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Make Money Online with HubPages: Why Isn't My Article Featured?

Updated on May 6, 2020
PT Richard profile image

I'm an experienced online content creator with several streams of passive income from my writing. I'm here to share my secrets.

Can't believe your HubPages article wasn't featured? You're not alone.
Can't believe your HubPages article wasn't featured? You're not alone.

Why Isn't My HubPages Article Featured?

This is one of the most commonly asked questions on the forums, and is clearly the one thing that writers both new and established are struggling with. If your article is not featured on HubPages (or the HubPages Network), that means that almost no one will see it. When youi get the message from HP central that your article "could be featured," it is often the first chapter in a long saga of editing, rewriting, waiting, and guessing that can try the patience of even the most mature and experienced online writer.

This article is meant for everyone who has ever written for HubPages and had their article turned down for being featured–which is to say, every single one of us.

One thing that "spammy elements" means is this: you have too many links that lead the reader off the page (AKA "outbound links").

The Number One Reason for Unfeatured Status: "Spammy Elements"

HubPages is strangely unhelpful when it comes to telling you what's wrong with your article and how to fix it. Nothing is more representative of this trait than the phrase "spammy elements." No definition; no path to fixing it; no support, really. We are on our own. It's almost as if HubPages is saying, "Look, your article has something seriously wrong with it, and if you can't figure out what it is on your own, then maybe you don't really belong here as a writer in the first place."

One thing "spammy elements" means is this: too many links that lead the reader off the page (AKA "outbound links"). HubPages doesn't like that, and for good reason. So check your article. Often the sources and valid links that you have gone to the trouble of adding are triggering the bot that spits out the word "spammy." Commercial links like Etsy and Cafe Press are a guaranteed no-go.

Links: When in doubt, leave it out. This includes actual live links to your photo credits. For a new article trying to get featured status, you want zero outbound links. Just don't include them. If your article is written to provide or promote a link, it will never get featured. It's that simple. Take the time to strip or deactivate all of the outbound links, including links to photo sites and other sources you might have used. You can always add them in later, one at a time, with caution. But for now, get rid of them.

More Information You Need

Choose your keywords carefully and use them sparingly!
Choose your keywords carefully and use them sparingly!

Another Reason Your Article isn't Featured: Keyword Abuse

Another reason for the "spammy elements" message is the overuse of keywords and phrases, also known as “keyword stuffing.” In other words, you awkwardly crammed your keyword in to try to jump ahead in the search engine results (SERPS). This isn't writing: this is scamming. Before Google can sniff you out and ding HubPages' good name, HubPages will make sure that your article never sees the light of day. That's what you get for all of your clever keyword insertion!

Of course, you SHOULD use your keywords liberally and inventively. There's a truly fine line between keyword use and keyword abuse. Learning to find that line is an essential part of becoming an effective, money-making online writer.

If you don't know what keywords are, you need to learn right now. Check out my article about keywords and their proper use.

Go to Pixabay or Unsplash. All the photos you can dream of are right there, free to use on money-making sites.

Uncredited Photographs

Be careful about the way you use photos and other material that may be copyrighted by someone else. HubPages will shut you down if you use images that belong to someone else, of course, because they could sue you and take not only your money but HubPages' money as well.

Go to Pixabay or Unsplash. All the photos you can dream of are right there, free to use on money-making sites. There's really no reason to use dicey images with these great sites out there.

Dial back the sales pitch and you might be featured
Dial back the sales pitch and you might be featured

Your Article is Overly Promotional

It never ceases to amaze me the number of people who join HubPages and write a short, meaningless article simply to promote their business. And it's often not even an online business -- it's drywall repair in Lebanon, or an advertising agency in Mumbai. HubPages will always deny these articles. HubPages can't allow itself to be hijacked by someone trying to drum up business for their tool-rental business in Lapore! If this is you, quit now. You're wasting your time and everyone else's when you go to the forums and ask why your article isn't featured.

Command of The English Language

There's no way around it–people who have English as a second language really struggle on HubPages To stay on Google's good side, HubPages has to keep the quality of its writing top-notch. I myself have my hat off to people who can even begin to express themselves in more than one language, and I'm lucky to be born and raised in the US. English is my first language: I don't even pretend to have a second one.

That said, and I mean this in the kindest possible way, if you don't have near-flawless command of written English, you will struggle mightily on HubPages.

About Me

I am a seasoned online content writer with over 15 years in the business. I make decent money from this side-hustle: last year I made about $20,000 from my combined libraries of online articles, and all of that income was passive (I made money 24 hours a day, whether I was writing or not). It's a sweet source of income that I use for travel and other luxuries.

When I first started writing online, it was really more for my own entertainment than anything else. I chose topics at random, ignored SEO, and thought I could do everything myself. As a result I made more or less every mistake a rookie online writer can make. But I learned from my mistakes, and I got better.

These articles are my way of sharing what I've learned with other online content creators. They are free for you to read and act on, if you choose. If there's anything I have left out or got wrong, feel free to comment down below. Good luck to you, and I hope you see your income streams become rushing rapids!


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