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The Mistake Many Writers Make At HubPages

Updated on November 19, 2016

The Years Have Flown By

A note before we begin: this is only aimed at those Hubbers who "follow" someone and never once comment on the hubs of others. That is still a very small percentage of HubPages, but that number is growing, and that disturbs me.

Now let's begin!

I am zeroing in on five years at HubPages. I’ve got it in my sights and I’m about to shoot down another milestone on my writing journey.

Five years ago I took a chance. Truth be told, I joined this site simply to end my wife’s nagging. She’s my biggest supporter, you see, and she had been riding my butt for several months to put my writing out there and test the waters. I was content to just write a novel and never risk the scrutiny of strangers’ eyes, but she said that was nonsense, get out there, let others read it, find out if you have what it takes, blah, blah and more blah, will that woman ever shut up…….?

So I joined!

And my writing life changed!

Here I am, nine novels and twelve-hundred articles later, and I’m forced to admit my wife knew what she was talking about.

Dammit!

So anyway, I’ve got some miles behind me, and the road ahead is smoother for me because of the time I’ve spent at HP, and that time spent has taught me some valuable lessons about being an indie writer in this big, scary world overflowing with indie writers. And it is one of those lessons I want to share with you all today.

Shall we?

My opinion of people who do not comment
My opinion of people who do not comment | Source

Why Are You Here?

I ask that because I’ve noticed an interesting trend at HubPages over the past few years. Rarely does a week go by when I don’t receive several notices telling me new writers are following me. It’s been that way since the early days of me being here, so that’s nothing unusual. What is unusual, though, and the trend I’m talking about, is that most of those people “following” me are never heard from again in the form of comments. They publish their articles, occasionally toss in a forum thread, but other than that, I never hear from them.

Now trust me, that’s in stark contrast to how it was when I first joined HubPages. Back then, when dinosaurs roamed the earth, people signed up to follow someone and then actually read articles written by other writers and commented on those articles. Back then, after the Great Flood had receded, relationships and friendships were formed, support was given, and ideas were exchanged.

I was thinking about this new trend last week when word was sent out that Mary Craig, Tillsontitan on HubPages, had died. Mary was a good friend of mine, a very early supporter of mine here at HP, and a beautiful human being. I never met Mary in person and yet she was a good friend. Right now I could tell you the names of her family members. I could tell you what she loved and what she detested, the important issues in her life, and I could even tell you some stories about her childhood.

She was a friend. She was a peer. She was a mentor.

In that week since her death, I’ve received five new followers, and not one comment from any of the five.

One dead, five new ones . . . in my opinion, that’s a negative outcome!

So, Back to the Question

Why are you here?

Some of you may not be here for friendship. You see this as a way of making some quick supplemental income, and why waste valuable time commenting on the articles of others? Right? It’s all nonsense, right? You’ll make your money whether you ever comment or not, so why bother? Some of you don’t care about mentors or even peers. Cash in, cash out, and move to the next opportunity.

Ridiculous is my reaction to that nonsense!

If you are just into this content writing to make money then you suck as a marketing manager.

How’s that for blunt?

Allow me, then, to point out the fallacy in your thinking. Don’t worry, I’m not charging you for this advice. Consider it my gift to you, a down-payment on a future friendship.

An supportive HP community
An supportive HP community | Source

MARKETING 101

Marketing, for writers, is all about building a platform from which you can showcase your work. What is a platform, you ask? A platform, for writers, is not only the collective body of work they produce, but also their combined efforts to make that work known i.e. their website, their supporters and followers, their social media efforts, etc.

In other words, for me, my platform consists, not only of my thousands of articles and ten novels, but also my thirteen-hundred followers on HubPages, and the thousands who “friend” me on Facebook, and my followers on Twitter and Pinterest, on Flipboard and Reddit, those who follow my website and those I meet out in public. They are all my platform, and the larger my platform is, the better my chances are of succeeding.

Are you with me so far? Now I’m going to change direction for just a moment.

I read somewhere once that if a writer has one-hundred followers who will “follow him into hell,” he then is well on his way to success, because not only will those one-hundred followers read this books and articles, but they will tell their friends and family to read his books, and word-of-mouth is still the cheapest and most reliable marketing one can utilize.

So, let me ask you this: do you have one-hundred such followers?

And almost all of them, for me, came from the relationships I built, over the years, at HubPages.

Marketing 101!

Another Marketing Lesson for You Neophytes

If you are a writer trying to make money, you are your business. Your articles and books are your product but you, the writer, are the business. And success, in business, is all about customer service and building relationships with your customers.

And the best way to do this is to actually communicate with your customers!

Over the past five years I have literally received over 100,000 comments on my articles. I’ve responded to every single one of those comments. It’s the very least I can do if someone has taken the time to comment on my work, and from a marketing standpoint, it just makes good sense. It’s not like I’m basking in the luxury of unlimited time. I’m a busy guy and yet I find the time to respond to comments, and you should be doing it too.

Do you do that? Do you form relationships, or do you just hit the “follow” button and then disappear into the online background?

Someone told me the other day that one of the HP staff told them it wasn’t important whether they commented on Hubs or didn’t comment. I can’t verify whether the staff member said such a thing but if they did they are nutso. From a marketing standpoint it is suicide not to acknowledge when customer comments about your product.

Hit the road and don't follow me if you can't be bothered to actually follow me
Hit the road and don't follow me if you can't be bothered to actually follow me | Source

I Don’t Know What Else to Say

I think many of you are missing the boat. I think you’re blowing it from a marketing standpoint, and you’re blowing it from a personal standpoint.

HubPages is more than just a way to make money. HubPages is a community of human beings, and we all need each other. If you think for one moment you’re going to make it as a writer living in a self-contained bubble, then you really are living in LaLa Land.

2016 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

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    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 5 months ago from New Delhi, India

      Excellent and relevant points made by you in this hub!

      It is important to actually read and then comment , otherwise what's the point in following someone. Reading others work enriches you as a writer.

      Thanks for bringing up this important suggestion! Have a good day!

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 5 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Well said, Bill! Well said!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Chitrangada Sharan, I love your last point, that it enriches us as writers. Thank you for saying that.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks John! Have a great weekend.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 5 months ago from Dallas, Texas

      You've summed up the follower experience of late, Bill. With seven years here on Hub Pages, I received a Hub of the Day (of two total) a long time back. That brought in so many new names to my list of followers and yet so few were ever heard from again. I truly believe that to grow as writers we need interaction from our peers and the best result of writing here is that feedback. I know it encouraged me to continue working on my novel. Some are only here hoping for a quick buck.

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 5 months ago from New York, New York

      Beautifully said, Bill and honestly you are many of the truly bright spots here that keeps me coming back daily. Happy Friday, my friend now!! :)

    • kbdressman profile image

      kbdressman 5 months ago from Harlem, New York

      Yes! This! Writing platforms come and go, income changes, but the constant that can keep writers coming back when they hit tough times are the relationships they've built. That's what brings real and lasting satisfaction in writing. The whole point of writing is communication.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Peg. I'm going to be very selective from here on deciding who to follow. I don't have time for these fly-bys.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Janine, you are the exact opposite of this message. Loyalty counts for something with you and I love that.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      kbdressman, I love your last sentence. Writing is communication. Well said.

    • Barbara Kay profile image

      Barbara Kay Badder 5 months ago from USA

      I'm a guilty one. However, I have replied to every comment ever made on one of my hubs as far as I know. I read most of your hubs, but I don't comment often anymore. Somehow I've just lost my motivation here. There is a long story behind it, too personal to tell so publicly.

    • Old Poolman profile image

      Mike 5 months ago from Rural Arizona

      Good morning Bill, Once again some great advice from an accomplished writer who speaks from the heart.

      We are all aware of those followers who believe they are doing writers a big favor when they drop by and say, "Great Hub." With comments like that we are unclear on whether they actually read the authors work or just dropped by to get credit for leaving a comment.

      My advice to them would be if you didn't bother to read it don't bother to comment.

      Have a great weekend Bill.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 5 months ago from Southern Illinois

      What else can I say? You said it all, and it needed to be in bold print.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Oh Barbara, I don't think you are guilty at all. I'm talking about the ones who we never hear from, and that doesn't fit you at all. Thank you for your friendship.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Mike, I am in total agreement. I don't need more friends and I don't need false praise. I'm quite happy with the friends I have and I'm secure enough in myself to know I can have some pretty good moments as a writer.

      Thanks, buddy! Winter has arrived here and I'm cold this morning. LOL

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you so much, Ruby! Happy Friday to you.

    • kbdressman profile image

      kbdressman 5 months ago from Harlem, New York

      I think hubpages is partially responsible for the change in attitude in the community. When your feed was your homepage you saw what was going on with your community more often, which naturally led to more interaction. Newer hubbers never saw that aspect of the hubpages experience, so they're less likely to understand the need to build a community here on hubpages.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Interesting point, kbdressman, and one I agree with. I don't think HP really cares about the community aspect of this site. All of their moves seem to move us further and further away from that.

    • sallybea profile image

      Sally Gulbrandsen 5 months ago from Norfolk

      Billy, you have it spot on and I am so happy to count you as one of my friends.

      You are so right about Hubpages being a showcase for our writing. Had it not been for HubPages I would never have been discovered by a publisher looking for an article for her magazine.

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 5 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Bill you have summed it up very well. I have "followers" but I would say that loyal cadre is about a dozen or so. That's it. I'm not disappointed as much as I am just...baffled. Like you, I wonder what they thought this was all about when they first signed up. I'm happy that you and I "met" and then we really did meet face-to-face. I would hope that HP staff would actually encourage us to work together, support each other and help everyone learn in this great thing we call life.

    • Becky Katz profile image

      Becky Katz 5 months ago from Hereford, AZ

      You are definitely right about this. I have seen as many years on here as you and it changes so often that you can't even keep up with the changes, let alone the people whose hubs you would like to read. I have had so much going on in the last three years that I had to quit writing. My husband got very much worse and I have not had time to read much. I have had no time to comment, so I read what I can and just do not comment. I am going to have to change that now. It is hard to go back to commenting once you quit. I will have to make a commitment to comment on everything I read. Then I will have to make a commitment to start writing again.

      Three moves, one across the country, a huge illness and a death in my family does not help the creative process. It tends to kill it.

    • kbdressman profile image

      kbdressman 5 months ago from Harlem, New York

      Billybuc, I'm just returning from a hiatus from Hubpages so I'm guilty of not being a great follower of late. I'd be interesting in hearing your thoughts on how the response to this hub compares to the response you typically get to your hubs. Your community is full of great experienced writers and some of my favorite hubbers, so it would make sense that any of your pieces, on whatever topic, would draw such a great response from this crowd. But I also find it interesting that it seems to be the experienced writers that are drawn to pieces on being successful on hubpages or becoming a better hubber. I'm wondering if the response on this hub might be demonstrative of how important continuing to learn and grow as a hubber is to becoming a successful and long-term hubber, which again would show how important community is to being successful on hubpages. Thoughts? The ability to get real, honest, frank (but kind) critiques and to continue to learn as a hubber is another aspect of the hubpages community that I think isn't being emphasized enough on hubpages.

      You've made me think. Thank you.

    • Suzie HQ profile image

      Suzanne Ridgeway 5 months ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hit the nail on the head my friend, well said. I have seen you quickly become the go-to guru here since I joined 4 years ago. I am so thankful I took the plunge having never really written because without joining I would never have met such a wonderful bunch of friends here from all over the globe. You have been such an inspiration, mentor, guide, sounding board and above all a real friend who has never judged but has only help motivate me to get my mojo in order. HP can be an incredible place to build relationships and learn from each other. Have a lovely weekend Bill, love to Bev and the brood xxxxx

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 5 months ago from Chicago Area

      Yay, Bev, for pushing you to join the HP universe. Yay, you, for pushing yourself to make it into something special.

      After seeing an ad for HP on (I think) Problogger three years ago, I moved my blogging adventure here to cut down on blog maintenance costs and (maybe) make a few bucks along the way. But the conversation and community I found here surpassed anything I had encountered in the blogosphere. Those who are active and engaged here make HP what it is.

      For me it also tests ground and breaks ground. In addition to the web traffic monitoring, the comments and insight from my HP posse spawn new ideas and perspectives I couldn't have received elsewhere.

      I am so glad I made the leap to HP and so glad that you are part of my experience here. Something to be thankful for this Thanksgiving!

    • Duane Townsend profile image

      Duane Townsend 5 months ago from Detroit

      I took notes on this Hub billybuc.

      Congrats on your 5 year milestone.

      Cheers

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 5 months ago from Oklahoma

      Even if they'd just visit from time to time, but they don't do that, much less leave comments. I get frustrated with people who want the benefits but want nothing to do with the day to day effort.

      Great read!

    • jo miller profile image

      jo miller 5 months ago from Tennessee

      Thanks, Bill

      I recently decided to get back into HubPages, and the first thing I did was to try to renew some contacts and become a more active part of the community before submitting any more articles. I've never been really sure that this is a place where I could become comfortable writing, but I'm willing to give it a better shot than I have so far. I appreciate the support of you and other Hubbers.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Exactly, Sally, and again, I am so proud of you for persevering and "making it." This is only the beginning for you, my friend, and I'm excited for you.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Linda, one of the highlights of my summer was meeting you, and you know I'm not just saying that. I wish all Hubbers could find a way to meet their peers and form lasting bonds, and I think HP should encourage that.

      Thank you for being you!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Becky, considering what you've been through, I think you are doing very well just commenting this once. I'm sorry for your hardships, I really am, and thank you for taking the time to read this and comment. Blessings to you always.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      kbdressman, I like you. I didn't know anything about you until this hub, but I like your thoughtful statements and reflections. My thoughts? So far, yours is the only comment I've seen from someone I normally don't hear from. All the others are regulars I see often. I'm not sure what that means, but I suspect there are a great many on this site who could care less about being in a community. I hope you and I continue to follow each other actively. I promise to do better on my end. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Aw, Irish, a big old hug to you, my friend, and you are my friend, and that fact points to the great benefits of this site for those who want it.

      Hi to the Mickster from me!

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 5 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Bill - I don't know a darn thing about marketing. I do know that you comments are all over Hubpages, like fingerprints. Many days I sat here reading other peoples work and almost without fail, you would have already left a comment in the comment stream.

      Congratulations on the five year mark. As for the quick buck to be made here at HP. Well, I suspect that goal arrives any time now.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      All true, Heidi, and I feel the same way about you and others. You all are my extended family, and I honestly cherish all of you....so thank you!

    • kbdressman profile image

      kbdressman 5 months ago from Harlem, New York

      Billybuc, you'll definitely hear more from me moving forward! I appreciate people who value the people around them and make me think. Thanks for keeping the spirit of Hubpages alive. It's what keeps us from being a content mill.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Not quite there yet, Duane, but thank you, and I'll try to be better about commenting on your hubs in the future.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I do too, Larry, and I'm tired of enabling them to continue. From now on my efforts are for active followers only...like you.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Jo, and I, for one, am glad you returned. Let's do it again soon, okay? :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Mike, please note, I said "quick buck," not a bunch of them. LOL I don't know what a guy has to do to make decent money on HP but I do know I'm not doing it. LOL Thanks my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      That makes me happy, Katie. Have a great day in Provo!

    • Kylyssa profile image

      Kylyssa Shay 5 months ago from Overlooking a meadow near Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

      It's too bad that faithfully reading everything you write isn't enough for you to value your followers. I am autistic, so, for me, leaving a comment may take hours of working my nerve up to do it. I assumed that reading and sharing your work when it moved me to was being a good reader, so finding out you have be praised in comments to see me as anything other than a dirty toilet bowl is saddening.

      I'm currently trying to survive the impending loss of immediate family members. My role as a caregiver who is also ill with lupus forces me to use all my nerving myself up for one-on-one communication for making phone calls to hospitals, doctors, insurance companies, and so on. That's been the case for the last three years. It's the only way I can have the physical strength to keep emptying the vomit basins and nurturing my dying loved ones while swallowing my tears.

      Sometimes, when I'm feeling like I need some human contact with people who aren't either dying or suffering anticipatory grief for the same losses themselves, I do find the right frame of mind that allows me to only take a little while to comment. But I only comment if it flows easily and naturally or if someone is clearly in pain and I think I might be able to help them see a way out. Anything else would take too much out of me.

      I read everything you write as I'm able, but now, I won't be able to enjoy your words knowing what you think of your readers who don't comment on your hubs, what you think of me. I'm not a toilet.

    • norlawrence profile image

      Norma Lawrence 5 months ago from California

      Great article. I have learned a lot from you and you are so right. I have always done well but since I have been here on HP I have terrible. I get very few views and less comments. I comment on other peoples article but it does me little good. I enjoy your article so keep up the good work.

    • whonunuwho profile image

      whonunuwho 5 months ago from United States

      Thank you for sharing this my friend. You are an inspiration to many, as well as myself. Blessings. whonu

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Kylyssa, I'm so sorry you feel that way. That in no way was my intention and I'm very sorry. This was for the people who never bother to read or comment, and there are a great many of them out there. The mere fact that I recognize your name means you aren't one of them and never was the target of this hub. Please accept my apology even though it wasn't meant for you. Anyone who knows me and has followed my words over the years knows me to be an understanding and supportive human being. I would never intentionally hurt someone like you. I'm simply pointing out that there are literally hundreds of people on HP who push the "follow" button and never do anything after that, and I don't understand that at all.

    • Rodric29 profile image

      Rodric Johnson 5 months ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      When I joined hubpages I remember it being chatty too. It just stopped. The people I followed disappeared and I was left with strangers who rarely comment. I love comments. I love fore people to challenge my thinking. I miss that. I happens so rarely anymore.

      I am writing my memoir and I have at least 100 followers. I hope that they buy my book. I did not think of my followers as a potential customer base. That's why they pay you the big bucks.

    • Buildreps profile image

      Buildreps 5 months ago from Europe

      You've said it. That's good, Bill. Have a good weekend!

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 5 months ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks for saying (writing) what I'm sure many of us are thinking. Usually when I get a notice of someone following, I look to see why.

      Did that person read an article and decide that he or she wants to read more from me? That person would leave a comment.

      If someone just pushes the "follow" button without caring whether or not he or she likes what I write, that's does not help either of us.

      Thanks for outlining the importance of real followship and support here on HP. You are an exemplary follower and I try to be one also.

    • kbdressman profile image

      kbdressman 5 months ago from Harlem, New York

      Kylyssa, kudos to you for being willing to share a differing perspective in a way that allowed for discussion (as opposed to just blatantly attacking other people as is becoming custom on social media). It enriches these conversations greatly when people are willing to speak up and share their opinions and experiences. It allows us to see the situation from a different perspective. Know that your input is appreciated when you are in a position to give it and your views and thoughts are appreciated when you don't feel like sharing as well.

      I think we can safely say that quiet supporters who comment when they have something to say are still a very valuable part of the community. I've read several hubs of late that I just didn't have anything to add to the conversation. What do I do? Leave a generic "nice hub" that shows I was there? Stay silent because "nice hub" leaves more questions than answers? It's kind of a catch-22. (I personally choose to stay silent, but maybe that's not the right answer.)

      It's the people who join Hubpages and write a few poorly written hubs in an effort to get rich quick, that don't an effort to read or think or really communicate with other readers that bother me. It's the people who have no sense of community and don't build relationships that don't understand Hubpages.

    • Austinstar profile image

      Austinstar 5 months ago from Somewhere in the universe

      I always marvel at the people who ask, "How do I write a hub?" or "How do I get paid here?"

      It tells everyone that they don't READ!

      We need to read other hubs, and yes, comment on them.

      We need to read the help files and learn to follow the rules of the road here at HP.

      We need to read what others have to say!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks so much, Norlawrence. I'll try and be better about commenting on your hubs. Have a great weekend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Whonu, I was actually thinking of you, and the poor job I do of supporting you, when I wrote this. Guilty as charged, I am, and I vow to do a better job of supporting your efforts.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      All true, Rodric, and that last line was funny. The big bucks, for me, are the friendships I've gained here on HP. They are priceless.

      Good luck with that memoir, and best wishes always.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Said it and now I'm done, Buildreps. You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink.

      Thanks my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Aw, thanks, Dora. I still have some work to do in being the follower I should be, but I'm trying to improve.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Katie, look at you, saying exactly what I feel. Maybe I should have paid you to write this Hub. You said it all better than I did. :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Austin, lately there have been forum posts of people asking for feedback on their hubs. I don't understand that and probably never will. Do you want feedback? Then give it in return! Seems pretty simple to me.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 5 months ago from london

      Excellent point! You've touched on it before and yes, there are some recent shadowy figures about, maybe from an Agatha Christie's mystery novel. You never really see them, but they are seemingly following you. "Hub-stalking!" There you are, I have given it a name (chuckle)

      Hope that you get lots more Mary Craig's, Bro. A very decent human being, she was! May her Spirit live on with us all.

    • DreamerMeg profile image

      DreamerMeg 5 months ago from Northern Ireland

      You said what needed to be said. One point I think anyone aspiring to be a writer or a Hubber needs to understand is that you will get far more feedback (and thus visits, which could potentially earn you money) if you take part and comment and respond to comments. It's part of the job, NOT a boring add-on, NOR a waste of valuable writing time.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I like it, Manatita, Hub-Stalking! It's always nice to have a name for an adversary. LOL

      blessings to you and to Mary Craig.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 5 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      I remember after my first three hubs and I did not respond to comments. Truth be told I was so lame maybe I did not know how. A long passed writer from Liverpool commented to me that I was an ass for not responding. He said "if someone speaks to you, do you not speak back?" How rude! I really hate being rude - I was so embarrassed.

      Hey if I read a hub I damn sure well need to let you know and my thoughts.

      (except for Billybuc who gets so many comments it is also embarrassing ;-)

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 5 months ago from England

      Me too Bill. drives me insane when I see another 'so and so followed you' blah blah! come and have a chat, comment make friends! we all loved Mary, she made us laugh with her costumes and was lovely to chat too on facebook, you can't replace good friends just add the other good ones to it.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I totally agree, Meg, and it's good to know others feel the same way. Just from a marketing standpoint, it makes sense to respond to your customers.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Totally embarrassing, Eric, but I've learned to live with it. LOL You crack me up, buddy! Thanks for sharing your earlier experience.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Nell, to me, one Mary, or one you, is worth a thousand of the silent followers. I think I'll go eliminate some of them right now. :)

    • Kailua-KonaGirl profile image

      June Parker 5 months ago from New York

      I am one of those neophytes who seldom comments anymore, let alone add any more HubPages. Sometimes I read an article someone has written and leave without commenting. I apologize for that.

      Since Squidoo closed, I lost a substantial part of my income. I am working at building several websites to replace the income I have lost and need badly, which has been a steep learning curve for me. It is very time-consuming. Along with the constant pain, I am in, I am in the mode of working until I can't stand the pain, lying down to rest until I can muster to get back up, then getting back to the work. Figure that in with just doing the things life requires, I am exhausted with little time left.

      I have scheduled one day a week for emails (yes, 3 email accounts takes most of my day), to respond to my Pinterest account, and to HubPages. Once a month I may look at Twitter & FB. LOL.

      Again, Billy, I do apologize, but sometimes it is just impossible for this old woman to do more. Damn, getting old ain't all it's cracked up to be. (Grin) Golden years my old Irish/Hawaiian arse.

      BTW. I do love your writing even if I don't always respond.

    • Don Bobbitt profile image

      Don Bobbitt 5 months ago from Ruskin Florida

      Well Said, Billybuc! Well Said!

      After 7 years here, not only has HP changed, but so many of my "audience" have also melted away. I guess they've given up on the vast army of neophytes looking for the fast Buck, or they've just gotten tired of being beat down by the ever-changing world of technology that forces HP to keep chasing the almighty dollar for themselves (and rightly so, I guess) and us.

      I ended up pulling nearly all of my "creative" works long ago, and mostly just use HP for exhibiting my articles on the world of RV's and camping. They are full of "information" so they're acceptable to Google, this month!

      Now? Well, every morning I get up, pour a mug of coffee and then read my feed, while shaking my head over what I see offered by this new and large influx of aspiring writers.

      Sure Bill, I try to read most of it, but the total lack of concern about something as simple as writing an interesting Title that has proper spelling and grammar, keeps me from even opening the article itself.

      So, here we are brother, living in a world full of tweets and facebook jokes, and Instagram photos, trying to actually WRITE!

      All I can say is; R U Crazy? Am I? LMAO!

      DON

    • firstcookbooklady profile image

      Char Milbrett 5 months ago from Minnesota

      Well. I now feel pressured to acknowledge that I have read your page. I have a jetpack for internet and spend most of my hours playing Yahtzee with buddies, so don't spend time doing much more than shaking another pair of sixes.... Keep up the great writing!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Kailua, this in no way is aimed at you so please, don't apologize. This is for those people who "follow" and then are never heard from again...not a word....not once...nothing. That I don't understand and never will. Very few of us can comment on all of the hubs all of the time. It's silly to expect that...but occasionally? I don't think that's too much to ask for, and you do more than your share...so thank you very much, my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Firstcook, good luck with the Yahtzee, and thanks for the chuckle and visit. No pressure at all, my friend.

    • Happymommy2520 profile image

      Amy 5 months ago from East Coast

      Loved this post. I have actually made some great friend on this site. I have more in common with my fellow hubbers than many people I am friends with Facebook. Great read, I wish you a happy holiday season!

    • letstalkabouteduc profile image

      Nancy Mitchell 5 months ago from Bend, OR

      Well, that needed to be said, Bill. I think a lot of us have been thinking the same. I also hate it when people leave a generic comment and it's SO obvious they haven't read a word. You're probably preaching to the choir but great job!

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 5 months ago

      I have never thought of HP as a way to make money. HP afforded me the opportunity to write, thrive and meet so many incredible people. I love it here because of the wonderful friends I have made along the way.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Don, that was a funny and enjoyable comment. Has the quality of writing fallen here or what? I'm appalled at the mistakes I see daily on so many hubs. What the hell???

      Anyway, I'm glad you are here, and I'm going to try and read as many of your RV hubs as possible, just for the hell of it. LOL

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Happymommy and I agree with you about the great friends I have here on HP. I appreciate you, and Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I know I am, letstalk, but it felt good to write it anyway. LOL Thanks for stopping by and Happy Holidays to you.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Same here, Pop. The money, for me, was always a bonus for doing something I love doing. That's a win-win in anyone's language.

      Thanks, Pop, and Happy Weekend to you!

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 5 months ago from Brazil

      This is spot on, we have to pull together and help those who genuinely want to write, improve their presence on and offline and be part of the Hubpages community.

      You practice what you preach probably more than any hubber here.

      We all need to take a leaf from that book.

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      MizBejabbers 5 months ago

      Very well said, Bill. I treasure the real writer friends that I've made in the years I've been here. Rarely do I ever read a hub and not leave a comment; then only when I can't think of anything nice to say about the hub. I miss the Level X Commenter ranking that we used to have, and I wonder if it's demise is one of the reasons for some people's not having the motivation to leave a comment.

      When I get a new follower, I always check out their profile page. If they are an active member or if the have the potential to be, I may follow them back. When I checked the profile of my latest one, I found that person had been banned from HP. I have no idea why, but we've had some spammers recently.

      Anyway, you are one of my treasured friends on HP and if I don't leave a comment on one of your hubs, it means I haven't gotten around to reading it yet. Like Klyssa, I have had a death in the family and some personal issues I'm trying to work through, so I haven't been as active recently. I miss Mary very much. She was also one of my treasured friends.

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 5 months ago from Jeffersonville PA

      I'm approaching my 5-year mark in March, 2016 and am ever grateful for the virtual friends I have truly come to love - with me through thick and thin. And you, young man, are high on the list.

      Wishing you a peaceful weekend and a Happy Thanksgiving. Love, Maria

    • alancaster149 profile image

      Alan Robert Lancaster 5 months ago from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire)

      Well Bill, here's me doing my Charles Atlas act again, holding up the planet... Where was I? Course, a comment's needed here isn't it.

      I have to throw my hands up and own up to being a bit slack on the commenting scene on your Hubs and others'. Unlike Mick'n'Keef, ("Time Is On My Side"), I've been a bit scratched for time but I've pulled in my feelers a bit. There's just this, my Amazon blogs (US and UK) and my books now. The wife's been a bit cranky, accused me of ignoring her five nights a week until the 'wee small hours' (there's some Chuck Berry for you).

      I've got a battalion of followers, most of whom have only 'followed' without comment. I can bear that. Some can't spell or put two words together to make grammatical sense. I can put up with that - just about. Some have just displayed ignorance of the subject matter and I've had to put them in their place, never to hear from them again.

      Like you I don't put up with fools, but I'll gauge them to see if they'll even understand what I might write in answer. One insisted on commenting in a trite manner on every episode in a saga. He couldn't take a bit of wisecracking, a bit of a leg-pull. so he melted back into the woodwork. Am I too hard on them? I don't think so. I'm not on trial when someone comments. Sometimes people have put me right or queried what I've put down here. I'll answer the accusations, after all if I've put myself up as a target I've got to develop a taste for 'flak'. (No use bleating about lead poisoning).

      So here I are, my mark's been made. Where's the firing squad?

    • jamesplee profile image

      James Lee 5 months ago from Las Vegas, NV

      I agree you will learn much more about being successful on any internet community by interacting with those experienced few who can guide you. This is my first time commenting on a Hub Page. Not going to be the last. Thanks Bill!

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 5 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Bill-bro.....I saw the word, "Mistake" in your title and wondered why you were talking about me again. (I thought we agreed Mom was kidding when she called me that!)

      Anyway, of course you have focused on a pet-peeve of mine as well.....sort of. My complaint is in the same artery, different vein.

      I too have that "core" group of loyal followers who are truly fans-friends-read my work-comment & support. A wild guess is that the number is approximately 150......out of, as noted on my profile page....800-plus followers (?) That's OK with me actually, because I don't spend nearly the amount of time on HP as you do. (I don't know that anyone does!)

      A quick scroll down my list of followers tells me clearly that a good 30% of them are sadly, far too many of my good ole buddies who have flown the coop. (And I miss them!)

      Another 30-40% are people who as you have noted, hit the follow tab and never once visit our site. So...there's that group too.

      I have also come across those who simply do not comment.....and that's their right of course, but I fail to understand. No big deal. I don't understand a whole lot about people.

      I'm always disappointed when OUR comments on a fellow writer's work are not acknowledged. WHO does that? Well here, quite a few.

      Aw shucks, it's no secret my enthusiasm-interest-writing, has waned considerably........for more than one or two reasons. It's that core group of people I adore that prevents me from simply closing up shop altogether. Just can't do it. Give up and walk away from my dear friends? Never happen.

      I miss Mary, Dr. DJ, Dusty.....aww....3 of the sweetest people ever. I try like heck to keep up with those who left and created their own sites......that gets difficult for me. Maria & Vicki W. are 2 I cruise along with because they send us notices.

      Anyway...that's my 2 cents. I'm sure now we both feel better! Sis

    • cat on a soapbox profile image

      Catherine Tally 5 months ago from Los Angeles

      Hi Bill, I've always respected your honesty, and I'm glad that you've spoken up about those who follow w/o ever reading or commenting. I'm not a stellar community contributor, either. I often take very long breaks from writing or participating. The last time I made an effort was to thoroughly catch up before voting for the Hubbies. Honestly I've been so fed up over the election vitriol in the feed that I've cut considerable time here. I hope you know how much I appreciate your dedication to the HP community and your writing whether I comment often or not. Happy Thanksgiving!

      Cat:)

    • Pax Pacis profile image

      Pax Pacis 5 months ago from North Carolina

      This is an awesome article. I am brand new and hope to read more blunt and honest articles as I learn how to write. Thank you, sir, much appreciated.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      James, I really appreciate you choosing my article for your first comment. Don't be a stranger.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you, Pax Pacis, and welcome to HP. Don't be a stranger.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 5 months ago from USA

      I feel sad that there are people among us who do read our words and enjoy or respond emotionally to our writing but cannot or do not leave a comment. The traffic indecates there are people who do choose to remain silent. That's okay with me but I gain so very much from those who can take a chance and share their world.

    • Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

      Wesman Todd Shaw 5 months ago from Kaufman, Texas

      Eh, I've a limited attention span. And I socialize so much on Facebook I can't also do it here too much.

      I'll make exceptions here and there. But mostly when I'm on this site I'm thinking about work, because if I want to earn money, then I need to be in work mode, and at this time, this is my only source of income - my writing on the web.

      I did go through the list and unfollow the biggest percentage of persons I was following. Truth be told, the most of those weren't here any longer doing anything anyway.

      I've yet to start the next page I'm doing. Once I start then I need to be thinking about that page every time I come to this website. By being completely serious in every way about publishing for bucks here over the past 6 months, I've more than tripled what I was making.

      I want to triple that too. And I think I can.

      Anyway, Cheers from Texas :)

    • Eldon Arsenaux profile image

      Eldon Arsenaux 5 months ago from Cooley, Texas

      Bravo Bill. You rock, and roll! I'm glad I arrived here. By chance? I don't recall. But I'm better for the folks here. I'm no marketer and that's my fault. My flaw. But with friends like you, and the other content-providers on HubPages, who needs the meager dividends? Not I, says the fly. Mr Holland, you're a voice to be heeded. R-E-S-P-E-C-T.

      Adios,

      -E.G.A.

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 5 months ago from Hyderabad, India

      It is a good message at an appropriate time, Bill. I agree with each and every point of yours. Why do you follow when you don't read and let know your reactions? It's a bad habit of people. You have brought down the mentality of such people quite well conveying a stern message.

    • daydreams profile image

      Marianne Sherret 5 months ago from Scotland, UK

      Just to try and offer another perspective. I am one of these hubbers that sometimes follows others and doesn't comment. I am not sure why it should bother you that much? Maybe it would be better marketing for me if I did as you say but then isn't it my loss not yours?

      I am not that serious about Hubpages, but have been spending some time on it again recently and working on some new hubs (very slowly). If I follow someone it is because they have written something that has somehow caught my interest, but I am not sure if it needs to be some sort of commitment to engage with them?- it might also be that they don't post anything more of interest.

      Another issue is that to see what others have been saying I now actually have to click on the feed option- and I only recently refound it. When I log in I get links to discussions mostly about American politics on the homepage - and I can't read those without feeling very angry/annoyed/depressed so tend to just avoid. So I am not sure that Hubpages is that well set up for the community stuff either, but that isn't my main aim in being here anyway.

    • FitnezzJim profile image

      FitnezzJim 5 months ago from Fredericksburg, Virginia

      I’m one of the followers you don’t get a lot of comments from.

      For some of us, the choice to be a “follower” is an indication that we have found a writer we seek to support, or a writer whose material we wish to read. Not all choose to follow for the purpose of building a market. It also true that not all who choose to write on HubPages do so for the purpose of making money. To me, commenting is a venue to offer support, or to offer an alternative point of view, or to answer a question. Writing on HubPages is a way to express a perspective. So, for a minority of us, commenting is not about marketing. For others, making money is the only reason for writing here.

      For some it is about socializing, for others it is not.

      I’d like to share an epiphany that occurred for me due to online participation. Much like what you describe in your article here, I felt the loss when a “friend” I had met online died, nearly twenty years ago. For me, it was one of my most memorable moments of epiphany. I realized then, I had never met the person, had no idea who they were, and further had no concept at all as to how to express a sense of loss or condolence to those who did know them well. I just knew others felt the loss too. I was also confused as to how I could possibly feel that way about someone I had never met. The epiphany was that you could connect with a person through the expression of ideas, and the discussion of those ideas.

      I followed up by attending a convention. While there I learned that there were some of that group who could not attend because they were either bed-ridden or wheel-chair bound. Online share was their sole means of social interaction. For them, it had opened up a new hope and a new sense of participation that had not been there before.

      Lastly, commenting takes time, and in some ways is a commitment to continue the discussion. Not all of us have that time, and seek to commit only to those discussions where they feel they can make a contribution, or offer an additional point-of-view. I hope that is the case with this comment.

      You are one of the better writers here on HubPages. Please do not ask us to stop reading your articles simply because we do not choose to read or comment on every one of them.

      Oh, and by the way, it IS a well-written article. :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks so much, Mary, and I hope you have a superb weekend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Daydreams, either I didn't make myself clear or you misunderstood me. It doesn't bother me at all. My life goes on quite nicely either way. I'm simply stating that from a marketing standpoint it makes good sense to comment, and from a community standpoint we all gain from it. Anyway, thanks for your opinion. I appreciate you weighing in on it.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks MizB, and you are one of my treasured friends as well. Thanks for always being here and you have my sympathies for the loss in your family.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Happy Thanksgiving, Maria. May peace and love follow you and yours throughout the holiday.

      love,

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Alan, your opinion is always welcomed here, and I greatly appreciate you. Love the Chuck Berry reference. In fact, this entire comment is brilliant, as you Brits love to say. Thanks for bringing a smile to this old face on this Saturday morning.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I know feel wonderful, Sis, and thanks for the input. I'm going through a tough time myself....big boy whine. Two of my dearest friends are dying, and I'm finally forced to consider my own mortality, and the loss of my last childhood friend, and quite frankly it all pisses me off and has made me a bit cranky. Long-winded way of saying my friends here on HP mean the world to me, and that's not just hyperbole.

      Hugs, Sis!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Of course I do, Cat, and I appreciate you. it's good to hear from you again. I don't think some people know how much they are missed when they disappear from here...you are one of those people I have missed hearing from....so, I'll cherish those times you do drop by, and I'll try to be a better friend as well.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Exactly, Flourish. It doesn't really affect me greatly, but I think we would all benefit from comments. My whole point exactly, so thank you.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Wes, I owe you an apology. I think at one time you disappeared from here for awhile, and then when you came back I managed to somehow lose sight of you. Thus, no comments from me. Thanks for stopping by and reminding me that you are still alive and kicking.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Eldon, I wish I was independently wealthy, and was able to use my time to promote other writers. If so I'd promote the hell out of you, because I consider you one of the top five writers on this site. Thank you, Sir!

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Venkatachari M, it's always good to hear from you and read your comments. I appreciate you very much.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      FitnezzJim, I really appreciate your comment and your ephiphany. Thank you for sharing those thoughts. I respect them and I heard the message.

    • Emese Fromm profile image

      EmeseRéka 5 months ago from The Desert

      Hi, Bill,

      You are right. Also, I am one of those who don't comment on every post I read. I still read your posts, and most of those I follow. I don't always have the time to comment, and sometimes I read the articles on my phone, in my car, while waiting for one of my kids, and can't really comment on my phone. I wish I could, since I am here for support, and to support others. I feel the need to connect with other writers, and I understand that I cannot if they don't know I am reading their articles, or they don't know I care. I'm relatively new to HubPages, and I have never really experienced the community sense of it as you describe it. However, I do try to read the posts of every writer I am following.

      Anyway, I need to run, have a great weekend. Thanks for sharing these thoughts.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Emese, thanks for your thoughts, and thank you for your loyal following. You are appreciated here, for sure.

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 5 months ago from South Africa

      Well-said, and excellent advice. I've been pondering the same thing - why hit the 'follow' button if you have no intention to read the person's work? Just because you want him to follow you in order for you to LOOK LIKE a big success with many followers?

      BTW, I only follow fellow-hubbers after they have posted a comment on one of my hubs, and I only read the work of fellow-hubbers after they have read my work. So, tit for tat, we become friends.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 5 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Martie.....I'm not sure, but it sounds like bill will like us for our tits if we like him for his tats.....Is that right? Exactly where are his tattoos, I wonder?

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 5 months ago from Northern California, USA

      I joined HubPages about five years ago, but for the first six months I did not write a single word. I was afraid to put myself out there for others to criticize. I read hubs, but did not comment. After about six months of lurking, I finally gained enough courage to step in and comment. You see, before then I didn't feel like my opinion was worth anything. While HubPages has seen a lot of changes, I have to admit that my experience here has been mostly positive. I have met the most wonderful people through HubPages. I have met people I consider to be true friends, yet I have never met them in person, never heard their voice. But they are my friends. The lesson I learned through my relationships here is the lesson you share in this article (as our hubs are called now) - that when we engage with other people by commenting, we are building a relationship with the writer of the article, as well as with other readers. I can't tell you how assuring it is to see familiar names whenever I read through the comments. It gives me a comforting feeling - like I am surrounded by people who enjoy doing what I enjoy doing. That, in and of itself is a bonding that can't be broken. I am happy to be here and I am grateful for people like you and others who encourage and support me. I would do the same for them. Even if all I do is say hello, I always leave a comment or some kind of acknowledgement. It is my way of letting the writer know I care about them. That is simply what friends do.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Exactly, Martie. I will follow faithfully anyone who posts a comment on my hub. For a newcomer, I figure it is their move first. Show me you want to be a member of this community and I'll comment consistently.

      Thanks for your thoughts.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Sis, you're cracking me up. I, for one, do not have any trouble finding tits....your search for tats, however, might involve a bit of searching.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Marlene, you have beautifully summarized the spirit of this article. There is so much to be gained here at HP, but the first step is to comment so we know that person is alive. Once one does that, the doors are open to great friendships. Thank you dear friend.

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 5 months ago from South Africa

      @ fpherj48 - Now you have my imagination galloping in the direction of an abyss. Lol!

    • profile image

      Akwasi Maru 5 months ago

      Great article! I agree 100%, I just got out of boot camp with 5 hubs and I haven't received many comments at all, but the one or two I got gave me confidence. I often asked myself with all theses hubbers why I'm not receiving comments. So I said I guest I have start following people. Thanks for your story!

    • Becky Katz profile image

      Becky Katz 5 months ago from Hereford, AZ

      Akwasi Maru, Not just following, but reading and commenting with support and intelligent comments.

    • Janda Raker profile image

      Janda Raker 5 months ago from Amarillo, Texas

      I'm pretty new to HubPages, just trying to understand what I'm doing and what all I'm supposed to be doing. This is a cool thread, linking the concept of writing with making friends. I hope to get to that point soon, after I get a few more hubs posted. Thanks for sharing!

    • kaiyan717 profile image

      kaiyan717 5 months ago from West Virginia

      I think that following people and Hubpages traffic in general is great, however will not really turn into page views like other avenues. HP is not even in my top ten revenue sources, so I don't put much into that aspect of it. I guess my marketing strategy is to just put it out there and let social media take care of the rest. I am just playing pure numbers. While I enjoy comments and will respond to most, I find that in my kind of articles, there is not a lot of back and forth in comments. There are one off comments, mainly from 'guests.'

      I have been here about the same amount of time, maybe I have hit my five year mark, not really sure. While at first I was just wanting to give it a shot, make some money, that quickly changed. This was back when it was only Google and that first pay out seemed to never come. :) Now there is a little check, some months a big check and I don't write too much on here anymore. It isn't that I don't have about ten in my head that I am already writing, but because time to reward ratio is not as appealing when you start to do the math on most of them. I have been viewed millions of times, but only a handful are the money makers, so it is a crap shoot in a lot of ways for me.

      But I have gotten many other things from Hubpages. Like you, I aspired to write and this was my starting point. I used my HP profile to get my first jobs (It is a great link to instant portfolio), as well as a confidence boost enough to do this now full-time as a fiction writer for several years now. HP is a tool and there is a lot of ways to get benefits from it. Not all of us are here to make friends, though I have made a few. :)

      As always, you make me think and reflect Billy. Hubpages has been quite a ride, hasn't it?

      Bless your wife. She was right, you have much to share with the world. I commend you on answering so many comments, whew!

    • profile image

      Ruchira Khanna 5 months ago

      Honestly HP has given me only one payout so far :P My articles are not doing too well here, thus the discontinuation from my end. I do come by sometime to write and post and that is due to the fan fare of my old HP friends including you :)

      I am happy that you are stable with this avenue, and I wish you luck, Bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Martie, may it continue to gallop, my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Akwasi Maru, thanks for sharing your thoughts. It's good to see you here.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks for adding that, Becky! Very important point.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Janda, welcome to my site, and thank you for being here. I hope to hear more from you in the future.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Kaiyan, I love hearing the perspectives of others, so thanks for sharing yours in such a great comment. I really appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts with us, and I wish you success no matter which avenue you take.

    • Kailua-KonaGirl profile image

      June Parker 5 months ago from New York

      Always the gentleman! May you and yours have a fabulous Thanksgiving!

    • shanmarie profile image

      Shannon 5 months ago from Texas

      Sigh. . .I know without a doubt that you are right in this advice. However, I am very guilty of doing that lately. I follow people because I want to and intend to read their work. Then life happens and everything I want to do takes a back seat to other priorities and I can't even keep up with most of the people I have followed for years. Can someone please wave their magic wand and create more time and energy in a day? Something? Help? LOL. Hopefully, I will eventually be able to have more of a routine that will allow me to comment and network more often. Plus, as you say, the friendships are priceless.

    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 5 months ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      My "Follow" list is very few, Bill. If I'm going to follow somebody, I'm going to follow them. Out of all of my "following" very few respond in the comment section. I'm sure some may read and not comment, but that I'll never know.

      I may not comment on all you write, but let me tell you, Mr. Holland, I've learned much from reading you and listening to your advice. You're one of my online heroes. Thank you.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      It's always nice having you visit, Ruchira! Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Kailua! Happy Thanksgiving to you as well.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Shannon, I value you as a friend, and appreciate you no matter how many times you visit or comment. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Bill, you hit on the main point: if they don't comment I'll never know, and then we've lost a chance to form a relationship. That's what I want, countless relationships with good people.

      Thank you for being you.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 5 months ago from Dubai

      Congratulations on your five years milestone on HubPages. HubPages is a great place to make friends, showcase our writing skills and enjoy reading great articles, stories, and poems. Great points made here.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you so much, Vellur! If not for HP I would have never met you!

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 5 months ago from Central Florida

      Bill, I'm the one who told you HP responded to a comment I made about not commenting. I was in a forum from a hubber who constantly wants feedback on his articles. I gave him mine and asked him why he never comments on other writers work. Shoot he never even responds to the comments in the forums he posts! That's when an HP rep came in and told me commenting is not important. I wish I could remember who it was, but her name escapes me at the moment.

      I disagree to the enth degree. I, like you, think commenting is hugely important. It builds community, creates friendships and builds the writer's platform as you mentioned above.

      I won't follow anyone who follows me but hasn't made a single comment on my work. What really gets me is many of those who follow for the sake of following haven't even posted any hubs! Some have no profile while others sport a spammy blurb advertising their business. I report those guys to the HP Police.

      Okay, you've got me on a rant so I'll close by saying I agree with you one thousand percent!

    • Minnetonka Twin profile image

      Linda Rogers 5 months ago from Minnesota

      Amen to this article Bill. Marketing 101 indeed. How can you blow off people that are reading your work. It's not just bad for your business, you lose the most important thing here and that is connection and building your brand. It is annoying to get followers here but never here from them, unless it's when they publish a hub. UUGGHH!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Rant all you want, Sha, because I totally agree with you. Sorry I couldn't remember who told me that about HP...thanks for mentioning it so I could add it to my rant. LOL

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Twin, it doesn't surprise me at all that you agree with this. You were one of the Hubbers who taught me early on, and for that I thank you.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 5 months ago from SW England

      Funny you should say that, bill. I've also had a few followers lately that I've seen neither hide nor hair of since. I don't see the point either and they are definitely missing out on the camaraderie - but maybe they don't care about that. Maybe they are content to write the same stuff and take no guidance and not bother about anyone else - so why should we bother about them. I've crossed a few off my 'following' list lately because there is no interaction.

      Well said; looks like many agree but sadly there are no comments from those who should be commenting!!!!

      Have a great week, bill! My present house is now on the market so maybe we'll get the Christmas present of moving (or soon after!).

      Ann :)

    • Suhail and my dog profile image

      Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent 5 months ago from Mississauga, ON

      I am the guilty one, Bill.

      It is just that I don't like reading fiction. So a friend may have written an article on outdoor adventure, tourism, wildlife, etc. at the start and then may have moved on to writing fiction. I may still be following him/her in the hope that he/she would eventually write something that interests me, but I simply can't digest fiction. I am sorry for that.

      But you have written something that is valuable to the new beginners and I hope they pay heed to your advice.

      Btw, by mentioning Mary once again, you brought tears to my eyes. Again, I am the guilty one. Although I was not close to her, I knew about her ordeal, but didn't have the guts to keep in touch with her and at least ask her how was she doing.

      Thank you for continuing to write and for continuing to pour your heart out for readers like me.

      Please continue doing the great work.

      Regards,

      Suhail

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Ann, thanks for stopping by despite how hectic your life is right now. I've missed you. I don't understand the no commenting thing but then I guess it really isn't necessary for me to understand. Life goes on, my friend.

      Have a wonderful week!

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Suhail, you aren't guilty at all. I've had many comments from you and I am always appreciative. I get you not liking fiction. No sweat. I'm just happy when you do find the time to stop by.

      Blessings to you always

      bill

    • Minnetonka Twin profile image

      Linda Rogers 5 months ago from Minnesota

      Wow! Really Bill? I feel so honored to hear that I was one of the people that taught you this-my mind is literally blown because you have taught me so much here. Thank you for sharing that; it means the world to me.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      No lie, my friend. I will always be appreciative of those who held out a hand of friendship when I was first starting as a writer.

      Hugs and friendship forever!

    • Minnetonka Twin profile image

      Linda Rogers 5 months ago from Minnesota

      Forever is right my friend!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Twin!

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 5 months ago from Massachusetts, USA

      You can't hear me, Bill, but I'm applauding and cheering this article -- loudly. (My family thinks I've gone 'round the bend, so now I'm going to have to explain my behavior. :-) One of the things I'm thankful for during this special holiday is belonging to a community like HP, and the supportive, talented and encouraging writers I've met while on this journey. Thank you, Bill Holland, for being you.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Genna, I just think they're missing the boat by not becoming a part of this community...but then, what do I know? :) Happy Thanksgiving to you!

      bill

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 4 months ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Bill. I'm a little late to this party, we've been literally all over the place the last week or so. I have a few minutes now while sitting here in the New Orleans Airport waiting for a flight back to Tampa, where we'll spend a week before heading home. I am also coming up on 5 years here and it is certainly a different community now from the one I joined years ago. Hopefully your message resonates with all the new hubbers out there. Thanks for always telling like it is, have a great weekend.

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 4 months ago from San Diego California

      I wasn't here when dinosaurs roamed the earth, I didn't hop in until the last great ice cap receded, but I have noticed a dearth of commenters as of late. Working 10 to 12 hour days I can't possibly read everything everybody writes but I do like to swing by when I'm in the neighborhood.

      Here's a possible question for your mailbag: Doesn't Google weigh posts with comments a little higher? If that's true, then commenting and receiving reciprocal comments is just good business. Great stuff.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Happy Thanksgiving, Bill, and thank you for always being here. Have a safe trip, my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I believe they do, Mel, but I'll have to do some research on that. Thanks for the question and for your loyal following. You are appreciated.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 4 months ago from Houston, Texas

      I am so busy with my own website now but always respond to those who leave comments on one of my hubs. Then I return the favor by reading one of theirs and always leave a comment. I think it is courteous...and you are correct in that it builds a relationship. It is time consuming to keep up with various sites plus social media, but it is worth it in the end.

    • suraj punjabi profile image

      suraj punjabi 4 months ago from jakarta

      Wow, Bill! That is a very powerful and honest hub. I really agree with you when it comes to comments. Success does not come alone. It comes when we work together and build relationships and trusts and help one another. No man is an Island.

      I have always wondered HOW ON EARTH DO YOU FIND THE TIME TO RESPOND TO ALL COMMENTS????? Honestly, you have to teach me how to be as productive as you are. Perhaps your experience as a teacher checking every students's assignments has honed your skills of reading and providing feedback? I am also curious as to your daily routine. How long to you spend on Hubpages everyday?

      As usual, great hub! I love the way you write! It is so easy and light to read, such a great flow! Hopefully you will gain more meaningful followers, and not some gold digger followers who follows you just for the money!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Peggy! Obviously I agree with you. At the very least I'm glad you and I have found so much here at HP, and continue to help this community by our presence here.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Suraj, I have no secret. I write for a living, so I'm online most of the day. That makes it considerably easier to respond to comments and comment on other hubs. Yes, I am organized, and having been a teacher helps me to juggle several things at once, but more than anything else, I just spend more time online than the average HP writer. :) Thanks for being here, my friend.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 4 months ago

      Ah, this is exactly what I think when I see those notices about new followers. Where are they? This community has so many wonderful and supportive writers, such as you, with skills and advice we can all learn from. Thanks for writing what most of us think.

    • JoGraceGoldsmith profile image

      JoGraceGoldsmith 4 months ago

      I am sorry to hear about Mary! this makes me feel so sad. She was a beautiful person, I whole heartedly agree.

      I have had a "love/hate" relationship with hub pages.

      It would of been 5 years this June had I not needed to leave.

      I will always leave a comment to your greatness Sir, Bill.

      Hope you get more comments with those followers! :-)

    • norlawrence profile image

      Norma Lawrence 4 months ago from California

      Great article and so true. I comment on articles and get still get no where. I have always done well writing article for other sites but Hub Pages seemed to be where I fail and I do not like failing. I tried joining Flipboard but have not done anything there. I will keep trying and hope I can improve. I read your article and really enjoy them. I have a few people (very few) that comment on my articles and I appreciate their comments. Thanks for sharing a great article.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Exactly, Dee! There is so much to be learned from each other. I don't know why someone would pass up this free resource.

      Thanks for your thoughts, my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Jo, thank you so much, and welcome back. I hate to see old timers such as yourself leave, for whatever the reason.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you again norlawrence. I wish I had the answer for you, the secret that would net you many views, but I'm afraid I don't. Best wishes going ahead.

    • Springboard profile image

      Springboard 4 months ago from Wisconsin

      Though it is not always the case, I have always regarded these sites as more of an "I'll scratch you back if you scratch mine" type of a deal. And I don't mean for that to be considered pejorative, but I do think it is reality. A great article, well written may hardly get noticed UNLESS you run around leave comments. Which is not a bad thing mind you. Just the nature of the beast. IF the writing was important one could drop an article, leave the site, and come back to find tons of hits on their page. Such is hardly ever the case. So as to the comment thing? I entirely agree. But dammit folks...READ the article before commenting. It is always none too obvious when someone does not read. But heck. Such is life too I suppose.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Springboard, you had me chuckling with the last plea...READ the article!!!! It is obvious and I, at least, find it annoying.

      Thanks for your input. I happen to agree with everything you said.

    • Springboard profile image

      Springboard 4 months ago from Wisconsin

      Sometimes you can trick them with a title and a photo and you find they comment on the title and the photo even if the title and photo was a play on what the entire article was about. Can be funny at times actually. But you're right. Mostly it is annoying. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 months ago from Olympia, WA

      That's a good one, Springboard. I never thought of trying that. Maybe one of these days I'll give it a try, just to see who falls for it.

    • Janda Raker profile image

      Janda Raker 4 months ago from Amarillo, Texas

      I am looking forward to having more time to comment and to getting more Hubs posted so I can receive more comments. This seems like a true "community," and I just come on and read occasionally to catch up, between usual stuff, the end of the political season, and the tasks that are involved with heading into the holidays. And I too am a former teacher, so I tend to be a bit obsessive about the details. But soon I hope to have something else for all these folks to read!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Janda, welcome, and thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. I look forward to getting to know you through your writings.

    • HotCrockPot profile image

      Nila D 4 months ago from USA

      // HubPages is more than just a way to make money. HubPages is a community of human beings, and we all need each other. // Great Lines!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you, HotCrockPot, and welcome to HP. It's nice to see a newcomer commenting.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 4 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Bill

      Please convey to Bev our thanks for 'forcing' you to 'take the plunge ' here on HP. We're all so much richer for it, maybe not so much in monetary terms but in so many other ways we are.

      As for the rest, I totally agree.

      Blessings

      Lawrence

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you for that, Lawrence. I will pass it on to Bev, who will be beaming that smile of her upon hearing your opinion.

      blessings always

      bill

    • Janda Raker profile image

      Janda Raker 4 months ago from Amarillo, Texas

      Billybuc, glad you have that encouragement! Writing can be a lonely endeavor, and it often keeps our loved ones at a distance while we try to produce!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Very true, Janda! It is a strange path we have chosen. Thanks for your thoughts.

    • Janda Raker profile image

      Janda Raker 4 months ago from Amarillo, Texas

      But that's what we writers do--we WRITE! Or at least we keep trying to! :-)

    • alocsin profile image

      alocsin 4 months ago from Orange County, CA

      Excellent advice, as usual, especially about the marketing. Presumably, everybody on HP can write but it's the marketing that brings in the money.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 months ago from Olympia, WA

      True words, Janda!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I know you speak from experience, alocsin, so thanks for sharing that truth.

    • schoolgirlforreal profile image

      schoolgirlforreal 3 months ago from USA

      Excellent article Bill, and I see you have 176 comments before mine and that is impressive!

      I used to really spend a lot of time on Hubpages and enjoy writing and reading articles and getting and responding to comments. Then something happened- everyone said hubpages was not paying money anymore, or was paying very little. And I noticed the payments I got- little they were- stopped coming. So I stopped writing and spending time on hubpages. How has that gone for you?

      I go to HP once in awhile and decided to look you up today as you were the first person I remembered. I would like to get back to HP.

      Your suggestion of having followers and getting involved is good, maybe I could get people to read my books that way?

      Also, I'm thinking 99% of my articles from my own viewpoint now, need to be edited and improved and I'm wondering if I can do that overwhelming task! Is it worth the time? Should I do one at a time?

      I only have a few hubs featured.

      Hmmmm

      Anyways, I bet you have really good advice :)

      Thanks

    • schoolgirlforreal profile image

      schoolgirlforreal 3 months ago from USA

      P.S.

      Bill, another thing I noticed that I didn't like at HP is that now you have to have all your own pics, or at least give the source....I guess maybe it was always that way but I never knew.

      Do you get in trouble if you post pics that aren't yours without giving a source?

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Hello my friend! It's nice to see you back at HP, and considering writing again. As for your question at the end, I guess it depends on what you want from those articles. If you are looking for many views then you probably need to edit them and improve them. If HP doesn't feature them, or if they don't meet the HP requirements, your views are going to suffer.

      If, however, you are just writing for your own enjoyment, then who cares what the HP staff thinks?

      Peace, my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I think you're in danger of not having your hubs approved if you don't give a source on pictures that aren't yours. I've only done it a couple times over five years, so I'm really not the best source for an answer on that one.

    • schoolgirlforreal profile image

      schoolgirlforreal 3 months ago from USA

      Thanks Bill :)

      Good point about writing for enjoyment.

      It might be easier to write new articles instead of editing all the old ones- unless I have the time/want to.

      Writing new articles could be fun too. I think my skills may have improved and it would be fun to get back to it.

      Have you thought of posting a link on your hubs to where people can buy your books?

      Happy New year!!!!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks again, Rose! I try not to flood my hubs with information about my books. I think a writer can overdo that sort of thing, so that's why I don't do that. Occasionally I'll mention them in an Amazon cell on a hub.

    • bodylevive profile image

      BODYLEVIVE 3 months ago from Alabama, USA

      Wonderful Hub. I just came back here a few days ago. Well, I do comment on others work. I'm retired now and when I was here before I was working and just writing when I felt the urge. Now, I have lots of stuff to write about but I don't want to become a fixture on my desk, lol. I do remember you from BACK then. Nice to chat to ya.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Bodylevive, I hope to hear much more from you. Thanks for stopping by to comment.

    • Don Bobbitt profile image

      Don Bobbitt 3 months ago from Ruskin Florida

      Bill,

      Well Said!

      And I find it interesting that even I, just another niche writer here on Hp, use the same "tools" (ie, sites and people) to present my articles to my little part of the reading and searching world.

      Keep on Writing, brother!

      DON

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Hey Don, thanks for stopping by. Yes indeed, I think we all use the same tools...how we use them might make us a bit different, but it's a limited world of options out there.

      Thanks, buddy!

    • Janda Raker profile image

      Janda Raker 2 months ago from Amarillo, Texas

      Maybe those "tools" are kind of like the letters of the alphabet. We all use them in different orders, so we all say something different! ;-)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Entirely possible, Janda! Thanks for weighing in.

    • Janda Raker profile image

      Janda Raker 2 months ago from Amarillo, Texas

      You're welcome. Now I need to go put some letters together so I can post a new Hub!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Looking forward to it, Janda!

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 2 months ago from sunny Florida

      good morning bill

      the one point that hits home with me from our article here is that HP is a "community of human beings and we all need each other." Absolutely...and in a broader sense, we are a nation of human beings and we ALL need each other. However, I digress.

      I am certainly not here to make money...but I have made something here, new friends, friends that I may never meet in person But many of you cheer me on and help lift me up as I share personal occurrences and little writings I find interesting so hope other will. Wishing you many good things in this new year you and Deb both.

      Angels are headed your way this morning ps

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      PS, you and a handful of others, are the only reason I've stayed here, so I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Those angels are busy, my friend, and they are needed now more than ever.

      hugs and prayers heading your way

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