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Advice and Tips for New Writers: 5 Things I Wish I'd Known When I Started Writing as a Newbie on HubPages

Updated on July 29, 2015

If I Had Only Known as a Newbie....

There are several things I wish I’d known as a new hubber, as it would have gotten my hubs off to better starts (e.g. bringing in more traffic). Knowing those basic things about HubPages and hubbing would also have saved me time later, time spent going back to revise my hubs. That's okay, though. I realize that there is a lot to learn about HubPages or any online writing gig, and I admit I am still learning. As I wrote in my very first hub, "Getting Over the Fear of Writing Your First Hub," at some point you just have to get over your fear and start writing. At some point, you must hit that "publish" button. There is always time to learn more. It is my hope, though, that sharing with you these five basic things will help you to avoid having to spend all the time I have in going back to tweak titles, alter format, and change out photos in an effort to revise my earlier hubs..

1. Keep Your Title Simple

Choosing your hub title is a very important step in getting traffic to your hub. I was trying to come up with fancy titles to catch readers’ interest, titles that would be more appropriate for the pages of a magazine. Later, I learned that simple search-engine friendly titles will bring in more traffic. Think about it. Are readers going to type in “How to Create a Captivating Chili with Zest and Zing” or “How to Make Chili"? So, go with the simpler title that searchers will be “googling.” Your title will create the URL that search engines find. Some say you could later edit the title to add in the more eye-catching words, but keep your original title simple in order to create a search-friendly URL. Another option is to dress up the title with catchier wording in your text itself or in the capsule headings, which brings me to the next trick I wish I had known.

2. Use Capsule Subtitles

Find logical breaks in your writing to break up into sections. See the "Add More Capsules" at the upper right of the page you are editing? Click on "text" to add more text boxes. Copy and paste your text (if you're writing from Word) into different boxes to separate a long narrative. Do put a title with keywords in the capsule title box as this subtitle can also bring more traffic to your hub. These headings will automatically appear in bold print, which will make the article easier to follow; an article with breaks and subtitles is easier to follow and may keep the reader reading until the end. I’ve looked back at some of my earlier hubs that just keep going on and on, breaking them into smaller sections to make them more appealing to readers.

3. Do Not Use Google Images

Pictures on Google Images are so easy to use, and you can just about find any photo you want. Still, most are copyrighted and you need permission to use them .I've looked, and I haven't found an easy way to get to a source that might be able to give you permission. Instead, use photo sources you know are legal to use, and give credit. Look for photos with a Creative Commons license for commercial use. Then learn how to properly and legally attribute the photos. Some sites you can use are

http://www.flickr.com/

http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/

http://www.morguefile.com/

http://www.copyrightfreephotos.com/

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Main_page

After about thirty hubs or so, I realized that I had photos that were not properly attributed, so I spent time going back and replacing photos with properly attributed photos from other sites, or, better yet, photos I had taken myself. Also, do put captions in the boxes under the photos. The words there can also bring you more traffic from search engines. HubPages has a basic outline of how to legally use others' images on HubPages.

4. Group the Hubs from the Hub Page You're Editing

At some point, I learned to go into my account where all my hubs were and create groups for similar hubs. It’s much simpler, however, to group your hub as you’re creating it. Look over to the right side of the page when you’re editing to see your choices of reorder, tags, summary, group. Click on group and your subgroups will come up. Of course, you have to create your subgroups first under your account. But once you do, it will be very easy to group your hubs as you go. Then, the related hubs will show up automatically at the bottom of your hub when it is published--right there for your readers to see. This makes it easier for readers to see what else you have written on the subject that they may want to explore further.

Good luck with HubPages!

These are just some basic things that I hope help newer hubbers to start out on the right track. There’s a lot of information to take in, and I’m still working on it. If you have any questions or comments regarding anything in this article, I'd love to hear from you below in the comment section.

5. Don't Follow Other Hubbers Just to Get Followers

Following other hubbers just for the sake of following or just to get them to follow you back can lower your hubber score. Make sure you like what the hubber writes before you click on the “follow” button. Read at least one of his or her hubs, and then look at the topics and hubber profile before deciding to be a follower. This will save you time later of going back to “unfollow” those hubbers you don’t read.

COMMENTS

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    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Victoria Lynn 2 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Hey, peachpurple--I need to post some new ones, too!

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 2 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      i had bookmark this page and read it everytime i need to post a new hub

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
      Author

      Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Sandra--Well, thank you! I don't know that I'm a pro, but I keep learning and trying! Thanks for the nice comments.

    • Sandra Harriette profile image

      Sandra 4 years ago from Maryland

      Wow...you're right. Judging by how many comments you have, it is a lot to take in. You're definitely a pro.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
      Author

      Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Ceres, I'm glad you found the tips useful. Welcome to HubPages. Have fun with it!

    • Ceres Schwarz profile image

      Ceres Schwarz 4 years ago

      Hello, thank you for the very useful and helpful tips for new hubbers. I'll be sure to keep these in mind when writing my hubs.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
      Author

      Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      ceejay--Some people do create different accounts for different niches. I prefer to just group my different topics. Glad this hub helped!

    • ceejay1980 profile image

      ceejay1980 4 years ago

      Thanks for the tips Victoria...I never knew I could group my hubs and I was actually wondering if I should create multiple accounts for different niches! I look forward to reading more of your articles.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Shyron--I'm glad it's helpful! Thanks for voting and sharing!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
      Author

      Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Silvertabby-I'm glad you found this article helpful!!! Hope it helps with your writing at Hubpages!

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 4 years ago from Texas

      Thank you Victoria Lynn, I will definitely, book mark this hub to refer to it in the future.

      Voting up and sharing!

    • Silvertabby profile image

      Patti Stevens 4 years ago from Washington State

      Thanks for this article. I found it very helpful.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
      Author

      Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Thanks, By Lori! Finding good images can be a real challenge. It always was for me!

    • By Lori profile image

      By Lori 4 years ago from USA

      Thank you. I especially likes or needed the advice on images - and you even provided places to go for alternative image choices, that was great--I gave this a vote up and keep up the great Hubs.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
      Author

      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      You're welcome lanablackmoor--Glad I could help. Images were always a challenge for me to find in the beginning. They still are sometimes.

    • lanablackmoor profile image

      lanablackmoor 5 years ago from New England

      Thanks for this! It is daunting just starting out, but fortunately there are hubs like this to guide us newbies through the woods. I knew about flickr, but I'm definitely going to bookmark the other image sites you listed.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
      Author

      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      lovedoctor--I'm glad I could help! :-) Thanks!

    • profile image

      lovedoctor926 5 years ago

      This is useful information. You just answered some of my questions in this hub. Thanks again.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
      Author

      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Louisa--Welcome to HubPages. There IS so much to learn, isn't there? Just focus on a little at a time. Wishing you the best!

    • Louisa Rogers profile image

      Louisa Rogers 5 years ago from Eureka, California and Guanajuato, Mexico

      Thanks so much for this. I was doing some of these but not consistently. I am a babe in the woods, one month old, learning a lot!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
      Author

      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      kitkat--You're welcome. It really IS a whole new world.

      Love the pic of the dog!!! :-)

    • kitkat1141 profile image

      kitkat1141 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thank you for the great advice. I really appreciate the links for getting legal photos. It is a whole new world to learn about!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
      Author

      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      xstatic--Thank you so much for referring new hubbers to this hub. I'm glad it also perhaps gave you some reminders. I am continually going back and revising hubs. I still have many that can be improved. In time, I guess . . . . Good of you to come by and comment!

    • xstatic profile image

      Jim Higgins 5 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

      Again, this is great advice for new people and some of us who have been around a while. I have referred new hubbers to this more than once. I also revised some early Hubs and it brought them back to life. I did not grasp that concept for a while.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
      Author

      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Thanks, Missy Mac! The keyword tool is good for coming up with keywords for titles that people search for. Just google "keyword tool" and you'll find it. Then type in search terms; it will show you how much they are searched each month. Look at HubPages Learning Center for more info on how to come up with titles. Also, if you'll go under your account, there's a "title tuner" that offers suggestions. I think that helps a lot. Good luck. Hope this helps!

    • Missy Mac profile image

      Missy Mac 5 years ago from Illinois

      I enjoy reading articles to enhance Hubs. Great tips! I was wondering the best strategy for developing a title.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
      Author

      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      firmasrb--Welcome to HubPages! I hope everything goes well for you.

    • firmasrb profile image

      Darko 5 years ago from Serbia

      tnx so mouch im new huber :D i will give my best :D

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
      Author

      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Pete Wolfe--Go for it! I was nervous, too, with the first hub, and still am sometimes! Have you written it yet?

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
      Author

      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Sherman--That is funny! Glad to be of service. :-)

    • Pete Wolfe profile image

      Pete Wolfe 5 years ago from NJ

      Nice hub, good information. I have yet to write my first hub, (a little nervous). But with this information a bud in my mind mayne i should real soon. Again thank you.

    • shermanblake profile image

      Blake Sherman 5 years ago from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

      This is good info. Thanks. This will help delay some grey hairs that hubbing can give me.https://hubpages.com/community/5-Basic-Things-I-Wi...

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
      Author

      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      nicomp--Not sure how the computer knows all it does! Probably perceives all the continual follows as spam. That's all I can figure. A lot of things like that affect how well hubbers do on HP or in Google (true with any writers).

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
      Author

      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      hifizah--Glad the hub helped. Google has some great images, but I would now be afraid to use any of them due to copyrights.

    • nicomp profile image

      nicomp really 5 years ago from Ohio, USA

      "Following other hubbers just for the sake of following or just to get them to follow you back can lower your hubber score."

      How does the HubComputer know your intent when you follow someone?

    • hifizah profile image

      hifizah 5 years ago

      Thanks for the tips, Victoria. I've been having problems getting images for my hub and found the tip #3 very useful. I always used Google images before and you're right, most of them are copyrighted. Now, I know I've got other options. Great hub.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
      Author

      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Hi, billid! I hope you're enjoying HubPages!

    • billd01603 profile image

      billd01603 5 years ago from Worcester

      Hi Victoria: I read this when i was a brand new Hubber and again now after 3 months and 22 Hubs. I never thought about #2. I will edit a few of my Hubs. Voted Useful and up. Thanks

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
      Author

      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      You're welcome, Kolyn! Hope it helps!

    • Kolyn Marshall profile image

      Kolyn Marshall 5 years ago from Brighton, Missouri

      Good advice. Thanks for the hub!!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
      Author

      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      You're welcome, iwriteforyou! I wish you the best!

    • iwriteforyou profile image

      iwriteforyou 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      Some nice tips, I will definitely take your advice. Thanks for sharing.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
      Author

      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Crissylite, you are so welcome. Hope the tips help!

    • Crissylite profile image

      Crissylite 5 years ago

      I appreciate the tips. Thank you for sharing!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
      Author

      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Jeani--30 hubs in 30 days will definitely give you a jumpstart! Yes, do the grouping thing to give readers automatic visual links to your other hubs! Good luck on the challenge!

    • Jeani Nugent profile image

      Jeani Nugent 5 years ago from Cumberland, Wisconsin

      As a new hubber and total organizer I loved your idea for organizing your hubs. I am going to make a go of 30 hubs in 30 days so this is a great tip!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
      Author

      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      ElSeductor--Yes, it's impossible to keep up with just a few people, I think. I would just follow people whose work I enjoy--not just to get them to follow you or because they are already following you. Thanks for the nice comments and good luck with HubPages!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
      Author

      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      You are so welcome, g-gril! I like your enthusiasm. I bet you'll do great on HubPages!

    • g-girl11 profile image

      g-girl11 5 years ago

      Great info Victoria! I am new and learning as I go and this hub taught me a few more things. Thanks for sharing! Great hub!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
      Author

      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      nicomp--I've used FreeDigitalPhotos.net some. They do have a decent selection, it seems. Thanks for the comments!

    • nicomp profile image

      nicomp really 5 years ago from Ohio, USA

      I use FreeDigitalPhotos.net. They allow me to publish a decent size and all I have to do is credit them and the photog.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
      Author

      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      The Pivot--So glad to hear that! Thanks for reading and commenting!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
      Author

      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      nicomp--Yeah, I don't understand all that about Google Images. They have some great ones, too, that I would love to use!!!!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
      Author

      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      OldRoses--Finding legal photos was a big challenge to me, too, starting out. I'm glad I could give some advice on that. Good luck!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
      Author

      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Dancing Water--I'm so glad to help! Start grouping those hubs!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
      Author

      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      lannm--That sure was me! I hope that reading this gives you more confidence just to do what you need to do!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
      Author

      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      dbachman--Thanks so, so much. I am really glad that this helps. That was my intention!

    • The Pivot profile image

      The Pivot 5 years ago from United States

      This info really helped me out, thanks a lot!

    • nicomp profile image

      nicomp really 5 years ago from Ohio, USA

      Great advice for new writers. Voted up. It's funny that Google can use images without permission but we can't.

    • OldRoses profile image

      Caren White 5 years ago from Franklin Park, NJ

      Great hub! Thanks especially for the links to non-copyrighted photos. My hubs are in dire need of pictures, but I didn't know where I could find any to use legally.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
      Author

      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Awesome, mismazda. Hope the tips help!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
      Author

      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Good, whichwitchwriter! I'm so glad!!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
      Author

      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Awesome, Ellen! Always great to see you! Keep reading!

    • Dancing Water profile image

      Dancing Water 5 years ago

      I will begin grouping straight away! Thank you so much for such useful tips, Victoria! You are so kind to think of us.

    • lannm profile image

      lannm 5 years ago from Out here somewhere

      Victoria - This hub hit everything right on the head. When I read it I thought wow that is me in a nut shell, in regards to being scared to right the first Hub.

      Great Hub...

    • dbachman profile image

      David Bachman 5 years ago from Cincinnati, Ohio

      Wow that was a lot of info. Thank you so much, I'm just starting out Hubbing and really need to read this over and over in order to comprehend it. GREAT HUB!

    • mismazda profile image

      mismazda 5 years ago from a southern georgia peach

      Great tips...that i will keep in mind...

    • profile image

      whichwitchwriter 5 years ago

      Superb post! I will definitely keep these tips in mind. I've been in the community off and on for the past couple of months trying to develope a rythm. Your article has definitely helped!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
      Author

      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      thOughts--Cool! Glad you could get this info at the beginning!

    • Ellen Karman profile image

      Ellen Karman 5 years ago from medina, Ohio

      I keep reading it!!!!

    • th0ughts profile image

      th0ughts 5 years ago from Florida

      Thank goodness I read this when I did!!! At least I only have one Hub to go and revise! ;-)

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
      Author

      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Damodar--Awesome! I'm so glad you learned how to group hubs. It's a quick way to easily group like hubs!

    • Damodar Bashyal profile image

      Damodar Bashyal 5 years ago from Banksia, Sydney, Australia

      Nice! I also just learned about grouping hubs :-)

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Oh, good, Farmer Rachel, I'm so glad this helps you. Welcome to HubPages. I hope you love it here!

    • Farmer Rachel profile image

      Rachel Koski 5 years ago from Pennsylvania, now farming in Minnesota

      Whew, had to scroll down a ways to leave a comment ;) Victoria, thanks so much for sharing this. Your info is really useful. I just joined hubpages about a week ago, and you've really enlightened me to a few things I hadn't thought of! Voted up. Thanks again!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
      Author

      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Thanks, ITcoach. That means a lot! I do try to share things simply as that was how I had to learn them!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
      Author

      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Thanks, Ellen! I appreciate everything you say, plus the vote and the follow. I wish you the best, as well!

    • Ellen Karman profile image

      Ellen Karman 5 years ago from medina, Ohio

      Well thanks to you I feel I got the hang of it and can get my pages together in a much shorter time. I joined two years ago but I had illness in the family and finally got back to this just recently and at first it's difficult to figure out all the things but your tips were very outstanding to me and I thank you! I wish you the best and I am a follower and voted you up! Ellen Karman

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
      Author

      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Ellen Karman--I am so glad the tips helped. That makes me feel great! Hope you do well and enjoy HubPages!

    • Ellen Karman profile image

      Ellen Karman 5 years ago from medina, Ohio

      Dear Victoria, I went back and edited all my hubs I had written and then the next hub was so much easier to write. Thank you again!!! EllenKarman

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
      Author

      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      moxiemagpie--You are welcome. Glad it helps! Yes, the comments are helpful, too!

    • moxiemagpie profile image

      moxiemagpie 5 years ago from western Massachusetts

      Thanks for this insider information. Not only is the article informative but the comments of others and your responses are full of great wisdom.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
      Author

      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Denmarkguy! Hi! 5 years--wow! I agree that "write quality content" is the best advice. :-)

    • Denmarkguy profile image

      Peter Messerschmidt 5 years ago from Port Townsend

      Some good information here! Even though I've been here for five years (I don't write much, though!), I find it useful to check in and see what "newbie advice" is being offered... and I almost always learn something new.

      Of course, I still believe the single most important piece of advice is "write quality content."

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
      Author

      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      No problem, Ellen. The good thing is that you can revise any time even after you publish. Good luck on HubPages!

    • Ellen Karman profile image

      Ellen Karman 5 years ago from medina, Ohio

      Oh I wish I had found this before I started writing my first hub! Thank you for writing this, Ellen

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
      Author

      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      You are welcome, Becky. Glad to help! I know I've had lots of help along the way, too!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
      Author

      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Peg--Glad you found this useful. You're right about the links--good point!

    • Becky Bruce profile image

      Becky Bruce 5 years ago from San Diego, CA

      Awesome hub! So nice when you experts give us newbies hard-earned advice :)

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 5 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      These 5 Basic Things are essential to know, in fact, should be required reading for new hubbers. The group thing is key to having your related hubs show up at the end of your newly written hub so people will see what else you've written on the subject. With the new layout, if you don't assign your hub to a group then the related reading links default to other hubbers' material written on that subject. Very informative and useful.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
      Author

      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Elderberry Arts--Glad this information helped!You're welcome!

    • Elderberry Arts profile image

      Claire 5 years ago from Surrey, Uk

      Glad I read this as I was wondering how to make links to my other related hubs show up. Thank you

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
      Author

      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      GoGreenTips--Refreshers are always good. Glad you stopped by!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
      Author

      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Chen Suen--I hope it goes great for you!

    • GoGreenTips profile image

      Greg Johnson 5 years ago from Indianapolis

      Great hub! I need a refresher.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
      Author

      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      You're so welcome, omo daddy! Glad this helps. I appreciate your comments.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
      Author

      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      weavesandbraids--You are so welcome! Glad I could help you at the start!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
      Author

      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      moneytoplist--Breaking up the articles is good no matter how you do it. Yes, extra space helps, too. Thanks for the input!

    • Chen Suen profile image

      Chen Suen 5 years ago from Arcadia, California

      Great information and advice. So far I've followed these rules, but we'll see how it goes. Thanks for the hub.

    • omo daddy profile image

      omo daddy 5 years ago

      Thanks for such a very helpful and informative hub. You 've inspired me to put more effort in mine too. Much appreciated.