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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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    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you, John! I appreciate the comment and honesty. Good luck!

    • beagrie profile image

      John Bullock 2 weeks ago from Yorkshire, England

      I'm a little too guilty of what you're describing here. I recently crossed 50 featured hubs so it's probably time I started working on this side of things a bit more. Good article.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      It does help, Mona! You don't have to do all of the platforms, but the ones you do do, do them religiously.

    • grand old lady profile image

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 2 months ago from Philippines

      Wonderful advice, Mr. Bill. I especially learned the importance of having multiple platforms. Never did get any Reddit, or Flipboard. And I start blogs randomly. Yes, there has to be a system.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you for sharing, Anusha! I appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts. Glad I made you smile.

    • anusha15 profile image

      Anusha Jain 3 months ago from Delhi, India

      I would add another thing here. There are many sites where one can write for money. Whether they are as good as HubPages or better or worse... well I think I'll just say the jury is still out on that.

      But if you are talking about community - of great writers who definitely have a potential of becoming a mentor - well you've not struck gold here at HP, but this probably would be your only opportunity of building these precious connections. When we ask questions here, when we discuss stuff on forums, I find people I agree with, I find people I disagree with, but I think most of the people are honestly trying to make sense - logical statements. That, in my opinion, is brilliant.

      Thanks, Bill, for sharing this excellent piece of advice. You had me smiling with this one:

      "will that woman ever shut up…….?" :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 8 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

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 8 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 8 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Looking forward to it, Janda!

    • Janda Raker profile image

      Janda Raker 8 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 8 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Entirely possible, Janda! Thanks for weighing in.

    • Janda Raker profile image

      Janda Raker 8 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 8 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!

    • Don Bobbitt profile image

      Don Bobbitt 8 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 8 months ago from Olympia, WA

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

    • bodylevive profile image

      BODYLEVIVE 8 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 9 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.

    • schoolgirlforreal profile image

      schoolgirlforreal 9 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 9 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.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 9 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.

    • schoolgirlforreal profile image

      schoolgirlforreal 9 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?

    • schoolgirlforreal profile image

      schoolgirlforreal 9 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

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

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

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      True words, Janda!

    • alocsin profile image

      alocsin 10 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.

    • Janda Raker profile image

      Janda Raker 10 months ago from Amarillo, Texas

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

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 10 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 10 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 10 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

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 10 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 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

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

    • HotCrockPot profile image

      Nila D 10 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 10 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.

    • Janda Raker profile image

      Janda Raker 10 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
      Author

      Bill Holland 10 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.

    • Springboard profile image

      Springboard 10 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
      Author

      Bill Holland 10 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 10 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 10 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.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 10 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
      Author

      Bill Holland 10 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.

    • norlawrence profile image

      Norma Lawrence 10 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.

    • JoGraceGoldsmith profile image

      JoGraceGoldsmith 10 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! :-)

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 10 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.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 10 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.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 10 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.

    • suraj punjabi profile image

      suraj punjabi 10 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!

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 10 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.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 10 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.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

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

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 10 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.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 10 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.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 10 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

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 10 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
      Author

      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Twin!

    • Minnetonka Twin profile image

      Linda Rogers 11 months ago from Minnesota

      Forever is right my friend!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 11 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 11 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
      Author

      Bill Holland 11 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

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 11 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

    • Suhail and my dog profile image

      Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent 11 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

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 11 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 :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 11 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.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 11 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

    • Minnetonka Twin profile image

      Linda Rogers 11 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!

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 11 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!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 11 months ago from Olympia, WA

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

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 11 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.

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      Bill Holland 11 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.

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      Bill Holland 11 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!

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      Bill Holland 11 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Kailua! Happy Thanksgiving to you as well.

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      Bill Holland 11 months ago from Olympia, WA

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

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      William Kovacic 11 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.

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      shanmarie 11 months ago

      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.

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      June Parker 11 months ago from New York

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

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      Bill Holland 11 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.

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      Bill Holland 11 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.

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      Bill Holland 11 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks for adding that, Becky! Very important point.

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      Bill Holland 11 months ago from Olympia, WA

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

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      Bill Holland 11 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Martie, may it continue to gallop, my friend.

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      Ruchira Khanna 11 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

    • kaiyan717 profile image

      kaiyan717 11 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!

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      Janda Raker 11 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!

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      Becky Katz 11 months ago from Hereford, AZ

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

    • profile image

      Akwasi Maru 11 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!

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      Martie Coetser 11 months ago from South Africa

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

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      Bill Holland 11 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.

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      Bill Holland 11 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.

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      Bill Holland 11 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.

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      Marlene Bertrand 11 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.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 11 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?

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 11 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.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 11 months ago from Olympia, WA

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

    • Emese Fromm profile image

      EmeseRéka 11 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
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      Bill Holland 11 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.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 11 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.

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      Bill Holland 11 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

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      Bill Holland 11 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 11 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.

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      Bill Holland 11 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.