How Not to Write a Poor Hub
The 'Don’ts' of being a Hubber
OK, I’ve been here less than a month and, perhaps against my better judgement, I’ve decided to put up this hub. You see; there are several Hubs that advise on what to do to become a successful Hubber and excellent they are too. I strongly feel there is a place for advising fellow novices and those aiming to start out on what to avoid doing. It may be reckless to risk being labelled an upstart but I’ve convinced myself this might, just might, steady a Hubber-toddlers' legs. Plus, there has been a lot of chatter about how the Panda update by Google has devastated Hubpages. A lot of this has been expression of outrage but, really; really? Have you seen some of the stuff published on Hubpages? I am probably risking being accused of muscling on the Hubgreeters Team’s territory but I feel it is a risk worth taking.
Whatever you do, avoid using automatic article spinners. Whether the original was yours or somebody else’s (and here you are on dangerous copyright infringement territory), fact of the matter is auto-spun articles stink. The mangled grammar and nonsensical phrases that result mean you can spot them a mile off. If you think a spun article will give you a leg up when it comes to SERP, you are living in dreamland. Automatic spinning is not efficiency, it is laziness and; when the original material is not yours, it is theft. Plus, you will have to be on something rather stronger than draught beer to read such an article to the end. For those unfamiliar with article spinners, these are pieces of software which are meant to give you different versions of the same article by changing the wording and sentence arrangements. It is supposed to be a way of appearing to have a unique article which, in reality, has been 'spun' from an existing article. That way, you get around the supposed 'penalty' of publishing duplicate content.
If there is something worse than automatic article spinners, it is automatic translators. You have an article in, let’s say, Russian. You are keen to have it on Hubpages but you believe your English is not up to scratch. Or, in fact it is, but you are just plain lazy. You decide to put it in Google Translator. After all, it is free and gives you results in, well; a few seconds. You publish it on Hubpages. Big mistake! Online automatic translators are the poor cousins of Speech Recognition programs, only with much worse results. If you speak two languages well, try using these to translate from one to the other and check out the results. You will never go back there again. If there is something you are dying to get to English speakers via Hubpages, do it yourself (if you can) or get a fellow human being to do it for you before unleashing it to your audience.
Stick to what you know. Please.
This is controversial but, believe me; it is well meaning. There are many people who ask questions here and need reliable answers. This is because they treat Hubpages as a community and in truth this community is great. As such, they think they can believe each other and why not?
However, your enthusiasm to ‘help’ in areas where you are; how to put this politely; not very good or simply one-eyed trying to boss the blind, may do more harm than good. I am a medic and I’ve read some answers to medical questions here that have made me blanch (metaphorically speaking). I’ve never climbed Everest. You will never catch me trying to advise a putative climber on how to keep warm at Base Camp.
Respect the intelligence of your readers
There is a lot of Hubs here which are out and out promotional; the sole aim of which is to sell something. Admittedly not my cup of tea but nothing wrong with that. As the saying goes, everybody to their own. However, try and put some believable substance in the hub. That telltale air of mild desperation to please can be endearing but telling me to “drink this to add a foot to your height in six weeks” or something similar is simply insulting. Put in the effort if you want your reader to click on that link. Otherwise the mug is the one in the mirror.
In an ideal world, Hubpages would be a mindscape; a hub for creativity and; you know what; creative work ought to find an outlet and is deserving of compensation. However, if the excellent creative work put here, and there is some exceptional stuff about, is drowned out by (dare I say it?), trash, we are all losers.
Albert Einstein, he of the mighty brain, has many quotes attributed to him. One of them is this: “I know quite certainly that I myself have no special talent. Curiosity, obsession and dogged endurance, combined with self-criticism, have brought me to my ideas”.
As Hubbers, I hope we can bring ourselves to exercise self-criticism.