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My First 10 Weeks on Hubpages
I’ve learned a lot by reading about the experiences of other writers here on Hubpages so I thought it might be nice to pay it back/forward by sharing some information of my own. I realize that 10 weeks isn’t an especially important or major milestone, but figure it is as good any.
My original reason for joining Hubpages was to try to get myself to write on a regular basis. I quite enjoy writing but had drifted away from it in recent years. I have a couple of fiction book ideas spinning around in my head and I’m hoping that writing hubs regularly will motivate me to start working more on my fiction writing as well. Please note that earning money was NOT my primary motivation for signing up. Sure, it would be nice to eventually earn some money someday, but I’m under no illusions about how quickly that will happen.
Before I created my account I spent A LOT of time reading through all the information in the Information Center. And I do mean A LOT – a full month or maybe a little more. I also spent a fair amount of time learning about SEO and trying to understand how it works. I found the SEO information especially to be very overwhelming. Ultimately I decided it would be better to start modestly and write about things that I know without fussing over SEO too much.
I started with a series of hubs about college admissions. I’ve spent most of the last 18 years working with college-bound students so I figured this would be a comfortable place to start. Now that I’ve been around awhile and know more about it, I need to go back and edit those early hubs as they aren’t as “readable” as I’d like them to be and they aren’t formatted very well. I also discovered that I’m a little burned out on college admissions. I think it was a good place for me to start and perhaps I’ll return to that subject matter again, but for now I’m getting a lot more enjoyment writing about other things.
The first non-education hub I wrote was about how to plan a pirate wedding. I had recently purchased some music from the Pirates of the Caribbean soundtrack and it put me in a “pirate mood.” It also made me think back to my friend’s pirate wedding from a few years ago. I thought it would be a fun topic to write about so on a whim I put a hub together. Imagine my shock when it was selected as a hubnugget candidate! I’d heard of the hubnugget contest but never in a million years thought one of my hubs would be selected. Imagine my further shock when it won! (And thanks to all who voted – I was and still am quite humbled and honored by your support.)
At that point I realized that I would ultimately do better on Hubpages if I not only write about things I know, but also about things I enjoy. So I shifted my focus more towards travel and writing about the many places I’ve enjoyed visiting; parks and lakes in particular.
Suggestions for new Hubbers
Some things I suggest for people who are fairly new to Hubpages and are still getting comfortable writing here:
- Read everything posted in the Learning Center - there is a ton of very important and valuable information there.
- Make sure you are following the rules when posting pictures to your hub. I saw a forum thread recently in which a hubber was sent an invoice from a photographer for a picture that the hubber had found online and used without permission. There's a hub in the Learning Center that explains what pictures are OK to use and how to properly attribute them.
- Write about things that interest you and that you enjoy.
- Check your grammar and spelling. Then check it again.
- Get involved with the Hubpages community. There are a lot of really wonderful people here and most of them are more than willing to share their experiences and give advice.
My stats aren't very exciting, I'm afraid. However, in the interest of brightening the day for those of you who enjoy comparing stats I figured I'd share some of mine anyway. I’m not giving lots of nitty-gritty details because that would be tedious (and, to be honest, there really isn't much to tell) but here is an overview.
So far I’ve written 17 hubs (this one makes 18). At the time of this writing they have garnered just over 1,000 views. I realize that a lot of people have gotten far more views far more quickly, but seeing as I haven't written that many hubs yet I feel I’m not doing too badly. Additionally, I’ve done almost NO promotion for any of my hubs. I did pass my pirate wedding hub around to some family and friends so they could vote in the Hubnugget contest, but with the rest I’ve done nothing - not even Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest. My average hubscore is in the low to mid 70s. Hubscores fluctuate up and down all the time so I figure as long as I can keep my average score right where it is, I’m doing OK. My Hubber score is generally in the low 90s to upper 80s. I do some reading, commenting and hub hopping just about every day. I’ve answered a few questions but I am not an active participant in the forums. The Hubber score seems to be something of a mystery so I just let it do what it does and I don’t worry about it very much.
Unsurprisingly, of all my hubs the Hubnugget winner has the most views – in fact, it accounts for a quarter of the total. Of those views, about a third came from Hubpages. The remaining two thirds came from outside traffic. This surprised me a bit since I didn’t spend tons and tons of time on SEO optimization when I wrote the hub. I did give it some thought, tried to make the title fairly search-engine friendly, etc., but mostly I just tried to write a fun and informative hub
Looking at all my hubs together, a little over half the traffic came from Hubpages and the rest from outside sources. Most of the outside traffic is from the google family (US mostly but quite a bit of Canada and UK as well). Someone must have posted some of my hubs onto facebook and twitter (thank you whoever you are!) because I’ve seen some traffic from both places. As my hubs have matured I’ve recently started getting traffic from Bing, Ask and Yahoo. The most exotic search engine traffic I’ve gotten so far is from Yandex.ru, which is Russia’s most popular search engine. Go figure!
The hubs that get the most steady traffic are my pirate wedding hub, along with some of my travel hubs. My recipe hubs also do OK. Unlike a lot of people I do NOT see a big drop-off in views over the weekend. In fact, I tend to see an uptick in traffic thanks mainly to the fact that most of my travel hubs focus on day trips rather than vacation destinations. My recipe hubs also tend to get views on weekends.
A confession and some shout-outs
First the confession: I've been a lazy lima bean and delayed an entire week between writing this hub and finally entering it into Hubpages, which means I've actually been here 11 weeks now. Sorry about that!
The shout-outs: Just wanted to say thank you to all the fine, fun people I've met in the last 10 (oops - I mean 11) weeks. I appreciate your insights, your inspiration and, most of all, your hubs! I'd especially like to thank Bedbugsabscond, who was my first follower, as well as BillyBuc, who is the warmest and friendliest guy around, and CloudExplorer who is always so very encouraging.
Last I checked, my theoretical earnings are somewhere in the neighborhood of $3 so far. My kids think this is screamingly funny and they enjoy calculating how many years it will take at my present rate to actually reach pay-out. They also enjoy telling me all the things I could buy if I actually got paid my earnings today, like a couple packs of gum or some pencils. (Hmmm… perhaps I should write a hub about how you can use your pathetic lack of Hubpages earnings to teach kids valuable math skills. Ha ha!)
I have really enjoyed my Hubpages experience so far, even if it hasn’t yet been much of a financial success. For me the really cool thing is that people I don’t know personally are reading things that I’ve written and for the most part they seem to like what they’ve read. I still get a thrill with each and every view. I hope that never gets old!