Learning to Write for a Niche: My 14 in 14 Challenge
After three years on Hubpages, I'm finally beginning to learn what makes a good article, a good writer, and a good niche. After fighting my way through several different niches before building a core of several that work and perform well for me, I'm finally beginning to understand the way that niche writing is meant to work, and am developing an understanding of the processes that help me make the most of my earnings across the five platforms on which I write on a regular basis.
My goal with the following fourteen hubs is to help new writers to determine where to begin and how to begin, then to get started in writing effective and engaging articles on Hubpages (or the platform of their choice). In so doing, I'm going to teach myself to narrow a niche and to write about very specific long-tail topics in niche subjects that can be presented in a series of articles with a common goal.
My Chosen Niche: Earning on Hubpages
After three years on Hubpages, I've learned quite a lot about how to write for search engines (better yet how to write for an audience), how to promote my writings directly to people I know or who are interested in my writings, and how to use social media effectively.
I don't earn as much on Hubpages as some people do (and in fact earn less than I used to!). There are several factors which, in combination, can contribute to a lack of success on any Web 2.0 platform, and I plan on covering this ground during this series of hubs in order to help newer hubbers to get started in as effective a way as possible.
While I'm by no means the greatest writer on Hubpages, I have enough experience with earning here to help you to get started, configure your account, and move into creating quality content that does well with search engines and helps to keep readers on the page by engaging them with interesting content.
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The Importance of Goal Setting
I've been involved in life coaching for some time, learning about the way that it works and how to help people by using the techniques of coaching. One of the most important things that occurred to me during my studies was the importance of setting real goals, creating an action plan and then working through those goals.
Knowing the importance of setting goals is one of the reasons that I decided to take up this particular hub challenge. I failed in my first challenge from more than two years ago. Writing 100 hubs in 30 days was just far beyond my capability. But I do believe that I am capable of writing a hub a day for an entire year if that's what it comes to, and I believe that volume is one of the top priorities of anyone who wants to really earn with a platform like Hubpages. The more hubs one has, the more potential one has to earn.
For the next two weeks (beginning Saturday, December 29th, 2012 and ending Friday, January 11th, 2013), my goal is to write one hub a day. Each of these hubs is to be related to the topic of writing for Hubpages. While I am permitted to publish more than one hub in a single twenty-four hour period, I must produce one hub a day related to the niche topic. I can go beyond 14 days if it turns out that it's possible for me to make it that far.
Below you will find the list of hubs that I have created for this niche challenge. I won't be showing you my advance plans for hubs until later on in this series, when I will show you how I plot out the articles that I write across several platforms.
Learning to Write for a Niche: My 14 in 14 Challenge
Why Take a Challenge?
There are many challenges available on Hubpages. Members can participate in the 30 in 30 days challenge, and I'm quite certain that people are still allowed to take the 100 in 30 days challenge even if this one isn't encouraged (due to the tendency to produce low-quality hubs as a result of the rush to get them done). In my case, I'm taking a challenge for two primary reasons.
- It helps me to set goals and keep on track. With this challenge, I'm tracking the progress that I'm making and posting the results here on this Hub. Because the goals are public, it means that I'm accountable to my readers and fans for completing the challenge. The Hubpages community is behind me and has my back to help me finish.
- It teaches me to write in a niche, using long-tail topics. I've been working on learning this for a while, and my main problem has been making my topics long-tail enough for good use by readers and search engines. By narrowing my topics and making them generally less broad, I'm hoping to improve my earning results.
There are other challenges available for Hubbers, but I chose this one because it relates most closely to the style of writing that I do (I like series) and because I think that I can learn something new from it.
I believe that anyone taking up one of the Hub Challenges needs to consider which challenge works the best for helping him or her reach the goals that have been set, and to learn how to make the most of Hubpages. Volume is important, but so is content!
My Personal Goal
Actually, there are a few of them in this challenge. I wanted to start with a subject that was relatively easy for me to handle. While I've written in several niches and have been able to gain some perspective on what topics do well in search engines and with readers, I felt that beginning this with a focused study of what tends to do well on Hubpages was a good place to begin. In the future I hope to do this challenge again and target my writing to a more targeted audience than I am with this incarnation of the challenge.
With that said, my goals with this challenge:
- To produce fourteen high quality hubs of 1,500 words or more. Length is important to hubs being featured in Hubpages, and a well-written longer hub can keep visitors reading for longer than a shorter hub (or a poorly written or boring hub). Those pages which result in longer visits also tend to result in more clicks on advertisements, or generate enough interest to compel visitors to click on Amazon links. These principles can be applied to any platform worth writing for, including Hubpages, Squidoo, Wizzley and others, and for that reason alone are very worth learning.
- To complete fourteen high quality hubs on long-tail topics. I've never been particularly good at long-tail. That's something that I'm going to be working on, narrowing the topic of my hubs and then linking them from one to the next in order to encourage visitors to click through each of the hubs in turn. I realize that these pages are most likely to fare best with members of the Hubpages community and are less likely to gather traffic from outside sources, but that's okay. This is an experiment in writing, not in earning.
- To complete fourteen high quality hubs all related to a central topic. This is where things get a bit harder. I know that I have some broader niches in which I work (knitting, book reviews, computer games) but this is the first time that I'm attempting to narrow down my broad niche topic this far and still come up with fourteen sub-topics worth writing about. My broad niche topic in this case is how to make money on Hubpages. The challenge is to create long-tail topics within that niche. Fourteen of them is pushing my outer limits. We'll see how this goes.
What Comes Next?
If I complete this challenge (and there is no reason why I should not complete this challenge), I would like to go on to complete another series of fifteen hubs centered around a central niche topic. This is the way that I like to write, because I feel that series of articles do better than single, stand alone topics. However, each topic should be able to stand on its own and not be dependent on the others in order to survive on Hubpages or the Internet at large.
At the moment, I have several other topics that I'm brewing on. We'll see how I go with them and I will update this hub with more information when I'm prepared to complete those challenges. It's very likely that I will be doing the thirty in thirty challenge as well as the fourteen in fourteen, and I may even attempt the 100 in 30 days (which is grueling and it's unlikely that I will be successful if I do attempt).
Please note that if and when this hub becomes a central hub for my various challenges, I will re-title it and re-write this hub as the central hub in the series of fifteen centering around the topic of how to be successful on Hubpages.
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