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Celebrating my Professional Writing Anniversary: 1 Year of Writing and 150 Hubs
Writing for Hub Pages, Textbroker and a Blog Have Taught Me Much This Year
Today marks my one year anniversary of writing professionally. When I say professionally, I mean actually writing for money because I have been writing all my life. One year ago today, on January 12th, 2012 I started writing for Hub Pages. For years I have written poems, journals, press releases, newsletters, and content for a personal website, but never actually got paid for it. When I found Hub Pages 13 months ago ( yes, it did take me one month to pluck up the courage to start ), my whole life changed.
Finding Hub Pages led to starting a blog and discovering Textbroker. I am making money from all three, but more importantly, I have discovered a part of myself that I had always hoped existed, but never dare dream that she did. I have discovered Karen Hellier, The Professional Writer. And I have never looked back. My only regret, (and I do try to live without regrets), is that it took me so long to take the leap. Four decades ago, a teacher told me I was a good writer. I thought that would be a wonderful, creative profession, but never believed in myself to enough to think someone would pay me for writing. The past year has changed that theory and greatly enhanced my life.
What I Learned
After one year, you are probably wondering how I did? Well, that depends on what you are actually asking about. If you are asking how I did regarding what I have gained from experience, I can tell you that I did better in that area than financially. I will get to that in a bit.
First, I feel more confident in my writing ability after one year. Some of that confidence is due to Textbroker. After every five articles a Textbroker writer turns in, the staff sends a critique of the work. At first, I was a bit taken aback by it but quickly learned to take the criticism constructively. I knew that I tended to use run-on sentences. But now I had professional proof of it. And if I had ever wanted to move up in the Textbroker world and earn more money, I realized that I had better pay attention to what they were telling me. I also learned I use waa-ay too many commas. And I learned I prefer being able to pick and choose my own topics and time frame in which to complete my work rather than be assigned a due date by which the work must be completed. I have learned that writing a blog and getting personal with my readers is different than writing articles which give information. I need to leave my personal opinions out of those types of articles, which is actually quite hard for me. Even when writing research papers in high school, my teachers would tell me I needed to keep my comments and opinions to myself. Awww, that was no fun! I learned that blogging and Hub Pages are a better fit for me than research, but I do love being able to write and get paid by the word with Textbroker, so each type of website has its perks for me.
I have been reminded that I love a good challenge so that challenging myself to the 10 Hubs in 10 Days and the 30 Hubs in 30 Days Challenges with other friendly hubbers such as Hawaiian Odysseus and Prospect Boy has helped me reach my goals much more quickly. I have learned that people like Billybuc who write daily and can complete 365 hubs in a year are inspirations to me and encourage me not to give up. There have been others that have jumped in and helped me on my journey, but they have fallen by the proverbial wayside, and three of them don't even seem to be present on Hub Pages anymore. It is good to have consistent goals, and consistent writing buddies to help keep me accountable. Thanks to those of you who do.
And I have learned that if I ever want to accomplish my goals, in life and with my writing, then I need to keep raising the bar. So to that end, since I challenged myself to write 150 hubs in my first year with Hub Pages, I am going to raise the bar and challenge myself to write 200 hubs in my second year. That will, of course, include more of the 30 in 30 and 10 in 10 challenges, but also will increase my goal to writing a minimum of 3 hubs per week when I am not in the middle of one of those challenges. You may be wondering where I will get the topics for all those hubs? This year has taught me that life is full of hub worthy experiences and topics and all I have to do is keep my eyes and mind open, and they will fall into my lap! Everything I do now becomes a possible topic for a hub. Fortunately, my husband has jumped on the bandwagon with me, and in the middle of an experience, he will mention that this would make a great topic for a hub. He even bought me a camera over the summer to help me take better pictures to include with the hub. I am fortunate to have this type of support in my life.
What I Earned
Okay, now you are probably wondering how I did financially? Well, from the world's standpoint, probably not that well. But from my standpoint, I actually earned money, and because of that, I am thrilled! I only wrote part time because I need a full-time job to pay the bills still. So, I probably put in an average of 10 hours per week over the whole year. Some weeks were 15 hours, and some were 3 or 5 only. And here are the results:
Google Adwords: $110.97
Hub Pages Earnings Program ( started the program in April so not a full year) $250.74
For a total of $521.20
Am I happy with that? You betcha! That means I have made money from my writing and it wasn't just a few bucks. Do I hope to make more in the future? Oh yeah, and I know it will happen. The key is to keep plugging along doing what I am doing and more of the same. And that includes researching the Hub Pages Learning Center because there is always more to discover and more ways to improve both my hubs and my writing ability.
So, happy one year anniversary to me, and I wish you all the best in your writing careers as well!