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A Good Way to Learn What Works on Hubpages

  1. Greekgeek profile image98
    Greekgeekposted 4 years ago

    One of the biggest ways to learn success on the web is to...study success.

    1. Go to Alexa.com's profile of Hubpages
    2. Go to the profiles of the hubbers who get the largest percentage of Hubpages' traffic.
    3. Examine what kind of topics they cover. How would these topics be useful for people searching the web? Don't look at the specific topics so much as the kinds of topics they are, the kinds of questions they answer. Does the writer engage one target audience, cross-linking between related hubs, or lots of target audiences?
    4. Examine some of the top hubs. How are they structured? How do the headers, the links, the vocabulary reinforce the topic the person is writing about, to help search engines see that "yes, this article is relevant for searches X and Y"? How do they write image captions? How brief are the articles?

    The goal of studying successful hubbers, or successful members of any group, isn't to copy their content -- you can never do it as well, and you're liable to get banned or penalized, besides the fact that it's unethical and unfair.

    Rather, your goal is to try to learn successful approaches. Given topic X, what's the best way to present that topic so it will get traffic? Or, if you like stuff related to Y, how can you identify questions, subtopics, or particular facets of Y that other people want to know? Also, what doesn't work? What do successful hubbers not do? There are some things you may define as "quality" or "successful" that may not actually matter to the wider world. In most cases, there's no harm in taking pride in your work, but if you're doing something for "quality" purposes that no one's going to read or want, you may want to reassess.

    1. Uninvited Writer profile image82
      Uninvited Writerposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      Don't you think stealing someone's niche is unethical too?

      1. Mark McClean profile image61
        Mark McCleanposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        Absolutely not. Writing isn't "Homesteading" where you plant a stake in the ground and claim a niche for yourself. Anyway..competition brings out the best writing.

        1. frogdropping profile image84
          frogdroppingposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          Good grief.

      2. kathleenkat profile image90
        kathleenkatposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        We should all just ban pop artists, too, because clearly MADONNA got to that niche first.

    2. relache profile image88
      relacheposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      Stats on Alexa are based on data collected by their toolbar, which is an extremely small group of users and it produces a skewed data pool.  Starting with bad data never helps.

      Also, thanks for encouraging everyone to engage in intellectual plagiarism.

      1. rebekahELLE profile image92
        rebekahELLEposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        relache and darkside were my foremost 'teachers' when I first started at HP.  I think their best advice still is the best advice.  Write what you know and are passionate about and do it the best you can.  Learn from those who have earned your respect as effective writers/publishers.  {I forgot to mention sunforged.. who taught and still teaches so many of us useful, helpful tips!}

        I don't think so, not in the way in which you've posted.

    3. brakel2 profile image88
      brakel2posted 4 years ago in reply to this

      People do this all the time, and I believe you have a good idea. Professors talk about reading many books and finding an author that appeals to you. Then you see what made him successful. I often read the writings of others on HubPages to see what made them successful - and maybe get an idea or two. It does not mean I will copy anything, and what works for others may never work for me.  We all have our own writing voice. It is similar to having a mentor who tries to help you. The only way a writing site will be successful is with a cooperative effort and people working together in harmony.

  2. frogdropping profile image84
    frogdroppingposted 4 years ago

    Basically you're encouraging people to trample onto the coat tails of those that have worked hard. Great. Encourage people to copy, rinse and repeat.

    And lol ... big traffic does not equal big money. Or success.

    Man ... I shoulda stayed off the 'net the day *shakes head* roll

  3. 2besure profile image83
    2besureposted 4 years ago

    I have also hear writers with well over 500 hubs complaining they were not making Google payout.  It is a matter or whether you want to write commercially and make money or write for pleasure.  Great writers are not always rewarded financially.  However, if you have written something you can be proud of, I consider that successful!

  4. Mark McClean profile image61
    Mark McCleanposted 4 years ago

    This is an excellent forum topic and I think you are right on! I like your last sentence.

    "In most cases, there's no harm in taking pride in your work, but if you're doing something for "quality" purposes that no one's going to read or want, you may want to reassess."

    Unless you're in the enviable position of not needing to put food on the table with your writing quality must be tempered with marketing and deadlines. I hate it as much as anyone but it's a fact of life a writer must accept.

    Thanks for your enlightening thoughts.

  5. LucidDreams profile image81
    LucidDreamsposted 4 years ago

    Traffic does not always equal making money on Hubpages if that is the goal. Not to mention, Alexa and its performance charts on individual subdomains, is not showing the latest effects from Panda updates and so on.

    I have checked these stats myself and some of the top pages that were, the same authors do not even write here anymore. It's another attempt to help figure out what works so that never hurts.

    I here people here touting evergreen hubs are the way "pretty much everyone that has been here for some time, or writes online understands this premise"

    Still, traffic for some evergreen hubs are going to be good while others, not so much. There is a lot to figure and and it doesn't seems is if anything is happening fast. Not to mention, Hubpages itself has issues to work out, so those who depend on this as their only income stream should be aware of this.

  6. sweetzara profile image87
    sweetzaraposted 4 years ago

    hahah! great "advice"

  7. Maralexa profile image86
    Maralexaposted 4 years ago

    What am I missing here? 

    I often go to top hubbers' hubs to see how they approach THEIR topics.  I have no intention of ripping anybody off or copying their hubs, topics, niches, etc.  What I like to see are things like: do they write on many topics or do they focus on a few topics? do they write how-to hubs or hubs on 'hot topics' or 'evergreen' topics?  Do they link to other hubbers?  Are they active in the forums?  Do they answer a lot of questions?  Do they do a lot of work on SEO (which I seem to know so little about) and do they share how they do this?  What do their hub titles look like.  I also like to see how 'top' hubbers write their profile. 

    Frankly, I could care less about whether I can trust Alexa's data.  I take a good look at hubbers, hubs and profiles based on my own criteria.  Then I write hubs on what I LOVE to write about.  I try to make these hubs as attractive as possible for SEO but I don't yet know how to do that well.  I continually try to find new niches (that are of interest to me) that are popular according to Google, but find this nearly impossible. 

    I don't think that what I do is 'intellectual plagiarism', do you?

  8. sunforged profile image68
    sunforgedposted 4 years ago

    Its not a BAD suggestion.

    But, more likely than not it will be damaging to those who are used as "examples" -- for every person here who claims they wouldnt dare copy a niche or terms - there are probably a hundred who get started on their new-found terms.

    In about 5 minutes, I scanned the top results according to alexa, found one outlier amongst the top traffic, did a single search using advanced operators and found one lucky hubbers single hub that makes up the entire reason he  or she exists on that list (im being purposely vague)

    I now know that a certain 3 word term is capable of bringing 5k+  comments(300k+ pins and 8k likes) onto a hubpage - the traffic that generated that level of comments would be considerably more substantial.

    If a Hubpage can bring that kind of traffic than someone who utilizes a larger toolbox and war chest could crush that Hubpage and take that traffic for themselves.

    its good to stay under the radar - I wont be able to forget that term, I have no desire, time or hunger to need to try and claim that term as my own, but if I wanted to, It would be mine.

    When you find things that work for you - try and keep them closer to your chest.

    If you see yourself showing up on something like that Alexa top subdomain list - then that marks a good time to fork off onto a new account or platform.

    believe it or not

  9. rebekahELLE profile image92
    rebekahELLEposted 4 years ago

    I just checked that list and recall one of those towards the top recently posted that she had lost 80% of her traffic and was considering moving her hubs to niche based blogs if her traffic loss continues.

  10. brakel2 profile image88
    brakel2posted 4 years ago via iphone

    One problem I see is that people have lost respect for others on forums  Someone suggests something and "some people" not all,  tear down the ideas like they are the utmost of stupidity. We are losing it. Maybe everyone is stressed from the changes, poor traffic, and all the rest.  I hope that's what is happening, and that it will  pass. Thanks to the OP for coming up with ideas. Sunforged, I did like your example. We need to work harder at finding good keywords.

  11. Greekgeek profile image98
    Greekgeekposted 4 years ago

    It appears that many of those who read my post missed what I was saying. I'm sorry. I'm not sure how else to say it to get the point across:

    I WAS NOT suggesting that anyone steal topics, niches, or content. In fact, I stated quite clearly why that's a wrong and stupid idea.

    I was suggesting that you use your brains and learn techniques. For example, years before everyone else jumped on the niche, I noticed that someone on Squidoo was making a lot of money via a certain kind of graphics (I say vaguely). Did I create graphics pages in her niche? Of course not! That's what she was doing. Instead, I puzzled out why her pages were working, and applied that scrap of knowledge to a completely different niche: astronomy photos.

    See? Learning techniques and approaches for success is not the same thing as copying content, any more than learning how to write a good essay is the same as plagiarizing someone else's essay.

    What I'm suggesting takes a little thought, analysis, and consideration. Don't steal someone's niche or content... of course not. I'll report you for plagiarism if I see it! Instead, figure out why it's working, and see how you can apply those techniques to your favorite niches, your favorite topics.

    Does that make any sense?

    And like Maralexa said, I realize that Alexa's data is not all that reliable, but it's got to be finding some hubbers who are successful, to the extent that anyone on Hubpages is successful these days.

    1. Mark Knowles profile image61
      Mark Knowlesposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      "It appears that many of those who read my post missed what I was saying."

      That says it all really - the people you are preaching to are likely to have missed what you are saying as well.

      Identifying "successful" hubbers is not possible in the way you suggest. Looking at those hubbers who generate the most traffic according to alexa will not help you one whit, because you have no idea which hubs attract traffic and if they make any money. Looking at the keywords that send traffic will not help either - all that means is several of my hubs will be once again copied by the newbies. wink

      What are you trying to achieve here? If you genuinely want to help the newbies - why not simply add a link to 10 successful hubs that you have made substantial money from by copying the layout, design and writing style of other hubbers that you deem to be successful?

      Because your typical newbie is not going to be able to make the distinctions you are suggesting here. If anything - they are likely to end up wasting large amounts of time trying to create work in a niche they do not understand.

      The latest google change may well have impacted those alexa stats also. Hubpages lost about 20% of it's traffic on the 28th of last month - do you know which areas that was in? Because I have no idea. That alexa list could well look very, very different in a month or 2. wink

      1. Flynn the Cat profile image80
        Flynn the Catposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        I got what they were saying. But then, I know who they are - GreekGeek is one of those people who spends hours and hours trying to understand why things work and then spends even longer trying to explain them to other people.

        There may be very good reasons for not looking for hubs based on the criteria suggested, in which case I KNOW they'd be eager to hear why, add it to their mix, and figure out what does work. But the approach, of 'learn how to write by looking at people who know how to write/structure a page/use SEO/lay stuff out nicely/narrow stuff down to a niche' is really good advice. And looking at a range of people, rather than slavishly dogging one person for their perceived wisdom (I say, defending someone for their wisdom big_smile ) is also a good approach.

        Just prone to people assuming they're saying 'go copy that person's content', even when they explicitly say 'please don't copy that person's content'.

        Oh, and while it sucks to have people follow along in a niche you're doing well in (I know, it's happened to me), that niche doesn't belong to me or you or anyone, and they could have as easily written something similar by complete chance. Again, I know, I've done it myself.

        <i>...why not simply add a link to 10 successful hubs that you have made substantial money from by copying the layout,</i>
        You've missed their point as well and are oversimplifying (you're also unaware of the fact that they've been successful elsewhere, but that's not your fault. I'm coming from the perspective of KNOWING they know how to be successful).

        You should instead ask: point to ten hubs that each use a tactic worth learning from. Or: can you give examples of specific things you learnt from people by looking at their hubs?

        <i>Because your typical newbie is not going to be able to make the distinctions you are suggesting here. </i>
        a) condescending. Newbie doesn't mean idiot.
        b) a fair critique; if you are agreeing with the point here, then reframing it to actually be more accessible is useful. But I get the impression that you're just reacting defensively to someone you think is encouraging people to run blithely out into the hubworld and pluck whatever tender niche blossoms they like, rather than someone who compulsively tutorialises and tries to teach people to understand how to THINK (lost cause in my opinion, but I say that having learnt many things from them over the years).

        1. Flynn the Cat profile image80
          Flynn the Catposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          ...okay, serves me right for trying to use fancy code.

          (Oh, I always come and read what they've posted because I generally do find them helpful. I'm not just going 'wah, my mentor was attacked'! and running into the forum to have a tantrum. I'm not sure they're geeky enough to be my mentor anyway.)

        2. Mark Knowles profile image61
          Mark Knowlesposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          Not condescending at all. I never said newbie means idiot. I said "not going to be able to make the distinctions you are suggesting here." I am not a newbie and I would not be able to look at the list of alexa "successes" and be able to tell what was working and what was worth emulating.

          Plus - By GG's own admission - 

          "It appears that many of those who read my post missed what I was saying."

          Your impression is flawed. Simple fact is - this is bad advice that anyone who needs will not be able to use - and for the reasons I stated which you did not address. One of the reasons being that I do not think the OP has actually done what she is suggesting other people do. wink If she had - she would be posting links to successful, money making hubs that had been based on the criteria described.

          Speaking of defensive. wink

      2. TIMETRAVELER2 profile image95
        TIMETRAVELER2posted 2 years ago in reply to this

        Mark Knowles:

        Where did you hear that figure!  This shocks me because I was not aware the 28th of Aug was a site wide issue with losses.  I lost 90% two days prior to that and have never been able to figure out why.  Do you know what happened on that date?  I was told Panda was much earlier and have been going crazy trying to figure out why I took such a huge and drastic hit.  It was overight, pure and simple, and my numbers have not recovered.   Please share, even if it means to email me privately.  I really need this info!  Thanks.

    2. AloBeDa profile image85
      AloBeDaposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      I fully understand what you are saying, and i think its food for thought.

      If we want to be successful in life, there is absolutely nothing wrong with being curious about how people achieve this success. Achievers do it everyday in every aspect of life.

      You do make a lot of sense to me, and its pretty obvious that you are NOT throwing out a "go copy them" call.

    3. robertzimmerman2 profile image84
      robertzimmerman2posted 2 years ago in reply to this

      I hold a BA in Music Theory and I can tell you that is exactly what music students do when the analyze a piece by Bach or Beethoven. I think GG is talking in that mode.

  12. Mark Ewbie profile image84
    Mark Ewbieposted 4 years ago


    Just checked.

    My non award winning article on drawing stick giraffes is still a secret.

    I am safe from the copiers.

    Not a word to anyone.

    1. AloBeDa profile image85
      AloBeDaposted 4 years ago in reply to this


  13. rebekahELLE profile image92
    rebekahELLEposted 2 years ago

    TT,  this is why old threads shouldn't be revived!  This thread is almost 2 years old, and isn't relevant to what is currently going on now.    I hope you get an answer to your loss of traffic or that it will return soon.