So was it worth it? Are the pages produced by the 'graduates' better than the usual stuff on this site?
Here they all are:
May all your hubs be prosperous ones!
Eh, my Hubs were the best at the beginning of the program when I had time, but as the months wore on, I had to juggle two part time jobs and a full college schedule, and I'm extremely sorry to say that I feel as if my Hub quality declined. =/
That being said, the program is really helpful and taught me an incredible amount- I just feel as if I almost didn't deserve to be a part of it because I really couldn't devote as much time to it as I really wanted to/as it needed.
Overall, I would emphatically say that it was SO worth it. The Staff were amazing, sweet, supportive and just overall awesome, and the kinship I formed with my fellow members was awesome too.
So take that all as you will.
Well done you! You've done really well. First batch and all that.
Congratulations to all the Apprentices that made it through.
Shanna - your hubs were beautiful. Yeah, nice green "A".
Congrats to AP 1 graduates! I know AP 2 (Hubscribers) is anxious to soon join the ranks of AP Graduates.
Huzzah, to the 2012 Graduates!
When does the new semester begin...
I've learnt a lot reading through the pages (it is worth an hour or two). What they have produced is presumably what HP considers state of the art and I am interested in that.
Will Apse, I think part of HPs motive was to get a lot of hubs that met a certain standard published and keep a steady stream of them continued to be published. That is why you have to be willing to publish a specific number of hubs. Of the first group just over half who began made it out. That seems like it is going to be the same for our group. People did not go on mostly because they did not have the time to write the required amount of hubs. There are lots of great hubs written here but writing them monthly for six months is not easy. Life gets in the way. Apparently, hubpages did run analytic on the hubs of apprentices and overall they do receive more search traffic, so I suspect they will continue the program and these hubs are worth at least taking a look at.....
There are some very good hubs published by the apprentices. There are some very good hubs published by non- apprentices.
What would be interesting is to see if these hubs receive anymore search engine traffic than others. That's the goal, yes? Search friendly titles and unique content, attractive format.
Well, I would say that I'm sure good traffic can be received either way but that the AP certainly teaches you things that if you didn't know already, will certainly increase your traffic. At this time, roughly 95% of my traffic comes from Google searches and has increased exponentially since entering the AP but I believe is because of what the AP taught me, not just because I'm in the AP.
RebekahELLE - I do see a difference in the traffic most of those hubs get. I can't say which of the factors you mentioned is the most important, but almost without fail, those hubs start to catch on and get Google traffic after a few months. Some titles I was assigned (the very first month) waited until around Month Four to show traffic, and are now doing well.
Just about everything in the program (from what I can tell) is in the Learning Center, but the difference is that we do get feedback (and told to 'fix' things that aren't up to standards), and we are given specific lessons and goals for each month. That helps tremendously, but it also requires far more time than just writing the eight minimum hubs for one month.
As you said, there are some very good (outstanding and exceptional) hubs by both apprenticeship members and non-members. I have learned so much from the experienced writers here who know all about keyword research and SEO strategies.
Congratulations! I'm so happy for everyone on that team, and we know so well the amount of work it took to get through the six months! As Cre8tor said, those of us in AP 2 are anxious to get our green A tags!
@shanna11 - I have had the same challenge, and I think many others on our team have, too. July was a tough one for several people and sometimes it was tough just getting all eight hubs done for a month. It has been well worth it, though; it's a lot of work, but we have learned a lot, too.
Yay, Scribe Tribe!
That's excellent news! It sounds like the apprentice program is successful for you. When I have more time, I'll check out your hubs. It's time to sign off and get some work done.
Congrats to all the AP grads. I could have never pumped out the work load that was required.
I have to say I enjoyed the process immensely and found my writing increased in bounds and leaps.
Although it was hard work creating several pages per month when I normally write hundreds - I found time to do other things such as washing occasionally and reviewing potential product affiliations for an upcoming series about hard to eat recipes.
The best part of it, which I relished until they took my "a" away, was going to other Hubbers pages and leaving comments saying how they could fix up their pages.
"Source your pictures, you losers" I would say in a jokey manner which put them at ease.
I will keep in contact with the other lesser writers in the Apprenticeship group although there seems little chance of sleeping with any of them.
I think for seasoned hubbers it would be a walk in the park, but for a newbie like me it was a challenge. Actually, the seasoned hubbers in my group were cranking out the articles. I guess everyone has their own individual reasons for not continuing with the program. My poorly made point was I think the program is in place to both learn and to have a steady stream of quality hubs published. They are looking for volume, too. So the only advice I would give to someone like Will A. who is a seasoned hubber who already writes high quality hubs is to increase volume. It seems that this is part of what G is looking for is a volume of fresh content....
Do you have a source for that? I have read about the freshness factor, but I would be interested in seeing something written by G in regard to volume.
I wonder because plenty of high volume quality writers have been hit hard by G. And now with the new HP ZZZ feature, I'm not certain hubbers are ready to increase volume at the chance of monitoring no indexed hubs. (Personally, I don't want a subdomain with hundreds of hubs.)
RebekahElLLE, you will have to give me time to find any type of source. Heading out to plant some trees on our farm,so until then just chalk it up as hearsay.
The black and white of what I was saying to Will A. is this.
The program required two things
1) high quality hubs
2) high volume of hubs
If Will A. already writes high volume of high quality hubs then he is already doing what people in the apprenticeship program are doing.
I just read one of cclitgirl's hub on tofu. Indeed it is wonderfully written, great lay-out, original photos...
Congratulations to all the graduates and for all the hard work you have put into your hubs! I wish I have more time to write and research and all. In the meantime, I will read your hubs and learn! hehe
Ripplemaker - thank you for your warm comments and feedback. Yeah, that hub took a long time to complete, but yes, I definitely really strive to use my own photos whenever I can. It keeps me out of trouble that way.
Yeah, there were times I could only publish 8 in a month and there were times when I could do more, but now I want to make sure all of my hubs are good quality - you never know who's watching. Haha.
What struck me reading through the various pages was that they were all well laid out and had few spelling and grammatical errors.
There were a few things that I found odd. One is the way that non-original photos are credited. Instead of just using the photographer's name hyper-linked to the source, the name and URL show as the anchor text. Seems a little over the top and not especially aesthetic.
Another was some people capitalized titles in the standard way. some just used a capital for the first word e.g. 'The quick way to make a chocolate brownie'.
In the more academic pages there were long lists of refs at the end which might have been better used in the body of the page (especially if hyper-linked).
What is probably most difficult to teach is the use of a strong and distinctive voice- i.e. something that gives a sense of someone behind the text.
I don't know if HP even try to teach that but it is probably the single most important thing. Some writers in the program had real personality some were a little bland.
(To be honest, I think its worth creating a persona for some pages but I wouldn't especially expect anyone to agree with me. And it doesn't always work, lol.)
But anyway, the important thing for me is that these are pages I would be happy to interlink with. HP just need to double or quadruple the throughput. We need more quality pages.
Will - these are good observations. A few comments:
During the program, we were asked to attribute photos according to the guidelines in the Learning Center, which are: author name and license type in "Name of source" and source url in the "Source URL" sections of the Photo Capsule (e.g. "Bob Smith, CC-BY, via flickr" or "Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons"). Not always the most aesthetically pleasing, I agree, but this is the HP-preferred method of doing it. It says in the learning center that after finishing the program, apprenticeship grads can move the location of the attributions to a different location, such as the end of the hub. The format of the attributions should stay the same, however. There's more info on the way HP wants photos to be attributed in the learning center.
No guidance was given regarding capitalization of titles, nor was there much discussion regarding the specifics of developing style (i.e., voice and personality). The program is not so much about learning how to write as it is about successfully writing online. It covers things such as finding search-friendly topics that are not already saturated with a large number of high-quality sites, using the various capsules effectively to create interesting hub layouts, using the HP question and answer section and the weekly topic inspiration for hub ideas, and effectively using social media.
I suspect I may be one of the grads whose writing you thought was a little dry. I'm aware of that weakness in my writing, and I'm working on improving it, but it's not something the apprenticeship program is designed to address.
I hope this helps give you a better idea of what the program is all about. The program is well worthwhile, but demanding. The group I was in began with 33 people, of which only 18 graduated.
Great explanations, Doc. Well-said. I'd also add that we were encouraged to list our references at the end of hubs in an academic style during the apprenticeship. I may continue doing that now that it's more of a habit than anything, but I may embed links in the text or do Amazon capsules. However, I think it does give you a lot of credibility if you cite your references.
I also agree that we're not taught to "write" in the program, but how to be successful online, providing information for people searching for information. Thus, if you google "how to fly a kite," then you'd hope your hub would show up high in the search results. Many of the goals in the apprenticeship were to get us all to create that article that would beat out the rest of the competition by having great content, a well-laid out hub, a hub that invites your reader to participate (by watching videos or conducting quizzes, polls, etc.). It wasn't easy meeting all these requirements, but I look at hubs I did before and I am going back and revising a bunch of them...so that each hub I do has a good shot in search results.
I wouldn't say dry. I actually read your Clapton bands page all the way through!
To be honest, that's one that was written under deadline pressure, and which I intended to go back and possibly tidy up a bit once the program was over. I'm glad you were able to make it all the way to the end of the hub, though! That's a good sign!
I'm so happy to see this now, after finally applying just yesterday. It sounds very promising, but just as challenging, so a great big congratulations to all who were able to stick it out!
I'm in the 4th apprenticeship program, so I haven't had time to read any of your hubs yet (lol). I do know that my own hubs are better, even though I thought I was doing well before, and we're only halfway through. I've won two HODs and am learning a lot about keywords and making videos. As with you, we've created great relationships amongst ourselves (we're the Hubaholics). I can't wait to see what the rest of the lessons bring. . . . Question: Is there a lesson coming up on marketing your hubs, e.g. generating backlinks, etc.?
Watergeek - (I'm enjoying your hubs, BTW!) - as mentioned earlier, I'm now in the last month of the program. We did not have any specific 'marketing' lessons about back links - Google has some strict attitudes toward mass back-linking attempts.
The approach of the program seems to be to 'share' our hubs through FB, Twitter, Pinterest and other social network vehicles, without actually spamming that way. They encourage us to share about two of our own hubs and two hubs from others on the team each month. The nice thing is that taking that approach will help generate organic back links (at least that's the hope), which Google and other search engines will treat better than when it looks like someone spammed to get the links.
THanks Marcy - What I was thinking is that some of the outside websites I link to in my hubs might be interested in including a link on their website. As an experiment I emailed a link to my solar water disinfection hub to the program I highlighted in it. They wrote back with several corrections to make. I'm going to send it again, once I make the corrections and see what happens. I thought maybe HP might have other suggestions like that.
Congratulations to all graduate apprentices. You hung in there, even when the going was super tough. I'm sure you all learned a great deal and we'll know whose brain to pick when we have some other questions.
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