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My First Year At Hubpages
The Hubpages Sign Up Page
One year ago, yesterday, on October 30, 2010, I was seeking a way to make extra money online when an interesting site popped up in the search engine listing. "Make Money Online" brought up a page called "Hubpages." I liked the simple interface. In fact, it sounded so simple that I wondered if it was a scam. Make money just from sharing a few of my own ideas? It sounds too too good to be true!
So, quite skeptical, I googled "Is Hubpages A Scam?" into the search engine and came across a website created by Mark Knowles. He gave glowing praise to Hubpages and included what I now know was an affiliate link to Hubpages. I clicked on it, and the same simple interface came up. I couldn't resist! I had to try. After all, what did I have to lose?
I signed up, and I was hooked! My first hub was one that I don't really care to talk about: more like a diary form that I subsequently unpublished. And the second one was one that I still like: How to Love A Husband. I knew the old adage, "write what you know," so I immediately thought of writing about my marriage.
My First Few Hubs
HubNuggets Were A Thrill
After those first two, the hubs were fast in coming. It was exhilarating! Then, I tried a recipe-like hub: making spaghetti, and another on my cats. I was even more thrilled, and a little bit scared when I received my first comment from a lovely fellow Canadian named Powerful Pierre. Scared because it meant people were actually reading this stuff and I was accountable for what I was writing! Thrilled because it meant people were reading this stuff!
The biggest thrill of was an interesting comment I received on my hub, Cat Love: Do Cats Really Love?, from someone named Ripplemaker, who informed that I had won something called a HubNugget. I was even more surprised when another hub I had written, "How to Get Along With Teenagers" was also nominated in the same week. I did not win these competitions and it was a huge honour when my hub "Hang The Onions: Five Old-Fashioned Remedies To Cure The Common Cold" was nominated and won, just by a thread, the HubNuggets contest in the health category.
It's hard to convey how much being noticed with these HubNugget awards meant to me. It was confirmation that I was doing the right thing by continuing to write. It gave me exposure that i could not have gained in any other way. And it made me feel that I was writing things that people could relate to!
From My Early Days on HP
Hubpages Has An Amazing Community
One of the things that I absolutely loved about Hubpages, and still do, was the community. From the very beginning, such great hubbers as HappyBoomerNurse, tlpoague, Tammy L. CookingDiva, kashmir56 and KoffeeKlatch Gals followed my hubs and gave great comments. (There have been many more but these are some that have been there from the very start.)
A few of my early favourites were Quill, who seemed to have lived in all the same places I had, Denise Handlon for her creative project and activity ideas, onegoodwoman for her poetic masterpieces, and Stephanie Henkel for her fascinating accounts of life lived from a R.V. There are many other hubbers whose work I adore; these are just a small selection.
It's hard to believe it's been one year since I've started! Since coming on board, there have been many changes at Hubpages. Most noticeably, a few months after my sign-up, there was huge upset in the way that the world's biggest search engine, Google, did its search algorhythms.
This was upsetting and many well-known hubbers either left Hubpages or removed many of their hubs. Many predicted that Hubpages was finished and I myself wondered if I should remove myself from Hubpages, as well, but I, like many others chose to stick it out and the community is now stronger than ever.
What Will Happen To Hubpages?
There were many changes at Hubpages This Year
Hubpages endured many changes during my first year. The huge Panda slap, where Google came in and changed the algorithms of search forever caused tremendous panic both on and off Hubpages. Many well-known veteran hubbers either left or took many hubs off. The forums became a daily watch as writers questioned each other frantically with questions such as these:
"What will happen now? What will become of us? What is Hubpages going to do about this?"
And Hubpages did take action. Things were changing quickly. We had once been told by the experts to put RSS Newsfeeds on all our hubs. Then, it seemed as soon as I got around to placing them on all my hubs, we were told to take them down. And after I had just finally figured out how to to put "latest hubs" RSS Feeds on all my hubs, we were told that these were no longer considered acceptable. It was hard to keep track of all the changes and people got discouraged. The most drastic change was going to subdomains and this move, too, was met with a great deal of cynicism and doubt.
As a newcomer to Hubpages, it was even harder to keep up with what was acceptable and what wasn't. I was just learning and then I had to unlearn. As many seemed to question the very future of Hubpages, so did I question if it was worthwhile to stay. But through it all, like so many of us, I decided to stick it out and have now made it to one year.
My Husband Encouraged Me to Write
Lots of Changes For Me, Too
Not only did Hubpages change greatly over the year but so did I. I came to Hubpages a year ago today with no experience in online writing except a weight loss blog that I had not used for months. I knew nothing about how to make money online, had never heard of SEO and had no idea how Google stayed in business!
I had written a lot in my younger years and during university but wasn't sure if I had any writing left in me. I was burnt out from teaching and not sure of what my future held. One night my husband said, "why don't you follow your dream of writing" and him saying that, bless his heart, caused a tiny sprout of hope to grow taller and taller, and start to flourish within my life.
It's Been A Learning Curve
For the first four months, learning at Hubpages was non-stop. I devoured everything I could get my hands on in the Hubpages Learning Centre. I tweaked constantly, and read incessantly. Besides the Learning Centre, I devoured hubs by Hubpages pros ryankett, Rebecca E., Edweirdo, and Marisa Wright.
I even "learned" some very advanced techniques that I still need to work on, to remember how to do, like creating customized dividers by Hubpages genius, Green Lotus and which I tried out for my hub on plus size tops. I still need a lot of practice on this skill!
I Published A Hub About Hub-Making
During my first two months at Hubpages, I wrote 47% of my present hubs. When I first started, I was almost frantic to get my hubs done. It took me a long time to create just one hub but on a few days, I was able to crank two, even three hubs in one day. I was hungry to do more, and pushed myself to the point where I found it hard to leave the computer for a while.
After the Panda fiasco, I slowed down quite a bit and only published hubs sporadocially. As I mentioned earlier, I thought of pulling out altogether but it was so hard to leave. During my time at Hubpages, I have published 70 hubs so far (with a few deleted or unpublished for further editing.) I was very surprised when I was able to even publish a hub about some of the techniques I had learned a long the way. Me! The most untechnical person I know!
Fun Poll: Do You Love Hubpages?
Would You Say You Love Hubpages?
Do I Love Hubpages? Yes, I Have To Say I Do.
Do I love Hubpages? Yes, I have to say I do! I love the community, the interaction, the creativity and the flexibility . It is one very special place that has brought a lot of joy to my life. I learn from Hubpages and it is usually the first place I check when I want to research a topic. I have met many Christians that share their faith with me. I have taken to my heart so many stories and I have fed my mind with so much useful and interesting information.
Do I expect to earn a living from it? I am still working on it. I did receive my first Hubpages Ad payment for about $56.00 last week. It showed me that it is possible to earn from Hubpages. Google Adsense sits around $60.00 for me and I have about $30.00 sitting in my Amazon affliates account.
Hubpages Is Writing
More importantly, perhaps, I have had the confidence to pursue other forms of writing. I have a few blogs, a couple of free websites and have even started to apply for some freelance writing opportunities. I would not have known even where to start, without Hubpages.
I have read, immersed myself in the writing culture and have emerged more confident and excited about writing as a career. I went from writing in my own personal journal once in a while to my own writing website and the knowledge that a writing career is not only possible but has the possibility of being lucrative. I may or may not go back to teaching in the future, but I will always be writing. I have discovered that I am indeed a writer, a fact that I forgot for a long while.
Writing is more than just a personal passion: it is something that benefits others and feeds the mind and the heart. Hubpages is writing and hubbers are writers. And I am glad to know them! Happy hubbing and thanks for reading. It's been an amazing year and I hope for many more.