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300 Hubs and What I've Learned So Far
Reasons Why I Joined HubPages
About two years ago, I was sitting alone in my apartment feeling sorry for myself. I was 34 years old and my life wasn't going anywhere. I had always dreamed of being a writer and I even had some poetry published in my younger days. However, after graduating from college, I decided to devote myself to full-time work.
Guess what I discovered? I hate working full-time at an office. I can't stand "climbing the corporate ladder" or kissing up to people just to get promoted to another meaningless position. This economy has helped me learn one thing - there is no such thing as job security.
Even though this economy has ruined many lives, it has also helped some people realize what is important in life. Plenty of people devote years or even decades of their lives to companies that simply pushed them out the door the second the economy went down the tubes. This helped me realize you have to look for your own opportunities in life. I decided to create a list of things I wanted to really achieve by the age of 40. I decided I wanted to be a writer again.
Sometimes it is funny how things come into your life. I sat around for months pondering over how I would achieve this dream. One day, at work, we were having a debate about an HR matter. I googled it and found a website called WebAnswers. I asked my HR question and poked around on the site for a while. I found out anyone could join WebAnswers, and start answering questions and giving opinions. You simply needed a Google Adsense account to make money, which I already had due to a failed attempt at making websites years earlier. I joined WebAnswers and earned money almost immediately.
One of the most popular questions on WebAnswers was, "How do I earn money online?" There was a lot of buzz about HubPages, Squidoo, and InfoBarrel at the time. I decided to join those sites, too. The first site I joined was HubPages because it had such positive reviews. I remember the first hub I wrote was "Online Dating: Your Profile Pic is Creeping Me Out!" I thought, "Is anyone really going to read this?" Much to my surprise, the answer was yes. That was the day my HubPages obsession began.
Trial and Error
Over the months, I searched the whole site, I hub hopped A LOT, I made new friends, I compared success stories, and I tried different topics. If I found there was a need to cover a particular topic and I happened to know about it, I wrote about it. I remember writing a hub about canaries because, at the time, the hubs about canaries just were not that well written. I had a canary when I was younger and, therefore, I decided I was a canary expert. Am I canary expert? Hell, no. Do people still read that hub because there aren't enough hubs about canaries? Hell, yes.
I remember thinking I would be an expert about all things paranormal and that would be my niche. Guess what I learned? I don't know nearly enough to compete with some of the other great writers on this site that are geniune ghost hunters or paranormal experts. Quite humbled by my attempts at writing supernatural hubs, I gave up and left that to the people that actually know what they are talking about.
I did learn people like to read about certain topics, but they like variety, too. The first hamster hubs I wrote were very well liked. After writing about 5 of them, I realized no one was interested anymore. I learned to give the people what they want - variety! As it turns out, people also really enjoy a sarcastic sense of humor writing about social etiquette. I milked that genre for all it was worth, but don't write as many etiquette hubs anymore. I basically determined that: A) I ran out of good ideas; B) No one wants to read that stuff all the time. Once again, variety is key!
SEO and Google
So here I sit writing my 300th hub. I have nearly 800 followers at the present moment and I get plenty of traffic on a daily basis. So you may ask, what real wisdom do I have to share with my devoted fans? My answer is - I still don't know what I am doing. I know, you've sat patiently reading this hub thinking I would shed some light on some secrets of internet writing, but if you want the truth, I still haven't figured out SEO.
In my opinion, SEO kills my creativity. Furthermore, Google changes it standards as quickly as I change my mind about what I am having for dinner. And that, my friend, is a lot! So you may as well write what you want and write it well. If you write it well, someone will read it and like it. Eventually, that person will share it and more people will read it, and so on and so on. Nothing can replace great writing.
Always remember, one day Google will frown upon you and snatch that traffic away, and another day, Google will change its mind and generously shower you with traffic again. Try not to get too upset when you lose traffic, but try not to get too smug when you gain it either. The Google Gods can determine your success online, but don't let them make or break your whole day. Of course, that is all easier said than done if you happen to lose 80% of your traffic in one day for no apparent reason... which does happen! Give it a little time and the Google Gods will usually smile upon you again.
Write It and They Shall Come
Some people wonder how to be as successful as fast as possible on HubPages. I am here to say it isn't going to happen. Rome wasn't built in a day and your hubs aren't going to be an instant success either. It helps to read other hubs, see where there is a need with certain topics, answer questions, enter in contests, and basically participate in the HubPages community. If you really enjoy someone's writing, let them know. Post some comments or become a follower. Eventually other people will really like your writing and start following you, too. Be patient with the process!
Some people will tell you to write about one topic or pick one particular writing style while on HubPages. I tend to disagree with that. I think you can have different hubs that suit different purposes. I believe that all of my hubs fall into 3 different categories: hubs for search engines, hubs for followers, and hubs for me. Let me explain...
I do write some hubs hoping they will pull in traffic from search engines. As I said before, I stink at SEO. I write some hubs thinking people will surely search for these topics and the traffic will just come flowing in. Wrong! I've found certain topics do really well and certain topics do not. Also, what works for one hub won't work for the other. I have hubs about Facebook that bring in the bulk of my traffic each day. Yet some of my hubs about Facebook bring in no traffic... EVER! It simply defies logic, but what do I know?
If you are reading this and you enjoy writing product reviews, I highly recommend adding Amazon capsules and eBay capsules to your hubs. Some folks will tell you it is not worth it and I am going to tell you - they are wrong! I am shocked at how many people will search for a product, click on an Amazon ad, and then buy that product and other similar products based on my review. People want a person's unbiased opinion, not some review on the product's own website. That is where you come in! Since I tend to write a lot of hubs about Halloween, I am not trying to brag or anything, but I am expecting to cash in this month. Never ever underestimate Amazon capsules!
My hubs that I write for followers are easy to spot. They are usually the hubs with the most comments. If I find my followers enjoy certain topics more than others, I simply write more hubs on those topics. Yes, I do take requests. I have a Facebook page, and my friends and followers often request certain hubs. If I think I am up to the challenge, I take it. Always remember, your followers like you for a reason. Most of your followers are wonderful, supportive people. I say give them exactly what they want.
The last type of hub I write are hubs written basically for my own reasons. Often, it is way cheaper to just write a hub rather than seek therapy. I am always pleasantly surprised when a hub I've written for my own amusement or to get something off my chest is actually a success. Like I said, I still don't know what I am doing, so when a hub about being single and considering getting a cat does well, I am surprised. In case you are wondering, this extremely self-indulgent hub would fall into this category. I look at it like this... this is my 300th hub and I can write it all about me if I want.
Is Jeannieinabottle Rich Yet?
If you've made it this far, bless your heart. You are truly a fan! I've managed to actually bore myself with this hub. Basically, I want to thank all my followers that have made me what I am today. I would list everyone, but there are too many wonderful people that support me on HubPages. I would hate to leave someone off the list by accident and make anyone feel unloved. Trust me, you are all loved!
I am not sure where I am going, but I know I am in a better place than I was 2 years ago. I've written hubs about everything from toilet paper to walking down the street. I've been serious at times, but mostly, I've been a snarky little brat. I won the Funniest Hubber of the Year Award in 2012. I was contacted by Kristin M. Burke, the costume designer from the movie Insidious, when my hub about creating an Insidious costume was really popular online. Believe it or not, she did not want to sue me, but thanked me for writing the hub. I consider all these things major milestones on HubPages.
Aside from what I've managed to create on HubPages, I feel better about myself as a writer. I now have 3 blogs. I am on the Lifetime Leaderboard on WebAnswers. I've tried to write for other sites, such as Squidoo, InfoBarrel, and Wizzley. I gave up on InfoBarrel and Squidoo long ago, but I still think Wizzley has potential. I now have a Zazzle store. I've also recently published 2 eBooks on Amazon. I've worked a little as a freelance writer. Would I have had the nerve to do any of these things before writing for HubPages? I don't think so.
Of course, the question all newbies usually have is, "Am I rich yet?" The answer is no. I still have my day job, although I continue to work hard because I still dream of quitting my full-time job by the time I am 40. I come closer to achieving that dream each day. Is there real money to be made on HubPages? Of course! Am I driving around in a Mercedes? No. Am I eating better than I was last year at this time? Yes! It just takes a lot of hard work, but it is possible to make money online. Just remember, as they said in the Rocky Horror Picture Show, "Don't dream it... be it!"
Copyright ©2012 Jeannieinabottle
If you are still awake and want to read more hubs by me...
- How to Flush the Toilet
It is time to learn all about our friend, the toilet. Check out these step-by-step instructions on how to flush the toilet.
- Mystery Neighbor, What's Going On Over There?
If you stop and think about it, there are many mysteries in our lives. In every person's life, there is at least one neighbor that exists, but is never seen. Let's talk about the mystery neighbor.
- How to Open a Door
The challenging task of opening doors is discussed in this hub. Even better, some tips on unlocking doors are also included.
- How to Use a Hair Dryer (Featuring Exciting Action P...
Learn how to use the hair dryer in just a few short steps; or just enjoy my sarcastic remarks. Either way, check out my