How to Write a Great Hub: Lay a Foundation with Excellent Content

You’ve just joined Hub Pages and are wondering what the heck to do next. You’ve read some hubs and a lot of them are good. But some are just okay and others are downright awful. You’ve read so many tidbits of information in hubs, forums and tutorials. It’s confusing!

I’ve been a member of Hub Pages for several years. I don’t claim to have all the answers or to write perfect hubs. But writing and editing are my passion and strength and I can give you tips in those areas.

I’m still learning about improving search engine optimization, long-tail titles and finding the right keywords to use. If I don’t feel I can write with confidence on those or other topics, I will suggest a more qualified source.

Here, then, are some tips I can share on how to put together a great hub.

Hub Pages is not a content farm

The first thing to understand about Hub Pages is that it is not a content farm. A content farm is a website where articles are cranked out 10 at a time with very little substance. The Hub Pages team insists (and rightly so) on quality hubs. They compare their pages to a magazine filled with informative articles (hubs) enhanced with pictures, videos and interactive polls.

What is the foundation for a great hub? Start with a solid topic. “Evergreen” topics are best for keeping traffic coming to your hub. Evergreen topics are those that are timeless, that can be read two years from now and still be relevant. Medicinal and culinary uses of herbs for instance, or how corn flakes became the accidental cereal are evergreen topics. The 2011 Jeopardy! challenge between an IBM computer and two human contestants is not an evergreen topic.

Bestow a title on your hub

A hub’s title is important and should be thought through carefully. It should be fairly short (Google stops reading at 60 characters) yet descriptive enough to tell readers what your hub is about.

Make sure your title has keywords. Keywords are the terms people use when they do a search. If you are writing on energy efficient cars, you probably won’t use the term automobiles – we don’t say, “I’m taking the automobile in for a tune-up.” You might even use the term “green” instead of energy efficient. Check out the Learning Centerfor more on how to title your hub.

A hub’s title also must pique a reader’s interest. A good title tells your reader what the hub is about. You expect a book titled “101 chicken recipes” to be about just that, not a book about repairing appliances. So if your hub is about diabetes educators, then tell your reader that. You can also check out the Title Tuner for help.

Capture your readers’ attention right off the bat. It’s easy to get caught up in posting as many hubs as possible because we are either participating in a hub challenge or we’re hoping that the more hubs we post the more traffic we’ll get. You need to find a way to “hook” your read and lead him or her into your piece.

A great topic will draw readers in but they won’t stay to read if the content is poorly written. So clean up your grammar, learn the rules of punctuation and proofread your work. If English isn’t your native language (or even if it is and you know writing isn’t your strength), then find someone to act as your editor.

Other tips:

  • hubs need to be at least 400 words long. There’s debate whether longer hubs get more traffic but longer isn’t better if the content is poor or the writing rambles. You want to get people to read to the end.

  • make it informative. Hubs can’t be purely personal or they will be flagged. While this can be subjective, the best way to prevent any issues is by including hard-core facts or tips. So if you want to write a memoir of the legacy your deceased mother left behind, including parenting tips at the end will keep it from being flagged as too personal.

  • use subheads in long hubs. Subheads break up big blocks of copy and also gives your reader a “signpost” to follow through the hub.

  • use bulleted lists. Bulleted lists such as this one allows you to share a lot of short pieces of information in an easy-to-read way.

  • books or other products need to be reviewed. If you mention a book or a product, you can’t just throw in a link to Amazon without writing a minimum 50-word review. Some states no longer allow hubbers to earn money as an affiliate from Amazon but it doesn’t hurt to include a book if it’s to make a point in your hub.

  • make your hub easy on the eyes or you’ll lose your reader. Don’t center your text, put it in all caps, bold unnecessarily – all that makes it hard to read.

  • invite readers to comment. Hub Pages is a community so engage your readers in the conversation. Acknowledge their comments if they leave one. If you comment on someone else’s hub, try to make it substantial and more than just “great hub.”


A screen shot of the Text Capsule in Hub Pages
A screen shot of the Text Capsule in Hub Pages | Source

Tips for using the Text Capsule

The tool bar above the text capsule has several options to help you format your content.

  • there’s only one font but you can bold, underline or italicize your text and cut, copy and paste it.
  • bad speller? Use the spellchecker tool.
  • quickly add numbers or bullets to a list by highlighting it, then clicking on either the number or bullet tab
  • you can insert a special character or symbol by clicking on the omega symbol
  • you can add superscript andsubscript
  • if you need to keep track of your word count, look in the upper left corner of the capsule.
  • if you get stuck, there’s always the help button! Click on the large question mark


Read more....

Curious what “Background: Only available when aligned right” means? You can find the answer in "Add a sidebar in 3 easy step!"

Read more in my How to Write a Great Hub for new hubbers:

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Comments 17 comments

adeaugustus 5 years ago

Nice hub you've got over here, it's gonna be very useful for new hubbers!


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 5 years ago from South Carolina

Awesome new series that is also helpful to hubbers who have been around for awhile and want to improve the quality of their hubs. I'm bookmarking the series for future reference.

btw: Thanks for the link to my diabetes educator hub.


Danette Watt profile image

Danette Watt 5 years ago from Illinois Author

adeaugustus - thanks for reading and commenting.

HBN - Thanks for bookmarking and no problem about the link. I enjoy reading your stuff.


poetvix profile image

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

Highly useful stuffs here and well laid out in an easy to understand format. Got to love it!


cardelean profile image

cardelean 5 years ago from Michigan

Not sure how I missed this one but you've done a great job. These are great tips for new hubbers and put in understandable terms. Nicely done and thanks for the link.


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina

Wow! Excellent tips, Danette. I bookmarked it b/c of the useful content. Great job and thanks for the link to my hub: Mother's Day Maddness. :)

Very interesing and well written.


Phil Plasma profile image

Phil Plasma 5 years ago from Montreal, Quebec

Great - I try to keep my hub lengths between 500 and 800 words and figure that is about right for the attention span of most readers. I occasionally encounter a hub that must be 1500 to 2000 words, these I usually skip over unless the topic is really compelling.


Danette Watt profile image

Danette Watt 5 years ago from Illinois Author

Thanks poetvix, Cara, Dee and Phil -- Just trying to help out some newbies.

I agree Phil, attention spans can be short. When I write an article for the paper I work for on Saturdays, I try to keep it no more than 700 words, for that very reason.


Jenn Moore profile image

Jenn Moore 5 years ago

I have just recently started writing hubs and I find this hub particularly helpful. Thank you for sharing what you know!


Danette Watt profile image

Danette Watt 5 years ago from Illinois Author

Hi Jenn, thanks for reading and I'm so glad you found this helpful! Welcome to Hub Pages and I'll watch for something new from you.


MummyTales profile image

MummyTales 5 years ago from Australia

Thank you Danette, I got a lot from that. I am very new here and am reading constantly on what I can do to improve. I hope to pick up on it all quickly, this is a great community!


Danette Watt profile image

Danette Watt 5 years ago from Illinois Author

Thanks MummyTales and welcome to Hub Pages! There is a lot to learn. I've been here almost a year and I'm still trying to figure some of it out, mainly about the SEO and keywords stuff. Just keep reading the forums and Learning Center and asking questions.


MummyTales profile image

MummyTales 5 years ago from Australia

Thank You for your warm welcome! Look forward to seeing you around again :)


akune profile image

akune 5 years ago from Surrey, England, United Kingdom

A big thank you, Danette for your advice in reply to a question of mine in August or Sept 2011.You are a team player. I love Hub pages.


Danette Watt profile image

Danette Watt 5 years ago from Illinois Author

You're welcome Akune and I'm glad I could help! Keep up the good writing.


PaddyMac1984 profile image

PaddyMac1984 3 years ago from Nottingham, England

Useful information here. I am still trying to imporve the hubs I have got. You have given me some good ideas here. Voted useful, thanks for the info.


Danette Watt profile image

Danette Watt 3 years ago from Illinois Author

Hi PaddyMac1984 - Welcome to HubPages! I'm so glad you found this hub useful. Thanks for reading and the vote.

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