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Advancing Your Writing Career: Where do You Go Beyond Hubpages? Part 2, Creating Your Own Blog or Website

Updated on July 26, 2011

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.


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    • Seek-n-Find profile image

      Jenna Ditsch 

      8 years ago from Illinois

      Biggest concerns: Too many options! Hard to narrow down which direction to go. Also, it's hard to find the time to write while working other jobs that do make money and pay the bills right now. I think I could make a full-time income writing if I had more time to write but need to keep paying bills so keep working and getting frustrated about limited time.

    • jm72writes profile image


      8 years ago from Missouri

      My biggest fear and frustration is that I'll be limited on the amount of money I can make by my limited amount of time. I've set a goal of how much I want to make for a part-time income but I'd like to make this my full-time job someday. I know I'm not the first person to write while taking care of a family and working a full-time job, but I don't see how I could ever find time to manage a website along with my other writing. I haven't given up the dream yet though.

    • wychic profile imageAUTHOR

      Rebecca Mikulin 

      8 years ago from Sheridan, Wyoming

      Thank you so much for your answer, it helps so much :D. Sadly all I can do is write from what I think people want to know. Thank you for reminding me about what used to be a very real issue for me too, and seems to strike every writer at some point -- I have a method of brainstorming and breaking things down that has been very effective for me, I will try to get that into a hub :).

      In other news -- drum roll -- Part 3 is now live! I added the link up above in the links capsule.

    • applecsmith profile image

      Carrie Smith 

      8 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      One of my biggest fears with creating a more serious writing career is running out of ideas for topics to post on my blog, keeping current information flowing. This could also be considered a frustration concerning writer's block or losing creativity.

      Thanks for posting Part 2 - looking forward to Part 3. Voted up like usual.

    • wychic profile imageAUTHOR

      Rebecca Mikulin 

      8 years ago from Sheridan, Wyoming

      Not necessarily too much to expect -- a step-by-step is one way to go about it, and they are out there for a lot of this (basic formula to start -- find a niche, research keywords, get a domain and hosting, find a WordPress template you like, start filling in content, start a pay-per-click campaign -- step-by-steps take a tad longer, but I bet if you Googled individual pieces you'd find quite a lot). Alternatively, what my mentor suggested I do that has started to really pay off, is figure out what part of the process you do really, really well, that you enjoy and can do better than anyone else, and do it. For the rest, find someone else to do it. I've really enjoyed being able to put a few jobs back on the freelancing marketplaces, but it's also freed up the time to do what comes easy and natural.

      A complete step-by-step is kind of what I've been working on with the training program I'm trying to develop, but I can certainly post some of the outlines here that will give a pretty clear road map of where to go -- I think that that probably won't be today, though, I've been typing like crazy for the last few hours on this series, and Part 3 is almost done ;).

    • Ms Dee profile image

      Deidre Shelden 

      8 years ago from Texas, USA

      Sure appreciate your further thoughts on my particular case. Yes, lots of knowledge but really lack the nuts-and-bolts background. Knowledge is only part of the pie, isn't it. :) I suppose if I had a step-by-step guide on the nuts-and-bolts part it might feel more doable, or at least worth an attempt with the low-cost/low-effort also thrown in. May be too much to expect and still pay off?

    • wychic profile imageAUTHOR

      Rebecca Mikulin 

      8 years ago from Sheridan, Wyoming

      Thanks :D. I'm working on Part 3 now, which also takes some ground work. Basically it's a trade-off -- the more ground work, the better potential income and the more you can expect recurring. It is a LOT of work in many cases (I've been struggling with the motivation in that area too -- your question has helped spark it a bit again :)), though I know a lot of people who outsource a lot of the nuts-and-bolts building and marketing. That's a whole other topic there, but there are ways to do it that are relatively low-cost and low-effort :). Reading your profile, with your kind of background, I would guess that you would be able to create some pretty astounding knowledge products (Part 3), but there is a pretty hefty time investment there too. Nothing wrong with freelance marketplaces :D.

    • Ms Dee profile image

      Deidre Shelden 

      8 years ago from Texas, USA

      I'm afraid the ground work that takes a while to get into place will drain my energy and motivation leaving very little left to then put into writing. Not being a 'spring chicken' anymore and partially disabled it is a serious concern. I appreciate, though, reading your thoughts--from someone like you who knows what it would take.


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