Lisa Beaman's 60-Day Challenge Hublog
What Have I Gotten Myself Into?
Two months ago I found the Hubpages Community on a whim. I've been writing essays, articles, and fiction for several years and I wanted to try my hand at actually making some money at it. Even though some of my work has been published, up until I joined Hubpages, I've never been paid for anything I've written. Unfortunately, since I’ve been a member of Hubpages, I still haven’t made any money. The four cents I’ve earned so far with Ad Sense doesn’t really count.
I’ve realized in the last couple of months that like most things, making money writing online takes a great deal of time, effort, and hard work. It also takes a lot of know-how and technical savvy. I’m fine with the hard work; it’s the savvy that I’ve been missing. If I’ve learned one thing from Hubpages at all, it’s that I have a lot more to learn!
The 60-Day Challenge as I understand it, consists of writing 30 Hubs within a 30-day time period and then working on promoting those hubs the following 30 days. Finding the time, motivation, and inspiration to write 30 well written, though provoking hubs on top of my full-time job and family life will not be easy, but I feel like I am up for the challenge. The most difficult aspect for me will be the promotional aspect. This is where I know that I have the most to learn.
My goal for joining the 60-Day Challenge is twofold. I mainly want to increase my earnings, yet I also want to learn the technical side of promoting hubs. I realize that this has been the main ingredient missing. By accepting the Challenge, I will be motivated to write frequently, and be encouraged and supported by other Hubbers who are more experienced. I’m hoping to learn the ins and outs of keyword research and backlinking.
60-Day Challenge Goals
- To increase the traffic to my site. Currently I average about 15 views a day. I would like to increase that to 50.
- To increase the earnings of my hubs. Since I’ve only earned four cents, any improvement at all would be an accomplishment.
- To learn how to effectively utilize the keyword search tool in the titles of my hubs.
- To improve the Google page ranking of each of my hubs. Most are currently at 1 or 0 out of 10.
- To gain a greater understanding of backlinks and how they affect traffic.
- Leadership and workplace skills: I work in a very leadership oriented environment where I am able to assist in building up young leaders. I would like to share the principles that I learn with others who are aspiring to lead or to grow.
- Parenting and money saving ideas: As a full time working wife and mother of three kids (ages 16, 14, and 10), I’ve learned most things the hard way. I’d love to be able to share my experiences and encourage other parents.
- Religion: This is a topic that I have avoided so far on Hubpages. However, I am a follower of Christ and I would like to discuss with fellow Christians topics such as having a relationship with Christ, understanding and giving grace, and having a servant’s heart.
Please follow me on this journey. I know it won’t be easy, but I promise it will be fun!
Following the Journey - Progress Report
Pre-Challenge: After posting my hublog announcing my entrance in the 60-Day Challenge, I read all of the other hublogs and introduced myself to the rest of the team. I didn't realize at first how important the aspect of community and networking is in this. I want to make sure that I am an active team member. I also bookmarked everyone else's hublogs and began following all of my teammates.
As of yet... (August 14) I haven't actually starting writing anything! I'm worried about falling behind before I even get started. I'm hoping to at least begin some research and outlines later today.
I find the diversity of the group of challengers fascinating! The fact that 30 some people with different interests, religions, and backgrounds can get together on-line from all over the world for one common project is simply incredible. That is something that I really didn't expect going into this. Just getting to know some of them will make this experience rememberable, whether I reach my goals or not.
August 18 - Day 2: Feeling overwhelmed with the pressure. 30 hubs in 30 days! What was I thinking? Right now I'm drowning in on-line writers jargon. Words like keyword research, RSS feeds, and other ones that I can't even think of are beyond me. I need to get a better grasp of them so that my writing will be right.
Yesterday I made a list of different hubs that I could write. I didn't completly come up with 30, but I came close. I think that the others will come along as I do the work and research. I feel better at least having something on paper that I can look to. My plan is to try to knock out the easier ones first.
Today I started actually writing my first hub. I think once I get the first one done and out, I'll feel a lot better about this. The encouragement I've gotten so far from my friends, family, and fellow challengers has been huge. Just knowing that those closest to me as well as people I barely know thousands of miles away are rooting for me helps more than they'll ever know. I can do this.
August 19: Day 2 - I finished writing my first hub. Now I need to build the capsules and upload everything... and try to find some pictures and hopefully a video! Yikes! So much work. On the good note, when I went to work on it this morning, I realized that I really had two subjects in one. So I split the hub into two. That means I have a head start on the next one. So that makes me feel good!
August 20: Day 3 - Big day! Published my first hub of the 30. I didn't find any good videos to go with it, so it's going without. Just getting started feel like a heavy burden has been lifted. I also opened a new twitter account for the challenge. Follow me on twitter: lisadbeaman!
On another note... I will be leaving town for a few days! Getting out of the Phoenix oven-like heat and camping up in the mountains. I won't be on-line while I'm gone, but I'm arming myself with pen and paper and hopefully the fresh mountain air will give me some much needed inspiration! I'll update my log when I get back.
August 22: Day 5 - Back in the heat. It's amazing how much different elevation can make! Had a great weekend and was able to do some writing. I don't feel quite as behind as before. However, I still need to type everything and formulate the hubs - not to mention do some keyword research. Unfortunately, I'll be leaving town again for a staff retreat in the morning. I should have some good writing time there as well, but I won't be able to do the hubbing work.
August 26: Well I'm back from my travels! Seems like I've been a little out of the loop, so I'm trying to catch up. It looks like the rest of the team has been busy writing and publishing hubs, so I need to pick up the speed. I was able to do some writing while I was gone, but I need to do a lot more. The team aspect of this challenge has been really helpful. So far the biggest thing I've learned is that I have a lot to learn!
August 29: I'm on a roll! I now how four Hubs published. Today I learned the importance of links. I did a google search for one of my hubs just to see if I could find it. I found it on page 3... but it was a different hub that I had put the link on. Now I'm learning to put link to other hubs that are in the same topic.
August 30: For my next Hub I wrote about the incredible grocery coupon organizing program I've been using for the last 6 months. I had this one in mind for quite a while. It was good to finally get all my thoughts and savings down.
I've already noticed some great improvements since I've started the challenge. My readership and my fan member ship is up! I've also gotten 5 new accolades on my profile! I've been watching my Hubber score with interest though. It just seems to go up and down. Every time I log in, I have a different score. It fluctuates between 94-97.
I'm learning the the more I write, the more I find to write about. I've got about six Hubs in my head right now - I just need to find the time to pound them out. I still have some catching up to do.
September 1: I had been keeping short summaries of each Hub here on my Hub-log. I found out from some of the more experienced challengers, that my summaries weren't long enough. It was also suggested that I create a separate Hub just for the summaries... so I thought that was a good idea. I'll keep this one up to date on my thoughts and experiences and I'll make a new hub with the summaries and keep adding to it. I may not publish it for a while though.
Also - I really don't know what I would do without the help of the others in the challenge. They really keep me encouraged and accountable. I had no idea when I was getting into them how much I was going to learn or how much I would rely on the others. The comments they've made on my hubs, the extra help e-mails I've gotten, the incredible intelligence I've read in the forums have all made this challenge worth it. Thanks to everyone for your help!!!
September 2: I finished another hub, but I haven't published it yet. It will be one of a four-part series, so I'll wait until they are all done and publish them at the same time. I want to see what that will do to my hubber score. Sometimes it drops when I publish. So will publishing four at once make it drop a lot? We'll see! It's a 3-day weekend, so I'm hoping to get a lot of writing done. I have some catching up to do!
September 5: Wow! I just published all four holiday Hubs! I can't believe how much work that was to do four at the same time. I'm exhausted! I hope they turned out well. I really have no idea. They are either going to be the best idea I've ever had, or they will be a major flop. Only time will tell. For now - I think I deserve a cup of coffee!
September 6: The three-day weekend wasn't quite as productive as I'd hoped it would be... but I did manage to publish another hub this morning. It was on saving money with fruits and vegetables at a local food co-op. I also organized and set up my Hub with the summaries. I haven't published it yet, I want to add some graphics first. I also started on another hub that I hope to finish in the morning on personal boundaries.
My hubscore remained at a steady 94 all weekend, but just as I was heading for bed last night it jumped up to 95. I actually thought that publishing 5 hubs in 24 hours would cause it to go down, so I'm pretty pleased with the result.
One more thing - Someone from a different coupon system commented on my Coupon Sense Hub. He wanted me to do a comparison shopping with their system. I was pretty excited about that and can't wait to give it a try! I'll be sure to hub about the results.
September 7: I finished the hub about personal boundaries this morning. I was going to put the finishing touches on it tonight with pictures, but I have a headache... so it will have to wait until tomorrow. I did want to report, though, that my hubber score soared up to a 97 today and remained there all day until just a little while ago... then it dipped to 96. 97 is the highest I've ever gotten. I never seem to stay there long... One of these days, I'm going to get to 100 and then one of these days, I'm going to keep it there!
September 12: I've been working a lot on writing this week, but haven't kept up with the hub-log. Things are going well, I'm really pleased with the comments I've been getting on my hubs. Since my last entry, I've published the hub on personal boundaries and one on stress and helping your kids choose good friends. I'm not keeping up with the one hub/day though. I'm a little worried that I'm not going to make it to 30. It's about 6am on a Sunday right now. My goal for the day is to write and publish 3 hubs. - I better grab a cup of coffee first!
Wow! I ended up writing and publishing 4 hubs today! Each of them are over 1000 words in length. My brain has turned to jelly and it's time to go to bed. 18 hubs down and 12 to go! I think, i think, I think I can do this!
September 13: I'm on a role... and trying to remain focused until the end. I wrote and published two hubs today. One this morning and one right before bed. I worked a full day and cooked dinner for my famiily in between. I have 20 down and 10 to go... The hub I wrote tonight ended up being too long, so I was able to take a section of it and it's a good start for another one. I'll finish that one in the morning. I still need to add the summaries from the last two hubs on my summary-hub, but I will do that tomorrow too.
September 15: I'm in the home stretch now with only 7 more to write. Only 7? That still seems like a lot. So far this week I've been averaging 2 a day. That in and of itself is a lot for me. I'm starting to feel like I'm neglecting my family!
I haven't written any hubs on religion yet. Today I'm taking a Spiritual Retreat Day with the interns at work... so I'm going to try to sneak a little time to write about connecting with God and prayer. It's probably counter productive to the retreat day, but it should be some good self-reflection as well.
September 16: The Spiritual Retreat Day was great. It was good to just sit and spend time with God in prayer and reflection. I did not, however, manage to get any writing done! Yikes! I'm really feeling the pressure towards finishing the challenge. I have 7 more hubs to write.
I decided to write the last seven on different characters found in the Old Testament. I've done the reseach a few years ago, I just need to tweak them and make them Hub-ready. I'm not sure how well they'll be received, but I believe there is a lot that we can learn from their stories. Hopefully, I'll be able to finish in time!
September 18: Finished!!! I can't believe I've written 30 hubs! I think I went over the 30 days by a day or so, but I'm still pretty excited.
Now I need to update my hub summaries. I stopped adding to them this week in an effort to finish writing. So I'm a little behind in that. But I'm excited for the next phase, even though I'm a little nervous about what's in store.
September 20: The hub summaries are updated! Now I'm ready to tweak and spend some time reading some of the other challengers hubs. So many of them have been an encouragement to me in my hub writing that I want to return the favor.
Here's a quick update on how I'm doing with some of my goals:
To increase the traffic to my site. When starting this challenge the highest view count I'd had in a day was 30. Now that's gone up to over 90 a couple of times. At this point I'd say that I'm averaging around 50 views a day. Goal met! I think I can surpass it!
To increase the earnings of my hubs. At the start of the challenge I had a total of 4 cents. Now I'm up to $1.53! I still have a long way to go until the $100 payout, but I'm at least inching closer - and we haven't started the promotion phase yet.
To learn how to effectively utilize the keyword search tool in the titles of my hubs. Yeah... I'm still learning that one. I know the mechanics of it... but I haven't really gotten the hang of a good title yet. Any time one of my hubs has succeeded w/ search engines, it's been a lucky guess. Still have work to do on this one!
To improve the Google page ranking of each of my hubs. I haven't checked this yet.
To gain a greater understanding of backlinks and how they affect traffic. Hoping to work on this goal during the next few weeks, but I'm starting to get a grasp of it.
I honestly have no idea what week we are in! I haven't been very good at updating my hublog. Instead, I've been diving into the world of blogging and social networking. Wow! There really is a lot more to writing on-line than just writing.
Today is October 11th and I have officially set up 5 new blogs to help promote my hubs as well as the other challengers hubs. I'm hoping that the others are doing the same for me.
Here is a list of my new blogs. Check them out and follow me!