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What I’ve Learned After 180 Days on HubPages

Author:

I have been writing off and on for many years. Now that I'm retired from the work force, I'm dedicating more time to the craft.

The sun managed to peek its way through the smoke-filled sky today for the first time in recent memory...

The sun managed to peek its way through the smoke-filled sky today for the first time in recent memory...

Celebrating 180 Days and 50 Articles

I saw the sun today and snapped this picture as soon as I did. Up here in the Pacific Northwest, this is practically cause for celebration since we haven’t seen the orange orb for many a day due to all the smoke from fires around the region. We are operating under a new, additive set of stay-at-home circumstances right now: on top of the ongoing Covid-19 limitations and considerations, we are all being advised to stay indoors, not go outside at all because breathing the air here is hazardous for our health. So, seeing the sun—even just this little tiny glimpse—is definitely cause for cheer.

Perhaps another reason to celebrate today, though, is that it’s my 180th day on HubPages. Additionally, when I hit 'Publish' on this article, it'll be my 50th. These are small numbers compared to many other writers on HP, so I don't necessarily have a huge amount of insight to pass along. Still, I believe the little I do have is worth sharing with prospective members of HubPages.

How I Got Here

I honestly don’t remember how I found HubPages. I am pretty sure I googled something like, “I want to make money writing,” or something along those lines. I’d just retired from the workforce a little over a month prior, we were on the front side of the Covid-19 pandemic here in the US, and I had a hankering to make something of my passion for the written word. So I googled and found HubPages, and found several good (and even more not-so-good) articles on what it was about, how it worked, and how some folks were making all kinds of coin publishing articles on HP.

I also found some other articles that were more honest, more forthright, and more accurate: if you want to make money on HubPages, you can make money on HubPages. However, and this is a big and almost universal however: don’t quit your day job after one article thinking you’re going to make a living having things posted over to LetterPile. If someone’s selling you that pile, recognize it as a pile because it's a pile. To make any money at all here on HubPages will require:

  1. Hard work
  2. Time

In summary, and if you’re reading this to find out if you can make money: yes, you can make money here, you can make real money, but no you’re not going to be able to carve out a living on HP alone. At least not in short order. So, if you want to eat for the next six months, make sure you have some money in the bank, or make sure you have another paying job. It’s just some advice from a relative novice to the site, but I bet any long-standing member of HubPages would offer the same if you asked.

So If There's No Money to Be Made...?

So…if you don’t make huge coin here, then you might be asking yourself, or maybe you might want to ask me: why do you stay and play? This question is so much easier to answer, and answering it is going to allow me to bloviate for quite some time, too. But before I do, I’ll give you a short list of the reasons, the bottom line up front, if you will, of why I’m still here after six months, and why I’ll probably be here much, much longer:

  1. Creative Outlet and Creative Freedom
  2. Community
  3. Camaraderie
  4. Cash

Creative Outlet and Creative Freedom

I don’t know anything about SEO, and if you don’t either you might appreciate it when I tell you it stands for Search Engine Optimization. If you do know something about it, you’re way ahead of where I was when I started on HubPages. Indeed, you're way ahead of me even now after my six months aboard the USS HP aircraft carrier. I don’t play that game in the slightest; I really am not overly interested in it. You can, and there are many, many writers on this site who will tell you that you should, but if you do that you are chasing a different objective than I am. Not judging, just saying.

This is the main reason I stay on HubPages: I have an innate need to create, a need to get things out of my system and onto paper, to just get them “out there.” I absolutely, positively for sanity reasons need to get things that are dancing around in my head out somewhere where they can live and go forth and do whatever they are going to do with their own lives. Having a place to deposit them so they can do that means there is motivation to plant these ideas permanently somewhere so I can move on to the next idea. HubPages offers that kind of outlet for me.

Along with that outlet, though, is the notion that I can freely write about pretty much whatever I want to write about here, I can write it when I feel like writing about it, and I can do it on a timeline that I establish myself. If you’re already freelancing, or if you’ve done any other work in the writing world out there, you’ll understand that to be quite extraordinary, as if extraordinary needs a qualifier. It’s unusual, it’s unique, it’s awesome. And it's true.

Community and Camaraderie

I actually had a hard time putting community number two behind creative outlet and creative freedom. And honestly, I’m not going to extricate camaraderie from community here by using separate sections. If you read this edition of Eric’s Sunday Sermon about community, commonality and so forth, you’ll get a feel for what I’m talking about when I say this place is a community with much camaraderie. Read all the way to the end, then read the dialog that occurs, as well. Do the same with any edition of Bill’s Writer’s Mailbag, too, and you’ll find the same thing. Perhaps this week’s edition here is as good a place as any to sample that notion. Again, read to the bottom including all the comments. I'll wait for you here until you get back via the back button on your browser...

Community, camaraderie, creative outlet and freedom…all rolled up into one, wouldn’t you say?

Cash

My guess is that the vast majority of folks wouldn’t have found their way to HubPages if there weren’t a paying part to all this. Indeed, when you read comments such as the one just below, which dates all the way back to a forum thread from 2009 but is still hanging out there nevertheless (meaning a noob can and will find this through Google when searching for "can I make money on Hubpages?") you get the sense that there are, and always have been many, many folks who come here only for the money they might make:

Direct Quote from Forum Thread "How Long Does It Take To Make Decent Money On Hubpages"

Well dont spend to much time on aesthetics...income isnt based on how pretty the site is, its based on how often you turn up in search results, what rank you have in search results and what topics you are covering.

— https://hubpages.com/community/forum/13065/how-long-does-it-take-to-make-decent-money-on-hubpages

As you can see, there's a lot going on in this statement. And it's not just the sentiment, either–i.e., it's not just the fact that this writer is suggesting that the way your articles look doesn't matter–it's also the fact that the aesthetics and niceties of apostrophes and proper spelling have been completely ignored throughout the comment.

And so, yeah, I suppose you could go that route, though I’m not sure how long you’ll last with that idea in mind. Nor with that style of writing. And, in any case, I could never be up for something like that for one simple reason: my name is at the top of every article I publish. Sure, some of my works might just be silly poems and essays and the like, but I spend a lot of time crafting them, I put lots and lots of thought into the stories, the word choice, the writing itself. I also spend lots of time either taking pictures and videos of my own or searching online for legal, legit and pertinent pictures and videos, as well. It is a pride point for me. And so, if at the end of the day (or, actually, the end of the month) I receive a transfer from Maven into my PayPal account, well then that is just bonus, isn’t it? And when I tell my friends and family I get paid to write, I’m not lying! It’d only be a lie if I told them I was getting rich doing it…but, hey, it’s believable and it’s also true when I say that last month I bought a new pair of pedals for one of my bikes with the money I made on HubPages. Bonus!

Parting Thoughts

I have made here on HubPages several very good friends that are every bit as dear to me as people I’ve known for many years and have actually seen in person. I never knew it could be possible, but it’s so absolutely true. If you want to get that sense of things, you have to join and you have to participate…and if you do you will not regret it, I assure you of that.

I think the final thing I’d like to say here is this: this is a community of writers. If you want to be part of that, you should definitely join HubPages. Like any other community, you don’t have to participate in the community activities unless you have desire, inclination, time, etc. Some days, some weeks you participate more, sometimes you participate less. As just one example: I’ve not been online much these past few weeks because the Tour de France is on this month (today is an off day, though, so I have been on HP most of my waking hours today), but it also does not matter greatly to me or to the community. I just come back when I can and I find the same wonderful folks here when I do. I like that community atmosphere, love the fact that someone will tell me when I’ve added or missed a comma, misspelled a word, written something awkward. I enjoy that feedback quite a bit. But I also just enjoy the dialog that comes along in the wake of someone’s publishing a new article.

So if you’re new to HubPages, or if you’re considering signing up and hanging your works out there for the world to see, I’m offering the few words above to you for your consideration. You can make some money on HP, sure, but temper your expectations and understand you'll really only get out of it what you put into it. That goes for the $ aspect as well as the community aspect.

If you’re not new to HubPages, if you’re among the community I feel I’ve become part of this past six months, I have these few words to add for you: thanks for your support and encouragement and friendship and camaraderie. Thanks for letting me be part of all this, part of your community, part of the HubPages community. I look forward with great anticipation to the next six months, perhaps the next six years…maybe even longer.

Oh, lookie there! I just got an e-mail from the mother ship that said, “Congratulations, boxelderred, we just moved one of your articles to Letterpile!” Haha! That's great.

Happy writing, everyone.

© 2020 greg cain

Comments

DREAM ON on October 21, 2020:

Your hub was filled with so many tidbits of information. It reminded me of an old Maxwell House commercial that I liked for some reason. I never was a coffee drinker but it stayed in my mind. Good to the very last drop. I looked up Maxwell house commercials and some I remembered and some I didn't know. Your hub took things I thought of and remembered when I first joined HubPages eleven years ago. I am always learning and many things I forgot about too. Great job. Happy Anniversary and may you always share the beauty in life that not only makes you happy but can put a smile on someone else's face. Thank you for sharing and caring. Happy writing.

BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on October 20, 2020:

It is a great place where one can write pretty much what is on his mind.

Everyone here is nice. It was wonderful when we could comment...but we have to catch it fast nowadays.

Thanks for the article snd I wish you much success.

Dale Anderson from The High Seas on September 25, 2020:

I really hope that this site turns out to be a long-term and worthwhile place for you to write on. Keep those articles coming!

Anupam Mitu from MUMBAI on September 25, 2020:

I completely agree with you. It's an awesome place with magicians of words. When I visit here, I am actually so engrossed in reading one after the other that I don't realise how much time has passed.

You are a brilliant writer too and your photography is awesome.

greg cain (author) from Moscow, Idaho, USA on September 23, 2020:

Thanks, Jo. Yes, it's been quite enjoyable. Thanks for the words, and hope you have a good week.

Jo Miller from Tennessee on September 21, 2020:

It sounds like you just jumped right in the community here on HubPages. Glad you are enjoying your stay.

greg cain (author) from Moscow, Idaho, USA on September 20, 2020:

Thanks for the words, Readmikenow. Much appreciated. Also thanks for giving it a read. Good weekend to you!

greg cain (author) from Moscow, Idaho, USA on September 20, 2020:

Ms. Dora - great to hear! A ten year anniversary is really unimaginable for me at this point, but I believe I'll still be here in ten years, all else being equal. Thanks so much for the well wishes, and thanks for being one of the many who've made me feel so welcome here.

greg cain (author) from Moscow, Idaho, USA on September 20, 2020:

Thanks, Louise, and I couldn't agree more. Kind and helpful is a great descriptor for the members here. Hope you have a great weekend, Louise. Be well and be safe.

Readmikenow on September 20, 2020:

Excellent article. I enjoyed reading it.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on September 20, 2020:

Greg, Congratulations on your six-month celebration, and on your 50th article! Happy that you are enjoying the experience. Approaching my tenth year here, I'm happier now on HubPages than I ever was. Best to you, going forward!

Louise Powles from Norfolk, England on September 19, 2020:

It's always interesting to read other people's thoughts and opinions on Hubpages. I love it here. And yes, I really like the community spirit here too. I've always found people to be very kind and helpful.

greg cain (author) from Moscow, Idaho, USA on September 18, 2020:

Hi Linda - thanks for the great words. It's still much the same here with the smoke and all, and the situation was exacerbated yesterday by the harvesting of garbanzos that's going on right now. My driveway is covered with 'fallout' from that. We are hoping to see the sun this weekend as the weather cools and we maybe get some rain. Hard to believe that smoke made it all the way up to BC, but I guess it has to go somewhere....

Good weekend, Linda!

greg cain (author) from Moscow, Idaho, USA on September 18, 2020:

Thanks, Sally. Much appreciated. I love the community, as well. Hope you have a good weekend and continued success here on HP, too!

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on September 17, 2020:

Congratulations on your achievements, Greg. 50 articles in 180 days is great! Best wishes for the future.

The scene in your first photo looks like ones that I've been seeing where I live. The smoke from the fires has traveled from the United States to British Columbia. The situation was much better today, though.

Sally Gulbrandsen from Norfolk on September 17, 2020:

Nice to hear you share your thoughts on writing on HubPages. I love this community of writers and wish you every success in your endeavours here.

greg cain (author) from Moscow, Idaho, USA on September 16, 2020:

Thanks, Liz, I do appreciate it. I look forward to producing more, too, and also continuing to participate in the wonderful community here at HP. Hope you have a wonderful week.

Liz Westwood from UK on September 16, 2020:

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on Hub Pages. Congratulations on your anniversary here. I look forward to reading more of your articles in future.

Abby Slutsky from America on September 15, 2020:

Oh, thank you. I have been writing a long time, but I am new here. We will see how well I do here. You have gotten a lot done too.

greg cain (author) from Moscow, Idaho, USA on September 15, 2020:

Liliane - thanks for the great comment and the well wishes. I had not thought about--or perhaps I just didn't write about it, because I have thought about it--the healing effect of writing. I have always loved to write, and realized when I finally quit my day job for good that part of the reason I love it is because it's good therapy. It's almost as good as riding a bike or working in the garden. Or maybe it's on the same par. Anyway, thanks for the words, and I wish you the best of luck here on HP, as well.

greg cain (author) from Moscow, Idaho, USA on September 15, 2020:

Abby - thanks for the words. I'm impressed with your productivity, and with the quality of the works you've put out there in your short 3.5 months on HP. I appreciate the kind words and thoughts, and I wish you the best of luck, too!

greg cain (author) from Moscow, Idaho, USA on September 15, 2020:

Hey Miss Fran, thanks for the congrats and for the warm welcome. I think it's absolutely true that we all learn something all the time, and the variety, diversity and quantity of things to read on HP are incredible. In fact, I do not (sadly) have time to keep up with reading all that gets published here. I do, however, find myself surfing HP when I'm riding in the car and someone else is driving. You just never know what you'll discover next, just like in all the great history articles you publish. Have a great week, Fran.

greg cain (author) from Moscow, Idaho, USA on September 15, 2020:

Sha - I cherish your friendship, too, and I appreciate your continual encouragement and kind words. Your nine years here--nearly a decade!--also puts you at the top of the list of those whose opinions I value greatly, whose words I hang on when my works are out there hanging on the web for the first time and for all the world to see. I think you sell yourself short in terms of your thoughts on your own writing, but that humility is also one of the things I love about you, too. Anyway, thanks for the always-kind comments and have a great week, Sha Sha!

greg cain (author) from Moscow, Idaho, USA on September 15, 2020:

Bill - I'm glad I'm here, as well, and I thank you for being the first to welcome me here to the community six months ago on the very day I signed up. I like hanging out with you cool cats, too.

greg cain (author) from Moscow, Idaho, USA on September 15, 2020:

Lorna - perspective is everything. From my seat, looking at your two years, you are one of the more experienced, capable, accomplished writers here on HP. With that in mind, I really appreciate the description of my efforts here. Indeed, I am nothing if not quirky, just ask my wife and my kids. Thanks for that, thanks for the congrats, and thanks for being one of my warmest welcomers to HubPages.

greg cain (author) from Moscow, Idaho, USA on September 15, 2020:

John - no worries, mate. When we get to free-streaming thoughts at a rapid pace, it happens.

greg cain (author) from Moscow, Idaho, USA on September 15, 2020:

Flourish - yes, I'm a relative noob and damn proud of it! And I would love to be more productive, but I also (as mentioned) enjoy the flexibility. With the Tour de France, a garden that is at peak production right now (meaning canning is going to start this week), I don't think 'being more productive' is in my near future. Still, I'll be here when I can and in the meantime I'll revel in having my creativity being called offbeat. I love that!

greg cain (author) from Moscow, Idaho, USA on September 15, 2020:

Eric - thanks to you also for the kind words, the welcoming remarks. I think many, many of us joined for the prospect of $, and some stay despite the fact that the money at first trickles, then sort of builds over time. Some also depart, I think, in pretty quick order, because their idea of a quick buck isn't realized. I came for the pay, as well, I cannot deny having searched for "get paid to write," or somesuch. I am still here for myriad other reasons, not least of which is my buddies, as you have mentioned. Good week, and be well.

greg cain (author) from Moscow, Idaho, USA on September 15, 2020:

John - thanks for the fantastic comment, my friend, and for your perspective gleaned after more than a decade on the site. It is interesting to hear discussion about folks' opinions on poetry and other types of works that they themselves don't participate in...I think that is a symptom of our times rather than a trend on HP in particular. In my estimation, in any case, you are an accomplished poet and I enjoy the works you put out there in response to everyone's queries. The thing about poetry is you can pretty much pick your own rule set these days, and it's nice to experiment here where there's not much risk involved other than what you are willing to try out. It doesn't hurt to receive ad compensation or profit sharing, but at the end of the day, if I was wanting another job with strict deadlines and a regular daily clock, I'm not sure the uber competitive world of writing is where I'd go right now. There's lots of work out there, to be sure, but I've been going 90 miles an hour with my hair on fire for more than 35 years now...I'm going to chillax for a while, and thankfully HP is a great place to do that. Once again, friend John, thanks for the lovely comments and welcoming words. Be well, and have a good week.

greg cain (author) from Moscow, Idaho, USA on September 15, 2020:

Well, Hertha, my new friend, welcome to you as a new member of the HubPages. And congrats on getting two of your articles moved to a niche site. That is great! Your comment was full of the things you love - HP, writing, reading, being a member of this wonderful community. I'm glad the article was relatable for you because in the main it is folks like you--newcomers and prospective newcomers--to whom I was mostly writing.

Thanks for the lovely comment, and I wish you the very best of luck in your crafting adventures here on HubPages.

Liliane Najm from Toronto, Canada on September 15, 2020:

First of all congratulations on your 50th article milestone and best wishes for seeing the sun in all its glory. I laughed out loud when I read “ USS HP aircraft“. Congratulations also on all the comments your article generated.

I appreciate the camaraderie, the encouragement and most of all the healing effect that writing gives me.

Abby Slutsky from America on September 15, 2020:

It was nice to read about your experience. I have been here about 3 1/2 months but have written on many other sites. You are right; it is a nice community. Congratulations on your accomplishments here.

fran rooks from Toledo, Ohio on September 15, 2020:

Wow, Box! Congratulations. you have made a great addition to Hub. I love your articles and agree with all your comments. we writers do it for the love of the craft. Again quite a milestone, keep it up. I too thanks to all Hubbers for the advice and comments received. I have learned so much from all.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on September 15, 2020:

Happy Anniversary, Box! I hope to see you here for a long, long time. I just hit my nine year mark and don't plan on going anywhere.

I for one, am glad you came to HP. You're a helluva writer and you and I have gained a friendship that I cherish.

Aside from the community and camaraderie (I have more HP writers that have become friends outside of HP than I do face-to-face friends), what I love about this platform is the creative outlet and creative freedom. What you say is absolutely true and a very attractive feature of HP. When you freelance for a living you don't have the freedom that being a HubPages author offers.

Another well-spoken article, my friend. (Yes, I know I said spoken and not written.) I always look forward to your posts.

Love,

Sha

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on September 15, 2020:

Well Happy Birthday my friend. Thanks for the mention. I always laugh when I see a mention of making money on HP. If someone is still on this site for that reason, well, they are a patient person for sure. Me, I just like hanging out with the cool kids. I'm glad you're here.

Lorna Lamon on September 15, 2020:

I'm also relatively new to Hub Pages Greg and have found this community to be very supportive and friendly. I don't expect to make a fortune here, however, it is a great platform to showcase your work. You have a particular style that is quite unique, quirky and creative. Congrats on the first 50 articles and I look forward to reading the next 50.

John Hansen from Queensland Australia on September 14, 2020:

Hmm, I did edit typos out of my comment, but they are still there. Weird.

FlourishAnyway from USA on September 14, 2020:

I had no idea you were an HP baby just beginning to walk! Congratulations on 180 days. You are so dang productive it’s hard for me to keep up with the reading! Keep up the terrific work. A lot of newcomers have high expectations then fade away or they just don’t comment on others’ articles. I like that you seem to “get” the whole thing. I also like that your are creativity is so offbeat. I enjoy reading. Keep up the good work.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on September 14, 2020:

Certainly I am glad you shared this. So fun. Here I thought I had been missing you for years. I did not check the joined note. I like writers for all kinds of reasons and have dear friends here.

You make me smile, that real kind of smile. You shake my perspective and so I am eternally grateful.

I think I might have signed on to make money, too long ago, I forget. But I stayed for my buddies. I think once I took a 30 hubs in 30 day challenge and it went on for months. My writing changed and I found a voice -- don't know whose voice yet.

Thanks for joining us.

John Hansen from Queensland Australia on September 14, 2020:

Greg, congratulations on 180 days and 50 articles. That is already a worthy milestone. I have written 450 but I have been here more than ten years. In fact I just stumbled upon the site back then and didn’t really know the purpose of it. I think I wrote two articles in the first year, until I was “discovered” so to speak, and welcomed into the community by a wonderful poet and kind lady named Nellianna Hay.

I agree with everything you write here, and to me the money is not important, just having one place to pour my writing and feelings into, and the COMMUNITY. I just love it! Others me spend hours o Facebook or Twitter, well they just aren’t for me. Oh, I check Facebook maybe once a day to see if family have posted anything but that’s it. This is my main social hub and a much nicer place to communicate.

I didn’t even join AdSense until I had been here five years so I was late even monetising my writing. My HP income has risen steadily in the last two years and now probably pays for my coffee addiction lol.

I know my writing has improved greatly since I first started here, and even though some of my early writing may be a little embarrassing to go back and read it is good to keep as a guide to how far I’ve come.

I struggled for years, when visiting the forums, however, with people there saying “poets and creative writers have no place here, and print the popularity down for everyone else.” I feel one of my purposes of being is to try and promote poetry to people who belittle it as a lesser form of writing, or just think they don’t like it without really giving it a chance. So I persist In trying to write poetry that may appeal to a wider audience. And I think I have attracted enough of an audience here to prove that is possible.

In a short time you have become a welcome member of this wonderful community. You articles and poems are always fun, interesting, and thought provoking, and you will have a welcome home here on HubPages for as long as you choose to stay. Well done, my friend.

Hertha David from Windhoek, Namibia on September 14, 2020:

The last paragraph made me smile immensely as I got two of those today..

Thank you so much for this article it is not only amazing but I related to it big time.

This is because I first found hubpages through a school project to analyse a poem then from there I have been stopping by to read all amazing articles by authentic writers and wondered to myself "hey I can write on hub too". I have been writing from a very young age. I love essays and poems mostly. So then I wrote a few poems on my tablet and decided to put them out there and that's how I found the "sign up/in" button on hubpages.

I joined this amazing community two months ago and am only finding out after a few weeks that one can actually make money on hubpages. But to be honest making money is nice and all however, just being part of such an amazing community, having people from all parts of the world read your work, you reading amazing literature and other writing genres and getting accolades, that excites me more and that why I might be here for a lifetime.

I love being here, I love writing, I love reading and I love hubpages. It's awesome.

Thank you for a relatable article. Do take care.