Six Years on HubPages and over 92% of my Hubs are FEATURED, But it's Hard to be Green!

Who Dat, say Who Dat, when I say Who Dat!

As a writer on HubPages, change is not something we normally look forward to.

And, OK, we writers do tend to take ourselves far too seriously, I will even give you that.

We can even, in our hours of solitude, while struggling with our creations, build an impression of ourselves that we are actually someone to be reckoned with.

We are WRITERS, after all.

We know that non-writers don't understand us. We can take our magic wand, whether it is a pencil waved over pieces of paper, or our fingers flying over the keyboard of a computer, and create.

We can create our stories, or poems, or other forms of creative writings into what we feel are works of art.

We sculpt and trim and rewrite and trim again, constantly building towards an end that only we see. We mold such powerful things as; plots and action and scenery and story lines along with complex characters; all pulled laboriously from our minds into a thing called a story.

We blend all of these things into a complex construction of words that quickly becomes a precious piece of our selves.

Each of these works contains a piece of our psyche, our heart and even, may I be so bold as to say, our Soul!

The Writer Himself - Don Bobbitt

Source

What is this thing called HubPages?

When, over five years ago, I took on the task of reeducating myself from the decades of business and technical writing that I had been so good at, I had to pause and think deeper thoughts about this new goal of mine.

I soon realized that it was going to be a long haul from being a lover of fine writing to hopefully being a writer of fine works myself.

Reflecting back on my several years of College Literature Survey courses, I remembered one truth; every writer needs an audience.

So, I searched the web for a platform for my creativity. And, after several horrible errors in judgement, I finally came upon Hubpages. Imagine my joy!

A site where you could exhibit your works for your fellow writers. You could thrust your creations out there and get relevant responses and comments, from your peers.

At the same time, you could select from a wide range of your fellow writers works to read and enjoy, at your leisure. And, one other thing I knew form my past; A Man whp Reads, Learns!

What a site. Right?

And, top this off with the fact that Hubpages would attach advertisements to your works and occasionally toss a few pennies to you for your works being so popular.

Wow! What a grand site, I thought.

We HubPage writers must serve two masters.

But I soon learned that there are two masters we HubPage writers must kowtow to in order to have our writings shared with the largest possible audience.

The great and all powerful Wizard of search engines and thus internet popularity, called Google, is the master of your popularity.

Secondly, the wizard's harsh Wench, called HubPages, is the one in control of your writing's access to the great Wizard.

We writers tend to forget a very basic fact about writer's sites. And that is, HubPages like all of the other writers sites, is a business. And, as a business, it exists to make money. They are not a philanthropic organization, dispensing funds to support the arts.

If you write something; something that HP believes they can use to make a buck essentially by exploiting it with advertisements, then they will do so.

At the same time, if they believe your writings are sub-standard, they will not only isolate it from the great Google's view, but they will also mark it down in a number of specific categories that HP deeps necessary to assure they are providing Google and thus the world with a good informative Hub.

Change drives Change if you want to stay current.

In the business world, especially the world of information distribution the only thing you can really count on is Change.

The technology used for information sharing is evolving at an astounding rate, and this means that the tools that handle the available information must also change.

So, just as this means that Google must change what information they make available to its customers, then invariably HP must change how it presents its Hubs to Google.

Evolving with Google and HubPages

AS I mentioned, I have been here, evolving my works on HubPages for over four years.

That means I have been required to rewrite, re-structure, and improve my Hubs numerous times to keep them viable as products that HP can serve to Google on a regular basis.

Oh, I didn't like it! I can even admit that I have written a number of personal rants about HP and their almighty demands on me. Me, the great writer that I am. Well, great in my mind anyway!

I use WORD/PAGES as my writing tools, so, I can look back at each major revision of my works, and honestly, the majority of them needed a rewrite or two.

So, yes, I have rewritten my text. I have added picture dividers and eliminated picture dividers. I have added multiple ads and i have trimmed back on the number of ads. I have added multiple links, and I have eliminated multiple links.

And, probably the most devastating to me was the realization that HP is no longer a site that is friendly to creative works such as Poetry or short stories, etc. They know what side their brad is buttered on, and they want "informative" works, not "creative fluff", as I heard one critic call it.

On the other hand, they love Recipes, instructional documents, informational writings and other such "searchable" articles.

So, I eventually moved my creative works to another site of my own and now only keep around 150-200 Hubs on HP. Hubs that are search-centric and chock full of information for Google to provide to the curious of the world.

In other words, I have done all of the things, even the painful ones, that HubPages has demanded of us, and I am still here.

92% of my Hubs are Featured

Why am I still here, on HubPages?

Well, at the moment, over 92% of my Hubs on HP are Featured.

They maintain decent scores on HP, whatever that means, this week.

They are written well and have little if any grammar or spelling errors.

They have several supporting photos and videos and only a few Amazon Ads. I am slowly eliminating eBay ads after the recent rules changes by them. (for now?)

And I regularly go back and re-evaluate my works, always with an eye towards improvement.

This means that my stuff is pretty good, up to date, stuff, that draws a steady albeit small flow of readers.

The workload to keep up, is it cost effective for a writer?

Is the payback worth the effort, you might ask?

Well, I write better and more informative articles that are very readable and filled with valuable information for the reader than I used to.

What does it cost me? 1-2 hours a day, 3-5 days a week of concentrated effort on HP alone.

So, if you are an experienced Hubber, you can probably guess that what I make financially is not worth the effort.

But, you see, the regular, though small, daily payments are really another gauge of my writing skills, just like; number of followers, number of impressions, average time on site, and all of those other measurements that are supposed to be so important to me, the great writer, Don Bobbitt.

The real payback is to my Ego

You see, I carry a few of my personal cards with me everywhere I go.

In addition to my email and phone numbers and address, it has the address of several of my Blogs, including HubPages.

When I am in a conversation and the subject turns to something that I have written about, such as; new tire data for RVs and cars, or Trip Planning, or whatever, I will just pull out one of my cards.

I hand it to the questioning friend and tell them; "I write an article on that, so, why don't you check it out sometime."

Sometimes I get a strange look but most of the time I get a "Thanks". Do they actually go home and read my stuff? I can't say, but I like to think so.

What a great rub for an already inflated Ego!

© 2014 Don Bobbitt

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Comments 21 comments

billybuc profile image

billybuc 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

Nice summary, Don, and Happy Anniversary! You made a point I've made in the past....HP is a business, first and foremost. For all those who complain, they might as well save their breaths....HP is a business!

And I love it here!


Millionaire Tips profile image

Millionaire Tips 2 years ago from USA

Congratulations for hanging in there for 4 years! There have been a lot of changes in the relatively short time I have been here, so I can imagine you've seen a lot more!


merej99 profile image

merej99 2 years ago

Don, I very much enjoyed this read! We seem to be very like-minded folk. I'm still learning how to keep the Great Google happy but the harsh wench has been kindly to me so I have no complaints. I find that I am going to have to do a little abracadabra on some of my less popular articles. Boy, would I love one of my articles to go viral - just to see what it feels like! Alas, I am just a mutt chasing the milk wagon. LOL Voting up! :)


cygnetbrown profile image

cygnetbrown 2 years ago from Alton, Missouri

What would it take to get your featured hubs to 100%? I think I have only one hub that may end up not featured soon (for a while anyway). The reason that it might end up not featured is because it is a strictly seasonal piece, but when October rolls around, I'll be dusting it off, reworking it a bit and repost it. Is that the reason some of your hubs are not featured, or are there other reasons?


Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 2 years ago from Ruskin Florida Author

billybuc- thanks for the response.

And, as a business, HP will make as much profit as their market will bear. And, honestly, so will you and I.

But, there will often be some of us who feel we are owed something by the rest of the world.


Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 2 years ago from Ruskin Florida Author

Maiiionaire Tips- Thanks so much for the nice comment. Ireally appreciate it these days what with the shrinking number of readers who do comment at all.

It has been an adventure to say the least.

But I still like these idiots at HP.

DON


georgescifo profile image

georgescifo 22 months ago from India

Really an inspirational hubpages post to all. Keep up the good work and keep going on..


mary615 profile image

mary615 22 months ago from Florida

I've been lucky to have only one unfeatured Hub. I went in and added more text and photos, and it's been featured ever since.

I don't publish many poem. I have one now that is at the bottom of the heap, and it will become unfeatured soon, I suppose.

HP is the first writing platform I chose, and I've never regretted it. I made the mistake of wasting a lot of time on Bubblews (and I do mean WASTE).


peachpurple profile image

peachpurple 22 months ago from Home Sweet Home

congrats for your HP anniversary, mine already past 5 years and I am glad that I still stayed put


Pollyanna Jones profile image

Pollyanna Jones 22 months ago from United Kingdom

This is a very helpful read, thank you (and congratulations!). As a newcomer, such insight from an experienced Hubber is very useful.

I came here to find a place to write about topics that I find interesting, which essentially means, that I won't be paying the rent with my AdSense earnings. It's been a bit of a dilemma to not become obsessed with how much they bring in each day, as I want to continue to write more on an academic and creative level than a commercial one.

But the cold truth of it is, that HubPages is a business, as you rightly point out. I have to make sure that my articles stay circulating, and keep Google happy, or else I risk them losing their featured status.

I am just more mindful now to pick topics that are more likely to be read, than localised specific pieces. When I have more articles, I think I'll follow your steps and have a good sift - moving the less popular pieces to my own website.


creativelycc profile image

creativelycc 22 months ago from Maine

I enjoyed reading this hub, you are a very talented writer. HubPages is a business but I've enjoyed being here over the years. I've learned so much here and my writing skills have improved. Congratulations and the best to you!


Suzanne Day profile image

Suzanne Day 22 months ago from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Hi Don, yes it can be quite a challenge to keep up with the changes - especially if you get over 100 hubs to edit, I imagine! I usually spend 3 days or so creating one hub to perfection, then put it it the oven (HP) to feature and bake. Then I let them sit. Haven't had any unfeatured yet, but I expect some of my early hubs will be considered "substandard" in another year or so, due to not enough content and traffic. Nevermind, it's been a learning curve and one thing I have learned is plan what you think Google would like to see next year....voted funny!


Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 22 months ago from Ruskin Florida Author

Mary615- Once you have a Hub Featured, the next challenge is to keep modifying it, over time and making it more interesting and thus have a higher score.

That's what keeps me entertained, constant improvements.

Thanks for the read,

DON


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 22 months ago from Southern Georgia

Yo Don, it will be my 6 year anniversary shortly and I'm happy with the money I make here. I don't spend much time editing my hubs and they steadily gain more traffic as they age. I know...things can change fast around here. Enjoyed the read! :)


Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 22 months ago from Ruskin Florida Author

Pollyanna Jones- Good Comment,

Thanks for the read.

DON


Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 22 months ago from Ruskin Florida Author

creativelycc- That's one thing about HP that I have enjoyed. And that's the opportunity to hone your writing skills in an environment of kindred spirits.

DON


Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 22 months ago from Ruskin Florida Author

Suzanne Day- We all have our styles for generating our articles and I agree with yours, of course.

As to being unfeatured, I read some of your articles and they all seem to be great informational presentations that should get plenty of reads. Congratulations.

Thanks for th read and the comment,

DON


Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 22 months ago from Ruskin Florida Author

Randy Godwin- I read your Hubs, and they are very good. Informative and well written.

I am presently battling with having three of my articles stolen word-for-word. Google doesn't arbitrate they just penalize both parties. The problem is 4 of the five are on sites in Asia and China, and they do not respond or even care.

Meanwhile, I am taking a daily hit with Google.

Thanks for the read and comment,

DON


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 22 months ago from Southern Georgia

I feel your pain, Don. I've experienced having hubs stole also and they are hard to get them removed, especially from Asian countries. But I've also requested from some to simply remove the text and replace it with a link to my hub instead. In some cases--especially if the company is reputable--they are happy to do so and it's a win-win for both of us.

Good luck in your quest to have the stolen hubs removed, and thanks for your opinion on my hubs. Yours are well written also. :)

Randy


Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 21 months ago from Ruskin Florida Author

Randy Godwin- I read an article that referred to the web as being "The Wild Wild West". What kills me is that I can now tell if I have written a decent article when I see that someone has stolen it. LOL!

Well, anyway, thanks for the read and the comment,

DON


dianetrotter profile image

dianetrotter 21 months ago from Fontana

With the time effort and recipte that HP wants you to follow, it amounts to a 40 hour per week job. The payout is not worth it.

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