HubPages boasts a wealth of stellar writers, and kerryg is one of them. Active in the forums, innovative in her methodology, and responsible for a steady stream of well-written, interesting, diverse, and profitable hubs, kerryg has been one of my role models as I enter the community as a wide-eyed newbie.
Because kerryg is successful on so many points at HubPages, I hoped she would share some of her insights with us on the blog. Thankfully, she agreed! Check out our exchange below- perhaps you’ll be inspired to try out new topics, write your own hubography, or just be more patient as you work toward your first payout!
1. You write on an impressively wide range of topics. Do you do research when writing a hub, or are you already an expert in all these things?
Some of both. I have a pretty wide range of interests, so I tend to start off with at least some good general knowledge about most of the topics I write about. I might have to do some research to fill in the gaps or find some useful factoids to share, but that’s about it.
Other topics I don’t know much about and have to do a lot of research for. Many of those are things I’ve been learning about anyway for my own purposes and figure once I’ve done all that work, I may as well write a hub about it!
2. You’ve given more detailed information about your background, areas of expertise, and previous Hubs in your “hubography” to which you link from your profile page. I think that’s a fabulous thing to do, since it frees up space on your profile, thus making it easier to see your most recent hubs and the like. What gave you the idea to do it?
Actually, I got the idea from Squidoo. A bunch of lensmasters were creating special lenses for themselves that they called “lensographies.” I made myself a lensography, and liked the idea so much I decided to do the same at HubPages! Back when I first created my “hubography”, I only had about 20 hubs, so it was easy. Now I’ve got nearly 300, so I’ve ended up creating several more for the topics I write about most frequently, just to keep things a little more organized and manageable.
3. You mention in your hubography that you also have accounts with Squidoo and eHow- how do those sites compare with HubPages? Do you write different sorts of pieces for different sites?
Squidoo was actually the first online writing site I joined, so I still have a soft spot for it, but I’ve found that HubPages suits my style of writing better. Squidoo has so many cool modules, but 95% of the time, the only ones I end up using are the basic text, photo, video, rss, ebay, and amazon anyway, and I like the design of those capsules on HubPages better. These days I mostly use Squidoo for topics with a lot of multimedia, because the Squidoo photo and video modules do display multiple photos and videos a bit more efficiently than HubPages.
I know a few people who do really well on eHow and I experimented a bit with it last year, but discovered pretty quickly that the format didn’t suit me as well as HubPages. I haven’t even bothered to maintain my status there now that it’s been taken over by Demand Studios.
4. Some people join HubPages looking for revenue (via the affiliate programs), others come for recreation (via writing, the community, etc.). It seems difficult to strike a balance between these two things. How do you address the revenue vs. recreation issue?
It’s definitely an issue that’s caused some soul-searching over the years! When it comes down to it, I do regard writing for HubPages as a job, so earning revenue is important to me, but I’ve always enjoyed the recreational and community aspects of HubPages as well, and I think that it’s important to strike a balance between the two. Of course, different people find their own balance in different places!
In my own case, I’ve made occasional attempts to write more blatantly commercial hubs, but I’ve found that I burn out very quickly doing that and work best writing a mix of hubs that are intended to make money and hubs that are just for the fun of it. That way, when one of the “fun” hubs makes money, I can regard it as a nice bonus. 🙂
5. You publish high quality hubs very consistently- and yet you’re also a mother, online content writer, and part-time research assistant. How do you manage it all! Do you have a special block of time regularly set aside for writing?
Not really. I think one of the biggest advantages of writing for HubPages and similar sites is the flexibility. On days and weeks when I have a lot of outside commitments, I can set hub writing aside for awhile to focus on other things without having to worry about losing the income. On days when I have time and inspiration, I can whip up two or three good hubs to make up for lost time. I’m fortunate to be a fairly fast writer once my research is done and I’ve figured out what I want to say and how I want to say it.
6. What tips might you have for new Hubbers? Or for Hubbers in general?
When I’m in a hurry and impatient with my three year old, she looks me in the eye and says, “Mommy, patience is a virtue.” It’s what I tell her when she’s impatient!
We get so many new hubbers in the forums who have dived in full of enthusiasm and then look at their earnings after a week or a month and think, “Ten cents! That’s all?” Building up a decent income here on HubPages is absolutely possible, but it takes steady effort over months or even years. If you need money NOW, it’s not the best option, unless you already have a lot of experience writing for the web.
On the other hand, if you love writing anyway, HubPages is a great place to hang around while you’re building up your stream of income or simply finding your audience, if money isn’t your goal. There are all sorts of interesting people hanging around with knowledge and opinions about pretty much everything under the sun, and I’m regularly amazed at the sheer talent of some of the writers here. Reading hubs has made me laugh, cry, and everything in between, and I’ve learned all sorts of cool stuff, from how to shimmy like a belly dancer to how to make my own corned beef!
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