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How To "Tweak" An Online Article
Tweaking Hubs Is A Privilege
Did you know that tweaking your hubs is a great privilege? Many, if not most, writing platforms will not allow you to keep making changes. Think of your morning newspaper. Does the reporter get to fix a spelling mistake once it goes to print? No, and a big apology is usually printed the next day if errors occur!
Being able to edit and improve your own work without any hassle or difficulty is one of the most desirable features of Hubpages. A wise hubber will take advantage of it. Tweaking your hubs allows you to make continual improvements and to do endless experimenting. If a hub does not appear to be working, try something else.
What exactly does "tweaking" mean? The dictionary says that to “tweak” is to: a)to pinch and pull with a sudden jerk and twist b) to make usually small adjustments in c) annoy or bother or to d) injure slightly.
So, tweaking implies small improvements and it sometimes involves a bit of annoyance and pain. And yes, tweaking can be a bit annoying because it takes time: time that might seem to be better spent writing something new. And it might hurt a little because it feels like you are never done. But it's worth it in the end.
Writing Online Is Complicated
Writing online is a very complex process. Keywords and SEO concerns are added unto the old concerns of writing: grammar, organization and style. So many factors need to be considered when pursuing success for your online work. Tweaking is a process where you make improvements on your hubs. It is an ongoing process and it is a good idea to review your hubs on a regular basis to assess what is working and might be changed.
What follows are ten good ideas for tweaking your hubs. Some of these suggestions are for beginners just new to hubbing and others might be new even to the more experienced writers on Hubpages. These are all techniques that I have used myself and have learned from my time here on this site.
Editing Gets Good Grades
1. Edit for grammar, spelling and typos
The first suggestion is obvious but necessary. Of course, we should all edit our work thoroughly before we publish but the casualness of Hubpages means that you can go back and change afterwards. Take advantage of this feature!
So read your work over after it is published. Sometimes we just don't catch all the errors. It's easy to do. So keep reading your work after it's published just in case. I know grammar very well but I get in a hurry sometimes and hit publish before it's done. It's so exciting to get my stuff out there that I neglect to go back and do the final edit. If you ever do the same, be sure to go back and check the hubs afterwards.
2. Reorganize Your Content.
Again, it would be good to make all these adjustments before you publish but sometimes we want to get the information out there. Later on, we think of ways that the information could be organized more effectively. What do I mean by reorganize your content? This might be changing the sequence that you present your information or arguments to make a stronger point. Perhaps you notice that your middle point is actually the strongest point: maybe move that point to be the last. I have done this in my own hubs and found that the whole article flows better.
As well, you might want to break up some of the text capsules into two or more capsules instead. Use your cut and paste feature to move text from the first text capsule to the new one. The advantage of doing this is that you will be able to break up the text and control your layout more carefully. Remember that readers of online content do not like to read too much at one time. Breaking up the content into different capsules allows you to add white space or dividers (covered next) or images.
Just to give an example, I started out this hub with three points per capsule. After looking at it in preview mode, however, I realized that one point per capsule would be more effective and allow me to elaborate on each point I needed to.
3. Add New / Updated Information.
Adding new information to a hub, or taking out old information, keeps the freshness of the hub. This is the exciting thing about Hubpages: it allows you to do this and to keep your articles current. This means that articles can have a lot longer shelf life than those that never change. An example of this might be a news story that you wrote about. If there are significant developments in the story, you might want to add an update at the bottom or work the new content into the body of the hub.
A recent example of mine was an article I wrote about Give Away Weekend, a recycling event that happens in Winnipeg, Canada. The event happens twice a year. So this year, I had to go back and change the dates of when the next one is taking place. I then placed the hub on Facebook and have received a fair bit of local traffic from the hub. This was a small tweak but very worthwhile. Look at your own hubs with an eye for currency and you might find some small changes that you can make.
"ReGift" Your Gift Hubs
4. Repurpose Your Seasonal Hubs.
Certain hubs are written for one time of year. Christmas gift hubs are the most obvious examples. I have several hubs written for Christmas gifts. Since Christmas comes but once a year, I changed those hubs to read “gifts” instead of “Christmas gifts.” Since Christmas is coming again soon, I will need to go over and switch those hubs back to be exclusively Christmas gifts hubs.
Be creative in thinking about how you might make a couple of changes to be able to get some use out of these seasonal hubs.
Video on Hubpages Capsules
5. Change Your Layout.
The capsules are designed to give you the best possible layout. There are many possibilities. Play around with the different capsules by using the up and down arrows to see what is most attractive and flows the best. You can also move capsules using the layout bar on the right side of the hub in editing mode. Pressing the preview button while in editing mode will allow you to see how these different layouts actually look.
Here a few pointers about layout.
- Break up your text to make it easier to read
- In most cases, be sure to have enough text in the first capsule to allow for Google Adsense ads to be placed there.
- Experiment with different layouts by using preview. Look for attractiveness and flow.
- Amazon and E-Bay capsules may be placed between text capsules, beside the text, or at the end of the hub. They may not be placed beside the first text capsule. See what works best for you. If you are not getting sales, try a different layout.
- Pictures and videos can be big (across the whole hub) or can be smaller and wrapped by text.
- You can also try other capsules: quizzes, polls, maps and links.
- If you aren't sure if you like a capsule, press the button that says "Don't display this capsule" at the right side of your capsule editing box. Try it in preview to see how it looks without that particular capsule. Don't delete it but leave it in case you want to put in afterwards.
Don't Be Afraid To Make Changes On Your Hub!
More Information on the Advantage of Videos
6. Add A Video
If your hub does not a video, consider finding one for it. Adding a video means that you have also created an unseen backlink for your hub, embedded on the video itself. You can find videos on YouTube about almost everything under the sun. The video gives your hub more of a modern edge, too, and appeals to the internet generation. Of course, vidoes are not appropriate for every hub. You must use your discretion with all of these suggestions to see if it works for your particular piece of writing.
7. Add Some White Space.
One of the wonderful things about Hubpages is the ability to create a visually stunning article, that looks good, as well as sounds good. Adding white space can make your article more attractive. Every hubber has their own style of publishing and so this won't work for everyone but it is something to consider. How to add white space? Press enter several times after a section of writng or at the end of your text capsule. This creates space between your sections and can make the hub easier to read.
8. Add Some Dividers.
Dividers are another way of breaking up a hub. They separate one section from the next and provide some visual interest as well. There are several websites that offer free dividers of various styles and colours. I have a few that I tend to use and try to make the divider fit the style of the hub. You might not want to use dividers if you are just typing up a quick hub but with the longer pieces, they can make it easier to read. It is important to remember that reading on the web is different than reading a book because people have to stare a screen. Dividers help make that process easier.
EDIT: August 21, 2014: Since writing this hub, hubpages has discouraged writers from putting dividers into their hubs. I still do use them, myself, but I can no longer encourage other writers to do so.
More About Amazon
9. Adjust Your Amazon Capsules
This point will apply to those who are trying to make money from their hubs. If you would like to make some money off this hub, it is good to adjust your Amazon capsule placements from time to time. What do I mean by that?
First of all, if a hub is getting a lot of traffic but no Google clicks, consider placing Amazon on there if it is appropriate. Amazon is best placed on hubs that sell or feature some kind of product because Amazon sells products. Amazon does not work that well for strictly idea hubs.
Secondly, if you are not getting Amazon love, consider taking it off. You don't have to completely remove it but push the "Don't display button:" Sometimes taking Amazon ads off will actually put more focus on the Hubpages and Google advertisements.
And finally, if you are not getting any Amazon revenue, consider changing the placement of your Amazon capsules. You can put them at the side of your text, at the bottom of the hub, or between text capsules. Try different layout to see what is most effective.
Summaries Help Traffic
10. Do Your Summaries
Just recently, Hubpages added a new feature in which they notify writers when their hubs do not have a summary. Consequently, many hubbers have been frantically going to their hubs and placing them in. For the last couple of weeks, I have been putting in summaries in many of my hubs that did not have them. I am not finished yet but I did notice an improvement in traffic on the hubs where I placed the summaries.
Summaries used to be generated automatically from the first few sentences of a hub. Now, they must be done manually. It's inconvenient but the good part is, we can craft summaries that suit our needs. A summary is something to catch people's interest and should tell what you hub is about. It is a good idea to have some keywords in the summary, too, because Google Search does look at these summaries.
I hope these tips have been helpful. Happy tweaking, fellow hubbers!