Reflections of a Seven-Year Alumnus at HubPages
How I Started
My oldest published article is Alliteration: A Literary Technique, which was originally titled An Afternoon on the Riverbank. I had been taking online classes at American Public University (APU) online in an effort to finish my bachelor's degree in English (creative writing) from Michigan State University (MSU) that I had aborted in 1974 due to cuts in the Educational Opportunity Grant (EOG) program initiated under President Kennedy. Richard M. Nixon had become president on the Republican Party and the cuts were made.The exercise I had written for the APU English class serves as the basis of the article. Publication of this original HubPages article was on June 11, 2012.
I had come across HubPages via a search engine while seeking potential writing sites for pay. At the time, HubPages was offering a program for writers to write articles. The program offered guided tutorials and pay to write about one's passions. This sounded exciting to me, so I applied.
Unfortunately, I missed getting into the last organized tutorial and was informed by the HubPages Team that HubPages had no plans to reinstate the program. So, I was on my own.
I spent hours reading through the Learning Center, which changes from time to time. I believed I was actually going to make a modest monthly payout if I wrote about things that interested me. After seven years, this goal still has not become a reality.
Why I Haven't Quit HubPages
At least one other writer in the HubPages Community said he would quit given the circumstances I was experiencing (low traffic, little to no earnings). In spite of disappointments, though, I still haven't quit because 1) I like to write, and 2) some of my articles are really nice and, in my humble opinion, helpful. When I think of the time and care put into most of them, it would be a shame for those articles to no longer be available to my readership.
Tips I Learned for Revising Content
Here are my summary notes of what a good article should have or be:
- Excellent grammar and spelling.
- Pay special attention to cases in your title and subtitles; this is one area where mistakes are common.
- Current and correct information. Check the latest news, peer-reviewed journals, and other credible sources for new information on your subject.
- Free of spammy elements (Hubs should contain no unrelated or tangentially related links, excessive products, etc).
- High-quality, clear, attractive images (avoid pixelated images, blurry images, and images with watermarks).
- Search-friendly and descriptive subtitles.
- A relevant summary.
- A mobile-optimized layout. Making all capsules full-width can make a big difference for mobile. (Capsules no longer allow for text or photograph text-right flushing.)
Notes on the Process of Writing Hub Pages Articles for Abundance
- Getting the Idea
- What do I feel passionate about?
- Who else may be interested in this subject and why?
- Check Google SEO
- Write a first draft
- What would my reader type into Google (Title)?
- Maximize the Summary
- Effective First Paragraph (Give reader what information they seek.)
- How will the article flow? (Outline)
- Specific to General
- Creative: Rising, Climax, Falling Action, Ending
- Add Depth (3 or more of following and place where suited)
- Photos, original or legally credited
- Special formatting, such as Callout or Headings
- Bulleted information
- Conclude by Summarizing Hint: Repeat what you have written using different words, usually based on the first sentence of each paragraph. Let your final sentence be a statement reassuring the reader he has what he wanted (or needed) to know.
- Proofread (allow one day to pass before starting this process)
- Spelling, especially typos – look at each word by reading the article backwards. Then read the article OUT LOUD for the following:
- Subject-Verb Agreement (both singular or plural)
- Noun – Pronoun Agreement and Placement (Does the pronoun refer to the last noun in the sentence and is it appropriate in context and number?)
- Commas (Are they appropriately placed? Is my style consistent?)
- General Punctuation (If not sure about a rule, check it out or ask for help. Purdue OWL is a great resource.)
- Word Choices (Have I used the right words, i.e. two, too, to; there, their, etc. and check meaning of complex words, if necessary.)
- Appearance and Flow – Am I happy with it? Will it look good on a mobile device? (Little to no italicized words, i.e. use only if necessary, like foreign words or phrases.)
For an exercise on proofreading, my article Proofreading Basics and Tips may be helpful.
Confessions and Endings
I confess that I don't follow my own advice and setbacks caused by bugs and automatic editing pushed me close to going elsewhere (see my article Handling Hubpages Snips, Edit-Bot, Capsule and Other Changes), perhaps having my own website, which some other writers in the HubPages Community do.
I'm just not ready for that step--maybe I'll never will be. HubPages satisfies my basic writing urges, so it appears I'm here to stay. Besides, I've developed a certain rapport with some of the other writers here, and I like that.
© 2019 Marie Flint