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6 Tips for Writing a Successful Hub

Updated on January 6, 2017
melbel profile image

Melanie is a social media maven and has been blogging since 2007. She is an expert on things related to internet culture.

To become successful on HubPages it is important to create content that shines. The problem is that it is often difficult to know ahead of time whether a hub is going to do well or whether it's going to flop. Luckily, by looking around HubPages to see what kind of hubs are doing well and which aren't, it gets easier to tell whether or not a particular hub is going to succeed.

When I first started out on HubPages, I didn't really know what to expect. I am a blogger first and foremost and at first, I made the mistake of thinking that HubPages was going to be a lot like writing in my blog. This is why the very first hub I have ever written was a big flop. I, however, hung in there and learned the ropes of HubPages and found that it can be just as lucrative as blogging and sometimes easier.

Use fun, interesting pictures that are related to your content.
Use fun, interesting pictures that are related to your content.

#1 Plan Your Hub

I know, you're groaning already! One of the LEAST fun aspects of creating a hub is the planning process, but it is also the most important. If you remember creating rubrics (outlines) for papers in middle school, then you're familiar with the planning process. I'll be honest, I hate the planning process, but there are many reasons why it is important.

a.) Keywords
When first creating a hub, you are given the opportunity to create the URL for the hub which is something along the lines of hubpages.com/the-url-you-pick. Now, if you do not create your own URL, HubPages will just make the title of your hub the URL. This isn't a travesty, but if you create your own URL, you can use a keyword related to your hub which can aid with search engine optimization. For example, I have a hub called "All About Polish Food." If I'd have let HubPages select the URL, it would have been hubpages.com/all-about-polish-food which would have been horrible because how many people REALLY search in Google for the phrase "All about Polish Food?" I then did a little keyword research and found that "Polish food" would be something that people would likely search for, so I decided to make the URL hubpages.com/Polish-food which is more suitable for SEO. This is actually a major help with traffic.

b.) Flow
This is where you break out a piece of paper (or a word processor) and get down to the real work. What is your hub going to be about? Let's say you're going to write about some museums in Chicago. Which museums are you going to write about? How many museums?

It's a good idea to understand what information you're going to cover in your hub ahead of time so that your article flows. You don't want to be writing about the museums of Chicago to realize halfway through the article that you also want to cover some of the great art galleries of Chicago. If you do that, then you're getting into another subject and that's where you start losing readers (not that art galleries aren't awesome!)

If you're having trouble, try writing down the main topics you're going to cover in your article. Then, under each main topic, write a few pointers on different aspects of each. This will create a great outline from which to create a well-written hub. These pointers can be fun facts, supporting evidence, etc... This will help you build your hub later.

#2 Selecting a Title

Coming up with a good title for a hub is really important, however, you can always change it so don't sweat it if a good name doesn't come to you right away. There are some ideas to follow through. People LOVE lists. I love lists. If you're writing a hub about things to do at a place, don't just title the article, "Things to Do at a Place." A name like "9 Things to Do at a Place" is much better. Then, of course, organize the hub into a list of 9 things to do at a place and go into depth on each thing in each section. The word "Tips" is also a good help. An example title with the word "tips" would be, "Tips on Writing a Great Hub." This actually brings me to a question for you, what do you prefer in a title? The word "tips" or a numbered list such as "9 Ways to do such-n-such"?

Which is better for a hub title?

See results

#3 Do a Boredom Check

Do a what? Yeah, a boredom check. Is your hub boring? Seriously, don't just spit out words and hit the publish button, write something that would interest YOU! So the important thing is that you write in such a way that is interesting to other readers. The best way to test whether or not something is interesting to other people is to make sure it is interesting to YOU. A great way to create an interesting hub is to do a little bit of research on your topic. Look up fun facts about the topic or look it up on Wikipedia. If you find an interesting tidbit, be sure to include it in your hub, it'll make it more fun to read!

Stock photos are boring.
Stock photos are boring.

#4 Pretty Pictures

Add pictures to your hub. Relevant ones. AVOID STOCK IMAGES! Nothing can downplay great content more than pictures of professional men and women in suits having a meeting. As a matter of fact, the men and women in these pictures are probably having a meeting about how stock images add nothing to a website. If you're writing an article about technology, finding a great picture can be difficult, but just think about your topic and I'm sure you can come up with a nice looking picture without it being one of those cheesy stock photos that aren't plastered on a third of all marketing blogs. (That's a made-up statistic.) This kind of goes along the lines of the whole boredom check thing, but it's really important so I made a whole section about stock photos. Also, if you're having trouble finding a photo, ask around in the forums, there are many individuals in the forums who are bored from reading the hub I linked to above that are just ready to pounce on something to do. (Just kidding, no-one reads that hub.)

Pictures are meant to bring your hub to life, they aren't a requirement. If a picture doesn't add anything to your hub, it's kind of pointless. If you write a hub about beautiful places in Spain, don't leave me hanging with a picture of the Spanish flag. I want Spain to come to life! Show me how beautiful Spain is, prove to me with pictures that Spain is as beautiful and as wonderful as you say. Also, if you are able to find some nice pictures related to your hub, add a few of them. Readers love to stop and look at pictures, I know I do! Just remember that you must have the right to add the pictures to your hub.

It is important that your pictures be relevant to your topic.
It is important that your pictures be relevant to your topic.

#5 Talk to Your Readers

Engage your readers. Really. Don't just add a poll that means nothing. If you add a poll, make readers feel like you really care what you're asking. How is this done? Easy! All you have to do is ask your readers a question that you REALLY want the answer to. Part of the fun on HubPages is engaging your readers and being part of a community. This is also a great way to not only build relationships with your readers so they read more of your stuff but also serves as a way to get to know your readers.

If you get to know your readers you may learn about different things and even get some ideas on some new hubs to write. I have noticed that a decent amount of traffic to my hubs comes from hubpages. This means that fellow hubbers are reading my stuff and although hubbers don't click as many ads as non-hubbers, they are an extremely valuable resource. Remember that fellow hubbers are NOT your competition. This is a community where we can learn from each other and that starts with communication... because hubbers are readers too.

#6 Know Your Stuff

It's also very important to write about stuff you know about. Okay, you don't have to be an expert in the field, but there are a few reasons you should write about things that you either know a lot about or are a subject that is easily research-able. When I say research-able, that means I can write about State Parks in Washington even though I have NEVER been to Washington because I know enough about parks and the State of Washington to have an idea of how to research and write about it. However, if I were to write a hub about how thermonuclear energy works, it would not be very interesting or well-written because I would not even know where to start on the subject!

Feel free to write hubs about things you have an interest in even though you aren't necessarily a pro in the field! Wikipedia and Google search are there to help you on your way! Just don't write about topics that are way above your head because, well, you want to be an authority on the subject.

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    • Snakesmum profile image

      Jean DAndrea 2 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Thanks for the tips - the boredom check is a great idea. I think I should do more research on how to engage people! :-)

    • torrilynn profile image

      torrilynn 2 years ago

      I think the best tip to writing a successful hub is to be yourself

    • misterhollywood profile image

      John Hollywood 2 years ago from Hollywood, CA

      Interesting and informative hub. Love the boredom check!! Thanks for this post. voted up!

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 2 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      i need to add in polls to all my hubs. Need to interact with readers

    • FreezeFrame34 profile image

      FreezeFrame34 3 years ago from Charleston SC

      Great tips from a veteran writer!

    • DealForALiving profile image

      Sam Deal 3 years ago from Earth

      Thanks for writing this. I can definitely use the tips as I'm just starting out here on Hubpages.

    • brakel2 profile image

      Audrey Selig 3 years ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

      Hi Melbel - You are so amazing in your thought processing in preparing a hub. Photos are fun to look at, so that is so important. It is even better if they are colorful. Planning, as you said, is so important. Talking to your readers is a great tip. You have included so many ideas to make writers excited and motivated. Thank you for sharing your ideas. Blessings, Audrey, Sharing hub

    • Bethaleg profile image

      Bethaleg 5 years ago from Minnesota

      My only complaint is that I didn't read this before publishing my first Hub! I only have 2 right now so with these tips now I can write better ones. Thanks for helping us newbies and I think these are great tips for anyone.

    • Made profile image

      Madeleine Salin 5 years ago from Finland

      Hi melbel, I need to bookmark this hub and come back later to read it. It seems to be helpful.

    • Nokchill profile image

      Nokchill 5 years ago

      Hello MelBel I've just completed your course on writing successful HUBS. Thanks so much for this information I started working on my first HUB on Christmas, and after many interruptions I decided to give it a rest until I could devote the proper time to it. I really enjoyed your tips for the HUB writing process. ReneeL

    • Eranofu profile image

      Eranofu 5 years ago from Europe

      Planning is the part I like the most... Just sitting, dreaming about the hub. ^^ Then formatting, finding pretty pictures - all that is lovely. Writing itself is what gets frustrating. I tend to correct myself 50times, and when I think it's nice and done I get proud of myself, publish and... find a typo. :S

      Nothing beats made up statistics in the article. :D Had to smile about that sentence.

    • Danette Watt profile image

      Danette Watt 6 years ago from Illinois

      Great info here. I didn't know about choosing your own URL and I'm going to incorporate that into my next batch of hubs. I write a draft in Word so I can revise and edit if necessary. I'm not sure what my #7 tip would be but I will say this: my writing feels different to me (even as I write it) when I don't feel confident about my subject. so I try to stick to topics I'm familiar with or can at least relate to in some way.

      Bookmarking this so I can review the URL tip later. Voted up

    • mobilityvanman profile image

      mobilityvanman 6 years ago from Florida

      Melbel, I try to do a 15 minute freewrite or outline exercise once I pick my topic. I am looking for more topics to create hubs on and your hub gave me some good inspiration.

    • wba108@yahoo.com profile image

      wba108@yahoo.com 6 years ago from upstate, NY

      melbel-

      I found you on Ms Dee's INFP Hub and thought it would be interesting to check out a fellow INFPer. I'm glad I did, this is great writing! I bookmarked this Hub, this is the kind of information I've been looking for. I didn't know I could create my own URL for better SEO, I also felt your suggestion about talking to your readers to be very good! Keep up the good work!-WBA

    • melbel profile image
      Author

      Melanie Shebel 6 years ago from New Buffalo, Michigan

      @shampa sadhya

      I WISH you could change the urls. Really! Sadly, you can't. I have a number of hubs whose content has changed, over time, to kind of hone the topic, but the url remains the same... which is unrelated to the content.

    • shampa sadhya profile image

      Shampa Sadhya 6 years ago from NEW DELHI, INDIA

      An extremely helpful hub. I especially liked the URL point. I never tried it earlier and so my hub titles are the URLs. I have a question: Can I change the URLs of my hubs after the publication?

      Thanks for all the tips. Keep going!

    • Mansi2512 profile image

      Mansi2512 6 years ago from Bangalore,India

      Wow. That was really awesome! Thank You.

    • carol3san profile image

      Carolyn Sands 6 years ago from Hollywood Florida

      Thanks for the article...much appreciated. I too write in the word document first. Not only does it show me mispilled words automatically, but it is also helpful with any grammer errors I might make.

    • sacredlilac profile image

      sacredlilac 6 years ago from Canada via England

      The point about flow is so true for short and long articles.

      There is one point I would add: Watch your spelling and grammar. There are many hubs I read that have spelling mistakes and simple grammatical mistakes.

      I write in a Word document first (instant spellchecker), save it as a text file, then copy and paste into a hub. This also allows you to see the flow, which can be hard to follow if you are writing into live hubs.

      Another great article. Thanks!

    • Royalmark profile image

      Royalmark 6 years ago from Lagos, Nigeria

      Your tips are all so right on point.

      I'll add up a tip below:

      "Make sure your keywords which you want to rank for are mentioned frequently in your article but don't include it when it's not necessary. This helps your article rank more in the Google page rank".

      Thanks and this is a wonderful hub. :-)

      Regards,

      Royalmark.

    • profile image

      u01dtj6 6 years ago

      I have just recently joined and these tips are great to read. Thanks for the advice!

    • profile image

      dewaldvandeventer 6 years ago from South Africa, Gauteng

      Hi, i came across the "hub-relm" last night, and are excited about it.

      I signed up, and am about to write my first hub!

      Wish me luck.

      I want to create a website too so i cn direct my followers to that too, which will give them resources on writing + other cool stuff.

    • glorgeousmom profile image

      Glo L Bernadas 6 years ago from Philippines

      Valuable tips such as these is certainly of great value to newbies like me. Thank you.

    • Painted Seahorse profile image

      Brittany Rowland 6 years ago from Woodstock, GA

      Great tips for hubbers here. And you demonstrate what you're advising by making your hub engaging and funny!

    • LoopyGem profile image

      LoopyGem 6 years ago from Canada

      I am new to hubpages and this was awesome advice! I have written three. Unfortunately, I realized too late that this isn't a "blog"...So, I am going to do more research and reading other hubs to get a better flow. Thanks again for this great hub to get me going in the right direction!

    • heart4theword profile image

      heart4theword 6 years ago from hub

      Encouraging guidelines:) Always good to double check the list, to see if we've covered everything! Thanks:)

    • Lady Wordsmith profile image

      Linda Rawlinson 6 years ago from Lancaster, UK

      Lucrative? Hmm. How do you make a blog lucrative? I guess your blog involves more than a bit of news about what you ate for breakfast and so on?

      Great tips :)

    • Jhangora profile image

      Dinesh Mohan Raturi 6 years ago from Dehradun

      Great tips on writing Hubs which are interesting and attract visitors. Will try to follow your advice.

    • Hyphenbird profile image

      Brenda Barnes 6 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

      Very informative to me-a new Hubber. Thank you!

    • UrbnGeek profile image

      UrbnGeek 6 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Woah! Great Hub for new hubbers! Thanks melbel!

    • profile image

      Ten123 6 years ago

      I really love this Hub. It is informative yet fun and not to dry!!!!! Awesome Hub and I love learning since I am new at this. Thank You!!!

    • melbel profile image
      Author

      Melanie Shebel 6 years ago from New Buffalo, Michigan

      Well, if you need my help, I'm willing to give you some one on one advice if you're interested.

    • Esmeowl12 profile image

      Cindy A. Johnson 6 years ago from Sevierville, TN

      Thanks for the "tips." I can use all the help I can get.

    • shirleyoaks profile image

      shirleyoaks 6 years ago from Ireland

      really liked your hub,as a new hubber,i love this site it's so easy to use,it's great to have an outlet for all the thinking i do,look forward to future hubs

    • melbel profile image
      Author

      Melanie Shebel 6 years ago from New Buffalo, Michigan

      Thank you for the comment. :) I'm glad these tips helped you!

    • The Pink Panther profile image

      The Pink Panther 6 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      Some great tips! Thanks!

    • tonymac04 profile image

      Tony McGregor 6 years ago from South Africa

      Thanks for some really valuable (and different) tips.

      Love and peace

      Tony

    • Les Trois Chenes profile image

      Les Trois Chenes 7 years ago from Videix, Limousin, South West France

      Many thanks for this Hub. There is so much to learn and your tip re url v title is one I'll certainly put into practice pronto.

    • fermina profile image

      fermina 7 years ago

      Thanks for tips. I am a new hubber also so this helps a lot.

    • Roseann Cole profile image

      Roseann Cole 7 years ago from Midwest USA

      Hey thanks for the great advice. I just started my hub yesterday and I am already using the boring office people stock photos. hmm....I will have to rethink that!

    • profile image

      TechTrendy 7 years ago

      melbel you have some great advice here and your article has a great flow. Totally agree about the stock images as well it's almost like it's vintage with the old photos.

    • kentuckyslone profile image

      kentuckyslone 7 years ago

      Funny stuff about the stock images and so true...

    • Alison Graham profile image

      Alison Graham 7 years ago from UK

      thanks for all the great tips, some really helpful pointers here.

    • melbel profile image
      Author

      Melanie Shebel 7 years ago from New Buffalo, Michigan

      I am glad I could help! If there is anything you need help with, let me know... although you appear to be well on your way to success here on HubPages!

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 7 years ago from London, UK

      Thank you for your comprehensive hub and it gave me a few ideas which help.

    • melbel profile image
      Author

      Melanie Shebel 7 years ago from New Buffalo, Michigan

      Thank you for the positive comments!

    • profile image

      ankigarg87 7 years ago

      very useful tips thanks for the tips.It will help me a lot

    • ross670daw profile image

      ross670daw 7 years ago

      Hi Melbel, I sometimes get so excited about an article I'm going to write, that I often skip the all important steps, doing the right research, planning and think about what I'm writing. Then I have to slow down, go back to the start and rethink. Your advice and tips are a good reminder.

      Thanks.