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Five Things I wish I knew when I started HubPages

Updated on May 6, 2011

I've learned many things along the way and I wish I had known them when I first started it would have saved me some time and effort.

1. Keep titles short and to the point

You should have "search keywords" in your titles. If your titles are too long, the weight of those key words would be diluted. Short titles gives the few key words that are there stronger weight. They will also have greater weight if the keywords or at the beginning of the title.

Ideally your title should be very close to what a user would type in the search box of a search engine. So something like "Avocados Health Benefits" would be good. Although "avocados" would be more often searched, the competition is too great for that term and there would be little chance for my article to be listed on the first page of the search results. "Avocados health benefits" has less competition, but is still a phrase that is being searched (as can be determined by the Google external keyword tool).

A title such as "carrots celery and beets soup" may not be a very well searched phrase. Instead try "light soup with carrots celery and beets" since "light soup" is being searched.

As an example, the title "Five Things I wish I knew when I started HubPages" of this article is not a very good one. It doesn't have any good key words except for "HubPages" which happens to be the last word of the title. But oh well, sometimes it cannot be helped. As I couldn't think of a better title at the current moment.

2. Importance of tagging

The more relevant tags you put in your hub the better. This is how HubPages figure out what articles to show in the related article module.

By adding tags, your article will show up for that particular tag when a visitor clicks on one of the tag links (which could be on other people's article).

To help you brainstorm good tags, look in the "Related Hubs" sidebar module after your Hub is published. Click and see what tags those other Hubs are using. Click on the tags to see if there are many articles on under that tag. If there are, that means is that good tag. And if the tags is relevant you can go back and add additional tags.

3. Keep articles the right length

Your article should be at least 400 words or longer. The longer the better because search engines like articles with a lot of text content. I know it is a lot of writing, that is why I use speech recognition software and dictate; the software does the typing for me.

And in particular the first text module should be long enough such that the hub pages algorithm can embed an advertisement block in there. I did not happen to do it this time in this article. There are always exceptions. These are general guidelines only.

But if you article gets too long, split them up into two articles (with two different titles) instead. You probably will get more page views that way. A good rule of thumb for me is to have articles between 500 to 1000 words.

You can see the number of words of your article after you have published it and wait for a while. It will show up under "Stats".

4. Interlink your articles

This is really important. Not only does that give you valuable backlinks from one article to the next in terms of search engine ranking, but it will drive visitors from one article to the next giving you more views of your articles. More views means more likely to click on your ads, right?

Try to get in at least one relevant link somewhere in the content of your article. If you cannot get the link in, at least put in an RSS feed module of your latest articles at the bottom. Or add a links module of your related Hubs.

Why Follow?

When I first started HubPages, I didn't follow anyone. I was too busy writing. But the reason why you want to follow other Hubbers is that some will follow you back. Those who follow you will get email notifications whenever you make a post (provided that they have this setting turned on, which it is by default).

You want to follow those who write about the same subject matter as you do. They will be more likely to follow you back and also more likely to read your posts when they get their email notifications. To find others who write about the same subject matter, you want to go into your "Account -> Activity -> Topics You Follow "and select topics in your area of interest. Now in your dashboard you will see new posts in "Your feature topics". As you read interesting articles in those topic you can follow the authors who write them.

You can also browse the HubPages topic directory here.

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