6 Don'ts for Writing Professionally on HubPages
Writing on HubPages
HubPages offers an awesome platform that allows freelance writers from across the globe to showcase their writing no matter the subject (minus certain adult topics). With an appealing environment where authors decide when and what to write about, newcomers flock by the dozen to test their literature skills.
Nevertheless, many fresh faces (and even seasoned veterans) fall prey to several traps and hazards that inhibit their writing. Here are six writing traps to avoid, as well as suggestions for acceptable alternatives!
1. Don't Use Profanity
Don't: Use profanity. Just don't. Different inappropriate words are various levels of taboo, but even the "lesser" swear words often cause articles to become unfeatured.
That said, not all Hubs with cussing are automatically removed. If a lower-end swear word really, really improves your article, or is part of a famous quote (perhaps the one about condemned and unkempt apes) you can take the plunge and put it in. Just know you're gambling. And bleeping out letters (#@$%) isn't a solution either.
Do: Find ways to employ your unique writing style without profanity. Your chances of success on HubPages drastically improve without swearing, and you'll appear far more professional.
2. Don't Write in All Caps
Don't: Write anything in all caps. All too often people use capitalized letters to show emphasis or emotion (often anger) LIKE THIS. It's annoying and degrades the value of your writing. People want to read informative, quality Hubs, not YouTube-comment level rants. Similarly, don't brandish "text talk": leave out the lols and omgs.
Do: Use other means of emphasis. Italicize the word, bold it, or use the em dash—shown here. These are good tools, but access them sparingly lest they lose value.
3. Don't Assume a Negative Tone
Don't: Assume someone intends insult with their ambiguous statement. Hubbers and reader interact in a variety of ways: comments, questions, forums, etc. Sometimes during these exchanges, a comment may be made that could be taken as derogatory or sarcastic; it's difficult to decipher tone through non-vocal language.
For instance, I write many countdowns, and in the comments I sometimes hear "Where is ___?" The brief and questioning format of this phrase could be construed as offensive, but at heart the comment is simply asking why I haven't included someone or something in the countdown. Instead of answering bitterly, I politely explain my rationale, a superior approach that sometimes ignites a healthy debate.
Do: Utilize patience and restraint. Even if, without a shadow of a doubt, a negative comment is made towards you, furiously responding will only fuel the fire. Your options when this occurs? You can simply ignore it, or delete the comment itself if it's on one of your Hubs. You can also delete spammy or nonsensical posts, and if a certain user continuously posts negative comments, you can report their account to the HubPages team.
4. Don't Include Unnecessary Links/Products
Don't: Speaking of spammy writing, don't surrender to the urge of promoting all your Hubs in an article. Similarly, don't add Amazon capsules that are only loosely connected to your writing. You may think a link selling paint relates to an article about Vincent Van Gogh, but the connection doesn't hold water. When you do this, your writing comes across as a sales pitch more than a professional Hub, and your viewers will likely click away.
Sure, we're discussing improvements to your writing, but to HubPages specifically, making the above Amazon capsule on Ryan Higa's book irrelevant and spammy. Avoid this pitfall.
Do: Ask yourself "Does this really fit?" before using backlinks or Amazon capsules. Talk about the product and its value in your text. Also, it's okay (and recommended) to backlink to your past work—but only articles closely related to your current subject. Your links have to fit naturally into the flow of your writing, or readers will become disinterested, and HubPages will penalize your article's score.
5. Don't Use the Passive Voice
Don't: Say something in the passive voice when the active could be used instead. For example, talking like this is boring. No action verbs are happening here. Similarly, avoid "I think" and "I feel"; these phrases are already implied with any statement you make and degrade your words.
Do: Write in the active voice. Engage your readers and seize their interest with dynamic and exciting sentences. Double-check your spelling and replace words used too frequently with synonyms (online thesauruses are great resources for this).
6. Don't Give Up
Don't: Abandon your writing when things take a turn for the worse. No matter how polite and exceptional your work, you will occasionally encounter mean comments and even Hubbers. Ignore them and continue to follow your passion.
Do: Enjoy writing and producing quality content. Not everything you create will be loved by everyone, but with time and effort you'll build a reputation as an experienced and professional Hubber. Note that even successful Hubbers don't make enough to earn a living with HubPages—cast off your fantasies of getting rich via internet writing. But the more you write and accumulate views, the more extra cash you'll obtain each month.
Also, don't give up when applying for Adsense, the program that lets you begin earning on HubPages. Once accepted, you receive revenue per view for each article, but getting in takes time. The standard recommendation is first having 20-30 quality articles, but it can take more.
Heck, it did for me: My initial writing was featured, but left room for improvement. Additionally, I craft several entertainment-categorized Hubs, a division viewed as prone to low-quality writing. As a result, I applied three times and amassed nearly 50 featured articles before being accepted, but I made it in, and you will too—if you don't give up.
At the end of the day, if you enjoy writing, HubPages is an awesome and deadline-free venue for expressing yourself, minutely supplementing your income, and leaving your mark on the world. Take these tips into account to maximize your experience here, and you'll go far.