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The Difference between a Blog and a Hub
People new to the internet tend to call everything a "blog". People new to Hubpages often refer to hubs they comment upon as "blogs". Slowly, they learn to switch from saying "blog" to saying "hub", but even as they change the lingo, you can usually tell that they think it is just a question of political correctness, like switching from "short" to "vertically challenged." It takes a much longer period of trial and error before a newbie comes to realize that a blog is not a hub and a hub is not a blog.
So what is a blog? A blog is short for "web log". The important structural distinction that makes something a blog, rather than some other kind of web page, is that it is divided into chronological units, and it displays in reverse chronological order. A blog is like an online diary.
What is a hub? A hub is a web article posted on Hubpages. If we had followed the linguistic development in blog, we might have called hubs "barticles". But that doesn't sound so good, does it?
Articles are short papers on a particular topic, are usually non-fiction, and tend to have a sharp focus. Articles are longer than a squib or a blurb, but shorter than a book or a thesis.
My Own Experiences
I have a home page from my days in grad school. I have a Hubpages account that I began using nearly two years ago. And now I have a blog. Because my blog is the newest addition to my personal arsenal of weapons for conquering the web, I'm still in the beginning stages of learning how to use it.
I came into hubbing entirely by accident. Somebody invited me to join hubpages so I could be her fan. I did, and then having joined, I thought maybe I could give it a try. I realized that I have some fairly esoteric interests,and that most people are unlikely to be interested in them, so my first few hubs were about nutrition. I reasoned that everybody has to eat, so this should be a topic with universal appeal. I also believed I had something to say. It would be a fairly modest contribution to the field, seeing as I am not in any way a specialist or accredited to give advice. But since, like everybody else, I had experiences relating to nutrition, I could share what I had learned. I also included mini-reviews of books on nutrition I enjoyed, such as those by Michael Pollan.
Was this the biggest contribution I could make? No, of course not. It was actually the smallest. But because all my big contributions had been rejected time and time again by the world at large, I thought I would try my hand at making smaller contributions that might be acceptable, perhaps because they were so modest.
I became a hubber. I joined the community, and after a while I started to share who I really was, because there seemed to be a high enough level of acceptance at each step of the way. From writing on nutrition I went on to write about linguistics and then ape language studies, and then, even politics and religion and love. It turned out that on Hubpages, you can write about anything, and while not everyone will agree with you, they don't cast you out!
The Reddit Disaster
I proceeded cautiously along the usual trajectory at Hubpages, following the small ups and downs in my traffic history, until one day something huge happened. Someone linked to my article of Bow and Literacy from reddit. Suddenly tens of thousands of page views. I thought I had hit pay dirt! But the emotional high and the spike in my page views didn't last long, and the crash that followed was really disheartening.
My Traffic History
One of the things I learned from the reddit fiasco is that while hubpages have fairly decent authority with search engines, they have low prestige among the reddit crowd, who fancy themselves a cut above. It turns out that according to them the average writer at Hubpages is some illiterate person who thinks he is a writer (but isn't) and who thinks he's going to quit his day job and perhaps become rich and famous by writing drivel. Friends and family who to some extent shared this view suggested that I get a blog instead.
Blogs have prestige. Blogs are respectable. And blogs make money.
Even some of the people at Hubpages told me it would be good to start a blog as a way to supplement and even support my Hubpages writing.
So, about a week ago, I started a blog. It's on Blogger, and I named it "Notes from the Pens." I started keeping a daily log of the ups and downs of life with Bow. And then I tried to look it up on Google. It didn't show! It was nowhere in sight. It didn't rank at all!
Hard to find my blog in a Google search
What Hubpages Does For us
That's when I realized what a wonderful leg up we get at Hubpages just for publishing here. The very fact that we publish at Hubpages gives us ranking with the Google search engines. So while the prestige of hubpages with the reddit crowd is low, the authority of this site with Google is quite high.
From the first time we publish with Hubpages, with our very first hub, we can find ourselves in a Google search. This means business! Whether you are primarily interested in an audience for your writing or in generating earnings, Hubpages beats a private website or a blog hands down.
Another thing that I realized was that if my blog was going to get any traffic at all, I would have to work hard to promote it!
I started a Forum thread asking: How do I get traffic for my blog? And I got some very good answers. I'm still sifting through them, but here is a rough summary:
- post it on blog directories
- link to it from your hubs
- buy ads
- create back links
- be persistent and keep at it even though you have no traffic
- SEO and keywords work on blogs, too
- find a focus and consider what topics Google search engines like
Google seems to be running the show. Even if you are not writing in order to make money, even if all you want to do is to get the word out about your project, cause or life story, you still need traffic. Having ads and well placed keywords can help to generate traffic. This is the magic of this site.
That's why here at Hubpages, whether you are one of the "marketeers" or one of the "writers", you have a common interest in the well-being of the site. We all need traffic! Hubpages helps to provide us with an initial boost of it, and we in turn help Hubpages, by generating publicity of our own.
I think Misha said it best: "...Your blog will benefit if you link to it from your hubs much more than your hubs if you link to them from your blog. "
(c) 2010 Aya Katz
Want to get your own domain name for your blog or website? Try here:
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- Notes from the Pens
My blog about life with Bow.