Rome was fun. I learnt a lot. Now it’s time to move on.
Rome in my case is Hubpages. I signed up to the site in 2009, when I’d just started writing. I was looking for more ways to make money from my writing after I’d done a couple of paying gigs. I read articles written by experienced hubbers about using Hubpages to make money. One lady said that making good money from Hubpages requires full-time attention and publishing posts almost daily for at least two years. I was shocked. Two years! There was no way I was going to wait that long.
So I followed my predetermined course of studying law and helping my father with his properties. I even worked in telecommunications for a while. During all this, I continued to write as a hobby, primarily on Hubpages.
I published most of my hubs in 2011 and I started getting positive feedback from other hubbers and readers. They encouraged me to keep writing and so I did. For as long as I had feedback and comments, it made it a bit more worthwhile. Mike, one of the hubbers who’d followed me the most, suggested that I take the writing more seriously. He insisted that I had a talent that should not be shrugged off lightly. I was flattered but still didn’t really believe I could make it as a writer.
Eventually I put together two anthologies of my poetry, with Mike’s help. I got positive feedback and reviews, especially considering the market for poetry is not huge. So I slowly began taking it seriously and pursuing writing as a career, but I was still hesitant until I got dumped in the deep end. This happened when my partner at the time (now husband) lost his job and his business started struggling. We had to move and find new ways of making money. So I relied on what I thought was my only marketable skill and began searching for writing jobs daily on Craigslist, Gumtree and Elance; responding to every job listing that I felt I qualified for.
A few weeks later, a job came in. Then another, and another. Soon I had repeat business and I was earning a decent income. I had done it! I found a way to sustain myself, as well as support my husband and parents, using my writing alone. The catch was that most of my business was ghostwriting.
Now, after a seven year writing career, most of which has been ghostwriting, I’ve decided to go into the deep end again. This time it’s voluntary. I’ve earned my stripes. I’m ready now. I’m ready to move on and explore the world of publishing under my own name.
All of this began on Hubpages. I looked back at my profile a few weeks ago and smiled. I could map out my progress with each hub I’d published. I made friends there, who still encourage me and make me smile when I see what they’re up to on Facebook. I never made any money on Hubpages, but it was there that I casually published articles about things that interested me, which resulted in interacting with like-minded people. It was that foundation that allowed me to take a dive outside the Hubpages pool and ask people to pay me for my writing. It worked, but with that I outgrew Hubpages and its model, which never really worked for me.
Unsung Heroes – Meanwhile in Rome…
One of the more fun hubs I published was an addition to a series that fellow hubber kallini2010 had written called Unsung Heroes (later renamed "42"). I was one of her characters. She fell silent after I’d followed the stories for some time so I decided to pick up from where she’d left off. I left this hub on Hubpages because it belongs there and nowhere else. It, in a sense, sums up my Hubpages experience – fun and enlightening, as well as refers to the people who I clicked with the most there – Mike Friedman (mckbirdbks) and Svetlana Ivanova (kallini2010).
The story can be read here: Unsung Heroes – Meanwhile in Rome…
To pick up where the story ends, I’m still dancing, but more importantly, I’m still writing. So, as the song goes…
Got to keep on writing… Keep on writing… Got to keep on writing. Keep on writing!