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Keeping Poetry Alive: Adding text

  1. janshares profile image89
    jansharesposted 4 years ago

    I have had a few poems receive non-featured status. I've been able to revive them by adding a couple of text paragraphs to expound on the topic of the poem while maintaining the integrity of the poem. It lengthens the hub, extending its survival, and therefore, making it more searchable. I've also made other changes to the hubs (new titles, refined summaries, polls, images, etc.). This is working for me but I wonder how the "poet purists" feel about the use of these methods to alter creative works.

    I think that for new hubbers (like myself) you have to find a balance between getting traffic and staying true to your creative work. I think if you're an established veteran with 100+ hubs and a loyal following, it's easier to maintain the creative integrity of a piece that may not meet the length criteria and still maintain your standing. I'm beginning to realize that outside of keyword and SEO mastery, having at least 50+ hubs and time on at hp is the key to sustained success, no matter if you write info articles or poetry. Thoughts?

    1. AMFredenburg profile image79
      AMFredenburgposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      I think this is a good solution; I'm thinking of doing the same to my one poem, and figure out a way to illustrate it, as well.

      My take is that, since your goal is to have as many people as possible read your work, doing what you have to so to attract traffic and keep the Hub alive makes perfect sense.

      1. janshares profile image89
        jansharesposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        Thanks, AMFredenberg.

    2. hrymel profile image89
      hrymelposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      Making sure that you are using media as well could help.  In all of my hubs, the ones that seem to have a mix of capsule types seem to do best in searches.  So maybe make/find a youtube video that is relevant to your poem and add it, as well as at least one high quality photo.

    3. Marisa Wright profile image93
      Marisa Wrightposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      If by a "poet purist" you mean someone who wants each of their poems to appear on its own dedicated web page (i.e. Hub), then I'd say HubPages is not for them, because they won't get readership - and what's the point of writing if no one reads it?

      People do not come to HubPages to browse around.  The vast majority of our readers arrive because they found a Hub on Google or Bing or Yahoo that interested them. 

      Google hates very short Hubs, which a standalone poem usually is, so those poems have very little chance of being found on the search engines.  They may get a few Hubbers dropping in, and the odd visitor who has clicked on a "related Hub" in a poetry Hub like yours, but that's it.  With no traffic, it will likely drop out of Featured and then no one will see it.

      There are quite a few poetry sites around.  If people are "poet purists" then they are probably much better off posting their work there, where it has more chance of being seen by browsers and poetry enthusiasts.

      Of course, most of those sites don't offer payment.  However, I'd say if you expect to get paid for your work, then you are no longer a purist, you're a commercial artist, and you have to be prepared to act in a commercial way. 

      Personally I don't see why adding some background information to a poem, with images and perhaps a related video, compromises the poem in any way.  But then I'm not a poet.

      1. janshares profile image89
        jansharesposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        Good points, Marisa. Yes, that's what I mean by purists. I felt torn when I first came to hp, trying to figure out how to label a poem hub, what category to put it in, and how to group it. I know now that the struggle was about "do I want traffic or do I want to be accepted by the hp poetry community." I figured out that that you need some "bread and butter" articles to build traffic and to get paid.  Once that is established you can write as much poetry as you want.

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

      I think if you're going to have a profile full of poems, it will be difficult for your subdomain to gain search traffic without a following of readers outside of HP.  I think anyone writing on a user generated content site needs to ask themselves first; ' is anyone searching for this topic?, and, is this worth publishing for my targeted audience?'

      SEO and keyword knowlege can certainly help, but without asking and answering those 2 simple questions, writers may find their work is never found.  Time on HP helps if hubs have done well with finding a decent position in search results.  But there are no guarantees anymore to anyone writing online.

      As far as your initial question about adding text, yes, it does help to add relevant content, IF viewers are searching for that topic.   A poet isn't just someone who writes poetry,  a poet makes any subject visual and 'poetic', it's the way they see their world.  I would suggest adding informational and topical hubs.

      1. Pearldiver profile image87
        Pearldiverposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        Nicely said rebekah.... smile

        But even still, some only see through one eye... smile

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

          Hello Rob, thanks, you're one of my favorite poets here at HP.  I can imagine how your life in New Zealand has helped to give you such a visually pleasing, poetic sensibility.  smile

          1. Pearldiver profile image87
            Pearldiverposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            Thanks for that rebekah...
            Yes, I certainly learned early in life to appreciate the beauty and wilderness of NZ.  Perhaps to such an extent that every single mention of it within my hubs, provides HP the opportunity to 'idle' those particular hubs and attach a permanent NoIndex tag to them!  sad

            I published 2 'hubs' - each containing 12 - 13 individual poems - 25 in total ..... that is a substantial effort, with great images and visual appeal.... their hubscores are 68 - pathetic!  One has been idled and irrespective of the quality, from what I can make out, both are set internally to deflect any possibility of being indexed.... thus the effect is: conducive to HP's determination to 'ditch' poetry, irrespective of their claims to the contrary!  They used that competition to help in their efforts to achieve exactly the opposite thing that they had promoted and did so, intentionally and strategically! I think the biggest clue was... that HP used good poets to judge and therefore, were always seen to be at arms length in regard to the manipulation that went on behind the facade of a comp!

            I believe that poetry on this site has acted as a major 'stocking stuffing' opportunity for HP - one that helped them hide a lot of Bad Links etc!  Nearly every single poetry hub that was entered in their 'competition' was manipulated crawl-wise and then sacrificed to this current non featuring regime!

            Very sad those sort of decisions, considering how vibrant and successful the earlier community was and how it was publicly promoted extensively as being the very reason why HP gained its market dominance - today, it is a segmented community in which 'values' have been attached to personalities, by parties unknown and factually, unqualified to do so!  sad

            Don't rely on anything poetic here... Not even justice!  smile
            Quality Poetry is Too Good for any site which gives unqualified personnel (staff) the ability to 'judge' and determine the works future, by that flawed standard of ignorance!

            1. janshares profile image89
              jansharesposted 4 years ago in reply to this

              Thank you so much, Pearldiver, for that bit of history. You have clarified AND validated things for me in a most articulate and truthful manner. I appreciate you.

              1. Pearldiver profile image87
                Pearldiverposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                Cheers, you are most welcome...
                We have had some great poets here and many have been shunted out to the cattle yard tracks... unceremoniously and unfairly!  So many have left and stopped writing, because they lost their confidence and will to write from the heart...

                Perhaps a more Caring and Clever management, would have developed the poets and grown that talent... (I won't state why - as I have had enough of my ideas raped here! But given the quality of a select group of excellent wordsmiths.. many business opportunities would have been extremely viable!)

                I appreciate that you appreciate my candor... it is who I am as a person.... And perhaps the very reason why I am not appreciated, by many who struggle with the economies of ethical reality!  Take Care...

      2. janshares profile image89
        jansharesposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        Excellent points well-taken, rebekaELLE. Thank you for that advice.

    5. Sphinxs Sanctum profile image59
      Sphinxs Sanctumposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      I write mostly poetry & have not liked the idea of Needing to add explanaitons in paragraph form below them in order to gain readership except for one that was about chronic illness that I wanted to expound upon.  I have a couple of poems that have done really well, especially one about losing a best friend.  It is my most viewed & highest scored without the addition of explanation because it is something that everyone can relate to & sometimes will go through more than once.  I am starting to become more comfortable with this "hybrid" style of publishing poetry where I add information regarding the topic at the bottom or music videos but I miss being able to put out a poem that makes people think about the words, their meaning & emotions behind them.  And therein lies the issue--it seems fewer & fewer people want to read much that makes them think when they can find so much else to read that hands everything over on a silver platter allowing the reader to be as lazy as they want to be.  smile

      1. Marisa Wright profile image93
        Marisa Wrightposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        I don't know why you think people aren't thinking about the words in the same way, regardless of how much other material appears on the page.  The poem is either worthy of reflection or it isn't.

        You can easily isolate the poem by putting it at the top of the page, then use a full-width image to separate it from whatever you add below.

        1. Sphinxs Sanctum profile image59
          Sphinxs Sanctumposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          If you haven't noticed how lazy the newer generation has become where it comes to instant gratification, then I'd ask that you watch them more carefully.  Most poems shouldn't have to explain the thought process behind them & every person will interpret them differently.  Just as you may Not see a poem "Worth of Reflection" another may find the opposite.  Also, if you isolate the poem from the additional info by way of a photo, then a lot of readers may not realize or care to scroll long enough to see that information.  The world is changing rapidly & the way I was taught to view poetry is not quite the way that most young adults are viewing it today.

          1. janshares profile image89
            jansharesposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            Excellent points and observations.

          2. Marisa Wright profile image93
            Marisa Wrightposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            Sorry, I obviously didn't explain myself clearly.

            What I meant was, I don't think it matters whether there is explanation on the same page or not - people will still think about (or not think about) your poem in much the same way.  If they think it's worthy of reflection, they will reflect on it with or without the extra text.

            The purpose of the extra text is not for the reader - its purpose is to make the Hub longer so it is less likely to be ignored by Google, which will enhance its chances of being read.  You don't really mind whether readers read it or not, so there's no need to worry whether they will notice it or not.  In fact, I thought you said you'd prefer it if the poem could stand alone - so if they don't scroll down and see the extra content, I thought you'd prefer that?

            I'd also comment that the extra text doesn't have to be an "explanation".  I'd see the background of or inspiration for the poem as different from an explanation.

      2. janshares profile image89
        jansharesposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        You're right about a poem that can holds its own based on subject matter. However, the bit of text I have in my best performing poem was put in from the start because I thought it would set the tone about the impact of sudden death. It continues to do well, especially after the recent tragedies involving gun violence. I think it can be done with care and reverence to the poem. Thanks for you input.

  2. janshares profile image89
    jansharesposted 4 years ago

    thanks, hrymel.

  3. janshares profile image89
    jansharesposted 4 years ago

    Oops! Another one bites the dust! Oh well, should have kept my big mouth shut. Actually not surprised, this one lasted way longer than expected. Back to the drawing board. hmm

    1. AMFredenburg profile image79
      AMFredenburgposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      Hi, Janshares, do you have poems that you can group on a Hub and add photos? Could you give a reading of some of your poems with the same theme and put them on YouTube and include the video on your poetry Hub? Can you draw or paint illustrations, or do you have a friend that can do so?

      1. hrymel profile image89
        hrymelposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        All of those sound like awesome ideas.  Although, like Marisa Wright kinda mentioned, hubpages isn't really built for poems unless you have a loyal creative writing follow.  Maybe try your poems on a different website?

        1. Marisa Wright profile image93
          Marisa Wrightposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          This is what I mean.  If you're relying on a following within HubPages to get traffic, your poetry Hubs will certainly get idled.  There just aren't enough members here.

          1. Marcy Goodfleisch profile image95
            Marcy Goodfleischposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            I agree - even though there are plenty of members (if you crunch the numbers) it's not like everyone is hovering over HP, waiting to read the next hub someone publishes.

            Related to the idea about adding text and videos, I agree that it doesn't exactly compromise a poem.  A poem is a poem - just as if you have an original video in a hub, it's still a video and could probably stand alone - but it compliments the hub, so you use it.

            Maybe, if there is a way to do it, you could write informative hubs that tie into your favorite poems, and then publish them within the text of the hub? If your goal is to express yourself through poetry, and for it to be read, that might help you reach that goal.  If you published a poem in a magazine, it would be read along with the informative articles in the same issue.  Perhaps putting poems within the context of a hub would create the same sort of vehicle.

            I realize that's a lot of extra work - just wanted to toss out the idea.

            1. janshares profile image89
              jansharesposted 4 years ago in reply to this

              Not extra work, Marcy. I've already been doing that. Interestingly enough, my first hubs on relationships were written around poems. After that, I did a few freestanding poems and those are the ones getting idled as times goes by. Subsequently, I started adding lead-in text or post-text to lengthen the hubs. I like your advice, as well as rebekeh's, to focus on the topic and work the poetry into the hub and not worry about it anymore.

            2. Marisa Wright profile image93
              Marisa Wrightposted 4 years ago in reply to this

              If you crunch the numbers, there may seem to be plenty of members here - but a large proportion of them are not socially active members.

              There are hundreds of members who wrote a few Hubs here and never came back.  There are many members who write here purely for financial gain, or to promote their own sites, and have absolutely no interest in anyone else's work.  Then, of course, only a proportion of the remaining members are going to be interested in poetry.

              That doesn't leave much of an audience.

              1. Marcy Goodfleisch profile image95
                Marcy Goodfleischposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                You are right, Marisa - there are a ton of people with accounts here who have been MIA for years.  Thanks for bringing that up!

      2. janshares profile image89
        jansharesposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        Great ideas, AMF, but I see hrymel's point. Not sure if it's worth it on hp. I'll continue to do poetry but put more time into articles. Thank you, ladies for your help.

  4. DzyMsLizzy profile image93
    DzyMsLizzyposted 4 years ago

    When I first began writing here, my thought was to share my poetry.  I had no interest in, or knowledge of the SEO business, or any inkling of making money from writing poems.  I simply wanted to share.  All of my poetry pieces are designated as "non-commercial/no ads."

    I soon discovered, however, that poems are not terribly popular these days; it's a limited audience, so I wasn't getting the wide-based sharing that I had intended.

    Ironically, though, there are two or three of my poems that have been gifted with the 'featured' status, and which garner a decent amount of traffic, despite the fact that I've done no revisions to them.  All the others have gone into non-featured limbo. 

    Since I branched out into prose writing on topics of interest to me, and subsequently amassed over 200 hubs total (including the original poems), I don't feel very motivated to go back and edit poems.  They are what they are, and I feel that if poetry has to be explained, it loses its impact--much like having to explain a joke to someone who didn't 'get it.'  It's on the order of,  "If you don't understand, no explanation will do."

    1. janshares profile image89
      jansharesposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      I'm so glad you chimed in with this reply, DzyMsLizzy. Your wisdom is welcomed. What you say about "explaining" the poem is exactly why I was feeling uncomfortably with the additional text and started this thread. But I see you are also aware of the reality of poetry on this site. I understand your position and I was considering letting "Irene" remain in idle status for a while. I will probably change the images and add my own but adding text about a huricane? I don't know, seems redundant. Thanks MsDizzy.

    2. Marisa Wright profile image93
      Marisa Wrightposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      You made the same mistake many do, MsLizzy.  You thought HubPages was a place which had a large audience of members who read Hubs.  In fact, as you now know, the membership of HubPages is made up of members who write Hubs.   Reading is a minor part of most Hubbers' activity here.

      If your goal is to get readership for your poems and you're not worried about income, then you would get much better results by posting them on a poetry site, where poetry enthusiasts congregate.

      1. DzyMsLizzy profile image93
        DzyMsLizzyposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        I'm sure you're correct, Marisa, but at this point, I just don't care anymore.  I've got too much on my plate with my husband's health issues, so I've put the poems on the back burner.

  5. rebekahELLE profile image92
    rebekahELLEposted 4 years ago

      Rob, I am not one to try and guess what was taking place behind the scenes.  As far as being one of the judges, I saw nothing of what you refer to.  What I did see was a lot of hubs published in a month's time frame.  I saw a side of hubbers that was absent in more informative, how-to type hubs.   Whatever the reasoning for the patron of the arts contest, I honestly don't believe there was anything insidious in intention and purpose.  I'm really sorry you feel this way.
    Yes, unfortunately now many of those hubs are not featured.  I don't believe that was planned, or in their foresight.

    2012 changed writing online.  Writing on UGC sites is now a continuous slippery slope.  I don't pretend to know the challenges that must be present in running a huge UGC website, but I know enough that it must be full of trying to stay ahead of the continual changes, which requires taking risks.  Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn't.

    1. DzyMsLizzy profile image93
      DzyMsLizzyposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      rebekahELLE--
         "UGC website?"   I'm no good at alphabet soup, and this is a set of initials with which I'm not familiar.....  Please translate.... wink

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

        OOps, I'm sorry, it refers to a 'user generated content' site.   HP is in the top 15 most popular sites of which users generate the content.  YouTube is ranked #1.

        http://www.ebizmba.com/articles/web-2.0-websites

        http://blog.kissmetrics.com/contests-us … d-content/

        If you search UGC, or user generated content, you can find out more how it is defined.

        1. DzyMsLizzy profile image93
          DzyMsLizzyposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          Ah, I see.  Thank you so much.  I'm not sure there are very many outside of  HP and YouTube...most of the other writing sites (i.e. "content farms") I've come across offer only pre-set topics about which you may write--but not use your own ideas.
          I wonder if blogs are counted among the "UGC" sites???  Thanks for the info & the link.  I'll look into it further.  wink

  6. rebekahELLE profile image92
    rebekahELLEposted 4 years ago

    Yes, sites like Blogger, Tumbler, Wordpress, etc. are UGC sites.

    I'm not saying they're not worth writing on, they certainly serve a purpose and can be a great place to generate backlinks and find a nice place in the SERPS, but it now requires more knowledge of how to write effectively for a rapidly changing online audience.  Very soon, most searches will be from mobile devices.

    1. DzyMsLizzy profile image93
      DzyMsLizzyposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      My blogs are more for fun than any serious purpose, so I don't mind if they don't "perform."  wink
      I also use them to express opinions on some topics HP would perhaps dislike.  ....  and..they are more "purely personal" besides.

    2. Marisa Wright profile image93
      Marisa Wrightposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      I'm not sure it's correct that Blogger and Wordpress are UGC sites.

      Yes, the content is produced by users, but Blogger, Wordpress, Tumblr, Weebly etc. are  hosting platforms for individual blogs, not cohesive sites which are meant to be viewed as a whole.

      A UGC site doesn't normally have sub-domains - it's one big site with lots of contributors, and when people arrive at the site, there is navigation that can lead them through the entire site.  HubPages is an unusual case, because we each have our own sub-domain like Blogger or Wordpress, but the navigation for the site is still set up for the reader to view the site as a whole.

  7. Pearldiver profile image87
    Pearldiverposted 4 years ago

    You are quite right on the attitudes and laziness aspects.... I think many are not only becoming fatter and lazier in many respects... but they are getting dumber in a general sense and incredibly incompetent in an interpersonal sense!  sad

    Perhaps the future will call for lazier word skills and written content!
    Something really simple to relate to while they undergo their artificial kidney purification!

  8. rebekahELLE profile image92
    rebekahELLEposted 4 years ago

    Marisa, this is your opinion only, from someone who has shared that you don't write poetry.

    I don't look at it as extra text.  It's part of the hub.  It's for the readers enjoyment. When I first published my poetry hubs here, I included text along with the poems before it was recommended that additional text be included.  I don't think it's necessary to explain the poem.  The poem itself is for the reader to reflect and enjoy.
    Background is always interesting to read, especially to other poets/writers. I like to know what may have been the inspiration or spark.

    1. DzyMsLizzy profile image93
      DzyMsLizzyposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      My poems don't always have an "inspiration or spark."  Sometimes, they are simply a poetically-phrased transliteration of some crazy dream, and they make no sense at all--even to me.  So, a single sentence of "this was a stupid dream." would be the only valid "explanation" I could offer.  And a single sentence is not worth bothering with, in the context being discussed here.

      And at that, I must laugh, because out there, somewhere, is some damned fool creative writing instructor, asking the class, "What did the author mean;  what were they trying to convey with this piece?"
      Pffft.. I always hated those questions, and my reply was usually along the lines of "Hell if I know.  I flunked  ESP 101, and I'm not that author, nor am I an acquaintance of theirs, so I'm not privy to their inner thought processes!"
      wink roll

    2. Marisa Wright profile image93
      Marisa Wrightposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      I think you're reading that out of the context of the conversation.

      That remark was directed at someone who has poems on HubPages which aren't getting traffic.  It's been suggested he add some background information, but he was reluctant, saying he felt the text would dilute the visual impact of the poem.

      I suggested that to avoid that, he could place a full-width image below the poem, so the poem is isolated from the text.

      His response was that the reader might miss the text if he did that. Considering he objected to the very idea of adding the text in the first place, I thought he wouldn't be concerned if the reader didn't see it.  After all, the original motivation for adding the text was to improve the Hub's visibility to search engines.

      Personally, I agree that stand-alone poems don't belong on HubPages for the reasons you state. The suggestion to add text is just an idea to help those who seem determined to put them here.

  9. rebekahELLE profile image92
    rebekahELLEposted 4 years ago

    DZY,  I understand that one!  I guess those are the kind of poems I wouldn't publish here.  In fact, I only have a few poetry hubs published here.  I don't think poetry alone stands well on these kind of sites, especially now with the implementation of non-featured hubs. They belong on a blog or a poetry site.

    I think hubs, regardless of the topic or style of writing, should be content written to satisfy targeted search queries, not simply adding text for the sake of filling up a page.  Checking keywords/phrases of how hubs are found can help in that regard, in the Search section of the hub stats.

    1. DzyMsLizzy profile image93
      DzyMsLizzyposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      Right--I learned that lesson early on--when I first found HP, my thought was to share my poetry.   Bad idea.  I don't publish any here anymore, but blogs don't work quite right for that, either.
      I don't know of any poetry sites.  Well, let me qualify that:  I did a search for such sites, but so many came up--which ones to trust?  So for now, the rest of my poetry still resides in binders in a canvas bag.  ...  wink

  10. LisaMarie724 profile image85
    LisaMarie724posted 4 years ago

    I started out writing poetry here as well, but quickly learned that doesn't do well here.  I have actually deleted all of my poems and I'm waiting to find the right place for them now.  You would do much better to try to sell your poetry to magazines than to publish them here.  But, it does seem you found a way around the low traffic I was getting for my poetry so good for you smile

    1. janshares profile image89
      jansharesposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      Hi LisaMarie724. Thanks for your input. I guess the longer I'm here, I will consider all avenues to keep writing poetry. So far, everything is still awake. However, I just checked and the last poem I wrote with added text at the end of the hub and it's ranked dead last of 35 hubs. The last one that I revived with no added text, only adding my own images, has jumped about 12 points.

  11. ilscherzo profile image80
    ilscherzoposted 4 years ago

    It certainly appears to be the case that fiction works tend to do badly in comparison to more 'practical' non-fiction articles.

    But please, do not let that stop you from writing poetry.

 
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