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My Obligatory 100,000th Hit 100th Article Extravaganza!/or Keep Larry Weird

Updated on June 17, 2017
Larry Rankin profile image

Larry Rankin tries to maintain an active position in the Hubpages writing community.

In the past I’ve teased some of my fellow Hubbers for writing these self-congratulatory articles. I think I’ve even used the descriptive masturbatory. It’s all been in good fun, though, at least for those still left of the dying breed that understand the concept of teasing.

If you comment, feel free to put what suits you: kindness, gentle barbs, or eye gouges and bites. As always is the case with me, as long as it is something I don’t feel will get me in Dutch with the site, I’ll ok it and send it through. You can even look at this as a chance to roast if you like. I enjoy such things.

I’m writing this article in a very conversational light. Just going to kind of give a few opinions about my 3 plus years here, throw in some irrelevant and comical artwork and photos and shut things down around 1,250 words or so.

So, it's come to this!
So, it's come to this! | Source

Opinion

What do you think of milestone articles?

See results

Why Do We Write These Articles?

For starters, it feels good to give ourselves a little pat on the back for our accomplishments. It’s also a way to share our experience with fellow writers in small part to help with understanding our experiential overlap, but as much as anything, for the comradery.

They’re also a quick money grab. Hubbers are interested in these things, especially those who follow us. However, these milestone articles are terrible long-term money. Nobody in the rest of the world is going to give a crap. Look at these articles as part of a trade magazine. These are industry articles for those in our industry.

Some shy away from political satire, while others embrace it.
Some shy away from political satire, while others embrace it. | Source

What Sort of Writing Has Been Successful?

I’ve done about every type of writing on Hubpages that can be imagined, from short story, to novel excerpt, to poetry, to writing for writers, to inflammatory, to informational. I enjoy the creative stuff most, but Hubpages isn’t set up well for it. I have plenty of fellow Hubbers who have made a go of creative writing and have had success. I’m just saying that it’s hard.

With such writing you are usually relying on your following and word of mouth for success. The regular public isn’t going to say, “I’m bored!” And then randomly try to Google a short story about teen angst, or whatever it is that you wrote about.

Hubpages is also not well suited for constructing databases because they consider linking articles in a convenient manner as overly self-promotional. When I started here my first big initiative was to construct a football statistics database that focused on state by state production of athletes. While I’ve seen some profit with individual articles that were in this database, the concept as a whole failed.

Political articles are met with varying warmth, but such articles can definitely do well. I have many good hitters in this genre. Some folks shy away from them because they involve picking a side and potentially alienating viewers. While there is definitely merit to this theory, I have found the financial ramifications to having an opinion about things is actually overblown.

Product reviews are a decent way to make money, but not really as much as I thought they would be coming into this writing venture. My best hitter in this genre is a review of an electric smoker.

And in my experience, by far, the best way to make a bit of the green stuff on Hubpages are informational articles. It makes sense, after all. People get on search engines looking for information, and if you can find information people need to write about and you can write well, chances are you’ll do pretty good.

It’s not sexy writing, but it can actually be kind of fun. To maximize profits it is usually best to find a topic that other people haven’t much written about and to write something better than what is out there. For example, almost half my lifetime hits are centered around an article concerning preparing the poisonous pokeweed in a safe manner for consumption. Were there already articles beforehand detailing this? Yes. But there weren’t many and they are not nearly so comprehensive as mine.

That said, just because a topic has been covered on the internet ad nauseam, doesn’t mean you can’t find success writing about it. Just find a new slant on the topic and do a better job of writing than everyone else. It will be a hard go, but I’ve been absolutely astonished by what I’ve been able to have success with.

Just as one example, I have a top 10 running backs of all-time article that has hit really well. Do you know how many top 10 running back articles there are on the internet? More than 7, I guarantee you that! I slanted mine to focus just on statistical analysis, and it has hit more than I ever would have thought despite the market oversaturation.

The “Flyby”

My wife and I just had our second, a little boy. We’ve been very busy, and I feel some of the people I’m following feel alienated by something I’ve been doing a lot lately: the “flyby.” A flyby is when you see that one of your friends has written an article and you don’t read it that closely but give some general encouragement in the comments. You say something like, “Very interesting!” or “Great read!” or whatever. Or even worse, you try to make a specific comment about the article, but in your haste, make an ignorant statement that doesn’t take into consideration some crucial element of the argument that you missed.

I don’t know anybody who hasn’t done this at one point or another.

Doing such things can make your fellow Hubbers mad and nobody, including myself, is crazy about people half-reading their articles. That said, what’s the alternative? To not read the article at all? We all have busy lives, and we’re here to support one another. Just because we don’t read an article as in-depth as we should doesn’t mean we don’t care. We’re trying to support one another.

What about, God forbid, if one of the writers you are following writes an article that you just don’t give a crap about? That doesn’t mean the article is bad. That doesn’t mean you don’t support him or her. So what’s so terrible about the flyby in this scenario?

One more example before I move on to something else. What if I read one of your articles, find it interesting, want to put in a nice, long, relevant comment, but out here in the boondocks where I live the internet is being sketchy, I’m almost out of data for the month, I have my 2-year-old doing cannonballs off the back of the couch onto my head, and a screaming month old with a diaper full of poopie? So instead of the thoughtful comment I do a flyby and write something vague like, “Very thought provoking!”

My point is that a flyby certainly doesn’t mean I don’t care. I still get you a hit and a comment. I still read and follow the article’s comments as much as time and data will allow. Like I said before, I allow it to get under my skin from time to time when people flyby me, too, but I really think the healthier response is to develop thicker skin concerning such practices. We need to learn to appreciate the flybys for what they are: care and support from friends for our writing careers.

No reason to get scared now!
No reason to get scared now! | Source

Keep Larry Weird

A few months ago the most bizarre thing started happening. I started consistently making money on Hubpages. Not much, and I don’t know if this trend will continue, but enough to put a smile on my face, anyway.

The only problem with making a bit of money is that it can change us as writers. We start feeling like we have something to lose.

Over half the things I write on Hubpages are things I know will likely never be profitable. At least a third of the articles I write push boundaries. I do this because that is my calling. I need to make folks uncomfortable on occasion to feel like I’m doing my part for human evolution. I have to take an odd line from time to time for life to be meaningful.

Those who read my creative stuff are aware of my penchant for biting satire that often expresses the polar opposite of what I mean in order to make a point. I do the Jonathan Swift “A Modest Proposal” style a lot. Though I have published articles where I have not been satisfied with the quality of the writing, I have not written a solitary piece with a concept I don’t believe in, including the one that Hubpages pulled.

From the standpoint of concept, I apologize for nothing. If you’ve misunderstood or have just been offended by something I’ve written, that, for me, is an acceptable casualty of pushing the envelope.

I’ve read a lot of things over the years from fellow writers I respect that have offended me. Some of that which I have felt was offensive I still felt was necessary and brilliant, and some of it I have simply loathed from top to bottom. Either way, as long as they still carry at least a redeemable qaulity, I always stick with my friends.

Larry stays weird! That is a promise I’ve made to myself. Regardless of increasing profits or the potential of hindered success for not being artless, LARRY STAYS WEIRD!!!

Comments

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    • Larry Rankin profile image
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      Larry Rankin 12 days ago from Oklahoma

      Jo, I always enjoy hearing from you:-)

    • jo miller profile image

      Jo Miller 13 days ago from Tennessee

      Here's a flyby: I like your writing.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 6 weeks ago from Central Florida

      I like that you're not predictable in what you write, Larry. Variety in a writer is a wonderful trait, in my opinion.

      As far as fly-bys go, I'll admit I've left a few, but I'd rather not. Not every article will appeal to me, no matter how closely I follow and support my fellow writers. My true HP friends know that and aren't offended if I don't leave a comment. But then again, I'm so far behind in my reading, I and my comments pop in when least expected!

      Congratulations on your new son. What's his name?

    • shprd74 profile image

      Hari Prasad S 6 weeks ago from Bangalore

      Very interesting ideas and inspiring. I will try to use some of the ideas to explore other topics in different modes (other than usual poetry way I have been accustomed to all these years). Thanks Larry.

      - hari

    • CatherineGiordano profile image

      Catherine Giordano 2 months ago from Orlando Florida

      It is stupid.I do the writing because I enjoy doing it. I decided it was a choice between using my time to write and reading and commenting on other hubbers. I cut way back on the latter. As for money, I think I might be earning 5 cents an hour. I write because it is my hobby. And it is a nice bonus when I can make payout. Good for you for focusing on product review--I think that is probably the best way to make money from hubs. You can get both views and sales.

    • Larry Rankin profile image
      Author

      Larry Rankin 2 months ago from Oklahoma

      Catherine: the whole thing is so absurd anyway. Putting in 100s of hours a year to make what might equal a supplementary income if you're lucky. I'm old enough to remember when writing ability was based on talent, not a popularity contest, and authors were cherished for keeping their mouths shut and thinking before they spoke instead of responding to everyone that enjoyed their stories with mindless noise.

      Remember when it was an author's job to write something and the reader's job to interpret it among themselves? It's all so dumbed down now and artless.

      This is all so stupid to me. Things I really enjoy that I read on the Internet I usually don't comment on at all, because I'm too busy enjoying it. But if you do that here, it means you don't care? And you can't just throw out some nonsense to acknowledge that you read and enjoyed it, because that's not good enough! And we're so stupid that we do what the computer tells us we have to do to make a few dollars.

      And it's not even stupidity, really, but desperation to feel like we matter, when none of us really do.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image

      Catherine Giordano 2 months ago from Orlando Florida

      Interesting read.

      Yes I have noticed you doing fly-bys on my hubs. I don't always read an entire article myself. But I try to write a meaningful comment based on the part I did read.

      There are some who do a different version of the fly-by. Instead of just a phrase, they'll do a couple of sentences on something related to your topic based on their own personal experience. I'll call it the fly-over. If I write how to build a tree house, their comment will be about a tree house they had a a kid. That way the avoid saying something that clearly indicates they didn't read it at all.

      Fly-bys and fly-overs don't really fool anyone. Are they worth doing anyway? I'm not sure. I think a reader has to stay on the page for a certain amount of time for a view to count. And HP said we should delete comments they don't add anything. Comments like "interesting read." Those kind of comments are bad for google ratings.

    • Larry Rankin profile image
      Author

      Larry Rankin 2 months ago from Oklahoma

      Finn: thanks for the thoughtful comment.

      As to the money issue. We all love the art of it or we wouldn't do it. While on some level I find the talk of money and writing distasteful, it doesn't make you a bad person to not want to starve to death.

      Thanks again for stopping by.

    • wpcooper profile image

      Finn Liam Cooper 2 months ago from Los Angeles

      Well some nice advice about writing and interesting observations about the monetary aspects of what writing can do to you as an artist/professional. I don't think anyone that writes wants to do it specifically for the money but you need to survive. And of course, in our internet age...things are different than they used to be. Writing is more challenging because there are articles out there on every topic and it is difficult to establish yourself as unique...that's for sure.

      also, your flyby comment was a bit flippant but a good observation.

      thanks for the advice and perspective....a bit of a n inspiration in a resassuring way

    • Larry Rankin profile image
      Author

      Larry Rankin 2 months ago from Oklahoma

      Kayla: I always appreciate hearing from you:-)

    • Blogging Momma profile image

      Kayla Hebert 2 months ago from Maine

      Congrats on your milestone and the new baby! I love your writing style and overall attitude. I need a bit of sarcasm to keep me entertained and you add just the right amount.

      I also think that you totally deserve to be able to celebrate your accomplishments. Not only that you deserve it but I think it is great to show that there is a real person behind all the articles you produce and that you work hard.

      Great job and thanks for letting me get to know you a little bit!

    • Larry Rankin profile image
      Author

      Larry Rankin 3 months ago from Oklahoma

      JG: thanks so much for dropping by. I'd noticed you haven't been around as much lately.

      You certainly can have success with creative writing on Hubpages, but I don't feel like they are as geared to promote that kind of writing as some other sites that specialize.

    • jgshorebird profile image

      jgshorebird 3 months ago from Southeastern U.S.

      Enjoyed this. Good info.

      As far as skimming stuff, I'm guilty. But then I usually don't comment. When I do jot a short note, I usually want hubbers to know I took the time to peruse their stuff.

      I too have noticed that some of my informational stuff tends to garner steady reads. Especially stuff where it's hard to find any info or like you indicated -- you give it your own spin.

      Oddly, some of my fiction is doing well, better now than all of my other crap. Maybe it's just a fluke for now. And lately I've been blogging elsewhere.

    • Larry Rankin profile image
      Author

      Larry Rankin 3 months ago from Oklahoma

      Fuller man: Thanks so much for stopping by. I appreciate your comments.

    • Fullerman5000 profile image

      Ryan Fuller 3 months ago from Louisiana, USA

      Man, this a definitely a milestone to be very proud off. Enjoy it and brag a little. Keep the creative juices going. Congrats on your success. I look forward to reading more of your work. I do miss the time when we would tease people without everyone being so offended and wearing their emotions on the outside. Keep the articles coming.

    • Larry Rankin profile image
      Author

      Larry Rankin 3 months ago from Oklahoma

      Jodah: your kind words regarding my artwork always puts a smile on my face. Unlike you, I have very little natural talent with such things, but I have came to enjoy doing them and trying my best.

      I probably spent 12 hours on this particular Trump piece. The repetition of symbols, especially on something like a playing card, is very difficult for me.

      Thanks so much for dropping by.

    • Larry Rankin profile image
      Author

      Larry Rankin 3 months ago from Oklahoma

      Linda: as for being weird, I don't know that I actually have a choice in the matter. I just am, lol.

      I have always enjoyed your kindness and support.

    • Larry Rankin profile image
      Author

      Larry Rankin 3 months ago from Oklahoma

      Irma: so glad to hear from you!

    • Larry Rankin profile image
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      Larry Rankin 3 months ago from Oklahoma

      Duane: thanks so much for taking the time to stop by:-)

    • Larry Rankin profile image
      Author

      Larry Rankin 3 months ago from Oklahoma

      FlourishAnyway: thanks so much for the kind words. As for the griping, Hubpages is a labor of love for all of us who stick with it. If it was about profits, we would've left a long time ago. Still nice to make a bit of coin:-)

      I've always found you to be such a helpful friend. Thanks so much for stopping by.

    • Larry Rankin profile image
      Author

      Larry Rankin 3 months ago from Oklahoma

      Road Monkey: I do so appreciate the kind words:-)

    • Larry Rankin profile image
      Author

      Larry Rankin 3 months ago from Oklahoma

      Bill: you move so much volume, just the fact you make the time to let all your fans know you're there and you care is a testament to how wonderful a person you are.

    • Larry Rankin profile image
      Author

      Larry Rankin 3 months ago from Oklahoma

      Harish: I really tried to have fun and be relaxed with the article. I wanted it to come off as a conversation with old friends.

      I'm so glad you enjoyed it.

    • Larry Rankin profile image
      Author

      Larry Rankin 3 months ago from Oklahoma

      Kara: that's the other side of the flyby that I didn't cover. They aren't as fulfilling for me as a reader to write. They are the comment equivalent of the thumbs up.

      I always enjoy hearing from you.

    • Larry Rankin profile image
      Author

      Larry Rankin 3 months ago from Oklahoma

      Heidi: thanks so much for the kind words. Our first liked to sleep pretty good through the night. This one doesn't, lol.

      I prefer to sit back and read my friends articles leisurely and unabbreviated. I can't wait to get back to doing that more:-) Right now I'm just doing what I can to keep my head above water, but at least it's a pleasant busy to have a new one in the world.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 3 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Parry, congratulations on 100,000 views, baby number two, and staying weird (we like you that way). I appreciate your apology and explanation of doing flyby comments. I must admit to doing the same occasionally, especially if an article is very long, so,etching unexpected comes up, or my Internet drops out. I much prefer someone to at least show their presence at one of my hubs than to read and say nothing. It does still show your support. I love the diversity of your hubs and congratulations that some are doing quite well monitarily. I love your King Trump of Diamonds artwork. Nice job.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 3 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Congratulations on the milestone, Larry. Please stay weird! I always enjoy reading your articles and looking at your interesting and original images. I appreciate all your comments, too, whether or not they are a flyby.

    • ponder profile image

      Irma Cowthern 3 months ago from Los Angeles,CA

      Hi Larry,

      Congrats!!!

    • Duane Townsend profile image

      Duane Townsend 3 months ago from Detroit

      Congratulations Larry!

      I've enjoyed reading your work.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 3 months ago from USA

      Congratulations on baby number two and I've never been offended by your fly by because I ?recalled your personal circumstances. I'm happy you are weird and making a little steady money from HP. I found that sticking with it instead of griping yields steady results after awhile and I find it fun. Congratulations on 3 years and 100 articles. I find it interesting knowing what has worked for others.

    • RoadMonkey profile image

      RoadMonkey 3 months ago

      I am glad Larry stays weird. There's noting like something out of the ordinary to garner attention and hits! Congratulations on reaching a milestone.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 3 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Well, whatever the milestone means to you, congrats! I remember writing a similar article when I hit my milestone, so there you go. As for flybys, I do it often lately. No excuses at all...life dictates how much time we have for all of this and that's just the real of it. Glad you are here, my friend.

    • Harishprasad profile image

      Harish Mamgain 3 months ago from India

      Larry, first of all, congrats on having blessed with a baby and your achieving a milestone. When I saw this hub, I was curious to know what kind of the stuff it would be ?

      I was expecting some kind of an elaborate article about how you worked hard to get to this number, but no, you wrote it in such an unique and interesting style that not a second did I stop reading it until I came to the last word. I think,readers today need this kind of razor sharp writing.

      I got to know about this word ' flyby ' for the first time, in the sense, that you pointed out in this hub. This is really a fun part of this hub. You yourself have defended such harmless comments. By the way, you write so well, loved reading this wonderful hub.

    • Kara Skinner profile image

      Kara Skinner 3 months ago from Maine

      I never thought of the "flybys" as being insulting, really. I'm happy for comments. However, I do feel a little like I failed as a reader when I end up giving one myself. Congrats on your milestone and making some money from Hubpages! And it's good that you keep writing articles you want to write instead of what's more profitable. It's a lot more fun that way.

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 3 months ago from Chicago Area

      First of all, congrats on your new family member and your HP milestone!

      Though I, too, have not made enough to retire by writing on HP, getting a bit here and there from informational articles makes me smile, too.

      And I've appreciated any "flybys" and more extensive comments that you've provided on my articles. I'm thankful you took the time to even scan them, considering that you have a new little one in the house. Thanks for being part of my HP tribe.

      Stay weird! Happy Weekend!