Academia, HubPages, and jenp123

jenp123 on HubPages

jenp123 on HubPages

Since the launch of the HubPages Students page in late October, we have witnessed the publicatiion of many great academic Hubs as well as Hubs discussing college life in general, which has made us think a lot of about how HubPages can benefit students and other members of the academic community.

Grad student and future teacher jenp123 recently published a Hub on the benefits of getting a PhD in the humanities, and was kind enough to share some of her thoughts on being an academic on HubPages with us in the following interview.  Enjoy!

HubPages: You were nominated for Week 7 of the HubPages Top of the Class contest for a Hub you wrote discussing the benefits of getting a PhD in the humanities. What inspired you to write the Hub?

jenp123: When writing hubs, I usually try to come up with topics that I’m not only interested in, but that I also know something about. I don’t want to spend a ton of time researching (since I do a lot of that in my work and teaching), so I choose to write about hobbies or my profession. I thought this Hub was worthwhile to write because I see so many people discussing the pitfalls of getting a PhD in the humanities, but I rarely ever see anyone discuss the positive aspects of pursuing such a purpose.

You mention many benefits of getting a PhD in the Hub, including flexible schedules, good vacation time, the ability to have a lot of freedom in the classroom, etc… Do you think that the expertise one has gained from a PhD could also be leveraged on HubPages as well?

Sure–anyone who has a PhD in a humanities-related field is going to have to be a decent writer. I think if more doctoral students were aware of HubPages, they could really increase their internet presence and get their work out to others in an articulate way.

How many of your Hubs would you say utilize your current or past studies?

I’m fairly new to HubPages, and I also took a few months off of writing when I started my graduate program. So, I have only written 20 or so Hubs, most of which actually deal with working out and traveling, which are other passions of mine. However, my Hubs How to Write a Curriculum Vitae, How to Improve Your Writing, and Making Money Writing Online draw from my studies and graduate school experiences, as does my current article on PhDs in the Humanities.

What initially brought you to HubPages?

I was looking for ways to make money writing online while I was working an in school. I had a busy schedule, so this seemed like a good fit. It’s a great community of writers, too.

What are your post graduation plans?

I plan teach college–preferably graduate school. My degree is in rhetoric and composition, and I want to specialize in the field of computers and composition.

Do you think HubPages might ever be used in the classroom – as a place for online publishing and discussion? And where can students typically go online to share and discuss their research?

I’m actually planning on using HubPages in my classroom next semester! I think it’s a great way for students’ writing to be displayed and read by a real audience.

Last question – you are and have been engaged in a lot of interesting writing projects. What is your favorite thing about writing?

Writing can be time-consuming and arduous. However, I love that I can express myself so much better in writing than in person. This is not true for everyone, by any means, but having that extra time to think about each word and phrase, and how to shape those phrases, makes me feel like I’m really getting across my message. I also like that writing online makes my message available to so many people.

[Thanks jenp123!]

5 Ways to Fight Writer’s Block

There comes a time in every writer’s life where ideas don’t flow quite as easily as they once did.  Being faced with writer’s block can put a huge damper on life, but luckily, there are ways to fight back!

Here are some great ways to fight writer’s block on HubPages:

  1. Participate in the weekly HubMob: Every week, the HubMob team shares a new topic and challenges Hubbers to write Hubs on it!  These topics are search-friendly and perfect for getting your writing back on track when you are running out of inspiration.  To see each week’s new HubMob theme, simply go to the Forums section of the site – the weekly topic will be stickied.
  2. Participate in HubPages contests: HubPages periodically hosts contests related to a particular category.  Participating gives you something to write about, plus you’ll have the chance to win prizes! Our current upcoming contest, Money Grows on Hubs, is related to the Personal Finance category.
  3. Try your hand at keyword research: By doing a bit of keyword research, you can discover absolute treasure troves of great subjects to write on.  Check out our Learning Center to learn how to get started.
  4. Get academic: We recently launched a page for Students on HubPages and are showcasing new academic Hubs every week.  Why not research something interesting to you and publish your findings on HubPages, or edit and publish some of your old school papers on the site?
  5. Read the work of other Hubbers for inspiration and ask for ideas in the Forums: The HubPages community is wonderfully supportive and always willing to give helpful advice, plus reading other Hubbers’ Hubs may give you some ideas for your own!

Other simple actions such as working on something else for a while, going for a walk, talking with friends, and simply taking some time to relax can make a big difference, too.

The best thing about writer’s block is that it is temporary – and it might be just what you need to refresh your style or start exploring a new subject!

The Payout Chronicles: jenblacksheep gets her first AdSense check

jenblacksheep on HubPages

jenblacksheep on HubPages

Just last week, jenblacksheep made an exciting announcement in the forums- that after 18 months of diligent Hubbing on HubPages, she had finally earned her first AdSense payout!  As jenblacksheep can tell you, it takes patience to keep on Hubbing while waiting for traffic to build and AdSense earnings to trickle in, but even the occasional check-in with HubPages was enough to bring her to the first payout.  Check out our interview below to learn more about Jen and her experience on HubPages.

Congrats on your first payout! Do you have any particular plans for the money?

Well it’ll be a big help towards buying Christmas presents this year. Anything that is left over I think I’ll put towards getting a new hair style. I used to have purple streaks dyed in my hair, and this time I’m thinking about going red!

You share on your profile that you enjoy reading, writing, photography, digital design, guitar playing, writing songs, and travel – how much do you write about these things on HubPages? And are there any other major subjects you frequently address in your Hubs?

I started writing book reviews for every book I read and I’ve done about ten or so of those so far. I hope to have a massive collection of them one day. I’ve written a bit about travel; I went to Venezuela to do some volunteering last year and wrote a series of Hubs about that. But I haven’t really done any other travelling in the eighteen months I’ve been on Hubpages, when I do I’ll write about it. Although it’s not a massive interest of mine, I randomly decided one day to write some Hubs about Impressionist Painters and they seem quite popular so I’m thinking about writing more of those.

You also mention on your profile that you’re a postgraduate student studying Healthcare Ethics. Have you ever published notes, study guides, or any of your student papers on HubPages? What advice might you give to other student Hubbers?

I did my graduate degree in Philosophy and I’ve published some notes and papers from that. I have loads on my laptop that I’ve been meaning to publish on Hubpages, but they all need editing and cutting down etc. I’ll get around to it eventually!

Advice for student Hubbers? When you have some spare time just write whatever is interesting you, whether it is something on TV or in the news or something completely random. It’s difficult to motivate yourself to write when you spend your whole time writing and researching, so just write when you can and don’t worry about the quality; you can always go back and edit.

Waiting for the first payout can take a lot of patience. What kept you going over the months?

To be honest I kind of dipped in and out of Hubpages. I’d go for a few months without doing much at all, and then I’d get motivated again, read something more about backlinking and keywords etc and try it out. I actually didn’t think that I’d ever reach my first pay-out I really didn’t, but the run up to Christmas has been good for me. Now that I know it is possible, hopefully it’ll give me more motivation to write more and payouts will become a more regular thing.

What, if any, future HubPages plans do you have? Do you plan on continuing to write on HubPages after you get your Healthcare Ethics degree?

I really couldn’t say but I hope so, I’ve still got another 18 months on my course before I have to worry about it. I always plan lots of things I could write but more often than not I never get around to them. I’d like to keep up the book reviews, and as I mentioned before, I’m going to write some more Hubs about artists. I did them in the style of ‘5 interesting facts about …’ and so I’m thinking about expanding that to include famous people, like world leaders etc. Obviously, until I start earning enough money to pay the rent through Hubpages I’ll have to get a job, but I’ll do my best to write as much as I can.

[Thanks, jenblacksheep – and congrats!]

Five Reasons You’ll Enjoy the HubPages Students Page

In case you haven’t noticed, we recently launched a special page for college students on HubPages.  It’s designed to pool student resources in one place and highlight excellent college-related or academic Hubs.

Here are five fun aspects of the page – for students and non-students alike!

  1. It features a new contest: The weekly HubPages Top of the Class contest highlights college-related or academic Hubs every week, so if you write anything of the sort, you are all the more likely to get recognized for your great work!
  2. It offers easy access to fun resources: To the right of the page are quick links to college and student-related topics and forum threads on HubPages for your convenience.
  3. It offers new Hubbing inspiration: If you don’t know what to write about, consider delving back into scholarly topics! Doing keyword research before you start can help you write on something that is more likely to garner readership.
  4. It gives you something to do with old papers and study guides: It’s rather sad when old college papers and study guides – which take so much time and effort to compile – go to waste.  Why not publish them on HubPages where they can be appreciated?
  5. It highlights excellent educational Hubs: HubPages is a great place for browsing and reading about interesting things.  The topics and Hubs featured on this page are sure to offer hours of fascinating reading!

We hope you enjoy the Students page and have fun delving into the academic side of Hubbing!