How to Transition from Squidoo to HubPages
Ready to Write a Hub
Settling in at HubPages
I joined HubPages in 2009, wrote a few hubs, and retreated back into my other writing sites on line. I didn't really feel at home and comfortable with HubPages then. Back then it seemed harder to get capsules to do what I wanted them to. There weren't any polls or quizzes. Now there are a lot of new capsules which make building hubs much more satisfying. The more building blocks one has, the more creative one can be in constructing a unique hub.So, I am happier with the writing process here now than I was at first.
That, though, is not the cause of my new-found enthusiasm for the site. What I appreciate most now are the various kinds of writing one can do and the conversations one can have in the comments sections. To contribute on HubPages, I don't always have to write a full hub. If I'm not feeling particularly inspired, if there's no idea in my brain fighting to come out on the keyboard, I can still find a question to answer or read and comment on someone else's hub, or see what's happening in the forums. One can get to know others a bit as you read their hubs.
Best of all, I can do the kind of writing I am best at here. My strength has always been in answering questions and participating in discussions. Answering a question makes me think and try to get at the heart of what someone wants to know. Sometimes others have already given great answers and I can just vote them up or down -- usually up. Sometimes I think there is something I can add. And sometimes trying to answer a question leads me to write a hub, thus solving the problem of what to write about. This kind of interaction is one of the primary reasons I am feeling more and more at home here.
How You Can Find Your Way Around HubPages
If HubPages is your first writing site, it may be easier to feel at home right away, since you are starting your online writing career here. It's always a good idea to read all the help files, terms of service, policies, and frequently asked questions before writing anything so that you don't make any big mistakes. You will learn to sign up for AdSense and Amazon if you wish. You may choose to sign up with the HubPages Ad Program in addition to or instead of Google and Amazon. Other members will help you settle in and find your way around. Pretty soon you will feel connected if you participate in all the opportunities offered to interact with others on the site.
If, however, you have already been very active on some other site, you will find a different way of connecting here that may feel strange at first. As many of you know, I had been active primarily on Squidoo when I first arrived. I was used to writing lenses with a lot more bells and whistles. I was used to putting Zazzle products in my lenses to both promote them and have a great source of images to fit almost any subject. I couldn't do that here.That's one thing I do miss.
I've also been spoiled, as a Giant Squid, in no longer having to count how many outgoing links per domain I have, whereas here, I still have to count and watch where my images are hosted. If you come to HubPages as a Giant Squid, you will also have to make these adjustments. You will want to read What is Allowed before publishing your first hub, so that you will be aware of what you aren't allowed to do. This is especially true in the area of links and self-promotion, because the policy on HubPages is much different than that of Squidoo.
Also, I was familiar with the Squidoo culture, which was much different than the HubPages culture. There are no games, monsters, or other such motivators. HubPages motivates with challenges, contests, awards, accolades, and earnings . If you are making the transition from Squidoo to HubPages, I have some suggestions to help you acclimate faster than I did.
I model the shirt Squidoo gave me as an award.
Making the Transition from Squidoo
First, start by reading hubs. Find some people you want to follow and read what they write. Comment. You will notice that commenting is much more interactive on HubPages and more real conversations go on. I have not seen as much of that kind of interaction on Squidoo. It's one of the things I really appreciate about HubPages.
Second, look over the questions and see if there are any you want to answer. Read how others have answered the questions that interest you. You just may be inspired to write a hub to answer one of those questions. When you read someone else's hub and have unanswered questions, you can click on the right side to ask the author a question, and that will start another discusssion, as other people will also have a chance to answer. I have gotten useful answers that way.
You also might want to look over the forums. It's a good way to meet people and get an idea of which people you might want to follow. I tend to follow people who have high scores because I believe I will learn the most from them, but I also follow new hubbers who have low starting scores, if I like their work. I generally don't follow people until they have written a few hubs because there isn't anything to read yet.
Squidoo or HubPages?
Where did you start writing online?
Hub-hopping is a great way to meet new hubbers -- but only if you hop in the classic mode by clicking "Classic Hopper" in the box at the top left. You might have the chance to encourage someone who just wrote a first hub by commenting and voting that first hub up. You also will get the chance to see new work from your favorite hubbers as soon as it's live. Best of all, you can hop a couple of hubs while you're taking a break from other work and you don't have a lot of time.
A few months ago a new version of the Hub Hopper was introduced. It is much different than the Classic Hopper. If you use it, you will need to evaluate each hub by specific standards that are listed. It took me a few minutes to figure it out, since I didn't see any directions the first time I entered it. Actually there were instructions, but they didn't appear the first time I clicked "Hop Some Hubs" at the top of my account page. If you don't see instructions, you might want to refresh the page.
The first hub you hop will be a sample hub to grade and then you will submit your results and get a real hub to evaluate using the sliding scale. You will not know who wrote the hub you are hopping, and you will not be able to comment on it. It's not quite as relaxing as the classic hopper.
The reason for the new Hub Hopper is to try to keep all hoppers to the same standard as they evaluate hubs. The instructions explain exactly what standards a hub should meet in the areas of substance, organization, and mechanics (including grammar.) The standards and the sliding scale used for evaluation should go a long way in making hub hopping less subjective. You might be wise to use these same standards to evaluate your own hubs before publishing them or updating them if they stop being featured.
The new Hub Hopper is part of the new quality assessment program by which new hubs are evaluated in many ways, one of them being by actual human readers. All new hubs need to go through this process before being published for the first time and featured. If your traffic drops dramatically, a featured hub may become unfeatured, When a hub is no longer featured, it will go into pending status, not be indexed by Google any longer and will have a NOINDEX tag until you have updated and improved it and it is once again featured after an new quality assessment. This is a bit different than what happened to Squidoo lenses that fell into WIP, better known on Squidoo as in the red."
One River, Two Banks
Explore and Enjoy Hubpages
There are still many parts of HubPages I've not had a chance to explore. I haven't had much time to spend in the forums yet, except to get help and read announcements. I'm sure that someday I will spend more time there. But one reason I like HubPages is that there are many opportunities I can still look forward to, and I can take advantage of them at my own pace, without pressure.
I would enjoy having time to write several hubs a week all year long, but I don't have the time. So I do what I can, take a new path now and then, and come back whenever I can. Since I have come back to HubPages and settled in, I now have two writing homes and can easily move from one to the other and take advantage of the best features of each. You can do the same.