ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Writer's Mailbag: Installment #314

Updated on June 22, 2020

Blessed Summer Has Arrived

Man alive, it was a long wait. I was beginning to wonder if I was destined to walk my dogs in rain and chill forever, a modern-day Greek god, sentenced to a miserable task forever for some transgression I didn’t even recall.

But summer finally arrived in our little corner of the United States, temps in the 70’s and low-80’s, decent humidity, all the good stuff we love during summertime in the Evergreen State.

How ya doing during our strange new reality? Okay? Adjusting? All is well in my world. Bev is back to work full-time. I’m still cranking out articles for businesses, making their marketing managers happy. The dogs are healthy and demanding. And our kids seems to be functioning like adults on most days.

Anyway, I hope you are well. Let’s see what we have in the way of mail this week.

The Mail Room
The Mail Room

Technical Stuff and Heartstrings

From Eric: “Do you get to write any technical stuff with an aim toward tugging at heartstrings?”

Eric, what a strange question. LOL I had to stop and think about this one for a moment. No, not that I recall. I write a lot of technical stuff, but the stuff I write for customers I never do any heartstring tugging with it. They don’t pay for that and I leave that “at home.”

It is interesting, though, that my writing voice is apparent even in articles about salvage yards and event centers. I’ve had friends read some of my freelance stuff I do for customers, and they can see me in every article. It’s something I’m not even aware of, but they’ve noticed it right away.

Evidently, I just can’t turn off my voice.

Blogging Value

From Denise: “As for blogs, I have one because I read somewhere that I should for building my audience. However, I haven't built an audience there. I have a much more substantial one here on HP. Would you suggest I give that blog up as being a waste of my precious time? Just wondering.”

Denise, this is such a common problem/dilemma with writers. Most of us are simply not good at marketing ourselves. We can start up a blog with the best intentions, but then it comes time to doing the actual work of building an audience, and most of us fall by the wayside.

Here’s what I think about blogs: if you enjoy doing them, then do them! Don’t worry about building audiences. If you enjoy it then do it. If it seems like a chore then don’t.

Pretty simple, right?

I have two blogs. My audience is not huge for those blogs. I might get twenty people reading them on any given day. I don’t even have them monetized. I just write them because I enjoy sharing information about those two topics, and I also enjoy connecting with people. I just keep on keeping on because it makes me feel good doing it.

So, all you have to do is answer this question: do you enjoy that blog of yours that doesn’t have much of an audience? If you do then keep doing it; if you don’t then say goodbye to it.

If you like simple living, follow my blog.
If you like simple living, follow my blog.

Another Excerpt Please

From Karisa: “How about another excerpt from your new Shadows book? I am waiting patiently for you to publish it, but my patience might be wearing a bit thin.”

Well God, Karisa, we don’t want that happening. Here you go, from “Shadows Over the Pond:”

Twenty minutes later he was knocking on the flat once lived in by Penelope Harris. Craven Hill Gardens was directly across the street from the stately brownstone. He heard footsteps approaching from within as he scanned the streets. No threats were detected, but his hand remained on the Glock tucked into his waistband.

The door opened and a woman, late-twenties, early-thirties smiled at him. Perfect teeth, perfect bone structure, perfect complexion, five-five, maybe five-six, cascading black hair, undertaker black, solidly built, an athlete’s body, wearing workout clothes. Sweat was on her forehead and her upper lip, for some reason reminding him of a young woman in Kabul, twelve years prior, stopping in the middle of an intersection, pulling off her coat, revealing dynamite strapped to her thin frame, and disappearing into a red mist as the explosion shattered nearby windows and birds erupted from scraggly trees.

“May I help you?” and the smile gained wattage.

“I’m sorry to bother you. I’m looking for Marie Staten.”

The smile remained as she held out her hand.

“I hate to contradict you, but you don’t look like you’re sorry at all. I’m Marie Staten, born and raised in the Midwest, married at one time in Rainer, Washington, in the good old United States of America. And you are?”

Striker took the hand that was offered to him, wondered what the odds were that this woman grew up ten miles from Olympia. He figured close to zero.

“Striker! Paul Striker, private investigator from Olympia, Washington, and I’m investigating the death of Penelope Harris.”

The smile disappeared. She stepped back.

“I suppose you better come in then, Mister Paul Striker, private investigator. Penelope was my roommate and I would love to know what happened to her. I suspect you know much more than I do at this point. You can take your hand off that gun, Mister Striker. I am not a threat to you, unless you fear a workout machine.”

“I fear nothing, Marie, but suspect everyone.”

“What a terribly sad way to live, Mr. Striker.”

The Future of Hubpages

From Petra: “You’ve been here a long time, Bill. You’ve seen ups and downs on HP. Currently it seems like earnings are down considerably. Do you think HP can last? Or will it go the way of Squidoo?”

Petra, honestly, I’m a bit surprised HP has lasted this long. What’s it been, twelve years? More?

For many writers yes, earnings are down. However, I have several friends who are telling me that income is up for them, so obviously it depends on what you write and how you write it. I’m not sure we can use the current earnings to answer your question.

I think a better question is this: can a format like this be successful financially? I think the move to Maven was all about this question. They are tinkering constantly trying to find a way to increase earnings because, truthfully, this is a tough format.

About the only way I can answer your question is this way: HubPages will last as long as it lasts. I think we will continue to see earnings slowly drop, unless the HP management finds a new way to increase income.

Stay tuned!

The future of HP? Follow the flow and we'll all find out.
The future of HP? Follow the flow and we'll all find out.

All Done for This Week

That was a short one, but that’s okay because the weather is fantastic and I’ve got yardwork to do.

I wish, for all of you, a fantastic week ahead. Thanks so much for the visit. If you want to get in touch with me, you can email me at, or drop me a note in the comment section below.

And for all of my friends who are fathers, allow me to wish you all a belated Happy Father’s Day!

Be good to others and be good to yourself. Life is way too short to do otherwise.

2020 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)