I keep getting the message that my hubs could be featured, but no matter how often I change them, they never are. I keep getting told that they may contain "spammy elements" but I'm not sure what these might be. Many of my hubs were previously published in my local newspaper, the Whitstable Gazette, where I write a column. I think it is only polite to acknowledge this by putting a link to the paper in. Is this a "spammy element"? Also, I've written reviews of shops in my town, and put an address and a link for the shop, which is what I think you would expect. Is this a "spammy element"? This is very difficult to understand. If a review for a restaurant or a shop appears in a newspaper, you would expect a link to that restaurant or shop, wouldn't you? I'm trying to make my hubs the go-to place for information about my town, so naturally I want to put the information in.
Here is one of the hubs about which I received "A Friendly Heads Up" and which I have re-jigged and re-written a number of times in order to get it featured:
Whitstable Moan: The effect of delivery office closures on air quality in Canterbury..
I can see one problem. The rule on HubPages is that if you link to a website or product, it must be directly relevant to the subject of the Hub. That means, for instance, that you can't link to Mr Gibney's biography because his background is irrelevant to the story. Even the link to the Climate Change Act could be seen as irrelevant - it's not about Whitstable and you don't link to the specific page that relates to air quality. Finally, a link to the paper would also be irrelevant unless you're linking to an article on the same topic.
The Hub is too short. The sweet spot is 800 to 1500 words.
Frankly, if you're trying to create a coherent online source of news about Whitstable, you're in the wrong place. HubPages doesn't work well for short pieces, and it definitely doesn't work well for topical pieces because it will "unFeature" (render invisible) Hubs which don't continue to get consistent traffic.
Also you can't build up a reputation as the go-to person for info on Whitstable because although you see all your articles in one place on your account page, no one else does. 90% of HubPages readers arrive at the site because they found a Hub on Google or Bing or Yahoo. They read that Hub and then browse around the site by clicking on the related Hubs - very very few ever go to the author pages. The only people who visit your profile are other HubPages members, who are all writers.
If you prefer to use a revenue-sharing site, then I'd be more inclined to use DailyTwoCents (which is more geared towards topical events whereas HubPages is more geared towards slow-burn evergreen stuff) or WeekendNotes. Alternatively, you could start another blog but this time call it Whitstable Views and focus entirely on that subject.
Thanks for the feedback Marisa. I have a leaflet with my profile page address on it which I have been handing around, plus there are several on-line forums and newsletters where I can promote it. I'm well-known in the town, both as a campaigner and as a columnist so if people know of my profile page they will visit it. I don't actually do revenue sharing on this site. My pieces appear with the adverts turned off. The reason I use HubPages is that it is easy to use and one of the best looking pages on the web. On the length: there are around 35 of these 350 word pieces up here, and only a very small number (5 or 6) are unfeatured. I guess I may have to rethink my whole strategy. It's a pity because HubPages was such a great site when it started out.
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