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Hubpages Success Story: What I Did Right, What I Did Wrong
A Hubpages Milestone
My 200th Hub
Hubpages was at first just a place to express myself. Then, it became an experiment. As it turns out, it may be leading to an entire shift in my career-- something I never expected when I started.
As I reached my 200th hub, I started looking back at my experience writing for Hubpages: what I did right, what I did wrong, and how I feel about the experience overall. Breaking with my usual niche, I thought I'd share some of my experience, talk a little about my journey here, where it's brought me, and to share a little advice.
woohoo! 1,000,000 views: 9/28/16
Real Screen Shot of My Recent Earnings
How I Started Writing for Hubpages
By the time I came to Hubpages, I had already been making a living as a writer for years. I started in around 2002 or 2003 submitting articles to magazines. By 2004 I was getting published enough to give me confidence to pursue a career as a writer. By 2007 I was able to quite my day job and write full time.
Mainly I earned a living from ghostwriting. I liked ghostwriting because I hate marketing; I never wanted attention, I never wanted to do book signings or interviews or speak at conventions. I just like to write, get paid, and move on to the next project.
I'm also not very computer or business literate. Things like ad programs, making your own website, etc., were just beyond me. I didn't make enough to hire people for that kind of stuff, and tackling it myself was a bit intimidating. I just preferred to keep writing and let other people worry about it.
But I was getting burnt out. When you write for other people, you don't always get to write about things that inspire you. You don't always get to use the voice you prefer, or take the angle that interests you. I was just getting bored with it. I still loved writing, and I was making a good living ghostwriting, but I felt like I was in a rut. I toyed with a few content mills and children's picture books, but nothing that got my juices flowing.
That's when I signed up with Hubpages.
I found out about Hubpages a couple of years earlier when I ghostwrote some hubs for someone, and I was intrigued. I liked the idea that I didn't have to worry about HTML, that editors wouldn't chop my work to shreds, and that I could just say what I felt like saying.
I started getting success on Hubpages I didn't expect. No, I'm not pulling down thousands of dollars per month here-- far from it..But earnings, though they've exceeded my expectations, are not the only measure of success for me.
How Things Progressed for Me on Hubpages
December 23, 2012
Published my first hub
Recieved a 'Rising Star' accolade. Became motivated, raided Learning Center to learn how to produce high-quality hubs.
February - August
Chugged along, publishing about 70 hubs, having a grand old time. Reached about 50 followers & 10,000 views
Decided to (finally) monatize
Celebrated 1 year on HP, had about 100 followers and 100 hubs. I was very excited because it had already gone much further than I expected.
Reached my first payout threshhold- treated family to Chinese food dinner.
Reached my second payout-- splurged at the craft store.
May 1, 2014
Got a Hub of the Day-- very exciting. I decided to start taking Hubpages more seriously.
May, June & July
Reached 100,000 views and getting a lot more organic traffic. Kept reaching payout every month. Started blogging and promoting my hubs on social media.
Did not reach payout (missed it by a couple of bucks), but I've reached payout every month since.
Two year anniversary! A little over 200 followers!
Reached 200,000 views and 300 followers! Blog is getting successful, too (around 200 page views per day).
Have 200 hubs, all featured! Just about to hit 300,000 views and have almost 350 followers, getting triple digit payouts every month, and have 2 blogs doing well.
update since article was originally published -- October 2015
It took 3 months to reach 400,000 views and over 400 followers! The lesson here: keep at it, and you pick up momentum!
I have not had much time for HP this year due to work increase. However, I've got 500 followers, I'm closing in on 1 million views and still have the equivalent of a part time job income from the hubs I've published.
Took 2 1/2 yrs to get my first million views; my second million views is coming up and it's only been 8 months!
Thanks to Hubpages, Things Have Taken Off:
I published my First Ebook! My Hubpages success motivated me to write a full-length non-fiction book. Another is in the works!
I'm Blogging, Teaching And Making Videos Too
My HubPages success also motivated me to start my own website, blog and start teaching online. For want of a better word, I have my own 'brand' now, apparently; and it's quickly becoming a big part of my Freelance writing career and income. Hubs are only the tip of the iceberg and what got me started. I'm writing books, vending at Pagan festivals, teaching classes, churning out YouTube videos... it's a growing mini empire for me, and I love it because I feel like it's my calling. It all started with HubPages.
I probably would have never thought of doing this if it weren't for how many people were contacting me to tell me how much my hubs have helped them, or asking me for more information.
You can find my website here: Wicclit.com
One of My Videos:
I Feel Good!
I Consider it A Success
So I'm not making a living off Hubpages at this point (yet!), but it led to bigger things. It got me to start my Blogger blog Tips for Living Wicca, my Tumblr page Sage's Book of Shadows, my eBook 13 Moons to Becoming Wiccan and personal website www.wicclit.com (used for the home base of all my niche writing and where I'll soon be offering classes and workshops on my choice niche), writing for fun on Hubpages became a lucrative addition to my income, inspired me, and opened up a whole new career path with a lot of potential.
And the way things are looking, I feel like it's only going to keep growing-- it feels like this is just the beginning!
Another major success is that I've have had a lot of people come to me to tell me how much my hubs and blogs have helped them on their spiritual journey, or that my writing has spoken to them in some way. This has been the best reward of all.
What I Did Right (My Best Hubber Advice)
- Make it a labor of love. I think one of the reasons my hubs got attention is because I poured my heart into them-- I wasn't think of money or fame, I was thinking that I wanted to do justice to the topic near and dear to my heart. I wrote about a topic that inspired me (my spirituality), and directed it to others inspired by the topic.
- Really put effort into creating great hubs. I advise you to go to to the Hubpages Learning Center and follow the advice given there. It's great advice! Visit some Hub of the Day winners and check out some of Hubpages top earners -- learn from them! Go to the forums or questions-- read advice from the successful veterans and ask for help. Don't get insulted if they tell you something needs work, or you could have done something better. These people are great resources-- if you want to get successful on Hubpages, heed their advice.
- Advertise products selectively. The more I've reduced the amount of Amazon ads on my hubs (sometimes to just one or two), the more stuff I've sold. It also helps to actually put ads for things you have used and give a little review about it. That personal touch makes all the difference.
- Keep working on your hubs. If there's updated information, go back and add it. If a link is broken, or if your hub's individual score drops, go back and fix things.
- Be prolific. I find if I go on a Hubpages writing spree and publish a lot of hubs within a month, my traffic starts to spike. If I take a break from Hubpages, my traffic begins to drop. I'm sure I could do better on Hubpages if I keep publishing steadily. One of my current writing goals is to produce more steadily on Hubpages.
- Get into a niche. People interested in your niche start associating you with it. They start recommending you on their social media and websites and blogs. Searchers interested in your niche stumble on your hub and go to the next and the next. You start getting well represented in the Hubpages topic area (just look at the Wicca topic section and Witchcraft topic section of Hubpages; I'm all over them; I'm also pretty well represented in the Pagan Holidays section of Holidays & Celebrations-- now if someone searches those topics on Hubpages, they're bound to find my articles. I owe that to having a niche).
- Create hub directories. Once you have a significant amount of hubs on a topic, create a single hub to present it all in a logical fashion. I have three directories, and these each get thousands of page views per month because people keep going back to them. I update them regularly to add new hub links.
These Are My Hub Directories
- Wicca for Beginners: Free Online Wicca Lessons
Want to learn Wicca? Don't know where to turn? Looking for instruction and hands-on advice? This is the place-- it's free, and no sign up required. Just Updated!
- Wicca for Beginners: Wheel of the Year Resource Guid...
Wiccan holidays, what we call Sabbats, are part of a system known as
- Witchcraft for Beginners: Free Spells, Exercises and...
Want to learn Witchcraft? Consider me your new teacher -- and here are your lessons. You'll find a wealth of free information here to help you get started on your path.
What I Did Wrong (And What You Can Learn From My Mistakes)
- Don't wait so long. I wish I didn't wait as long to monetize my Hubs, and for about a year my hubs were more of a hobby and an afterthought. From the time you get out of the gate, set some goals and get focused.
- Learn about how to make money writing on the Internet. Marketing, SEO, social networking, etc.-- these have not been my strong point and I've been flying mostly by the seat of my pants with very little knowledge. I'm sure if I put more effort into these things, I could probably do a lot better writing for myself online. I actually think having a niche and a presence in a specific online community (Wiccans/Witches) helped override what I don't know about internet marketing, networking and search engines-- but just imagine if I had both from the beginning! Ah, well- hindsight is 20/20.
- Get more involved in the Hubpages community. I unfortunately go up and down with this... Hubpages actually has a great community with some very talented writers, knowledgeable people and successful business people. I love reading other hubs, participating in the forums and questions, etc.-- but when life gets busy I don't make as much of an effort as I would like. That's another goal I'm working on.
- Pick a good name. I chose a name being rather facetious. Had I known it would have started getting attention, I would have just went with Sage (which is my middle name) or come up with something else. I didn't want to use my real name in case my clients came across my writings-- I didn't want to risk they might have some prejudice against Wicca or Witchcraft. I never expected it to take off or turn into a serious venture. Since I can't change my account name, and don't want to go back and start over with a new account, so I'm stuck with it. So think carefully about your hubber name, because it's going to stick with you!
I'm Happy I Joined Hubpages
So I might not be up there with the Hubpages superstars (far from it), but success is measured by your own individual goals and expectations. On Hubpages, I've far exceeded any goals or expectations I had for writing here, or about my niche topics.
Things are picking up for me thanks to Hubpages, and I expect them to keep getting better.
I know a lot of people come here with high hopes, only to leave after a couple of months discouraged. I just want to say for those wondering if it's worth it that you can do well here, or it can lead to bigger and better things, if you're willing to put in the effort and be patient. I can't tell you that you'll be making thousands of dollars here someday; but I can tell you I think you can get out of this place some great opportunities, if you're willing to put a lot into it.
A Shout Out to Awesome Fellow Hubbers
This hub didn't feel complete without adding that some incredible hubbers here have helped me tremendously. The following people stand out in my mind; they either welcomed and encouraged me, I found valuable info in their hubs, their excellent hubs served as great examples to learn from, they answered my questions or helped me understand the ropes around here a lot better in the forums or Q&A section, or they simply inspired me:
Billybuc, Bishop55, CarolynEmerick, Catgypsy, CraftytotheCore, CM Hypno, DzyMsLizzy, d.william, Karthikkash, KittytheDreamer, Marisa Wright, Nell Rose, Phyllis Doyle, Radcliff, relache,SM Obrien, Susana S, Victoria Lynn, Wilderness, & Writer Fox.
I know some of these people are not active anymore but I want to say you all had an influence on me over the last 2 1/2 years; thanks to all of you!
Current Hubpage Goals
- To review, refresh & update all my hubs
- To publish at least 1 high quality hub per week
- To keep up better with HP and social media
- To give a big thanks to all the words of encouragement people have given me in the comments! THANK YOU!