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A Hubpages Success Story: A Party, A Cake, and the Ultimate Compliment

Updated on September 12, 2012
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Each writer on hubpages measures their success in different ways. For many, success is measured by the monthly income their hubs produce. For others, merely seeing their name in print or having others read their articles is reward enough.

Like most people on hubpages, I would like to earn money from my writing. Of course, I enjoy writing and I have very much enjoyed learning about new topics and engaging in the community of writers that hubpages provides. And, I love it when I find backlinks to my articles. But, let’s face it, making some kind of substantial cash (enough for a daily latte?) is my ultimate goal.

A few weeks ago, though, I had an unexpected experience that made me rethink what hubpages success might mean to me.

How do you measure Hubpages success?

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My Most Successful Hubs: Cakes

If you look through my hubs, you’ll see that one of my favorite topics to write about is cake decorating. Indeed, one of my first hubs on the topic, Decorating a Birthday Cake Like a Professional, won a Hubnugget Award. I have also published many hubs on how to decorate specific types of cakes, such as a Construction Site Cake, Outerspace Cake, and a Butterfly Garden Cake.

Surprisingly, these cake hubs are my most consistent ones, wracking up anywhere between 10-30 hits per day. While these 30 hits per day (and the corresponding $0.10) is not enough for me to retire on, I have been impressed by the staying power of these cake hubs.

I’ve also been surprised by the reach of these hubs. Most hits are from the US, but many are from around the world - New Zealand, Australia, England, and India.

A Three Year Old’s Birthday Party Surprise

Recently, I went to a birthday party for a three year old in my daughter’s daycare. I am friendly with the mom, who lives a couple of miles away from me, but, up to this point, we had never discussed parties, much less cake cake decorating.

When I walked into the party, my jaw dropped open as I saw the homemade cake she had beautifully decorated. There it was - an unmistakable reproduction of my construction site cake. Sure, a few details were different - a palm tree instead of a fir tree and green sprinkles instead of frosting grass, but the design was definitely mine.

MY Construction Site Cake

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HER Construction Site Cake

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I was a bit shocked. How was it that with the thousands of hits out there in the WORLD, a neighbor, who I saw on a weekly basis, had independently found one of my cakes and decided to replicate it for her son’s birthday? Just to be sure, I asked her where she got the cake idea. “Oh, just online” she replied, a little sheepishly.

Giddy, I texted my husband and a few friends, including a photo of the cake. A friend wrote back, “I wonder how many Laura Construction Cakes there are out there in the world?”

That’s when it hit me for real. People were reading my hubs. What’s more, they were using them.

What's True Success on Hubpages?

So, yes, it would be nice to make millions on hubpages. But, for me, perhaps, the real success in hubpages is making a difference. Have my hubs made people think? Did my recent hub about books for preschool girls encourage someone to purchase more empowering books for their children? Did my critique of 50 Shades of Grey make someone rethink their view of the role of fiction in society? Did someone’s life improve when they read my tip about waking up before the kids in order to have a more peaceful morning?

Perhaps the reproduction of a birthday cake is not the most impactful change my writing can make in the world. But, seeing “my” construction site cake at this party made tangible the idea that my hubs were being read, used, and absorbed by others. I hope that, besides inspiring the production of delicious food, my hubs are also inspiring others to expand their thinking on a variety of topics. To me, that is the real success.

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    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      That is a really cool story! My son found his birth mother because of my last hub on adoption. We do make a difference with our hubs! Congratulations!

    • LauraGT profile image
      Author

      LauraGT 4 years ago from MA

      Billybuc: That is truly amazing! That puts my cake story to shame. Congrats.

    • Curiad profile image

      Mark G Weller 4 years ago from Lake Charles, LA.

      Wow, that is awesome Laura...and you too Bill!

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 4 years ago from New York, New York

      Laura, that is so cool that the mother in your child's pre-school replicated your cake from Hubpages. You definitely do post awesome cakes and can see why she would make almost the same cake, but do agree that is definitely a success story if I ever heard one. Loved this one and have voted and shared too.

    • prairieprincess profile image

      Sharilee Swaity 4 years ago from Canada

      Laura, what a great story! That must have been so gratifying to see your cake right there on the table. The fact that it was a neighbour looking up your stuff just makes it seem all the more real. Wow!

      I do see people looking up my hubs under various searches and am amazed that they are using my hubs, too. I have a hub on divorce and why you shouldn't do it and I see searches like, "should I divorce my wife." It's a neat feeling to know we may be influencing people and you are so right -- that is a big measure of success. Great hub -- voted up and more!

    • LauraGT profile image
      Author

      LauraGT 4 years ago from MA

      It's fun to see tangible rewards, even if they aren't monetary!

      Curiad and Janine Huldie: Thanks for the support!

      Prairieprincess: It's very interesting to see what people search by. I'm often surprised by search terms that land people on my hubs! I'm glad your hubs are having an impact too. :)

    • WorkAtHomeMums profile image

      WorkAtHomeMums 4 years ago from Australia

      That's so exciting. What a thrill.

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 4 years ago from Florida

      What a rewarding experience for you! The most rewarding Hub I've written is the one I did on faux stain glass. I have neighbors now who have done their windows based on my Hub!

      So, guess we CAN make a difference, huh??

      I voted this Hub UP, etc. and shared.

    • profile image

      Giselle Maine 4 years ago

      Wow, how awesome! I loved hearing about this. That must have been so rewarding! My sister-in-law loves making birthday cakes for her kids and decorating them - I know this makes a big difference to the party, to the birthday child, and to all the kids at the party too.

    • healthylife2 profile image

      Healthy Life 4 years ago from Connecticut, USA

      What a fun hub...I guess it's a small world. There is nothing more rewarding than making a positive difference in a person's life and it is so fun to read about interesting ideas and topics from other authors as well. HP really is a lot of fun! I'm glad I entered this new world.

    • Turtlewoman profile image

      Kim Lam 4 years ago from California

      What a wonderful hub! I think it's awesome that your neighbor baked your cake! I can really relate to some of your experiences. My cousin used a recipe that she found on Pinterest. She had no idea it was from me since I didn't use my real name. When she took a closer look at my picture, she almost flipped out, "You write food blogs?!" Haha, I told her it wasn't a blog. ;-)

      Yes, I agree that everyone measures their success differently on HP. My monthly payout increases every month so that's success for me! People use my dog food recipes and come back to tell me their dog loves them. That is success. Meeting new friends and talented writers across the world who broaden my horizon with their amazing written work. That is also success!

      Congrats on your success and I wish you more! Great article, voted up and shared!

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 4 years ago from America

      That's great and kind of funny. If she knew it was your cake she should have called you and let you know she was making it. It is really a complement to your cake making. I just would not have been able to face you without saying something. Enjoyed reading your hub it was very intereting. Voted up.

    • LauraGT profile image
      Author

      LauraGT 4 years ago from MA

      Thanks all. Yes, it's really fun to share a skill or knowledge with others, and especially fun to see it in practice!

      Moonlake: She had no idea it was my cake! :)

    • profile image

      Ruth Pieterse 4 years ago

      You've got it right - the only reason to write it to be read. Well done. You have shared knowledge and ideas and that's what it's all about.

    • daisydayz profile image

      Chantele Cross-Jones 4 years ago from Cardiff

      That is a great story, Yep I would consider that a success too. I kninda feel the same I think, making money would be lovely but just knowing people are reading my hubs and maybe finding them useful is great.

      Good luck with all your future writing, maybe your a secret online cake making sensation in the making!!

    • Julie DeNeen profile image

      Blurter of Indiscretions 4 years ago from Clinton CT

      I loved this story! Sharing with followers because it is so motivating to read stuff like this...thank you :)

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

      I enjoy reading and hearing about success stories. Kudos to you Laura. Well done!:)

    • DeborahNeyens profile image

      Deborah Neyens 4 years ago from Iowa

      What a great story, Laura. Trying to make a difference in someone's life is a reason most of us write. It's certainly not for the money! Congratulations on your success.

    • btrbell profile image

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Very cool. Great hub and even greater content! Congratulations!

    • Melovy profile image

      Yvonne Spence 4 years ago from UK

      Congratulations on your success. I also found this very interesting. My best performer by a long way is my hedgehog cake hub and I have often thought about doing hubs on some of the other cakes I've made over the years. Only trouble is my photos were not taken with publication in mind and are poor, so I'd have to make the cakes again! Maybe that's not a problem. :-) You have definitely given me a little more impetus to bake some cakes…

    • LauraGT profile image
      Author

      LauraGT 4 years ago from MA

      Hi Melovy: I remember the hedgehog cake hub! I'm in the same boat, but I figure I might as well post old cakes with whatever pictures I have! A couple of oldies are on my list for upcoming hubs. But, if you don't want to do that, there's really no harm in making more cakes! :)

    • eusaphzae profile image

      Fahd Mehmood Khan 4 years ago from United Arab Emirates

      I wish i could do something like this. you are absolutely right. One has to see what he earned at the end of the day apart from money?

    • adrienne2 profile image

      Adrienne F Manson 4 years ago from Atlanta

      Hi Laura, Your hub really make me pause for a moment to really think about the why of being on hubpages. Yes we want to earn a few pennies to pay a bill or buy a latte, but I stopped to think about the writing to make a difference. Thanks for sharing with the HP community. Your cakes are incredible, I could not even imagine having the skill to make a cake like that.

    • LauraGT profile image
      Author

      LauraGT 4 years ago from MA

      Thanks adrienne2! I'm glad to have given you food for thought (so to speak!) and that you enjoyed the cake photos. :)

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