Two Years On: What I have Learned on HubPages
September 4, 2011
Today, marks my second anniversary of writing on HubPages. As with any anniversary there is a portion of me which looks back and asks where the time went, and a portion which realises how much things have changed.
Having written about seventy hubs, some of which never got published, others were published but failed and the forty or so which made it to long term publication, I can see how much my style and work has changed over just two years.
I began writing on the subject of investing, not a good start really in the midst of an economic depression when people were still getting out of stocks as fast as they could. But I still believe my advice then was sound for anyone who is looking to invest. That small core of hubs also gave me some skills to build on. Writing online not being the same as anyother form of writing.
One of the major differences writing online has from most other forms is that it is instantly available to the audience.
You need to be very sure that the work you produce, is the work that you want the world to see. Some see the internet and the world wide web as a means of instant fame, fortune, or a psychiatrists chair. It is in the sense that when you click publish, it is there for all to see. But also because it is there for all to see, there is no real privacy. If you tell too much, then everyone may know about it. Your spouse, family, children, your employer, future employers.
The delete button doesn't always work as efficiently as the publish button.
Of course you can always go back later and tweak hubs but better first make sure that what you publish is what you want the world to see.
Don't share everything. Keep yourself some privacy, plus privacy adds some mystery about you, and people love a mystery.
No Shortcuts to earning Money
In my two years here, I have seen many people come onto HubPages and declare after a few weeks that it is impossible to earn a living.
It is not impossible, it is just hard work.
You need to have patience. No-one made it overnight. It takes time to construct a good portfolio of work. Now I believe Google even demand six months of hubs to build traffic before opening an AdSense account. So you are likely to have a long wait for your first check. It could be a year or more.
OK. So you have a year, not like I did two years ago, write a hub and join AdSense, and watch and wait, and wait, until one penny dropped into my account several weeks later. Of course the penny was joined by others later and now I have a little income. But it is because I am willing to wait a while.
I also learned to use the system in place on HubPages.
Use the comments, use questions, use forums. They all increase your visibility. Give good solid answers too. I came to follow many people whom I spotted and read on comments and answers. I also learned to avoid many others, there are many people who post very strange things. If you like that sort of thing, then ok follow them. But don't follow for the sake of following. If you would not invite someone to your home in real life, don't follow them on HubPages.
It just makes life easier. I assure you from experience.
Create a Variety of Hub Interests
Writing on just one subject can be boring.
Cultivate several interesting subject areas, to keep your own interest alive.
If you wrote one hub per day, you can have 365 hubs in a year, most people don't write that many, but imagine writing that many on one subject, you might succede in writing ten or twenty, then fatigue rapidly sets in. Now create a list of six or seven areas, you could manage more hubs using this list, add variety, and you can keep your own interest and also promote yourself to many more people who may not share your initial interest.
Learn to create links from arenas such as blogs and publicize your work. There are many ways to create links, from RSS (Really Simple Syndication) to sharing hubs on Facebook and Twitter. Don't promote everything to friends though, it is ok if they like the subject you are writing about, but rapidly you become invisible to them as they see just another link to another one of your hubs. Use this fom of self promotion sparingly.
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Become aware of the Evergreen
While you may enjoy the cut and thrust of topical debate. Keep an eye on the longevity of your work.
It is ok to discuss a favorite sports team in general but if you only talk about last nights game, it won't really last in the public interest for too many days.
Same with a natural disaster, political comment.
Write about them by all means as a means of creating variety, but be aware in time they will no longer be read. If you want to be read over and over, create lots of work which does not age too quickly, the so called "Evergreen" subjects.
You can write about DIY or child care, school and college tips etc. Something which will be experienced year after year by many others.
It will age after a while but you can go back and add or edit the work to maintain some use and so increase it's value to you and your readers.
So with the passing of two years, I have learned a great deal.
I now write in several areas, have several blogs from which I promote hubs and other writing. I have even created a pair of online stores for t-shirt designs.
All this began two years ago with a first hopeful post here on HubPages.
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