A great way to publish online
When it comes to self-publishing websites, one of the biggest heavyweights is HubPages.com. Squidoo was another great site, but got acquired by HubPages. Learn about this great and free to post articles and content that you've written that you wish to share with the world.
With more people every day writing content and blogging about pretty much everything there is a lot of money to be made out there. This service is a fantastic platform to get your voice out there, and make a few dollars while you're at it.
Squidoo - Acquired in 2014
Launched in 2008 by online marketing guru Seth Godin, Squidoo was an online community that allows it's users to create "lenses", which in a nutshell are web pages.
Users who create these lenses are called "Lens Masters", and their lenses are ranked by other users, and can fall into any of the 35 main topics. These lenses could include all kinds of content from plain text, to photos and videos, and often read much like a blog post.
Squidoo used advertisements from a number of sources and allowed it's users to either receive a cut of the profits generated from their content, or to donate any revenue to charity. Some of the advertisement providers Squidoo used included Google Adsense, Amazon.com and eBay.
Created in 2006 by some well known people in the tech industry HubPages is a lot like Squidoo in the fact that it allows it's users to post their own content (a.k.a. "hubs") to be shared with the world.
The hubs that users generate must be unique, and are checked against content spanning the entire web for duplication. Hubs are also ranked and will penalized for duplicating content, having very weak content, or blatently promoting a product the author is tied to.
There are a number of key differences however between HubPages and Squidoo, one of the key ones is how it ties into Google Adsense. HubPages uses the Google Adsense API to allow it's users to directly share clickthroughs and impressions on ads that appear in hubs they create.
HubPages also allows it's writers to join affiliate programs from eBay and Amazon.com and share in any revenue received through purchases made from people clicking through their content pages.
I find HubPages really easy to use, but can be a bit strict in terms what content you can post about. Squidoo, when it was around was much more lenient when it came to self promoting your product or website, whereas HubPages doesn't look to keenly upon self promotion and instead wants their members to write about topics that others might be interested, not just flogging their wares.
One other great features of HubPages is that you can use an array of ways to monitize your content including AdSense, Amazon, Ebay and the native HubPages ad system. HubPages also allows you to tie in Google Analytics to your hubs.
Is there anything else out there?
There are literally hundreds of similar websites out there offering services not unlike Squidoo and HubPages. However HubPages is one of the biggest websites out there in this market. I've tested just about all of the competition and nothing comes close to this juggernaut except launching your own website. One main advantage of going with this platform as opposed to spreading your content thinly over a larger number of websites is that you'll get much more exposure and thus visitors by sticking to one website and the massive user base it commands.
So what happens after I sign up?
Well, once you've signed up for an article website like Hubpages you'll want to start writing content! You can write about almost anything from your hobbies and interests to politics, try to keep it clean and tidy though ;)
Things that you want to avoid writing about are topics that everybody has written about, you'll get next to no traffic on those due to the amount of competition and topics that nobody is interested in because again nobody will look at them. You'll also want to add some images to your posts, maybe some videos too, relevant links are always nice to have and the most important of all LOTS OF TEXT. Now when I mean lost of text, it still has to be relevant to the post, well written and not too short. Articles shouldn't be any less than 400 words, and even that is often considered a very short article. At the same time you don't want an extremely long article either, as people don't want to read 20 pages of text.
Also consider writing what is referred to as "evergreen content". This refers to articles that don't expire, or last a very long time in terms of relevancy. An example of an evergreen article would be something about anything historical or perhaps a kind of tree or plant, basically an article that if read 10 years from now would still be relevant.