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Two Years On: What I have Learned on HubPages

Updated on June 16, 2014
The Author
The Author | Source

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.

Writing Online

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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    • Bretsuki profile imageAUTHOR

      William Elliott 

      5 years ago from California USA

      Hello Emanate Presence, thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment. It is very much appreciated

    • Emanate Presence profile image

      Gary R. Smith 

      5 years ago from the Head to the Heart

      I enjoyed reading your perspective and accounts from your experience on Hubpages. This article can benefit any hubber.

    • Bretsuki profile imageAUTHOR

      William Elliott 

      6 years ago from California USA

      Thank you johnadthen, I am glad you appreciate this hub. I tried to tell it as I found it. HubPages can work for you as many of us have found buththere is a price to pay in that you must also put in a lot of effort over a long period of time.

      Thanks again.

    • johndnathan profile image

      John D Nathan 

      6 years ago from Dallas, Texas. USA

      Nice article. It's good that you're telling new hubbers not necessarily what they want to hear, but what they need to hear.

    • Bretsuki profile imageAUTHOR

      William Elliott 

      6 years ago from California USA

      Hello recappers delight, thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. I am glad you found some of my words useful.

      I wish you all the best. Happy Hubbing.

    • recappers delight profile image

      recappers delight 

      6 years ago

      I greatly appreciate your wisdom and thoughts on this as I begin my hubpages career.

    • Bretsuki profile imageAUTHOR

      William Elliott 

      6 years ago from California USA

      Thank you phdast7, I hope you will love HP as much as I do. It is a great way to practice ones skills and meet and learn from many other people.

      Happy Hubbing!

    • phdast7 profile image

      Theresa Ast 

      6 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Congratulation on 2+ years. Great Hub. Full of great advice and good information, a very balanced approach. I have been on HP just over 3 months. I joined for the give and take of a writer's community, no expectation of profit, but we will see. I hope to read more of your work in the near future.

    • Bretsuki profile imageAUTHOR

      William Elliott 

      7 years ago from California USA

      Hello Sharyn, nice to hear from you again. I always appreciate your comments. I am glad you found this hub useful. I tried to include some of my experiences of two years on HubPages.

      All the best.

    • Sharyn's Slant profile image

      Sharon Smith 

      7 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      Hey Bret,

      Congratulations on two years and as always, thanks for more good advice. Best wishes,


    • Bretsuki profile imageAUTHOR

      William Elliott 

      7 years ago from California USA

      Thank you bwhite062007, thanks for your comments and votes. I am glad this hub has answered some of your questions.

      Feel free to ask questions, I am always glad to help if I can. Happy Hubbing.

    • bwhite062007 profile image

      Brianna W 

      7 years ago from East Coast

      Great hub and advice Bretsuki. I am still pretty new on here and trying to figure some things out. You answered some very important questions lingering in my head. Voted up and useful.

    • Bretsuki profile imageAUTHOR

      William Elliott 

      7 years ago from California USA

      Hello Sally's Trove, thanks for your comment. Two years is a bit of a milestone on HP. I am glad that you found some of my insights useful and "right on the money" that really makes my writing worthwhile. Thanks.

    • Bretsuki profile imageAUTHOR

      William Elliott 

      7 years ago from California USA

      Hello kenhubs, thanks for your comment, I am glad you found this hub useful.

      I admit there were times when I thought of never writing on HubPages again, I began while working on my BA so there was a lot of other stuff in my life too. But in the end I just had enough of a passion for the writing to keep going. Thank you for the votes.

    • Bretsuki profile imageAUTHOR

      William Elliott 

      7 years ago from California USA

      Hello Daffy, yes, looking back at work from two or twenty years ago. I am often surprised as to how much I have changed my style and subject. Thanks for stopping by and making a comment.

    • Bretsuki profile imageAUTHOR

      William Elliott 

      7 years ago from California USA

      Hello tarrka1989, thank yiu fir stoppoing by and leaving a comment. Yes I definitely agree with the variety and your ocean comments. Living in Central CA I am about ninety miles from the ocean, but on a 110 degree day, here, there is nothing like a drive to the coast. Almost unbelieveably there can be a fifty degree drop in temperature in the last thirty miles of the drive, getting to the coast at 60 degrees. Ahhh! Variety. :)

    • Bretsuki profile imageAUTHOR

      William Elliott 

      7 years ago from California USA

      Hello thoughthole, thank you for your comment. I hope that you will enjoy HubPages as much as I have. and I am glad this hub has helped you.

    • Sally's Trove profile image


      7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      Thank you for sharing your experiences on the occasion of your second HP anniversary. All of your advice is right on the money!

    • kenhubs profile image


      7 years ago

      Fantastic information, sir. Congratulations on your second anniversary on hubpages. At the start of any endeavor things always seem impossibly hard, but a little perseverance can go a long way. A bit of passion too might not be amiss.

    • Daffy Duck profile image

      Daffy Duck 

      7 years ago from Cornelius, Oregon

      It's interesting how someone's writings can document how the writer has changed. It's a record of someone's interests, style, and passion.

      Congrats on the 2 years!

    • tarrka1089 profile image


      7 years ago from Ohio

      CONGRATS! Definitely if you don't love what you're writing about, it will get old extremely fast. And variety really does make a difference. Great advice. [voted up and useful] - ah another Californian. I miss the ocean.

    • thoughthole profile image


      7 years ago from Utah

      This article has been very helpful, I have literally just started. Reading over your article has made me feel a bit more confident about some decision that I have made.

    • Bretsuki profile imageAUTHOR

      William Elliott 

      7 years ago from California USA

      Thank you Cookinmom11, I am pleased it has given you some help. I try to give something back to the community here. Glad you feel it was worthwhile.

    • Cookinmom11 profile image


      7 years ago from Saint George, Georgia

      Thank you for sharing your experience and insight with us. We newbies certainly appreciate it! :)

    • Bretsuki profile imageAUTHOR

      William Elliott 

      7 years ago from California USA

      Thank you Maralexa, yes it takes time and patience. But time always passes and things always work out. Happy Hubbing.

    • Maralexa profile image

      Marilyn Alexander 

      7 years ago from Vancouver, Canada and San Jose del Cabo, Mexico

      Watching and waiting is hard to do but you remind me that if I continue to write to the best of my ability and to stay in the community of HubPages by commenting and asking/answering questions, it will all come together. Thanks Bretsuki, and congratulations on 2 years with HubPages.

    • Bretsuki profile imageAUTHOR

      William Elliott 

      7 years ago from California USA

      Thank you lovelypaper, I appreciate your comments.

    • lovelypaper profile image

      Renee S 

      7 years ago from Virginia

      You have some good advice and wisdom from your experience.

    • Bretsuki profile imageAUTHOR

      William Elliott 

      7 years ago from California USA

      Thanks skymaster, I write mostly for fun too. I love to share the experience which I have gained in various periods of my life. I hope it helps others see that they are not alone in some of their frustrations and perhaps how they can gain some knowledge and learn from the experience.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Well I write only for fun and not for profit. Never the less thanks for your reply really appreciate it....

    • Bretsuki profile imageAUTHOR

      William Elliott 

      7 years ago from California USA

      Hello skymaster, thank you for your feedback, I appreciate it.

      One thing to remember is not to worry, we were ALL beginners here once. Stick with your plans, no matter how hard the work seems, and it does get hard at times. But keep having fun here. That way you are assured personal success even if you don't achieve total financial success.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Very very informative. Nice to read from someone who has a clear sense of reality... I am relative new in hp and i appreciate your help. Ty

    • Bretsuki profile imageAUTHOR

      William Elliott 

      7 years ago from California USA

      Thank you truthfornow, yes some current articles can be good subjects but often they fail the test of time.

      I am sure you will see your two year and more anniversary, mine has come as a bit of a shock to me.

      Looking back it seems in some ways a very long time, but in others a blink of an eye. Just thinking one hub at a time and try to learn something new as you go. And I promise you there is always something new to learn here.

      Happy Hubbing.

    • truthfornow profile image


      7 years ago from New Orleans, LA

      I think you give great advice. Sometimes it is tempting to write about something that just happened and is in the news now to get attention right now, but you are correct that these articles fail to stand up to the test of time. I hope to keep writing and reach my two year mark one day.

    • Bretsuki profile imageAUTHOR

      William Elliott 

      7 years ago from California USA

      Hello mcgreg28, thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment.

      I can well understand your frustration at not knowing what to write about. I have had many weeks where I felt I needed to write and did not have an idea. It just seems for me not forcing the issue is best. I generally write as I come up with ideas. Funnily enough the more I now write the more ideas I get. So writers block is less of a problem. Then comes the problem of balancing life with writing. I can at times spend several hours writing and missing out on other things. That for me now is my main work in progress, plus finishing the half dozen or so hubs I have in the pipeline and other work I have backing up at the moment.

    • mcgreg28 profile image

      Nicky Starr 

      7 years ago from Florida, USA

      congratulations on your two years. I am a 3 wks member and i get frustrated on not knowing what to write about. I am also restricted by time. It takes perseverance and a true love for writing to achieve a 2 yr milestone

    • Bretsuki profile imageAUTHOR

      William Elliott 

      7 years ago from California USA

      Thank you WillStarr

    • Bretsuki profile imageAUTHOR

      William Elliott 

      7 years ago from California USA

      Thank You davenmidtown. I really enjoy your hubs. Lot's of great information.

      Yes as you say it is practice which makes the best hubs, and practice takes a lot of time. Sometimes it seems that things change just as you get one thing right, some new item has appeared or a tool has disappeared. Then some of your ideas then need to change. But if you have the basics right, and you have patience. I think HubPages is really a great place.

    • WillStarr profile image


      7 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona


    • davenmidtown profile image

      David Stillwell 

      7 years ago from Sacramento, California

      Great Hub... It does take a great deal of patience to succeed here. The hardest lesson to be learned is how to write for yourself. Like you, I write a lot of hubs that I never publish but the exercise of writing helps the quality of what I do publish. For me... it has taken a while to get the hang of the forums, questions, etc. But you are right... they are great tools. Well done!


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