I'll probably get banned for life, but here it goes.....

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  1. profile image0
    Sarra Garrettposted 10 years ago

    Since I was turned down by HP regarding their apprenticeship program due to the fact that "you don't write well enough" (I so wish I didn't delete that email) yet I'm still allowed to write hubs which apparently are subpar then are they keeping me here so their pockets get fuller?  Doesn't it make since to accept someone into a program to help them become a better writer?  The only major differences that I see is the fact that those who passed the program have obvious computer knowledge on how to make their hubs 'pretty'.  I personally can't figure out how to put the fancy blue boxes on my hubs or how to make the pretty seperation lines.  Maybe I'm just having a bad day and should be flogged into submission or something. 

    If this is my last post here due to censorship then God Speed to you all and huge thank you to all my HP friends.

    1. Marisa Wright profile image86
      Marisa Wrightposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      Try not to take the email's wording too personally.   I'm sure it was a standard email.  HubPages' usual approach in these standard emails is to say something like, "...the following may be some of the reasons: ...." and go on to list them.  It's surprising how many people miss that little word "may", and think it all definitely applies to them.

      I took a look at some of your Hubs and I doubt very much that your writing is the problem.  I think you may have a point about the layout:  I'm sure the apprenticeship program goes into technical areas like SEO, and if a Hubber hasn't managed to grasp some of the basic principles like creating contextual links or using multiple capsules, then maybe they feel you need to do some more self-study before you continue. 

      I suggest you post a couple of Hubs here:


      to get some feedback.  Some tips to start with:

      1.  Amazon capsules on the end of a Hub rarely make any money.  You need to have your Amazon capsules on the side, right next to the text which is relevant to the product.  If you don't have any text relevant to the product, then there's no point having an Amazon capsule because it won't sell.

      2.  You seem to go with one photo at the top of a Hub, then a lot of text.  Are you splitting your text over several capsules?  Because if not, you should.  That will allow you to put photos and Amazon capsules alongside the related paragraph, for instance. 

      3.  If you include a link to a website, don't just paste in the http link.   Type the name of the site, highlight it and use the chain icon to paste in the hyperlink.  Looks more professional.

      4.  Crediting the source of a photo doesn't make it legal.  All photos on the internet are copyright unless clearly stated otherwise.  I noticed you have a photo from the Guardian, which is definitely not legal to use.   I have a Hub about how to use Flickr for photos which may help you.

      1. profile image0
        Sarra Garrettposted 10 years agoin reply to this

        The major problem with photos are:
        1.  A friend sent me a camera however my computer won't read it
        2.  I can never find photos that are 'free' that relate to my subject matter
        3.  I am unemployed and have absolutely NO money
        4.  I guess any site that I use a photo from will just have to sue me.  Good luck getting blood out of a turnip.

        Thank you for your comment on my question I appreciate the feedback on this forum.

        1. That Grrl profile image74
          That Grrlposted 10 years agoin reply to this

          You can get images (they don't have to be photos) from free sites online. I like the Microsoft Office one and Open Clipart. I also look on Etsy for something which works and then link to the seller with the image. I don't make money from Etsy but I have had some Etsy sellers thank me for giving them the extra promotion. You can also create your own images, at no cost. it takes a little ingenuity, some creative thinking but it is certainly not hard to find images free to use.

        2. Marisa Wright profile image86
          Marisa Wrightposted 10 years agoin reply to this

          If you look on my profile, I have a Hub on how to find photos on Flickr.   I've never had much success finding photos on any other site - like you, they never seem to have anything relevant.  However Flickr has an amazing range of photos from all kinds of crazy people!

          I would never, ever recommend anyone to buy photos to use on Hubs.

          Sleepylog has some good points about headings and capsules, worth following.

    2. TIMETRAVELER2 profile image87
      TIMETRAVELER2posted 10 years agoin reply to this

      Like most of us, you probably got so excited about writing that you didn't bother to "read the directions" so to speak (The Learning Center).  Those things you mentioned (the little blue boxes, etc.) are all there, and it takes time and practice to learn how to use them  Those boxes are nothing but text capsules that have been placed to the right by hitting the right arrow.  Once you do that, you can color them blue or gray the same way you can do it with ads.  It's not hard, but you have to take the time to learn it.  I've read some of your stuff and your writing is more than acceptable...you just need to practice your capsule, ad and photo placement and make sure your photos are public domain...and yes, the learning center teaches you all about that , too!  good luck.

    3. PoeticVine profile image64
      PoeticVineposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      Hi, Sarra --

      I'm relatively new to writing Hubs, as I've only recently become an active member.  I wanted to reassure you that there are many learning resources inside and outside of HubPages ("HP") to help you become more comfortable with Hub design and layout.

      I've not yet perused your pages, but I gather from the above thread that your writing style is not the main issue.  Since you do appear to be having difficulty finding usable images, though, I figured I would put my "two cents" in as a Hubber who has only gotten the nerve to insert images in her Hubs over the past 48 hours.  I'll give you a nutshell explanation of my learning curve:

      When I first began writing for HP five days ago, it was the direct result of my making the firm commitment to write every single day.  I hadn't written in months.  I was depressed as well.  I could go on, but I won't do that for fear of losing focus.  What matters is that I began to write.

      When I did, I chose to write text-only Hubs.  I wasn't sure how to place images, or Amazon capsules, or anything of the sort.  I therefore sat down and just wrote -- and my Hubs received good responses.

      As I had made the commitment to write on a daily basis, I was also able to explore HP as a whole.  I browsed and "hopped" Hubs; I took a tour of the forums; and I read through a wide variety of Learning Center topics.  I went outside HP and researched keywords and public domain image sites.  I don't yet know a great deal about the last two topics, but that's because I'm still new to writing online and haven't yet completed my research.  I do know that many Hubbers use Wikimedia Commons as a reliable source of public domain images (within the United States), as those images fall under a license which allows them to use them without penalty as long as those images remain faithful two-dimensional copies of the original, if I remember correctly.  I know there are other sources listed above;  I will be re-reading those responses for my own information.

      As for general layout:  I am still growing accustomed to dividing my text into capsules for purposes of incorporating images and links next to each section of text.  It took me a number of "re-tries" to discover that I was only able to include multiple images if I also included multiple text capsules.  This does and does not sit well with me; when I write, I like my text to flow smoothly.  Even though the capsule break is not visible to the reader, *I* know it is there, and it still rankles a bit that I have to break it apart to incorporate more than one design element.  Even given that reluctance, however, I also understand that web design requires the incorporation of a number of separate pieces.

      The learning curve is different for each of us, and each of us has our idiosyncrasies.  Hang in there, and you'll be up and running in the Apprenticeship Program before you know it!  For my part, I won't be signing up for the Apprenticeship until I have at least fifteen or twenty high-quality Hubs under my belt AFTER I find a full-time permanent job.  I need to determine whether it is possible for me to make a commitment like that while working five days a week.

      Good luck!

  2. paradigmsearch profile image60
    paradigmsearchposted 10 years ago

    It is true that life is not fair. Just think of this experience as the one of many jobs that we have all applied for in our lives and were turned down. Don't let this be a setback. Keep on writing. smile smile smile

    1. Hollie Thomas profile image60
      Hollie Thomasposted 10 years agoin reply to this


      1. paradigmsearch profile image60
        paradigmsearchposted 10 years agoin reply to this

        I just read her hub on being homeless. I though it was one heck of an article.

        http://sarragarrett.hubpages.com/hub/Ho … ew-Leprosy

        1. profile image0
          Sarra Garrettposted 10 years agoin reply to this

          Thank you P.  I just feel that this gets so political and it is a popularity contest sometimes.  I will never stop writing as it keeps me alive just as my dogs do.

      2. profile image0
        Beth37posted 10 years agoin reply to this

        Sarra, Im sorry they've discouraged you.
        Im a singer and a song writer. I moved to Nashville in '97 to get involved with music. Somehow I got in with a bunch of big name publishing ppl. Some said I had a great voice but my songs weren't good enough, the other half said my songs were great, but my voice wasn't good enough. After I hit 30, I gave up. I still sing here and there and I still write songs to express my heart, but it's not what I dreamed of. I got to use this gift quite a bit in the past, and Im sure I will still get to use it in the future in different ways, but my point is... this set back doesn't mean writing wont be a useful tool/gift in your life. It just means you'll have to adjust your dream. Don't let that discourage you. This isn't necessarily a bad thing. smile

        1. Castlepaloma profile image74
          Castlepalomaposted 10 years agoin reply to this

          Hey! I'm still here

          They have taken away a few of my hubs, nobody is perfect in every way, it's a few rules and slip of spell check

          Express yourself and enjoy

          1. profile image0
            Sarra Garrettposted 10 years agoin reply to this

            smile Thanks

        2. profile image0
          Sarra Garrettposted 10 years agoin reply to this

          Thanks Beth!  Guess maybe I'm having a bad day or something.  Writing is my outlet and I know I'm not the best at it.  What matters is that you get to teach and entertain others with what you write.  I just need to keep saying that to myself.

  3. ravenphotography profile image60
    ravenphotographyposted 10 years ago

    Hi Sarra! Sorry they didn't accept you right away. I can definately see where you are coming from as far as being discouraged and just a little upset. I recently decided to start my own business and it can definately be an emotional rollercoaster. I am here to tell you, Don't give up. Never give up your dream. If you want to make a living writing then write. Push and make things happen. Stay positive because negativity only brings you down. One of my favorite quotes is: "A negative plus a negative is only a positive in math, never in real life.". Get up dust yourself off and keep doing what your doing! -The Raven, Danielle Howard-

    1. profile image0
      Sarra Garrettposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      Thank you Danielle for your encouraging words!  Good luck on your own business.  Some day I'll have one, I never stop thinking about it.

  4. sleepylog profile image60
    sleepylogposted 10 years ago

    Sarra, I've written a hub about where you can find free images on the net, I'm sure you'll be able to find photos for your hubs on at least one of those.

    Also try using multiple capsules in your hubs and give each one of them a title. Google likes titles and so does HP.  For example in your hub about Self Sustaining Communities, the first sentence 'What is a self sustaining community?' should be the title in that text capsule. That first paragraph could be in its own capsule because its an introduction.

    The next 2 paragraphs should be in their own capsule with its own title and the same thing for the next two paragraphs.

    Then when you go into detail about some of the communities, you could either do that in one capsule or use a different capsule for each community giving each capsule a title again, in this case each respective community's name could be used as a title for its own capsule.

    In the last three paragraphs, the middle one would be better off at the top of the article in the introduction capsule and the other two paragraphs would be OK there in their own capsule as a conclusion to your hub's topic.

    I hope that was helpful.

  5. LauraD093 profile image71
    LauraD093posted 10 years ago

    Don't take it too personally-I read some of your work and found it interesting and you have been given some excellent suggestions thus far on how to improve. I too got turned down but agreed with the decision which was that I didn't show enough productivity (number of hubs) for them to consider apprenticeship at the time. My writing cycles in and out and I am still not consistent in publishing on a regular basis. I try but sometimes work/life intercedes. I probably wouldn't have been able to stay committed at that time. I have been striving to publish more and improve on hubs I have already published. It is all a learning curve for me. Other hub-writers will help if asked and if you are truly brave (I am not)  there is a link to submit your hubs for review and critique.

  6. 2uesday profile image66
    2uesdayposted 10 years ago

    Hi Sara you could take a look at this site -

    http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/hle … hleda=dogs

    at the top of the page it says free for commercial and personal use, but I would still check what it says on the individual photo before using it just to be sure.

    Another one that is also public domain images  is - http://pixabay.com/   again just check what the photographer has said in the info.with the image.

    You can then add the URL for the image here in the image capsule. Or capture (I do PrtSC key/or Ctrl and the C keys then to add it to a program use  Ctrl+V ) put it into an edit program and save it (desktop or in a folder) then add it to the photo/image capsule by uploading from your PC.

    Hope that is useful and sorry if I have over explained it,as I cannot think of another way to word it.

    About loading the images to the computer from the camera. If I cannot find the cable to connect it to download my photos to the computer. I just put the SD card in the SD slot in the computer and the camera photo program works just the same.

    But it may be that you need a disk to load a program for the camera to start off with. If so you could try searching online for the make and model number to see if you can find another way to do it.

    1. mary615 profile image82
      mary615posted 10 years agoin reply to this

      Thanks for that link,  can we use photos from Pinterest?  If so, do we attribute the photo to the Pinner?

      1. SimeyC profile image88
        SimeyCposted 10 years agoin reply to this

        I wouldn't - there's no way for you to know if the Pin has legally used a photo....if you can find the source of the photo and attribute correctly to the original source then that is OK.

        1. mary615 profile image82
          mary615posted 10 years agoin reply to this

          Thanks.  I found a photo on Pinterest that is just perfect for my Hub.  It had been repinned by someone else.  Probably would be difficult to find the original source.  I'll give up that idea.

  7. kathleenkat profile image85
    kathleenkatposted 10 years ago

    I suspect the Apprentice Program, though I have never personally looked into it, is more about self-publishing and less about content, though writing is still a determining factor. Content is very important for publishing, yes, but that's half the battle: Appearance is the other half, including layout, photos, and design.

    Sarra, I see nothing wrong with your writing. Your Hubs and forum posts are comprehensive, read well, and convey meaning. Seriously, do not get down about your writing. I hope you can take this to heart, from me, as I am a technical writer.

    I suspect the problem is mainly with the appearance half of publishing, but you would need to ask HubPages about that (hopefully they will answer you). Some of those Apprentice's do have very "pretty" Hubs, that's why I think this. If you don't have the time or funding to get pictures and learn the ways of Hub layout, then that's fine. The Apprentice program has you writing 8 Hubs a month, so I don't see why you couldn't do that anyway without having that Apprentice "A" by your name.

    You write well. You didn't get the gig. Hold you head high, and try again next time. Or not. You could always try for something different than what HubPages has to offer.

    See ya; I don't visit these forums enough anymore to keep up.


  8. mistyhorizon2003 profile image90
    mistyhorizon2003posted 10 years ago

    If you read this it explains how to use free photos and attribute them correctly.


    And this site is by far the best resource for free photos because it includes many sites such Flickr etc:


  9. Astra Nomik profile image64
    Astra Nomikposted 10 years ago

    Some hubbers use a free photo sharing website called Free Digital Photos.


    Cheeky Girl and I use this, and if you put a credit on the photo, then you are allowed to credit the photo, you can use it for free. It has a great selection of photos.

    Making the fancy blue boxes is easy in any hub once the text is pushed using the green arrow of the edit box to the right side, and the option to use blue boxes activates in the text edit box. Making hubs using the features provided here is not hard. Sticking to a regular writing system and making hubs constantly depends on so many things. Maybe you are just having one of those days, and that can happen.

    You should believe in yourself more. Don't allow yourself to be discouraged. These things are fixable.

  10. Kasman profile image77
    Kasmanposted 10 years ago

    Hey Sarra, don't give up. I'm new here myself and I still haven't been approved even by google Adsense. I know, there are quite a few new people not being approved but it was frustrating to me at first. I've chosen to press forward until I start to see things look up. And maybe I'm wrong about this but you need to write because you enjoy doing it and your articles will reflect that in the end as well. I'm not repeating much of what everyone else said because it's all great advice. Keep writing and you'll get there, heck I'll support you by reading and sharing some of your work.

  11. SimeyC profile image88
    SimeyCposted 10 years ago

    Sara - firstly - tutorials:

    How to have a snazzy 'blue' box.
    -Create two text capsules
    -Use the green 'float right' arrow to place one text box next to the other.
    -When you edit the right text box you can then chose a blue background.

    How to have lines:
    -Use a program like Paint and draw a straight line
    -Save this as a jpg
    -Upload as a picture.
    (You can also download some snazzier lines from the web and again upload as a picture).

    As for the apprenticeship - it is there to teach you how to write for the web - not how to write - it's a subtle difference. You are a good writer and perhaps HP thought you weren't quite ready to delve into all the extra modules, the formatting and the SEO - I wouldn't take it too hard - some of the top writers were also turned down - so that makes you a top writer eh!

    My advice is to read as much of the help center as you can and then look at some of the stellar hubs other people produce -don't be afraid to mess around with formats - headings etc. and post your hubs for critique. There are many hubbers here who will give you great feedback!

  12. profile image0
    summerberrieposted 10 years ago

    Marisa.'s advice was spot on.


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