A Writer's Reflections After Five Months On HubPages
I remember well my first Hub, written five months ago today. “How To Stage A Home” was a shot in the dark, a shout in the wilderness, a weak attempt to join a writer’s community I knew nothing about. I wanted to get something out there and that topic was the first thing that came to mind. I knew nothing about HubPages and in fact had not read any of the instructions nor had I availed myself of any of the forums or the Learning Center. I just threw something together and posted it.
The results were predictable.
That Hub was met with resounding indifference and had there been a vote taken to determine the least likely Hubber to succeed in the next few months then yours truly would have been at the top of that list.
Then a strange thing happened. Within two weeks of that first forgettable Hub I found my voice. I wrote a Hub called “Adoption: A Letter To My Birth Mother I Never Knew” and I basically had discovered my true writing identity. The rest, as they say, was history.
Now, five months later, I can reflect a bit on my HubPages experience with a degree of objectivity. If any of this helps you then that is a bonus; since anything that I write helps me to grow as a writer then the rewards of this Hub are guaranteed.
As of this writing I have written 158 Hubs and have 669 followers. I have gathered 7,912 comments, 39,832 page views and average now a little over 10,000 views per month.
My earnings have been as follows:
· February $ 7.82
· March $26.81
· April $30.94
· May $31.02
In addition I won $50 in the March contest and also won a HubNugget Award back in February.
Those are the bare facts. I have no idea what any of it means; they are just numbers on a page and although I pay a little attention to them out of curiosity, they mean very little to me as a writer.
WHY PEOPLE WRITE ON HUBPAGES
I would imagine the reasons are as varied as the writers themselves. I have no doubt that there are some who write on this site for the income and I also have no doubt that a decent passive income is possible. I will never see that decent income for reasons I will mention later in this Hub but I do know it is possible because other Hubbers who I respect have told me so. If one writes “evergreen” Hubs, meaning Hubs that appeal to a mass audience, it is entirely possible to earn hundreds of dollars per month. The “How To Cook Simple Meals” Hubs and the “Ten Ways To Love Your Mate” Hubs will always have an audience outside of HubPages and that means the chance of a decent passive income will increase.
There are others who write on HubPages because it is a friendly and welcoming venue on which they can practice their craft. It is a way to receive feedback and grow as a writer, a way to find your voice and develop your talents. The monetary payback may not be great but rewards do not have to be monetary in nature in order to be valuable. I am just guessing but I would imagine the poets on this site fall into this category since poetry can hardly be described as “evergreen” and the chances of it appealing to a mass audience are not as good.
Still others are here attempting to do both, writing a mixture of “evergreen” Hubs and meaningful Hubs that express their feelings and thoughts.
WHY I WRITE ON HUBPAGES?
I had to stop and think back to why I joined HubPages in the first place. I think Bev discovered it and asked me to take a look. We were intrigued by the possibility of passive income and we also thought it would provide a chance to interact in a writer’s community. Bev had been encouraging me to get involved in a writing forum for several months and HubPages was where I ended up.
I knew nothing about it and since I’m not one to spend many of my remaining minutes on earth reading instructions I still know very little about it. I just write what interests me, try to fill in a few of the boxes as I post my Hubs and then throw them out there to read if anyone is interested.
I don’t make much money as you can see from the figures I posted earlier in this Hub but I do get my work out there on the web and HubPages provides me with a safe place to work on writings which eventually end up as Kindle books.
I have no doubt I could make more money if I wrote more “evergreen” Hubs and I could probably increase my income if I spent more time worrying about SEO content, keywords, finding the perfect title and back linking but OH MY GOD that sounds so exhausting and boring! Writing, for me, is an expression of who I am and what I believe in and keywords and back linking are not who I am. To those who do that sort of stuff I wish you well and I’m sure, if you are a quality writer, you will earn much more than me and I truly hope that you do.
But it’s not me!
MY REFLECTIONS ABOUT HUBPAGES
My first impression is that HubPages has been a magical place for me. It has provided a certain degree of discipline for me, somewhat forcing me to write daily and put my work out there for review and critique. I was very uncomfortable about joining this community but all fears and insecurities have disappeared because of my five months on this site.
I am still a bit surprised by those who are negative in their comments and who choose to argue philosophical points in their comments. I do not believe that is what the comment section is for; HubPages provides forums for people to preach their religious and political viewpoints and it still surprises me when someone feels the need to force their opinion onto others when commenting on Hubs. This is a writer’s community and as such it should be a safe place to practice our craft and receive positive and constructive feedback on our writing. It is not a soapbox for some to stand on and debate.
But I digress!
I have found that numbers are simply characters on the screen; they may serve a purpose, they may not, but they have very little to do with my purpose for being here. Although I have a fair number of followers in truth only about fifty of them loyally follow my Hubs on a regular basis and that is probably as it should be. Time and busy schedules do not allow us to “loyally” follow each of our followers. That is just the reality of the situation. I would love to read more hubs but to do so would mean six, seven, or eight hours of reading and commenting daily and that is not realistic.
I would love to Hop Hubs daily. I would love to get involved in forums daily. I would love to do a lot of things that might raise my Hub score but I also have a life to live and people to love and life, after all, needs to be about priorities and balance. I also have a business to run and loved ones to play with so I do what I can and don’t waste a moment shedding tears over what I can’t do. Others can worry about their Hub score. I would rather keep things in perspective and get on with life.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the fantastic people I have met on HubPages. Perhaps this is the greatest reward I have received in my five months. I honestly did not expect this reward and in all honesty I did not think it was possible to make meaningful and lasting friendships online but I have been proven wrong. There are quite a few people who have become very important to me, people I consider very close friends who have shared very personal thoughts with me in a spirit of trust, safety and love. That, to me, is remarkable and it is the greatest gift that I have received.
I am not the poster child for HubPages! I do very few things correctly according to the Hub suggestions. I come very close to being classified as a journal writer or a blog writer, which is not what HubPages is all about. I write from the heart about feelings and beliefs and what moves me as a human being and that is not a recipe for success if you measure success by the number of reads and money earned. Do not follow my lead if you have visions of being a best-selling author or making thousands of dollars of passive income.
Whatever it is you want I wish you well. I wish you peace and happiness on your journey and I wish you the realization of your goals. I send a sincere thank you to those of you who form my core group here on HubPages. You know who you are and I have personally thanked you at other times. You mean the world to me. We have done the impossible and formed friendships without ever meeting. We have shared a piece of our hearts and souls to random strangers who became confidantes and that, to me, is remarkable.
I am blessed to be a part of this community and I am grateful beyond words to those of you who have accepted me and followed me.
2012 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)
For other hubs about HubPages see the following:
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