The Long Tail of HubPages

Ok, so this is something that has been on my mind for a while, so bare with me if I start to go off on some type of blogging tangent. I just felt like I had to get these thoughts written out somewhere, even if they didn’t make the most sense at this point. There will be more where this came from, I’m sure – thanks for reading. Here goes nothing…

When I describe HubPages to someone who has never heard of us before, I usually end up talking about how easy it allows them to write and be published, how they can write about anything that they’re passionate about and how HubPages sort of like the iTunes of online self-publishing platforms. I say this because iTunes is a great example of the Long Tail effect that HubPages creates for searchable, topical, self-published content – only, of course, iTunes does it for music.

If you haven’t seen what the Long Tail looks like, here is a very generic version that has probably been used in more Powerpoint presentations that you can shake Bill Gates at:


An example of a Long Tail effect

Now, although this may be something new to you, the Long Tail is something that has been talked about, written about and discussed within the business and marketing community for quite a while now. But, as more and more people understand it and implement it, the Long Tail is put into practice and becomes more mainstream every single day. Basically what has happened here the last few years is that the Web has allowed us to do business is a different way than before, especially when you’re talking about a purely digital business, such as iTunes and HubPages.

The old way of doing business was to offer up content that had a very massive appeal and to sell tons on it to a lot of people. In music, this was like Wal-Mart stuffing it’s shelves with Madonna and Justin Timberlake because they had the biggest opportunity to sell lots and lots of CDs. In this model, there was no room for the little guy who had no chance of selling millions of CDs because shelf space was very limited to the top sellers. Not to mention that these smaller artists usually had no major label support much less a huge marketing budget that would potentially help them get their foot in the door with the 800lb. gorilla known as Wal-Mart.

But when MP3s, the Internet and the iTunes platform came along and teamed up, it gave all of these little guys a chance to go out and get their music in front of the masses, even if it wasn’t a huge seller. This is because iTunes has already built the digital platform for selling(no worries about shelf space), the Internet created a way to distribute it(no more need to go to a physical store) and the MP3 format made it all possible and much, much cheaper and easier to handle(no more buying CDs). So, this is basically what iTunes looks like when added to the Long Tail diagram:


My ghetto Long Tail representation of iTunes

So, even if Your Roomate’s Band sells only 10 songs on iTunes this week, they still have a place to sell them and iTunes has given them the platform to allow them to do it. So, on other words, now not only can Justin Timberlake sell one of his songs 1 million times in a week, but iTunes has now made it so that 1 million bands the size of your roomate’s can now sell one song per week as well. This, my friends, is the Long Tail.

Now switching gears over to HubPages, much of the same is true. It used to be that only certain people could get paid for writing due to the limitations of magazine and other news space, proper credentials and the time/topic limitations that many publications tend to strictly enforce. but, just as iTunes has become known as the platform that has enabled a Long Tail distribution model for music, HubPages is now quickly becoming the platform for enabling the Long Tail distribution model to be utilized for writing topical and consumer-expertise content.

So, instead of songs being sold, like on iTunes, the HubPages model is Hubs being viewed through search engines such as Google and Yahoo!. These views then turn into revenue being generated for the author of the Hub and depending on the amount of views, the revenue could be pretty significant. For instance, Larry talked about one Hub in particular that gets viewed thousands of times per week and in turn makes over over $100/day, which I would say is some serious cash. I guess that this Hub could be considered the Justin Timberlake of Hubs, but just like with the iTunes model, there is plenty of room for content that gets all different ranges of views per week.


The HubPages Long Tail effect

For instance, my Jelly Belly Belly Flops Hub gets about 50 views/week, which doesn’t seem like a lot, but if I had about 30 more Hubs with the same type of traffic, I would be pulling in some serious revenue pretty quickly. Now, think about if 10,000 other Hubbers have also written Hubs that get traffic similar to my Jelly Belly Belly Flops Hub – you are now really talking about some major views, as well as some major revenue and it’s all possible thanks to the HubPages platform.

So in summary:

  • HubPages allows you to write about the things that you like – no matter the topic
  • Our platform gets your content pushed out to the search engines – we make your content ‘findable’
  • Whether you have 1 Hub that gets 10,000 views/week or 100 Hubs that get 100 views per week, you are still going to generate revenue from your content

So, just as iTunes has enabled music artists of all sizes, HubPages is now enabling content creators of all sizes. If you have something that you’d like to write about, feel free to join up and start Hubbing now and if you have any questions, please leave a comment and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can. Thanks for listening to my random thoughts and come on back soon, I’m sure there will be plenty more where this came from.

One thought on “The Long Tail of HubPages

  1. It is interesting how you have explained all this. I am wondering if you can share an update (7 years after the post was originally published) about the long tail of hubs in Hubpages.

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