My Obligatory 100,000th Hit 100th Article Extravaganza!/or Keep Larry Weird
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.
What do you think of milestone articles?
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.
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.
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.
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!!!