Writing on Hubpages
I guess like a lot of people, I went through a lot of experiences before coming to the conclusion writing was what I wanted to do. I changed my mind a few times in my life when it came to settling on a job, and even now I might think of other ways I can use my writing skills to create some sort of business.
But again like most, I am not quite there yet. I'm not a fully fledged freelancer with a massive portfolio and glorious testimonials to show for it. I know it can be done and I know people who are in that boat, but I'm still learning.
It was having a demanding job which made me think really hard about what path to take. I made the decision to change direction but when it came to training, I was more or less on my own. I needed to learn about the search engines, but it was the search engines which helped me to do that. Googling articles and forums about SEO and freelance writing taught me a brand new skill almost overnight. A few emails to some professionals and I had tips coming out of my ears. But somewhere along the line I had read about Hubpages and I signed up straight away.
Writing my first Hub
I had written articles on a couple of websites of mine, mainly for fun and a bit of practice. I didn't try too hard to drive traffic to them at that stage, but after a while I knew I should submit a hub. I think my first hub was one I was originally going to put on my website but I posted it here instead. It was How do I Write a CV. I then followed it up with a hub about stress. I had a few followers by this point, so I knew people would immediately see what I'd published. Being new I wasn't sure what to expect. I was practicing without knowing if it was useful or not.
As soon as I wrote some hubs I began to get new followers and fan mail. It was such a lovely feeling to get support before I'd really done much. Then when I started to get great comments on my hubs I felt amazing! Okay, it wasn't the biggest thing in the world and my hubs weren't the best, but to actually get some feedback meant so much. Some of the comments were from hubbers with a string of accolades, years of online experience and loads of great hubs, and I was a newbie with no accolades and only two pieces of work.
The comments were not just something which made me feel good, but they meant a lot. It was a mixture of advice and encouragement from virtual strangers who made me feel welcome in their world.
But in the space of a couple of months I only posted three or four hubs. I was working hard in my day job and was getting unsure of where to go next with my writing. I gave Hubpages a break and looked at how a freelance writer becomes successful.
Although I was using some websites and a blogging site my initial aim was to build up a portfolio of my own to show examples of my work. Scoring contracts to write for business websites or get paid to help with SEO was where I thought the money was. Using affiliates like Google Adsense, Amazon or ebay didn't seem like a reliable answer to me. I was happy to go along with it and have since learned that bloggers have made great success from affiliates alone. But I looked into other places as well.
Having Your Own Website
Any freelancer knows that the first step is to have your own website and domain name. Mine is theonlinearticles although I am just blogging on there at the moment, and I haven't finished it. If you are to provide a service and you have the expertise then you can advertise through there. If you are an expert in Search Engine Optimization and Ethical Link Building, and can do article writing, marketing or letter writing then you can add it all on your site. Putting links to your examples will give you a head start when you apply for writing jobs, especially with the bigger companies.
If you get work, asking the company for a testimonial to add to your site helps you to build up a good reputation.
Selling Articles Directly
Before I signed up for Hubpages I asked a friend for some expert advice in the writing field. He told me to get some experience from a site called Constant-Content.
When you sign up to join you have to do a quick multiple choice test to check your grammar and spelling. You have to get four questions out of five to pass, otherwise you'll have to sign up all over again.
The site is rather strict on how you write your articles. There must not be any grammatical errors or spelling mistakes and the article must be relevant and structured correctly.
When you submit your article it will be proofread which can take up to a week. You have the choice whether to sell it for full rights to the buyer, usage rights or unique rights.
Full Rights: This means the buyer has all the rights to the article. They can change the byline, alter the wording or re-sell it. It belongs to them.
Usage Rights: This is where the buyer has paid to use your article for a website or magazine, but you still own the rights to it. You keep your byline and you can re sell it on Constant-Content.
Unique Rights: If your article has been bought for unique rights, you can keep your byline but it cannot be re-sold. It will also be removed from the Constant-Content database.
You can price your work accordingly, charging more for full rights and less for usage. If the piece is 300-500 words then it is recommended to sell it for $10-$25 for usage, $30-$60 for unique and $40-$80 for full.
When you hear back after submitting, it will either be accepted or need alterations. If it is not accepted then do not attempt to re-submit it. The more articles you get rejected, the greater the risk you have from being kicked off the site altogether.
I submitted three articles: one was sent back to me as it needed altering, one was sold for usage rights only and the other was rejected completely. I am yet to go back and submit more work.
I learned some ways to backlink to websites. I was helping someone out with their business site and needed to do this ethically. I wrote a couple of articles for Ezine Articles, which is a perfect place to write quality pieces of work (and build up a profile) on the subjects you want to write about, and add links in the source box at the bottom of the page.
Where to go Next?
It wasn't long before I was writing my hubs again for Hubpages. There is just something about this place that makes me feel comfortable with my writing. The pressure of writing for Constant- Content and even Ezines (who also review your stuff before publishing it) is good for practice and to make sure you're writing quality pages. But sometimes when I'm halfway through writing something intended for another site, I will change my mind and put it on Hubpages instead.
The reason? Well I guess it's the community. I have probably learned most of what I know about online writing from other hubbers. I can ask a question knowing I will get genuine and helpful answers and I can write a hub and people will be honest about it.
I know that it is honest and helpful because when I comment on someone's hub, it is because I thought it was great. I won't submit comments in the vain hope they'll repay the favor. I just enjoy reading interesting topics and try to offer knowledge and advice where I can.
I don't feel the pressure to impress a potential employer or feel I have to exaggerate my skills. I can be honest and write about it. Or I can write on my niche subject (which is health) and I can research other subjects and write about them.
My not-so-guilty Pleasure!
I know that I can make money from writing in plenty of different areas. There are sites you can sign up for work, like Elance or there are sites similar to Hubpages where you get a percentage of the affiliates. Helium, Squidoo and InfoBarrel are just a few. I have even signed up to one or two of these, but I'll have to build up a new community.
I didn't really know anyone personally who was familiar with Hubpages - it was something I found out by myself. But I like it here and I shall keep on writing...
Even if I've written a bad hub!
We all love Hubpages!
- Hubpages: I would Just Like To Say Thank You
By Nell Rose