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Writing Your First Hub

Updated on November 12, 2009

How Do You Write a Hub?

Well now, that's a very good question. For many, the answer is found by delving into many other hubs to find the answers, but that process can be very overwhelming, so I'll see if I can put this all in one hub. Now, mind you, this might be a bit on the lengthy side, but I'm doing my best to create one article that holds the knowledge of many separate ones. As such, I will need to use quite a few words to explain it all. And for you people who do better seeing it than reading it, I've included some really good pictures as well. 

So, as I'm sure we all have different questions, I'll do my best to create a topic for all of the common ones and to answer them in a way that doesn't cause confusion. You already are eperiencing enough of that, eh? Very well, let's get started ...

This is where all good hubs start (and bad ones too)
This is where all good hubs start (and bad ones too)

Where Do You Start?

You start by choosing a topic. The world is your oyster, provided you stay away from the topics of pornography and gambling. For that first hub, I definitely recommend that you write what you know best. After all, we're all an expert an one topic or another. Just remember, hubbing is not like blogging. Unless you lead a very adventurous life, you'll find few here willing to follow your travels. Besides, you came here to share what you know ... not the funny thing you did last night at the chinese restaurant.

So, you have a topic? Good!

The second box is automatically filled in for you - best to just leave it alone, eh? Which brings us to the thrid box - chosing a category. Think long and hard about this one, as chosing a category that doesn't fit will not improve your hubs visibility, and it just might make some people mad. 

Onto the third box, where you are asked to pick a layout. As this is your first hub, I recommend the third choice. Once you write your first hub you'll understand the choices better, which is why it is better to go with me on this one, so we both stay on the same page.

The final chore is picking 2 tags. Choose two short phrases (four words or less) that you believe will help describe your topic. i.e. driving lessons, apple pie recipe, etc.

Then, with all that done, click continue, read the agreement on the next page, click continue, read the agreement again (this time, very carefully), then click continue again.

You will then arrive at the hub design page.

The Hub Design Page

You will design your hub on this page
You will design your hub on this page

Okay, Now What?

First, we need to decide how many adds we want on the page. You can select none for pages you want free of ads - though the site adds will still show up on the side - or you can choose low, medium, or high, with high producing the most ads on the page.

You may ask, why would you want more ads? Well, if you're going to use Hubpages to make money, then you will want to display the ads that will bring in the cash. How many you choose to display is up to you (within reason, of course). 

Having decided that, you can let the other selections go, though I recommend disabling Kontera links (unless you intend to join their affiliate program) and I recommend unchecking the slideshow box, unless you have 5 pictures or more and want to show them in a slideshow. 

From there, we set free our creative muse!

The Text Capsule

This is where you will enter text, which will then be displayed on your hubpage. It's called a capsule (as are the other tools) because it is fully enclosed and does not overlay anything else. As such, you can't belnd it in with a photo capsule, but there are ways to give the illusion that you did. For now, it's enough to be able to create a box of text.

The subtitle will be the title of your text and will display in bold print when your hub is finished. As for the text in the box, you are free to edit it as you please. Make it bold, use italics, or underline text. You can also check your spelling (an important feature), perform a blockquote, format your paragraph in different ways, create lists, insert custom characters, and use subscript and superscript. Not bad, for a simple text editor. Oddly enough, you can't change text color, but is it really that important to do so?

When done entering your text you click save and it becomes part of your web page ... your first act is complete.

The Photo Capsule

This one allows you to add a photo to your hub. As a best bet, choose photos that are already in JPEG format or open them in Microsoft Paint and save them as such. Any other format seems to give the Photo Capsule fits, so it's best to let the machine win on this one.

Type a subtitle (optional) then select whether you want a border for the picture, no border, for it to be shown as a thumbnail, or to include a slideshow. You will also want to decide if the image can be viewd full-sized. My benefit of experience? Check this box.

Last, but not least, click where you want to add photos from. I tend to import the images I want into my PC and then choose My Computer. Doing it my way, you click on Choose File, select your file, then click Load Images.

Click save, and then Wallah! You've got a picture on your hubpage!

I wrote an interesting hub on using the Photo Capsule to display screen shots. You'll find it here:

The Video Capsule

I love this one, but I can't seem to find a good video for every hub a write. However, I bet you can, and when you do you'll want to use this capsule.

As before, you can give your video a subtitle. From there, you enter the web address (the URL of the video you want to display) and then click the Preview Button to be certain you got the address right. After all, everyone hatres a tease, and if you offer a video that doesn't play ... well ... you might not be well thought of.

When you are satisfied that it works click on save. Another capsule down!

The Link Capsule

Again, you can subtitle this capsule (it gets old to repeat this, but I must). You then type in a web address and click save - instant link!

You can also click search to find a link, though I have never tried it myself. After all, if you want a certain link on a page - then as a rule - you know what that link is. Still, there may come a time when you need a little help finding an internet link to something, like Grandma Bertha's favorite muffin recipe (the secret ingredient is tofu!)

The News Capsule

If you are writing about a current event, then the news capsule could be a great tool to insert into your hub. 

To use it, you place it on your page and edit it by typing in several keywords (it starts with the name of your hub, which isn't always productive). You then choose how many news articles you want and spin the wheel (um ... I mean click preview current news feed). If the articles look good then click Save and you're done. It's that easy!

Of course, if the articles don't relate well to your hub, don't use them. Instead, try a different set of keywords, with the hope you will dial in on something meaningful.

The RSS Capsule

This one behaves just like the News Capsule, except it links to an RSS feed. What makes this one nice is it allows you to create your own dynamic content by creating an RSS fee elsewhere and liking to it from hub pages. 

Personally, I haven't used this feature yet, but I can see the possibilities. For example, what if you were writing a hub on the group Linkin Park (aren't we all?). In the hub you could include an RSS capsule that leads to a link where you supply tour dates. Then, by editing the RSS feed, you automatically update your hubpage without stpeeing a foot on the site. Pretty cool, eh? I thought you'd like that one.

The Comments Capsule

This is your most valuable capsule, by far! Plop one at the end of every hub - all of them!

Why? These little puppies allow interaction and help develop a fanbase. They also let you know if you're putting out the wrong message - and believe me, people will tell you if this is the case. Also, it provides a warm feeling inside when someone reads your article and comments back to say how helpful it was. If they reach the bottom of your article and write you a comment, then you truly reached that individual - you'd better hope you didn't say nothing that made them mad - haha!

The Poll Capsule

Looking for more interaction? Then this is the capsule for you!

You can ask a question and then provide several responses for people to vote on. One of my favorites is to ask if the readers enjoyed the article, as this can help me decide if I need to rewrite it or not. If someone takes the time to vote 'No' then either they are anti-social or I wrote something that really struck a bad chord with them. Either way, a person who says no will typically feel obliged to then tell you why in the comments section and this promotes an author's ability to make things better.

Just remember ... don't get silly with your polls unless you don't want to be taken seriously. As an example, don't ask: Did you find this helpful?   With choices: Yep, You bet!, Absolutely!  

Provide answers that ouldl be the most common provided and then you can expect some meaningful votes - and useful comments will follow.

The Ebay and Amazon Capsules

These delve into the area of making money through affiliate marketing on hubpages. I know that sounded like a bunch of gobbledygook, but trust me, there's too much to explain to take that one further inside of this hub.

If you find yourself wanting to know more, I wrote an this excellent hub on using the Amazon Capsule. You'll find it here:

As for the Ebay Capsule, I haven't wrote a hub on that one, as currently too much is changing with Ebay and before we both knew it, the information would prove old and no longer true.

suffice it to say, you came here to learn how to write a hub, and I just gave you a pretty good foundation to work from (I hope).

That's It For Now!

I ran out of ideas, so that's all I have for now. However, I will be readin the comments section and as more questions come in I will answer them and incorporate them into this hub. After all, the best questions are those I could not foresee - and those deserved to be answered too.

So, if you find yourself wanting to learn more, comment down below and I will see to it you get an answer - Honest!

Until then, enjoy hubpages, and know the ultimate truth ... we were all first-time hubbers as well at one time! Now, get to writing! :)

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