After Eight Years of Hubbing I’ve Learned to Be Patient, Write More Hubs and Rock and Roll

"Inside the Head of a Hubber," a photo used by permission of Henry Garciga
"Inside the Head of a Hubber," a photo used by permission of Henry Garciga

Writing hubs has changed my life – for the better


I’ve had a great time writing Internet articles for Hubpages. I can write whatever I want (for the most part), whenever I want, and I’ve met many fascinating people from all over the world. It’s been a priceless experience and certainly one of the best of my long life.

In this story, I won’t bore people with the mechanics of putting together hubs; there are numerous hubs dealing with such issues. I’ll simply try to convey the finer points of “hubbing” and perhaps help other “hubbers” improve their ability and output along the way.

Please keep reading!

Relate to Hubpages as You Would an Employer

Hubpages is a business and, if you actually earn money writing for them, they will pay you via PayPal. You gotta love it! Writing for Hubpages is the first time in my life I’ve actually earned money from writing, so now I’m a pro. Hey!

But whether I actually have friends at Hubpages, I couldn’t say. When I’ve sent emails asking for help or clarification their responses have been generally informative, though rather generic. They never offer a name, either, not even a Jack or Jill, so I could in the future relate to them in a more “personal” fashion. Perhaps this is the way of the Internet, eh?

Therefore, I advise you to keep your business face when dealing with them. They seem to want it that way, and perhaps it’s the best way to go. Since I don’t know everything, what can I say?

My First Hub Has Been My Most Popular

Late in February 2008, I published my first story with Hubpages. This is it: Infamous 23: Rock Stars Who Died at 27. This hub certainly exemplifies the adage that writers should write what they know and love, because I definitely have deep passion for writing about rockers and rock and roll. Understandably, I guess, this hub has gotten more hits than any other I’ve written. In fact, the day Amy Winehouse died, it got 80,000 hits. It seems I profited from the demise of another. Well, such things happen with writers.

How to Make Money Writing Hubs

Well, here you are, making money writing hubs, right? It isn’t easy to make very much, I’ll say that. My advice is to create as many quality hubs as you can – hundreds would be cool, because that’s what you’ll probably need to make hundreds of dollars per month. It’s been stated that some people make “thousands” from hubbing each month, but I would have to see the accounting data before I’d believe such a claim.

You’ll need to promote yourself as well. This is something that’s been very difficult for me. Joining Facebook and Twitter definitely seems to be a must, and blogging couldn’t hurt either, though I haven’t tried that.

At the very least, your hubs will give you an Internet oeuvre you can show to others, a tactic which could certainly help you obtain more writing projects. Having a Hubpages presence will also make it easy for people around the world to find you and your stories. What a mind-bobbling realization!

What Can You Do about Copied Hubs?

At present, 45 of my hubs have been copied in some form - that's about one-sixth of my total content. During my investigations, I’ve noticed that some people actually show the story was written by Kosmo, while others don’t bother. Any copying of my content irks me, of course, though there doesn’t seem to be much I can do about it. I’ve sent an email or two to the owners of these thieving websites but, in general, they play dumb or express lack of concern.

Hubpages suggests one can contact the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and register a complaint. But if DMCA doesn’t have an email address for whomever runs the thieving website, forum, blog or whatever, they can’t help you – and this is often the case. At any rate, I’m doubtful the people at DMCA will help you get the copied material removed.

Perhaps the best thing to do is realize that nobody would be stealing from you if they thought your content was bad. Take this backhanded compliment and be as happy as you can, even though you may be losing money when people copy your hubs.

How to Enhance SEO

SEO or Search Engine Optimization is certainly a highfalutin term, isn’t it? Well, it relates to an important issue, because SEO determines your placement for online searches. While writing your hubs, place as many keywords into your articles as you possibly can.

I’ve done some online experimentation and found that the best place to insert keywords is in the title of your hubs, the subtitle and summary. Many people claim you need to fill your stories with keywords – they go to great lengths to do this, in fact. However, I think doing so will make your writing stilted and full of redundancies. (Also keep in mind that Hubpages and Google don’t recommend that writers cram their online articles with keywords, and you could be penalized in some fashion for doing so.)

Of course, you can do whatever you want. If you experience an epiphany regarding SEO, thereby improving your game, please drop me a line.

Are Evergreen Hubs Really the Best?

Creating hubs that stay relevant for a long time, perhaps years, definitely seems to be a good option, for obvious reasons. With that in mind, the best type of evergreen hub to write is the biography of a dead person. My favorite hub of this type is: Andy Warhol Wanted to be Made of Plastic. Just about any story about the past would quality as evergreen, I suppose, so write many of those, but you may be disappointed at the earnings generated from such piney woods-like hubs.

Be that as it may, you may want to capitalize on a current event by creating a news story or feature. These stories can net you tens of dollars in earnings in one day, before they inevitably sink to the bottom of your hub list as the subject matter becomes passé. Perhaps my best story of this kind is: What Should I Know about Mexico’s Drug Cartels? Because many people seem interested in the subject, this hub has become a forum of sorts. I always feel proud when that happens. Just keep in mind, when you write a news-driven story or feature, you may want to update it from time to time, and that comment brings us to the next stage of my article.

Keep Your Hubs Updated

The best way to update your hubs is to make them easy to update! Write short paragraphs separated by subtitles and always place the events in chronological order, so that when you want to add some up-to-date information, you can easily find a place for it. Sometimes, rather than have a definite ending, I’ll simply tack another paragraph to the end of the story. If anybody actually notices what you’ve done, they’re bound to be impressed, even if your transition from paragraph to paragraph isn’t the best.

One hub I keep updating is the aforementioned one about the dead at 27 club. The bad thing about updating hubs is that once you start, you’ll never be finished.

The Importance of Leaving Comments

If somebody takes the time to write a comment at the end of your hub, and if this comment seems to show the person actually read your hub and, if he or she has something insightful to add as well, you should respond in a like fashion. It takes time to write these comments and the person doing so should be acknowledged – or rewarded. I really think swapping comments is one of the most interactive activities in which a hubber can engage. The only exception to this rule is that I don’t always respond to comments written by “outsiders.” If they want more from me, they should give more by becoming hubbers.

Also, when I realize a hubber has commented on one of my hubs for the first time, I go read one of their hubs and leave a comment. I may also become a follower as well, what the heck. Supporting and acknowledging others helps enrich the hubbing experience. Hey!

What Makes a Hub Popular

I wish I knew exactly what makes a hub popular. The only attribute that seems to apply more times than not is when a hub provides helpful hints or tips. For instance, it appears my dental hubs have helped many people with their dental issues. Having much “expensive” experience in this regard gives me much to write about! My most popular dental hub is: What Can I Do about My Bad Teeth? So, if you can help folks in some way, write the heck about it, and link all of those stories together. And if one or more of these stories is weak, the others can help buoy it up.

What If Your Hub Is a Dud?

I’ve certainly produced my share of unpopular or low-performing hubs. One of them is What Should I Know about Cyber Warfare? This hub should do much better than it has. I think I produced an engaging and well-written product, and the subject matter is about as current as current gets, yet hardly anyone has clicked on it.

What could I do to make it popular? I haven’t a clue. Should I try to make it less “technological”? Maybe I should. But I’m sticking with it as is because I believe in it. Of course, if the U.S. comes under cyber attack, this hub will almost certainly do much better!

Don’t Keep Adding Capsules

Many people think it’s important to use as many capsules of one sort or another in one’s hubs. My advice is that you should only use what is necessary. For instance, many hubbers use too many video capsules. Adding video capsules willy-nilly doesn’t help make a hub popular. I know – I’ve tried. Now if you can add your “own” videos to enhance the possibilities of a story, give it a try. But always remember that text is the primary aspect of any hub. Without it, your hub will be little more than stuff.

Use Plenty of Photos

If text is of primary importance when creating a hub, then photos are second. Always use lots of photos for your stories, though some may require just a few. I advise you to have at least one lead photo which seems to introduce the subject matter in an engaging fashion, even if this pic is little more than metaphorical in content. And, if you can, only use the best photos; avoid those fuzzy or pixilated ones. (Hubpages doesn’t want you using those, either.) Moreover, if you don’t already have a digital camera, get one ASAP. All hubbers must have one!

Should You Show Photo Attribution?

Attribution should be shown for some photos - you know which ones, don’t you? As for me, when I use my photographer friend’s photos I always indicate that I have permission to do so. For Wikipedia public domain photos, I don’t bother to indicate attribution, because all of that clutters up my hubs. Other photos I use are those found on websites labeled as "images of," which pertain to photos of celebrities such as Miley Cyrus or Eric Clapton, all of which are low resolution photos, preventing, I think, copyright infringement.

Do the owners of such photos care if we use them on our hubs? You tell me.

At any rate, Hubpages isn’t real strict about photo attribution, so I don’t worry too much about it. I hope Hubpages stays cool that way. Hey!

Don’t Always Write Essays

I see many hubbers, especially novices, writing hubs that always express the point of view of the author. These are little more than opinion pieces, and many writers often add a fair amount of extraneous crap along the way as well, boring or irritating the reader. Next time, try writing in the third person, as most magazine articles are written. Pick up a copy of Smithsonian and see how it’s done. Such general interest slicks can also provide great ideas for new hubs.

Nevertheless, if your hub really needs your personal point of view to provide fire and elucidation, stick with it.

Maybe You Can Rock and Roll

I’ve written hubs about many different subjects – archaeology, technology, art, ancient aliens, employment, but I’ve written more about good ol’ rock ‘n’ roll - at last count about 30. Two of my highest achievers, in terms of hits, are the hubs Ten Greatest Rock Bands of All Time and Ten Greatest Rock Guitarists Ever.

The subject of rock and roll has been heavily saturated with hubs, though many people can’t seem to get enough of it. What you need to do to attract attention to such hubs is make a bold declaration about somebody such as David Bowie being the greatest rocker of all time. Simply listing Bowie as your "favorite" will probably not get as much attention. I know – I’ve tried. So, be bold, make yourself sound like an authority. Hey!

Afterword

I’m not sure anybody is actually paying the rent by writing hubs or stories for other so-called content mills. But writers write because they simply love doing so, and Hubpages certainly provides a marvelous Internet platform from which to spew forth one’s literary wonders. Perhaps of equal importance is gaining the acquaintance or even friendship of English-speaking people all over the world.

Reflecting on all of this, I’ve tried to imagine life without Hubpages and the very thought was devastating. Thus, my advice is to keep learning and hubbing and, above all, enjoy your hubs. You won't regret it!

And don’t forget to leave comments.


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Comments 29 comments

MANNNOJ profile image

MANNNOJ 4 years ago from Mumbai,India.

great hub, still i am in my learning stage and your article helps me a lot.


Kosmo profile image

Kosmo 4 years ago from California Author

I'm always glad to help any hubber, MANNNOJ. Thanks for the comment. Later!


TheMagician profile image

TheMagician 4 years ago from Tampa, FL

Wow, this was awesome! Really opened my eyes on some things... also, I definitely enjoyed the Andy Warhol article. Tons of fun information in that! Thanks!


samadaslam profile image

samadaslam 4 years ago

Must admit that your Four years Hubbing Experience was clearly reflecting from your Hub. I loved it though it was quite long. Hats Off to you Kosmo!


Kosmo profile image

Kosmo 4 years ago from California Author

Thanks for the comment, The Magician. I'm glad you liked the Andy Warhol hub, which is definitely one of my favorite hubs.

As for you, samadaslam, the hub is a little long, about 2,000 words, but shows how much I've learned in four years of hubbing. I could have added much more. Later!


onthegrind profile image

onthegrind 4 years ago from Florida, United States

Very encouraging and straight-foward tips for a new person like myself. Makes me rethink my approach to writing on hubpages. That's amazing about Amy Winehouse! Ha, wish I could figure out what makes a hub popular as well. Great tips. Voted up, interesting, and SHARED.


Kosmo profile image

Kosmo 4 years ago from California Author

Thanks for the comment, onthegrind. I certainly enjoy passing on the tips of the trade. And yes, when Amy Winehouse died, that one hub got hit like a mofo. Later!


tebo profile image

tebo 4 years ago from New Zealand

I enjoyed reading this hub. Lots of good information for someone like me who seems to be stuck temporarily for a topic. Thanks for the inspiration.


Kosmo profile image

Kosmo 4 years ago from California Author

Thanks for the comment, tebo. Hey, after four years of hubbing this seemed like the perfect topic. Later!


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

Nice to hear your insights on hubbing. I think that the most important thing for people to consider IF income is a prime focus, is to keep writing interesting and useful hubs (as you indicated) and be patient. It takes time and consistent effort to make this pay. I also like your tip of rewarding those who comment, by going to one of their hubs, reading it, and leaving a reciprocal comment. That helps all of us! Sharing with others is also a good way to make our hubs noticed (and possibly better monetized). Useful hub and will tweet and share with my followers.


Kosmo profile image

Kosmo 4 years ago from California Author

Thanks for the comment, Peggy W. Leaving comments is an excellent way to reciprocate each other's efforts writing hubs, etc. When I discover hubbers who don't respond to comments, I get a little ticked off, ya know? Later!


summerberrie 4 years ago

Thanks for the information. I appreciate the 12 Tips in your Bio, too. Your writing style is kind to the reader- finding out about improving my hubs was actually fun to read. Instead of reading about impersonal facts, I was enjoying your personal experience, but learning along the way. The art is amazing, too


GmaGoldie profile image

GmaGoldie 4 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

kosmo,

Delightful and great advice. Love your humor. Yes, I enjoy keeping busy by updating constantly. The key is to find a subject you love and stick with it. You are an engaging writer.

Off to read more.

Voted up!


Kosmo profile image

Kosmo 4 years ago from California Author

Thanks for the comment, summerberrie. I liked writing this hub, and I think the reader could feel my positive vibes.

As for you, GmaGoldie, writing what you love may not be a strategy for making money but it certainly creates lots of fun. Later!


TheHeavyReview profile image

TheHeavyReview 4 years ago

Very helpful hub! I've only been here for a short time, but I'm already thinking about broadening the subject matter of my hubs. My most viewed hub is a music list (my 5 favorite Iron Maiden albums)... I wrote it on a whim and I was never intending to do something like that. But I really enjoyed it, and it's my most popular hub. When I joined I only intended to do reviews, but I guess adding more variety will help gain a larger audience. Again, great hub as always Kosmo!


Kosmo profile image

Kosmo 4 years ago from California Author

Thanks for the comment, TheHeavyReview. I recall reading your hub about Iron Maiden. We certainly share a fondness for rockers, don't we? My next hub will be about Tesla. Heard of them? Later!


TheHeavyReview profile image

TheHeavyReview 4 years ago

We definitely do share a fondness for rockers, and I do remember your comment on that hub. I have heard of Tesla, but I've never given them a good listen. I'll definitely look out for that hub!


kingmaxler profile image

kingmaxler 4 years ago from Olympia, Washington USA

I totally enjoyed this article. You have enlightened me with words structured in such a way that I read this hub in its entirety. I am heading out to check out more of your writings.


Kosmo profile image

Kosmo 4 years ago from California Author

Thanks for the great compliment, kingmaxler. I certainly poured my experience into this hub. One of these days, I'll read about your time with Hubpages. Later!


vespawoolf profile image

vespawoolf 4 years ago from Peru, South America

This is a very well-written hub. As a newbie, I plan to take your suggestions to heart, as well as check out more of your hubs to learn the secrets of your success. : )


Kosmo profile image

Kosmo 4 years ago from California Author

Thanks for the good words, vespawoolf. If my hub helps you become more successful, I'll be proud indeed. Later!


daisydayz profile image

daisydayz 4 years ago from Cardiff

I would love to pay the rent with my hubbing, lol! Sadly its more likely to pay my morning coffee once a week. I have no dreams of making 100's dollars, I would love to get to a point where I can just make the payout every month. Paying 1 bill a month with my writing would be great, I believe in 'every little helps'. And if i can take away the stress of say paying the car insurance every month, with my passive writing income, I would consider my writing a success. great hub mate, and im going looking for your andy warhol one now!


Kosmo profile image

Kosmo 4 years ago from California Author

Thanks for the comment, daisydayz. You're right - making even a pittance from writing is a heady experience indeed. In fact, for decades I didn't make any money from writing until Hubpages and the Internet made it possible. Also, please do check out my hub about Andy Warhol. Later!


sunilkunnoth2012 profile image

sunilkunnoth2012 3 years ago from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India)

Too informative and helpful to new hubbers like me. Keep on writing such nice stuff in future also as your tips give some knowledge and confidence. Please share the secret of your largest traffic and followers. Love to hear all these in the near future. Please give us some tips for a successful hubbing as you are veteran in the field with rich experience and knowledge.


Kosmo profile image

Kosmo 3 years ago from California Author

Thanks very much for the great compliment, sunilunnoth2012. My best advice to giver any hubber is to write as well as you possibly can and don't follow the fads - stick with the weighty stuff people need to know more about. Later!


mikeydcarroll67 17 months ago

The big thing is to figure out what people want. This perhaps can best be solved by writing a hub about a solution to an everyday problem that they might have, such as ways to save money or ways to earn more on the side.


Kosmo profile image

Kosmo 17 months ago from California Author

Thanks for the comment, mikeydcarroll67. You're right, writing useful hubs is generally the way to create a winner, and I've written some of those, but I can only think of so many. Of course, there's great competition, because everyone at Hubpages is trying to write popular hubs. Originality is important too, but it's hard to continually write those. Later!


Johan Smulders profile image

Johan Smulders 16 months ago from East London, South Africa

Must agree with everything you have said as it makes sense-thanks for the info.


Kosmo profile image

Kosmo 16 months ago from California Author

Thanks for your comment, Johan Smulders. I think there's lots of good advice in my story and every year I update it as much as I can. Later!

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