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30 Hubs in 30 Days...Now What?
I Took the 30 Day Challenge...It Took Me 90 Days!
I took took the 30 Day Challenge beginning on July 27, and just ended a few days ago. So I actually took a bit, erm, read that a LOT longer than 30 days. But I feel like I did my best to honor the spirit of the challenge, and now I'm reporting in my results.
Why I Took the Challenge
I knew my two year anniversary at HubPages was coming up and I decided to participate in the challenge because after starting out on HubPages with a strong start, it seemed like my best performing hubs kept going back to the hubs I wrote when I first signed up. I love being a member of the HubPages community, but I was in a rut, and just felt my writing wasn't quite where I wanted it to be.
I read another hubber's claims that after she took the challenge, her earnings rose by 400%. When I did the math for myself, the possiblity of those kinds of results seemed very attractive too.
How I Handled the Challenge
The first eight or ten days of the challenge, I was on fire. I had a huge group of ideas, and some gaps in my existing collection of hubs I wanted to fill in.
Then something happened. Actually a few things. I discovered the Adwords Keyword Tool and began using it to draw traffic to my existing hubs. That wasn't in my plans. My children got sick. Actually, they got very sick. One evening my son actually had a fever of 107 degrees. It was scary and distracting. I felt like the Universe was telling me "Time Out" with a capitol T! Other distractions followed, and I realized life is what happens when you are trying to Hub!
My publishing pace slowed down. But in the meantime, I wrote a hub titled How to Be a Success on HubPages in 100 Hubs or Less. All that hubbing got me to thinking about what it takes to be a great Hubber. I realized that I had learned an awful lot during my time here, and though I still have a lot to learn, maybe I could offer some advice to new writers here. That hub was a hit with you all, and soon I started seeing some tremendous traffic results. Encouraged, I decided to press on.
Thanks to the wonderful Hubbers who inspire us through HubMob, after my slowdown I wrote a few more articles on the Performing Arts. I kept pushing. I tend to write verbose articles, but that's just me. I continued to rework my HubPages tags and added many new keywords. I reworked some old hubs that needed some polishing, and even deleted a few hubs that I wrote on bad mood days. No one likes a whiner. But deleting just two hubs reduced my count, so I needed to write a few more.
These are My Hub Challenge Hubs
- 15 Ways to Beat the Christmas Blues
- Arizona Road Trip: Montezuma's Well and Verde Valley Petroglyph Site
- Arizona Road Trip: Tuzigoot National Monument
- Buying a Quality Clarinet
- Children's Picture Books for August (This was unpublished and revised into a different hub at a later date)
- Change Your Facebook Profile to Talk Pirate English
- Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes Children's Book Review
- Children's Picture Books for December
- Collecting Antique Saloon Tokens
- Conversations with a Navajo Weaver
- Daughter of a King by Rachel Ann Nunes
- Fry Sauce, A Utah Delicacy
- How Much is a Terabyte, Anyway?
- How to Be a Success At HubPages in 100 Hubs or Less
- Jerome Arizona Road Trip: Ghost Town, Mining, and Art
- I Was In A 460-Member Texas Marching Band
- Llama Llama Misses Mama by Anna Dewdney
- My $20,000 Attitude or Yes, Attitude Really Matters
- Oregon Coast Vacation: Newport
- Souperchicken by Mary Jane and Herm Auch: Children's Book Review
- Quick and Easy Homemade Pizza Even Foodies Will Envy for Bosch Compact Mixer
- The Crippled Lamb by Max Lucado
- The Littlest Angel by Charles Tazewell
- Tikki Tikki Tembo by Arlene Mosel Review
- What is a Cowboy? Types of Cowboys
- Yoon and the Christmas Mitten by Helen Recorvits Review
- The Red Shoes by Gloria Fowler Review
- The Red Shoes by Gloria Fowler
- This Hub
- About 4 Hubs in Progress
Other Stuff I Learned
- From the Hub Challenge I learned how to drive traffic to my hubs. Lately, based on some of the informative articles I've read, I learned how to backlink my hubs and I've stepped up use of RSS feeds and keyword optimization. The free Google Adwords keyword tool makes this super easy because you can copy the URL of your hub into the keyword tool, and it will generate recommended keywords.
- I started keeping an idea file. It is just a simple online document containing hub ideas. At one point during the Hub Challenge I had 16 hubs in process. I deleted several and soon realized that I work best when I am only creating four or five hubs at a time, maximum. Otherwise I lose interest and momentum. Having an idea file gives me topics to work with if I begin to run low on ideas. I can refer back to my idea file and piggyback off of hubs I have already written.
- I discovered that I have areas of knowledge and interest that a I haven't even begun to tap into. I'm excited to explore these new areas. I am still happy with the topics I have selected to write about, but many of my hubs are seasonal in nature. I'm excited to have found some new areas to explore.
- I made a lot of new friends along the way, and discovered some great writers. I actually have increased the time I spend reading other writer's work. I've learned some things from them and tried to incorporate my learnings into my writing process.
- I learned that some topics are easier for me to write about. They just flow a bit easier. I'm going to write more easy-flow articles and continue to work on some of the ones that are a bit harder for me to write.
- I developed a sense of what I can reasonably accomplish. I also learned to balance my personal life against my writing a bit better. My goal now is to try to publish once every three or four days. If I publish that often I can still publish 5-10 hubs a month. That is doable for me and is a manageable amount for my busy family life.
- I doubled my earnings. See above. In some regards, it's all mysterious Adsense mojo, but it happened. I also credit this to reworking my existing hubs.
Yes Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus
I knew participating in the HubPages Challenge was a success when I was talking to my husband this morning. The last three months marked a noticeable increase in my HubPages earnings. Enough that HubPages will be paying the Christmas bills this year--a modest Christmas--but with some guerrilla shopping techniques, it is enough to put several new toys under the tree. I am expecting my next Adsense payment sometime in November, then possibly again in January.
I told my husband that I really hoped to step up my earnings from my online writing. His supportive response "It looks like you're doing that. You just need to keep on doing it" made my efforts worth while. Participating in the HubChallenge produced an unexpected result: My husband's improved respect for my writing hobby has been upgraded to an understanding of my goals and an increased support for my efforts here.