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How to Be a Success At HubPages in 100 Hubs or Less
Almost two years ago I stumbled across HubPages quite by accident. I was searching for some information, and a HubPages article appeared right before my eyes. I was intrigued. Write online and get paid for it while someone else deals with the headaches of web hosting, online advertising, formatting, indexing and presentation? I’m in!
I was 6 months’ pregnant with my third child, and extremely cranky. HubPages was a great place for me to vent. And fortunately for me, there appear to be a lot of cranky pregnant women out there who responded to my venting, too, because those passionately written articles are some of my most consistently-read hubs. Best earning? No. But they did well. And that’s because they were written from the heart. And I was lucky, too, because they resonated with a group of internet readers that is always replenishing itself. (Be fruitful and multiply, everyone!)
I made no pretense that these hubs were anything but rants, yet they were, and continue to be read on a very regular basis. On HubPages I look like I’ve been pregnant for a very, very, very long time! The second reason I decided to become an HP member, is that for a few years I had been nursing the dream (sorry for the pun, sometimes I can’t help myself), of helping people in small communities start their own library story time programs. I had often dreamed of doing this when I was a story time presenter in Wickenburg, Arizona, but didn’t have the confidence to start my own blog. Now, after all I have learned on HubPages, I see that I always had the ability, but being a relatively cautious person, it was my experience here on HP that helped me realize I could pursue this dream and succeed. There is no irony in this realization. It has been a path of growth. I’ve grown a lot as a person and a writer through my venture here.
But what does this have to do with you? In this hub what I really want to do is share a few words of encouragement and some thoughts about what has worked and what hasn't:
Learning #1: HP is a great resource for honing your writing skills. On HP you have everything you need to become a writer and get paid for it. You have the tools, the information, and the support of other writers who want the same things you do. HubPages is a great place to develop your writing skills and to build toward your internet successes. After all the Google Adwords optimization in the world, your content has to be worth reading. I'll focus on how developing a niche can get you there.
Learning #2 Success builds on success. Success here is incremental. Very few people start out here making $100 a month. I remember the first time I started tracking my affiliate earnings. I was so excited to make 19 cents a day, but by raising the bar in small increments, that amount has grown...a lot. But your success isn’t measured in affiliate revenue alone. I’m not knocking these great affiliate programs or the pay per click system. But success is a many-faceted thing, and I feel my experience here has been one of incremental successes. Growing in small steps, bit by bit, with fits and starts.
And now, without further ado, here are a few nuggets of advice that I think YOU shouldn‘t have to learn the hard way, so you can have fun, make some extra money online, grow as a writer, AND make a few friends along the way.
Write What You Know—In Other Words, Find a Niche
It has been said before, but I will say it again.Write what you know and find a niche or two. Some of the more successful Hubbers write on HubPages from their experiences and passions. Look at these writers and check out how they have developed their niches over time:
- Wannabwestern (A little shameless self-promotion never hurt anyone!) Writes about books, art, and of course, the American West. I'm just a wannabe, but some people think I'm exotic!
- Chuck writes about travel and finance; his hubs are polished and urbane. A fellow Arizona writer, he puts an amusing and clever twist on just about everything he writes.
- Hal Licino writes about his passion for motorcycles and cars. His hubs are detailed and information-packed.
- Gamergirl writes about online games and other techie topics, with an emphasis on reviews. Her niche is well chosen and popular, and she has something to say about it!
- ZSuzsy Bee is an uber homemaker and gardener extaordinaire, she is a polished how-to hubber.
- MarisueWrites a former foster mom with a lot of experience and love for parenting, she focuses on writing from the heart on family and parenting issues.
- In The DogHouse is a sporty family mom who loves to share hubs about topics related to her faith.
All of these hubbers have developed niches here on HP because they are writing what they know, and they are successful because their passionate interest in their topics shows through in what they write. Beyond optimization, these writers share a passion for the truth. Each of these writers have something to offer and that "something" shines in their writing. And they are not alone. There are many many fine writers on HP.
Writers with original topics and in-depth articles get higher scores. But you already know that. That is why it is so important to choose topics that you have a passion for. If you don’t care at all about the topics you choose to write about, those articles are probably going to suffer in quality. There are a few reasons why this is so. First, if you are writing about things you don’t care about, then you probably don’t know that much about them either. Your presentation of the topic will likely be based on internet research, and your article will simply rehash the information that is already out there. So decide what you care about, and write about that! Not because I think you should choose content over revenue, but because I think writing about things you don't really understand causes you to lose credibility with your audience.
When you choose topics that you have a high degree of personal interest and experience in, your your experience shows. It's easier to write and find additional information on your topic, and to write multiple hubs on similar related topics. After all, you're in your home territory, so to speak. You'll bring greater insight to your favorite niche topics and people will come back for more.
I have learned this obvious and easy truth the hard way. I’ve written my share of dull, uninformative, dreary hubs because the topics were poorly chosen. In the hands of other writers they might have been top-notch. But for me, they just weren’t all that great. Fortunately, in this wide wide world of writers, everyone is exotic to someone else, so don't worry that you are too boring to write from your experience. You're fabulous baby, fabulous!
Study the Successes of Other Hubbers
Write 100 hubs, and you will understand the ins and outs of Hubpages. But before you write 100 hubs on your own, study some of the informative how-to articles of those who have gone before. The go-to-guy for learning how to sign up for HP’s affiliate programs is Darkside. His articles served as a primer for me when I was getting started here.
I have learned so much from other Hubbers on HubPages. If you are new to the HP writing platform, spend some time reading the basic how-to-get started articles by various writers. Spend some time every day reading what others have written. Pay particular attention to high-scoring hubs. What kind of title did they choose? Approximately how long was their article? How many links did they use? What was the tone of their article?
Authors on Hubpages publish many many forms of writing online, from fiction, technical how-to articles, to entertaining rants about Hollywood or Bollywood stars. The best way to understand the system is to read what other writers are writing. Read a little bit of everything, and emulate what you like.
Use Links, Tags, Groups, and RSS Feeds to Improve Your Results
After you have written 5 or more articles, start to use the more advanced features of HubPages. Create article groups. Writing more than one article about your chosen topics adds weight to the topic you chose. So come at it from different angles, and write a handful of well-chosen articles about your topic instead of just one. Link your related topics together, and link to them from your facebook, myspace, and twitter accounts. Ask your mom, your sister, and your husband to link in from their accounts too. Spread the word!
Find logical ways to group your body of work, and use one common tag in related hubs to facilitate making rss feeds from your hub groups. I would direct you to InspirePub's article about creating RSS feeds for some exceptional in-depth information about how RSS feeds can improve your readership.
Once you’ve written 5 or so articles, optomize them for Google keyword searching. SEO articles are a dime a dozen on the internet. Even so, some important information has been shared with us by our excellent Hubber friends. And the information on SEO techniques can help improve your writing. There is nothing wrong with trying to bring the readers who need your information to your well-written topics. I wrote several articles that sat almost completely unread because my tags were so poorly matched to my chosen topics. After a bit of research I actually started making money on these articles.
I had an epiphany when Ryan Hupfer shared information about the Google Adsense Keyword Tool during the 30 Hubs in 30 days challenge. I would have to say my experience with the 30 day challenge was a glorious failure...because I'm on day 32 and still trying to make it to 30 hubs, but I have no regrets. Everything I learned about the Google Adwords Keyword Tool made that experience golden. If you don’t want to do the 30 Hubs Challenge, check out the above link to Ryan's keyword search optimization video on Youtube. This information could double your earnings without writing any new content.
Participate in HubMob. You wont regret it for a moment. I refer you again to Inspirepub's article on RSS feeds to understand intimately why HubMob is a great way to improve traffic to your hubs. HubMob also offers a friendly competitive environment for hubbers to get creative, show their stuff, and step out of their shells. Although I do recommend you develop a niche, participating in HubMob is a fun and interesting way to build your niche, and sometimes to go completely off topic and stretch yourself as a writer in ways you hadn’t before. I wrote an article on Pet Safety in the Desert inspired by a HubMob challenge topic of pets that started out a bit snarky, but ended up being a useful diversion from my usual topic selection. I honestly would never have written that article or had the idea to write it if it were not for Hubmob. One of my Hubmob topics was about my husband's hobby: Making Chainmail from Coat Hangers. It made page one on the Google Search Engine. Yayyyy!
View Ryan Hupfer's Video About Keyword Research
Earn Money Now! What Are You Waiting For? Join HubPages Today
It doesn't cost a thing, and you can start earning revenue by simply publishing articles in your area of expertise and signing up for affiliate programs.
Surround Yourself With Smart, Positive People
I love that most of my fellow writers on HP are smarter and more experienced than me. I started out on HP with a rather large, fully-inflated ego, but over time I have come to realize that I have a lot to learn. And that’s ok. In real life, as in the virtual world, I often joke with my friends that I love to be surrounded by people who are smarter than I am. On HP, reading successful authors means faster success for you.
Some authors are naturals, but most of us, including me, have to really work at getting a high-quality article written. Everyone likes to be encouraged. I like to read and encourage new writers too. They are some of the most loyal fans and have fresh and interesting experiences to share.
One area where I am admittedly weak is in moderating comments. I love the way Dohn121, a rising star on HubPages, moderates comments. He always has something positive, personable, and encouraging to say. His comments keep people coming back to read more. I am still learning the finer points of this art.
Make Friends Instead of Enemies
Most Hubbers who are writing non-entertainment based articles will probably get the bulk of their readers from internet search traffic. But having a large loyal fan base is a very, very good thing. A fan base offers readership and by leaving comments gives immediate weight to your Hub, and increases your hub score. Sure Search Engine Optimization doesn’t hurt either, but you can’t go wrong with a few good fans. And remember mom’s advice—the only way to have a friend is to be one.
I don’t think making enemies on HubPages is the way to go at all. Sweetie Pie wrote an exceptional hub a while back on the virtues of being nice. I think she is dead on. We need to show professional respect towards the other writers on HP. Many of us, after all, see our hub writing as a business venture. I think it degrades the information we share to get into flame wars with other Hubbers in the comment sections of our revenue-generating articles.
There are some passionate Hubbers out there that I suspect have found a way to monetize snarkiness, but my personal feeling is that personal attacks never produce positive results. And even if they increase comments, the bad feelings they create in the end aren’t worth the short term increase in traffic. Lines are drawn. People take sides. And for every one person that took your side, two people will probably be turned off by the conflict. OK, well enough of that. I’ll step off my soap box now.
Step Out of Your Comfort Zone
Open yourself to new experiences. Become the fan of people from different parts of the globe. Read what they have to say. Don’t limit yourself to becoming the fan of people who are just like you or who are publishing in your topic areas. Don’t limit yourself! By joining other people’s fan clubs who don’t share your content niche, you can learn a lot and access other talented writers who are interested in different things. Become the fan of people who are older than you and younger than you. I have discovered a few fabulously talented writers who I share nothing in common with. I’m glad I’ve met them. They are fascinating people and I've learned some things along the way.
Become the fan of people who write about the same topics as you. You may see them as your competitors, but the internet is an awfully big place. It won‘t hurt you to share your niche area with a few other people. You will be an inspiration to each other, and if you are smart, you can build each other up by sharing and cross-linking your content.
Be a Joiner
Every once in a while participate in a challenge event or a HubMob. Try something different. It might be a rousing success or a big failure. No one will beat you with a stick if you don’t make it on a challenge, or if your kid develops a 107 degree temperature and you can’t finish. I’m really happy I explored some different content areas through HubMob. I have been surprised by a few of my off-niche hubs that have been relatively successful. Seems like I was able to tap into some areas that other people could relate to more than library story time. Sorry to you librarians. I think you‘re special…we just need more of you to increase my ad revenue. Now that I know, I can develop those new areas over time into some new niches.
And if you haven't already, join Twitter, Myspace, Facebook, or some other social networking sites where you can promote your activities here. It really does make a difference.
Be Patient and Keep Writing
There are some exceptionally successful people on HP, but some of them have been at it for two or three years or more. You will have to keep at it for a while if you are like me. Be encouraged by your successes, but don’t become despondent if you don’t hit the first page of Google overnight or even the first page of the HubPages profile section. Keep at it and develop your niche, provide useful information, and have fun. Your success will grow with each hub you write.