My First Year on HubPages: Personal Highlights, Advice to Hubbers, Second Year Goals, and More
I didn't write any sort of milestone post for my 50th or 100th hubs and decided that I wanted to write one for my HubPages one year anniversary, largely because I enjoy reading these posts from others. I hope that my post will be inspiring as well for both new and veteran Hubbers.
I found HubPages about a year ago while doing an Internet search that did not necessarily have anything to do with freelance writing. At the time, I was still teaching special ed while my husband was finishing his final months of med school. We were planning to start having children during the beginning of his intern year. For a number of reasons, I wanted a break from teaching for the 11-12 school year but was interested in pursing a work at home lifestyle that would continue to be feasible on a part-time basis with young children. It seemed like HubPages would be a good component of that work plan.
As of writing this in March 2012, I have now spent the past 8 months working from home. We do not have kids yet. Currently I am not pregnant. That does not change the fact that I have had a great first year on HubPages. This past year greatly exceeded my initial expectations about the site in many more aspects than simply the potential income. I could probably write a short book about my first year here, but I'll do my best to summarize the highlights in this hub.
eddale has a handful of great HubPages and Internet marketing/social media advice videos on YouTube.
Top Moments and Highlights
- Receiving HubNugget nominations for Stromboli: Roast Beef and Cheese Recipe (Step by Step with Photos) and Oahu, Hawaii: Must Do Activities. I won the award for my stromboli recipe hub.
- Receiving Hub of the Day for Tips and Advice for Etsy Buyers.
- Before Hub of the Day started, Some of the Best Resources for Purchasing Beads Online got a front page feature.
- I've had a number of category features, particularly in the Crafts & Handiwork section.
- Several of my hubs have obtained a score of 100, including Listen to Children's Story Books Online (for free!): A Link List.
- For the past several months, I have frequently had hubs rank in the top 20 hottest hubs, including Ways to Reuse Empty Pill Bottles: Crafts, Ideas, and More.
- A couple months ago, I recruited my friend Jamie of ForLoveofCupcakes to join HubPages. Jamie has a wonderful blog and is doing a great job sharing her wisdom here, too.
- In February, Valentine's Day Card Ideas: How to Make Unique Homemade Handmade Cards ranked in the top 10 Google search results for several different keyword combinations, resulting in over 1,000 hits per day the two entire weeks before Valentine's Day.
- As of writing this hub, Coaster Tutorials: How to Make Coasters from Fabric, Tile, and More, which I published in late February, has been pinned on Pinterest (which is by far its biggest traffic source) more than 3,000 times, which sometimes results in as much as hub 1,000 views per day. Thus far this hub has had more winning eBay bids than any other hub.
- In early March, Professionalism in Education: Teacher Etiquette Tips for the Modern Professional got published in a random forum and received nearly 20,000 hits in one day. This hub continues to get regular traffic on a much lower level now, but this was a huge ego (and income) boost.
Most Successful Hubs
- As mentioned in the previous section, my two largest traffic spikes have come from Valentine's Day Card Ideas: How to Make Unique Homemade Handmade Cards and Professionalism in Education: Teacher Etiquette Tips for the Modern Professional. These are by far my most successful hubs to date.
- A couple of my hubs that have gotten notable seasonal search engine traffic are 10 Unique Free Homemade Kid and Baby Halloween Costume Patterns and 10 Free Christmas Stocking Pattern Tutorials. Out of season, these hubs both maintain scores in the low 90s and get 5-10 hits each per day.
- After Coaster Tutorials: How to Make Coasters from Fabric, Tile, and More, my most pinned hub on Pinterest is Maternity Clothing: Free Tutorials and Patterns Round Up, which has maintained 50-100 hits per day for the past couple months.
- A handful of my beading hubs maintain steady traffic including Beaded Beadwoven Flowers: Jewelry Projects, Components, Patterns, and Tutorials and Beaded or Beadwoven Rings: Different Uses for Jewelry and Accessories (Includes Free Patterns/Tutorials!).
People I Need to Thank
No matter how long you have been writing for HubPages, you probably know what a great community there is here. There are many Hubbers who have been really supportive of me and my hubs throughout the past year who deserve a shout out, as well as well a few other people.
- First, I have to thank my husband who has been very supportive of my decision to work from home and is proud of all of my accomplishments and success on HubPages.
- Second, I have to thank my Etsy friends, primarily those on the BBA team, who have read and commented on many of my hubs, even though they don't even have accounts here. You guys are the best!
- My other family and friends who have read my hubs regularly.
- Cara of cardelean
- Audrey of vocalcoach
- Jamie of Jamie Brock
- Louise of Cloverleaf
- Kathy of cloverleaffarm
- Holle of habee
- Eiddwen of Eiddwen
- Om of Om Paramapoonya
- My newer followers and those whose names I don't know, including craftdrawer, ladeda, RTalloni, lady rain, and veggie-mom.
This video is a couple years old, but much of the advice is still applicable.
Advice for Hubbers
- Keep writing. The only way to get better with writing is practice. For many people, HubPages is their first experience in the freelance writing world. Typically your first few articles will not get the most views or make the most money. Don't let this discourage you. Learn everything that you can and keep at it.
- Have a method for recording brainstorms. If you wait to start brainstorming when you are already at the computer and ready to write an article, you will often run into trouble. I often think of my best article ideas away from the computer and/or at random times of the day. Writing things down as they come to me makes it much easier to keep the articles flowing.
- Use the Google Keyword Tool. I was familiar with keyword tool from selling on Etsy and did start using this on HubPages from day 1. It makes a big difference. Consider using some of these other free SEO tools, too.
- Make use of the Amazon and eBay capsules. Currently about 5% of my total HubPages earnings comes from these capsules. That may not seem like a lot, but every little bit counts. Use these capsules in moderation. Many people get turned off by hubs that have multiple product capsules with 8-10 products in each capsule.
- Do your research and follow through with your findings. For example, for a long time I did not include video capsules in hubs very often, simply because it didn't occur to me. I have since learned how important video is for SEO and incorporate it as I can in almost every hub I write.
- Backlinks. Again, I had some understanding of this concept from Etsy but have started using even more resources since I joined HubPages. I use Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, and Social Monkee the most often. I recently joined Google+ and am starting to link there as well. If you use social media and are not using a program to schedule your posts, such as Hootsuite, I highly recommend this. Please make sure to link appropriately and don't spam your followers with tons of links every day.
- Participate in the HubPages community. Hopefully you already know how awesome the community is and are getting involved. Consider commenting on other hubs, rating other hubs (voting up or down, voting interesting, etc.), answering questions, participating in the forums, and more.
- Build on topics that are successful for you. Don't be afraid to branch out once in a while, too. When I started writing on HubPages, I was primarily interesting in sharing my insight and resources for special education. After I wrote my first beading article (which was just on a whim because I'd researched this topic for someone), Beaded Peyote Triangle Step by Step Instructions (Flat, Open, and Tubular), I was really surprised to see how many views it got. It encouraged me to explore more beading topics and other craft topics, many of which have been successful for me. At the same time, I don't let this limit me from exploring new topics. Sometimes it's nice to just mix up the routine. Other times I may stumble on a new successful area.
- Don't get hung up on your hubber score and individual hub scores. All of your scores on HubPages will fluctuate frequently. Once I hit a hubber score of 90 and started averaging 78 for my hub scores, I haven't gone below either number. It's unlikely that you will either.
- Don't beat yourself up about writing and participating. There will be days, weeks, and even months that it is tough to do a lot on HubPages. In June 2011, my husband and I sold our condo in Iowa, bought our house, and moved to Milwaukee. I did not write a lot of hubs or participate much elsewhere on the site that entire month. While I did not make significant gains that month, I still had increased earnings from the month before. Once you're established on the site, you can take breaks and continue to make money.
- Have patience. Very few people make a lot of money freelance writing when they are just starting out. I did not have hundreds of followers and regular monthly pay outs until I'd been with HubPages for seven or eight months. It takes time for your following to grow.
- Diversify your freelance portfolio. As much as I love HubPages, it is not the only place that I write, largely because it's best not to put all of your eggs in one basket. I also write for Helium, SEOPerks, and Interact Media. Additionally, I have a blog. I have gained a handful of clients through Interact Media who now assign articles directly to me on a monthly basis.
If you enjoy writing for HubPages, consider blogging if you aren't doing it already.
My Goals for My Second Year
- Earnings: One of my Goals for 2012 is to double my December 2011 HubPages earnings. Thanks to my previously mentioned traffic spikes in February and March, I have already almost reached this goal. I am now striving to triple (or nearly triple) those December earnings by the end of my second year of HubPages.
- Number of hubs: I've published nearly 120 hubs this year. I'm sure that I'll reach 120 before I hit the official one year mark. This means that I will have averaged written about one hub every 3 days. I would like to maintain this pace and reach 240 hubs by the end of my second year.
- Number of followers: I have 430 followers right now. Again, I'm sure that I'll gain a couple more before the year mark. This means that I have averaged over one new follower per day. I have a hard time gauging how this pace will continue, as the growth has been exponential in relation to the number of hubs I have published. I am doubtful about reaching 1,000 followers by the end of my second year and would be very happy to reach 900.
- Average hub score: The past six months or so, my average hub score has been 78-79. Throughout the next year, I hope to raise this to an average of 80 to 82.
If you're serious about freelance writing, it's important to do your research.
Great First Year Anniversary Hubs
- My First Year on HubPages: What I've Learned and Goals for the Next Year
The end of March 2012 marks my first year on HubPages. See what I have learned and what my goals are for the next year.
- My First Year with Hubpages: Igniting My Passion
It's my Hubpages Birthday! Here is an account of all that I have learned, accomplished and great friends I have met over the last year.
- First Year at Hub Pages: What I Wish I Had Known from the Beginning
My first year on Hub Pages has been a real learning experience. There are ways that you can make it easier on yourself when first writing online. I will share information that helped me.