How to get your Hub past 'Pending' to be featured.
Key points to remember!
- Your work must be original
- Images must be appropriately labelled
- Use capsules for text and photos in every hub
- Check for errors including spelling, grammar and punctuation
- Edit, edit, edit.
Making money from HubPages
Most writers like the idea of making some extra dollars from their online writing. I live off the grid and consider myself semi-retired so there is a definite advantage to making money from HubPages. I can write, publish and receive any payments without having to leave home.
The social aspect of HubPages is an unexpected bonus for me. I acknowledge and respond to familiar hubbers in occasional forums, although I am nowhere near as active as other hubbers with a much higher profile.
As with membership in any community, we all have an inherent responsibility to help build HubPages and aid new hubbers as they establish their own presence on HP. Welcome to all newcomers who visit this page. :)
I am just one of the writers who actively rate new hubs. Often I wish I could offer direct feedback to explain my scores, but that facility is not available.
In an effort to encourage and assist new writers seeking advice on how to get past pending and have their hubs successfully published, I offer this advice ...
Make your hub original!
A hub is an original work by an author who strives to meet the guidelines set out by HubPages. It can take many forms, but above all else it has to be original.
An experienced writer has a nose for copied content. If you copy text from promotional sites selling barbecues or themed clothing or any other item, it will stink of being copied from a promotional site.
I will copy part of your text and google it. Then, when the original site displays your text, I will flag your hub as being copied.
Some hubbers might think it is worth the risk, hoping their hub will be reviewed by an inexperienced writer. Perhaps your hub might slide past, but even once it is published it can still be flagged.
Do not underestimate the intelligence of other hubbers. There are many here who can spot copied content. It just takes one hub to be identified as copied for your other hubs to come under scrutiny.
Do not expect to be a hubber for long if you can't be bothered creating your own original work. The rules of HubPages very clearly state that the text in a hub must not be published elsewhere.
Please show me a photo, a sketch, an image of some kind.
Don't just stop at one. Aim for three in the average hub. The more the merrier, particularly if your hub is lengthy.
I understand that there are some topics that are extremely difficult to illustrate. I have, in fact, rated at least one hub highly enough to be featured despite the absence of any images. It was original and written from the heart and deserved to be featured. I hope everyone reads it.
I also hope the author reads this hub and makes a few of the other improvements listed here. Why? Because another hubber could still flag that hub as being below the desired standard, and it might be idled. That would be a shame, but rules are rules.
Digital cameras are cheap and easy. We no longer live in the 1970s when taking a photo involved film and processing. Grab your cheap digital camera or your latest piece of technology and take photos to illustrate your hub. Even if it is a poem, be creative and take at least one photo to enhance the page.
Don't forget to make an entry in the 'source' box when you upload a photo. Your original photo could simply say, "Photo by author" or "Photo by hubber's name" to keep me happy.
Not my photo ...
Give credit where it is due
Photos of beautifully decorated bedrooms, designer-created kitchens or promotional photos of specific products taken from commercial sites are obviously not original photos.
If you include images stolen from a retail outlet, they look like photos stolen from a retail outlet ... and will not be approved as suitable for use on HubPages.
If you are a hubber who identifies key words and then creates a hub around a specific theme, with no experience or knowledge or exposure to the product or issue you are writing about, it is understandable that you're not likely to have an original photograph.
HubPages provides you with access to instructions and advice about copyright and properly attributing ownership or publishing rights to any photo included in a hub.
Read the rules, learn how to play the game, and then choose your photos carefully and make sure you give credit in the 'source' information that will display beneath your photo. Do not just assume that you are allowed to display a photo in your hub just because it appears elsewhere on the internet.
Copyright issues involve more than just HubPages' rules. Laws exist to protect the rights of photographers. Make the effort to stay within the law.
Capsules including text, photos, ebay, amazon and links can be made to fit within each main text capsule. When editing, click the green arrow to make the capsule smailler.
Separate text and use headings
Divide your text into bite-sized pieces.
Paragraphs are important. Use your return key often.
Even the most engaging story becomes tiresome and difficult to read when every word rubs shoulders with the next.
Give thought to where you can separate ideas or points. Insert a new text capsule and write an appropriate heading before continuing your text.
Each text capsule can easily be enhanced by adding smaller elements.
Check every sentence
Before you publish your hub, please read your text out loud.
If you have someone else in your home - a partner, a parent, a child - ask them to read it out loud. Listen to every word.
Too often hubs include extra words in a sentence, or are missing vital words. Even simple errors will influence the rating your new hub receives. As much as I enjoy your topic and your style of writing, any mistakes will influence your score.
Every experienced writer knows how easy it is to overlook their own small errors. Professional writers go back and thoroughly review their work before submitting it for publication.
HubPages is a site for writers. In order to be a successful hubber you need to start thinking like a professional writer. Make an extra effort to check your text thoroughly before hitting 'publish'.
Why is it important to read your work out loud?
When you know what you meant to write, your brain may race ahead of your eyes. If you take the time to read every word, you are more likely to spot your mistakes.
If I write, "Hubbers should check every word in a sentence," but then I decide to change it to "Hubbers must check each word in a sentence," there is a risk that my amended version may read "Hubbers must should check each every word in a sentence."
This kind of mistake appears more regularly than I thought possible. If this is only an occasional problem in a hub, the hub will pass the rating process. However if you want a perfect score, you really should have perfect text.
Choose a relevant video
As much as I love this video, it serves no real purpose other than illustrating 'what not to do' when choosing videos to feature. Watch it and laugh, but please do not include irrelevant videos in your hubs.
If readers go the the trouble of viewing a video, it should provide appropriate information on your chosen topic.
Other elements to enhance your hub
There are many additional tools and elements you can include in your hubs, but there is no pressing need to use them in your early hubs.
Tables, links, ebay and amazon capsules will all prove useful as you become more confident and experienced. Experiment with the options available to you, but be sure to keep them relevant to your topic.
Read other people's hubs. Keep an eye on the Hub of the Day. Learn what makes a good hub, see how and where the additional elements are used, and then put that knowledge into action.
Press the Preview button
A recent addition to the range of tools available when creating a new hub is the new 'Mobile View' of your hub during preview.
Preview before publishing. This gives you the ability to see how your hub will look when presented on both desktop computers and mobile devices.
Will your first impression on potential readers be a good one?
Become an active member
The HubPages community is very supportive of new writers who make the effort to protect and support the reputation of HP. If you cannot find the answer to a problem, ask a question. Visit the forums and see what hubbers are discussing. Use the 'search' button at the top of the page.
Occasionally you may encounter an individual hubber who seems gruff and unfriendly.
Like any community, HP has all kinds of members. Friendly and supportive hubbers are, fortunately, in the majority. I am quietly confident you will receive the help you need.
Writing makes better writers
While waiting for your first hub to be assessed, start writing your second hub. And your third.
Drafts can be saved unpublished, so you can be working on more than one hub at any time.
It might help to look at your own personal photo collection, choose a few original photos (that you will take credit for in the 'source' box when you upload the photos) and construct a hub around them.
Writing makes better writers. The more you write, the easier it will become. With confidence, you will find the words flow more smoothly and effectively. That's the first stage.
The importance of editing
Editing is the second stage. Before you publish your hub, review it with a critical eye. Look for mistakes. Actively search for ways to improve it.
At all times concentrate on perfecting the basic structure of your hubs. Check your text and your images, and give appropriate credit for any images included.
Later, if your hub is still pending, or has failed to be featured, go back and edit it again. While you are there, delete any empty capsules that may be showing in edit mode.
Every few weeks, reassess your existing hubs. Can they be improved? You may well be more skilled and confident than you were at the time you created the hub. Boldly make changes.
Write for success
One of the most appealing aspects about writing on HubPages is the potential to make some extra spending money writing about topics you love. Success is not guaranteed, of course. In order to have any chance of regularly reaching pay-out, your work must attract a reading audience.
Your choice of titles and topics, your attention to structure and grammar, your ability to create original work, and your willingness to meet the requirements of HP (including when using their ad program) will directly influence your money-making potential on this site.
It makes sense to learn as much as you can about the process of writing effectively for HubPages, so spend time in the Learning Center (help files) and keep an eye on the forums. If you can't find an answer to your question, ask another hubber in the community forum.
With knowledge and understanding comes confidence. Once you understand what makes a successful hub, you can start writing for success. Instead of writing lengthy slabs of text, you'll find yourself actively looking for natural breaks where you can insert new headings and capsules. You'll add appropriate photos, the occasional video and perhaps a poll or quiz to enhance your page and engage your audience.
I look forward to being pleasantly surprised by the quality of future hubs. It will be a happy day if I feel compelled to give good, strong, positive scores to every hub I read. Do your best to follow the points I have outlined, and I will have no problem scoring your hub worthy of being featured if I review it.
I can't speak for everyone who may review your work, but I suspect they will be similarly pleased.
Happy hubbing! :)
© 2013 LongTimeMother