- Books, Literature, and Writing
The Writer's Mailbag: Installment One-Hundred and Eighteen
We have, in the words of Bernie Sanders, a HUUUUUUUUUUUUUGE Mailbag today, so let’s get started.
From Brian: “I've been reading high quality articles on a site called Medium. As best I can determine, it does not pay writers anything. Is the exposure worth the no pay? Or have Medium writers just not heard of HubPages? Or what do you speculate does motivate them to submit articles to Medium.”
Brian, I did make my way over to Medium and you are correct, they do not pay for posts and yes, their appear to have high quality articles.
Having said all that, is the exposure worth the no pay? I believe it is, but I’m only one man and that’s only one opinion. I think any old time you can get your name out there, at no cost, it is a good thing. I look at it as free advertising for my writing company, nothing more, nothing less. As long as one links to one’s website or author site on Amazon (or any other similar site where you are located) then it appears to me to be a win-win situation….and if you’re posting an article that has languished in the literary graveyard on other sites, all the better.
Using myself as an example, I’ve written, on HubPages, something like 1,300 articles. About 800 of them do nothing on any given week. Why wouldn’t I want to spread them around the internet in hopes of attracting either readership or the eye of a publisher or agent?
More on Niume
From Rasma: “Thank you for the answer however disappointing Bill. I am content with what I do and I really enjoy writing so I will just keep on doing what makes me happy. Thank you so much for reminding me of HitRecords. Joined that site too and it got lost in the shuffle. I will now return to it also. BTW I just love how things are going for me on NIUMI and speaking of which I do the smart thing now. I subscribe to the people who subscribe to me and of course check out their posts before hand. My question here is - are they going to send me an email when my any one of my subscribers posts something new? I attempt to post on there every week in various spheres but I haven't had any notice of anything new from those I subscribe to.”
Rasma, it took me two weeks to realize that Niume does not send out notifications of posts by other writers I follow….but….if you log in using Facebook, you will receive notice of new posts in your Facebook feed….I stumbled on that solution by accident one day when I was logging in using my tablet instead of laptop. I only had one option, to log in using Facebook, and low and behold, on my Facebook notifications, I saw new Niumes being posted…..so as far as I know, that’s the only way to beat that fault in their system.
From Bill: “A great week for the mailbag Bill. This Niume site seems to be generating a lot of interest here, I will have to check it out. Audrey's view count is very impressive. Do you know if HP has a list of total views by Hubber? I have always wondered how other writers do also?”
Bill, I do not know if they do. That’s something I haven’t seen in five years here, and you would think I would have stumbled across it at some point. I’d ask the staff, but it takes them forever to respond, so my best guess is no, they don’t have such a list….but maybe one of my readers will have a more definitive answer to your question.
From Mary: “I was wondering what to do with the hubs that have fallen in the black hole and are rarely viewed. Perhaps Niume can breathe life into some of them. Is there a 'magic' word count over on Niume? When I was browsing, I saw some articles that seemed like mainly photographs.”
Mary, rather than me relying on my memory, I went to Niume for the answer to your question about length. Here are the two main requirements for posting on Niume”
- A post must have five lines of text
- A post should have at least one video or photo on it.
There are a few others but those are the two to really be concerned with, and really, those aren’t worth being concerned about one bit.
From Frank: “What’s all this talk about Niume? Why should we switch to it?”
I hope I didn’t give the impression that I thought you should switch to Niume and say goodbye to HP, because I didn’t mean to do that. I simply said I was giving it a try and transferring some of my slower hubs over to that site. To me it just makes sense to do so. If one of my hubs has died on HubPages and shows no signs of revival, why wouldn’t I take a chance over on another site? It costs me nothing but the fifteen minutes it takes to make the transfer.
To me it’s a no-brainer!
Join me on my blog/website
- Artistry With Words
Helping writers to spread their wings and fly
Personal Websites or Business Websites?
From Margaret: “Can you tell me what the advantages are to having a website for our writing? If all of our articles are on HubPages, it seems to me it’s redundant to post them again on our own website. What’s the advantage to maintaining that separate website?”
This is a really good question, Margaret, and it’s one I was recently asked by another writer.
The first question that needs to be asked is: what is your goal in writing? If your goal is to simply hangout on HubPages and make a few bucks each month, then chances are you really don’t need your own website.
If, however, your goal is to be recognized as a professional freelance writer or as an author, then the answer is this: your website is one more way to present a professional appearance to present and future readers, and to future agents and publishers. It is part of your professional platform and you really do need it.
On my personal/business blog, I don’t publish my HP articles. On that site, “Artistry With Words,” I provide helpful tips to writers, and showcase other writers….it’s a place for discussion and an exchange of ideas about writing. It’s also a place where I can promote my books, something HP won’t let me do in any depth.
Add to that the fact that publishers and agents are looking for a professional face. If you were to be so lucky as to get an offer from a publisher, you will end up doing the majority of the marketing, even though you have a publishing contract, and your website is the perfect place to do some of that marketing.
So, ask that question of yourself and, depending on the answer, decide what you need to do.
What Is Hitrecord?
From Sha: “Bill, what is HitRecord? It sounds like something related to the music industry. Can you expound on that? Hey, I think I just asked a question for the Mailbag! LOL.”
Sha, HitRecord is the brainchild of actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt….I’ll let him tell you what it is all about:
“HITRECORD is less about isolated individuals showcasing their work, and more about a community working together. So if you wanna dive in, this Collaborate Page is the place to get started. Challenges are bite-sized creative things to do. Projects are how we organize a set of related challenges towards the completion of a final piece. And our Productions are projects being distributed, published, or otherwise monetized, like tv shows, books, live events, etc.”
In other words, people work together on projects. If you have a short story and you want to have others add to it, or tweak it, or maybe someone else write a screenplay for it, you post your story and issue a challenge…then others pick up on it. Meanwhile, some projects are actually picked up by recording studios, or production companies, and made into movies or documentaries or whatever. It’s kind of a cool idea and I think it’s worth checking out.
The video by Gordon-Levitt above should help you.
From Joyce: “Here's a question for next time. Are those badges and awards meaningful in any way? I was happy to get a spotlight on my last post, although I think I only gained one or two readers. Now I have some kind of participation badge. I do try to make useful comments, but this isn't the boy scouts. So all these recognitions add up to something?”
Joyce, I know quite a few writers who take those accolades very seriously, so I’m going to be careful what I say so I don’t offend them. As far as I can tell, those accolades have zero importance. It’s like when we were all in grade school and the teacher gave us stars on our papers. Now, in a perfect world, agents and publishers would roam over to HubPages, and they would look at profiles of writers and be very, very impressed with those accolades….but….agents and publishers couldn’t care less about HubPages, so all I can assume is the accolades are like a placebo to make all of us feel better.
How’s that for a cynical answer?
And That’s It for This Week
As my dad used to say, another day, another dollar! It’s been fun, so let’s do it again next week.
For those of you who asked, my next novel, “Shadows Over A Hangman’s Noose,” should be out sometime in November, good Lord willin’ and the creek don’t rise, so thanks for asking and you can be sure I’ll be letting the world know when it is published.
Best wishes on your writing this week. If you have a question for the Mailbag, add it to the comments below or shoot me an email at email@example.com.
And before I forget…..thank you, to all of you who voted me as the Best All-Around Hubber for the 4th year in a row. It truly is an honor to have you as peers. This community of fine writers and human beings is the reason why I have accomplished as much as I have. I would have quit five years ago without the support of all of you, so thank you!
2016 William D. Holland (aka billybuc) #greatestunknownauthor
“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”