A friend of mine, AdeleCosgroveBray, just posted a comment in one of my hubs saying that interview hubs have not worked for her here and I have just replied that sadly the interview with her that I conducted has been idled too!
I used to think, and still do, that interview hubs provide some interesting publicity for whoever is interviewed and exposure too for those in need of it. It sadly seems that people in general are so manipulated that unless you are famous and a household name nobody wants to read an interview you gave. This has nothing to do with the talent people have or their abilities or what they have to say but simply about how famous they are! Is this really what it is about on the Internet now that only famous people get searched for?
It might be doable to write a hub about what someone has done (make the accomplishment the hook) and include an interview. People may have heard of Thermo Nuclear Rosebud Pollination, but not Howard Thorne. So the hub would highlight something people might search for, and use the interview as the voice of authority, etc.
Hubs about other hubbers are fun for those who know the person, but are not going to drive traffic, aside from the first round of views from all the 'friends' on FB or elsewhere who read it. I love my Hubber friends here, but I worry at times that those types of hubs can drive down our rankings with Google.
Similarly, hubs that celebrate a milestone, such as your first 100 hubs, or your first year on the site, might reduce your clicks per hub after the initial views your buddies give you. Those things might better be celebrated here in the forum, or posted in a thread in one of the FB groups.
Just IMO here, that's all - I know many Hubbers enjoy writing those things, and among their circles of friends, they enjoy reading them. For those mostly interested in HP as a platform for an income, though, interviews about non-famous people and milestone hubs might be counter-productive.
Thanks for your thoughts on this, Marcy! I have found that what you say is correct, though I still think this is a sad reflection on the world!
You're assuming that Google will penalize you if you have Hubs that get low traffic.
I've been doing my research and I cannot find a single internet expert who says web pages or blog posts with low traffic can hurt your Google ranking. If they did, then every news website would be deleting their old news articles, because how many people read old news?
Low quality Hubs will drive down your Google ranking, because your Panda score is based on your worst Hubs. Low traffic is not mentioned in Google's quality guidelines at all.
That's why I'm bewildered that HubPages has decided to idle older Hubs based on lack of traffic, because no one else on the worldwide web seems to think that's a problem. What's even more interesting is that I've expressed this opinion several times on these forums and no HubPages staff member has ever commented on it.
What is the hell is a low quality hub? This is surely a matter of opinion, so how do the Google robots define this?
An obvious low quality one is a very short hub written in very poor quality English, with no illustrations and simply an ad for a product. There are such terrible hubs on the site and the hub hopping programme was set up to help get rid of them.
Unfortunately HubPages has been idling hubs with low traffic and that has nothing to do with the quality of writing or attractiveness of a hub! These hubs can be old or about topics not many are searching for.
Given that content is about traffic, and most of it comes from Google, a low quality hub is whatever they say it is.
Google has issued quality guidelines which manage to be exhaustive and vague at the same time - but there are some useful clues within them.
Google uses robots, as you know, so they can only measurable what's measurable, not real "quality". Some of the basic things that will trigger them off are:
- too short (for a blog post, that's 250 words and under. For Hubs, probably longer)
- unrelated links (any links within your text which are not related to the topic)
- keyword stuffing (excessive repetition of the same words or phrases)
- poor spelling
Bard, I can't imagine how you ever thought otherwise.
It's a lovely gesture to interview other Hubbers about their work, but I would never expect them to get many readers. And it has nothing to do with the internet.
Think about it. If you picked up a printed magazine and it contained an interview with someone you'd never heard of, who had never achieved anything in particular, would you read it? No. Interviews with nobodies have never been popular in any medium.
In our local Saturday paper, there is a regular interview section with a "nobody", BUT the difference is that they are all "nobodies" who have had a fascinating life, or are working towards a noble or interesting goal. Not just your average Joe.
It isn't just about hubber interviews that I am on about. I have interviewed singer-songwriters, artists, writers and models who are not well known apart from locally perhaps or via some website or other and none of these hubs have ever done well even if the interviewee has stuff published or released and on Amazon etc. Same goes for authors that do not have a best-selling book. The only interview that has held its own here is with Guru Rasa von Werder but she was already famous as Kellie Everts the Stripper for God.
Well, in that case it is an internet problem, but I still don't see why you're surprised.
I might read an article like that if I stumbled across it in a magazine. But HubPages is not a magazine, is it? No one comes to HubPages to browse around, so it's impossible for anyone to stumble across the article. They have to be actively searching for it.
How do you expect people to search for artists they've never heard of? What would they type into Google? Have you tried it - can you think of a way to do it? I can't. So isn't it unreasonable to blame people for not doing it?
There are online magazines which people subscribe to (try Googling "online literary magazine", "online music magazine" etc). People subscribe to those and will browse through them. Those kinds of interviews would get readers there because people are browsing. Not on a place like HubPages.
I thought people would browse what is displayed on your profile page and that viewers would look at other hubs that are featured in groups and those are ways interview hubs can be found. Seems I was wrong.
But I do know that people doing research find articles on HubPages eg Chris Everard found one of my hubs about the Kogi when he was researching these people.
The vast majority of people will come to your hubs via a browser based on keywords.
Yes, but the topic was something the reader searched for. Very few people browse a profile; there might a a rare few who click on a profile to learn about the writer, and then clock on a hub that sounds interesting, but that's no way to count on getting traffic.
Along with Psychskinner's excellent examples, hubs with titles like, "Why I like Susie HubWriter" probably won't get a lot of traffic outside of Susie's spouse, parents, a few FB friends and close associates on HP. Sure, someone can promote it in a FB group, but that's incestuous traffic - clicks you get from other Hubbers, and everyone follows each other.
Spanish Singers-Songwriters would probably get some hits, but maybe Spanish Singers (or Songwriters) would get stronger traffic, with the other word (Spanish Songwriters) used as a subhead & in the summary.
If I see an interview with someone I've never heard of, unless there's a clear hook as to why they're worthy of reading about (Joe Baritone: The Next Great Spanish Singer), and unless that hook appeals to me, I'm not going to read it.
Similarly, even though I think Hubber Howard, or Hubber Helen are great people, I don't have the time or interest to read a hub by someone else telling me they're a great person, or a good writer. This isn't like signing the yearbook or something, it's a site where some people are earning their living. I already know Howard & Helen are neat people, so why read about it?
Ask yourself, why would people visit your profile? In general, the only other people who visit your profile are Hubbers. Although there's a big membership here in theory, the active Hubber community is actually very small. Out of that small number of Hubbers, only some will be interested in music, others will be interested in art, etc. So that narrows down the audience for those Hubs even further.
And yes, of course people doing research find your Hubs. If Chris typed "Kogi" into Google he'd find it. But if he didn't know the name of the Kogi people, he'd struggle, wouldn't he?
Marcy said, Marcy said:
If I see an interview with someone I've never heard of, unless there's a clear hook as to why they're worthy of reading about (Joe Baritone: The Next Great Spanish Singer), and unless that hook appeals to me, I'm not going to read it."
That's a good point, too. I read the interviews in my local Saturday paper because there is always something notable about the person, and that special aspect is highlighted in the "blurb" under the opening photo. If you can't claim something special about your interviewee in your summary and opening paragraph, most readers probably won't be tempted - even if they do find the interview on Google or see it on your profile.
I get a lot of views from friends on Facebook but as far as I can see they only usually look at specific hubs I have shared the link to so do not spend time browsing others.
To be honest, that sounds like they're visiting to be nice to you, but are not all that interested in reality.
Will you people stop going on about Joe Baritone. If it hadn't been for Joe I would never have discovered Carreras and Domingo. And that was entirely due to Hubber Howard's hub. Or was it Helen's? I forget.
If someone is a 'nobody' then no one is going to be seeking out information about them. I like reading interesting stories about interesting people, but if they aren't exposed enough for me to know their name or any other interesting facts that might lead me there, then that info is going to have to come to me.
I have interviewed people that come into the category of 'Spanish singer-songwriter','South Wales artist' and 'Tenerife poet' but specifying that in the title still doesn't help. Are there no people searching for Spanish singer-songwriters?
I've had the same problem with writing about music Bard of Ely. I write hubs about my great musical discoveries and no one reads them. I wrote one about Grammy nominees and it did a little better.
Strangely I wrote one about Spanish singer Lidia Guevara and it did so well for a while it was number 1 in Google searches and somehow beat Lidia's official site. I followed with an interview with her and shortly after she got a record deal in Spain so I felt sure my hubs had helped. It was encouraging at the time and I thought it was worthwhile writing about singers. However, not long after the Idling system was brought in here both hubs were idled so in disgust I moved them to Wizzley!
Have you had a look at that interview to see how it differs from your other interview Hubs?
It followed the same pattern as my other interview hubs and I linked it to the other hub about her. I had to translate it all from Spanish but readers wouldn't have known that and the pattern I used was the same. For some reason both hubs worked well for a while but then stopped doing so according to HubPages.
I'm sure that, even with famous people, popularity will surge when they've won a major award or gotten a lot of publicity for some reason. After the Grammys are over my view will decline.
Pretty much- we've found that if you're not writing about something people are actively hoping to read about, it's not going to get much attention!
So all the millions of undiscovered talented people can basically stay that way - how sad!
Yes. Unfortunately, the internet has become nothing more than a place where people go to search someone/ something that they are curious about because everyone else is talking about it. Google in particular!
It is pathetic I think that this is what people are like and that it has come to this!
Bard - Yes, it's sad, given the paradigm we grew up with. But it's not all that different from being an electronic version of an encyclopedia or something. People open an encyclopedia to a certain volume to look for very specific things, and that's what happens on the Internet. So topics that aren't real known (or people who aren't well-known, etc.) are not likely to be searched on the web.
I snagged an interview with a current YouTube cover artist who has since been discovered and signed by .Interscope Records. He has very loyal fans, and the hub is for those searching for more info. He also promotes it periodically. He just recently had his first public .performance in London. I found about him from a link on HP feed!
I'm excited for him. I did it on a whim not really thinking he would respond, but he did and we stay in touch. There was hardly any information on him, so I thought his fans would appreciate reading more about him, from his own words. It's not a high traffic hub, but it gets targeted traffic, which is what I want.
And who knows, maybe one day in the not too distant future, we'll hear him on the radio. His fans are world-wide. I'm thrilled to have a page where people can read his own words. He flew to LA to meet Jimmy Iovine, the top dog at Interscope, and was signed. That's very impressive for this young artist.
As far as these kind of hubs doing well, I guess it depends why you write. I don't write for money primarily. I write hubs that I'm very interested in writing. If someone is searching for 'so and so', then we've given them something to read, if it ranks well enough. As far as I'm currently aware, I have the only interview for Nick Gardner, and it's his first. I'm happy to help give exposure to this talented young man.
Bard, I think you are right and I think that you are wrong. For me I am tickled pink that the internet has these limitations. I do not want it to be all things to all people. I want to maintain a thirst for interpersonal physical contact with others. I do not want to be satisfied with the Internet.
I have a program with my youth congregation. We interview each other. It really is cool. On the downside, I have a law background so I tend to interrogate - oops.
My point is that we should be happy with the limitations such as this, so that we stay more real.
As with any content, if the interviewee is giving good advice it can do well.
Surely this applies only if anyone bothers to read it?
They only bother to read it if it applies.
Bob interviews Jane=I'm not reading it.
Bob lets Jane advertise her boring book at great length=I'm not reading it.
Bob asks Jane how she milks her dragon=if I am interested in dragons or milking, or just intrigued by the possibilities, I will read it.
Quite frankly, I've found that hubs interviewing hubbers are just garbage. I liken it to going onto your favorite forums, messaging another forum member asking for an interview, then making a forum post with the dialogue from said interview. It's silly.
Interviewing somebody from a high profile blog outside of HubPages (Say ProBlogger for example, even though I can't stand the guy) that would be something...but interviewing hubbers on HubPages? It seems to me like a desperate grab for content that nobody outside of HubPages is going to give a crap about.
This may sound like a harsh judgement on these hubs, but it's my brutal opinion. Every time I see one of these posted I just shake my head and move on. (I'm not the only hubber that feels this way, either.)
As I just said, and I quote myself: "It isn't just about hubber interviews that I am on about. I have interviewed singer-songwriters, artists, writers and models who are not well known apart from locally perhaps or via some website or other and none of these hubs have ever done well even if the interviewee has stuff published or released and on Amazon etc. Same goes for authors that do not have a best-selling book. The only interview that has held its own here is with Guru Rasa von Werder but she was already famous as Kellie Everts the Stripper for God."
One Hubber that I can think of that does a real nice job with interviews is DonnaCosmato. She has a few Hubs where she interviews experts on a certain topic. This Hub is an example of an interview she did with a veterinarian regarding distemper in dogs: http://donnacosmato.hubpages.com/hub/Pet-Dog-Health
Of course I cannot comment on what her traffic is like, but her Hub is centered around a topic that perhaps people search for and she interviews an expert to give her topic credibility and the Hub has a nice interviewer question/interviewee answer format. I think she may even have a Hub about how to get expert interviews.
That's an excellent point. If I'm going to read an interview, it has to offer me something of interest - either I'm interested in the person, or I'm interested in their expertise. I can't be interested in a person if I know nothing about them, but I can be interested in their topic. Presenting the interview as primarily about the topic is therefore a much better approach.
I have been interviewed twice here in Hub Pages. The views that one of them in my hub account gets is low but at least it is read every day. The other one I don't know how many reads it gets. And I am not a famous person, sorry to say. LOL.
Bard does make a good point. it would have to be a very famous person alright. But for other purposes, if you wanted to refer interested parties to a page that is about you, and it is an interview, why not share the link? If get people from LinkedIn looking at my interview. And some from twitter, Facebook and other social media... provided I mention it, link to it or otherwise promote the interview.
Of course we all want readers to check all our other hubs. maybe we should be asking "how do we become famous?"
A Book. A stage play, or music performance or art work that is covered by the mainstream media maybe? Anyone want to set up a Hub Pages media marketing outlet? Just an idea...
Yes, I am sure that if you were famous and were interviewed it would get the traffic, as I say, Guru Rasa gets traffic. She is famous from when she was younger and is still controversial enough to have been banned from Youtube and lost her account at Facebook four times.
On the other hand, Chris 'CJ' Stone is famous enough as a writer and author to have had a column in The Guardian and books published by Faber and Faber but his interview got idled here. He is not famous enough!
I'm coming to this forum a little late, but I have a different experience. I agree that interviews with hubbers are somewhat tedious. I'll only read them if we share an interest, but I occasionally interview fellow artists, because I love to help others along the way, and it gives me fresh ideas to write about, so we all win. These interview hubs tend to do well, though I usually write them around a popular theme, like selling art, or growing your business, or maybe a 'how to' piece. Maybe these articles do well because they're quite long, I keep the external links down to 3, I don't promote my own stuff within them, except maybe for one picture, and I check and re-check my spelling, grammar and editing. OK they're never going to make me millions, but they do well enough.
Thanks for your thoughts on this! I haven't done interviews they way you have done yours so maybe that is where I go wrong. I have interviewed singer-songwriters, artists, writers and models and thought that their talent was enough to put in a title and introduction to make it interesting. I have done a brief intro but mainly let them talk about themselves and what they are wanting to market. I had thought that this would be of sufficient interest to people but it isn't!
Bard, you're probably seeing a common thread in these responses.
As a singer and writer yourself, you may be interested in what makes other singers or writers tick, even if you've never heard of them. That's not the case for the average person - even the average music lover or book lover. For the average person, if they come across a new singer, artist or writer, they are interested to hear or see if their work is any good. But unless and until they become a fan of that singer/artist/writer, they don't care two hoots about their background or their motivation etc.
If you want to do interviews here, they have to be as illustrations for something else. Present a situation, then interview people who have gone through that experience and how they dealt with it, or interview an expert for advice on how to deal with it.
I'm sure you would have more success with your singer/songwriter interviews in a music magazine, or your writer interviews in a writers' magazine. Unfortunately I don't know any that pay.
I have been trying to give other people a hand with some publicity but it is a waste of time and effort here! Success in the world of entertainment and the arts in general is not just about talent but about how much exposure you can get, who you know, and how much money can be thrown into backing you! The majority of talented people get nowhere and their creations hardly anyone will ever know of! That is how it is! Most people are only interested in famous people that they have heard about. The crazy thing about this is that this shows that art and talent are not judged by their worth but by how well they are marketed and promoted. And Vincent van Gogh, now hailed as a genius, was a no one in his own life and without the support of his brother we probably would never have even heard of him and his paintings.
I think you're missing the point, Bard.
You say "this is that this shows that art and talent are not judged by their worth". What do your interviews have to do with the worth of the artist's work? If you were writing a review of their work, that would be a different thing - but interviewing them is about the person behind the work, not about the work. You're putting the cart before the horse.
It's unreasonable to expect me or anyone else to be interested in the background of an artist before we've heard or seen how good they are. Especially as psycheskinner says, i.e. :"in many cases when some stranger does this it means 'I want to give free advertising to a friend even though he sucks'.
Not at all because examples of their work are given with videos of songs by singers and photos of artwork if it's a painter.
Let me give you some examples.
This Hub isn't an interview but it illustrates the point:
http://bardofely.hubpages.com/hub/May-I … -his-songs
I don't know Kevin Ayers, so I have no reason to click on that title. If I do click out of curiosity, I see it's just a background article - I'm not going to waste my time reading the life history of someone I'm not interested in. True, if I scrolled down further, I would see a couple of videos of his songs - but you're not giving me a reason to scroll down further. This Hub is 90% about him, not about his work.
You need to give me a reason to keep reading, and perhaps buy some of those albums. Don't assume that because you've got the reader to arrive at your Hub, they will just keep reading. Make sure you grab me with your first paragraph. Personally I would start this Hub with this great sentence:
"The late great John Peel, who often played songs by Ayers on his BBC Radio 1 show, said in his autobiography that "Kevin Ayers' talent is so acute you could perform major eye surgery with it."
I would also use that as your summary.
Wow, Kevin Ayers must be good! I have to find out about him now.
Now make sure you have a video of his best work in the top right hand corner of the Hub. Now you have a sentence to intrigue your reader and they can see straight away what they do. If the interviewee really is as talented as you say, then that will get people reading, and then they're more likely to share the Hub on their own Facebook or Twitter.
Same applies to models - you have to encapsulate their work in your opening paragraph, and put a photo or video in the top right hand corner. I know the usual advice is to leave that free for an Adsense ad - but for this type of Hub, you need something to persuade the reader that your subject is worth reading about.
I was making reference in my title to the title of one of Kevin's most well known songs: May I!
Someone told me not to put photos or videos at the top so I quit doing that when I found out. This is why I can never get things right because I get conflicting advice and I start doing something believing it is the right thing to do and then get told it isn't! It is very confusing!
I know, Bard. One of the biggest problems is that advice changes, too. What worked last year may not work this year - and a lot of people are still quoting last year's advice.
I think it might be time to sign up for the Keyword Academy. Unlike some other courses, it's been thoroughly revised to bring it up to date. I always recommend it to newbies - even if you just do the free one-month trial - because the core lessons cover all the latest thinking on how to create a blog and make money from it. I'm not sure why I haven't recommended it to you - it would be a good idea to try it, just so you can clear your head of some of the outdated advice you've been receiving, especially about how to promote your work.
In this particular case - not using photos and videos at the top of your Hub - the advice is usually right. That top right hand corner spot is a good spot to have ads (although you mustn't have too many ads at the top of your page). However, in this particular case, you've GOT to capture your reader's attention immediately. If the subject is an unknown - and Kevin probably is unknown to anyone younger than us - then the readers have to be persuaded he's worthy of their attention. As you pointed out yourself, it's their work that's important - so that's what you've got to present straight away.
I didn't get the use of "May I", but remember - readers who have never heard of Kevin won't get the clever reference. And wasting that attention-grabbing first paragraph by explaining the link, means you waste your one opportunity to convince them how great he is (by quoting a great review or describing his style of music).
I have followed your advice and moved the video of May I to the top so it now goes with the title and I also amended the title to May I introduce you to Kevin Ayers and the Whole World? That was his band then, and again this will be obvious to readers.
I will look into the Keyword Academy but not now because it is midnight and I am off to bed!
i.e. Just saying 'I want you to meet a talented person' is not a hook. Especially as in many cases when some stranger does this it means 'I want to give free advertising to a friend even though he sucks'.
Saying something 'this gal became a famous singer using youtube' or 'this guy is fusing rap and haiku into something unique' is more of a hook because it is clear what the person is doing that is interesting
You have to actively promote your work or others will not find it. If your not marketing your wares others are marketing theirs.
These days its about 30% writing and 70% promotion.
Yes, but I already share my work at Facebook, Twitter and other sites!
But are you actively 'engaged' on those sites? Or are you mere posting up links and putting in a little comment each time you post?
Are you promoting other work? Or just your own?
Social marketing is hard for when you want a significant amount of people reading your own work.
Are you giving your members (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Myspace, other sites your using et al) solid, engaging, vibrant material that THEY want to come and read from you? That material constitutes sharing a bucket load of useful, want to read and share with you material of which the majority of that material your sharing, IS NOT YOUR OWN.
Are you active on these sites, are you, yourself checking out what people are sending your way? To be social it needs to be a two way street.
Do you follow a goal or plan for EACH site you use? Are you actively looking for users in your niche, and giving them the information THEY want? Do you know what users are in your selected niche?
Do you constantly and consistently ask yourself questions like;
Am I giving my readers what they want?
Is my information of value, if so who is it valuable to?
Have I the right and correct niche to engage in (and also, promote in)?
Am I engaging my readers for my niche?
Can I collaborate with others in my niche?
Am I adding value to my contributors?
Am I a sought after information point for those who know my expertise?
Do I have others asking and always seeking more from me (information, tweets of interest, articles, book, songs, interviews,etc)?
Do I have a email list I can use to market?
All to often I see many folks talk about using social media when all they do is post up a link in the 'hope' someone may randomly pickup and check out the link.
To promote, you need to ENGAGE.
I spend hours daily on these sites, especially Facebook where I have around 5,000 friends and am an admin for several of my own pages and several other people's pages too! My pages are Bard of Ely fanpage, Herbs of the Northern Shaman, Tenerife Pyramid Debate, the David Mayer de Rothschild supports and fan's site and I admin for various others including the Feed Your Brain page.
And yes, I post a wide range of material and news, much of which is nothing to do with me! People often endorse me on Linkedin for Social Networking and two years back I won the Shorty Awards Best Blogger.
I also constantly am adding new fans on Reverb Nation and the Spotlightzone.
But no, I don't have an email list because I annoyed a few people years ago by sending promo emails they classed as spam and so I stopped sending them, same goes for YouTube!
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