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HubPages: How To Choose Topics For A Hub: HubPages Topic Ideas

Updated on January 4, 2012
Need help choosing a topic? This guide will give you some ideas to consider.
Need help choosing a topic? This guide will give you some ideas to consider.

Choosing A HubPages Topic

How to choose topics for a hub on HubPages can be as confusing as it is vital. Ultimately, there is little consensus on the exact approach most likely to lead to success. A lot of very successful HubPages authors offer different and even conflicting advice. There are a few recognized strategies when it comes to selecting a topic, and the best approach is to try them all out and evaluate for yourself which works best for you. There may be no HubPages "magic bullet" to gain more traffic and make more money, but there are certain techniques that can be used to increase your odds of success.

Passion can keep you afloat during the stormy times.
Passion can keep you afloat during the stormy times.

Write What You Know and Love

One of the most common piece of advice is to stick to the topics you know and love. The thinking behind this is that a big part of your success on HubPages will be related to how many hubs you produce and producing them on a regular routine. If you're choosing topics you have a personal interest in and enjoy writing about, you're overall more likely to end up creating larger amounts of hubs and those hubs are more likely to be higher quality.

When choosing topics solely based on what you think is going to be popular, get lots of traffic or convert well for advertising revenue, you might end up producing inferior content (content for the sake of content). You could also end up become disinterested in creating further hubs and abandoning the entire pursuit.

HubPages is littered with dormant accounts, and a contributing factor to that is people writing for the sake of producing content to try to make money on topics they have no real knowledge of or personal interest in.

There's an idea about how to be truly successful in life with your choice of work, you need to be passionate about it. The same might be said of the hubs you produce. If you're passionate about your hubs and not just passionate about trying to make some AdSense or affiliate money writing a topic around a keyword you think looks promising, you're more likely to get through the rough times. You'll also have a hub you can be proud of and know that you contributed something of worth to the community.

Become an expert by specializing.
Become an expert by specializing.

Specialize In One Theme

There's a good argument for choosing one main theme and specializing in it for your hubs. This allows you to cross-link them and potentially retain and increase traffic, as visitors are funneled about from one hub to the next and consequently are presented with a higher total of ads, which can lead to increased earnings. This also builds your reputation as an authority on a particular subject and reduces the potential of "writer's block".

If, for example, you choose to specialize in book reviews, you can place reciprocal links on hubs focused on books by a specific author. This also raises your search engine rankings, especially if you use relevant anchor text.

Conversion rate is more important than sheer traffic.
Conversion rate is more important than sheer traffic.

Choose Topics Based On Products

Another strategy is to focus on producing hubs that are centered around a specific product or range of product. The idea behind this technique is that although you may achieve a lower levle of traffic, the traffic you get will be people more likely to be in a "buying mindset".

An example of this strategy would be writing a hub based around a specific movie which you would then promote via Amazon or some other affiliate program. This would ideally not seem "overly promotional", and a very common way of achieving that would be to use a review format that comes across fairly neutral but still ultimately approves of the product in the final analysis.

The advantage here is that when people do find your hubs, they are likely already considering making the purchase you will gently lead them towards, and a certain amount of your traffic will convert and provide you with income on the chosen product.

The disadvantage is the traffic levels can be low due to increased competition regarding the product you select, with the exception of less sought after items with which the market has not been over-saturated with. A review on Apple iPod's would of course have some potential, but there would be so many similar reviews, that it's unlikely traffic would be high for this product and achieving favorable search engine rankings would be exceptionally challenging.

Hot topics can get traffic quickly.
Hot topics can get traffic quickly.

Focus on Currently Popular Topics

Focusing on popular topics can provide higher than usual traffic in the short-term, but is rarely lasting. Using methods like writing topics based on Google or Twitter trending topics, can cause some higher numbers to come in initially and it can be quite encouraging, but as these topics often are very temporarily popular, the traffic usually will not be sustained.

As example of this approach would be writing about a current celebrity controversy or basing a hub around an upcoming event. While the traffic can potentially be quite high, it's not unusual to find by the time your hub is indexed in Google, the competition is immense for that topic or the trend has subsided and is no longer of much interest to people.

The Evergreen approach can work for you over the long term.
The Evergreen approach can work for you over the long term.

Choose Evergreen Topics

An evergreen topic is one which will always have some level of interest behind it. Many successful hub creators promote this as the key to their success. By focusing on topics that are likely to be long-lasting and remain in demand, you can greatly increase your opportunity to generate passive income with your hubs. This is in direct opposition to the "write what is trending" strategy and it's not unusual for this approach to take some time to get off the ground. Once it does, however, with the right topics, you have a reliable source of income that can last, theoretically, for life, or at least the life of your HubPages account.

Learning how to do keyword searches can greatly enhance your chance of success.
Learning how to do keyword searches can greatly enhance your chance of success.

Choose Topics Based On Keywords

While it is recognized that keyword awareness is probably the most vital aspect of a successful hub, and you want to have an appropriate keyword term in your title, some people take it one step further and base entire hubs around keywords.

The advantage to this strategy is that assuming you've researched the keyword correctly, you're likely to achieve good results as far as search engine listing (commonly called SERPs meaning Search Engine Result Position). It's also somewhat implied that if you're checking the keyword results for a certain niche you have some particular interest in it to begin with, which can help keep you engaged in the topic yourself.

As to how to determine the search engine results, some simply advocate doing a Google search for a particular term and noting the number of competing web pages, then rewording until a fairly low number is reported back. Depending on the term, fairly low could still mean in the tens of thousands. This strategy often results in your hub being boosted to the first page within days of being published, according to those who promote it.

Another method of conducting keyword searches is by using the Google keyword search tool provided as part of the AdWords platform, or utilizing other more advanced software. There's some debate over whether or not you should be targeting terms that are searched for very often but have low AdWords competition or if you should focus on terms that are searched for often with high Adwords competition. Both approaches have their adherents.

It should be realized that the "Competition" rating given by the Google keyword search tool is referring to advertiser competition for Google Ads and not for web site listings.

You might not want to "put all your eggs in one basket".
You might not want to "put all your eggs in one basket".

Write on as Many Topics as Possible

This strategy is all about hub interest being perceived as a "numbers game". The idea is to diversify your topics as much as possible and see which one's take off. You'll then be able to focus on creating further hubs that related to the popular ones. It can be helpful to new users in particular because it's likely to result in large numbers of hubs which can then be used as a gauge for future hubs.

The disadvantage is that randomly producing hubs on whatever topics just happen to come to mind can become tiresome and until a fair number of hubs are developed, it will be difficult to see where your attention should be focused.

There May Be No Single Right Answer

It's entirely possible that different people will have different results and there may be no single correct answer when it comes to hub topic choosing. When possible, try combining the technique most likely to succeed so as to have more than one factor on which to rely upon when it comes to choosing a hub. And keep in mind that no matter which topic you choose, a carefully selected title taking advantage of keyword terms will dramatically increase the odds of your hub's success.

More Ideas For Topics...

If you'd like even more ideas for topics, take a look at 5 Questions To Ask Yourself To Find New Topic Ideas. It contains the 5 questions I use to come up with topics when I get a case of "writer's block".

Share Your Strategy

How Do You Choose Your Topics for Hubs?

See results

What Do You Think?

What do you think is the best strategy for choosing a good topic for your hub?

Have you tried any of the above listed techniques? If so, what was the result?


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    • Maralexa profile image

      Marilyn Alexander 6 years ago from Vancouver, Canada and San Jose del Cabo, Mexico

      Thank you. really helpful material. I feel a little stuck and 'gun shy' at the moment. so I am going to look at 2 more of your hubs related to this topic. up and useful.

    • SLKK profile image

      SLKK 6 years ago

      Thanks alot for the tips. It's really a good idea to diversify as much topics as posible. Cheers

    • Anamika S profile image

      Anamika S 6 years ago from Mumbai - Maharashtra, India

      Wonderful Advice! I have always been comfortable writing on things I know and am passionate about. Fortunately some of them are evergreen topics.

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 6 years ago from the short journey

      Good stuff! Time to write on all the topics I want to write about is my problem.

      Writing on as many topics as possible is my favorite out of you tips because I like to write about everything.

      Interesting read--thanks much.

    • pedrn44 profile image

      Sandi 6 years ago from Greenfield, Wisconsin

      Your hubs are always informative and well written.Thanks, Bud:)

    • Bud Gallant profile image

      Bud Gallant 6 years ago from Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

      Thanks Jennuhlee!

      I'm really glad to have put together something you can find useful, and I'll keep working on more!

      By the way, I think your hubs are great, and I'm looking forward to more.

    • Jennuhlee profile image

      Jennuhlee 6 years ago from Pennsylvania

      I think I will read this before writing each hub. Very well written, with really great advice!

    • Bud Gallant profile image

      Bud Gallant 6 years ago from Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

      Thanks DeborahFantasia,

      That's a good point.

    • DeborahFantasia profile image

      Deborah 6 years ago from Italy

      Good advice ! I think a lot of people, especially those new to writing hubs aren't always aware of the tools within the structure of the hubs. Great way to help bring useful information to the hub community !

    • Bud Gallant profile image

      Bud Gallant 6 years ago from Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

      Thanks for the comment, Phil.

      I'm glad it helped.

    • Phillbert profile image

      Phillip Drayer Duncan 6 years ago from The Ozarks

      Very helpful information. Especially for someone like me that has a billion 'OK' ideas but rarely thinks of a topic to get excited about! Thank you very much!

    • Bud Gallant profile image

      Bud Gallant 6 years ago from Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

      Thanks for the feedback Angie. I understand. All things considered, I think probably the most important thing is to keep writing, and whatever helps with that is useful.

    • Angie Jardine profile image

      Angie Jardine 6 years ago from Cornwall, land of the eternally youthful mind ...

      Thanks for this very cogent piece of writing, Bud. I'm finding the techy side of HP a bit confusing ... so I'm just writing about things that interest me and trying to 'find my voice'.

      All the best ...

    • Bud Gallant profile image

      Bud Gallant 6 years ago from Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

      That makes sense. Thank you for your response on that. I think that is a very valid approach.

    • oldstudeman profile image

      oldstudeman 6 years ago from Central Florida

      Bud, I am quite new to this process and am currently just trying to write on topics that I feel comfortable with. In this manner, I can feel more confident in my material and share my thoughts more easily.