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2011-11-30

+HubPages

HubPages now has a Google+ page

Add us to your circles to get insider tips, updates, and more!

A couple weeks back, Google+ made it possible for companies to have their own pages, so you can now add +HubPages to your circles.

What makes our Google+ page different from our Facebook page or Twitter feed (aside from different updates) is that you can join HubPages staff and other Hubbers for hangouts, which are essentially live group video chats.

We'll be having our first Hangout this coming Tuesday (December 6th) from 9:00am-10:00am PT ( here's a PT clock to let you know exactly when that is relative to your time zone). I'll be there, and would love to meet you! We might even go on an impromptu tour of HubPages headquarters...

We hope you see you on Google+ soon!

Happy Hubbing,

Simone Haruko Smith
Community & Marketing Manager

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Pro Tips

Want inspiration? Turn to the pros!

Like a Hubber? Find out why, and adhere to her best practices!

One of the best ways to learn how to successfully write online involves following the best practices of successful online journalists, bloggers, and Hubbers. Check out their Hubs, social media feeds, blogs, and personal websites to see what it is about those articles, feeds, and pages that is compelling and engaging- then do what you can to apply those elements to your own work!

For more tips on staying sharp as an online writer, check out our Online Writing Insider podcast on the subject. We also recommend reading the interview with Melbel below- she is one of our best Hubbers, and shares some excellent Hubbing and tweeting tips!

Want to listen to more Online Writing Insider podcasts? Check out the archive!
http://blog.hubpages.com/category/podcasts/online-writing-insider/

Hubber to Hubber
melbel

melbel, From Chicago, 936 Fans, 139 Hubs, Joined 2 years ago

An Interview with Melbel

A super savvy writer and social networker shares more about her awesome Hubbing ventures

You are both a freelance writer and a programmer. Do the different activities compliment each other? Or are they similar in any way?

Programming and writing definitely look like completely different disciplines, but there are actually universities that offer majors that combine computer science and linguistics. Written languages and programming language have both syntax (structural rules) and semantics (the meaning of things). Ultimately, programming is about communicating, not only with a machine but also with other programmers.

You have also taken courses on machine learning, databases, and Perl. What inspired you to take those classes?

My scripts just do things like check SERPs or give me a list of which blog posts don’t meet word count specifications... kind of lame. I would like to be able to write programs that do something more. I took these classes to help me write better programs. If I improve my skills in programming I could get an internship or a job somewhere, that would be great.

You maintain an active, functional Twitter account on which you occasionally share Hubs. Many Hubbers have trouble figuring out how to not be purely self-promotional on Twitter and other social media sites. What tips could you offer to Hubbers on Twitter?

I think the only reason to be a part of a community is because you enjoy it. Follow people who have common interests and take part in their conversations, make friends, and just have fun with it. With Twitter and any social network, less is more. Put fewer self-promotional links in your tweets and make more genuine tweets. You’ll quickly find that more people will visit your links and retweet your stuff.

Some ideas for tweeting:

  • Set a self-promotional tweet limit (1 in 10 tweets) 
  • Tweet about something totally awesome you saw today 
  • Retweet something cool or something that interests you 
  • Tweet @ somebody. (Do that a lot! It’s a great way to start conversations thus getting immersed in the community) 

You've written many, many fascinating travel Hubs. Have you been to all of the places you've written about, or are some of the Hubs a result of research for future trips?

I’m a big dreamer and ideally I’d be backpacking Asia or Europe right now- living off a staple diet of street food and money earned from writing. Most of my travel Hubs reflect my dreams. I’ve only been to Hungary, the UK, and, of course, Canada a bunch of times. Stateside, I’ve only traveled the east coast. The furthest west I’ve been is Madison, Wisconsin.

You write on a huge range of topics- do you have a favorite?

I like writing about very specific places, like a city or a region. I would love to get into writing about social issues (I had a blast writing a Hub on feminism) but I have no idea what would fit both my interests and the interest of readers.

For the month of November, you took an a pretty incredible Hubbing initiative. Could you tell us more about it?

I wanted to write 100 Hubs in one month. While, I gave it my all and learned a lot (which I can apply next November), I can't complete the task without taking a big hit to quality. However, I do think, that with the proper tools, it totally can be done. I started the month with a list of keywords to write about, but with the task of research, finding nice (and legal) photos, and formatting Hubs, HubPageWriMo became a LOT more than just writing. Also, I really wanted to do each topic justice. Did it fail? I can't really say it did. I've got a ton of new Hubs, a bunch of outlines just waiting to be finished, and a huge number of topics I can write about in the coming months. I'm really excited about what's to come! I really recommend a challenge to anyone, even if you're not sure you can complete it. It's a lot of fun!

What advice would you give to new Hubbers who wish to do well on the site?

Keywords are important, but don’t sacrifice your interests. Instead of looking for some top earning topics, come up with an idea of an article that you want to write.

Do keyword research before writing your article to hone your topic around a keyword. This will allow you to write about something you enjoy while getting some traffic. -Write an outline. It’s a painstaking process (I hate writing outlines), but it makes the actual article writing go along more quickly and smoothly. It also helps control the flow of your article making it a more enjoyable experience for your readers.


  HubPages Fun Fact: Mouse lemurs have a maximum head and body length of 5.5 inches and a total length (including the tail) of less than 11 inches http://aliciac.hubpages.com/hub/Mouse-Lemurs-Tiny-Endangered-Primates-of-Madagascar