Advancing Your Writing Career: Where do You Go Beyond Hubpages? Part 2, Creating Your Own Blog or Website
This is the second in a series of three logical steps to take when you feel like you’re ready to take your career beyond Hubpages. Please check out the links below this hub for Part 1 and Part 3 of the series, detailing freelance writing and knowledge products. While Hubpages is an excellent stepping-stone, learning arena, and tool to use in a writing career, it is very difficult to make it into a substantial career in and of itself.
This series has been created in answer to a question from a fellow hubber who would like to continue her writing career, and would like to know what the next logical step might be. As the introduction to the first in the series explained, this is a crossroads in a writing career that’s full of a lot of potential, and the decision you make right now isn’t necessarily one you’ll have to live with the rest of your life. These are just a few ways that you can keep growing and moving forward, while working toward the ultimate outcomes you want for your life.
After you’ve read this hub, please take a moment to comment and answer the question at the bottom before moving on to Part 3: Knowledge Products.
A Blog or Information Website
Blogs and informational websites can be created on the same platform, and undoubtedly the most widely popular platform is WordPress. With the right templates, a WordPress site can look like anything – it’s not just a blogging platform anymore. True, you can just get a free blog and throw your ideas online, but this will severely limit your monetization options. Opt for a self-hosted site on your own domain, and develop it through affiliates.
This can eventually be used as a stepping-stone to knowledge products (discussed in Part 3) if you so choose, or it can remain largely affiliate-driven for a nice chunk of recurring income.
- Additional skills. In order to set up your own site, there will be a little bit of a learning curve. This could be something as slight as learning how to set up a WordPress template, and how to work plugins and widgets to customize these to your needs. There are endless free tutorials available online for accomplishing these, but it helps if you already know what task you’re trying to accomplish.
It is advisable to learn about list-building, even if it’s just with a basic newsletter. This helps give your audience additional value, and also keeps them coming back to your site. You will also need to learn the basics of on-page SEO, as well as at least some online marketing. Great places to start with online marketing are engaging with people in online forums, attracting people through groups on social media, and potentially low-cost and measurable advertising solutions such as pay-per-click advertising. Please note that pay-per-click should not include sites that offer their members incentives to click your link, as these are largely untargeted, and people are clicking through to your site for the reward and not for what you offer.
- Investments. There is a substantial time investment with setting up and marketing your own website. You will need to spend time researching your potential niche to discover exactly where the demand is (and ensure that there is one), and how to talk to your market in order to attract the people for whom you can truly offer a lot of value. In addition, domain registration and web hosting will cost a little bit of money, but generally along the lines of anywhere from $50 to $200 per year for good packages for startups.
While it is easy to find some initial affiliate partners that can get you earning quickly (i.e. eBay, Amazon, ClickBank), eventually you’ll want to seek out affiliates that are specific to the information you provide on your site, and that offer a much better rate of return. This will require time getting to know who has products that are complementary to the information on your site, as well as which of those products are high-quality and jibe with your values, and then of course crafting a value proposition and sending it to the potential affiliate. Your list will probably be a key factor in attracting big-name affiliates.
- Returns. For residual income with minimal investment of time, money, and energy, your own website or self-hosted blog is it. The ground work does take a while to get into place, but it can become profitable relatively quickly. Once that is done, you now have a powerful tool for attracting and monetizing affiliates, as well as a great platform for pre-selling any products you may want to develop along the way.
- How you can use Hubpages. Hubpages is a great place to not only test ideas for successful niche websites, but also bring well-targeted traffic to your site from relevant hubs. Thanks to the comments section and the ability for people to contact you directly, you can directly engage with your audience and really get to know them, and they can get to know you. Planning on developing your website even further? Don’t be afraid to ask your Hubpages readership what kind of information would be valuable to them (as I have demonstrated with my own questions at the end of each hub in this series), and then you can target your knowledge and expertise toward what people really want to know.
Thank you for sticking with me through Part 2 of Advancing Your Writing Career. Now that you’ve read this hub, I would really appreciate it if you’d take a moment and answer a question for me. I’m currently working on a training program to help people who would like to move along the writing career path. Please leave me a comment and let me know, what is your single biggest fear or frustration when it comes to becoming a professional writer online, or advancing past the beginning stage in your writing career?
I hope this hub has been useful. If you haven’t yet, please take a moment to read Part 1, and then move on to Part 3.
The other parts in the series:
- Advancing Your Writing Career: Where do You Go Beyond Hubpages? Part 1, Freelance Writing
Part 1 of the series on Advancing Your Writing Career. This is about taking the next step beyond just writing for Hubpages, but how your hubs can still be an essential part of that next step.
- Advancing Your Writing Career: Where do You Go Beyond Hubpages? Part 3, Creating Knowledge Products
Part 3 discusses the benefits of creating knowledge products, or information products. Your Hubpages account still has a very useful role to play with this step, and the sky is the limit with earnings potential.
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