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My First Paycheck Earned for Writing: A HubPages About-To-Be-Success Story
I Am Counting My Chickens...
Yes, I am counting my chickens before they hatch. I cannot help it. I am excited. I should know better. I have done this before and it is in a way the reason I have had to wait this long to earn my first check through Google's AdSense program. But I just know this will be the month I make it to the $100 threshold. I can feel it in the bones of my writing fingers. There is success in the air and I am taking deep breaths! All my eggs are safe and warm and on the verge of cracking open to reveal a perfectly healthy chickadee! What could go wrong?
Getting Started on HubPages
I first discovered HubPages at the recommendation of fellow hubber Katharella. She had only started a few days before but knew I enjoyed occasionally jotting down a few admittedly random thoughts. We both figured what would it hurt to give it a try. I published my first hub, Men on the Moon: The Fake Lunar Landing and Other Hoaxes the Masses Fall For, on July 24, 2009. I set up my Google AdSense account and was thrilled when I had earned a whopping 27¢ only six days later! I wrote another few hubs and sat back waiting for my first check to roll in. But by the end of August, I had only earned another measly 4¢. I lost my initial enthusiasm and turned my attention to other things.
Then sometime around early October, I happened to go look at my AdSense account and was surprised to find I had made another 56¢, this time without putting forth even the tiniest bit of effort. Admittedly I was not really on track to make my overnight fortune as previously expected, but I was smart enough to know this was something worth pursuing. Though I had little time free for writing, I managed to squeeze out a couple more hubs over the next couple of months.
By mid-May 2009, with only seven hubs published, I had made almost $9 and decided it was time to get serious. I began publishing hubs more steadily and started seeing my profits rise accordingly. I averaged almost $20 per month during the first three months of the year, though I am being realistic and expecting online activity to drop as the weather warms up. But still, I need less than $10 to make it to my first AdSense check, so I am very hopeful this will be the month I make it! Am I bad for hoping a freak blizzard comes along to keep everyone indoors and online?
The Secret of My Success
I know what you are waiting for. The thing everyone wants to know, of course, is what do I attribute my success to. Did I master the art of long-tail search engine optimization? Did I figure out how to corner the market on specialty niche topics where I could be unique while still being mainstream? Did I find a secret writer's handbook with voodoo incantations to create zombie readers loyal only to me? Did I sell my soul to Satan? Or worse, Rupert Murdoch?
Well, to be honest, I really do not understand that whole long-tail keyword thing. And I still choose my topics with that same admittedly random system I used when I started. While I enjoy a good zombie infestation as much as the next guy, my understanding is they are not avid readers. And Satan probably figures he will get my soul anyway what with all that rock and roll I have crammed in my head. I cannot comment on any association I may or may not have with Mr. Murdoch.
Once I decided this could be a money maker, all I concentrated on was writing hubs that I enjoy creating and I would enjoy reading. I do not put much thought into whether or not a particular hub will be a profitable hub, but I do not ignore the question completely. For instance, when I wrote a hub on camel spiders, though I would never consider having one as a pet, I knew someone out there would. So I discussed their potential as pets knowing this would probably increase the likelihood of ads appearing that were related to exotic pets. those ads do appear and this is now my fourth highest grossing hub.
The best advice I believe I could give anyone looking to be a success on HubPages is this: Stick to what you enjoy writing about. Polish your writing skills. And do not worry about how much money you are making. Have fun. The money will come in time and will be just as exciting when you get there no matter how long it takes. Remember, if you have a good time writing, the cash will just be the icing on the cake.