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Best Practices - Five Quick Tips For Blogging for Dollars
As a new Hubber, I wanted to quickly share the items I have learned and help others. The journey is hard and the work can seem overwhelming. From writing to promoting to designing your hub - here are 5 quick tips to take your Hubs to the next level. I share these 5 tips to shorten your learning curve.
Baby Steps for Bloggers
To be a blogger is a hard job. Like all babies, we must learn from somewhere. The Hubber family here is the very best. I promise you there is no friendlier, more successful place for blogging on the web like HubPages. You are at the pinnacle of all writing and learning at your fingertips.
The first rule of a blogging, you probably already know is you must not only write, but you must also promote your work. Here are a few quick tips to get you started off on the right foot.
- Layout Your Content
- Photo Size and Quality within Your Hub/Article
- Pivotal - Title and Meta Description (Content is King)
- Subjects/Niche are Paramount - Know What Pays and Generates Traffic
- Planning for Promotion is Everything - Social Media is a Must
Learning Curve for Bloggers
Google AdSense Heat Map Revisited
Update - Quality Content Help with Grammarly
After being here on HubPages for a while, the top trick that has helped me is an editorial / spelling program called "Grammarly". This add-in tool is free and streamlines spell check, punctuation and grammar. It also calls attention to the words that writers most commonly misuse. I love Grammarly because I wish to streamline spell check and dovetail the forgotten commas not to mention the recommendations on hyphenated words.
#1 - Layout Matters
Money is made at the beginning of a Hub and at the end. Perfect the beginning of your Hub by having at least 300 words so that the advertisements can be front and to the right.
The heat maps for Google AdWords showcase these two spots are where Google AdSense makes money. Even if you are not writing for money, remember, your traffic and who reads your Hub is promoted by the giant in the industry. If Google is making money, your Hub will be promoted.
I prefer to have the leading 300 words followed by a horizontal line just for the sake of organizing my thoughts for the reader. I want the reader to fly through the Hub and quickly grasp the content. Why? I want them back again and again. If they want to read every word, it is there for them. If they wish to skim through the topics and gather a general idea of the content, at least I have reach them for those short seconds.
#2 - Photo Size and Pixal Quality Matters
When adding photos, size does matter. Don't ruin your great Hub with a photo that is not worthy. Often the same source will offer different size photos. The solution is to always download a full size photo.
Photo Tip 1: IF the name of the photo is thumbnail, typically your use must also be limited to a thumbnail. Take the time to click for the full size photo and download that photo.
Photo Tip 2: The size of the photo will be 100 times different. Look at the examples below from my tribute Hub to Ronald Reagan - same source, different size photos.
Moral of the Story: Photo size matters!
Full Size Photo Example
100 Times Different Counts for Side Photos Too!
Size Matters for Side Photos Too!
What surprised me is the side photos - the full size photo repositioned to the right side, even those showed a noticeable quality difference.
If you are taking the time to write quality and original content, do take the time to download a photo that is worthy of your Hub.
The size of the photo in this example was 4.22KB for the thumbnail and 524 KB for the full size version. Same source, same photo - the difference is the size of the pixels and the size of the file and pixels equals a quality photograph.
NOTE: I deleted the pixilated photos so to eliminate the error messages from HP
Bing Search for Photos
Bing offers a great advantage when searching for photos. If you know you need a full size image, do try the Bing search tool and select the photo size you desire.
#3 - Content is King - Title Keywords Rocks the Internet
If you have great content, if you have quality photos, the Internet will eventually find you but you as a writer need to have a clearly marked address out front - this is your front door - this is your title and your URL.
This means you need an URL that is as short as possible. This means a title that is free of characters that Twitter doesn't like and a title that entices the reader.
The biggest draw for traffic is contained in these two short pieces of information - your URL and your title. Remember your URL cannot be changed - your title CAN BE CHANGED.
- IF you misspell a word in your URL - do delete and start again.
- IF your traffic is not working, do use the Title Tuner created by Hub Pages.
- IF you don't know your key words, do start your research from the beginning.
If you don't know your niche, if you don't know your key words then you don't know your reason for being here - very simply you are wasting your time.
Your Title and Your Description
Right after the title comes the "meta description", this field tells the reader what to expect and should also excite the reader to learn more.
The meta description should employ the keywords intelligently, but also create a compelling description that a searcher will want to click. Direct relevance to the page and uniqueness between each page’s meta description is key. The description should optimally be between 150-160 characters.— Moz
Blogging is a Science
Blogging is a Science
From the heat map of the user experience to the title to the meta description to the photos that evoke emotion, make no mistake about it, blogging is a science.
If you are an artistic writer and have no interest in the science of SEO, heat maps, meta tags, Google Key Words, bounce rates, etc... you might wish to rethink this investment of your time and energy.
Blogging is hard work, it takes time, it takes stamina and it takes an inquisitive nature to learn all the new changes. Pandas and penguins come and go and you must be ready to deal with the "mobile gedd ons" and other curveballs thrown at you in order to not just survive but to thrive in this very competitive marketplace.
Name of the Game is Keywords
#4 - Subjects Matter - Seek to Dominate a Subject
As in all products and services, competition determines your value. What price your articles bring is determined by 1.) amount of competition and 2.) demands. The two top selling subjects, Hub Pages tells you under your matrix under the tab called stats . Essentially, this tab tells you how it is out on the world wide web: Hubs about finance and real estate tend to earn more money than those about entertainment and poetry. If you are seeking to make money, never write about a famous person, celebrity. History and tributes can be money makers but celebrity news only makes cents for the gossip magazines. Essentially, you are wasting your time in many categories. Research what pays and compare it to your interests.
Separate Avocation from Vocation - Maintain Your Pen Name Brand
If you still must write poetry for the love of poetry, write it out on another pen name - keep your vocation away from your avocation. Remember, followers will follow you on a consistent brand - keep your subjects related and your brand will be clearly identifiable.
Google Alert Your Subjects
Plan your subjects, research your subjects. Do set up your Hub with title and all, review the competition out on Hub Pages and the Internet. Do set a Google Alert on the subject and learn all you can before you put too much effort into the Hub.
Be Discerning with Your Hubs - Seek the Niche to Monopolize
Don't be afraid to delete a partial Hub. IF you cannot do justice to the subject with new material, hit the delete button and move on. There are too many great subjects still available try to compete with the masses. Yes, I know there is a push felt for volume. Don't lower your standards of excellence and uniqueness. Be brave and be prepared to start a Hub and not finish but most importantly, be brave enough to delete and more your focus to another subject where you can make a real contribution. Develop your niche, stick with the subject area and rule that topic - seek to dominate or at least have a foothold upon the market for that subject. Remember, it is all about the competition. Seek a specific niche to monopolize.
Learn Industry Trends - Follow the Money
Those who do well blogging know how to generate traffic. Knowing who is paying for traffic is important so stay abreast of industry trends, learn who is spending and who needs your content. Or as my finance professor once stated, follow the money. Every year, Nielsen announced the top advertising dollars. Every year, Google announces their revenues. Pay attention and see how those changes may affect you.
And then, of course, watch for SEO challenges that Google announces. Understand the need for the Penguins, the Pandas, and the Mobilegeddons. Recognize if you have solid, evergreen content, you have made an investment in a part time job that could last indefinitely. This job may never end up being your sole source of income, but it is a job that can pay and pays consistently if you do your part.
Take Note of Advertising Revenue
#5 - Planning for Promotion is Everything
When I Tweet, I have learned the hard way that Twitter swears at me when I include "|" or "?" or "!" - these symbols do not belong in your title. The rule of KISS - Keep it Simple Sir or Madam is key. No funny characters in the title of your Hub and Twitter will not constantly and consistently swear at you.
- Do have a Twitter account just for your specific subject.
- Do plan your titles so Twitter will not swear at you.
- Do follow similar subjects out on Twitter.
- Do promote on your Facebook.
- Do start discussions on Linked In.
- Do set up your email signature with links to your blogger account or favorite Hubs.
- Do set up Blogger accounts/websites to cross promote your Hubs.
- Do ask for action at the end of each Hub - vote up - share!
Share Your Story - Share Your Suggestions
If you found this helpful - please feel free to vote it up.
If you know someone who could use this information, please use the share button and forward on to them.
If you have comments, suggestions, please share with us - that is why we are all here - to learn and to grow and to make our Hubs better.
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Summary - Top Five Quick Blogging Tips
There you have it a complete summary of the items that I feel are critical to success here on Hub Pages.
I realize the forum and the training center offer these tips already. My goal was to reiterate the importance of these items as a simple reminder to allow you to ace that Hub Score and take it to the next level.
Over time, it become simple, at first, it is overwhelming. Take it slowly and most importantly, enjoy the journey. Hubbing is a great thing - great info, great friends far and near, great income potential.
Let your voice be heard.
Set your goals, trim your sails and get ready to soar like an eagle. Enjoy the flight my friends. The sky is the limit!
© 2011 American_Choices