How to Choose a Hub Topic

This hub is one part in a series on how to make money on HubPages, designed specifically to address one of the most frequently-asked questions in our forums: How do I find the right topic for hub that will make me money?

Picking a Topic for a Money-Making Hub

Internet marketers are constantly trying to discover which niches--and more specifically, keywords-- are the most profitable in internet publishing. There are discussions on this very subject on virtually every webmaster forum in existance, and countless ebooks claiming to have the ultimate list of super-secret money-making keywords. That's exactly the problem; those topics are like the town bicycle. Everyone and their mother is having a ride.

In my experience, there are a few important criteria in choosing a topic for your hub:

  1. Is it interesting to me?
  2. Is it interesting to people who don't know me?
  3. Will it continue to be interesting for a long time to come?

Is it interesting to me?

Others might argue, but I think whether or not a subject interests you should be one of the determining factors in whether or not you write about it. Not only does this make your job as a hubber easier and more enjoyable, and consequently increase the likelihood that you'll stick with it, it also shows in your writing itself. Readers can tell the difference between a dry recitation of the facts and a passionate imparting of knowledge, and they're much more likely to respond favorably to the latter. Think back to your school days. Did you take any classes you thought were going to be awesome, only to find that the teacher succeeded in sucking all life out of the subject? Remember that required course you were dreading, that the professor somehow managed to make exciting through his or her own enthusiasm for the subject? If either of those scenarios ring a bell, you'll understand why it's key to pick a hub topic that in some way engages your own interest.

  • Example: My hub on wu-yi tea, which has, on occasion, earned me close to $200 in a single day, was born out of the frustration I felt seeing advertisements for a diet product I could clearly see was a scam.

 

Is it interesting to other people?

On the other hand, if the subject is interesting to you and only you, that doesn't help you much either. Once you've hit upon an idea you might like to pursue, think about whether or not people who don't know you from a hole in the wall would be interested in the topic--and more importantly, whether or not it is a topic that other people will proactively search out. While some things might hold someone's attention if he or she happened to stumble upon it, not all of these things are worth hubbing about, unless you are doing so for your own enjoyment. For the purposes of making money, choose a subject that's searchable.

  • Example: I have a passion for eating disorder awareness. Instead of writing a personal rant about how misunderstood the disease is in popular culture, I wrote a hub about eating disorder myths, finding a way to make the topic more general,

Will it continue to be interesting?

This is a point all of us HubPages staff are constantly harping on in the forums. Our CEO Paul Edmondson even wrote a hub on the concept of evergreen content--content that will continue to be relevant (and actively searched!) for months and years to come. While I sometimes use Google trends to rustle up ideas, I pass over the news-related phrases and hit on keywords I believe will have a longer shelf life.

  • Example: My 199th hub on tapeworms was taken from a recent Google trends list. It started earning right away, but more importantly, I anticipate it will continue making me money in the long term.

If You're Stuck for Ideas...

If, when evaluating an idea for a new hub topic, you answer "yes" to all three questions, you're well on your way to writing a money-making hub.

However, getting an idea to evaluate in the first place can be a struggle for some people. If you ever run out of inspiration, check out Google Trends (linked above) and the Hub Requests section (feed at right). Just remember to check those topics against the questions above before you dig in!

Also, two types of hubs that almost always do well are how to guides and product reviews, and these are easy enough to write about because 1) I'm pretty darn sure all of you do something every day that could use explaining, and 2) I'm absolutely sure you use products every day, be they electronics, cosmetics, food, or clothing.  And guess what?  So does everyone else.

More by this Author


Comments 96 comments

misslong123 profile image

misslong123 16 months ago from Edmond, Oklahoma

I have really learned a lot from this series. Do you plan to continue it? It seems that no matter how hard I try to follow advice on making money on hubpages, I am somehow failing to make but a couple bucks a month. I'd love to hear more advice from a pro such as yourself as to how to get the ball rolling on making the big bucks. That would really motivate me to write more each month. I just read hub after hub and continuously improve my hubs, and while there is a rise in traffic even on high paying keywords with low competition, I still don't make enough for a lunch per month. Any advice is very welcome. Thanks from one of your biggest fans, Michele Kelsey


casquid profile image

casquid 2 years ago

Enough said. . .thanks!


loudnclear 3 years ago

movinon.

As I launch my Hub experience, I intend to write about a subject that is important to me, my family and about 300 million other Americans.

The subject is American prosperity and policies that can enable that prosperity for literally millions of American citizens within a reasonably short period.

My plan is simple, readily achievable and if implemented will rival the impact of the lunar landing program.


Millionaire Tips profile image

Millionaire Tips 4 years ago from USA

These are really great ideas, and I have been trying to follow this advice on all of my hubs. Voted up. I look forward to working with you on the Apprentice program.


talfonso profile image

talfonso 4 years ago from Tampa Bay, FL

What a comprehensive guide on choosing a Hub topic! Most of my Hubs answer all three questions!


B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 4 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

I'm pretty sure that most of my hubs meet all three criteria -- aren't there lots of people with a lasting interest in chocolate, parties, cars, university towns, marriage, murder mysteries, autism, voice recognition software, etc.? But months keep going by, and I have not seen any money in the bank yet from all my hubs combined. I try to follow all the advice from staff and experienced hubbers, but I'm doing something(s) wrong, by commission or omission. I realize that low productivity is a problem, but does that alone explain nearly no traffic?


wiserworld profile image

wiserworld 4 years ago

Thanks for all the valuable info. I'm just getting started with HubPages and going to get writing more articles soon! This Hub of yours helps :)


ghiblipg 5 years ago

Good to know about Google Trend. Thanks for the tips =)


beginners-dslr profile image

beginners-dslr 5 years ago from Malaysia

Hi Maddie, thanks for the tips on Google Trends, it's a source of inspiration when we're running out of topics to write on. Very informative Hub, voted up!


Tonipet profile image

Tonipet 5 years ago from The City of Generals

Hi Maddie! This is a very informative hub. It's really true that what interests others are worth a topic for. Enjoyed reading it, truly. Thanks!


BeaGabrielle profile image

BeaGabrielle 5 years ago

Thanks for sharing all these information. I'm thinking of starting to write a hub and I find this very useful!


C-Bless profile image

C-Bless 5 years ago from Canada

Great information. I thoroughly enjoyed this read. This newbie really appreciates your good advice. Thank you for sharing.


Londonlady profile image

Londonlady 5 years ago

I love the 2 ending sentences! They just made me rate it as "funny" great hub!


katrinasui profile image

katrinasui 6 years ago

Hi maddie. you are absolutely right we should write hubs about interesting topics.


Maddie Ruud profile image

Maddie Ruud 6 years ago from Oakland, CA Author

Hi HBS Group:

I don't have AdSense on hubs that are designed to help out hubbers, as opposed to hubs that will make money from search engine traffic. Hubbers don't tend to click on ads on HubPages anyway, and I think it is nice for users to feel like I'm offering real advice, not just out for a buck.


HBS Group profile image

HBS Group 6 years ago from Maryland

Hi Maddie;

I'm new here and am still reading all that I can to learn. I read your hub and agree completely, and commend you for a well written and authoritative hub. My question here is, why don't you have adsense on the hub? Does it distract or is there another reason?


theindianblues profile image

theindianblues 6 years ago from Some where on the Globe

Thanks for sharing the info.


Andrew0208 profile image

Andrew0208 6 years ago from Zion

Thanks for the advice, hub bookmarked.


gr82bme profile image

gr82bme 6 years ago from USA

Do you get paid even if all they do is click on the ads??


Maddie Ruud profile image

Maddie Ruud 6 years ago from Oakland, CA Author

gr82bme:

You don't have to recommend a product to make money from a hub. You make money from the people clicking ads, which may be for the product, for rival products, or for other sites that review similar items. So what you're really looking for is a topic that will get a lot of visitors... visitors who are out looking for information or to buy something (not necessarily even the product you're talking about). Sometimes the best way to get a lot of traffic to your hub is to address a controversial topic or give a negative review.


gr82bme profile image

gr82bme 6 years ago from USA

You say that you made money from your hub wu-yi tea. How? I read it and you are really bashing the product and others like it. Why would they buy it.

Sorry if this sounds dumb. I am brand new. I got here from a link on the learning page. I like the looks of your hubs and hope one day to be able to do just as good.

Will follow and bookmark.


bheem profile image

bheem 6 years ago

It really sounds a good article but is it always applicable to hubbers. Some write on very vague topics which people never heard or thought off but still have very high page views. How was that explainable?


pakpub profile image

pakpub 6 years ago from Ohio

Thanks for sharing all this useful info.


DonnaWallace profile image

DonnaWallace 6 years ago from North Carolina

Great hub, thank you. I'm always searching for good ideas, and your metaphor about the town bicycle is so true!


Angela Harris profile image

Angela Harris 6 years ago from Around the USA

Deciding the subjects of my hubs and keyword phrases takes most of my work time. Great advice here!


2005Fleet profile image

2005Fleet 6 years ago from Sunny Florida

Thank you, this was very useful.


seryhu profile image

seryhu 6 years ago from Canada

Very informative, thank you for the information. is there a continuation to it.


barryrutherford profile image

barryrutherford 6 years ago from Queensland Australia

This is one of the best hubs on hubpages :)


kat_thurston profile image

kat_thurston 6 years ago

thanks for the information, I know sometimes I get stuck on what to write about.


betherann profile image

betherann 6 years ago from Montana

I'm enjoying this series -- nice work, and excellent writing!


Leandraluv profile image

Leandraluv 6 years ago from Macae, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Hey Maddie thanks for sharing. Right now I am stumped about what to write next and I've only written 11 hubs so far. I keep starting and then changing my mind. Also, I've only been writing about things I like or do or am interested in without giving much thought to keywords etc so I am not earning much. Today I am lacking inspiration. I did enjoy reading your hub though. Thanks


missymoo profile image

missymoo 6 years ago from Kent, UK

Nice hub and packed with useful advice and points to think about. No matter how many articles or hubs you may have written in the past, there are still days when we all need a helping hand :)


Happy Human profile image

Happy Human 6 years ago

Great advice thanks!


Cheeky Girl profile image

Cheeky Girl 6 years ago from UK and Nerujenia

Wow! Great ideas listed here! Excellent. Appreciate this, Maddie! Cheers!


~reeses~ profile image

~reeses~ 6 years ago from Texas

Good hub, it has a lot of useful information. Thanks!


mrbill15 profile image

mrbill15 6 years ago from Cave Creek

The light bulb just came on. I have been reading and working on HP for months and just now I think I might understand it.


mglamorgan profile image

mglamorgan 7 years ago from Born in Portugal/Living in UK

Thanks for this useful hub


film critic profile image

film critic 7 years ago

Thanks!


Judith Rizzo profile image

Judith Rizzo 7 years ago from Phoenix ~ The Valley of the Sun

great advice ~ thanks for sharing!


samironwebtrack profile image

samironwebtrack 7 years ago

very good information you share, thank you.


soni2006 profile image

soni2006 7 years ago from New Delhi, India

Really informative hub. Excellent.


Gorgeously profile image

Gorgeously 7 years ago from United States

informative hub.. thanks for sharing


tushar09 profile image

tushar09 7 years ago

Do you actually make money on hubpages as you had mentioned, i am using hubpages since 8 months ago but not make even a single $$$.


Leop profile image

Leop 7 years ago

Great information. I am just starting out myself and trying to navigate around. I am going to take advantage of the ideas you provided about. Thank you again.


mailxpress profile image

mailxpress 7 years ago from New York

Thank you for sharing your point of view. I agree completely writing articles that will be needed for years to come. Articles that will never go out of style. I get it. Thank you.

mailxpress


Hoop-A-Joo profile image

Hoop-A-Joo 7 years ago from Los Angeles

great tip, I am new but stuck on what to write already and I learned a lot.


Write4me profile image

Write4me 7 years ago

I am brand new and searching - this hub was very helpful to me in allaying my fear that I am not up to this challenge! You gave me hope :)


Kiki Hu profile image

Kiki Hu 7 years ago from California, United States

Thanks for this great hub! :)


Hodgson House profile image

Hodgson House 7 years ago

Thanks Maddie!!! I loved this hub and am now pointed in the right direction to get hubbing lol


wanderingpops profile image

wanderingpops 7 years ago

Thanks Maddie. This hub was a lot of help to me as a brand new contributor to hubpages.


warchild75 profile image

warchild75 7 years ago from Worthing, west sussex, england

Very helpful

thank you


chjoza profile image

chjoza 7 years ago

Gret Hub. Very informative. Thanks!


viryabo profile image

viryabo 7 years ago

Maddie, this is a great hub. I write about things that interest me and find that it flows for me easier. I like to think people will be interested in my topics, but my keywords selection is just improving.

Im off to your Google trends link and i thank you for that particular tip.

Welldone & Thank you for the insight.


Harvey Stelman profile image

Harvey Stelman 7 years ago from Illinois

Maddie,

Your writing is excellent and you have a firm insight on your presentation of answering a question. I must say I have learned from you, but being a computer idiot I remain challenged.


brownlickie 7 years ago

Thank you for your advice.I have published a lot of hubs not knowing how to be found and your advice has helped me to see hubpages in a different light. regards Brian


Tim Blackstone profile image

Tim Blackstone 7 years ago

Very helpful advice. I have come to realise I write much better when talking about things that do really interest me.

Must say I'm impressed with your tea site success and it shows what is possible.


Johnyboy profile image

Johnyboy 7 years ago

I already knew about Google trends, but why in the world didn't I thought about making the connection with hubs?

Sometimes we get so busy that we forget the basics. Nice reminder for me. Thanks a lot. I will definitely use trends now.


Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 7 years ago from UK

This is helpful advice Maddie. After eleven months here I've only made $25! Maybe I just don't have profitable interests!


ajcor profile image

ajcor 7 years ago from NSW. Australia

Thanks for sharing this information Maddie - will now  try and make it work....cheers


Nancy's Niche profile image

Nancy's Niche 7 years ago from USA

Very appreciate and right on target. Thanks for sharing your insight.


Melody Lagrimas profile image

Melody Lagrimas 7 years ago from Philippines

Oh, this is very helpful, as I am relatively new here, thanks.


WaynePoole profile image

WaynePoole 7 years ago from America

Thank you for writing this hub: It really opened my eyes to some mistakes that I have been making.


roastedpinebark profile image

roastedpinebark 7 years ago from Iowa

Thanks for the google trends link, this is something I've been searching avidly for the last several weeks! Im sure this advice will further improve my writings, thank you again!


prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 7 years ago from malang-indonesia

thanks for share. Suppose I could choose the right topic of this HUB. thanks again


Abhishek87 profile image

Abhishek87 7 years ago from India

Great hub and great ideas for how to decide on the topic ...


packerpack profile image

packerpack 7 years ago from India, Calcutta

Good Hub indeed Maddie. I always follow what you have suggested and always try to write Hub that are sort of "How to's" but there are still times when I really get struck (like I have got struck now) and I am not able to derive any new idea even after refering to Google trends etc...... and do you think it is really posssible to earn $200 in a day? I hardly find people clicking on the ads in my Hub...... :(


Stacie L profile image

Stacie L 8 years ago

Maddie; I learned a lot from reading your hubs. I need all the help I can get and look forward to reading more hubs.


myway720 profile image

myway720 8 years ago from Gresham, Oregon

Great hub! This may really help me, as you've boiled things to just three good questions that I can ask myself regarding new hubs that I'm about to write. I've written about things that are interesting to me, and you are right about looking for things that are interesting for you when you write a hub, as the writer is more enthused. I need to work on the other two questions and I have noticed that, some of my hubs draw far more visitors than others. One of my hubs, about saving money by drinking tap water instyead of sodas and other drinks consistantly draws fewer visitors than my other hubs.

Again, thanks for the info.


Reg Brittain profile image

Reg Brittain 8 years ago from South Burlington, VT, USA

Oops. Dropped a word. "for"

:-D


Reg Brittain profile image

Reg Brittain 8 years ago from South Burlington, VT, USA

I am very thankful this hub and the ones you have grouped with it, Maddie.

--Reg


Dottie1 profile image

Dottie1 8 years ago from MA, USA

Thanks sooo much Maddie for the invaluable information you are providing for us in your series. It is greatly appreciated!


Candace Morgan profile image

Candace Morgan 8 years ago from New York

Thanks for the Hub!


josephdiego profile image

josephdiego 8 years ago from Eastern Long Island , New York

Maggie, I never thought that Hub pages was a money maker. When I write, it all comes from my internal search engine. I speak every Monday night at the local jail and never run out of material. I hope the same happens to me on my hubs. I see many people get their content from the news or the net. I like to give it from the heart. "Kind of challenging with just a 9th grade education" I do the best I can do. But if I make money That’s a bonus. Because really that really not my intention..Even though, I did get introduced to hub pages that way. But when I write it's like when I speak at the jail or at a local rehab or school. I don't get paid. However I receive a reward that is priceless. Can you understand that? I hope so. Anyway you did give me something to think about. I could always use the money…. Honey I need some money, Dad I need this, Dad I need that. So another money tree would be nice..Thank you so very much.

Peace, Love, Health, Happiness and Massive Success… JosephDiego


moneymakersguide profile image

moneymakersguide 8 years ago

Thank you for the info:)


find john profile image

find john 8 years ago from Siloam Springs AR.

Thank you for this hub.


okmom23 profile image

okmom23 8 years ago from Midwest, U.S.A.

Great info., thx Maddie!


mytube profile image

mytube 8 years ago from Dhaka, Bangladesh

Thanks for nice topics. It will help me.


Marisa Wright profile image

Marisa Wright 8 years ago from Sydney

Write on what you find interesting - I think you've hit on something there!   When I finally got the confidence (thanks to HP) to start my own site, I chose a topic that's dear to my heart, because I knew I'd enjoy doing it - but I really didn't expect to make a dime.  So far in its first few months, I've made $62!  Now, I know that's not earth-shattering, but we all know it takes a while for a new site to get established, so I'm absolutely rapt.

So my advice would be, even if you're not sure whether others will be interested in your pet topic, write the Hub anyway - you'll enjoy it, so it won't feel like work, and you never know what might happen.


matryx profile image

matryx 8 years ago from Australia

Thanks for all the fantastic ideas on using hubber...

Much appreciated.


Trekkiemelissa profile image

Trekkiemelissa 8 years ago from Illinois

Great hub. Great information,


tinyteddy profile image

tinyteddy 8 years ago from INDIA

good hub maddie


Benson Yeung profile image

Benson Yeung 8 years ago from Hong Kong

Maddie, great ideas


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 8 years ago from St. Louis

Hi Maddie. Great hub! Thanks for the information!


Answer Man profile image

Answer Man 8 years ago from Midgewater

You lay it out in simple terms and that is just what we need to be reminded of...at least I do...namely to KISS...Keep It Simple Stupid!...as Bill Clinton ? once said. At any rate, I have a tendency to complicate things beyond all proportion, and I think perhaps many others do as well. Your Hub has reminded us of a simple Truth--simple does not mean silly or stupid...it means seeing things objectively...and that is never easy but it is the secret I think you are really alluding to. :)


Anamika S profile image

Anamika S 8 years ago from Mumbai - Maharashtra, India

gr8 Hub Maddie. I so far only have written on topics which i personally have knowledge without checking whether the keywords would pay me off.


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 8 years ago from California

Hahahaha, that was awesome. I'm seriously still laughing.


sminut13 profile image

sminut13 8 years ago from singapore

great hub, i agree with you as well as most do here.. it helps if our hub will be looked at in the near future too, you gave me a good idea to check out google trends hehe from this, you can know that i'm really inexperienced>.< but still, i'll be trying my best thanks for sharing a great hub.


Shirley Anderson profile image

Shirley Anderson 8 years ago from Ontario, Canada

Maddie, I agree you. Writing on a subject you're really interested in always seems to stand the test of time. The readership seems to continue growing. Besides, it's easier and tons more fun to write about something you have a real interest in. That comes through in the finished product, as well.

This is all based on the assumption that the content holds information others are also keen to know, and is evergreen, of course.

Great hub, Maddie! Thx for sharing.


Uninvited Writer profile image

Uninvited Writer 8 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

I think we should have a NaBloPoMo type contest here at HubPages. Writing one hub a day for a month...


nachase profile image

nachase 8 years ago from SF Bay Area California

Maddie,

Thank you for your well written hub. I have been hubbing on a variety of subjects I enjoyed from my youth, ie skateboards, guitars, unicycles and answered one request for "What the world will be like in 100 years?".

My experiment is to see which of these subjects elicits the greatest response, and then focus for a time on generating additional content within that subject category.

The 100 years article has elecited the most comments, so I may continue down that path as I continue my research.

My goal is to write one or two hubs per day for the next thirty days, and see what appears to be the best subjects to continue with.

I certainly enjoy your writings, they are well composed, interesting, and demonstrate your command of the subject. Thank you!

Respectfully, Nicholas Chase


ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 8 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

Hi Maddie, this is a very helpful hub and would be following the entire series --definitely! :)


Maddie Ruud profile image

Maddie Ruud 8 years ago from Oakland, CA Author

Lissie:

I think it depends on the subject. Sometimes it's smart to dedicate hubs to more specific areas within a more broad topic--for example, if you're doing a set of hubs on a type of product, it would be best to write one hub for each product you are reviewing, as opposed to a longer hub with each product itemized. This makes it easier for people who are searching for something very specific to find their way to your hubs. The thing about more comprehensive, Flagship-type hubs is that they are great linkbait, and they tend to work better for things like how-tos or guides.

Shadesbreath:

Fortunately or unfortunately, I don't have enough photos of myself in bathing suits to merit an entire hub. It would be substandard, and I'd have to flag myself.


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 8 years ago from California

Woohaaa... I hit the motherload with this one. Dang Maddie, your Tea hub isn't even frickin' long. This series is going to kick ass. (I sill want the baithing suit hub though, and think you're dodging it by sharing all this other stuff.)


Lissie profile image

Lissie 8 years ago from New Zealand

Question Maddie: I am writing a product series at the moment and am experimenting by writing a number of small hubs on different keywords rather than 1 long comprehensive hub: more the capstone model rather than the flagship model: do you have any thoughts on which is better and why?


sceptic profile image

sceptic 8 years ago from Christchurch, New Zealand

Good advice..thanks!


kasparu profile image

kasparu 8 years ago

Great hub, for many it is obvious to write about what they like to write about, but still nicely coined, and some good tips.

Explain what HubPages is all about, write about what you like to write about, everyone is an expert on something.

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