How to Succeed in Hubpages Without Really Trying
Carlton Finds His First Fan
In the 1967 movie "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying," the hero, J. Pierpont Finch replies to a coworker: Be patient? Don't you realize I've been working here...well,
two whole hours now? The young aspiring hero follows a book with the above title that encourages him to borrow someone else's brilliant idea if he is to succeed.
Well I am going to make it easier than that, I am going to give you six, if not brilliant, at least very helpful hints that you can use with my blessings.
I admit it--When I first got here I was tempted to think I knew what to do, even if I hadn't read the "manual." (if you've read my "Warning" hub you'll know what a temptation that was.) Instead, I compared my first efforts with the examples and advice of other, more experienced writers because even if you are a budding Faulkner or Hemingway, trust me, you can use some help.
There are many ways to measure success in Hubpages, number of fans, amount of traffic, your personal hub score, amount of money made, and my personal favorites--the friendship and recognition of your peers for the contribution you make, either by your writing or the support you provide.
Since I told myself I was not writing for the money but for the joy of writing, my left brain said: "Don't be foolish, everybody needs a little extra money." and so my right brain turned to a veteran hubber Rebecca E. for help in making my hubs more commercially sound. (See link below.)
Now contrary to what you may be thinking, I didn't turn to her because she has over 1400 followers, ten times as many as her hubs--I asked for her help because she had become a friend and had already proved by her comments that she was the kind of giving person that a Winsome could listen to.
In everyone's life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit. ~ Albert Schweitzer
When I first started in Hubpages, I was coming from a very vulnerable place in my life--my natural positiveness and enthusiasm had taken a hit and stepping out onto the hubpages dance floor was taking a big chance. After I published my first two hubs, I received some mail from my first fan--JBeadle who wrote: Great start with your first two hubs. Keep it up. I like to start
day out with a smile and your hubs delivered. It was from that response and others that fueled the fire of enthusiasm that brought me back to my old, ebullient self. Since John joined my fan club, many more--some of them the pillars of HP have responded, but I will always treasure the initial kindness of the man from "cheeseland."
So, you can imagine my great pleasure to hear my first fan ask me a question that I'd been wanting to write about for some time:
I've noticed your hub following has been growing steadily. How are you accomplishing this?
My response was entitled "How to Succeed in Hubpages Without Really Trying," because of the old Confucius saying: Find something that you really like to do and you will never work a day in your life. My advice is similar: Follow your interests and your heart and you will find more success here than you ever thought possible--especially if you listen and observe along the way.
In "The Secret of My Success," Michael J. Fox demonstrated an unorthodox approach to moving up the corporate ladder, but he still had the basics down:
1. He knew what he wanted and where he was going
2. He started at the bottom
3. He made friends of those he enjoyed and who liked him and he listened to them
4. He cared about the enterprise and followed his heart
5. He found a need and came up with an original, workable contribution
6. He did not forget his friends
What do you want out of your hubpage experience? Money, affirmation, skills, relationships, fame? Once you have answered that question for yourself, ask yourself this question--what do I want to contribute to this community? The answer to the second has a lot to do with whether or not you succeed in the first.
In the beginning, I just wanted to write. When I first started writing, it was amazing to find a place to express myself without having to worry about all the structure or set-up and finding that there are financial rewards as well was just icing on the cake. I thought I had discovered buried treasure right here in my computer. Little did I know that the treasure I would discover later would be much more valuable.
Starting at the bottom. If you read the help section of HP you will find that they list four ways to build traffic or interaction on your hubs--Answers (Such as I am doing here) Forums, Fan Clubs and Comments. Starting in the "mail room" or the bottom means covering your basics. Read the helpful HP faq's and guide--even if you have been here awhile and think you know everything you need to know, if you are like me, your humility will get a boost. Go ahead, visit the learning center--you know you want to.
Make friends of the people whose writings you enjoy or by participating in the forums. Obligatory social interactions we endure for a job or family or organization are not necessary on HP. There is so much diversity in interests and writer personalities that it is easy to find people you genuinely enjoy. There are special interest forums you can follow and get updates when someone publishes on that topic. Contrary to decorum at the dinner table, religion and politics can be discussed and an overwhelming majority of posts do so.
The hub lords were wise in the design of hubpages, realizing something fundamental--everyone wants affirmation or at least recognition for what they do. As soon as you publish, someone will read it and chances are good they will make a comment. We are fortunate that this community, for the most part is a gracious and affirming group and the comments will inspire you to write more and better hubs.
After my first few hubs, I began to notice many other fine writers, some of which noticed me. Sometimes I get so excited when I find someone whose writing flicks a switch on in my brain that I invest a lot of time reading and getting to know their personalities. While you may not spend as much time as I do, at least read and comment enough to let them know you are sincerely interested in their craft. Reading and learning from your fellow writers is one of the great privileges on HP and their friendship and support is the most valuable treasure of all.
If a man does not make new acquaintances as he advances through life, he will soon find himself alone. A man should keep his friendships in constant repair. ~ Samuel Johnson
Caring about the enterprise and following your heart. Out of all the internet havens for writers, hubpages is the favorite by far for most HP members. The reasons include having a greater chance here of having their work read, the income potential, the ease of building a hub, and the tremendous support of the community.
If you have followed the Hubnugget awards, the contests and the help forums, you know the tremendous efforts your fellow hubbers expend on your behalf--finding a way to give back is the best thanks you can give them. If your interests are technical, try being there for someone in the Knowledge Exchange or Extreme Makeover forums. If your interests are more creative, support the Hubnugget team and special interest forums or offer your ideas to the HP team for making the system work more efficiently.
Finding a need and making an original contribution. If you want to increase your traffic or followers, publishing an article which meets a need in a way others have not, is your best course. When I wrote my article on "Everyone is a Weed in Someone's Garden," I fulfilled two of my goals by bringing a little knowledge of the lowly weed's tremendous contributions to health and the environment and at the same time was able to compare weeds to certain types of under appreciated people.
Remembering your Friends. When Carlton aka Bradley gets his shot at pushing his ideas before the board in "The Secret of my Success," he finds that the friends he met along the way were more help than he could possibly have imagined.
When you publish a hub and someone is nice enough to visit and comment on your work, be sure to reply and thank them. One of the things I noticed right away about manlypoetryman was not his poetry but the exceptional way he responded to comments. Here is an example of his reply to a detailed comment on his alter ego site as Me, Steve Walters:
Nellieanna: Thank you...You've helped to re-inspire me to go on and tell a little more stories on the Ol' Jeep. I liked your story on the 72 automatic (did not know they came in automatic...that's the first one I ever heard of like that!) VW (LadyBug)...I especially like the way you kept peeking on it at night to check on it, after successfully bringing it home. Great Stuff! Really enjoyed your comment. Thank you very much for reading this hub and for sharing the story of your first car. I hope others join in with like enthusiasm!
Sincerely, Me, Steve Walters
It would be a big mistake to think that a brilliant hub is all you need to become a success on HP. Your readers deserve the same kind of attention you were given when they chose to read and comment on your work. One of my newest fans, the very accomplished writer maggs224 left this comment on a recent hub:
I just love the way you write and your humorous responses to many of the comments are so witty and clever. While reading your hubs I find myself smiling and learning at the same time and I enjoy your responses to the comments almost as much as the hubs themselves.
Sometimes your honest positive reaction is the best comment. One of HP's most colorful hubbers, De Greek prompted this response:
He said: "We men do not want to listen, Gladys. Not in the sense that your female "experts" would have you believe. We like to discuss literature and daily events, but when you begin speaking of fashion, celebrities and your girlfriends, you lose us, Gladys, you poor fish."
I laughed more at the ending of this paragraph than I have laughed in a while. I thoroughly enjoyed the deliciously prolonged subtle satire in this piece and the scholarly avian references at the right times was brilliant. The fact that male and female fans alike got it and enjoyed is a revelation about the ways of intragender (intergender?) communication. Colorfully and with humor may just be the Rosetta Stone. Thanks for the great fun.
If someone makes a criticism in their comment that you feel is not valid, you can still validate the other’s right to have a different opinion even if you feel it should not have been said. When you demonstrate respect in your response while you reinforce your idea, you allow everyone to win.
Sometimes your own writing urge is stirred by the subject or feel of
another's hub and you wind up writing a mini-hub. I don't recommend
doing it--save your long paragraphs for your own hubs and let them have
the spotlight with you doing the credits. That being said, here are some
comments I made that fit that category and I include them here because I
enjoyed writing them and it is my hub and--well you know why..... I
hope the original recipients have forgiven my excesses:
My ancestors on my Dad's side were Creek and they moved on the trail of tears while some changed their name to a non-Indian name and the tears stayed in Alabama and northern Florida. The chants became silent and moved into the synapses of thought. The forests and roads merging and the reservations for the great spirit in the minds of his children shrinking before the bulldozers of progress and civilization. It is only when the pockets of trees and the streams through the mountains sing their songs that the chants return and the barefoot boys and the barefoot girls run into the wind. I sometimes stand on the roof of the tallest building and I think I hear them running, the slap of flesh on dirt and grass and I strain to catch a glimpse through the distance between the offices and spires. A part of me, the Creek I think, runs before them songs joining with the renegade trees and rocks that will not surrender-- the unconquered winds carrying the hawk that calls my spirit to fly.
Welcome to the hubs Mary, it is a great community and your words will be welcome as well.
He said, placing a virtual kiss on her cheek, "Appreciating a poem is like catching a butterfly, thinking in the net you can know it, but letting it out again you find it's beauty is in the way of it, the way it flits and lights and leads your eye to the sun."
I have climbed toward my poet's soul
on the steps of love, some lost
that guide my pen and voice and mind
not thinking of the cost that stirs up envy, pulls down wings
instead of joining in the dance,
and a silent paralyzing cry
asks "Am I the last romance?"
Poetry is the ability to fashion a door that will allow entrance from soul to soul, from insight to understanding. It is the distillation of a sunset, a child, a perfect rose, a broken heart into the alchemy of words that purer than a potent drug, pour directly into the blood and the rush changes you forever. A poet is a conjurer of whom you must beware, but if he or she wills it, can drop the scales from your eyes and put a surge of life into your heart. No one chooses to be a poet, life chooses them and we who are fortunate enough to see the meeting of their storms and fire often experience the rainbow.
Yumm. One of my fondest memories is running across the school field to my house in Texas for lunch and finding hot pinto beans and cornbread. Since my brother and I only had a short lunch, I would spread the corn bread with butter out over the plate and pour the beans and juice over it. It still burned my mouth sometimes so I started putting the beans and corn bread into a bowl and pouring some cold milk around the edges. The blend of the sweet cold milk and hot buttered corn bread and beans is a taste of heaven. Thanks for the memories. =:)
Oh I do so love de blackberries.
I love dose in de pie
Wif waffles makes me giddy
In ice cream makes me high
Berry berry berry delicious
Plant them over me when I die =:)
Love your humor. I think my Nicholas Sparks novel will be on a beach in Vietnam where a veteran returns after forty years in search of his Vietnamese love. He brings with him the note he found in a 7-Up bottle washed up at his Malibu beach house. It is tucked away in his thick journal, carried by three natives and a dogcart. He follows the directions in the note and finds her staring out at the ocean where she launched the bottle. He runs toward her to the accompaniment of “I Left my Heart in Ho Chi Min City” when he steps on the last mine from the war. She and the triplets he never knew existed bring him into their house and sing American songs their mother taught them from memory of her beloved's ukulele attempts during the war. He is so overcome with emotion that he hugs them close while his life ebbs away like the tide that carried the bottle to him. Tissue please. =:)
Speed backward in time before the earth was formed and listen to a conversation that might have taken place in the Trinity-- The Father says: "Creating man in our image is a good thing and giving them the freedom to choose will make their love for us real when it is offered." "Yes," says the Holy Spirit, "but they may use that freedom to ignore our wisdom and direction and waste their lives in degradation and misery. Perhaps we should build in an unbreakable law that prevents it." Jesus speaks up, "If we make a law preventing free choice in one area, even if it is for their good, we take away their greatest possession." "Very well," the Father says, "We won't prevent it but we will enforce strict penalties for going against our will--even their own death." "Surely we could come up with another way," said the Spirit, "if they die they will have no choice at all, couldn't we make a plan that would allow us to do it for them? Maybe if they see how much we love them they will choose to live." "I'll do it." Jesus offered. The Father looked into the garden and saw the snake talking to Eve: "Make it so." He said.
You are very welcome M'Lady, Si quelqu'un veut un mouton, c'est la preuve qu'il en existe un.* "If somebody wants a sheep, that is a proof that one exists."
Blaise Pascal, one of the greatest
mathematicians/inventors that ever lived said: "In faith there is enough
light for those who want to believe and enough shadows to blind those
don't." "It is the heart which perceives God and not the reason. That
is what faith is: God perceived by the heart, not by the reason."When
look with the heart, as the Little Prince did, you find a very personal,
loving God who knows how to meet us where we live.
Hello Dolores, I was drawn to this hub because it reminds me of our ancestral home in Edge Texas where there is nothing left but forest and a grave yard where my mother and relatives are buried. We placed her to rest with a medley of "heaven" songs which I played on my guitar surrounded by the wise old moss covered trees. Visiting the old home I looked past the decaying gray wood and imagined my mother's family playing on the porch with my grandparents looking on and realized that there is an inevitability about the passing of some homes, like leaves and fallen trees that become part of the organic cycle of rebirth. Part of me wanted to buy the land and create a monument, but I think it best to let it go and celebrate the new life of her kids and their kids and the bright, shining lives and homes that loving home in the forest gave birth to.
Thank you for a nice trip down the cherished path of my memories.
- Show Some Hub Love
It is vitally important to the Hub community to comment on hubs. I do not mean overly long, verbose but, pithy, not trite.
- Fans to your Fan Club & Comments to your Hubs
In response to a Hubbers Question - Tips on how to get Fans to your Fan Club and Comments to Hubs.
- the politics of following or why you lose followers on HubPages
What good are fans? You can't eat applause for breakfast. You can't sleep with it. Bob Dylan American musician and songwriterThere was a time when I get depressed over losing...
- Maximize Google AdSense: Improve Your Hubs and Perhaps Make Money
Winsome asked me this question and asked, very bravely how to maximize their hubs, by comparing them to others. Now I'll do something of that sort, it is a good business practice to improve your hubs and your...