Recently, there was a thread of someone complaining about Hub of the Days lacking amazing writing skills. Their complaint stated the Hubs being selected were because they were niche driven and 'how too's' instead of stellar writing from the soul.
The day he posted that, it was my hub that was selected for Hub of the Day. I stayed out of the thread, but read with interest. And yes, it was a 'how to...' hub.
The thread got me thinking- and I want to hear other's opinions.
Do you think there is a difference in being a good Hubber and being a good writer?
Or more specifically,
What is the difference between being a good writer and being a good Hubber?
A believe a good Hubber is someone who has good enough writing skills and is a master at using the capsule choices, such as text, photos, tables, polls, videos and the like. A good Hubber uses search friendly titles, and images to draw the reader to their hubs.
I think that you're right on the money, in stating all those things, which could make up both - a good hubber, as well as a good writer. A good writer, like a good hubber I feel, has to follow all the rules, as implemented by the Hubpages staff.
But also has to have a real deep passion for writing. As I'm sure all of us here in our close knit community have. I also kind of like to think of it in the following way as well..."Do you prefer good grammar, or do you prefer good taste?" ): LoL. Remember that old Taryeton cigarette commercial, way back when?
I will ruddy well admit I get busy, too danged busy. So I may write well on hubpages,,,, but I am not a good hubber. I do not spend the time on my hubs to increase revenue to HP. But I accept that fault. And HP has been gracious enough to let me stay.
I do not care what gets a man to bare his soul in his writing, money first or soul first, the end result, if he tries, is a revelation and that is worth my time.
I assume HP will come around and knock on my door for a donation. So be that.
A lot of good hubbers are not good writers. You have to get Google traffic and use keywords to attract several thousand views a week to do well on HP. Any comments or views you get from other hubbers will NOT make you a penny. It's nice to make friends here, and to encourage each other, but it doesn't help you if your goal is making money. This is something many fail to understand in the beginning, I did. As far as the HOTD, I never got one either. I think it's fixed, it's normally the same people over and over. Plus I don't think recipes have any business on a writing site, as a recipe is something you COPY from a friend, relative or magazine. It all takes practice, and it helps to write about something you love or know very well.
Maybe... Good writers put more effort in perfecting their craft and connecting with their target audience. I'm not quite sure what a 'Good Hubber' is, but those that I consider good are welcoming, insightful, and eager to help those that ask.
Not all Hubber's are writers, many are driven by the social aspect of this site, some are self-centered and non-social, and few are just trolls looking to start trouble.
I think a better question would be: What is the difference between being a good writer and being a good Hubber?
I think a good writer is someone who can get their point across efficiently and in an interesting way. I like informational Hubs that teach me something I might not have otherwise learned about.
But a good writer is not always a good Hubber.
A good Hubber not only has command of the language, but can work the capsules and follow the rules. But a good one is also active in the community and encourages and offers advice. Lately, I've been guilty of not reading, commenting or following up on comments to my own Hub - more of a motivational issue for me than time constraints. So, according to my own definitions, I am not a good Hubber.
It can be very difficult for someone who is a good writer to learn how to write for the internet, they're not even apples and oranges - they're more like apples and elephants. It's impossible to come to a place like HubPages without any kind of content writing experience and be successful right out of the gate. Add that in with the fact that the game is always changing (Panda, Penguin, etc.) and someone can easily get lost in the shuffle if they can't keep up.
Incidentally, I do have one HOTD badge, and that Hub was not a "how to." I suspect that a lot (not all, but a lot) of the folks who complain about the quality of the HOTDs (and even the Apprenticeship Program) are people who have not managed that achievement. I guess the bottom line is that nobody wins HOTD that doesn't deserve it.
Georgie, I think you brought up a lot of good points. And probably why some good 'purest' writers get frustrated with online writing websites like Hubpages.
I have 4 HOTDs under my belt, and was astonished each time. One is on safe driving, another is on the sport of in-line skating, I've actually forgotten which the others were. I'm not here for accolades, but because I enjoy writing and hoping to provide some measure of information people will find useful or educational.
I've stayed out of complaining publicly, but I have noticed that many selected HOTDs do feature writing that falls short of the standards of proper grammar, correct word choices and accurate spelling.
So, I don't know what drives the selections; because according to what is offered in the HP learning center, blog, etc., HOTDs must meet all those standards, yet I've read many that do not.
A) Of course there's a difference.
B) There are people who have mastered all the skills you mention, and who are good writers, but still don't get traffic to their Hubs. How are you defining "good?" Does it mean getting readers? Does it mean making money?
I think the two go hand in hand. But, my definition of a 'Good Writer' may be different than yours. I find that a writer's voice and style will come out in all that they do, including hubs. Whether they are writing how to's or poetry or short stories or informative articles. If a hub isn't well written, I don't want to read it no matter what it is about. I've seen poorly written poetry, stories and how to's on here but I've also seen some really great ones, too.
I think that if you are a good writer, it's going to show no matter what you are writing. (Even if it's a forum post lol) It isn't something you can fake.
IMO: a good writer has a clear voice and distinct style that is engaging and entertaining. A good writer can capture the attention of the readers and connect with them in a way that makes them want to read more. A good hubber isn't much different but there are a few more abilities they need to have-although they are easier to learn. I'm referring to using visual aids such as photos, videos etc. to better your hub, good research skills as well as good organizational skills. There are other aspects to hubbing that I am not considering here such as being a good community member for example because I am only talking about writing skills here. 'Good Hubber' can mean different things to different people just like 'Good Writer' can.
I think you can be a good writer without being a good hubber but you can't be a good hubber without being a good writer.
It very much depends on what you mean by "a good Hubber".
Since HubPages exists to make money from articles, their definition of a "good Hubber" is a Hubber who writes successful articles which attract readers and therefore make money. If that's the definition, then yes there is definitely a difference.
It's possible to be an absolutely stellar writer and earn zero dollars online. It's also not necessary to have a vocation as a writer to make money by writing online.
That's because to earn a good income on HubPages, you need thousands of readers a week, and the ONLY way to get sufficient volume is from the search engines. So if you're writing on subjects that no one is searching for, you can't be a successful Hubber. Likewise, if you're writing on a popular subject but in an obscure and quirky way, search engines might not understand what you're writing about, and won't send you traffic.
A successful Hubber is likely to be someone who is competent but not inspired as a writer. Their main ability is a willingness to learn a wide variety of new skills, and to be able to constantly adapt to new circumstances.
Depends what you mean by good hubber.
Is a good hubber by your definition someone who writes successful hubs (that garner search engine traffic), or are they the ones that the community can hold in esteem because they interact well?
Writing online and offline is so different. It is like chalk and cheese.
Offline, the rules of grammar are foremost, but writing online involves repetition of words that normal grammatical rules would frown upon.
It involves repeating key words and phrases, but writing them in such a way that it flows naturally.
The absolute best hubbers are those who have mastered this skill, and are therefore able to attract thousands of viewers to their hubs.
Good writers, or even brilliant writers, will fall by the wayside if they do not learn how to do this.
Sadly, mediocre or poor writers have sometimes struck it lucky and got the correct balance.
I would also add that the placement of polls and other capsules on hubs are no guarantee of success, especially if the writing does not incorporate enough keyword phrases, or has too many.
Yes, looks like we agree!
The only thing I'd disagree on is this:
"Offline, the rules of grammar are foremost, but writing online involves repetition of words that normal grammatical rules would frown upon.
It involves repeating key words and phrases, but writing them in such a way that it flows naturally."
That was true pre-Panda, but now that we have to keep keyword density low, it's not so necessary and could even be counter-productive. I find that if I just write naturally, I get a keyword density of 2-3% anyway. If I consciously repeat keywords, I 'm over 4% before I notice and that's likely to get Google slapped. These days I focus more on finding a wide variety of different synonyms and trying to use as many of them as possible, which is close to what I'd do offline anyway.
Well...a good writer would probably be a good Hubber, but a good Hubber is not necessarily a good writer, just good at writing in the Hub format, which is not bad writing, but is what I would call 'formula' writing, a style that fits the online search criteria.
Carly, I think what this all boils down to, for me anyway, is to be true to myself. Writing is my passion and I write from my heart and soul. Whether I am a good Hubber or not, is not the most important thing to me. Being a good writer and honoring my creative passion is what matters the most to me.
I think you can be a good hubber without being a good writer. Not to be disparaging, but some of the things I see on Hubpages are not necessarily well written, however those same hubs include a great deal of entertainment value and have the requisite number of add-ons valued on here. A good writer can pull you in no matter the format. How many great books are there that have no videos attached or even photos included.
It all depends on your definitions of the two terms. It's a subject that has been debated several times on these forums!
Some people feel that a good writer is one who writes for the sake of writing, that he/she should be true to his own voice, that he should write from inspiration and not be swayed by what people think. That kind of writer may one day write a literary masterpiece, but is unlikely to make a good Hubber, because no one outside HubPages is ever likely to stumble across his Hubs.
Others would say that a good writer is one who understands the mechanics of writing, who is able to put together a well-constructed sentence with good grammar and good spelling, and express ideas cogently. That kind of writer has potential on HubPages, because search engines do check things like grammar and spelling, and their writing is likely to engage readers. However if they're not willing to extend their skills beyond "just writing" to understanding SEO and self-promotion, their success will be limited because no one will find their Hubs.
As for a good Hubber - what do you mean by that? If you mean a successful one, then a very successful Hubber once told me his work was made up of 10% writing, 90% other stuff.
I agree. I know many good writers but that doesn't mean that their hubs are interesting. I think creating good hubs has a lot to do with knowing what the internet world wants to hear and responding to it. It's also knowing your audience. Writing a good hub has a lot to do with publishing and editing and your angle, not just how well you write. Although if you are a bad writer, I don't think you will create good hubs. You have to have at least a certain level of writing skill.
A good hubber follows HP TOS.
A good writer writes something that makes sense.
Personally, I do not care whether the HOTD is a how-to article or anything that seems unworthy of the accolade. What bothers me is when the HOTD is a hub with a lot of grammatical errors, misspellings, etc. I really don't get why so many are complaining about a how-to article being HOTD. What's wrong with that?
I laughed when I read that hubber's complaint. I consider the Hub of the day to be a combination of good writing and a well crafted message with an attractive layout. If your article was chosen, then I trust the Hubpages crew selected a Stellar Hub.
As a writer I see the situation as this we are all writers whether the audience likes us or not. It is part of who we are. Whether I write a sh&@! one day or a Hub of The Day, I am still a writer. I think this fellow has a bit to learn about the Hubpages community and the world of online writing.
A good writer is a good writer.
A good Hubber is a good writer that gets traffic.
I like your simple straightforward answer.
I like this. a good hubber gets traffic, i think that right there says it all.
I consider myself a good writer, but maybe a not-so-good hubber. I'm still learning about photo credits, additional capsules, and now I realize that I can turn off Google ads, if I so choose. (I felt some of the ads actually detracted from my writing, so I chose "off.") I had one hub that used a video from a spiritual organization that does not allow advertising. So, while I was able to use their video with their permission (videos, according to HubPages present policy, do not even require attribution because these are usually recorded within the video themselves, and I think You Tube may have a free-use condition), I decided to turn the ads "off" (nor did I use any eBay or Amazon capsule) in the spirit of the organization's request. So, it's a learning process, and I think different hubbers are going to have some of their own standards that may not necessarily fit perfectly into HubPages recommendations, especially when scores are generated mechanically. (I'm about ready to give up on scores. Some of my unpublished, incomplete hubs with no text have a higher score than ones I thought were good writing. I have seen more accommodating webpage arrangements for my type of writing, but I've decided to patiently continue for at least another year before taking any drastic steps.
When people hub or blog in their personal voice, that's what I like to read. I think journalism could be a little bit more like that. That's the perk of hubs and blogs...1st person voice.
A good Hubber is also a good writer.
However a good writer can be a terrible Hubber.
A poor writer, though, can neither be a good Hubber nor a good writer.
I've received the HOTD as well, and the poster who was complaining about poorly written "how to" hubs completely misunderstands good writing. Good writing can be fiction, poetry, a review, a how to article, an op-ed piece, and a story in a small town newspaper covering a church picnic. In fact, writers that can make a mundane story about a small town church picnic come alive are the truly good writers. It's pretty easy to make fiction or poetry spark. Make a small town council meeting about paving roads sizzle, and you're a good writer!!
Make a how to article on fixing the bathroom sink plunger come alive and include good SEO, and you're a great writer and a great Hubber!! Alas, as I can't figure out SEO and Google for the life of me, I'm just hoping to be a fair writer.
A good hubber is a member of HP who interacts with other hubbers in the hub community and has something to offer others in the forums, in Q&A, and by leaving comments on hubs. A good hubber also posts new quality hubs regularly.
A good writer (on HP) has a good command of the written language (English) and all the rules of grammar and syntax. Good writers are also interesting and engaging, original in their expression, with a gift to make words move and excite the reader.
Can a good hubber and a good writer coexist? YES! Can you be a good writer and bad hubber? YES! Can you be a good hubber and a bad writer? Unfortunately, yes. And if you're a bad writer AND a bad hubber, chances are you will end up cancelling yourself out of the HP community anyway . . . eventually.
janshares.......Perfectly BRILLIANT answer to Carly's question. Clear, realistic, sensible and 100% accurate. Thank you so much for sharing your genius definitions! It doesn't get better than this.
I agree 100%. As someone who majored in writing and who teaches English, nothing annoys me more than poorly written work. As I tell my students, you may break the grammar rules as long as you knew what they were to begin with and are doing so for effect, not laziness.
From my studies, a good writer is someone who can say the same old thing in a different and interesting way, thus shedding fresh light on a topic. That is the direct, polar opposite of what makes good SEO and, therefore, good Hubbing. If that's the distinction, I am a truly terrible Hubber because I don't WANT to train myself out of avoiding repeating words and phrases.
A good writer, though, is adaptable. I'm experimenting with SEO deliberately. So far it's not really working, but I'll keep at it!
Janshares, I completely agree with your opinions on what makes a good hubber and a good writer. Well done!
So you're saying that a Hubber who writes great Hubs but who doesn't have time to interact with other Hubbers is a bad Hubber?
I think that's dreadfully unfair. HubPages (and Hubbers) make money from external readers visiting our Hubs - not from us patting each other on the back or chatting on the forums. So if someone wants to treat HubPages like a job and just get on with the business of writing, that's their right and they're benefiting us all by focussing on what's really important here.
The social side of HubPages can be a great relief from the business of writing, but reading, commenting, asking and answering questions etc all make an infinitesimal difference to earnings.
A good writer has a command over the language and has the ability to express his/ her thoughts on paper. A good writer has also the ability to communicate his/ her views to the reader effortlessly. A good writer is sure to make an impact on the reader's mind and thinking.
Who is a good hubber! A person who along with the qualities of a good writer, is also an expert in SEO technicalities. And this has to be learnt and since things keep on changing almost everyday in the online world, one has to keep pace and change accordingly.
There seems to be a difference between writing and Internet writing.
As regards myself, while I am writing since long, so people say, I am a (good) writer. I still have to learn a lot about, how to encash through my writing. As such I do not think, I might be called a good hubber.
Hi Carly. I am a published author with books on library shelves. I have written hundreds of hours of television (drama, comedy and documentaries) plus I have film credits. I think that qualifies me as a good writer.
However I don't believe my writing credits automatically make me a good hubber. I am certainly not as prolific as many other hubbers, I don't have a facebook link, and I don't drive traffic to my hubs through anything other than pinterest and the search engine results that list my hubs.
Because I like to actively encourage people to flex their creative muscles and develop their writing skills, I spend more time responding to others' hubs and questions than I would if my focus was on using HP to make money. From an income-generating perspective, I am not a good hubber. From a community-involvement perspective, I try to be.
New hubbers need their work to be reviewed, so I actively participate in that process because I hate the thought of new writers biting their nails waiting for the outcome of the pending process. I am as forgiving as I can be and certainly don't expect anyone to be perfect, but in the interests of other hubbers - and to actively encourage newbies to make an effort to create a page that deserves a place on a site specifically for writers - I give a low score when there's no other option.
I am not an HP staff member and I'm not an HP apprentice, but as an experienced writer with a fair understanding of SEO etc, I believe HP gives everyone a good chance at becoming successful online writers. The guidelines they provide (including the templates for hubs) provide good foundations.
It surprised me when one of my hubs became HOTD. I don't think it was my best hub or my best writing, but it was a nice gesture and I'm pleased it was appreciated enough to be nominated and accepted. I'm sure HP staff must have some kind of proven method for deciding which hubs are worthy of HOTD, so I don't think you should feel in any way unworthy of your award.
(Mind you, I'd happily volunteer my time to check the spelling etc in HOTD's before they are featured because it does make me uncomfortable when I see typos and errors in grammar in a writing site's HOTD but that's another issue. lol.)
I became a follower of yours ages ago. I think you're a good hubber!!
LongTime, I'm with you on the point about editing for grammar, typographical errors and the like when it comes to presenting a hub as a Hub of the Day. (I just read one and saw several errors.)
My publications are nowhere near yours, but I still consider myself a good writer. And, I try to help those who are struggling with the English language.
Thank you for sharing your insight and perspective. I now realize that you are not part of the HubPages team, which I thought you were (and I wish you were).
I haven't done any reviews for awhile, and I even registered at Amazon Mechanical Turk at HubPages request. To date, I have been unable to do reviews there due to some technical permission qualification. Having understood your frustration, it's probably just as well!
Have a great hubber's day!
I would hope a good hubber is both a good hubber and a good writer. Wondering what I mean? Well, a good hubber is more than just a good writer, a good hubber leaves comments, joins forums and generally participats in Hubville. Good writing is essential but so is good hub citizenship.
I think this is a great discussion and all the point of views are excellent.
(I love it when adults can have an intelligent discussion even when everyone does not agree but are respectful nonetheless.)
What people are saying a good writer is one who:
1.) Has command of the written word
2.) No spelling or grammar errors
3.) Can excel in saying things that keep people interested, crafty with the language.
What people are saying a good Hubber is one who:
1.) Is a good enough writer, (no spelling or grammar errors, ability to get their point across.)
2.) Has command over their hub, (use the capsules, SEO search titles, appropriate photos and attributions, etc.)
3.) Active participant on Hubpages, (Support newbies, they read other hubs and comments, are active on the forum and the question and answers. They may even Hub Hop.)
This makes me wonder, are we expecting good Hubbers to also have good social Hub etiquette? And where and why does this expectation exist?
Are they one in the same: a good Hubber is one who has good Hub etiquette?
I agree, with the definition of a good Hubber, except for maybe #3, I believe that is good Hub etiquette.
Honestly, I left Hubpages for a few months last year because I became overwhelmed by writing my own hubs, reading others and commenting, participating in the forums, asking and answering questions, and hub hopping. I did not know how to find balance and felt if I were to stay with Hubpages than I would have to devote my whole day to this community. I came back and began to develop a way to have good hub ettiqute without making me feel like I had to give my whole day to Hubpages. I hear this from other's too.
I remember one Hubber telling me she has 5 hubs ready to go but has not posted them because of the anxiety of having to respond to comments to her hub. I was so taken back by her response. If I had 5 hubs ready to go they would be published. But where and why is there this anxiety of 'being a good Hubber,' is one who responds to everything?
I agree with most of what has been said here, but one thing concerns me: you can be a good writer with high hubber scores, follow all the rules, write interesting articles and yet not get those "thousands of views per month" Jean Bakula mentioned above. I think to get those you must market your work, and if you do not, you wind up like me...I have fewer views and make less money but am often frustrated when I hear about those huge page view figures others get. Like many here, I do not understand social marketing, nor do I have the time to do it. I have tried, but have never been successful. So, to meet the total definition of good writer/good hubber I guess those who do not market their work do not make it.
My very short opinion.
A good hubber is also a good writer. A good writer may not necessarily be a good hubber. A good hubber writes well, socialize well in HP fraternity, and has good traffic page views. An added bonus, monthly "pocket" money from the ads.
good hubber - joins in with the community side of things. Supportive, friendly - tries their best.
good writer - wow -that is a tough one. It is something else, a rare gift indeed.
But there are other goods. There's the good traffic guy. They are writing about stuff people are looking for.
Finally, as rare as the good writers, are those who make an income at the game. It is definitely not being a good hubber, or probably a good writer, or neccesarily good traffic - but it is about knowing how to sell to a target audience.
As for me? I draw cartoons. They are not very good.
Please do not underestimate yourself, Mark. Wherever you're at with your cartooning, the skill/talent will grow and so will your opportunities. Keep at it!
Congratulations Carly on your HOTD!!
As has already been said, I believe that a good Hubber is essentially someone who participates positively in the Hubbing community. Being a good writer speaks for itself, but being a good web content writer encompasses all of the skills and qualities that you detailed in your opening post.
I haven't seen the thread that you have referred to, but my only advice would be not to take it too personally. I've often been surprised by some of the HOTD choices to be perfectly honest. It's almost as perplexing, and as futile, as trying to work out your author's hub score!!
There are many talented writers who naturally, feel very passionate about their work. The internet is becoming increasingly competitive and web content writers need to be able to write in a commercial manner, if they wish to generate a decent income and/or get their work read. "How to's" definitely appear to be the 'flavour of the moment' but who knows what surprises Google has in store for us!!
A good writer would be able to adapt to hub pages format easily, someone who is not a good writer should still write hubs for practice. Skill is created through doing and redoing.
My two cents:
One is not, although could be, exclusive of the other.
A good writer can be a good hubber while a good hubber is not necessarily a good writer.
A good writer doesn't always make a good hubber yet a good hubber can be a top notch writer.
Personally, I don't think it matters. What does matter is good internet writing strategies - something I seem to lack. lol
I think HP is less than honest about how much participating in the forums and games matter. It will not help you at all. It seems to raise your author score, but we've been told it's a meaningless number (I still feel upset when mine gets below 93, what used to be an "A" when I was in school). It WILL alert you to writers who interest you with their subjects, and to people who share your same interests.
I don't believe some of the figures people say they get daily. When times are good for me, I get a little under 9,000 or 8,000 a week on my best hubs. And they are not the ones that I feel are the best written or even ones I put a lot of thought into sometimes. Also, ALL of my longest hubs are popular, and I have a few that are 3,000 words. If a person is interested in your subject, they will read the whole article. Most intelligent people have longer attention spans than a gnat.
Write in other places too. Just in case.
Jean, I've been here a year and a half and my numbers do not even come close to what you are mentioning here, so you must really be doing something right. I do have some hubs that meet those numbers, but none that ever get numbers like that weekly. I wish I knew the answer because it does make me feel bad about my work as I put a lot of time into my hubs. If you know something I don't, I'm all ears.
It took me 2 years to get 8 or 9K views on a hub, and I never got to a million views yet. I don't have a Facebook A/C either. People have insisted it's necessary to have one, but my friends know I sit up half the night writing, and if they want to read my stuff, they will. I just think people like my topics. I have a small following for all that time, but they are loyal, and I believe they are the same ones who followed me to my blog. There are people who don't like my topics, and they won't read them. It's a totally oversaturated topic, I'll be the first to admit it. I also write things in series forms, so if they grab somebody's attention, they are likely to come back to find out more. I find it takes time for a hub or article to get noticed by a lot of people, maybe a year. It can be on the first page of Google, I have 2 pieces I wrote in the last 2 weeks that are, but to keep them there, it seems it takes time for people to "discover" them. Patience pays off. I'm really bad at SEO, and am uncertain if it is now as important as it used to be. Everyone is scrambling and just trying everything. I love to write, and it gives me more credibility as a Tarot Reader and Astrologer too, because I make money from readings, and knowing what books people need if they want to learn. I took the role of teacher with a lot of what I wrote, because I've studied my subjects for so many years.
I know I picked up some readers before the Presidential elections, because some told me they agreed with my political leanings. So that's one way to find people, if they have similar views as you, they will come check out your work. If you write on other sites, make sure you link all your writing between the sites, that helps too. Hang in there.
Thanks for being so candid , Jean. You made me feel a lot better about all of this. I agree with much of what you wrote here, and I, also, have no desire to try and figure out SEO. I have always felt that if people want to read what I write, they will. I do very little if any marketing. I think your subject is one that is very interesting, and obviously, you know a lot about it. You've done a good job, and I hope things continue to go well for you.
Thank you, that was very kind. It is also slow in summer, everyone in the Northern Hemisphere is busy and on vacation. My first Autumn was when I began making money, every other month at first. Then it was every month. I've begun writing here again, and expect a better Autumn and Winter this year. You'll figure out what works for you. Talk soon.
My understanding is that if you want to increase traffic in internet writing, you must follow the golden rules of the game for internet SEO (Search Engine Optimization), otherwise your writings, no matter how good they are, will not be found by readers. It is just like putting a good book in a backroom of nowhere in an obscure library where no one visits.
I am not tech savvy, but I do try to play by the rules as much as I can; and I am getting good results because of this strategy.
LOL, cross-posted with Marisa (I know there is a time-lapse, but I was constructing this reply carefully).
I see we both agree on questioning what is meant by a good hubber.
I suppose I'm a poor "Hubber" and poor writer because my traffic has never been extremely high.Personally I think it is all bullshit-you can write technically really well but have a boring hub-article-you can also have a poorly written hub but find a niche and gain a great deal of traffic. Writing on line is highly competitive and saturated with good writers. I have learned a lot here and hope I continue to do so (sometimes you can teach an old dog new tricks.) I don't base the quality of my craft by traffic numbers if i did I'd have packed my bags and left the Hub community long ago. I take what i need and leave the rest. I have been published elsewhere and have done well. I have yet to find a niche (which is constantly changing per our readership.) Color me a hub-failure perhaps but I'm not losing any sleep over it.
Hi Good Guy,
Writing on the topics I do, the Keywords are in the titles, and I repeat them a few times throughout the piece. I didn't mean to imply I don't use SEO at all, but I don't use it that much. I was writing a piece about how the Full Moon affects people on another site, and kept getting messages that the word Moon was in the article too much. Finally I had to paste the WHOLE piece into capsules, and once the system realized the amount of words in the piece, it registered that in comparison the word Moon was not overused, and I was allowed to continue posting it without problems.
Sometimes you can spend hours trying to make a stellar hub, and it won't do well. Other times, you can write something in an hour when you feel inspired, and people love it. So it is hard to apply logic to it. I almost never write about holidays or topical things, because you get deluged with views for a few weeks, and then your hub is at the bottom of the barrel. I also have sort of mini-niches. When I began people told me to put those under another name or on another site, and I do write on other sites. But I can't be bothered separating niches or I'd be on the computer most of the time. It's time consuming as it is to write a decent piece online, once you research, write a draft, rewrite it, find pictures, figure out how you want to lay it out, and all that. Plus each site has it's own rules and things unique to it, so it can get confusing fast.
My opinion and it is my opinion only, but a good writer encourages others and doesn't put them down. I can think of several excellent writers here that spend time encouraging others. You can earn good money on Hubpages without being an outstanding writer. I do most of the time and I know I am just an average writer. Being a good hubber involves encouraging others as well as participation in the community and writing hubs.
I had a Hub of the Day and I can guarantee you that I am not a favorite here. The hub didn't have excellent writing, but had lots of good photos that were my own to illustrate my point. I used good grammar and followed all the punctuation rules. They consider all of the capsules in the hub, not just the text.
Remember that average writers can become excellent writers too. Maybe we won't write a classic, but you may see our names on a book someday. Writing just takes practice and some talent. There is nothing wrong with not being a fiction or poetry writer. Not everyone is the same.
PS Carly is a good writer.
These threads get so long I had to go back and see who Carly was and what she said! It seems to me that somebody was jealous about your HOTD, or something else. Earlier HP was encouraging "How To" hubs and "Niche driven" hubs. They change their minds so often it's hard to keep up. Sometimes I write elsewhere for a few weeks and come back to find several changes. Like that template. I hope we aren't supposed to be writing everything according to that, because I'm not.
Carly, you seem to be doing fine. Don't let people get to you. I think many of the people here come because they like to write. When I hit the "Publish" button, I get a big sense of satisfaction, and I love the feeling of creativity that comes with it. Plus we all have people we've met here who encourage us. I know sometimes the forums get nasty, but those are usually the politics and religion ones. The rest of the community here is nice, and I miss it when I'm away. Most sites have posts that are years old--a clue it's not a good place to be. As long as you like what you wrote, apparently the moderators at HP thought it was worthy. I'm sure it is. I'd be lying if I said I understood some people!
Barbara and Jean thank you so much!!!
The Hubpages community is diverse, and that is a good thing. There are some excellent writers here that are indeed gifted. There are average writers that seem to make it because they are smart about how to use capsules, photos etc. I like the diversity here, for I feel we can learn a lot from each other.
Like other said previously, I do think online writing, no matter what kind of writer you are, is something you have to learn. You can be the most gifted and talented writer, but unless you know how to title your Hub nobody is going to find you. Furthermore, it seems with people's short attention span with online reading, if you do not have photos, tables, polls and the like, people are not going to read your written word no matter how perfect it is. It seems to be the trend online reading is going.
I think online writing is a craft, whether it be poetry, recipes, how to's, personal narratives or fiction.
Thanks everyone for sharing your thoughts. I like learning from all of you.
I think the two terms can go hand in hand. A good hubber is someone who can write in different styles and across different platforms, and do it effectively.
If you look at Hubpages, and see what kind of articles are successful and what the staff at hubpages is looking for, and you create exactly what they want and what they are telling you does well, I think that makes you a good writer.
A good Hubber gets people to their page, a good writer keeps them there and makes them want to read more!
You could substitute online writer for Hubber, if you can't master the basics of SEO then you have little chance of ever being read as the search engines will never send anyone to you as they do not know what you are writing about or who you are!
Same if you write about things that no one is looking for then you will never be read. A fancy cover and an intriguing title may stand out on the book shelf in a local store and get your book read but if no one is searching for the title or content of your book it will not be found online no matter how interesting it may be or how well written.
A good writer is not something that can be defined purely by using correct grammar etc Your grammar can be perfect but what you have written can be boring and quite bluntly rubbish! My writing is full of errors (my handwriting is unreadable and I had to have help with English as a child despite being top of the class in other subjects!) yet I get plenty of readers online who read multiple pages of my work.
It only comes down to the perception of the reader! A good writer is one that people want to read!
But what I want to read in a book compared to what I want to read online is very different - if I want fiction I buy a book that catches my eye in a store or even when browsing amazon, sometimes when a book is recommended to me - I don't search online to find a story matching my chosen keywords!
If you want to write fiction or poetry don't expect to get Google to throw traffic at you! You need to get recognized within the circles and other sites that readers frequent to send traffic to you or you have to master marketing your work on Amazon etc.
When I want to buy a book (or another product) however I may search for it's title online to see if I can get a good price; however Google nowadays is going to award top slots for people searching to Amazon and the other main vendors not to a hub that then tries to send them to Amazon to buy it - the middle man is cut out. However if you want to find the difference between two books, or the best book about a specific subject that is where a Hubpage can be successful! "The top 10 books about XYZ", "Is product A better than product B" etc. BUT there is no guarantee that they will then buy direct from your hub - you may reccomend product A and they will then go do a search for "Buy A cheap" which you will not be able to rank for as Amazon and google have that sewn up..
If I want to find out in-depth information about a subject I may start by searching online to find out the basics then buy recommended books on the subject OR I look through a dedicated website or two on the subject. If you look at the top three results for your query and two are dedicated websites to the subject and one is HP / Squidoo / Wisegeek / etc. which do you think most searchers are going to think will be the most informative.
If you want to write in depth work about outer Mongolian flying tree frogs; write for a specialized site or magazine that has readership that is interested because no one is going to search for it directly. So even if you have written the definitive article on the subject in perfect grammatically correct English it still will not be read if you are expecting search traffic.
If I need some basic facts or advice I search online! - so this comes down to "how to", "what is" , "Why does" "whats the difference between" "Why should I" etc..THIS IS WHERE HUBPAGES IS AIMED!!!
I'm starting to waffle on.. so I will just repeat my first line again;
A good Hubber gets people to their page, a good writer keeps them there and makes them want to read more!
A good writer writes better and more. He/ she may or may not socialize.
A good hubber socializes better and more. He/she may or may not write!
I'd say yes. Without editorial direction and professional but subjective judgement based gate-keeping, people are free to write a lot of godawful dreck that rates well in terms of HP score because it's well constructed. There really isn't a hub hopper option for: "Inane choice of subject matter." Said drivel hurts the sites reputation, and ultimately knocks down it's search engine rankings overall.
That's my two cents anyways, but I'm sure the cheerleaders will disagree.
I must admit I find some boring works on here, but I often feel that they must have been interesting to the author and therefore could potential be of interest to others. Plus I'm sure not everyone feels as warm about my own hubs as I find them......different strokes for different folks. The idea is to provide a slew of information on all sorts of subjects, not just selective subjects, so it is really quite refreshing that democracy is alive and well here, even if subject to personal opinion and judgement by readers.
It is a good thing that people practice writing, even if the subject matter is different from what you are used to. I really like the idea that I can write whatever I want and value that everyone has that freedom.
Bah, I hadn't realized that this was thread necromancy... more of a waste of time that usual XD
Are you kidding Marisa? This forum is one big hug fest, hardly anyone has anything meaningfully constructive to say. It's almost all just vapid advice like "keep on believing, and one day you'll be part of the clique too" etc. Sounds a bit like a pyramid scheme quite frankly, or at least something closely related. Maybe more of a hope exploitation treadmill. I don't expect much out of HP other than a nice looking portfolio, but it does that much pretty well.
On a side note:I bet there is a closed forum someplace dedicated solely to up voting each-others hub hopper ratings by telling each-other what they wrote and then placing meaningless 9/10 scores to game the system. AKA patting each-other on the back. Fake reviews, face scores on inane BS, and higher individual short term gains at the cost of devaluing the entire site.
Please someone prove me wrong, tell me how the rating system is somehow immune to the tampering I've described.
Where have you been? There are entire social media networks devoted to this cause, however, no one can force anyone to like anything they definitely do not want to like. Everyone trying to make a buck on the internet is gaming the system the best way they know how, whatever technique they use.
The web is rife with pyramid schemes - at least this one pays (though I don't think it is a pyramid at all, rather all of our hubs adding together to make a bigger whole and a bigger result for the individual) - although I tend to think of it as a hobby and therefore get what I put in.
Your negativity is a bit disappointing, but if you can't join the excitement of the hopefuls, maybe you could blog about the frustrations of the realists.
Why everyone goes on about keeping on believing is that it is TRUE that if you develop your skills and write more, you earn more money. Hence you have to believe in Hubpages and yourself in a longer term to make something of it. I know from my own experience that the more you write and the more you practice the different techniques, the better it builds. To me, it is worth believing in, though some would disagree.
If you really feel unsure about the whole deal, I dare you to write 50 hubs, then tell me whether you want to stay or leave. I chose to stay, and so did many others....part money, part fun!
I have to say that I got "discovered" on Hubpages by people by posting in the forums. People saw my name there, got interested in something I said, and bothered to go to my profile page. Also, we get a lot of good advice and support on the forums, and sometimes need a break from the more serious business of writing.
So as Marisa says, people don't always understand that traffic from other hubbers doesn't make you ANY money at all. It's great if you want thousands of followers here, but it won't make you a cent. But if people notice you on the forums and share what they read with other friends, you may get outside readers. I always thought HP should make it clearer to newbies that traffic from HP isn't going to help you in a monetary way. I am not a techy person, so it took me a long time to understand that, and I'm terrible at SEO. And don't forget, you can't promote your own work on the forums.
50 hubs eh? Well I guess it couldn't hurt to give it a try. It's kind of nice to have something go straight to publish rather than the back and forth waiting game that is pitching to mags.
I guess I'll give it a try and see how it goes.
Give it a go if you can. If you aren't getting some sort of money and traffic from 50 hubs then you would be doing something really wrong...
PS - Remember to wait about 6 months - 1 year after writing the 50 for the hubs to become fully mature with traffic levels. Though I'm sure you will see an instant improvement the more you write anyway.
That's the whole point of HubPages. Sure, you can sell an article for $50 but for every article you sell, there will be several that didn't. On HubPages, you just post the darn thing and it will sit there, quietly earning a few cents a day, for as long as the site continues.
My best-performing article has earned over $400 in its lifetime here, which is far more than I could ever have sold it for. On the other hand, I have one or two articles which have earned five bucks in five years - but then, perhaps they wouldn't have sold either!
Be warned that it can take a year for a Hub to reach its full earnings potential, so expect to make little or nothing in the early months.
As for HubScore - you're doing the right thing.
HubScore and HubberScore are totally, completely and utterly irrelevant to the success or failure of a Hub, so anyone wasting their time on trying to influence them is wasting their time. They are intended as a motivational tool, that's all. The only thing that matters is whether your Hubs are Featured or not (because if they're unFeatured, they're invisible).
The only possible relevance of HubScore is that when it drops too far, links within the Hub become no-follow. Bu that's a problem only to those trying to promote other sites.
There are certainly places where Hubbers get together to Facebook like, Google+ share etc etc in the hope of improving Google rankings. It takes a lot of effort and of course, it's against Adsense TOS.
Is someone who writes concise and understandable owner's manuals a good writer? Yes, they get their point across, but are they writing from the soul when explaining how the microwave works? Probably not...
Hubbing takes a sort of talent for marketing as well as writing, in fact the marketing bit can easily overstep the writing bit. You have to take into consideration if you ware writing something someone wants to or needs to read online, is it easy on the eyes, is it easy to understand?
You can be both - a great Hubber and a great writer - it's just you have to marry two worlds in that case. Personally I write Hubs, which I enjoy, but I also write fiction that others have said is much better. However I don't post my fiction as no one would want to read them as a Hub. I feel the same about poets and bloggers, I wonder how any of their Hubs get any views (despite being good or bad.) It's all how you look at it.
I think that a good Hubber is indeed a good writer but not vice- versa.
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