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The Good Things About HubPages
I’ve been pretty harsh in my views about HubPages of late. I spared very few the written lash as I pointed out the shortcomings of staff and management.
There is no reason for me to repeat those shortcomings. My point has been made and now I move forward, and part of that forward journey is making sure I, in all fairness, point out the positives about that writer’s site.
This article was inspired by a comment I saw on Facebook. A former member of HubPages asked the question: Has HubPages done any good for anyone?
A valid question, and one I felt I needed to address, since I have been one of the harsher critics of late.
So this is my response to that question.
I Can Only Answer for Me
I understand the frustration and yes, anger. Although my goals were never about money when I joined HP, I can certainly understand why others are pissed off. Times are tough economically, and making money online sometimes means the difference between paying a utility bill or having the power disconnected. So this is real for many of you out there.
I can only answer for me.
I joined HubPages against my will. My wife insisted that I join a writing community so I could obtain valuable feedback from my peers. She explained, accurately, that growth would not happen for me if I stayed safely tucked away in my writing studio free of interaction. I needed to put my writing out there and have it judged by other writers.
My plan, quite honestly, was to post a handful of articles to placate my wife, and then be done with HubPages. I gave it the old college try, it didn’t work out, and now it’s time to move on to something else. That’s what I was going to tell her after I put in a week.
And yet, three years later, I am still here.
No one is more shocked than I am.
Something happened during that first week that I could never have predicted: I discovered I loved interacting with other writers. I found acceptance where I did not know acceptance existed.
And that leads us to the first thing I receive from HubPages….the “warms and fuzzies” of friendship.
Warms and Fuzzies
I have over two thousand followers on HubPages, but they are not all friends. It would be foolish and untruthful to say that they all are friends but…..I can honestly say that several hundred of them are my friends, and to this day I find that remarkable.
To date I have met two of them. Two out of several hundred, and yet I consider them all my friends.
In a time when society has raised the drawbridges and become less social; in a time when trust is at a premium and true interaction is flimsy at best; somehow I have managed to form true friendships with hundreds of people without ever leaving my home.
I know their names. I know the names of their family members. I know what they do for a living. I know when they have suffered losses, and I know when they have enjoyed triumphs. I know the names of their pets and what their dreams are….I cry with them, laugh with them, rejoice with them and mourn with them.
From Tucson to Tuscany….from New York to York….from Dubois to Dubai….I have friends around the world, people who care about me and people I care about.
HubPages did that for me!
Standing on a Platform
For three years now I have given you all advice on how to be an effective freelance writer. I spoke to you from experience. Over three years ago I quit a full-time teaching job and, without a safety net, embarked on a writing journey, so when I told you what worked and didn’t work, I was speaking from the harsh realm of experience.
I told you that a freelance writer needs to build a platform, a body of work that shows his/her skills as a writer, and part of that platform is an online presence. Your articles need to be circulated online. The Google gods must be aware of you.
HubPages has provided that platform. This is what they do. They give writers an online address where their work can be displayed. For the most part they do this well. I am quite certain they understand Google and the marauding Pandas much better than I do, thus increasing our chances, as writers, of having our work seen by the masses.
Their suggestions on how to make articles SEO-friendly are right on. They understand the world of keywords, and they pass that knowledge on to writers free of charge.
There can be no denying that fact.
Springing into the Future
HubPages is, in fact, a springboard for writers. I have made contacts at HP. I have met editors and publishers and certainly readers. I have learned about effective ways to write and publish, and every single day new information is delivered to my inbox.
That information, in turn, will help me in the future as I take my career in new directions. HubPages has, literally, allowed me to become known in the writing community. The name Billybuc….and more importantly, Bill Holland, now is recognizable in dozens of countries. That may not have happened without HubPages, but that is merely conjecture. The fact is that it did happen because, partly, HP was here for me.
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- William Holland | Helping Writers to Spread Their Wings and Fly
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So Where to Now?
I suspect I will eventually leave. I don’t know when that will be. My friend Cristen suggests I should leave today and take whatever writing talent I have to greener pastures. She also suggests, and accurately I might add, that my efforts would be better served by following other paths. There is no doubt that the monetary payback for all the thousands of hours spent at HP is ridiculous, and I could make much more money if I concentrated my efforts in other pursuits.
She is right and yet I remain.
Shortly after I arrived at HP, I set a personal goal of writing 1,000 articles at HP. I am now at 927. I am fairly certain a change of direction will happen once that goal is attained sometime in April.
Loyalty runs deep in my veins. This is where I got my beginning, and this is where I made hundreds of wonderful relationships, and those things cannot be tossed aside easily….and yet I will have to leave eventually, because I have big plans that demand more and more of my time and effort. I am three years into a five-year plan. I can visualize my success in five years. I know it will happen.
I cannot say the same about HubPages.
And that saddens me.
But this is not about sadness. This is about thanks.
Thank you to the community of fine writers who have supported me for over three years. You will never know how much I truly appreciate you. You do not receive what you deserve at HP, and I’m sure many of you will leave eventually, but I want you to know how important I believe you are.
And thank you to HubPages for giving me the opportunity to spread my wings and fly. Those wings will carry me elsewhere eventually, but there will always be a place in this writer’s heart for the site that gave me a place to grow.
2015 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)
“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”