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My Experience So Far on HubPages: A Diverse Writing Community - 7 Months On...
HubPages is not Facebook, and it's certainly not Twitter. It's not an enormous online chat room either.
It's a community of online writers and authors who are passionate about writing, who want to connect with fellow like-minded people in the same field, and who want to gain more exposure to their written work.
Seven months after joining this rather intimidating - at the time - and impressive community, I am amazed at where this journey has taken me in such a short space of time.
For starters, after 10 years of trying to find my "niche" in life and discover what career path I'm supposed to be on, I could finally let out that sigh of relief and no longer feel the need to obsess about in what direction my life is going.
Writing on HubPages has also taught me that it's not all fun and it's not about writing whatever you feel like all the time (well, for me anyway), it takes thick skin and persistence to become a full-time writer. Few things in life are worth having if they are free or easy...wise words to live by.
Here's my take on the past seven months aboard the HubPages ship:
Friendship and Hubbers
I've mentioned that HubPages isn't a chat room or a social media outlet, and it's not.
But, it is a platform for writers and people who have the same type of mind-set, who are enthusiastic about their writing and who want to interact, support other writers and make connections.
Starting a new career in writing is not a picnic in the park. It's not a walk in the sun or a joyride either.
It's blood, sweat and tears.
Maybe not so much for those who are simply doing this to explore their creative side or as a hobby, or if they're simply looking for something to occupy some of their time. Up until recently, that's exactly what I was doing.
No, writing for money is not easy, but writing on HubPages does make it more gratifying and possible to push yourself even further when you think that you're at the point of giving up.
I've met a number of fellow Hubbers who have been supportive and who have guided me along the way in my quest to explore the writing world.
They've shed light, given me advice and helped me in the all important feat of getting exposure for my writing.
(There are millions of freelance writers around the world to contend with!)
Some of these Hubbers have become online friends.
I'm not one to make hundreds of 'friends' on Facebook simply to say that I'm popular or well connected - I don't believe in that sort of thing.
Those who are friends, are people whom I genuinely know or have gotten to know, have spent time with and enjoy the company of.
There are many Hubbers who I interact with on a daily basis - we are each other's support system.
I invite you to take some time and to visit some of their hubs.
These are a few Hubbers who have been my inspiration and support system to date:
- Bill Holland aka billybuc
- Linda Bilyeu aka Sunshine625
- Mary Hyatt aka Mary615
Thank you to all of you - you're a platform of brilliant and truly inspirational writers!
Julie's Hub was VERY useful!
- How to Write at Least 5 Hubs a Week
An artist's secret to regular writing. If you struggle to write two hubs a week, check out this article on how to drastically improve your efficiency.
Helpful Hubbing Tips That I've Learnt
Writing hubs is not as easy as it looks, and only over time do you start getting into the flow of how to put a hub together, and what to avoid, etc.
A hub is similar to a magazine article. It's not meant to be a blog platform, but should rather be interesting and hold the reader's attention, it should be useful such as "How To" articles, or beautiful - such as a poem.
If you want your article to be ranked somewhere high up on Google's search engine you need to make sure that your hub has the right key words and other SEO applications added so that it can be found easily.
Looking back on some of the first articles I wrote earlier this year I was a little horrified. Did I really write those? I couldn't believe it - I almost wanted to delete them all! But then I reminded myself that we all start somewhere, and it's good to reflect on how far I've come since then. If I'm ever in doubt or feel like revamping them, I can simply use the edit feature.
10 Things I've Learnt from HubPages:
- Taking pictures to work into hubs is fun
- Writing comments is a give-and-take situation
- Sometimes you will write on a similar topic to someone else
- Page dividers!
- Not everyone on HubPages is pleasant
- Write about what you know, and what you don't know - research well
- Writing 1000 + words in 45 minutes IS possible
- HubPages is a world of knowledge
There's a Time and a Place...
- How to Give Constructive Criticism
Constructive criticism is an important tool to help people improve. To make sure people listen to you what you say, follow these rules.
Dealing with Writing Criticism
It's not pleasant when you put hours and pour your heart and soul into writing an article, only to have it slammed and ripped apart by someone else who didn't agree with your opinion, or the way in which the article was written.
What do you do if someone writes a rude comment in your comment stream for everyone else to see?
I'm not one to back down from something I strongly believe in. Especially when I've put a lot of time and effort into what I've written.
Yes, of course everyone has their own opinions and they're entitled to them. But, there's a right way - a polite way of disagreeing with something that someone else has written, and then there's a wrong way.
I find it rather interesting when someone else disagrees with something that I've written. It gives me an opportunity to further my point of view and to practice the way in which I respond - tactfully and professionally.
Why do you write on HubPages?
Writing for Fun vs Writing for Money
There are two types of people who write on HubPages:
- Those who write for pleasure, in their free time or as a hobby - a way of expressing themselves and delving into their creative side
- Those who write for money. HubPages offers a platform where writers can benefit from receiving money in 3 ways:
- Google Ads
- Amazon products
I fall into category 2 and some days this is quite a challenge. I'm a creative person and I want to write on wherever my imagination takes me or on what I find interesting. The problem with that is, I won't get a lot of traffic to my hubs, and that means no money. HubPages isn't the only platform I use to write, but it is one of them and I need to be clever when writing my hubs to get the maximum amount of exposure.
It's a welcome challenge every day though to come up with a topic that I think people will be interested in, that I know of or want to dedicate time into researching - a topic that will be fairly easy for people to find online in terms of SEO techniques and keywords.
I believe that you can write on HubPages for both - you just need to plan properly and dedicate a set amount of time to writing.
Did You Know?
There are over 1 Million hub articles that have been written and that are available to read on HubPages. That's A LOT of topics!
A World of Knowledge
HubPages really is world of knowledge right at your fingertips. You don't need to go to the library, and you don't even need to browse the Internet.
Anything you want to know more about - from relationship advice, job interview tips, food recipes, travel information on different cities and countries, self-help articles and household cleaning tips - is right here, available at the click of a button!
I am so grateful that I came across this platform for writing back in January. It's allowed me to discover more of who I am, and more importantly - my love and passion for writing, and my determination to make a success out of it.
I've met some truly fantastic people, and I've learnt a wealth of knowledge in these short seven months by reading other hubs on tips, tricks and other pieces of interesting information.
Thank you to each and every one of you, and thank you to HubPages for bringing like-minded people together, and for allowing us to fulfill our dreams, to gain exposure, to make some extra money, to support ourselves and to explore our creative side.
Melanie Chisnall is a freelance writer from Cape Town, South Africa.
She started writing part-time on HubPages in January 2012, and is now writing on a freelance basis full-time. She considers the HubPages community her saving grace on some days, and an essential support system for writing advice, knowledge and friendship.