Sunforged, a Hubber who’s been with us for 13 months now, shared a jaw-dropping revelation in the Forums recently – he earned $100 in a single day through his Hubs. Cyber Monday, the first working day after Thanksgiving that’s typically a boon to online retailers, is apparently a great day for clever Hubbers who lined their ducks up in a row for when the searchers jump online.
And this important breakthrough couldn’t happen to a nicer guy. Always helpful to new Hubbers in the Forums, sunforged has earned a well-deserved reputation for reliable advice on how to put together a Hub that is good enough to garner great traffic from the search engines.
In a characteristically generous manner, sunforged took some time out of the wee hours of the morning (still working!) to answer a few of my questions:
1. $100 in a single day is really amazing…most have to wait several months to get their $100 payout check from Google. How does that compare to other earning milestones you’ve set for yourself in the past and for the future?
That $100/day is particularly exciting for me as it’s only been about 4 months since I increased my Hub output and did massive title and keyword changes in all my older hubs. I have only had HubPages separated out into URL channels for 4 months so I dont know when my first Hubs only payout was made, but I can tell from my stats that my Hubpages earnings have doubled each month since.
My current goal, which I think it is very achievable, is a daily $100 in passive income. At this point “passive” is very much a misnomer but as my web presence grows I hope to be able to take a weekend off and open up my various dashboards and accounts to see that my past efforts are still reaping rewards.
My past goal was to replace my overly tedious and labor intensive eBay business with an income source that was more varied and enjoyable. i thrive on variety; online content writing allows you to tackle different topics and wear many hats throughout the work day. HubPages has definitely added to my ability to now only sell on eBay as a fun side hobby rather than having to rely on it as a major source of income.
2. I see you’ve been publishing on HubPages for just over a year now. How has your publishing strategy changed over this time? Have you covered different topics? Have you changed how you structure or promote your Hubs?
One strength of HubPages is a very real opportunity to achieve first page results in almost any topic. My topics have certainly jumped around, I feel I can write in topics I enjoy or try and tackle my latest possible keyword gem with almost equal results.
I am always experimenting with formatting and layout here on HubPages. There are lots of great hubs that show or explain some of the ways to best use the publishing tools to create a profitable and appealing hub. I went back and edited all my past Hubs to reflect that information and will do it again if experience changes my current theories. My promotion efforts are much more strategic and planned now compared to when I started. I openly discuss and share my promotion methods in hubs and on the forums… after I test the method for a reasonable amount of time.
3. Several Hubbers, both veterans and new, have thanked you for your advice and help. You were, of course, instrumental in resolving the mass-plagiarism-of-Hubs problem on Docstoc a couple of months ago. Help us understand why you’re so generous with your time and wisdom on behalf of Hubbers in the community.
It’s specifically because of my agreement that HubPages is a “community,” that leads me to want to assist others when questions are within my knowledge base.
Unlike most online communities that have a potential profit motive, HubPages seems to have an active user base of friendly, ethical and real people. In the course of my own research into the topics and methods that help me to live a mobile lifestyle, I frequent a lot of internet marketing related forums and sites. The quality of content and the value of the product that is promoted are always an afterthought, with many other forums and platforms are driven solely by people chasing a quick buck, usually using any means necessary. That distinction, that HubPages enjoys–creating quality content and accurate information–is a welcome change.
To me, the users of HubPages range from experienced marketers using the awesome internal SEO benefits of the platform, teachers, mothers, college students to professional freelance writers and experienced experts in many fields. These people deserve to find success because they represent what this field SHOULD be in my eyes. So, I don’t feel I am overly generous compared to other active users here. This is a generous and supportive community.
4. Your Hubs demonstrate a strong sense of SEO understanding: clear, search-friendly titles, unique, well-researched content, etc. Where did you learn your SEO skills, and what do you see as the best opportunity for new Hubbers to attract search engine traffic to their Hubs?
I think my learning experience has been mostly a method of deconstruction. Rather than always taking the so-called “gurus” advice at face value, I try to analyze what led me to the information in the first place. Once you pick up the lingo/vocab most of the information one would need is readily accessible via the search function in any browser or even just here at HubPages! Since, I attempt to optimize mostly for Google, I find Matt Cutts’ blog to be the final answer on any iffy subjects, like duplicate content and the future of search theory. The word you always will see mentioned there and here at HubPages is “quality,” Google has a lot of very smart people working towards creating an ever increasing “search quality” and I try to keep that in mind when evaluating any new flash-in-the-pan methods of optimization.
Best opportunity for new hubbers? Well, I think even if the writer doesn’t have a major profit motive, they want to write for someone, they want to be read. So they simply must take the time to learn the basics of keyword research and develop a backlink strategy. For instance, simply changing one word from singular to plural can add a couple of 00’s to your pageviews. 10 minutes a day following or preceding publishing a new hub is about all it takes. Think like your reader and try to guess how you would search for what you’re writing about.
5. With the great money you’re making from your Hubs, what do you like to spend it on?
I’m anti-stuff, so it’s not common for me to spend money on anything that’s not destined for eventual resale on eBay.
My last purchase just for me, was a netbook so I could work from anywhere in my city.
But I’m a painter and paint and art supplies is expensive! I tend to save in the winter for trips to the mountains to snowboard and in the summer to go to music festivals. I was saving up to move closer to family in Southern California, and when I visited last January, I fell in love with the overall vibe, surfing and the music scene. But, today, I saw the first picture of my 11 week old mini-sunforged, so I think I know where all the money is going now!
6. I noticed in your profile that you make your own wine (among many other interesting tidbits). Tell us a little about how you got into that, and what your hobby involves today.
One of my first successful niche websites is in the homebrew beer market. I live in an area of NY that has tons of wine trails and local breweries so I have a rare opportunity to take photographs, do interviews and develop first hand content. Its really not a bad gig to be able to say I’m going on a wine tour for “work”!
Making wine at home is just the natural result of having organic groceries and champagne yeasts within walking distance of my home. My set up is pretty low maintenance and DIY, I still have to burp my bottles!
7. As a final question, I’d like to leave it relatively free-form. What would you like to share with other Hubbers, about yourself or Hubbing or anything else you find interesting?
Well, I’m pretty long winded, so I think I have said enough “do’s” about myself. So here are some “don’ts” that I wish I had kept in mind when I started.
- Don’t become a stats junkie – set one time a day or week to check your earnings and don’t get caught up in the little spikes and valleys.
- Don’t expect immediate results and dont become discouraged by your own inflated expectations.
- Don’t forget to have fun.
Keep up with what sunforged is publishing on HubPages–become his fan!