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Why I Joined HubPages, Writing Online and a Big Thank You to My Fellow Hubbers
Why I Joined HubPages
I joined HubPages in December of 2011 after accidentally stumbling upon the site. After completing my first novel, a middle grade reader for children, I wanted to gain more experience by writing online. After all, without any publishing credits to my name, no agent would look twice at my book. But besides writing for children, what did I have to share with the world?
When I browsed HubPages' site, I was pleased to find high-quality content on a variety of subjects. I noticed some writers specialized in food and cooking. Now that was right up my alley! Although I haven’t received formal training, I've spent long hours in the kitchen cooking for small groups and loving it. Most of our friends are foodies and I’ve received hands-on training from some of the best. I decided HubPages would be my food writing platform.
My first hub published in January 2012, a recipe for Italian Wedding Soup, didn't receive many views. But I enjoyed a warm welcome from the community which boosted my confidence. My second hub, Chewy Butter Caramels with Pink Sea Salt, was awarded Hub of the Day and later went on to win a HubNugget. I was thrilled! I had never expected recognition, let alone any awards.
Five Reason to Join HubPages
So would I do it over again? Most definitely! Although Google's latest Panda update hit me hard, it also made me reflect. Why did I join HubPages? I hadn't expected earnings in the beginning; I joined for the writing experience. But I have gained so much more! Let me explain:
- The biggest reason to join HubPages is the generous community. I've been overwhelmed by the outpouring of genuine support. I had to experience the camaraderie to believe it. When I write, I often contend with a critical inner voice that tells me no one would want to read what I have to write. But my 400 followers prove otherwise! All you loyal followers have helped me gradually squelch that critical voice and gain new confidence. And that's something money can't buy.
- HubPages has taught me loads about online writing. When I first joined, I didn’t understand much of what I read in the Learning Center. As a matter of fact, I had trouble even finding the Learning Center! What in the world were SEO’s, keywords and backlinks? I’d browse the forums and leave feeling confused and frustrated. Although I still have much to learn, ten months later I can read and understand technical information. And I’ve even learned how to put some of it into practice.
- Writing on HubPages has sharpened my skills. It’s a well known fact that the more you write, the better you write. Constructive criticism helps me improve. My followers' comments build my confidence, and that keeps me writing despite the ebb and flow of internet traffic.
- Earning residual income came as a surprise to me. Although the earnings didn't come right away, by my six month anniversary with HubPages I received my first payout! And although I only average 1.5 hubs a week, I earn enough money to pay for a few bills and enjoy some special treats, too.
- I enjoy writing on HubPages. Although I'm usually intimidated by contests, June's recipe contest was a lot of fun. To my surprise, I even won a cash prize for Horchata Ice Cream With Bananas & Butter Caramel Sauce. Besides making new friends, I’ve learned so much by reading high quality hubs. Here are some of my recent favorites:
- How to Make an Oil Lamp Out of an Orange by Faceless39
- Inner Beauty Quotes & Sayings by KoffeeKlatch Gals, who boasts a whole slew of inspirational quote hubs that keep me going.
- What is the French Girl Look? by rebekahELLE
- Koolaid Playdough Recipe by ktrapp
- Poem-Queen Vespawoolf by Dax. A poem written in my honor!
- Throw a "Chopped Challenge" Dinner Party by DeborahNeyens
Five of My Most Supportive Followers
- Alocsin, from Orange County, California, was one of the first to welcome me on HubPages and is a loyal reader even though he doesn't cook. He writes about everything from jobs & salaries to visiting unfamiliar art museums and was voted Most Likely to Become a Millionaire in the 2012 Hubbie contest. I learned a lot from his series about how to make money on HubPages and the internet. One of my favorites is Over 220,000 Unique Visitors a Month: Learning from the Most Visited Hubbers.
- LetitiaFT, also known as Letitialicious, is a native Californian who has spent most of her life in Paris. Although natural history is her original field, she's also created many original and mouth-watering recipes inspired by her life in France. Her hub, Alpine Ibex:The Wild Mountain Goats of Mont Blanc & Where to See Them reflects her love of nature and won 2012's Most Awesome Hub award. I also find her a kindred spirit. After all, who else could think a spider is cute?? Don't miss her unique recipes such as White peach & lavender creme fraiche ice cream.
- Suzanne Ridgeway, otherwise known as SuzieHQ, was born and educated in Ireland and has a vivacious, contagious energy. An Apprentice, her interests include gardening and European travel among other topics. So You Want to be Irish? is a hilarious read that reflects her quirky sense of humor and will have you queuing up to become one of the honorary Irish.
- MamaKim8, or Sasha Kim, is an enthusiastic and supportive stay-at-home mom from Oregon, USA. Her passions include crochet patterns, tips for moms and recipes that reflect Asian influences. Don't miss her own creation: Coconut & Tropical Peach Sweet Rice Cakes. Although the process requires a little patience, the little cakes are so delicious and worth the effort.
- No list of supportive Hubbers would be complete without a mention of Billybuc. He hails from Tacoma, Washington and boasts over 1,000 followers! Very popular on HubPages and one of the most honest souls you'll ever meet, his passions include social issues, day trips, alcoholism and living simple. Don't miss his hub about growing up in Midwestern America: Small Town American Values.
Of course, there isn't enough space to mention all of my supportive followers this time around. I want to thank you for regularly reading my work, taking the time to comment, share, Tweet, pin and vote! I couldn't do it without all your support.
Some of My Favorite Recipes:
Five Tips for New Hubbers
So what are my top five tips for new Hubbers? I just wish I'd known all this when I joined ten months ago!
- Write about what you love. Find what you're most passionate about in life and tell the world about it.
- When someone follows you, check out their hubs. If you like what you see and decide to follow them, periodically pay them a visit and read what they’ve published. Be a loyal reader and leave meaningful comments. They’ll do the same for you.
- Regularly visit the Learning Center. Learn about SEO’s, keywords, etc. If you're new to online writing like me, it will all seem like “Greek” in the beginning, but you’ll begin to understand more with time.
- Write quality content. Use spell check and review your work before hitting the publish button. Add original photos. Use capsules and break sections down with bullets or numbers. Tweak your titles with the title tuner. Later, when you start receiving traffic from Google or Yahoo!, research keywords to improve titles and bring in more traffic.
- Be patient and persevere. Internet traffic ebbs and flows like the tide. Don’t get discouraged. Remember why you joined and write, write, write! It takes time to see results from all your hard work.
Top Five Milestones
So what are my proudest achievements here on HubPages?
- Fifty hubs is a huge milestone for me. Originally, I projected writing 50 hubs in one year. I can thank all of you for the motivation to reach my goal ahead of time.
- Recently, I received the Level VIII commenter accolade. Only 2% of Hubbers reach this level. Does that mean I talk too much?
- I just reached 400 followers! When I first joined, I admired Hubbers whose achievements included hundreds of followers. I thought, could that ever happen to me?
- One night my Hubber score hit 100. I was up late writing when I saw my score miraculously rise from 98 to 99 to…100!
- I remember my shock at reaching 100.000 views. Now that I’ve passed 250,000 views, I hope to see it continue to rise.
Thanks to all of you who helped me reach these goals!
You Can Write on HubPages!
Writing at Hub Pages means instant gratification. You can publish as often as you like, when you like and earn money on the side. You receive plenty of support from the friendly community and learn to polish your writing. Hub Pages provides tutorials that walk you through the world of online publishing. And the longer you’re with Hub Pages, the more confidence you gain. Intrigued? Please click here to quickly and easily create your account: New Member Sign-Up
I'd also like to mention three behind-the-scene supporters: my hubby and our dear friends and neighbors, Joe and Karen. My hubby patiently assists my photographic efforts while dinner gets cold, reads my hubs, gives me a "high five" every time I publish and listens with interest as I share the latest HP gossip. Joe and Karen enthusiastically read new hubs, sample recipes and test them in their own kitchen. Karen often helps brainstorm for new dishes and was my cooking partner for hubs such as Homemade Butter Caramels with Pink Sea Salt.
I'm also happy to announce the arrival of my new fellow Hubbers and friends Lemonkerdz. A British husband and wife team living here in Peru, they cook up some of the most delicious food we've ever tasted! Please join me in welcoming them to the community.
Here's to another great year on HubPages!