How to Regularly Publish When You’re Crazy Busy

Chances are you’re incredibly busy. So are we! That said, just because we have a lot of responsibilities does not mean that we have to sideline our writing careers. There are plenty of ways in which one can regularly publish online articles while still managing a rigorous work and home life. In this week’s podcast (Creating Hubs while Crazy Busy), we outline three ways in which this can be easily done:

  1. Make use of your old work by converting essays and research papers into rich online articles: We outlined this process in last week’s podcast. It’s quite easy, and is a great way to make the most of great work you’ve already done!
  2. As you explain something to a friend, colleague, or family member, record your explanation for use in a Hub: You can do this by copying the text that you wrote in a letter or email, or turning on a dictation app when you’re explaining something to a friend verbally. Doing so kills two birds with one stone, and also makes it easier for your friend to find your advice should they forget it! Besides, if your tips are useful for one person, they’re more than likely useful to many people, which means that Hubs you create in this manner may get a decent amount of search traffic.
  3. Write your articles while you wait: Make the most of your commute, time spent queueing, and hours wiled away in waiting rooms and airport lounges by pulling out a notebook, laptop, tablet, or smartphone and writing drafts for Hubs. You’ll be staving off boredom AND getting in some much-anticipated writing.

 

Here’s one more bonus tip in regard to getting great videos and images for your Hubs: ask friends and family members to do the photography and videography for you! If you’re making dinner for your family, ask one of your kids to film you in the kitchen. If you’re teaching your child how to ride a bike, ask a neighbor to snap a photo for you. Usually, people appreciate being involved in your writing process, and as an added bonus, they may be more likely to share your article once it’s published because they have a stake in its success.

On a somewhat unrelated note, we have decided to put the Online Writing Insider podcast on hiatus. We have had a blast creating these podcasts, but we’re running out of online writing issues to cover. What would you like us to focus on in future blog posts? Let us know in the comments below!

Giving a New Life to Old Papers, Articles, and Reports

While most of the Hubs people publish are shiny and new, we still encourage you to draw on older bodies of work when creating online articles. Many of us are sitting on a sizable body of old newsletters, guides, articles, essays, and college research papers that are filled with useful information. Why not give these dinosaurs a new lease on life by updating them and publishing them in Hub form? In this week’s podcast (Converting Papers to Hubs), we offer tips on doing just that.

Here is the basic process we recommend:

  1. Go through your computer’s archive and find old research, newsletters, letters, and college papers that you think contain information that people might find to be interesting and useful.
  2. Edit your papers to make sure that the information they share is up to date.
  3. Create search-friendly titles for these compositions (something that reflects what people would type into Google when conducting searches on the subject).
  4. Break the papers into multiple sub-sections with descriptive, search-friendly subheaders (to make it easy for readers to skip around and find exactly what they’re looking for)
  5. Add images, videos, tables, maps, polls, quizzes, and more to convert what was once a simple paper into a rich, multimedia online resource

By doing these things, you are:

  • Sharing useful information
  • Making the most of work that you’ve already done
  • Giving yourself an excuse to review your old work
  • Making it easier to find, share, and reference your old work
  • Giving yourself the opportunity to get more credit from your old wrok
  • Giving yourself the opportunity to earn money from your old work

As you can see, the process of converting your old work into great online articles is quite simple, and there are quite a few benefits! We hope we’ve inspired you to dig through your own personal archives and pull out a few jewels.

The Benefits of Professional Polish

While HubPages is a place to be creative, have fun, make friends, and explore, it is also a platform on which online brands, strong portfolios, and even careers are built. For this reason, it pays to present your Hubs- and other online photos, posts, and work you share- with professional polish. VendettaVixen suggested we discuss the importance of appearing professional online in the Online Writing Insider, so listen in to this week’s podcast (The Importance of Appearing Professional) for some tips on giving your online persona a career-friendly makeover.

In the podcast, we touch on the benefits of…

  • Maintaining a presence on major online social networks
  • Behaving professionally on online social networks
  • Establishing a persona (and possibly a profile photo) that is consistent across platforms
  • Using high quality images as profile photos
  • Presenting a succinct, polished, and typo-free bio
  • Carefully editing Hubs before publishing them
  • Avoiding personal rants in Hubs and other online posts

…and more!

Big thanks to VendettaVixen for suggesting the excellent topic. If you have some suggestions for future Online Writing Insider podcasts, send them to us in an email. Our address is podcast-at-HubPages-dot-com.

 

How to Give Your Hubs a Good Shot at Success

Back in January, Jason Menayan shared some impressive stats on our old Flagship Hub program. Flagship Hubs, which were published following very rigorous standards, have seen some very impressive traffic and earnings in the months and years following their publication. To help you cash in on these potential benefits, we have updated the old Flagship standards and encourage you to work on incorporating them into your own work.

In this week’s podcast (Essential Elements of a Successful Online Article), we discuss these standards (as it happens, there are eight of them) that tend to give online articles a greater shot at success. In addition to offering tips on incorporating these aspects in the most effective way possible, we share some reasons why these standards make such a difference.

If you would like to read more information about these standards, stop by our Learning Center guide. We hope that incorporating these things into your Hubs brings you a broader audience and more earnings!

Is there something you would like to see us discuss in a future podcast? Tell us about it! Just send us an email at podcast-at-HubPages-dot-com.

Shadesbreath Has Published a Novel!

While Shadesbreath may be one of HubPages’ most popular and beloved writers, there is more behind this Hubber, whose real name is John Daulton, than meets the eye!

On his profile, John shares that Shadesbreath is but the sarcastic alter ego of his fantasy and science fiction writing self. This sci-fi-fantasy writer has been quite busy as of late, and has just released his first novel, The Galactic Mage, a magical space epic.

To get a more thorough update on the project, as well as some tips for those on HubPages interested in executing a similar feat, we asked Shadesbreath for an interview to which he obligingly agreed. I hope the following exchange inspires you to develop additional writing ambitions of your own!

So, your novel is officially out! How do you feel at this point? Euphoric? Tired?

Yes. Euphoric and tired sums it up pretty nicely. It’s been a lot more work than I expected, especially this last week, tying up the loose ends, but the experience and learning is great. As far as the euphoria goes, it really is exciting. These characters have been in my head for so many years, like little people locked up in the pickled cells of my brain, but finally they are free. They get to go meet the rest of the world, make friends in a way, and take on an existence of their own. I hope people will love them as much as I do. It’s a little scary, honestly. But very cool.

For how long have you been working on The Galactic Mage?

I wrote it… the first time… eight or so years ago. I sent out queries to publishers until finally one publisher asked to see more. They even asked for the synopsis of the whole trilogy (which I had in great detail). Months later, they wrote back and told me “we love the story, but the writing isn’t what we’re looking for.” I heard that as, “You write like a two-year-old.” I’d already started back to school to get a degree in English and that letter cemented the deal. Rather than feel bad, I realized I had a good story, but I just didn’t know how to tell it well. When I finished my BA, I threw out the old manuscript and started over from scratch. I’ve been polishing it since.

Is this your first novel?

In print, yes.

The Galactic Mage will be published as a trade paperback and Kindle e-book on Amazon.com, and as a Nook e-book on Barnesandnoble.com. How did you choose your publishing formats, and was it much work to offer the book in so many forms?

I picked them based mainly on marketing factors. Amazon is the big dog in the universe, and success with Amazon comes with monster benefits. Cracking 1000 sales on Amazon is a threshold goal for me. From there, I believe the recommendations feature they have—you know, the thing that says, “people who bought this book also bought these others”— can really start generating unit sales. But, you have to get that first 1000 to really have statistical relevance for their system. I realize 1000 is a big number, but I’m aiming high and, well, we’ll see how it works long term. Uhh, by the way, how many copies can I put you and your family down for?

How have you been getting the word out about your work?

HubPages and Facebook are my main platforms. Facebook is fantastic for spikes of traffic and viral buzz. I’ve got a page set up just for the book, you can check it out (you’ll love the video. I’m very proud of the video trailer). Plus, Facebook ads are amazing, almost evil, in how narrow you can target niches. I’ll be working that pretty hard.

As far as HubPages goes, HP is just a rockin’ platform for me. I get about 40,000 page views a month, and while I know some of the hardcore folks like Patty Inglish or Habee would probably cut themselves if that’s all they got, I’m stoked to have access to that many pairs of eyes. My website and blog get consistent traffic from readers who find me through HubPages, and I’m counting on HP to keep delivering readers going forward. The three years I have spent here—even though I mostly write satire and pedantic sounding flatulence jokes—continue to be time extremely well spent for my writing career. And that’s not even counting the network of people I’ve met who help me constantly or any of the friends I’ve made.

Do you have any other books in the works?

I’m in final revisions of a novel titled A Fish Story, and I have a novelette called “Auction Yard” for which cover art is being finished as we speak. Probably out in February on that. Also come February, I’ll be writing book two in The Galactic Mage series, called Rift in the Races. With luck, I can have it out in time to sell for Christmas, but I at least want it out by this time next year.

Amongst all this novel writing you have been doing, what role does HubPages play?

Hubpages is my release valve. I know I’m supposed to write useful articles about stuff that is, uh, useful, but I don’t know anything useful. HubPages gives me an outlet for my writerly spasms, typically of the sort that look like grammatical outrage, social commentary, the aforementioned pedantic flatulence pieces, and whatever satirical something or other I can’t help but write. Amazingly, I get a check every month from you guys for that. I’m still not sure how that works, but I ain’t complainin’.

What advice would you give to other Hubbers who would like to publish books of their own?

Stop dreaming. So many people out there “dream” about being “a novelist someday.” Writing isn’t a dream. It’s a discipline. Make a plan and then do it.

How to Find Good Topics

We recently asked for some Online Writing Insider topic suggestions on our Facebook page and received a couple of excellent recommendations. One came from Tracy Robinson, who was looking for some advice on How to Find Good Topics to Hub about.

In this week’s Online Writing Insider podcast, we outline five different ways to find topics for new online articles. These are methods we have found to be most successful in inspiring Hubs that aren’t only popular, but high earners, and they’re taken directly from the standard practices of some of our site’s top earners.  We hope you find these resources to be just as useful as we do.

Big thanks to Tracy Robinson for inspiring this week’s theme. We always appreciate getting feedback on the podcast, so if you have any comments or recommendations of your own, please send them to podcast-at-HubPages-dot-com!

Tips on Managing Literary Influences

Are you nervous about letting your favorite authors color your writing? Don’t be! In this Online Writing Insider podcast (Tips on Managing Literary Influences), Pia Chatterjee and I discuss the issues surrounding literary influences- from plagiarism and intimidation and inspiration and progress. You’ll quickly find that there’s nothing to fear!

This podcast is inspired by one of Pia’s On Writing Well blog posts, so if you do not have time to listen to the podcast, consider reading the original guide.

Are there authors who have influenced and shaped your writing in a positive way? Tell us about them! Our email address is podcast (at) HubPages (dot) com.  We’re always looking for new Online Writing Insider podcast ideas, so feel free to send feedback and suggestions our way as well.

DESTROYING Writer’s Block

Writer’s block is one of the scariest roadblocks a writer can encounter- and unfortunately, it is almost inevitable!  Luckily, writers make for creative problem solvers.

Pia Chatterjee wrote a post in her On Writing Well series sharing her favorite means of overcoming writer’s block some days back.  She got even more great writer’s block busting tips in comments, so we thought we would do a podcast on the subject!

Listen in to this week’s podcast (How to fight writer’s block) for a collection of our favorite means of bringing back inspiration.  We hope you enjoy it, and if you have a tried and true method for getting over writer’s block that we did not cover, tell us about it in an email! Just drop us a line at podcast (at) HubPages (dot) com.

Where to Hunt for Writers!

Writers may have a reputation for being solitary, reclusive beings, but that doesn’t mean that they should write in a vacuum.

Sites like HubPages offer great means of getting feedback on one’s work… but sometimes written comments from semi-anonymous readers are not enough. Sometimes even the most solitary beings require in-person interaction.  The problem with interacting with other writers is that they can be difficult to find! Many writers are hard to identify (they don’t have a uniform, after all), and more often than not, the more dedicated ones are at home writing and not outside networking.

That said, Pia Chatterjee put together a blog post a couple of days ago about various places where one can hunt for writers. The post was so popular that we thought we would make a podcast on the subject (How to Meet Other Writers). We hope you enjoy it!

If there is a place where you have found a high density of writers that was not discussed in this podcast, tell us about it! Just send an email to podcast (at) HubPages (dot) com. We would love to hear from you!

How to Ace an Interview with a Journalist

HubPages is the perfect platform for everyday experts to share their expertise with a larger audience, so it should come as no surprise that many journalists turn to Hubbers for more information on subjects they’re researching.  We often get emails from Hubbers asking for advice on how to handle journalist inquiries, so we thought it might be helpful to share some pointers in an Online Writing Insider podcast (How to Ace an Interview with a Journalist).

Listen in as our go-to PR expert Pia Chatterjee shares her insights on journalist interviews. Pia outlines instances in which one might want to turn down journalist interviews, walks us through basic media training, and offers interview etiquette tips. The advice in this podcast is super useful, and we hope that you may have the opportunity to take Pia’s advice for a spin very soon!

If you have any fun reporter interview stories to share- or any suggestions for future podcasts- send them our way. We can be reached via email at podcast (at) HubPages (dot) com.