Tips for New Online Content Writers at HubPages/Maven Network
New Online Writers Feel Clueless: "What's My Niche?"
Writing Online Content: A New Venture
If you're new to HubPages, meaning you joined under six months ago, this is written in honor of you and all newbies on other internet writing sites. I stand united with you, as an online writer, in ignorance, as we muddle through this place I affectionately call "Hubberville."
It's a term of endearment to describe a place I've grown to love, and still hold dear after three years. It's a community of writers who come from one side of the globe to the other, with many neighborhoods in between.
The writers represent many cultures, languages, religions, educational backgrounds, and personal histories. But as one, we share aspirations for the love of writing.
Becoming familiar with the diversity in the forums on HubPages is a lot of fun. However, I often get lost in these neighborhoods as I attempt to navigate through the streets, trying my best to follow the directions of many street signs.
Although I do well most of the time, I sometimes feel like a stray, clueless hubber trying to find her way around Hubberville. Who knew that online writing could pose such a maze to the newbie online writer?
Newbie Writers Try Hard to Learn the Ropes
It's All in the Learning Center
Hubber cluelessness is both a blessing and a curse. It makes you want to pursue knowledge and learn more about how to hub.
At the same time, it makes you keenly aware of how out of touch you are with how online writing really works.
The more questions you ask, the more you begin to think, "Gosh, they really must think I'm dumb."
Fellow hubbers are so gracious in answering your queries but at the end of their posts, they sometimes give you the dreaded Learning Center URL, and you gratefully thank them.
You then begin to think that they are thinking, "Why didn't she just read the darn Learning Center?" But unless you're able to inhale the entire Learning Center through osmosis, it ain't that simple.
The Essence of Hubber Cluelessness
It is said that EVERYTHING you need to know about online writing on HubPages is in the Learning Center (okay, whatever). But when you're feeling clueless, you want to connect with a real live person to get an answer.
Clueless hubbers are not always sure what they are looking for, what they're asking, or where to find it, so they pose questions first. Our favorite place to ask those questions is in the very helpful, but sometimes infamous, forums. Enter with caution.
Clueless hubbers also don't process or retain written instructions very well and all the jargon that it contains. Sometimes they just need a veteran hubber with a clue to break it down for them with the least amount of words as possible. The clueless hubber's head is in constant reeling motion as it attempts to process many things simultaneously:
- Maneuvering hub tools
- Getting a grasp of SEO and the unique method of online writing
- Gaining Adsense approval
- Thinking of original content and search-friendly titles
- Will my hub that I've worked so hard on be niche-site worthy?
- Deciphering the meaning of hub statistics, hubscore, and hubberscore
- How not to inadvertantly get banned for making a mistake, and
- All the while maintaining a growing excitement for what is slowly becoming an addiction.
Hereto, the clueless hubber cannot think straight enough to read, retain, or apply information from the Learning Center as efficiently as a good hubber should.
Language and Terminology in Online Writing
Recently, as I was reading forum posts, I couldn't figure out the meaning of the acronym, OP. I understood the context of the particular forum after reading for a while but what the heck was OP? Other Person? Obnoxious Punk? On Probation? Why are they calling this hubber 'other person?' Why not use the hubber's name?
Then my cluelessness decreased a little and I thought, okay it must mean "Offending Person." I still don't really know, but I digress. My point is that there is a subculture here in Hubberville and within the online writing culture that uses a language that is somewhat foreign to me.
Sometimes I pass through a forum where they're talking about Squidoos, Penguins, and PANDA bears, Redgages and Reddits, backlinks and page views, rankings and recoveries, algorithm changes, Google updates and creepy crawlers. What? I just grab my cluelessness and leave.
It feels like I'm reading Greek . . . and I don't know Greek. I have actually searched "online/blog terminology" to help me become more familiar with the internet language.
Online Writing for a Newbie Presents an Unfamiliar New World
Babyboomer and Hubber Cluelessness
There is a percentage of clueless hubbers who were born prior to the 1970s whose hubber cluelessness quotient is multiplied by their lack of technical and social media savvy.
A huge part of why they find themselves lost in unfamiliar neighborhoods in Hubberville is that some of them are using internet technology for the first time.
A great deal of them were accomplished writers before coming to HubPages and now are having to learn how to expand their skills to fit into the online writer's internet culture.
As many hubbers have learned, online writing is a different beast and requires mastery of particular skills and tricks to ensure success. So hubber cluelessness is also defined by the decade out of which the hubber was born.
I have read posts from several hubbers like me who are admittedly unfamiliar with the technical side of online writing which keeps us in the slow lane of this fast-moving journey. A lot of us are also quite new to participating in multiple social media sites, having to grow our audiences and sell our online brands.
7 Tips to Beat Online Writing Cluelessness
As we go on our clueless, but merry ways in Hubberville, I would like to leave my fellow clueless hubbers and online writer newbies with a few tips on how to become better writers with a clue:
- Don't be afraid to ask a question, no matter how dumb it may seem to you or how dumb you think it may sound to other more experienced hubbers.
- Admit when you've made a mistake so you can learn from it (looking stupid now and admitting it will earn respect later); taking responsibility is honorable.
- Study the work of hubbers who have a clue; learn as much as you can from experienced hubbers by reading their hubs and taking mental notes about what makes them successful; note the use of techniques and use of capsules.
- Learn how to use all hub tools and several capsules to increase your chances of creating original, useful, high quality content hubs; presentation and visual appeal is everything.
- Visit online writing workshops and communities to learn, share, and pick up the basics of the craft.
- Check out HubPages Tutorials and Community in the Topic section to find hub articles that provide specific information in many areas, most of which is garnered from newbie experiences and newfound wisdom.
- Develop a niche area you enjoy or have a little knowledge about as you create hubs on specific topics within a particular category. HubPages recently rolled out "Niche Sites" on several topic categories, adding newly published hubs and pre-existing hubs to these sites. Decrease your clueless quotient by becoming a pseudo-expert on a topic. You might just increase your traffic!
A Measure of Hubber Cluelessness
Are You Still Clueless?
Hubber cluelessness is a term I use in jest, as I refer to new fellow hubbers, as well as online newbie writers, and to myself.
I actually believe that writers are some of the brightest people on the planet. There is so much to learn when you're new to a situation, wading through unfamiliar territory.
I think that most of us took for granted the amount of work and study that goes into being a well-rounded member of Hubberville or whatever writing site where you have membership.
The excitement, coupled with being overwhelmed, can leave us a little disorganized in our productivity and ability to attain and apply the information that is readily available to us.
On HubPages, we reach out to more experienced hubbers and to HubPages staff because we are anxious about wanting to do the right thing and be a contributing member. And we want our stay in Hubberville to be a lucrative and successful experience. And when do we want it? NOW! Remember to be patient with yourselves and the process.
Good luck, online writer newbies and fellow hubbers, as you maneuver your online writing journey. Have fun as you create original and informative niche articles.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2013 Janis Leslie Evans