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A Twisted View About Success on Hubpages
Two Things, or Maybe One Things
Recently I have been considering writing on Hubpages with the goal of generating a living income. I received an email the other day notifying me that I had accumulated 100 followers! In that email was a link to Hupages success stories. There are a decent amount and I studied the highest earners in earnest.
There were two things that struck me. After I recovered from the backhanded blows, I evaluated what they were. One idea that becomes apparent is that SEO, backlinking and being involved in the Hubpages community are nearly essential to becoming a 2011 dot.com writer millionaire, or shall we say, thousandaire. Although I have to admit, I still don't know what the heck backlinking is or how to do it. I know if I sit down and just read about it and experiment, I'll have it down in a day. But when I consider this, I also have to consider another source of practical knowledge: The Bible. God says that, "a day is as a thousand years..." and so on. You get the picture. Well actually you don't. Because although I have searched the internet to and fro for a picture to represent the "thousand thing" analogy, I realized that since pictures are worth a thousand words, my readers would get bored because a lengthy article... zzzzzzzzzzzzz blah blah blah.
The Numbers Start to Add Up
But then I ran across one hubber in particular that caught my eye. After I asked him to give it back, I took stock of the other success stories and compared them to his. While others may have proudly added a total of 600 hubs to their profile to make that $1200 a month, this particular eyeball thief had only published about a third that number and was making even more monthly income!
The Master Key
The key was this: While other hubbers (successful ones of course - and I'm not saying they are doing it wrong either since I haven't even broken the $100 mark myself) spend approximately 2 hours on research and writing for each hub, this particular slowpoke spends about 6 hours on research and writing, and of course a little more time commenting on other hubs with the end result being that the lazy slob publishes one hub a week instead of the required three the other industrious little hubbers put out.
The moral of the story of course is quality over quantity. But that all depends. Depends on what? It depends on what kind of writer you are. Are you an analytical writer with a need to completely understand everything about your work? Maybe you are something that is the exact opposite of what you don't find in most papers: a real journalist who digs deep and cites real and verifiable sources. Seriously, how can a real journalist write a piece that depends completely on the Associated Press?
Journalism No Longer the Holy Grail
"But that's a pipe dream!" you scream. At me that is. (Was the exclamation point really necessary since I added a description of the kind of tone being used? Whatever, I liked it that way. If you don't like it - No! Wait! Don't go!). Ahem. Yes yes, I know that's not the real world. Papers have to put out content that the masses will pay for. Thankfully, more and more the internet is killing the papers and allowing real writers (real bad writers) to put out content and make residual income off of the ads placed next to your articles for your convenience mostly by Google Adsense.
This puts us in the precarious position of generating an independent income, thereby allowing us to stick out our collective tongues at the traditional tie-me-down publishing venues (which by the way, still insist on using old typewriters and carbon copies), while scraping our bellies, hanging our tails and licking Google's face, imploring Google Alpha to stick around and keep us motivated to write so we can earn our paychecks. Of course we internet content producers will bemoan the day that a nuclear bomb sends out an electromagnetic pulse destroying every working computer in sight and those out of work paper journalists will have the last laugh, right along with the cockroaches I'm sure.
Incidentally, if the internet ever fails on a global or even national scale, I am very sure that we'll have bigger things to worry about (like those 10 foot long radioactive cockroaches).
Bringing in the Loot - Make it Hurt
I have wandered from my original point to make that second one: as long as writers put out good content which brings in the loot at Adsense, then we'll be able to write for a living online. Now I also know that my comments concerning journalism and the ethics practiced by those in "real" journalism (Time magazine writers need not apply) will provoke some ire. Although I seriously doubt that the big names in journalism will even pay attention to this humble hub, maybe it will attract writers from smaller papers who still feel a sense of pride in what they do and are severely offended by my small minded comments. Good. Please add your comments below. This will increase traffic to my hub which will lead to more revenue for me and also contribute to your continual demise. Go ahead. Comment. You know you want to.
Besides, I am only hitting where it hurts. But due to the whimsical nature of this particular piece, do not expect to drag me into a serious and heated debate, because I won't go there and furthermore I will pummel you with inane and backward logic common to flame wars on religious and political Youtube video comments sections or other misguided forums.
Back to Basics
Where the hell was I going with this? Oh yeah, Successful hubbing. Point is that trying too hard will not quite get you there. Like a P-51 Mustang trying to break the sound barrier (before the orange, pointy airplane did it), you'll succeed in getting past the sound barrier at the expense of your wings. Hmmm. Good analogy. If you love to write, writing well is like flying. Find yourself a thermal and enjoy the leisurely ride to higher altitudes. The real challenge is finding that thermal and staying inside it. The other way is to beat your wings until you think your heart is going to explode and when you think you've struggled to the top, you look up and see a happy bird several thousand feet higher who got there the easy way and is now effortlessly staying there by using the tops of thermals and other currents only he can use. You're not high enough.
My Final Point - Honest.
So SEO can be a good thing, but it occurred to me that if a writer makes the most money by using his natural talent rather than mass producing strings of words in the proper order to regurgitate the expected tripe that browsers seem to feed on, then maybe we shouldn't worry about SEO either! Man what a concept.
Which leads to my final epiphany about writing for success. Cut out the SEO. Cut out the backlinking, the word counting and the spammy content. Take the easy path to success: don't write anything at all, just leave the page blank and hit, "publish."
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