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How to get Published on HubPages

Updated on January 16, 2017
Marcy Goodfleisch profile image

A professional career coach, Marcy has helped hundreds refine their resumes, improve their interviewing skills, and advance their careers.

These tips will help you succeed on HubPages

HubPages has some great guidelines to help its writers do their best.
HubPages has some great guidelines to help its writers do their best. | Source

How to publish good content on HubPages

Typical reasons hubs don't pass review or get de-indexed:

  • Duplicate content: This happens when you cut and paste word-for-word from any other online source. Even if you’ve only used a short piece of an item, you can be flagged if the information is not public domain. HubPages expects its writers to contribute original material, not content that is churned from other sites. Even if the content is your own work, if it was published elsewhere, it can be flagged.
  • Just so you’ll know, duplicate content can be a reflection on the entire site, not just your article. It’s a violation of copyright guidelines and it amounts to stealing. Unfortunately, many people erroneously assume anything online is free for the taking (music, videos, and content). Not so – writers own their content. Respect that ownership and you won’t get flagged for duplicate content (and if you’re writing a term paper, you won’t get an ‘F’).
  • Poor quality: If your hub is flagged during the review process, or after it has been published, you may want to check for errors in writing or grammar. You can also be flagged for poor quality of photos, and for general formatting (such as one long giant block of text, or other types of formatting that discourage people from reading your work.
  • Spun content: This happens when content is ‘rewritten’ through use of synonyms or other copycat words. It can be done automatically or (more painstakingly) by hand. Either way, someone lazy or dishonest is trying to get mileage and/or money from someone else’s work. This site frowns on it (as in, it’s serious stuff), and search engines will spot it. An experienced writer will spot it, too – we recognize when words are close but no cigar. This type of writing looks different from unskilled writing, where someone inadvertently uses the wrong word but you can tell they’re trying. If you’re spinning, it will get caught and flagged.
  • Short content: Aside from poems, or perhaps recipes, articles on this site (HubPages) should have at least 500 words. It also helps to have multiple text capsules and at least one good, properly used photo.
  • Poorly translated content: This can be either from translation software (which really stands out – resembles spun content), or from a writer who just isn’t fluent in English, which is the language this site uses.
  • Low traffic: This can cause the system to put your hub on "idle." If the article has good writing and good content, simply go in and edit it a bit to give it another boost.

Are you stumped on how to improve your writing?

There are plenty of books on how to improve writing, and also a number of good websites. Just do some searches and you'll find great resources.
There are plenty of books on how to improve writing, and also a number of good websites. Just do some searches and you'll find great resources.

Common Problems in Writing

New writers, especially those who are new to online publishing, sometimes have a learning curve in figuring out what the appropriate writing style and guidelines are for various sites compared to more personal types of writing, such as blogs. Some of the following styles can put you in jeopardy of being flagged or having your content moderated on sites such as HubPages:

Blog-like content: A blog will differ greatly from informational articles a site such as HubPages, for example prefers. If your hubs are purely personal or have almost the tone of a journal, or are full of anecdotal information with no advice or details that will help the reader, then you might be happier writing a blog. Hubs that ask readers for advice on problems, or that ramble on with no real storyline or point (a style you might use if you are writing on a social site) can be flagged as being too personal. If you're writing on a site that hosts a variety of authors, check the site's guidelines to see if your content matches the site’s goals for its content.

Poorly written: Just like anything else, writing takes practice. If you’ve been flagged for poor content, check some of the many hubs on this site that address writing skills, grammar usage and other rules for turning out a professional product. You will find a wealth of information from professionals. Then, practice, practice, practice! In the meantime, leave out shorthand terms you might use in a text message (such a LOL, or other abbreviations) and check your spelling in every hub.

There are other reasons an article can be flagged for poor writing. If you’re not used to putting words on paper or online for an audience, you may want to read articles written by seasoned writers here or on another site, and get an idea of the style the site (and Google) will prefer for articles that will eventually be monetized.

Follow the site's guidelines and you can pass the review process

The HubPages team sets the standards for content on the site and reviews all articles before they are published.
The HubPages team sets the standards for content on the site and reviews all articles before they are published. | Source

Other reasons hubs don't get approved

Purely promotional: Sometimes you might stumble on articles that are written simply to advertize a business. Product reviews are not prohibited online, but an article that focuses on only one business (repeatedly), or contains more than two links to the same site can raise red flags for site moderators and be reviewed. If there’s a blatant sales pitch in an article, the moderators will probably examine it to see if it meets guidelines.

Inappropriate content: Wait – weren’t all the above examples inappropriate for some reason? Well, yes. But the actual term, ‘inappropriate content" refers to other issues. A site such as HubPages, for example, is designed for a general audience and its guidelines prohibit adult content (something you wouldn’t want your kids or your elderly grandmother to read). Other guidelines caution against abusive content, hate messages or mature content that is too suggestive for general audiences. Read the site’s guidelines to learn more.

These are just a few of the reasons a writer's articles can be flagged for review. Since some guidelines are more subjective than others, there can be a variety of reasons one reader might report content compared to another.

Take this poll

Do you feel you understand the guidelines for hub content?

See results

My Hub Has Been Moderated! Now what?

If you get a notice your content has been flagged, don’t panic! On most sites, moderators will review the content and they’ll let you know if you need to revise the article. Often, they will un-publish it to give you a chance to make revisions. In severe cases, where violations are repeated or egregious and can put the entire site in jeopardy (such as porn, or stolen content), the author can be banned from the site.

Just as editors have expectations from writers, most sites have guidelines that are quite reasonable and, once you know them, very easy to follow. Some guidelines might require an author to learn a few new skills, but there are numerous resources for this, and you’ll be glad you tackled the assignment. You’ll also get plenty of support along the way!

Keep Writing!

Keep writing, and learn from the set-backs. Every writer goes through many learning curves, and you'll be thankful for the tips you get to improve your work. Many small businesses need writers, and there are several ways you can earn money through your writing.

Meanwhile, find your own niche by checking which topics readers follow on this site to see if you can fill a void! You will improve with each hub you write, and you'll gain more followers as you become an expert in your field. You'll also learn how to write more than one story on topic or theme, which expands your earning potential.

Happy writing!

Comments

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  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image
    Author

    Marcy Goodfleisch 4 years ago from Planet Earth

    Hi, Charles - thanks for reading and leaving your comment here. So many Hubbers have had the same experience you mention here. One thing that affects many hubs is whether the title is keyword-friendly. My first hubs had titles that were catchy for magazines but that nobody would search for. Have you tried running the title through Google Adwords (the keyword search tool?). It's super easy to use, and free. There's some information in the Learning Center on that.

    You can change the title without changing the URL, and also look at ways to change the subheads if needed. This will help a hub get out of the idled stage and also help attract traffic for those people who do search for the phrases you use in the title and subheads.

    Some topics aren't widely searched, and that affects things, too. It sounds like your hub is informative and written well, so I'm guessing keyword research might help? Let us know if you tweak any of those things, and whether you see results (it can take a while to make a difference, though!).

  • Charles James profile image

    Charles James 4 years ago from Yorkshire, UK

    My hub "Family Tree Detective" has been idled. It currently scores 80, so it is a well written hub. There is no duplicate content. About a month ago I added some content, so it is not stale.

    Is there a good explanation?

  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image
    Author

    Marcy Goodfleisch 5 years ago from Planet Earth

    I'm not sure what a reader would see when a hub is flagged - usually, that's only viewed by the author of a hub. Are you thinking of the colorful icons for pinning or sharing a hub? Those look a bit flag-like. Also, the new layout has created some issues with hubs getting flagged by mistake or some such thing. If you personally have a flagged hub, contact the site moderators to ask for clarification. There's a forum thread about hubs getting unpublished that also has some information.

    Good luck!

  • chef-de-jour profile image

    Andrew Spacey 5 years ago from Near Huddersfield, West Yorkshire,UK

    I'm having a torrid time - all hubs I view appear to be flagged! My own and other hubbers. What's going on? Can't seem to find a reason.

  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image
    Author

    Marcy Goodfleisch 5 years ago from Planet Earth

    Many thanks!

  • wsteveg profile image

    wsteveg 5 years ago

    Nice hub!

  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image
    Author

    Marcy Goodfleisch 5 years ago from Planet Earth

    I agree completely, Horatio - Although I do support the site's goal of opening its opportunities to any new writer who wants to publish here (look at the diamonds in the rough that have historically been discovered in slush piles). But I hope there are some filtering mechanisms to help guide brand-new users to ways they can develop the skills needed to meet site guidelines.

    Some new users seem to have trouble recognizing the style of writing the site prefers to have. And some complain that there are guidelines to begin with. Well, we write here for free, so I'm fine with following the rules. HubPages owns the site, and I am here as their guest.

  • Horatio Plot profile image

    Horatio Plot 5 years ago from Bedfordshire, England.

    Every Hubber should be forced to spend half an hour a day Hoppin' Hubs and flagging the junk is what I say.

    There's so much crap bubbling beneath the surface on this site that it's scary.

    In the end it just lowers the credibility of the whole site which isn't fair to the many great writers that stalk its lonely corridors.

    Quality. Quality. Quality. That's all there is to it. So Flag. Flag. Flag.

  • Pamela99 profile image

    Pamela Oglesby 5 years ago from United States

    Interesting hub and a great review of reasons to get flagged.

  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image
    Author

    Marcy Goodfleisch 5 years ago from Planet Earth

    Hi, Sinea - Thanks so much for reading and commenting! I am a big fan of your hubs, and I'm so glad to meet you here.

  • Sinea Pies profile image

    Sinea Pies 5 years ago from Northeastern United States

    Marcy, this is such a valuable hub. Bookmarking it for future reference and voting it UP and useful too. Can't wait to check your other links.

  • rob_allen profile image

    rob_allen 5 years ago from MNL, PH

    No problem Marcy. I will. Hubpages is a community and we are here to back each other up ;)

  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image
    Author

    Marcy Goodfleisch 5 years ago from Planet Earth

    Hi, Rob - thank you for reading and commenting! Plase feel free to share with anyone who might want to read the hub. We're all here to help each other!

  • rob_allen profile image

    rob_allen 5 years ago from MNL, PH

    Hi marcy, thank you for supplying such important notes to your hub. I really learned a lot. I've been here for quite a long time and I tend to forget some of these things. Of course, I don't want to get flagged or even banned from Hubpages. I will share this to people who are new to HP so at least they will know how the business goes. Thanks for the reminders Marcy! :)

  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image
    Author

    Marcy Goodfleisch 5 years ago from Planet Earth

    Thanks, suzzycue! There are so many things to learn here! Glad these tips were helpful to you!

  • suzzycue profile image

    Susan Britton 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

    Thank you Marcy for this information. I'm learning as I go and found your hub takes the guess work out of things. This is what I like, a straight forward hub on how to do things. Good job.

  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image
    Author

    Marcy Goodfleisch 5 years ago from Planet Earth

    Thank you, Teaches - I appreciate your reading and commenting here!

  • teaches12345 profile image

    Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

    This is all good information and will be useful as a reference. I can see why some hubs would be flagged according to what you have posted. Thanks for sharing. Voted up!

  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image
    Author

    Marcy Goodfleisch 5 years ago from Planet Earth

    Hi, Nell - That would be quite an experience - to br flagged for something never before written about. Especially when we see multiple hubs about the same topics (which, I assumem don't get flagged). I've always found the HubPages team to be very supportive - I'm glad you got it ironed out. Thanks for your comments!

  • Nell Rose profile image

    Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

    Hi, this is great information. Even for people who have been writing on here for years, we can still slip up sometimes. the only time I got flagged for copying was on a hub about a girl that nobody had ever written about! lol! but the hubstaff were great and realised it had been a mistake! phew! after checking it they realised that it was the only one on the internet! haha! gave me a real fright though! rated up, and thanks for sharing!

  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image
    Author

    Marcy Goodfleisch 5 years ago from Planet Earth

    Hi, riaha - thank you for reading and commenting. I'm glad you enjoyed the hub!

  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image
    Author

    Marcy Goodfleisch 5 years ago from Planet Earth

    Thanks, Robert - and welcome to HubPages! I will watch for your hubs!

  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image
    Author

    Marcy Goodfleisch 5 years ago from Planet Earth

    Hi, Millionaire Tips - that's a new one to me! I know the site wants links to be related to content, but I hadn't thought of the RSS feed! Let's file that one in our 'Need to remember' pile. Thank you for sharing!

  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image
    Author

    Marcy Goodfleisch 5 years ago from Planet Earth

    Hi, Cloverleaf (your username reminds me of romping through a spring meadow, by the way!). I think we all hope never to be flagged - but some really good and experienced writers sometimes get flags. So much to learn here, right?

  • rlaha profile image

    rlaha 5 years ago from Spartanburg, SC

    Thank you for sharing such an informative and insightful hub! Voted up, useful and interesting! I'm going to share this as well.

  • robert curreli profile image

    robert curreli 5 years ago from Nutley, NJ

    Marcy, thanks for the informative hub. I'm a newbie and found it helpful. Swell job.

  • Millionaire Tips profile image

    Shasta Matova 5 years ago from USA

    Marcy, you have done an excellent job in explaining HubPages guidelines. This is very easy to understand, even if it is frustrating when a hub gets flagged. I had a hub that was flagged because the RSS feed wasn't on related topics.

  • Cloverleaf profile image

    Cloverleaf 5 years ago from Calgary, AB, Canada

    Hi Marcy, thankfully I haven't had any of my hubs flagged (not yet anyway!). Posting original content is always very important. I think all hubbers will find your information useful. I'll be sharing your advice around!

  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image
    Author

    Marcy Goodfleisch 5 years ago from Planet Earth

    Thanks, alocsin - you should write a hub on your experience! I think many readers would appreciate it.

  • alocsin profile image

    alocsin 5 years ago from Orange County, CA

    Having just had about ten of my Index hubs flagged, I can verify the validity of your overview. I wish though that they'd provide a reason for the flagging so you don't have to wonder. In my cases at least, most of the time it's because the automated flagger was overzealous. In any case, it's usually easily to eliminate the flag by either contacting he moderators or making their stated corrections. Voting this Up and Useful.

  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image
    Author

    Marcy Goodfleisch 5 years ago from Planet Earth

    Thanks, Ironman! I appreciate your comments - glad you liked the hub.

  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image
    Author

    Marcy Goodfleisch 5 years ago from Planet Earth

    Hi, ultimatebot! I know several people who have had 'mystery flags' and had hubs unpublished. Usually you can rework the hubs to fix things. Also, check whether photos have watermarks or anything - that gets flagged, too. Good luck! I will watch for your hubs!

  • Ironman1992 profile image

    Ironman1992 5 years ago

    This is a helpful hub. Thanks for sharing.

  • ultimatebot profile image

    ultimatebot 5 years ago from Malaysia

    Nice information there! Some of my hub just got unpublished for some reasons just I don't know what. I guess keep improving my writng skills is the way to go! Voted up!

  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image
    Author

    Marcy Goodfleisch 5 years ago from Planet Earth

    Hi, Jackie - thanks for reading and commenting! I have known others who had original content (which they wrote), but were told there was duplication from another hub. I've also known people who had the same issues you encountered - it's difficult to write Part Two of something without having at least some degree of Part One in it!

    Thanks for sharing here - I think it's important for people to know the filters aren't perfect! And I'm sorry you went through that! (Feel free to vent away - that's what friends are for!).

  • Jackie Lynnley profile image

    Jackie Lynnley 5 years ago from The Beautiful South

    I did a part two of a very popular hub that was done up well before I posted the first one and it definitely was not copied and pasted but it did have some of the same information being about the same subject. I felt it was a really vital follow up but it was called a duplicate and nothing could have been further from the truth. I didn't and don't feel like arguing it so I will just put them together elsewhere. It certainly was no sales ad. So I am just saying it is not always cut and dry. As with my poetry I try to make all my hubs unique and they are most assuredly mine.

    Thanks for letting me vent.

  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image
    Author

    Marcy Goodfleisch 5 years ago from Planet Earth

    Thank you, reikieffect! I appreciate you stopping by and commenting!

  • reikieffect profile image

    reikieffect 5 years ago

    Thanks for sharing this information; very useful. Up and interesting

  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image
    Author

    Marcy Goodfleisch 5 years ago from Planet Earth

    I appreciate your comments, L.L. Woodard - I do hope the information helps people understand what is meant by various terms. It can be a challenge to new writers here.

  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image
    Author

    Marcy Goodfleisch 5 years ago from Planet Earth

    Thanks for reading and commenting, jainismus - I'm glad you found the hub useful!

  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image
    Author

    Marcy Goodfleisch 5 years ago from Planet Earth

    Hi, John - that's really interesting, for the site to be conscious about fast food! I hadn't heard that - thanks for sharing.

  • John Sarkis profile image

    John Sarkis 5 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

    Very informative article - voted up

    I've been lucky at HP for the most part. However, I did have an article flagged once for "promotional" content, I think? I wrote about my love of fastfoods and hamburgers and I received an email from HP staff saying they did not care having this type of content on their site (e.g., fastfood is responsible for a country wide epidemic of obesity and health related issues...)

    Take care

    John

  • jainismus profile image

    Mahaveer Sanglikar 5 years ago from Pune, India

    You have given very useful information for new Hubbers. Voted up and shared

  • L.L. Woodard profile image

    L.L. Woodard 5 years ago from Oklahoma City

    You've thoroughly explained the various reasons that a hub may be flagged and done so in an easy-to-understand manner. This is good reading for new hubbers and a good refresher for those of us who have been around a while.

    Voted up and SHARED.