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How do I get Started With HubPages? I'm New and Not Sure What I Thought I was Getting Into

Updated on June 25, 2011

Getting Started With HubPages Can Seem Daunting at First

January 13, 2010

Getting started with HubPages can be a little daunting. It is a very large and growing site that offers members a large number of tools to work with along with considerable freedom to publish on almost any topic.

While I have previously written a number of Hubs on how to use the various tools available on the site to help people publish their Hubs as well as tips on writing and marketing your Hubs, I can still see where some newbies may have trouble getting started.

HubPages is about writing what you want and publishing it on a site that attracts thousands of people from all over the world every day.

As such, HubPages offers the opportunity to expose one's writing to a large, world-wide audience and/or make money from your writing via the Google AdSense, Kontera, Amazon and eBay ads associated with your Hub.

Google AdSense is the big revenue generator but you can make additional money by signing up for and utilizing Amazon.com, eBay and Kontera ad programs as well.

Research to See what Others are Writing

Take Time to Check Out Hubs by Others for Ideas

The best way to get started with HubPages is to begin writing and publishing some Hubs. If you check the HubPages Terms of Use you will see that there are very few restrictions on what you can write.

In addition to only publishing content which you own (i.e., basically what you have written or created) or have the legal right to publish, Item 4 (Restrictions and Prohibitions on Use) of the Terms of Use lists the few topic areas which you are not allowed to publish on the site.

So, think about what you are interested in, what you would like to sound off about, what you would like to share with others, etc.

If you find that being able to publish on almost any topic is somewhat overwhelming, you might spend some time surfing around HubPages and seeing what others are writing about.

While you don't want to copy anyone else's Hubs, you can get an idea as to not only what topics are being written about but also which ones tend to be more popular in terms of the number and tone of the comments each has.  

This will not only give you topic ideas but also an idea as to what topics appear to be more popular with readers.

Check out Writing Styles as well as Topics

You can also look at the writing styles of the different authors.

Here, you are interested not so much in WHAT they are writing about but HOW they write it.

There is nothing wrong with copying parts of, or even all of, a good writing style.

I still remember a writing instructor in a class I took years ago, who kept stressing that one of the best ways to improve one's writing was to constantly read good writing by others and HubPages has many excellent writers who consistently publish well written Hubs.

The instructor mentioned above devoted most of one class session having us read a short story by Ernest Hemingway and then discuss Hemingway's style and technique in the story.

Photo of my new son & me the day I first met him.
Photo of my new son & me the day I first met him.

Our homework assignment was to write a story, fiction or non-fiction, of our own utilizing Hemingway's style of teasing the reader by starting with a description of an unfolding event but not revealing exactly what the story was about until the end.

I wrote about my first encounter with my adopted son and, years later, published it here on HubPages with the title We Find David.

Watch your Spelling and Grammar

Of course, the HOW of your writing also includes details like spelling and grammar.  

With spell checkers included with almost every word processor these days, there is very little excuse for having spelling errors in your work.  

If you write your Hubs online by composing them directly in the text modules of your Hub or compose them offline before copying and pasting your text into the Hub text module you should make use of spell checkers.  

The HubPages text modules contain a spell checker as does Microsoft Office Word and the two free services I use for my writing,  Open Office and Google Docs.

Your HubRank

In addition to looking at the topics chosen by others and reading what they have written, also look at the Hub Score on the article and the comments.

Each Hubber is assigned a HubRank which is their personal score and appears in the lower right corner of their profile photo.  An author's HubRank is a number between 0 and 100 with zero being the lowest ranking and one hundred the highest. 

The exact formula for calculating an author's HubRank is a secret but is based upon the author's activity on HubPages.  

The activity includes the quality of the author's Hubs, their comments on Hubs by other Hubbers, their requests in the request section, answering requests made by others and activity on the HubPages Forums.  

The rank tends to fluctuate, but good authors who are reasonably active on the site can usually keep their HubRank between 90 and 100.

Each of Your Hubs will Have its Own HubScore

Each Hub you publish is given a HubScore. Like the HubRank, the algorithm (an algorithm is basically a detailed process for doing something – a recipe for making a chocolate cake is an example of a simple algorithm) used to calculate a Hub's HubScore is a business secret known only to the HubPage staff.

However, the calculation of the HubScore for a given Hub obviously includes things like the number of hits or visitors, the quality of the Hub, the number of positive or negative votes the Hub receives in the Share It block of the Hub as well as the number and quality of the comments.

Like one's HubRank, the HubScore of a given Hub will vary. A Hub usually begins with a score around 50 and then tends to rise or fall depending upon how it is received.

Good Hubs on a current event will usually rise quickly and then fall as interest in the event declines. This is why whenever I write about current events I try to find an angle that will make it interesting beyond the current news cycle as well as try to periodically update it to keep it fresh.

Hubs on seasonal topics, like holidays, tend to have HubScores that rise and fall with the season.

Controversial Hubs are Good but Require Extra Care

Controversial political or religious topics can be very good but I have noticed that those that work best are by writers who, in addition to observing all the other quality requirements, tend to stick to facts and logic and avoid name calling or insulting those who hold opposing views.

In the Comments section these writers are also careful to be respectful of those who have opposing views.

To get an idea as to what I am talking about check out some of James A. Watkins' Hubs.

James frequently writes on controversial topics but always sticks to facts and logic and his replies to opposing comments is always a very polite and respectful recitation of the facts. And, on the rare occasion when a commenter produces facts that shows he made a mistake, he politely acknowledges his mistake.

One can learn a lot about how to write good Hubs by reading James' Hubs.

A Hub's HubScore is Not Necessarily an Indicator of its Revenue Generating Capability

Finally, while the HubScore is important, I have noticed that the HubScore of a Hub does not necessarily correlate with the Hub's revenue generation.

In addition to monitoring the HubScore and traffic (both of which can be found in the Statistics section when you click on the My Account tab), I also monitor the income generated by each Hub in the report section of my Google Account and have found that a good Hub, in terms of HubScore, is not always a good revenue generator.

There is a marketing consideration here and, in addition to producing quality, you also have to keep in mind what readers, especially the ad clicking readers, want in order to make money.

This is one of the reasons why I periodically write Hubs on the HubMob's topic of the week, as well on topics from the Requests area and Idea Bank as these are usually topics readers have expressed an interest in reading about.

Hopefully This Has Given You Some Ideas to Get You Started on HubPages

Hopefully, this has taken some of the mystery out of writing for HubPages and will be of help to you and others in getting started in writing for HubPages. 

In addition to the links in the article above, I have also included additional links in the Links section below to other sources that may be of help to you in getting started with your writing.

Comments

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    • Chuck profile image
      Author

      Chuck Nugent 5 years ago from Tucson, Arizona

      JamaGenee, thank you for your kind comments. I did discover and join HubPages shortly after it started. I think I read somewhere that the site started in July of 2006 and I discovered and joined a couple of months later at the end of September.

      HubPages has been very rewarding for me. I have learned a lot from other Hubbers, met and connected with some very nice people, had an opportunity to hone and improve my writing skills (still a work in progress) as well as making some extra money. So HubPages has been and still is a very rewarding relationship for me.

    • JamaGenee profile image

      Joanna McKenna 5 years ago from Central Oklahoma

      Chuck, you must've been one of the very first members of Hubpages, so I feel compelled to congratulate you on hanging in there and not jumping ship when other early members did a couple of years ago. Voted up and awesome! ;D

    • Rismayanti profile image

      Rismayanti 7 years ago from Tropical Island

      A valuable hub, that give a good lesson for others. thank you for share

    • life-is-sweet profile image

      life-is-sweet 7 years ago from NY

      I am new here and this is really great, thank you!

    • Neil Ashworth profile image

      George Poe 7 years ago from United Kingdom

      Nice hub. Some good information here. Thanks for the info..

    • satyam12 profile image

      satyam12 7 years ago from india

      very good hub it helps the new bie

    • festersporling1 profile image

      Daniel Christian 7 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Wow, this is really great. I put up a hub to try and give newbies some advice too that I would love any ideas from you on! https://hubpages.com/literature/Interacting-with-o...

    • Sunga profile image

      Sunganani L. Manjolo 7 years ago from Lilongwe, Malawi

      Here is the thing:

      1. read about hubpages from hubapges admin. It's a lot of material but it is helpful.

      2. read what the hubbers say about hubpages

      3. do an independent review on the search engines

      4. make up your mind

      5. hub!

    • bulletproofchris profile image

      bulletproofchris 7 years ago from hutchinson, ks

      thank you so much for the fantastic hub. it was packed full of useful info. that was much needed, and greatly appreciated.

    • 543941 profile image

      543941 7 years ago from India

      hey, i just loved your hub. its thorogh research.

    • IdeaMorphist profile image

      IdeaMorphist 7 years ago from Chicagoland

      Very well written. Definitely breaks down the organization of Hubs in a very useful way. Thanks for sharing. :)

    • Kenya L. profile image

      Kenya L. 7 years ago from US

      Thanks for sharing an informative article and providing links to other articles to help all the newcomers including myself to hubpages.

    • sheila b. profile image

      sheila b. 7 years ago

      Hi! Now that I have a body of work, I'm beginning to get into this networking. Right now it seems to be as much work as the writing! But I did enjoy this article of yours. Thanks.

    • scorpion123 profile image

      scorpion123 7 years ago

      I just dont know what to say thank you thank you

      one of the best hubs I read today as Im new to this and found this really helpful thanks a lot

    • dfager profile image

      dfager 7 years ago from Federal Way, Washington

      I have some articles on eHow, HubPages is a lot more complicated. Thanks for the tips

    • profile image

      Saveology.com 7 years ago

      Thanks for the advice!

    • Sally Beam profile image

      Sally Beam 7 years ago from Thailand

      Dear Chuck,

      Thanks for this brilliant hub. It helps guide me, a new hubber, a lot.

      I love it

    • Crest Thomas profile image

      Crest Thomas 7 years ago from Merriville, Indiana

      This information is well appreciated . A newcomer like me it's also welcoming. I want to tThank You. When I first logged on it was as if I was blind sided but curious. I kind of got in idea as to what exactly is Hub.

    • MPG Narratives profile image

      Marie Giunta 7 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      Hi,

      I started on hubpages with the hope of raising awareness of Autism and Aspergers, as well as writing about things which interest me. Your hub has been very helpful so thanks for all the information, however, how to earn from my hubs still alludes me. Am I missing something?

      Marie, MPG Narratives

    • She-rah profile image

      She-rah 7 years ago from Springfield, IL

      Brand new to hubpages and just published my first hub. Thanks for all the great information you've provided!

    • Securityace profile image

      Securityace 7 years ago from United States

      Wow!! This is wonderful information. Thanks

    • nettech profile image

      nettech 7 years ago from London (UK)

      Thanks for all the info Chuck, its very very useful, I didnt know a few of those things!

      Much apreciated

      Zaheer

    • Singular Investor profile image

      Singular Investor 7 years ago from Oxford

      Excellent info. Chuck - thanks for all the insights.

    • BL Tween profile image

      BL Tween 7 years ago

      Lots of info here, thank you!

    • amulets profile image

      amulets 7 years ago from Singapore

      You have a great hub. Thanks for sharing!

    • couponalbum profile image

      couponalbum 7 years ago from Sunnyvale, CA

      Great hub! Thanks for information. I will definitely use it in my next hub. Looking forward to more information on hubs. Stay connected.

    • Michael Shane profile image

      Michael Shane 7 years ago from Gadsden, Alabama

      Very helpful! I am a newcomer & hopefully this will assist me to do well....Thanks!

    • Chuck profile image
      Author

      Chuck Nugent 7 years ago from Tucson, Arizona

      James A Watkins - thank you for your kind comments.

      While I don't have as much time as I would like to read Hubs of others, I do try to squeeze some time in for this and yours are among those that I enjoy.

      As to referring readers to your Hubs, when it came to finding a good example of how to write a good Hub on a controversial topic without angering or insulting those with the opposite views, your Hubs on such topics were far and away the best examples I could think of. Your comments in response to those with opposing views are also excellent examples of courtesy and respect for the opinions of others without backing off from your own views.

      I feel that a society made up of people with radically different views on controversial issues can function very well so long as each respects the rights of others to believe differently. As Voltaire put it "I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it."

      Chuck

      P.S. - I also enjoy your Hubs on non-controversial topics and recommend them as well to everyone especially those seeking examples of what good writing looks like.

    • profile image

      Leon O. 7 years ago

      more of the same advice if you ask me there is nothing new here, it's just a means to get more google money and raise your ego

    • profile image

      O__O 7 years ago

      Really lucky to come here. Thanks for this useful article.

    • profile image

      Online Auction 7 years ago

      HI

      Great information in this post and the exact formula for calculating an author rank is a secret but is based upon the author's activity on Pages. The rank tends to fluctuate, but good authors who are reasonably active on the site can usually.

    • shellyblossom profile image

      shellyblossom 7 years ago from Ohio

      Thanks for the info.I am a newbee hubber, I've published 2 now. I appreciate other hubbers advice. I love this whole idea, I can get my words out now. I love writing! Good luck to you!

    • stephensaldana profile image

      stephensaldana 7 years ago from Chicago

      Excellent hub indeed!!!!! The information shared is thoroughly gratifying. Amazon.com, eBay and Kontera are the largest revenue generator for the Google in this regard. The information is centrifuged in very coherent manner and presentation is of par excellence. Thanks a lot for providing so fruitful hub.

    • Amez profile image

      Amez 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Wow alot to exsorb, on this Hub, and since I just started writing,It's Great information. I truly appreciate your devotion and support. I seemly have problems with how I write sense I really don't get many comments, but maybe that will improve with time, I writing my 11th hub now, I'm taking alot more time on the research and subject matter, hopefully that willl help. Then sentence structure will be my next battle, do you have any good Hubs on that. Ed

    • James A Watkins profile image

      James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago

      Chuck,

      I am honored that a veteran, successful Hubber as yourself has included my name in this article. I am pleasantly surprised, as I did not know you read my works. I am grateful that you have. Thank you very much for this high compliment.

      James

    • profile image

      hubpageswriter 7 years ago

      A very wonderful hub for newbies out there. Well done and even I gain something from reading this.

    • hypnodude profile image

      Andrea 7 years ago from Italy

      Great hub Chuck. Very well written and organized, and full of good advices. I should improve the question and answer part. Your instructor was really right, you simply can't write well if you don't read a lot, especially for grammar. Rated, bookmarked and stumbled.

    • ~Kimberly Kay~ profile image

      ~Kimberly Kay~ 7 years ago

      Thank you for your hub, I have been wondering about the hub score. I joined up with hub pages after reading a random article that came up on a Google search about how to date nerds. (I have a nerd boyfriend.) I decided to start my own hub because I enjoy writing. Can you do me a favor and check out my hub and give me some advice personally? I feel like I’m lacking a bit in some areas and I have been trying to figure it out on my own because I have a LOT of school work to do right now, but I’m taking a moment anyway to figure some of this out.

      Thank you,

      ~Kimberly Kay~

    • Meghan Fitz profile image

      Meghan Fitz 7 years ago from Texas

      As a newcomer to HubPages, this is a really helpful guide for how to make the most of this experience! Thanks for the tips! Looking forward to getting more involved in the HubPages community and improve my writing.

    • antonrosa profile image

      antonrosa 7 years ago from USA

      A very interesting read

    • Alan Choi profile image

      Alan Choi 7 years ago from NC, USA

      good info. i was curious how the ranks worked for author and hubs. this certainly helps.

    • marieryan profile image

      Marie Ryan 7 years ago from Andalusia, Spain

      Very clear and informative! I am struggling myself to understand exactly how this all works, but am having great fun in doing so, so it's worth it! After 10 hubs and lots of advice, I am resigning myself to patience, as not much is happening yet.

      I imagine one needs to write between 50 - 100 hubs to make any sort of difference on the World Wide Web. Thanks for the advice.

    • Jim Strutzin profile image

      Jim Strutzin 7 years ago

      As a new HubPages user, I found this incredibly useful. This should be the first Hub that anyone reads.

    • RYPcontent profile image

      RYPcontent 7 years ago from Chatham, IL

      Thanks for sharing this great info!

    • lovelypaper profile image

      Renee S 7 years ago from Virginia

      Nice hub. It can be a little intimidating when you first start, but it becomes easier. Thanks for the great tips.

    • profile image

      TattoGuy 7 years ago

      Some good tips for beginners there Chuck, I didnt know that about requests so learnt something myself !

    • Wacky Wonder profile image

      Wacky Wonder 7 years ago from Honolulu, Hawaii

      Thank you Chuck, for the information. I just posted my first hub today. I have a lot to learn in this new world of "hubbing" or being a "hubber". I appreciate the information and will most likely come back soon for a refresher.

    • sumbha profile image

      Suman Bhattarai 7 years ago from Nepal

      Great post for new people like me on hub. I have just finished my setup and I am ready to go. Wish me luck. :)

    • Chuck profile image
      Author

      Chuck Nugent 7 years ago from Tucson, Arizona

      SpiffyD - Thanks for your comments.

      I just want to clarify one point and that is that I stated that "A Hub's High Score is Not Necessarily and Indicator of its Revenue Generating Capability". A high score will help to generate more traffic which is a component of the Hub's revenue generating capability.

      My Hub https://toughnickel.com/finding-job/How_to_Become_...

      (which was written in response to reader requests in the HubPage Idea Bank) has had a high HubScore since I first wrote it in 2006 and has been a steady revenue generator which tells me that it is not only good in the technical sense but also attracts people who tend to search by clicking on the Google ads that accompany it. While some of my other Hubs which have high scores and high traffic do not generate as much revenue because I suspect that the readers they attract tend to use a search engine rather than relying on clicking ads.

      My point is that, in order to make money, you have to monitor at and track a number of different metrics. Further, this is not to say that Hubs with high HubScores and high traffic are not important if they aren't also high revenue generators as, not only will some of those attracted to these Hubs click on ads adding to the volume of ad clicks (just like grocery stores, high volume times low profit per unit leads to increased overall profit) but their high traffic and high HubScores help to increase the overall ranking of your Hubs as a whole in the search engines.

      Thanks again.

      Chuck

    • NP.QUEEN profile image

      NP.QUEEN 7 years ago from Dubai

      Thanks for this excellent hub.

    • profile image

      heather56 7 years ago

      Thanks for this informative and thoughtfully written hub.

    • Lisa HW profile image

      Lisa HW 7 years ago from Massachusetts

      This is a nice Hub for new people. Scanning the many, many, different types of Hubs there are may not only give new people an idea of the kind of things they can write, but may also give them a better picture of the "framework" of subjects/styles for Hubs.

    • T R Upshur profile image

      T R Upshur 7 years ago from United States

      I could have used this when I first started. Thanks for all the great resources.

    • Awesome Writer profile image

      Awesome Writer 7 years ago

      Great hub. Thanks for sharing.

    • SheaW profile image

      SheaW 7 years ago from Minnesota

      Helpful advice. Thank you. +

    • jacobkuttyta profile image

      jacobkuttyta 7 years ago from Delhi, India

      Very useful hub.

      Thanks

    • profile image

      stephensaldana 7 years ago

      An excellent hub which is immensely useful. The information regarding Amazon product is superb and highly fruitful, to make a choice. Thanks a lot for providing such an informative and knowledgeable hub.

    • Edweirdo profile image

      Edweirdo 7 years ago from United States

      Thanks for the great info in this hub! I'm new here and there's so much to learn - I can spend an hour or more learning the ins and outs of making hubs and end up not having time to write a new hub!

    • SpiffyD profile image

      SpiffyD 7 years ago from The Caribbean

      It's interesting that a high number of views does not necessarily mean high revenue generation, since some topics generate more revenue per click. It's always good to have additional information from Hubbers, particularly when pertinent issues are raised (like the low correlation between the Hubscore and revenue generation).

    • Money Glitch profile image

      Money Glitch 7 years ago from Texas

      Wow thanks for sharing your knowledge. There's a lot of good information on this hub as well as all the linked hubs. I'm bookmarking this one in order to come back and read more. :)

    • shaulz profile image

      shaulz 7 years ago

      thanks for this hub! i truly have no idea what i'm doing on here yet. this has helped me a lot.

    • upcomingnovelist profile image

      upcomingnovelist 7 years ago

      Great article. I remember being in a poetry class and being asked to write a poem in the style of Walt Whitman. It was a great exercise and the class seemed to enjoy it.

    • khurram's world profile image

      Khurram Sikandar 7 years ago from Pakistan

      Well content is king. Write informative, original and interesting hubs and definitely you will be the winner.

    • theherbivorehippi profile image

      theherbivorehippi 7 years ago from Holly, MI

      Great Hub! I'm still trying to figure my Hub Rank. I'll go from 90 down to 75 and back up again in a day. And, I find it strange that some of my better Hubs will start out at 49 when my 'so-so' ones always start at 50. lol Thanks for sharing all your information!

    • Kind Regards profile image

      Kind Regards 7 years ago from Missouri Ozarks - Table Rock Lake

      Chuck, What a pleasure to read, Kind Regards

    • profile image

      hubpageswriter 7 years ago

      Very informative hub.

    • treasuresyw profile image

      treasuresyw 7 years ago from Savannah, GA

      Thanks for the informative hub. It covers a great of things to help any newbie.

    • Darlene Sabella profile image

      Darlene Sabella 7 years ago from Hello, my name is Toast and Jam, I live in the forest with my dog named Sam ...

      Thanks Chuck, I am still pretty new myself, and I can't tell you how many hours I spend on trying to ads of amazon products to my site. I only have google and Ebay is NO longer working with hugpages. So I think we need to add another advertiser and have a step by step instuction on how to add the products after you are approved and signed up. All us newbies need that kind of help. Thanks for your article, it is great.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 7 years ago from south Florida

      Very thorough explanation of hubs, Chuck. Your research ability is non-pareil. Good job.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 7 years ago from United States

      Chuck, This is a very helpful hub. I am learning all these things slowly but i guess the hub score is a bit of a mystery. I haven't been very good with choosing Amazon products that sell even though I try to relate choices to my hubs as much as possible. Thank you for the information.