Stellar Hub Challenge 1: May 2018
# of Hubs We've Written So Far in This Challenge...
My main goals here on HubPages have always been to write content that people will find helpful and to make money while doing it.
Probably the most effective strategy I have ever used to accomplish these goals was to participate in Hub Challenges along with other members of the awesome, supportive HubPages writing community. So, that’s what I’ll be doing here in May 2018, which is only a couple weeks away.
Have you ever tried a Hub Challenge?
If you answered yes...
How did you do on previous Hub Challenges?
Old School Hub Challenges
When I first started writing on HubPages back in early 2012, the most popular Hub Challenge was the 30 Hubs in 30 Days challenge. There were other challenges consisting of more or less hubs, but the 30/30 was the granddaddy of them all. Some hubbers still take on the 30/30 hub challenge to this day!
I never successfully completed it back then, but just attempting it was a win in itself because I always added several more hubs to my account and pushed my monthly income higher.
In those days, it seemed like Google ranked almost anything you wrote on HubPages and sent you at least some traffic every month. Many hubbers here had several hundred hubs or even 1,000+ and were earning a full-time income. Most hubbers back then followed the article marketing wisdom of the time and cranked out 500-word hubs like they were going out of style.
Well...they went out of style lol.
You can’t do that anymore and expect to get enough traffic consistently to actually pay some bills. The bar has been raised. Content standards are higher than ever, and if you want to succeed financially on HubPages, then you need to publish high-quality, longform content.
That’s why the folks that run this site created the Stellar Hubs concept and included all those benchmarks for us to shoot for in terms of word count, number of images, etc.
So, anyway, it’s time for a new Hub Challenge!
New Stellar Hub Challenge for May 2018
My hub buddy Karen has remained active on HubPages over the past few years, and she suggested we do this Hub Challenge...so here we go!
There’s no single set of rules for this particular Stellar Hub Challenge that will apply to all who participate. You can choose your own targets. But if you’ve never successfully completed a Hub Challenge before and rarely write more than one or two hubs per month, then I would recommend that you set a personal goal that is easily achievable this time around -- maybe just 3-4 hubs.
You can write about nearly any topic you want -- within the HubPages TOS -- but since the HubPages network of niche sites seems to perform well and generate solid search traffic and earnings, then you might want to write about topics that would fit well on those niche sites and submit them for approval there.
I’d also recommend focusing on quality over quantity and pushing yourself to write Stellar Hubs only -- hence the title of this challenge. If this means you can only write one or two Stellar Hubs per week -- or only one or two for the entire challenge -- then so be it. It’s worth the effort, if you ask me.
What Is a Stellar Hub?
Well, HubPages describes the makings of a Stellar Hub in detail HERE. But for a quick answer, Stellar Hubs have the following minimum requirements:
- 1,250+ words
- 3+ images
- 2+ videos, charts, polls, etc.
- Formatted for easy readability
So basically, when you're writing/editing a hub, try to check off all those boxes along the top of your hub tool (as above).
Be sure to check out the article about Stellar Hubs in The Learning Center linked above to get a really good idea about what you should do and why it’s important to do all that extra work.
If you are familiar with SEO best practices in 2018, then obviously you should apply those principles too. But if your SEO knowledge is still stuck in 2008 with keyword stuffing, over-optimized anchor text and spam, then please do a little more research to avoid penalties from search engines.
7 Quick SEO Tips for Getting More Traffic to Your Hubs
Here's a quick primer on SEO strategies that are expected to work well for the foreseeable future. If you are creating Stellar Hubs according to the Hub Tool's guidelines, then you'll be incorporating some of these SEO tactics automatically.
If you're unsure about how SEO works and how it helps you get more traffic to your hubs, then feel free to ask in the comments section below and in the HubPages forums. You can also check the Learning Center for more help.
- Include several keywords related to your topic
- Do not stuff those keywords in your text unnaturally
- Include several of your own photos, YouTube videos and mixed media
- Link out to authoritative sources to benefit your readers
- Write in short, simple paragraphs
- Break up the text with subheadings, bullet lists and bold/italics
- Share your hubs on social media
Who Is @thehubfactory
I’ve been writing online since March 2012, so I just passed my six year writing anniversary last month. I’ve gone through a lot of ups and downs with my freelance writing and internet marketing business -- not to mention my personal life -- in these past six years.
I quit blogging and trying to make money online more times than I can count, but I always came back to it because...what else am I going to do? I also recently suffered a major setback and lost my two most successful niches sites and my primary blog domain, so I need to get busy to get my earnings back up.
So now I’m basically starting over.
I still have four little websites, but they don’t even earn enough money every month to break even on hosting and domain costs, much less on income taxes and other costs of doing business.
Anyway, I started out with blogging, which I first learned about from a freelance writer and blogger (and former hubber) named Shane Dayton. From “Master Dayton’s Freelance Writing Blog” I learned about a site called The Keyword Academy, which taught me about making niche blogs and doing keyword research. From there I heard about HubPages and set up my first account (since deleted) under the name @chrisinhawaii.
Today I have three HubPages accounts with only about 20 featured hubs covering different topics. Creating multiple accounts like this made sense back in the day before HubPages started its niche site network, but it’s kind of a waste now and takes forever to earn multiple payouts across all three accounts.
So now I’ll just be writing all my content on this account here (@thehubfactory) and submitting new hubs to the HubPages niche sites when it’s appropriate. I haven’t written a new hub in ages, but that is already changing.
My goal with this challenge is simple: write 8 Stellar Hubs between May 1 and May 31 and submit them for publication on the HubPages network of niche sites.
I think this should be doable for me, since I don’t have one of those “day jobs” everybody keeps talking about. I still have other writing to do every day, but I guess I can squeeze in one or two more hours per day to hit my target with this challenge.
I'll just need to push through distractions and...furry little gatekeepers...
Some people find that they are more likely to stick to their goals if they declare those goals publicly and have some accountability to others. I know that I tend to push a little harder into my writing goals when I have that team aspect working in my favor, and maybe some of you are the same way?
So if you are up for the challenge, I’ll keep a running tab below with a quick blurb about the participating Hubbers and their goals here on this hub. I'll also keep an updated count of all the hubs we've all written for this challenge.
I'll be following along with all the participants and cheering you on, and I hope you'll all be doing the same for the other participants too. As we read and comment on each other's hubs, please keep the comments positive, constructive and encouraging.
If you want to join in with us, you can do so publicly by submitting your own blurb + goal by email (send to cdesatoff at yahoo dot com), and I’ll add your blurb to this section for other Hubbers to see. Please don’t submit your bio/blurb in the comments section if you want it included in this hub though -- to avoid any issues with the duplicate content filters.
But if participating "publicly" sounds too intimidating for now, then you can simply skip that part, write on your own and follow along “in the shadows” lol. Either way is fine.
Okay, here we go...
1. @thehubfactory (Chris Desatoff)
This whole hub is my blurb, so…
Goal: 8 hubs
Hubs written so far:
Read Chris' hubs HERE
2. @karenhellier (Karen Hellier)
Goal: 10 hubs
When Chris and I first started talking about doing a HubPages Challenge, I got excited. I have been writing on HubPages since January of 2012 and have loved the experience. HubPages was my first venture into writing and getting paid for it.To me at the time, it seemed like a miracle that I would be getting paid because of my writing. I have always wanted to be a writer but never had the guts before HubPages to write anything for the general public to read. But HubPages gave me the opportunity to write about anything I wanted, and to earn money for doing just that and it has been quite a satisfying and exhilarating adventure for me.
Over the last six years, HubPages has changed a lot. One of the major changes is that they have asked more from their writers. It used to be that you could write a 400 word hub, hit publish and be done with it. That allowed a lot of people to publish sub-standard articles with poor grammar and a bunch of fluff to earn money. Some HubPages members also used the site as a place to blog. Both of those practices were really annoying to me because they didn't really seem to "get" what HubPages was all about, and those types of hubs dragged HubPages down. I was happy when the rules became more strict and HubPages best practices suggested we write hubs with a minimum of 1,000 words an include photos, polls, videos, maps, and quizzes. Or at least try to include a combination of those in each hub.
In my first year of writing for HubPages I challenged myself to write 150 hubs.I had read that the more hubs you publish, the more money you will earn. And I have found that to be true.The way I got up and running with 150 hubs in my first year was by participating in hub challenges. I participated in some hub challenges that were 30 Hubs in 30 Days, and 10 Hubs in 10 days. Now, remember, those were the days when hubs didn't have to be as lengthy, so it was a bit easier to write one hub a day. I can tell you that having those challenges laid out before me, and participating with others who were doing it with me, certainly gave me the incentive to write a lot of hubs. And because I announced publicly that I was going to write that many hubs, I made the commitment to accomplish my hub goals.
The fact that 6 years later I haven't even hit 300 hubs yet tells you that I didn't keep up with those challenges, but I certainly wish I had. Part of the reason I didn't keep up with those hub challenges is that the rules became more strict and I had to put more effort into each hub.But that is actually a good thing because it means that HubPages is now a higher quality site and will rank higher on Google, which will then bring more traffic to our articles.
So Chris and I are challenging each other to a new HubPages Challenge: 10 Hubs in 30 Days during the month of May, and we are inviting all of you to join us.If you are up for the challenge, leave a comment below telling us you would like to join us in the challenge.
Here are some tips on what to do next:
1) Make a list of at least 10 hub topics you want to write about
2) Pre-write titles for each hub
3) Make sure each hub is at least 1,000 words
4) Make sure to include good quality writing
5) Use correct spelling and grammar
6) Use at least 4 photos
7) Use at least one, and as many of these items in your hub as possible
* a video
* a map
* a poll
* a quiz
Whether you join us or not, good luck on your HubPages Journey!
Read Karen's hubs HERE
3. @billsplace (Billy Haynes)
Goal: 5 Stellar Hubs
I am recently returning to HubPages after being inactive for several years. Originally I simply lacked time to write hubs, then forgot about it. I joined in 2012, but only have 29 hubs at the time of writing this.
When I joined, it was more about the quantity of short articles, so I've spent this month (April) revising and updating existing articles. Starting next month I want to begin increasing the number of hubs in my collection, and I think the Steller Hub Challenge is a good fit for this.
These days, I run a content writing company so I still lack free time. However, I am setting a goal of publishing at least 5 steller hubs in the month of May!
My guideline for each hub includes:
- 1,250+ words
- 2+ images
- 1-2 polls
- If possible, a related video
Read Billy's hubs HERE
4. @danieljowens (Daniel J. Owens)
Read Daniel's hubs HERE.
5. @redelf (Elle Fredine)
Goal: 2 New Hubs and 2 Retooled Hubs
Read Elle's hubs HERE.
6. @robiebenve (Robie Benve)
Goal: 5 hubs + videos
Read Robie's hubs HERE.
7. @lindasarhan (L. Sarhan)
Goal: 8 hubs
Read Linda's hubs HERE
8. @deborahdemander (Deborah Demander)
Goal: 4 hubs
Read Deborah’s hubs HERE
9. @nataliefrank (Natalie Frank)
Goal: 7 hubs
Read Natalie's hubs HERE
10. @lobobrandon (Brandon Lobo)
Read Brandon’s hubs HERE
Alright folks, I do hope that many of you join in on this Stellar Hub Challenge and push out several new articles in the month of May to help you achieve your writing and financial goals.
If you think your followers here on HubPages would be interested in participating in this writing challenge, then please share this hub in your feed to let them know about it.
Also, if you think your friends and followers on your blog and social media might be interested in writing for HubPages to earn extra income, then share or link to this hub there too! And don’t forget to include your referral link, just in case any of them decide to sign up and write for HubPages. That can create more passive income both for you and for them!
May 1st is almost here, so I'm thinking up my hub topics right now...
© 2018 Chris Desatoff