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HubPages: The Jenny Chronicles
Five days ago, I celebrated my two year anniversary writing for HubPages. To date, I have written 23 hubs and am lucky enough to have 54 followers. It may not seem like a lot to those of you who are working on your 500th hub, and have hundreds of followers, but I am pleased by this effort as it currently represents a newly made commitment to write on a daily basis no matter if I am writing a hub, or responding to a hub that you have written.
I recollect writing my first article, ‘Baking Schiacciata Toscana’. I was enthused by the idea of baking very simple Italian bread after reading Marlena De Blasi’s “A Thousand Days in Tuscany” and I was excited to share that on [my] newly discovered Hub Pages. I wrote 14 articles over the course of five months, and with the exception of one article written this past February, kind of dropped off the HubPage planet until July of this year. That is when my sister Jill (who has also joined the HubPage community) prodded me to begin again, assuring me that she would help me with any of the technical aspects that I was having difficulties with. That is in a nutshell, how I resurrected my writing career.
Why did I stop writing on HubPages? I think I got too caught up in the mechanics of how to make money quickly [not possible] and forgot that what I really like to do is write. I psyched myself out by stressing over concepts like ‘monetization’, ‘key words’, ‘backlinks’, ‘widgets’, and ‘affiliate settings’. What my sister got me to realize was that all I really needed to do was get my Google Adsense up and running, sign up for the Hub Pages Ad Program, link my Pay Pal account, and write, write, write. I have since done all of those things and am happy to say that I have written seven articles in the past month and am gathering steam. The day after my Pay Pal account was set up, my earnings read ‘$ 0.01 so far this month.’ I can’t tell you how excited I was. It may sound funny, but it demonstrated to me that you can make money, but you can’t focus on that. You have to focus on writing well, writing with your own voice, and writing diligently. The rest will come. I believe that, because I see hubbers who’ve done exactly that and they are reaping the monetary rewards of all their hard work.
HubPages represented a pretty big learning curve for me, because I didn’t grow up with the internet, blogs, or social media of any kind. The fun part is learning how to manage all of this. This is what I am doing this time that I didn’t do the first time around:
· Taking advantage of all of the amazing Hub tutorials and forums, and the personal chronicles of other Hub writers, especially those who have been very successful. They are my mentors.
· Keeping a small pocket size notebook with me at all times so that I can jot down ideas for Hubs.
· Personalizing the articles that I write for Hub Pages. For example, if I am writing a Hub about cooking, I also try to include a personal anecdote. Anyone can write an article about baking a pie, but if you can relate that pie to the very first pie you baked for your father, then I think it makes it a lot more meaningful and interesting. I read a Hub yesterday titled "How to Lose Weight Rapidly: The Tuna Diet" (update: this article is no longer in print). It’s a short article, clearly not a healthy diet, but it incorporated a great anecdote about a friend of the writer who had run into a former Miss America in Las Vegas. She claimed this simple diet helped her lose 25 pounds in the month prior to a major competition. That makes it original and interesting. If you have read my “Tiger Woods’ Socks”, then you know what I mean when I say that we like to hear little interesting tidbits about celebrities.
· Have someone else read my article before I publish it. The whole reason editors exist is so that we get another perspective that we trust on our writing. That person will also see glaring grammatical and spelling errors that you may miss, even on repeat reading. I know this for a fact!
· Finally, and really most important of all, participate in the Hub community. I don’t have time to write a Hub article every day. On the days that I work, I am up at five, at work by seven, and not home until eight in the evening. I do have time to do a little hub hopping and commenting. I try to read at least five hubs a day and leave relevant comments. I have stopped leaving comments on overly politicized Hubs, primarily because they usually don’t get published and I’m adding fuel to a fire that I would really rather extinguish.
I’m excited about my Hub writing future and I welcome any and all tips from all of you, my Hub community.