How to Write for HubPages and Beyond

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~An eclectic collection of tips for writing quality hubs~

I started writing for HubPages after being encouraged by a few friends who felt I had some good ideas to share. I had no expectations, just the dream that a few curious minds would find my work enjoyable or interesting. What began as a spark of interest in sharing has led me to learn and understand more about the nuts and bolts of writing, and this knowledge is applicable both on HubPages and beyond. I would like to share some of what I have learned on my own so far and acknowledge those fellow HubPage writers (hubbers) who were gracious enough to share their tips which I have learned from as well.

Here is some of what I have learned along the way:

A few weeks ago my 8 year old son told me that J. K. Rowling started writing her Harry Potter series on a napkin while sitting in a coffee shop. At first this might sound crazy. My son then guessed that this was because she was poor (If she was poor she is certainly not poor anymore). Any writer would quickly figure out why this best selling, international award winning author would have found the need to write on a napkin and this is because ideas for writing can come at anytime and any place. She most likely didn’t want to lose the idea for her story and neither should you. Carry paper and a pencil or have them in as many places as possible, beside your bed, in your car etc. My smart phone has a notes application that has become my go-to place to jot down ideas that pop into my head. I first read about the importance of getting ideas on paper from HubPages writer Rebekahelle in her hub Why I Love Writing And Publishing on HubPages which suggests this and other useful tips on writing successfully for HubPages.

Write from your heart and about things you are knowledgeable about. This knowledge and sincerity will likely shine through. Writing is an intimate art, the reader can sense so much about a writer. If the writer has a passion and knowledge about a topic this will likely show both in the words and between the lines, giving the writing a human connection which makes the experience most enjoyable for the reader.

Trust yourself, trust what you know and believe that what you have to say has value. Even if after publishing a hub you might not have many readers, some hubs are late bloomers. Many hubs take time to find their way in search engines, stick with it and sit tight. In the article, Improving Your HubScore, author Relache explains that hubs take time to find their standings in search engines.

“I write one page of masterpiece to ninety-one pages of ‘crap’,” Hemingway confided to F. Scott Fitzgerald in 1934. “I try to put the ‘crap’ in the wastebasket.”

Try not to compare yourself with other writers. It is easy to feel inferior when reading work from a seasoned writer who seems to have mastered the art of writing not long after learning to walk, while others like me had to edit over and over to get a good grade in school. Just remember that great writers like Ernest Hemingway were known to have spent a great deal of time editing their work. Writing quickly and with ease may be true for some but not all successful writers. When reading other people’s work just enjoy it and when it comes time to write your own work tune into yourself to find your own voice.

Surround yourself with supportive people. If there are negative people in your life that don’t believe in you or are always finding some way of putting you down, try to stay away from them. Think about your past achievements and the compliments that have been paid to you. This will give you the confidence to trust yourself. You can even make a list of these positive things to help you remember and focus on your strengths.

Be conscious of the full meaning of Plagiarism. I have Miss Olive to thank for explaining this to me in her hub Online Research Writing and Tips. Sadly it was not long after learning this that I discovered I had been plagiarized myself. Miss Olive explained that Plagiarism not only has to do with copying exactly what someone says but even using someone’s ideas and acting as though they are your own. Miss Olive also suggests using Copyscape which checks the internet for ‘word for word’ plagiarism. However, I discovered I had been plagiarized when I was checking the Google standings of one of my articles since the plagiarized article was just above mine and it looked so similar that I decided to read it.

After writing your article it is time to edit. Editing immediately after writing is good but I find leaving the article and coming back to it later works since it lets your mind clear so that when you come back to what you have written you will have a fresh look, almost like a second pair of eyes with which to edit.

"In art economy is always beauty." ~Henry James

Eliminate unnecessary words. Try to make your point using fewer words; don’t waste the reader’s time. Have you ever read a non-fiction book with a great deal of interesting information in the first chapter and then ‘fill’ the rest of the way through? Some articles do something similar by making a point and then continuing on. Your reader will know the difference if you have taken the time to make your points as clearly as possible and eliminated what is unnecessary.

Finishing and publishing means deciding when it’s done. If you are a perfectionist, this day may never come. Writing is organic and will not always fit into a box or form based on an outline and sometimes it can be the imperfections that makes the writing have a more human feel rather than reading something that belongs in an encyclopedia. My favorite example of this organic type writing is HubPages own Mark Ewbie.

Self Promotion and Perserverance

You may be the most eloquent, witty or informative writer in the world but without self promotion you writing may never be read by others. Authors are making a name for themselves by publishing articles and books online and promoting their own writing. This is a new way that writers can gain exposure for their work. However the work of promotion requires a separate level of dedication, patience, faith and perseverance beyond the writing itself.

There is a great deal of interaction going on between fellow hubbers. There are friendships and support. One way that hubbers learn, grow and support one another is by commenting on one another’s hubs. Ubanichijioke has written a hub about how he interacts within the HubPages community which is worth reading, called HubPages: My Personal Experience on How to Become a HubPages Elite.

I am so thankful to the members of the HubPages community for inviting me in, allowing me to learn and grow and making me feel at home.

© Copyright 2011 Tracy Lynn Conway with all rights reserved.

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Comments 17 comments

alissaroberts profile image

alissaroberts 4 years ago from Normandy, TN

Excellent hub highlighting some very useful tips for every new hubber to read! Thanks so much for sharing what you have learned. Great job - voted up and useful!


Outbound Dan profile image

Outbound Dan 4 years ago from Niagara Falls, NY

Tracy, these are fantastic suggestions for writers of any medium. Thank you for sharing them.


sagecarter profile image

sagecarter 4 years ago from Upstate New York

Very nice hub - good information for me, as I am new to this. Thanks!


poshcoffeeco profile image

poshcoffeeco 4 years ago from Cambridgeshire

Nice hub Tracy. I agree with you about being careful who you associate with. Dream stealers I call them or nay sayers!


Mark Ewbie profile image

Mark Ewbie 4 years ago from Euroland

Hi Tracy, an interesting angle on writing. Makes a change from just concentrating on where the capsules are placed, or how to SEO. Thanks for the mention and I'll now bin my thought for the New Year which was to try to produce a higher quality output.

I'm going to stick with organic. I like it. And thanks.


Tracy Lynn Conway profile image

Tracy Lynn Conway 4 years ago from Virginia, USA Author

Alissa, I am so happy that you liked it and thanks for the votes!

OutboundDan, thank you! I hope they are universally useful.

Sage Carter, so glad that you have found this information useful. Welcome to HubPages!

PoshCoffeeco, good to see you here! "Dream Stealers" is a great way to put it. I'm glad that you can relate. Thank you!

Mark Ewbie, I would hate to be responsible for changing your goals for the New Year. You are just a one of a kind and a joy to read. You are really in a category all your own, I am still smiling after reading your dog tick hub. You are welcome for the mention. I couldn't write about HubPages without mentioning you.


ktrapp profile image

ktrapp 4 years ago from Illinois

Tracy, I love your advice to write from your heart and to trust yourself. It certainly is easy to detect passion as well as ease between the lines. This is a terrific hub and honestly, you have a very appealing writing style.


tsarnaudova profile image

tsarnaudova 4 years ago from Sofia, Bulgaria

Besides to great tips for writing, you provide some really deep understanding in this hub, about our true self that reflects in everything we do, and in our writing especially. I also leave my work to "breathe" for a while after I've written it, to come back to read it again before I publish it.

I like particularly the part encouriging us to believe in our own judgement, in our own value... Thank you, this brightened my day.

Up, and beautiful.


sweetie1 profile image

sweetie1 4 years ago from India

Tracy very nicely written hub and ofcourse I too beleive in not comparing work with the seasoned writers. Also not everyone has same sense of writing as others but this skill can be natured and once you start mastering it then you can put your ideas better on paper. Very informative hub.


craftdrawer profile image

craftdrawer 4 years ago

Very informative and well written Hub. Some great tips for writers...


Tracy Lynn Conway profile image

Tracy Lynn Conway 4 years ago from Virginia, USA Author

Ktrapp, you really know how to make my day. Thank you so much!

Tsarnaudova, you are right that our true self is reflected in all that we do and especially in our writing. Sometimes I think the connection between the reader and the writer is deeper than most other methods of communication, this is because each individual sets the pace which allows for reflection and contemplation.

Allowing your writing to "breathe" is a perfect analogy, I will remember that! Thank you for brightening my day as well!

Sweetie1, I am glad you agree about not comparing our work with seasoned writers, although at times it can be tempting. I also agree with you that with effort writers will improve, mature and be better able to find their own voice. Thank you so much!

Craftdrawer, thank you!

Best, Tracy


kelleyward 4 years ago

Excellent article! I'm bookmarking so I can read again. Thanks for the copyscape info I really love learning something new.


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 4 years ago from Texas

Tracy - this is a great article. I had to come see the similarities you spoke of after reading my hub about what makes a good writer.

This is a great hub with lots of good advice. I really think the advice of writing the article and then coming back to it later to proofread. I find that if I proof too soon, I make assumptions about what I intended to say and often overlook a typo. Letting it sit a bit helps me to eliminate this error.


Tracy Lynn Conway profile image

Tracy Lynn Conway 4 years ago from Virginia, USA Author

Kellyward - I am so happy that you found the information useful, Copyscape is an amazing tool. Thank you!

Homesteadbound - Yes I was happy to see the similarities since they in some way validated my ideas.

'Letting it sit' is great but I applaud your motivation to getting your work published also, sometimes my writing sits too long. Finding a balance is always the hardest thing. Thank you so much!

Tracy


ChristyWrites profile image

ChristyWrites 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

Tracy, I agree with you that it is best to write about what you know. Your knowledge base shines through with your wise words in this hub. Well done, vote up for sure.


Tracy Lynn Conway profile image

Tracy Lynn Conway 4 years ago from Virginia, USA Author

Christy, you always have the sweetest things to say and always perfectly worded. I continue to grow and learn in the writing department. Thank you for the great comment and vote.

Tracy


ChristyWrites profile image

ChristyWrites 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

Awe, thanks Tracy. You're such a sweetie. Keep up the good work with your hubs, take care.

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