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Jeani's Top 5 ~ Things I've Learned My First Week
Hubs...and forums...and questions...OH MY! I am quickly realizing where my father has been all those times my mom has been looking for someone to take out the garbage, engaged and totally engrossed with the HubPages Community.
As a new Hubber I am coming to a quick understanding of how rewarding, and addicting this whole experience can be. In just seven short days I have gone from three days of total frustration trying to figure out how to get that first hub posted and setting up Adsense and other earning opportunities, to the adrenaline rush of receiving a furry of emails letting me know that comments are being made on hubs, forums and questions I am now a part of.
Looking back I have come up with my top 5 things I've learned my first week
1. Talk With Other Hubbers
I popped into forums and started answering questions posted by other hubbers in hopes of gaining some insight of how they got to where they were. I tried to talk with a wide range of experience levels, some that had just started, and others that have been around for awhile. There are many reasons why people come to HubPages, take time to find some with similar interests and goals as you and then seek out suggestions and advice. I am a firm believer that you can still carve your own path without re-creating the wheel.
Most importantly, be willing to take take constructive criticism and advice when offered. I have been fortunate in having a couple hubbers point out when I have made a mistake, or posted something incorrectly, or posted something that might be against the rules and regulations. Everyone is going to make some mistakes when getting started, don't let that deter you from jumping in and posting. The only way you are going to improve is to be writing, mistakes and all.
2. Set Goals for Yourself
I am a list person. I like lists, I like setting goals for myself and I love crossing them off as I achieve them. Getting started with HubPages is no different. After learning how to post hubs I quickly decided that I wanted to make a go of this and see how far I could take it. To achieve this I set the following daily goals for myself.
Write 1 hub a day
Read and comment on a minimum of 2 hubs a day
Participate in at least 2 forums daily
Respond to at least 2 questions a day
Write a minimum of 2 questions a day
Respond to all comments on hubs, questions and forums I have authored
I should point out that I am currently unemployed and am looking to use the writing I do here for examples when applying for future online writing positions. I have the time to work on these goals and feel the time I am spend establishing my site will hopefully benefit me in the end.
3. Take Advantage of the "Extras"
Understanding that learning something new can be stressful and overwhelming at times, The Learning Center provides a wealth of information for new and old hubbers alike. Whether you are just starting out and are looking for advice on how to set up your account, or you are an advanced hubber looking to add some pizzazz to your work the Learning Center can provide you with the answers, including other activities available to you on the site to further enhance your experience. The two I have explored follow.
New and old Hubbers alike can partake in one of several challenges created and supported by their peers. Challenges vary in length and intensity, making them attainable for most. Being able to start these challenges at your convenience and repeat as often as you like is an added bonus.
The Apprenticeship Program is not quite as open as the challenges. You must apply for the program and only a select few are accepted. I have submitted my application to this self- proclaimed “rigorous” six month writing program designed to help you develop your online writing skills while providing additional paid bonuses.
Recognizing the importance of balancing the ability to develop, expand and maintain an online portfolio of my writing for future employers to view with the rest of my life was a factor I quickly realized I needed to do. As I came to the end of the day today I realized that a large amount of time was spent checking, responding, and checking the site again. It's fun watching as your hubs and questions get comments made on them, but don't forget about the rest of your life.
For me this means that I will set aside a certain amount of time each day to devote to HubPages and developing my site. I know this may take more time in the beginning, but also know I need to walk away. As a teacher I always prided myself in quick response time for student work, and I found myself not wanting anyone to feel like their comments were not noticed by me. Give yourself a reasonable amount of time to respond to people, maybe make a goal of responding within 24 or 48 hours. This still shows your peers you respect their comments and time, while respecting your own as well.
Most importantly, have fun with this. Take any and all opportunities to learn something new each day, whether it is from a hub you read, or a link from The Learning Center that you explore. HubPages provides us with contacts around the world, take full advantage of all that it has to offer.