My Experience So Far on HubPages: A Diverse Writing Community - 7 Months On...

Finding my passion for writing on a trip up the Garden Route in April 2012
Finding my passion for writing on a trip up the Garden Route in April 2012 | Source

HubPages is not Facebook, and it's certainly not Twitter. It's not an enormous online chat room either.

It's a community of online writers and authors who are passionate about writing, who want to connect with fellow like-minded people in the same field, and who want to gain more exposure to their written work.

Seven months after joining this rather intimidating - at the time - and impressive community, I am amazed at where this journey has taken me in such a short space of time.

For starters, after 10 years of trying to find my "niche" in life and discover what career path I'm supposed to be on, I could finally let out that sigh of relief and no longer feel the need to obsess about in what direction my life is going.

Writing on HubPages has also taught me that it's not all fun and it's not about writing whatever you feel like all the time (well, for me anyway), it takes thick skin and persistence to become a full-time writer. Few things in life are worth having if they are free or easy...wise words to live by.

Here's my take on the past seven months aboard the HubPages ship:

Bill Holland aka billybuc
Bill Holland aka billybuc | Source
Julie De Neen
Julie De Neen | Source
Martie Coetser
Martie Coetser | Source
Mary Hyatt aka mary615
Mary Hyatt aka mary615 | Source
Mhatter99 | Source
Suelynn | Source
Linda Bilyeu aka Sunshine625
Linda Bilyeu aka Sunshine625 | Source

Friendship and Hubbers

I've mentioned that HubPages isn't a chat room or a social media outlet, and it's not.

But, it is a platform for writers and people who have the same type of mind-set, who are enthusiastic about their writing and who want to interact, support other writers and make connections.

Starting a new career in writing is not a picnic in the park. It's not a walk in the sun or a joyride either.

It's blood, sweat and tears.

Maybe not so much for those who are simply doing this to explore their creative side or as a hobby, or if they're simply looking for something to occupy some of their time. Up until recently, that's exactly what I was doing.

No, writing for money is not easy, but writing on HubPages does make it more gratifying and possible to push yourself even further when you think that you're at the point of giving up.

I've met a number of fellow Hubbers who have been supportive and who have guided me along the way in my quest to explore the writing world.

They've shed light, given me advice and helped me in the all important feat of getting exposure for my writing.

(There are millions of freelance writers around the world to contend with!)

Some of these Hubbers have become online friends.

I'm not one to make hundreds of 'friends' on Facebook simply to say that I'm popular or well connected - I don't believe in that sort of thing.

Those who are friends, are people whom I genuinely know or have gotten to know, have spent time with and enjoy the company of.

There are many Hubbers who I interact with on a daily basis - we are each other's support system.

I invite you to take some time and to visit some of their hubs.

These are a few Hubbers who have been my inspiration and support system to date:

Thank you to all of you - you're a platform of brilliant and truly inspirational writers!

Helpful Hubbing Tips That I've Learnt

Writing hubs is not as easy as it looks, and only over time do you start getting into the flow of how to put a hub together, and what to avoid, etc.

A hub is similar to a magazine article. It's not meant to be a blog platform, but should rather be interesting and hold the reader's attention, it should be useful such as "How To" articles, or beautiful - such as a poem.

If you want your article to be ranked somewhere high up on Google's search engine you need to make sure that your hub has the right key words and other SEO applications added so that it can be found easily.

Looking back on some of the first articles I wrote earlier this year I was a little horrified. Did I really write those? I couldn't believe it - I almost wanted to delete them all! But then I reminded myself that we all start somewhere, and it's good to reflect on how far I've come since then. If I'm ever in doubt or feel like revamping them, I can simply use the edit feature.

10 Things I've Learnt from HubPages:

  1. Taking pictures to work into hubs is fun
  2. Writing comments is a give-and-take situation
  3. Sometimes you will write on a similar topic to someone else
  4. Page dividers!
  5. Not everyone on HubPages is pleasant
  6. Write about what you know, and what you don't know - research well
  7. Writing 1000 + words in 45 minutes IS possible
  8. Persistence
  9. HubPages is a world of knowledge
  10. Keywords!

Dealing with Writing Criticism

It's not pleasant when you put hours and pour your heart and soul into writing an article, only to have it slammed and ripped apart by someone else who didn't agree with your opinion, or the way in which the article was written.

What do you do if someone writes a rude comment in your comment stream for everyone else to see?

I'm not one to back down from something I strongly believe in. Especially when I've put a lot of time and effort into what I've written.

Yes, of course everyone has their own opinions and they're entitled to them. But, there's a right way - a polite way of disagreeing with something that someone else has written, and then there's a wrong way.

I find it rather interesting when someone else disagrees with something that I've written. It gives me an opportunity to further my point of view and to practice the way in which I respond - tactfully and professionally.

Why do you write on HubPages?

See results without voting

Writing for Fun vs Writing for Money

There are two types of people who write on HubPages:

  1. Those who write for pleasure, in their free time or as a hobby - a way of expressing themselves and delving into their creative side
  2. Those who write for money. HubPages offers a platform where writers can benefit from receiving money in 3 ways:
  • Google Ads
  • Amazon products
  • Ebay

I fall into category 2 and some days this is quite a challenge. I'm a creative person and I want to write on wherever my imagination takes me or on what I find interesting. The problem with that is, I won't get a lot of traffic to my hubs, and that means no money. HubPages isn't the only platform I use to write, but it is one of them and I need to be clever when writing my hubs to get the maximum amount of exposure.

It's a welcome challenge every day though to come up with a topic that I think people will be interested in, that I know of or want to dedicate time into researching - a topic that will be fairly easy for people to find online in terms of SEO techniques and keywords.

I believe that you can write on HubPages for both - you just need to plan properly and dedicate a set amount of time to writing.

Did You Know?

There are over 1 Million hub articles that have been written and that are available to read on HubPages. That's A LOT of topics!

A World of Knowledge

HubPages really is world of knowledge right at your fingertips. You don't need to go to the library, and you don't even need to browse the Internet.

Anything you want to know more about - from relationship advice, job interview tips, food recipes, travel information on different cities and countries, self-help articles and household cleaning tips - is right here, available at the click of a button!


I am so grateful that I came across this platform for writing back in January. It's allowed me to discover more of who I am, and more importantly - my love and passion for writing, and my determination to make a success out of it.

I've met some truly fantastic people, and I've learnt a wealth of knowledge in these short seven months by reading other hubs on tips, tricks and other pieces of interesting information.

Thank you to each and every one of you, and thank you to HubPages for bringing like-minded people together, and for allowing us to fulfill our dreams, to gain exposure, to make some extra money, to support ourselves and to explore our creative side.

The Author

Melanie Chisnall is a freelance writer from Cape Town, South Africa.

She started writing part-time on HubPages in January 2012, and is now writing on a freelance basis full-time. She considers the HubPages community her saving grace on some days, and an essential support system for writing advice, knowledge and friendship.

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Comments 53 comments

billybuc profile image

billybuc 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

A warm, heartfelt, honest look at HubPages, from a warm, caring human being. Thank you for your kindness and for mentioning me; it has been a true pleasure getting to know you over these past few months, and I look forward to many more months of friendship and support.

Thank you Mel!

Karen Hellier profile image

Karen Hellier 4 years ago from Georgia

Really wonderful hub you have written here Melchi. I am similar to you in that I also started in January and have grown quite a bit not only in my writing but in the types of articles I have branched out to write. I am so glad you clarified in your hub that a hub is not a blog. So many people write hubs as though they were blog posts when the rest of us are out here struggling to research topics and present very well written, timely articles. It just irks me when people don't understand that and publish their blog posts and even call it a blog. I guess I just need to let it go and ignore those hubs and continue to read hubs from the wonderful writers I am following, including you! I think you were going to start writing full time on September 1st? How's it going?

Doodlehead profile image

Doodlehead 4 years ago from Northern California

I agree that this website is sort of a center for the spiderweb of learning. This is an exciting place.

Julie DeNeen profile image

Julie DeNeen 4 years ago from Clinton CT

Wow Melanie. I'm honored. Thank you for writing this hub and mentioning me. I am truly greatful for all the writers here on Hubpages. They are a great group of people!

CrisSp profile image

CrisSp 4 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

Very interesting and inspiring hub. Been here for around six months and still learning. After getting that notice from HP regarding our sleeping hubs, I went to read my old hubs specially those I've created when I was very new here and and had the same thought like you: "did I really write it?" I was so on top of my vulnerability but then I learn along the way. Still improving...getting there. I wanted to delete them but decided to just leave them and revised them instead (on the process) and continue hubbing to target more keywords and SEOs and eventually monetize it for real.

There's always room for improvement and so what, if I get bad comments (so far none or they're just as polite to zip it up), at least I know I have readers. Lol! And, I do appreciate all of their time for reading. That's important too. Lovin' this community.

Thank you for sharing this hub. It's a wonderful read.

Voting up, useful and interesting!

Jools99 profile image

Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK

Melanie, a great honest look back over your 'hub life' so far. I am in category 2 as well but wish I was writing a bit more - I am no longer working but other things seem to get in the way :o) As a community, it works for me but I don't really engage in forums so am maybe not using it to its full advantage. Voted up and shared.

MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 4 years ago from South Africa

Dear Melchi, it really feels so good to know I've inspired you to realize your dream to become a full time writer in HubPages. I still don't have a clue what CEO techniques and keywords are - and now you inspire me to get myself on your level. And so we all support and encourage each other to reach for the stars.

This is the best attitude a writer can have - "I find it rather interesting when someone else disagrees with something that I've written. It gives me an opportunity to further my point of view and to practice the way in which I respond - tactfully and professionally."

How I wish I had the time to read all hubs in HubPages. This is such a source of important information, broad perspectives, brilliant ideas, wonderful friends and kindred souls. I wish you all of the best for the rest of your journey as a writer of Internet content.

Thundermama profile image

Thundermama 4 years ago from Canada

What an inspiring hub! And congratulations to you on finding your true joy in writing. I'm n0t as far along on my journey on HubPages, but echo your sentiments on what a wonderful, supportive community of writers this is.

Good luck!

Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

Hi Mel, Congrats to you on your hubbing success. I like your list of the top ten things you've learned. I practice #1 often. It's amazing what hubs we could create from one photo:) Thank you for the mention and for your friendship and support. Keep on hubbin'!

mary615 profile image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida

What a sweet thing to say about me: I am blushing! I wish I had more time to be more supportive to my fellow Hubbers than I am....I try my best to read and comment on my Hubber followers work. Maybe it's selfish, but I really learn a lot from Hubbers like yourself and other talented writers.

I love HubPages!

I voted this Hub Up, and I will share.

Stephanie Henkel profile image

Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA

I truly enjoyed reading your hub. You have some wonderful insights and some great advice. I still don't write 1000 words in 45 minutes, but maybe it is possible... :) One of my favorite things about writing for HubPages is that I can combine my love of photography with my love of writing. This is such a bonus for me! Nice hub, voted up and shared!

AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 4 years ago from California

This is such a lovely tribute and congrats to you!

profile image

chrisinhawaii 4 years ago

NUMBER 8!!! =)

Hi Melanie! Great job sticking with it for this long, and especially for your commitment to take it to the next level this month. I wish you all the best and gobs of success at freelance writing.

And, oh yeah...NUMBER 8!!!

Millionaire Tips profile image

Millionaire Tips 4 years ago from USA

What an eloquent and wonderful tribute to your 7 months here. I agree with all 10 of your lessons, although some of them I need to learn in more detail.

Rfordin profile image

Rfordin 4 years ago from Florida

This article was very useful. I love reading about peoples documented journeys. Thank you for sharing. Voted useful.


Mama Kim 8 profile image

Mama Kim 8 4 years ago

What a wonderful reflection on you time here ^_^ You have come so far in such a short time! Congratulations!

Phil Plasma profile image

Phil Plasma 4 years ago from Montreal, Quebec

Congratulations on reaching 7 months. I am sure some fraction of hubbers do not get that far.

carter06 profile image

carter06 4 years ago from Cronulla NSW

Great hub mel chi & a lovely tribute...cheers

tobint44 profile image

tobint44 4 years ago from North Carolina

Great inspirational Hub! I wish you success in your next 7 months. I hope that I can build off of your advice and motivational words.

Mhatter99 profile image

Mhatter99 4 years ago from San Francisco

Oh you! Complimenting me. (make my face red-as in humbled) But, congratulations. Hubpages has been a good experience for me also, thanks to you. You are a shining star. May your light always be magic.

MelChi profile image

MelChi 4 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa Author

Thank you Bill - It has been both an inspiration and a pleasure getting to know you during this time. There are few people in this world who have as much knowledge, compassion and positivity as what you do. Here's to the next few months! :)

MelChi profile image

MelChi 4 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa Author

Hi Karen - I started full time writing on 1 September 2012 and it's been very interesting to say the least! Working from home is proving to be a bit of challenge - last week I felt like I was all over the place, but this week things are going a lot better as far as planning and writing is going. As far as the actual money coming in - well, that's going to take a while still I think. Here in South Africa it's very difficult to land writing jobs on bidding sites...I've just about given up with Elance, and am going to focus my attention on small business and professionals who are looking for someone to write blogs, articles, etc for them. Just got to grit my teeth and go for it, rejections and all!

We have come a far way since January I think! Here's to us - onward and upward into the world of writing we dive! Thanks for your comment :)

MelChi profile image

MelChi 4 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa Author

Thanks Doodlehead for stopping in to read and comment! I love HubPages, there are just too many hubs and topics to keep up with everyday!

MelChi profile image

MelChi 4 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa Author

Hi Julie - No, thank you for all your advice and helpful hints over the past few months! Really, your hubs are so useful and inspirational - I don't think you realize the impact they truly have on the people reading them.

Thanks for your support and comment! :)

MelChi profile image

MelChi 4 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa Author

Thank you CrisSp! I don't think we realize how lucky we are to have such a group of supportive people to read and offer advice on our writing. Twenty years ago, writing must have been a whole different ball game. You're right - any comment is good, it means exposure and that people are reading our work.

Thanks so much for reading mine! Have a terrific day :)

MelChi profile image

MelChi 4 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa Author

Julie - I know exactly what you mean. I also don't get as involved in forums, etc - there's just no time! I think those are best left to people who aren't writing full day or do it in their spare time. I try and comment as much as possible on other hubs and share - for me, this is as much community involvement as I am able to give at the moment. The odd question or answer to a forum post on the rare occasion is a nice change of scenery.

Thanks for stopping in to read and comment! :)

MelChi profile image

MelChi 4 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa Author

Hi Martie - Thank you so much for your kind words! What you said on Facebook is so true, here in South Africa there isn't too much support for writers, making connecting on HubPages all the more valuable and gratifying. I too wish I had more hours in the day to read hubs - there are just so many! :)

MelChi profile image

MelChi 4 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa Author

Thank you Thundermama, I'm glad you're enjoying it here as much as what I am! :)

MelChi profile image

MelChi 4 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa Author

Hi Linda - I think it let's us explore another creative part of ourselves, if I had all the money in the world I'd probably buy a state of the art camera and just drive around in my car taking photos and writing for fun all day long!

Thanks for being such a positive inspiration, and for your comment :)

MelChi profile image

MelChi 4 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa Author

Lol Mary - I don't think I've ever made anyone blush before, it's usually me that does all the blushing!

I know what you mean, I also usually only manage to comment on hubs by the people that I am following and struggle to find time to read hubs from others. I think if we had to do that we could just sit day in and day out doing just that! Maybe I'll try on the weekend to read at least 2 new hubs for the week from people who aren't following me or that I don't follow.

It's a pleasure reading your work and learning from what you've written in your hubs!

Thank you for your kind words :)

MelChi profile image

MelChi 4 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa Author

@Mhatter99 - Thank you! :) You are an inspiration with your creative use of words and your magical poems. Please don't ever stop writing - the world would be short of an extremely talented writer of poetry!

MelChi profile image

MelChi 4 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa Author

Thank you Becky - much appreciated! :)

MelChi profile image

MelChi 4 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa Author

AudreyHowitt, Millionaire Tips, Mama Kim 8, Phil Plasma, tobint44, carter06 - thank you all so much for taking time to read and comment, much appreciated! :)

MelChi profile image

MelChi 4 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa Author

Hi Stephanie - I agree with you! Being able to take photographs and write together, and to combine the two into one article is heaven on really is one of the best feelings when it all comes together.

Thanks for your votes, comment and for sharing!

MelChi profile image

MelChi 4 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa Author

Hi Chris - Indeed, number 8 is going to be flashing in capitals in front of my eyes for many upcoming days, weeks, months and even years (hopefully not so long!)

Thanks for dropping in to read and comment - much appreciated!

Suelynn profile image

Suelynn 4 years ago from Manitoba, Canada

Melchi: I am so touched that you felt some inspiration and included me in your lovely hub! Thank you! I am so impressed with your writing style and content - and as you may know, I have just moved to Canada and have not been active on HubPages whilst I have been preparing to do so. Thank you for pulling me in - I miss you all - and I can't wait for my life to settle down again so that I can continue to be part of this wonderful group. Voted up, U, A, B, I. :)))))

MelChi profile image

MelChi 4 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa Author

Suelynn - It's so good to have you back on HubPages, I have missed seeing you here! This hub wouldn't have been complete without including you - your positive and "go-getter" outlook on life, is one that many of us can aspire to be more like in our everyday lives, and I know that you have personally inspired me because of it, so thank you! I'm looking forward to reading some of your hubs on your new journey and life in Canada! Thank you for your votes and support as always :)

Vellur profile image

Vellur 4 years ago from Dubai

A lovely tribute and a great hub. Voted all the way up.

MelChi profile image

MelChi 4 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa Author

Thank you Vellur for your kind words! :)

Suelynn profile image

Suelynn 4 years ago from Manitoba, Canada

:)))) You are so kind, MelChi. I have a way to go yet before I have some pure leisure time - so much to do and not a lot of time to get it all done. I applaud your decision to write to earn a living and wish you all the best of luck, but you don't really need it, your writing is wonderful. xxx

MelChi profile image

MelChi 4 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa Author

Sue, you made my night, thank you!! :)

Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 4 years ago from The Beautiful South

I use to greet and follow newcomers I thought I would like until I found out it was lowering my score so I got out of that habit but it seems there was always someone here criticizing newcomers and it made me feel so bad knowing what it was like being one myself of course. Glad you stuck around and it certainly looks like you can hold your own! Up and shared.

moonlake profile image

moonlake 4 years ago from America

Enjoyed reading your hub and everything you had to say about HubPages. Sorry to hear some were criticizing your writing.

I also don't follow most newcomers I wait awhile before I do but I do read their hubs. One of the worst things a newcomer can do is start following everyone they see. Their score will drop so fast they won't know what hit them.

Voted uP!

Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

Great hub! Glad to hear of your experiences and your success as a fulltime freelance writer!

MelChi profile image

MelChi 4 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa Author

Thanks Jackie! That's one thing I've learnt very quickly - and am still learning, being a writer means you need to have thick skin. It doesn't matter if you write blogs, articles, poems or stories. Someone is always going to have something negative to say. But, in a way that's what makes us better writers I suppose. Still, you're right - it's not fair to criticize newcomers - everyone has to start somewhere. Thanks for reading and sharing :)

MelChi profile image

MelChi 4 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa Author

Hi moonlake - It's sad...that's what I started doing when I first joined HubPages - following new people, because I received some support when I first started. I didn't realize it affected your score. It really shouldn't - it should increase it because you're showing support. Sometimes I wonder about the way that HubPages works. You really need to work to get out of being a newbie and sticking around until you're at a level where you're no longer considered new.

Thanks so much for dropping in to read and comment - I appreciate it! :)

MelChi profile image

MelChi 4 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa Author

Thanks Victoria! I must say that reading some of your hubs when I first started was extremely helpful and motivational! :)

Vinaya Ghimire profile image

Vinaya Ghimire 4 years ago from Nepal

This is well presented hub. There are many niche content sites where we can publish anything we like, however, what makes HP stand out in the crowd is its wonderful community of writers, poets, artists and photographers.

This is not only a platform for novices to showcase their talents, but also wonderful place for the professionals to earn money.

I hope you are enjoying HP, as much as I am.


bdegiulio profile image

bdegiulio 4 years ago from Massachusetts

Hi Melanie. Excellent advice and a great summary of your first 7 months here. I started about the same time as you but I am doing this part time at the moment as I work a full time job. It doesn't leave a lot of time to write but I am managing to publish about one Hub per week at the moment.

I also find HubPages to be a wonderful community and I've learned so much here. Best of luck to you, you are doing great.

MelChi profile image

MelChi 4 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa Author

Hi Vinaya - Thank you so much! I am crazy about HubPages and so glad I found it earlier this year. It was a toss up between Xomba and HP, and luckily for me there was a glitch in my signing up with Xomba so I decided to try HP instead. What an awesome community of writers! Thanks for reading my hub on my experience here and commenting. I'm sure the next 7 months will be just as terrific :)

MelChi profile image

MelChi 4 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa Author

Hi Bill! Yes, I remember we started around the same time...I can never forget those hubs you wrote about Italy, they made me so envious! I love reading your travel hubs - it's a good opportunity to take a little fantasy trip overseas. I also used to write about once a week when I worked full time at my job, and that was plenty back then...there just wasn't time for more. Thanks for the support and for your comment - I really do appreciate it :)

academylight profile image

academylight 4 years ago from Athens-Greece

A wonderful-heartfelt hub with a wonderful text about the author (I love that ...) in the end of the article.So simple and helpful.

MelChi profile image

MelChi 4 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa Author

Hi academylight, thank you so much for your kind words! Have a great day :)

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