Once you've researched, drafted, edited, proofed... and before you've published your hub, you should think about a few things you could do to do it justice and add some extra appeal to it.
1) Photo or Illustration? I like at LEAST one image. That way when it comes up in the hub search results it has a pic with it. The same goes when you post a link in Facebook. And there are other advantages as well. But make sure it's appropriate. Here are three of my favorite free stock photography sites:
Be aware of the usage rights for each. Some require a credit for the photographer. And also letting them know where you've used the image. Though that's not a problem is it? You'll get a visitor out of it, and if they're really chuffed about the article they could end up emailing all their friends and family telling them to go and see their photo! Free promotion!
Of course there's also the option of going out and taking the photo yourself.
2) Video? Go to youtube and see if there's a video that illustrates your point or explains it in a more visual style.
3) Crosslink. If you have hubs of the same theme, hyperlink a keyword to that hub. Don't go overboard and link every instance, I usually do it just the once.
4) Amazon products. Don't go overboard though. I like to have more content than commercialism. I like balance. And letting the reader know that I'm there for them primarily so they can learn. The earning is a healthy side effect. Respect your reader, and if they need what you're selling on the page, they'll do so without really thinking about it.
5) The same goes with Ebay. Though if you don't have affiliate accounts with each, don't worry about it. Hopefully you'll get more Adsense clicks.
6) I can't remember where or when, but Ryan once suggested that you don't have an image next to your first text capsule. That way you'll get a nice square block of an Adsense ad there. I've found that it does actually work.
If you make an effort to dress up the page and not just one text capsule you can start to reap rewards. There's no need to go overboard or be garish in the overuse of images and product placement. Moderation is the key. And don't forget to make sure that your content is unique and useful. That way it'll appeal to both Search Engines and real people.
If anyone has any other sites I'd love to hear about them.
Guess it depends on what kind of pictures you're looking for right? I did 8 hubs for the Toys HubMob, all on board games and other good old fashioned boxed games for children and families. I was amazed at how quickly I was able to find photos of games on good old Flickr.com. I found pics for well over half of my games.
Also for my mom's cake recipe hubs I had good luck with Flickr. It took more looking than the toys did, but I was very satisfied with my final selections. For most recipes, I was able to find pictures that truely looked like my mom's cakes.
On Flickr, don't you need permission from the owner of the photo?
hmm...i always have an image next to my first text capsule. maybe i will change that. thanks!
high quality images free, as long as you add an image credit link.
Although the majority of this sites photos are not for free they do have about 500 pages of free images and somebody may just find what they need here.
Thanks so much for your information! Big help, am new here to hubpages?
I like the ease of just using the creative commons search preloaded in firefoxs search toolbar -(also requires attribution)
This is a site I came across while searching the net. It has links to sites of public domain photos. Hope this helps.
I do have a question -- Do you think using the Groups function is as good or equal to hyperlinking text in the hub to other hubs?
And I'd like to add to that if I may, Darkside.
Make sure your first text capsule has a decent amount of text. I find that if it's too short, I either lose that rectangular (300x250???) Adsense unit altogether or it falls further down in the hub. You really do want that front and center.
I think it is entirely proper to load up on Amazon products IF and only if you let the prospective reader know in the URL and/or summary text that that's what they're going to get. Nelle Hoxie is very explicit -- BUY whatever product ONLINE. Anyone who's going to click on that expects to see products.
I've also found that it's not just bad to put a photo capsule next to the first text capsule, it's not great to have one come first, even if it's by itself, before the first text capsule. Maybe it's just me, but I've experimented and eliminating that first photo capsule has certainly helped. To have a photograph show up as a thumbnail on HP, you just need a photo capsule ANYWHERE in the hub. It can be at the end.
I use both.
The Groups function will only link to two other hubs (unless it's the first or last one in the Group and then it'll link to just one). The hyperlinking can be to several similarly themed hubs.
In my Roman Empire Capstone Series I have them in order in the Group so it is in chronological order (though there's a lot of gaps obviously) but I also link from within the hub, because there might be a family relationship between the emperor and his successors successor.
Yes, that's important. Too little and "see ya later!". That ad block may end up AFTER the image that's toggled in the second text capsule.
The same applies to images too accompanying the first text capsule, making sure you have enough text. Otherwise there can be a big area of white space after the text. Personally I find it untidy. But that's just me.
To follow up on your excellent points lrohner, I've found that the adsense ads are a better match if the first capsule is a text block that is large enough to have a full block of google ads to the right.
I don't usually care about the adsense ads because that's not what my hubs are optimized for. But the ads have been so horrible lately, I did some experimenting.
You can make the text block long enough to accomodate an Amazon or Ebay capsule with one product and still get the large adsense block underneath. This also produces good adsense ads. And you get a little visual interest. I still believe if you want to sell a product, a product should be the first thing a visitor sees and the last. I think that was the first thing I learned in designing ads many years ago
And I don't do the Buy....Online so much as to warn the buyer but to ATTRACT the buyer. I really don't want gawkers and readers. If they never read a word of my text that's fine. Just come, look, click and buy. (However it does take a lot of text to get the right buyer to come.)
Oh, one more thing, I do both the group function and a link box in the same hub. I'm experiment now with the number of links per link box, I think it matters. But I can't say how much or why.
Because my hubs are mostly aimed at people, I always have an image on top or or the right of the first text paragraph. Doing this I believe allows readers to be interested in something before text. On the news the avarage time a person spends online is 2 hours, visiting at total of 60 webpages. The average amount of time per page is under 1 minute, about 54 seconds. Knowing I only have seconds to get someone interested, I make sure its right there for them. They like the image, they read the hub.
Thranax, I may be wrong, but I think your philosophy is targeted at young'uns looking for instant gratification. A photo isn't going to do it for me since I haven't been a young'un in a while! I want to read the first sentence or two and then I'll decide if I'll stay or not.
Provided the images are on-topic. Which yours is!
The thing is though, if someone is hitting your page because they've done a search, and they're looking for more information on the subject they're researching, then it won't matter if there's an image or no image, they want textual information. They could have read the first two sentences before the image has even loaded.
But keep doing what you're doing. If it works for you it works for you.
On this hub http://hubpages.com/hub/Popping-and-Locking I'd crop that first pic to get rid of some of the bottom of that pic and just a wee bit off the top. But that's not why I'm making this post, I just wanted to say that it's a a top hub and I've linked to it from my personal Facebook profile. I'm sure some of my friends will enjoy reading that and watching the videos.
I totally agree with this, the first thing my none hubber readers comment on is my photos!
My hubs are aimed at people too. It's just a heavy handed philosphy that works for me. My earlier hubs were lighter sales hubs and they just haven't been that effective.
I wasn't willing to wait 10 months to make $100 and that was what some hubbers were telling me was the norm when I first got here. So I kept jacking it up until I saw a sales level that is acceptable for me.
And that doesn't mean that I don't write sales copy - usually 800 words, but I'm beginning to think 1,200 is necessary to attract lots of long-tail words.
Another free photo site:
And as we all know there's Wikimedia Commons.
I often use my own images from my own art work and suspect there are a lot of more talented hubbers who could and should do the same.
Ya know, I still have the same feedback. Get rid of the first pic. Bring a video up higher. But to me, it's not a hub where I'm gonna click on ads for Bloomberg, aerobic classes or whatever. I do think it's a fabulous hub and I watched many of the videos, but I certainly wasn't going to make you money. Make more hubs like this and I'll read them, but I probably won't make you any money.
Some lessons have to be learned by experience. Writing hubs and seeing how much money your earn is the only way to really see what works for your style. For some here, earnings don't seem to be that important. If earnings are important, then the pain of no sales, should engender a change. Of maybe it will sell stuff....
I'll have to try this. I do like a small pic on top personally. If there are too many google ads when I read something, I don't want to read it. I have gone to read an article before (not here) and couldn't even find it because there were so many ads.
you guys are making money, and I'm slowly making $, but it has picked up this past month.
This is an interesting discussion for me. I like seeing an image at the top of an article. Makes it more interesting. I am a very visual person being an artist. But I think I will try rearranging some of my hubs and see if that results in more clicks.
Where do I find out about the group function? I am not using that yet.
Ok, I just finished reordering all my published hubs. Now all of them have the Adsense in the first section of text, but I left my pictures on top of that. It doesn't interfere in most of them. Tomorrow, I am systematically linking them together. I had done some of that with the later ones when I wrote them, but hadn't gotten back to the earlier ones to add the links.
So my next step will be checking out this groups thing.
LOL, turns out I was already using groups. I just refined it.
Long-tail words are phrases that don't get a lot of traffic and usually don't have a lot of competition. So if I have a hub on shoes. Shoes is a word with lots of searches and lots of competition.
But if a write a hub on brown shoes it's more targeted. I describe the shoes in detail such as "this brown shoe has a rubber sole with tie laces and a leather upper." Then if someone is search for "brown shoe with tie laces" I have a chance. Or "brown shoe with leather upper."
So I look for base keywords with lots of searches and competiton. Then I write with as much detail and clarity as I can going after long-tail related keywords.
That's why I'm leaning toward a lot longer hubs.
Okay so you are basically saying that more text gives you more room to add as many detail oriented words to catch the long tail keywords. Makes sense. I am trying to write to two to three word keyword phrases, but extending hubs and adding more detail to catch other keywords is something that can be done too. Maybe I need to rethink my philosophy a bit and try writing to a single keyword with added long tail. Might try it to see what works better. Hmmm. First I need to make sure I have linked all my hubs together that make sense. So much to do, never enough time.
Deff like this idea myself Nelle and am aiming at good long-tail keyword Titles, tis trail and error perfecting it but that was great advice, thanks !
i am learning a lot from all your responses, thanks..
You're welcome, I'm glad they are helpful!
all the responses are helpful here, I have 48 hubs already and dont know to put amazon out there and so on and on, I am still learning and glad you shared where we can get all the free pics
In Flickr, use the Advanced Search option, and check the box that says "for commercial use". When you select a photo, if there are any conditions other than just attribution, it will be stated on the page.
This is from one of our Hubnuggets nominees for this week:
Finding Free Images and Royalty Free Stock Photographs
http://hubpages.com/hub/Finding-Free-Im … nt-1804043
He addresses issues of rights of use.
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