How a Former Mechanic Makes Passive Income Writing Articles on Car Troubleshooting

Updated on March 13, 2018
Drevets profile image

Emily is an editor at HubPages who loves hearing the stories of Hubbers and how they've found success writing here.

Eddie's earnings from HubPages have helped support his home improvement projects, like this deck.
Eddie's earnings from HubPages have helped support his home improvement projects, like this deck.

Lots of different kinds of people write on HubPages, from veterinarians to beauty school dropouts to HR managers. Everyone has something special to share here. This article highlights the story of a longtime Hubber (HubPages author) named Eddie.

Eddie Carrara is a former car mechanic (now assistant service manager) who has been able to turn his car expertise into a passive income by writing car help articles on HubPages.

Through his experience here, he's discovered how writing about what you know can help people around the world. Not only that, but the extra income from the earnings on his articles have made a difference in his life and the life of his family, and the skills he developed on HubPages have helped him further his career.

In this interview, Eddie talks about his journey to writing online and offers some advice to people who are looking to get started.

Thank you, Eddie, for sharing your advice, talents, and inspiring story with HubPages. We are lucky to have you!

At the top are some highlights from the interview, but you can read the full story below.

Note: Like Eddie said—everyone has something to share that could help someone else. If you’d like, you can learn more about writing on HubPages so you can share what you know and make some passive income on the side.

Quotes and Advice for Writing Online From Eddie

What Do You Get Out of Being on HubPages?

What I get out of being on HubPages is a connection with the world. I have helped answer questions about people’s cars from Canada to Siberia, from Africa to Mexico. I love the connection. This is what I try to impress upon people who don’t know what to write about.

What Have You Been Able to Do With Your Earnings?

When I first started writing on HubPages, I would share with people how much money I was making (which was only a few bucks at the time), and they would laugh at me, but I knew I was on to something. If I could make a dollar, I could make two. If I could make two, I could make four, and so on.

I would share with these people when I made $50 for the month, and they were still laughing. I couldn’t understand why they thought $50 was nothing. If someone handed you $50 at the end of each month, wouldn’t that be exciting? What would you do with it?

My earnings from HubPages have helped me afford a better life with less stress (not no stress, just less!). I have been able to put more money away for retirement, afford to go on better weekend trips to the lake, afford private school for my kids, pay for projects around the house, and drive the vehicle of my choice (I’m not talking a Maserati—not yet anyway :))

I’ve been able to do a number of projects with my earnings, like build a huge 20’ x 12’ shed, put in a 24’ x 8’ paved walkway, build a 24’ x 14’ compost deck with lighting, and do numerous landscape projects with the help of a tractor that I also purchased with my earnings. All these projects were built by me so I didn’t need to hire anyone, which saved me thousands of dollars, but I could have never afforded to do them without the HubPages earnings.

What Should New Authors Write About?

The Internet is a place to find answers to your questions and to learn things you would like to learn, so write about things you know and understand, even if you think it’s not important, because someone in the world is most likely looking for that information, and you have it stored in your fingertips.

My most successful articles are automotive articles. I just listened to my customers’ most common complaints at work and created articles around the concerns. I have all the inspiration around me.

Think of something you know a lot about and search the Internet for that information. Pick the top three searches in your results and check out the web pages. Do you think you could write better instructions? Take better pictures? Create better video?

There is no such thing as failure unless you stop trying.

— Eddie Carrara
In his spare time, Eddie likes to work on home improvement projects.
In his spare time, Eddie likes to work on home improvement projects.

What Are the Best and Worst Parts of HubPages?

The best part about writing on HubPages is that you’re writing one page at a time, unlike building a website. This allows you to concentrate on one page at a time and create a masterpiece. Not only that—your next page doesn’t have to have anything to do with the previous one. It can be a totally different topic.

The worst part about writing on HubPages is time. There is not enough time in a day, but remember this: “Everyone has 24 hours in their day. What they do with this time is up to the individual.” Hint: Put down the TV remote.

The worst part about writing on HubPages is time. There is not enough time in a day, but remember this: “Everyone has 24 hours in their day. What they do with this time is up to the individual.” Hint: Put down the TV remote.

— Eddie Carrara

How Has Writing Helped You in Your Career?

Writing articles and answering questions has helped me grow when dealing with customers face-to-face. I listen more intently to their complaints and have more empathy for their concerns. Some of the questions I get asked on HubPages are very vague, and I have become more patient with people in general. I kill them with kindness, respect, and integrity.

Read More From the Full Interview With Eddie

This tractor was purchased in part by earnings from HubPages.
This tractor was purchased in part by earnings from HubPages.

What Is Your Background?

My journey began at a Honda and Mercedes garage back in 1984, I worked alongside some pretty awesome Mercedes techs for about 10 years. These mechanics were some of the best I have ever met even to this day. They taught me how to pay attention to detail, repair parts that most mechanics would just give up and replace, work in a clean and organized manner, and go the extra mile every day just because.

Everything I learned from them, I carry with me still to this day. Yet, I find it hard to teach the new mechanics these same traits. I have a lot of experience to share with mechanics or DIY people, and that’s how I started writing here at HubPages. My thought was that if I couldn’t teach what I know to the mechanics I work with every day, maybe other people around the world would be interested in what I have to teach.

I didn’t start on HubPages writing about cars. I actually was writing about topics I had no business writing about. I got caught up in the shiny new object syndrome. I wanted to make money on the Internet, and I was buying every guru’s program, some costing $79, and others costing $2,000. Needless to say, I spent a fortune buying these programs totaling about $18,000. My thought was that I needed to invest in my education, but what I didn’t realize is that I didn’t need to spend that kind of money to get the education.

The programs weren’t a total loss, they gave me enough information to start making “pennies,” and from there, “dollars.” One of the most common bits of advice I kept hearing was “write about a topic you know a lot about or are passionate about.” I kept thinking to myself that no one wants to read about cars—what a boring subject. Then one day I saw a commuter driving down the road with the car windows fogged up. I knew how to clear those fogged windows in two minutes, but how could I relay that information to the driver? The lightbulb went on, and that was the beginning of my online journey.

How Did You Find HubPages?

When I first started out, there were a lot of web 2.0 sites like HubPages that the gurus were sending me to. I tried various platforms, from Squidoo to Wet Paint, but HubPages was very easy to understand and use. I was and am a very simple person, and I connected easily with the platform. I also got to know some of the other writers who guided me and gave me tips on what and what not to do when writing for HubPages.

The community of writers here is very helpful and likes to critique articles when asked. I took their constructive criticism and ran with it. I’m not a writer; I’m a mechanic. I can tear apart a transmission and put it back together, but my grammar and spelling was that of a fifth grader, and I needed all the help I could get.

Eddie built this shed with help from his earnings on HubPages.
Eddie built this shed with help from his earnings on HubPages.

How Long Have You Been Here?

I started with HubPages back in 2009. It was a slow start for me, and I really don’t have that many articles. I work a full-time job, and I’m still at a Honda Dealership. I do my writing in my spare time. The articles I write provoke a lot of questions, so I dedicate a lot of time to answering readers’ questions, which in turn gives me ideas for more articles.

My goal is to continue writing for HubPages even into retirement. If the money I earn continues to grow like it has for the last 9 years, I will exceed my earning that I make at my full-time job, and that would make retiring a lot more exciting.

When I first started writing on HubPages, I would share with people how much money I was making (which was only a few bucks at the time), and they would laugh at me, but I knew I was on to something. If I could make a dollar, I could make two. If I could make two, I could make four, and so on.

— Eddie Carrara

What Are Your Most Successful Articles, and Do You Have Any Words of Wisdom for New or Budding Authors?

My most successful articles are automotive articles. I just listened to my customers’ most common complaints at work and created articles around the concerns. I have all the inspiration around me. Pictures and videos are popping up around me every day.

We all have information stored in our brains that other people are searching for on the Internet. Think of something you know a lot about and search the Internet for that information.

Pick the top three searches in your results and check out the webpages. Do you think you could write better instructions? Take better pictures? Create better video? OK, I know video is like voodoo—no one likes to make videos, but you don’t need to be in them. You can just be the narrator of your pictures in a video.

I know people who could kill it in posting recipes, Yes, recipes! But they don’t want to give away their Grandma’s recipes. Really? Or another excuse is that there is so much competition, they will never be able to rank among the top articles. You don’t need to hang with the big guys. You need to be unique. You need to build your audience.

Just start writing and your audience will grow slowly. Your articles will be shared by people who like you, and before you know it, you’ll have hundreds of followers waiting for your next article, especially if you have some yummy recipes with great pictures.

How Has Writing on HubPages Affected Your Family and Career?

I am no longer a mechanic. I now work as an assistant service manager dispatching work to technicians, assisting techs on repairs, keeping a clean and organized garage, addressing customer complaints, and working with sales and parts as a liaison.

Writing articles and answering questions has helped me grow when dealing with customers face-to-face. I listen more intently to their complaints and have more empathy for their concerns. Some of the questions I get asked on HubPages are very vague, and I have become more patient with people in general. I kill them with kindness, respect, and integrity.

My family has also seen me grow with HubPages, and they have witnessed this hobby grow into a small business. They’ve also gotten to witness my dedication to something I’m passionate about, and have learned that if you stick with something long enough, success is inevitable. There is no such thing as failure unless you stop trying.

The income Eddie makes from his articles helps support the kind of lifestyle he wants to lead.
The income Eddie makes from his articles helps support the kind of lifestyle he wants to lead.

What Has Surprised You About Writing Here?

What surprised me about HubPages was the dedication from the staff to help writers become more successful. I would always and still do get emails from the HubPages staff asking if I would be interested in trying something new to help my articles gain more traffic. I was always willing to try something new, even if it meant having someone redesign my page or repair my grammar and spelling errors. More traffic means more money, so if you need to tweak my articles to become more successful, go for it!

The help from HubPages really helped me in the long run. I watched their fixes and how they would redesign the page, so I would design the next article I published the same way. This helped me be more successful right out of the gate.

Thanks, Eddie!

Thanks again for sharing your story with us, Eddie. We wish you much success here and in all of your other endeavors.

Here are three of Eddie's top articles. Check them out and get inspired!

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 2 weeks ago from UK

      This is a really inspirational and encouraging article.

    working