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Celebrating my Professional Writing Anniversary: 1 Year of Writing and 150 Hubs

Updated on September 30, 2017
Karen Hellier profile image

Karen Hellier is a freelance writer and eBay entrepreneur. She happily lives in the mountains of North Georgia with her husband and her dog.

Writing away and having a ball!
Writing away and having a ball! | Source

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

Textbroker: $159.20

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!


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    • Susan Sears profile image

      Susan Sears 6 months ago

      Very interesting article I am new to hub pages and also have had similar experiences. I actually had a college professor pull me aside and say I should focus on being a writer, instead of a nurse. I laughed- thinking this would keep my children and I very hungry. I have to admit I am happy being a nurse, but am now looking forward to having the time to write. Thanks for the advice and looking at the date of this hub - Happy 5th anniversary!

    • Susan Sears profile image

      Susan Sears 6 months ago

      Very interesting article I am new to hub pages and also have had similar experiences. I actually had a college professor pull me aside and say I should focus on being a writer, instead of a nurse. I laughed- thinking this would keep my children and I very hungry. I have to admit I am happy being a nurse, but am now looking forward to having the time to write. Thanks for the advice and looking at the date of this hub - Happy 5th anniversary!

    • Karen Hellier profile image
      Author

      Karen Hellier 4 years ago from Georgia

      chrisinhawaii,

      Thanks for your faith in me, but I doubt I'll hit the 200 mark. Unless I choose to publish lots of recipes or reviews, neither of which is my forte. I am struggling to keep up with my current schedule of 3 hubs per week. I am looking forward to at least pumping out 30 hubs during the month of June in the 30 Hubs in 30 Days Challenge. I wills till be behind, but at least I will see a lot of progress in a short time. I have another one scheduled for the month of August...what am I...crazy? I think just maybe. Or it could be that I am off from substitute teaching for both those months and just want to take advantage of my time off to write! I admire people like billybuc who write a hub a day! If, at the end of my second year I have hit over 300, I will be happy because that will mean I have increased my writing from 150 in a year to more than 150 in a year. Time will tell, and it's an exciting journey to be taking no matter how it pans out! Thanks for stopping by.

    • profile image

      chrisinhawaii 4 years ago

      An excellent 1st year, Karen! Congrats. And you're jamming along on HP so far. I wouldn't be surprised if you blasted right past your 200 hub goal for Year Two. Keep it up!

    • Karen Hellier profile image
      Author

      Karen Hellier 4 years ago from Georgia

      epigramman,

      Daybreak over the lake sounds so perfect. What a wonderful experience that must be. Thank you so much for your kind words. I feel almost undeserving of them, but happy that you feel that way about my writing. I am curious: are you not making any money on HubPages because you choose not to? Thanks so much for stopping by.

    • epigramman profile image

      epigramman 4 years ago

      Good morning Karen and I am so impressed with your fabulous selection of hubs here on your sacred page. You have such an enthusiastic attitude and that no doubt leads to the reason why you are such a terrific writer. I always say if you write from the heart then the mind will always follow and you certainly do both extremely well.

      I have written at the Hub now for three years and have not made one penny but I am doing the best writing of my life and I have many wonderful people here and fellow colleagues.

      Sending to you my warmest wishes from Colin and his cats at lake erie time ontario canada 7:03am where I have been watching the daybreak over the lake . It's so nice to meet you

    • Karen Hellier profile image
      Author

      Karen Hellier 4 years ago from Georgia

      sunilkunnoth2012,

      Thanks so much for stopping by to read my hub, and for your comment. I am glad it helped.

    • sunilkunnoth2012 profile image

      Sunil Kumar Kunnoth 4 years ago from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India)

      It gave me a nice read. Thank you for sharing your knowledge here. Keep on writing confidently. All the best.

    • Karen Hellier profile image
      Author

      Karen Hellier 4 years ago from Georgia

      Lisa,

      Thanks. I am always happy to motivate someone! Lets keep at it together!

    • Karen Hellier profile image
      Author

      Karen Hellier 4 years ago from Georgia

      prospectboy,

      Thanks for your comment. Hawaiian Odysseus pointed that out to me. I didn't realize that I do look at every experience as hub worthy but when I was churning out hub after hub of every day experiences, he pointed it out. It makes life much more interesting to look at everything in terms of being a writer. And of course it's great to have all that material for hubs. I'm glad to see you back on here.

    • prospectboy profile image

      Bradrick H. 4 years ago from Texas

      Awesome job Karen. Sorry for just now reading this one. I appreciate you mentioning me as well. You are one of the people on here that helped keep me motivated during the challenges. This entire hub is great, but there is one line you mentioned that really sticks out; "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!" That is so very true. Ideas will always come up for us whenever we least expect. Anyway, great job again, and all the best for the future. Voted up, awesome.

    • lisasuniquevoice profile image

      Lisa Brown 4 years ago from Michigan

      Karen,

      You''ve got a great attitude. I know that's why you're moving right along with your writing career. Thanks for writing this hub. It's motivating me to keep at it.

      Lisa

    • Karen Hellier profile image
      Author

      Karen Hellier 4 years ago from Georgia

      Kenja,

      I just keep plugging away and writing hubs and loving it. Writing has become very addicting to me now. When I have a day or 2 when I can't write, it really bothers me. I know also that the more I write, the more money I will make so I just keep doing it and hoping for the best. Thanks for reading and commenting.

    • Kenja profile image

      Ken Taub 4 years ago from Long Island, NY

      Congratulations! How do you do it? Keep it up! Ken

    • Karen Hellier profile image
      Author

      Karen Hellier 4 years ago from Georgia

      Hawaiianodysseus,

      Wow, you hit the nail right on the head. It was one of those 2...I was very shy in elementary school right up through high school, and the hub ideas are pouring forth now. I am amazed that you could tell. Thanks once again for your amazing comments that seem like they are so good, they must be describing someone else's writing!

    • hawaiianodysseus profile image

      Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

      Sorry for showing up late to the party, Karen. Somehow, this most important hub slipped through the cracks in my email inbox. I happened to stumble upon it when I did a search.

      Congratulations on two counts--for having a banner first year as a professional writer, AND for sharing your personal experience(s) with the rest of us. This gift is both informative and inspirational. I like the fact that Chuck provides you with immense support, even to the point of getting you a new camera (by the way, the pictures have been awesome lately). Either you were painfully shy when you were a teenager and bottled up all these great hub ideas now streaming forth like amazing giant waterfalls, OR you were one of those social butterflies that the teachers always had to ask to be quiet...because for whatever grand reason, we neighbors here in the HubPages community are reveling in the prolific--and terrific--writing you're producing. Thanks a mint, Karen...and I for one hope your writing well never runs dry!

    • Karen Hellier profile image
      Author

      Karen Hellier 4 years ago from Georgia

      Mhatter99,

      Thanks so much for the congratulations. I have high hopes for the future. But then I am an eternal optimist! Thanks for dropping by.

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

      Congratulation. I know the future will bring you more success.

    • Karen Hellier profile image
      Author

      Karen Hellier 4 years ago from Georgia

      wetnosedogs,

      Thanks. What I earned is not great, but at least it's money. And the commitment comes from a desire to make writing a paying career so the incentive is there from that perspective. I feel fortunate that I can do this at home on my computer on the side while I also substitute teach to bring in a regular income. I am hoping that someday I can just write for a living, but as that seems a bit far off at the moment, I know I just need to keep at it to see success.

    • wetnosedogs profile image

      wetnosedogs 4 years ago from Alabama

      Happy first anniversary. I admire your commitment to doing more. And what you earned is great. Wishing you well in your future writings.

      I am a 3 at textbroker, I just need to do it for experience, etc.

    • Karen Hellier profile image
      Author

      Karen Hellier 4 years ago from Georgia

      Jools99,

      I know what you mean. My husband was proud of me for the overall results, BUT he mentioned it wouldn't be quite so impressive if we broke it down hourly. That's a scary thought and I don't want to do that. I just look at it as though I am earning some money, love doing it, and have hope that someday I will see such an increase that it will all be worthwhile. But I won't give up because I love it so much. You're very right...onwards and upwards.

    • Jools99 profile image

      Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK

      Karen, thanks for the tips. I do share to Fb and Twitter but I try not to 'over promote' if you know what I mean though I'm sure I pick up a few clicks from there. I will keep plugging along as you advise. I do enjoy writing but sometimes, the rewards seem a bit too insignificant for the huge effort I put in :o(, never mind, onwards and upwards!

    • Karen Hellier profile image
      Author

      Karen Hellier 4 years ago from Georgia

      Jools99,

      Are you promoting your work? I find promoting my work by using the tool above the hub really helps spread the word about my writing. I have about 408 friends on Facebook so I know at least a few are reading the hubs because they comment to me on it. I also have a Pinterest account as well and when I have a good picture of something, I pin it there. I don't know how much traffic I am getting from that though. I think only a trickle.I was surprised that I have made as much as I have. As far as Google Ads, I have a blog as well, so I think some people must be clicking on ads there. Keep plugging along. I don't know how many hubs you have, but I have noticed that the more hubs I have, the more money I make. Thanks for dropping by.

    • Karen Hellier profile image
      Author

      Karen Hellier 4 years ago from Georgia

      shiningirisheyes,

      Thanks. The cruise writing really enhanced the trip for me. I really am addicted to writing at this point. I love it and writing my experiences down on paper really adds to my enjoyment of my daily life.

    • Jools99 profile image

      Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK

      Karen, well done on 150 hubs! And well done on earning over $500 dollars. I have been here little over a year and have earned nothing on google ads and about $140 on HP ads - whatever you're doing, you're doing it well so keep doing it :o) Maybe I need someone to email me (like your Textbroker bots) to tell me where I am going wrong. Good luck with 200 in year 2, reckon you'll manage that with no trouble :o)

    • shiningirisheyes profile image

      Shining Irish Eyes 4 years ago from Upstate, New York

      I always enjoy reading about your progress. You are a dedicated person, especially when you wrote during your cruise!!!

      I send my congratulations and also encourage the continued perseverance.

    • Karen Hellier profile image
      Author

      Karen Hellier 4 years ago from Georgia

      cuttler,

      Thanks, and sometimes it does take strength to get myself onto the computer and write when I am not exactly in the mood. The thing with Hub Pages is that I can write about whatever I want so it makes it easier to buckle down.

    • Karen Hellier profile image
      Author

      Karen Hellier 4 years ago from Georgia

      carol7777,

      Do you mean you have never found a topic available, or a topic you want to write about? I am not thrilled with writing about water heaters, modular homes or pollution in cities, but I have chosen them only to make money. And each time I pick a topic I am not interested in, and do research for it, I learn something new, so to that end, it's worth it for me. Thanks for stopping by.

    • Karen Hellier profile image
      Author

      Karen Hellier 4 years ago from Georgia

      dilipchandra12,

      Thanks. As you can tell, I think I have hit my stride here and am expecting great things for the next year.

    • Karen Hellier profile image
      Author

      Karen Hellier 4 years ago from Georgia

      bdegiulio,

      Thanks so much for the congratulations. On your 1 year anniversary will you give an update or tell us what you have learned?

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Karen. Congratulations on one year. Sounds like you are doing great. I am about one month behind you so my one year will be in February. I always enjoy reading about others experiences here on HubPages. Keep up the great work.

    • cuttler profile image

      Cuttler 4 years ago from HubPages

      Kudos...may you have the strength to write more and more. All the best and congratulations

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 4 years ago from Arizona

      Good to hear about your year here. I have tried textbroker but have never found a topic available. I am inspired by your year here. I am into seventh month and hoping for a paycheck soon..Glad you have found your stride and keep going ...Congratulations.

    • dilipchandra12 profile image

      Dilip Chandra 4 years ago from India

      Congrats Karen, i wish you all the best for future articles. Happy hubbing, good luck...

    • Karen Hellier profile image
      Author

      Karen Hellier 4 years ago from Georgia

      Careermommy,

      Thanks for reading this...you are the first one to comment. I feel great having written it and accomplished this 150th hub. A few more suggestions for you would be to participate in the hub challenges. When I do mine I will write the challenge as a hub so people who are interested can join...10 hubs in 10 days will be the first one, probably in February. It's a good way to get your feet wet and get a lot of hubs published in a short time. Also, you should read as many hubs as you can about Hub Pages. Go to the Learning center, but also plug into the search spaces queries like how to make money with hub pages, how to promote your hubs, etc. There is so much information out there that will help you. It can be a bit overwhelming but just add one or two more tips as you read about them and see what works. It's also good to promote your hubs. Facebook is a good place to start with that. Good luck and keep in touch. Feel free to ask me anything and I will help if I can.

    • Careermommy profile image

      Tirralan Watkins 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Congratulations Karen! And thank you for being so forthcoming. I'm a new Huber so the challenges you mentioned and earnings are great food for thought.