffic from HubPages. I started to write for them, but they banned me just because there my stuff was published on my other blog even though I have deleted the posts later…they’re fussy over there so I think I’ll dedicate myself to my own blog like you said.

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