How to Write a Great Hub: Five Ways to Enhance your Content

Go beyond the basics

You have what you think is a great idea and you’re excited to write a hub about it. You worked hard on it, writing and revising your content and adding a photo or two.

The basic hub – content and photo(s) – is fundamental. It's the foundation upon which great hubs are built. But once you get the hang of the basics, it’s time to add some enhancements.

This hub will tell you how about five ways to jazz up your hubs with polls, maps, videos, infographics and tables.

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Did You Know?

There are two ways you can move a capsule around in your hub. One way is by using the green directional arrows that are in each capsule to move it up, down, to the right or to make it full width.

Another way is by "dragging and dropping" it in the gray sidebar to the right. Look for the words "reorder" - that's where you "drag and drop." This method is a little easier when you have lots of capsules and need a birds eye view of how your capsules are ordered.



Poll your readers

Polls are great for getting feedback. Some hubs lend themselves more readily to a poll than others. If your topic is something like “10 classic operas” you could ask your readers to take a poll with a question such as "Have you ever been to the opera?"

How do you set up a poll? It's really easy! Click on the "add" icon that floats along the left hand side of your hub page when you are in Edit Mode. Find "poll" and click on it. Or go to the sidebar called "Add more capsules" to the right of your text. Find the poll icon, click on it and a poll capsule is added.

The capsule appears at the bottom of your page but you can move it further up in your hub if you want.


3 Phases of a Poll

Below are three images showing a poll capsule in different stages of completion. Click on the image to bring the photo to its original size.

  1. The poll capsule in Edit Mode.
  2. The poll capsule as readers will see it
  3. Poll results

At some point, you may decide you want to close the voting on your question. To do this, just click on the box in the upper left hand corner of the poll capsule in its Edit Mode.

Creating a poll

Click thumbnail to view full-size

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Did you know?

Readers can see driving, walking or bicycling routes with distances in either miles or kilometers.

Maps

Show readers where you’re taking them!

Add a map by either clicking on the word on the far right of the "Add" bar that appears when you are in Edit Mode or by clicking on the map icon in the "Add more capsules" sidebar on the right.

Refer to the pictures below and follow these steps to create your map:

  1. Type in a location in the capsule subtitle and an address
  2. Choose "Pin a marker."
  3. Your address becomes Pin marker "A." If you add more addresses, they will be labeled "B," "C," etc. Add a description. Click "Done" in the yellow bar
  4. What your reader sees. The default map style is road map and readers can use the "+" and "-" buttons on the map to zoom in and out.
  5. When readers click on the "Pin" marker on the map, they'll see the address and description (also at the bottom of the map). Readers can also get directions when they click on the blue link.
  6. To add another address, go into Edit Mode in the map capsule. Type in an address in the search bar and click on "Pin a marker" and add a description if you want.


Creating a map

Click thumbnail to view full-size

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Videos

Videos are super easy to insert into your hub. Add a video capsule the same way you add a poll or map.

While you are in Edit Mode, you will see that Hub Pages supports BlipTV, Metacafe, Revver, Vimeo, Yahoo! Videos, and YouTube.

Next, add a subtitle to your capsule and insert the URL into the space. If the video you want is online, you can just copy and paste the URL. Or if you are HTML-savvy, embed the code.


Click save and you're done!

Creating a video

Click thumbnail to view full-size

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Infographics

Infographics present information visually. They can bring depth and breadth to an article, break up long blocks of text, tell a story at a glance. Rather than tell your reader that 10% of residents in Precinct A voted for John Smith, 20% voted for Jane Jones and 35% voted for Harry McKevel, you can present a pie chart that will give readers the same info at a glance.

Infographics come in all types. The poll and map above are infographics. So are diagrams (such as of an accident scene), charts, graphs, even a text box with racing scores can be considered an infographic.

Make sure the infographic is self-contained. The reader should be able to look at it and get all information right there.

Here are some different kinds of infographics:

  • pie charts are intended to show parts of a whole. The full circle represents 100% so divvy it up accordingly.
  • fever charts are those with the spikes and valleys. These are good for showing change over time. These have a Y-axis and X-axis. The Y-axis is what you are measuring (rainfall, stocks, etc) and it's the vertical axis. The X-axis is time and it's the horizontal axis. It runs left (past) to right (future).
  • bar charts are good for comparisons. Label each bar as to what it represents.
  • timelines are good for history and cause and effect. Don't crowd too many items on the line, pick the most important events you want to show.

Creating an infographic

To add an infographic to your hub, you will have to create it elsewhere. I use Microsoft Office's Word and Excel programs. The example here is something I had created for a class I took on research methods. I saved it to my desktop as a picture and then inserted it in my hub as I would any other photograph.

Source

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Tables

Tables are used to organize information in an easy-to-read format made up of rows and columns of cells. They provide a a convenient way to present text in side-by-side paragraphs instead of having readers skim a block of text to pull out the relevant info.

Hub Pages provides a table capsule for you, just as they do with polls and maps. In fact, the information in your account -- the names of your hubs, when you created them, the number of views each has received and so on -- is a table.

There are several drop down boxes that will help you create your table. Be sure to hit the "update" button to save your changes.

  • pick a style for your table. The default look is a gray header with plain cells. I prefer alternating rows of blue and silver; I think it helps delineate the information
  • you can quickly clear a cell, row or column or insert a new row or column with the menu on the far left. I like that you can easily insert a row or column before or after another one instead of having to clear cells and re-type information
  • information can be centered or justified right or left within cells, rows or columns
  • you can toggle between bold and unbold for your cells, rows and columns


Setting up your information

There are three ways you can get information to fill your table. One way is by typing it in directly into the table. The other two ways are to pull it from other sources. If you are taking it from the Internet, click the Web button and insert the URL. Or you can take it from a cvs file on your computer.

Making your table sortable allows readers to rearrange the information. For instance, the planets below can be arranged by size, mas or distance from the sun by clicking on the respective column header.


Creating tables

Click thumbnail to view full-size

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These are just a few of the ways you can enhance your hub's content besides using photographs.


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© 2011 Danette Watt

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Comments 37 comments

Matty Says profile image

Matty Says 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

Thanks for going into some depth on these capsules, Danette! The maps capsule is neat. Great for travel stories, or diverting attention away from a bizarre tangent that I'm likely to get on!


Allen Williams profile image

Allen Williams 5 years ago from Pennsylvania

Good information, very useful. Voted up!


Danette Watt profile image

Danette Watt 5 years ago from Illinois Author

Matty - thanks for reading and the comment. If you read my "Slow down for Turtles" hub you'd know I am an overachiever and can get a little obsessive about stuff sometimes, hence the overly done hubs at times. It must be the teacher in me. LOL

Thanks Allen for reading and the vote up. I appreciate it and welcome to Hub Pages!


Lyricallor profile image

Lyricallor 5 years ago from Croydon

Very useful hub!


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 5 years ago from South Carolina

Once again I've learned new things that will help me enhance my hubs. Had no idea how to insert tables and some of the infographics you talked about. Also wasn't aware of how to use the pins multiple pins on a map.

Thanks for passing on this well-illustrated, easy to use information that's great for beginners but is also likely to help those who've been here awhile, enhance their hubs. Voted up, useful and interesting.


Giselle Maine 5 years ago

A very helpful hub. I love your idea about infographics... I'm familiar with creating graphs or charts, but had never before thought to put these in a hub as a visual description of statistics. Thanks for these wonderful tips!


ThelmaC profile image

ThelmaC 5 years ago from Blue Ridge Mountains, USA

Thank you for sharing the good information. Voted "up" and "useful".


Danette Watt profile image

Danette Watt 5 years ago from Illinois Author

Hi Lyricallor, thanks for reading and I'm glad you found it useful

Hi HBN - I like learning new stuff and I love to pass along to others what I learn so I'm happy to hear you found it useful. Thanks for the votes.


Danette Watt profile image

Danette Watt 5 years ago from Illinois Author

ThelmaC - Thanks for stopping by to read and comment. I love to share what I've learned and glad you found it useful. Thanks for the vote up.


Danette Watt profile image

Danette Watt 5 years ago from Illinois Author

Hi Gieselle. I hadn't really thought about adding charts and graphs either until I read a book recently about layout and design (for print). That got me to thinking how that could be transferred to Hub Pages.


poetvix profile image

poetvix 5 years ago from Gone from Texas but still in the south. Surrounded by God's country.

Thank you for this. I have been wondering how the map thingy worked! Great presentation, by the way. I found it very organized and easy to follow.


Danette Watt profile image

Danette Watt 5 years ago from Illinois Author

thanks poetvix! Glad you found it organized and easy to follow. It's hard sometimes to step back and get the objective broader picture of a project.


BloNo Mom profile image

BloNo Mom 5 years ago from Central Illinois, USA

Thanks for a great hub, Danette! I also joined 10 months ago (and I'm from Illinois, too!) but I only just started writing hubs and have written two to date. I'm definitely going to take your suggestions on board when I start on another on. Voting up!


Danette Watt profile image

Danette Watt 5 years ago from Illinois Author

Hi BioNo Mom, Welcome to Hub Pages! Glad you found this useful and I'll look for your hubs. By the way, in the forum "local meetups" I put out a call for St. Louis metro area (and beyond) hubbers asking if anyone wanted to meet in person. Don't know where you are in IL but I know of a couple others not too far from me. It would be neat to meet some people in person.

I'll look for your hubs.


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom

Hi Danette, nice easy to follow ideas, I certainly had never thought to add a poll to my hubs, a great idea.

Thanks for sharing and voting up.


vydyulashashi profile image

vydyulashashi 5 years ago from Hyderabad,India

Very good info and excellent guide.

God Bless You!


J Yoder 5 years ago

Useful info, Danette. Voted up!


Danette Watt profile image

Danette Watt 5 years ago from Illinois Author

Thank you Movie Master, vydyulashashi and J Yoder for reading and taking the time to leave a comment. I appreciate it. Glad you thought it was useful info.


elizabethmcgriff profile image

elizabethmcgriff 5 years ago from South Alabama

Thanks Danette for taking the time to explain these in depth. This is useful information and inspires me to take more time to add some extras. Great hub!


Danette Watt profile image

Danette Watt 5 years ago from Illinois Author

Hi Elizabeth, Glad to hear you've gotten some ideas for your hubs. It's fun to be creative as long as it's a logical addition to it.


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina

I bookmarked this one. I'm sure it will come in handy. Voted up. :)


RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

This will be worth bookmarking and taking a closer look at. Thanks much!

Voted up and useful.


Danette Watt profile image

Danette Watt 5 years ago from Illinois Author

Thanks Denise and RTalloni - it's a lot to absorb at once so I'm glad you'll be bookmarking it. Thanks for the votes up!


hafeezrm profile image

hafeezrm 5 years ago from Pakistan

Thanks for good tips. I would certainly try polls and maps.


Danette Watt profile image

Danette Watt 5 years ago from Illinois Author

Great! hope they work out well for you and glad you found these helpful.


Bbudoyono profile image

Bbudoyono 5 years ago

Very useful.


Danette Watt profile image

Danette Watt 5 years ago from Illinois Author

Hi Bbudoyono, sometimes it's tricky getting the hang of doing hubs and making them look great. Glad you found these useful and good luck!


Phil Plasma profile image

Phil Plasma 5 years ago from Montreal, Quebec

Great hub, I'm fairly certain I've used all of the suggestions you've made here at least once.


Danette Watt profile image

Danette Watt 5 years ago from Illinois Author

Thanks for reading, Phil. I'm sure that once a hubber gets to a particular point in their "hubber life" they've used pretty much everything. Except a quiz. I don't think I"ve ever seen anyone use a quiz.


Eileen Hughes profile image

Eileen Hughes 5 years ago from Northam Western Australia

This should help the newbies to hubs and even help some of the oldies like me. Thanks for sharing


Danette Watt profile image

Danette Watt 5 years ago from Illinois Author

Glad to be of help, Eileen. Sometimes we need a reminder of what we already know. And if you know of a newbie, send them my way!


Sinea Pies profile image

Sinea Pies 5 years ago from Northeastern United States

Excellent information for new hubbers...in fact, this not-so-new one learned a few things from it, too! Voted up and useful. You have a new follower!


Danette Watt profile image

Danette Watt 5 years ago from Illinois Author

Thanks Sinea Pies! I'm always happy to share what I know (must be that "know-it-all" personality) and if someone else can learn something new, all the better!


BradyBones profile image

BradyBones 5 years ago from Somewhere Between a Dream and Memory

Thank you for taking the time to put together such an informative hub, Danette! It was a very easy read but was so full of useful tips! I'll definitely be checking out more of your hubs!

If you'd like to know how I got here, it was actually because you were the last person to reply to a countdown forum thread -- and that's normally the last place I would consider looking for hubbers with great hubs. Tonight was just a spontaneous kind of night. How ironic. :)


Danette Watt profile image

Danette Watt 5 years ago from Illinois Author

Well Brady, thumbs up for fate then, huh? I'm glad you found my hub and found it useful.


Sharp Points profile image

Sharp Points 22 months ago from Big Bear Lake, California

Very nice advice! I am going to begin applying some of this to my writing immediately.


Danette Watt profile image

Danette Watt 22 months ago from Illinois Author

Hi Sharp Points! So glad you found these helpful. Happy Hubbing!

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