10 Tips for New Hubbers from an Almost New Hubber
Some Helpful Tips I Have Learned Early On
I didn't come to HubPages with a lot of writing or social networking experience. The only work that I have ever had published were a few letters to the editor. Truth be told, I didn't belong to a social network, have a blog, or earn money on the internet. Networking, backlinking, keywords, search engine optimization (SEO) and monetizing my work are still foreign to me.
I have had a few experienced Hubbers, directly or indirectly, help me as I have gotten started. I also think I have figured out a few things along the way.
Here are 10 helpful tips, pearls of wisdom, or suggestions that may help you as you begin your writing career on HubPages.
As I approach a year on HubPages, I stand by my recommendations. In fact, probably the most important recommendation is to write quality Hubs. It may take time, but quality, well written Hubs will be found and you will be rewarded in the long run.
#1 Write and Read
Experienced hubbers often suggest to new hubbers to write, write, and write more. I agree. Writing more and reading others work has several benefits:
- Writing more will make you a better writer. The more you do something, the better you get at it. You develop a writing style and find your niche. You discover what works for you.
- I see writing Hubs as an investment that will pay off over time. The more hubs you write, the more traffic that will see your work. The more page views, the more followers, the more links and backlinks, the higher your work will appear in search engine results which will ultimately lead to more income for your efforts.
- Read the work of other Hubbers, particularly quality writers who have had success on HubPages. Study their work. Try to figure out the style, techniques, or presentation that help make them so successful.
- Still not motivated, maybe this Hub by J.S. Matthew will help, 5 Things New Hubbers Can Do to Get Motivated and Noticed Writing on HubPages.
#2 Use Your Own Work
Plagiarism is never right. You don't want someone taking your work, don't use the work of others. If you must, give credit where credit is due.
- First and foremost, write your own material. Do not copy or otherwise use the work of others. As I understand it, do not use your HubPage work as original work on other sites.
- When you do research, use credible sites. Reference the material that you do use.
- Get a camera to take your own pictures. A small camera is easy to carry with you. You never know when you may get an idea for a new Hub and want a photo for it. If you would like more info about a good affordable camera, check out this J.S. Matthew Hub.
- If you need a picture that you don't have, get it from an open source. Missolive and ChristianS have written great hubs on sources for free photos. I have also used royalty free photos from Fotolia.com. Do NOT use pixelated or watermarked photos.
#3 Nothing But the Best
"Excellence is a Standard, Not a Goal"
Always try to be the best.
- Write Quality Always try to write the best quality Hubs that you can. Reread and edit your Hubs, even after they are published. Edit them for grammar and spelling. Continuously strive to improve them. Quality Hubs will attract readers, hold their attention, and help develop a following.
- Follow Quality Follow Hubbers that write about topics that interest you. But, maybe even more important, follow quality Hubbers. Try to identify what works for them and apply it to your work.
- Be Quality Participate in the HubPages community. Leave quality comments. Ask good questions. Answer questions from other Hubbers. Sometimes a question can lead to an idea for a Hub like this one. Join a forum. Participation will lead to accolades and help to establish your credibility. While these accolades can seem like merit badges, quality Hubbers participate in the community and earn their accolades.
- Share Quality You can use the link at the bottom of a Hub to share it with your HubPage followers, as well as FaceBook, Twitter, Google+, etc. followers. You can also use the "Suggest Links" tool for suggestions to link phrases in your Hub to other Hubbers. As Hubber sholland suggests, 'share and share alike'.
#4 In a Capsule
Hubs are formatted into capsules. You assemble the capsules, adding or positioning them to produce the look you want for your Hub. Types of capsules include: text, photo, video, link, comment, map, table, poll, and advertising (Amazon and eBay).
When you start a new Hub you have options for commonly used layouts. The default layout for an article includes 3 capsules: a text capsule with a photo capsule to the right and a comment capsule below. There is also an option for a video Hub that includes a video capsule at the top. Specialty templates are being developed such as the one for recipes that includes capsules for rating, ingredients, cook time, nutrition, and instructions. You can also use one of your current Hubs as a template.
Through trial and error, this is what I have found works for me with regard to capsules:
- Almost always add more capsules to the template (sholland suggests at least 5 text capsules). I like to break my hubs up, even if they will be almost exclusively text hubs such as this one. I find that multiple text capsules are like paragraphs and they make it easier for me to write and edit my hubs. It also allows me to insert photos, maps, polls, or ads so that they appear in the middle of my text in the final product.
- Rearrange your capsules to create the optimal final product.
- Some capsules you can place side-by-side, some you can't. You can place a photo hub to the right of a text capsule, but you can't place it to the left. You can place Amazon and/or eBay capsules side-by-side, but you can't place photo capsules side-by-side.
#5 Make Your Hubs Look Good on a Mobile Device
The HubPages App is no longer available, but Hubs are often viewed with a browser on a mobile device. Check to see how your Hubs will look when viewed on a mobile device.
- In the "Edit" Hub Mode, click on the "Preview" button at the top of the page.
- You then have the option of viewing the Hub you are editing in either the "Desktop Preview" (default) or "Mobile Preview" modes.
- Check BOTH modes.
- Edit and re-edit your Hubs until they look the way you want.
#6 Spruce Up Your Hubs
By design, there are only limited things you can do to alter the appearance of your Hubs. HubPages wants to keep the look professional but they are continuously trying to improve (such as the trial of the blue background for some Hubs). Tricked out pages can look spammy. Even within these limitations, you can make your Hubs attractive to your readers.
From the "edit" options for the text capsule, you can change the type to bold, italic or underlined.
You can change the size of your type from the "format" pull down options.
- Use a photo capsule for something other than a photo. Homesteadbound wrote a hub "Creating Dividers to Use on Your Hubs" that demonstrates how to use dividers to place between your capsules. (See between this text capsule and the next.)
- For long Hubs, create a Table of Contents. Links can help your reader navigate around the Hub to the specific area that interests them. Darkside wrote a Table of Contents Hub and SidKemp expanded on the idea in his Hub, Create a Table of Contents for Your Hub - Quick and Easy.
- Use an ad capsule for a photograph and as a recommendation. For instance Outbound Dan, an expert on hiking and hiking equipment, in his hub on "Why Cotton Can Kill You on a Hike", used an Amazon ad for a synthetic t-shirt as a picture and as his recommendation for an alternative to a cotton t-shirt.
- Missolive has a Hub with suggestions on how to bling your hub.
#7 Don't Be Afraid To Ask For Help
For a novice internet writer, HubPages can be intimidating. Don't worry, help is available.
- The HubPages Learning Center has a lot of Hubs that can answer the questions of newbie, as well as experienced, Hubbers.
- Post your question in the "Help Forum". The HubPage community is quick to respond and help you out.
- Study hubs of experienced Hubbers. What did they do that attracted you to their Hub? Was it the topic, the style of writing, or the presentation? Learn from their style and use it to help develop your own style.
#8 Pearls of Wisdom to Keep Your Readers
Once you have your readers, keep your readers.
- We write our Hubs for our readers, to keep our readers, and to attract more readers. Hubs that are well written will attract readers which leads to followers, shares, and more readers.
- Interesting, well written Hubs will hold the attention of a reader from start to finish. Use, but not overuse, of photos, polls, maps, tables and videos will also help to keep your reader engaged.
- Sinea Pies wrote a great hub, "Readers--How to Keep Them" that included the instructions on how to have links in your hub open in a different window. This involves using the HTML option for editing text capsules. By adding target="_blank" after the href (see the Hub for details on how to do this), when a reader clicks on your link, the link opens in another window. Your Hub is still open in a window that the reader can easily go back to. You haven't lost your reader or more importantly, they haven't lost you.
- A word of caution about the Link Capsule. It does not appear that you can use this trick to open these links in another window. I suggest you place the Link Capsule at or near the bottom of your Hub. If your reader gets that far, they will have read most or all of your Hub. If they click on a link, they will leave your page, but not before reading your Hub.
#9 If You Have A Mac, You May Be On Your Own
Some of the technical questions suggest ways to do things and assume you have a PC with Microsoft Office. If you are using a Mac, you may be on your own. Here are a few suggestions that may help Apple users out.
- In Homesteadbound's Hub on creating dividers, she mentions right and left clicking with a mouse (PC set-up). If you have a MacBook like I do, I have a track pad with one bar to click. There is no obvious right or left click option. Clicking on the bar is the same as "right clicking" with a PC mouse. To left click, you have to press the "control" button at the same time as you press the bar.
- PC keyboards have a "screenshot" button to quickly take a picture of your screen (often useful for explaining or demonstrating something). My Mac keyboard doesn't have a 'screenshot' button. For a Mac, you have 3 ways to capture a screenshot on an Apple computer.
- If you have an iPhone or an iPad, here are 3 ways to capture a screenshot with one of these devices.
What do you think of this Hub?
#10 Final Thoughts
HubPages is not a get rich quick scheme. It takes a lot of time and effort to be successful. Here are 2 more Hubbers who have put in the time and their efforts have paid off. Hopefully, their success and the success of the other Hubbers I have mentioned here will help to motivate you.
- At the beginning, I was happy when I passed a 1000 total page views and had a 100 page view day. I am know well over 100,000 on my way to 1,000,000!
- I had been on HubPages a little over 2 months when I originally wrote this Hub. When sholland was on HubPages a 1 year, she celebrated with this Hub, First Year at HubPages: What I Wish I Had Known from the Beginning.
New Hubbers, check out the links I have provided. They are to great Hubbers and you can learn from them like I did. Hubbers like to help other Hubbers.
By the way, Welcome to HubPages.
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© 2012 Mark Shulkosky