Please critique some of my hubs.

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  1. sgbrown profile image93
    sgbrownposted 10 years ago

    Ok, here goes.  I rarely get involved in the forums, I guess I am a little on the shy side.  I have been here almost 2 years now and have published over 80 hubs. I have only had 2 ever unfeatured and have deleted those and a couple more that I thought just were not up to par. My "normal" views used to be between 500 and 600 and I was getting a check nearly every month. Since March my views have dropped significantly after tweaking almost all of them. Yesterday is shows that I made a "whopping"  .23 cents!  This is the lowest it has been since I first started. Please, if I could get several "good hubbers" to review some of my hubs and tell me what they think. I am so close to quitting here and I really don't want to, but my excitement for writing is fading. Is my writing getting worse instead of better, maybe I did something to "piss off" Google. I just need a few people to honestly tell me what they think of my hubs.
    I can take constructive criticism, I need to know.  Thank you in advance!

    1. btrbell profile image87
      btrbellposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      I don't think it is anything you are doing. I just hopped over to your hubs foir a quick look and you seem to have it all covered. I think, mostly, the proiblem is the amount of competition out there. How many other people are writing about the same topic? Where does your hub show up in the search?There are several tools you can use through Google that will help you pick a title and keywords to move you up in the search. If you are not already using them, they are Google Adwords, Keywords and Analytics. They are all intercionnected and user friendly. You can get to them through a gmail account, your website or by typing it in your URL.
      Don't stop writing! You have too much talent not to share it!
      You are actually making more than a lot of us are on hubpages. I think its probably just a slump but do check out Google Tools!
      Good luck!

      1. sgbrown profile image93
        sgbrownposted 10 years agoin reply to this

        Thank you btrbell!  I use the keyword tool and analytics, but I don't know how well I understand either one. Sometimes I find it hard to find topics to write about so I "fall back" on things I enjoy researching. I will work on finding better topics.  Thank you SO much for your kind words. I really do enjoy writing when I am moving forward, at least a little. Your reply has helped me understand where I may be going wrong, thank you!

        1. Marisa Wright profile image87
          Marisa Wrightposted 10 years agoin reply to this

          One thing to remember is to tick the "exact" box when using the keyword tool.  The "Broad" option can give you some funny results.  Also bear in mind that the "competition" column isn't what you may think it is:   it means how many advertisers are competing to advertise that product.  It tells you nothing about how many writers are writing on that subject.

          If you're using the keyword tool to decide what subjects to write about, then that may be where you're going wrong.   Lots of people do that, so you all end up writing on the same subjects!   It's much better to write about what you know, then use the keyword tool to find all the keywords related to that topic.

          1. sgbrown profile image93
            sgbrownposted 10 years agoin reply to this

            Hello Marisa! I really appreciate your advice with using the keyword tool. You have explained several things to me that I did not realize. I have to admit that I do not really understand how to use and understand the Google keyword tool. Your information is very valuable.

            I feel that you are one of the most knowledgeable and successful writers here and I appreciate your input and suggestions so much! I will definitely be changing the way I use the keyword tool and will be reviewing many of the articles you have written on improving our hubs. I truly value your opinion and appreciate your suggestions. Thank you for taking the time to help me revitalize my excitement for writing here!  smile

            1. Marisa Wright profile image87
              Marisa Wrightposted 10 years agoin reply to this

              Thanks for your kind words!   

              One of the frustrating things about the internet is the way things change all the time.   We all rely on Google for traffic and they keep changing the goalposts!  Two years ago there were clear formulae that you could follow, like using your keywords in every heading and sub-heading, and consciously repeating them in your text - but that very same advice can now get you "slapped" by Google. 

              I had a look at a couple of your Hubs and wonder if that might be one of your problems.  Your "Iris" Hub, for instance, has Iris in every single heading, even above your photos.  Your keyword density within your text is fine, but I could imagine Google not liking the overly repetitive headings.

              Personally I've moved my focus to my own sites rather than HubPages because I seem to do better there - but to do that, you need to have a specialist subject, because a blog will only work if it's focussed on one subject area.  Plus you need to learn how to monetize it with affiliate ads, ebooks etc, and that's a whole nother can of worms!!

              1. sgbrown profile image93
                sgbrownposted 10 years agoin reply to this

                Thank you Marisa!  I will go back and check my hubs for keyword saturation in my pictures and subheadings.  I appreciate your feedback. I focus so hard on HubPages that I don't monetize my blogs as I should.  There only purpose was to link back to my hubs.  I guess I need to open that "other can of worms".  Thank you so much for your opinion and suggestions, I do feel as though you are one of the best writers and kindest people here. You obviously enjoy helping those of us who are struggling. I appreciate your tips and suggestions and will take them to heart!  I hope you have a wonderful day! smile

                1. Greensleeves Hubs profile image92
                  Greensleeves Hubsposted 10 years agoin reply to this

                  Maybe keyword saturation is a problem. Certainly keywords are a major factor. I know very little about this, but I can tell you something about my hubs. Most only receive one 1 or 2 visits per day maximum. A small number receive more than 10 visits per day. One hub however receives almost twice as many views as any other page getting 50-100 (and in its heyday before the slump 150-200) visits per day. This hub is called 'Shades and Tones of Purple and Mauve'.

                  But why is it so successful? I think I wrote a good hub, but I don't think it's by any means my best hub. The reason for its success, I'm sure is simple. Type the two words 'purple  mauve' into the U.K Google search and at the time of writing I am third only to Wikipedia's 'Mauve' page and a Yahoo answers page (out of 12,600,000 results!!!) This is pure chance because I didn't do a keyword search beforehand, and I know it's not primarily the result of hub quality as many other hubs of mine are many pages down the list in a simple Google search using just a couple of Title words. But because those words in this particular hub attract a high placing, more people visit, more visitors share the page on Facebook, Twitter etc, and the viewings escalate as a result. I am quite certain therefore, that if you know what you're doing with Keywords - certainly in titles -  this can have a major beneficial effect on traffic.

    2. Kathryn Stratford profile image89
      Kathryn Stratfordposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      I agree with Btrbell. I have only been on here for 6 months, so I am no expert, but the articles I looked at seem fine. There's probably a lot of competition out there, and many times there are temporary dips in traffic. But please don't give up! You're a wonderful writer, and you have already written so much! I can certainly see how it would be discouraging.
      Good luck, whatever you decide to do.
      ~ Kathryn

      1. TIMETRAVELER2 profile image86
        TIMETRAVELER2posted 10 years agoin reply to this

        I scanned a few of your hubs and it is clear to me that you definitely know how to write, girl!  I do think you are writing on a number of topics that are absolutely and dogs, for example.  This type of info can be found anywhere on the internet, and Google does not like "repeats".  You have to remember that every day there are more and more people producing articles, which translates into competition.  If your articles are not unique or enticing, your readership will drop.  This is why I believe in revamping hubs regularly.  You know a lot about Oklahoma and thus are an "expert" in that subject.  Why not share with the world the wonderful things about your state that they might not otherwise know?  I think you should stay with us, but change your tactics (not your writing abilities), and you'll do OK.

        1. sgbrown profile image93
          sgbrownposted 10 years agoin reply to this

          Thank you so much timetraveler!  I have a hard time deciding what topics to write on.  I will definitely think about some hubs on Oklahoma and look at revamping some older hubs.  I really appreciate your input and your kind words.  Thank you so much!  smile

      2. sgbrown profile image93
        sgbrownposted 10 years agoin reply to this

        Thank you Kathryn!  I truly appreciate your reply. I enjoy writing here but I just can't get excited about writing these days. I was really afraid that maybe my writing wasn't as good as I thought.  I need to know if I am wasting my time.  I appreciate your kind reply and will work on my topics. Thanks you sooo much!

    3. Au fait profile image84
      Au faitposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      Sent you an email with some suggestions, not for improving your hubs so much -- they look good to me -- but for promoting them.  We have to do our promotion here and that can make the difference.

      1. sgbrown profile image93
        sgbrownposted 10 years agoin reply to this

        Hello Au fait!  I appreciate your email with suggestions for promoting my hubs. I will be reading and answering your email right away. I feel like I promote them pretty well, I will delve into this more in my email back to you.  Thank you so much for taking the time to try to help me. I truly value your opinion! smile

    4. profile image0
      Beth37posted 10 years agoin reply to this

      You're very brave, I think I would be afraid to ask anyone to critique my hubs.

      1. sgbrown profile image93
        sgbrownposted 10 years agoin reply to this

        Hi Beth!  I enjoy writing but need to make a little money also.  I need to know if I am wasting my time or not. I am not a brave person and this was hard for me to do, mainly I don't want to sound like a "whiner", but I have always been able to take constructive criticism. Rather than me "spinning my wheels", I would like to know where I can best improve. Everyone here has been very kind to reply with care as not to run me down or reply harshly and I appreciate that very much!

    5. zeusspeak profile image69
      zeusspeakposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      sg brown, I went through your hubs and as other hubbers rightly pointed out, most of them are written on saturated topics. Most probably, this is hurting your views and earnings.

      I recommend you should revamp your hubs a bit and focus on those things that are covered scarcely. However, make sure you are exhausting and putting forward a comprehensive knowledge if you are writing on a rare topic. Your hubs are on saturated topics sgbrown, so try doing something innovative. What about sharing an interesting travel adventure? The problem does not lie in your writing, (though there definitely are some grammatical mistakes which you should definitely eradicate). I must tell you that your writing in the more recent hubs is falling down as ideas are jumbled up and the organisation bit too haywire.

      The best remedy is take a break and start anew. Shed the whims and fancies of your niche and write something which is both interesting to audience and you. Dominating a niche is a good thing, however, domination should not reach the levels of saturation when your own mind is pissing off.

      sgbrown, and please improve your grammar, do not take it as a harsh stone pelting, but your choice of words and grammar is going haywire even in the hubs which you have put on spotlight. First of all, correct those mistakes and then plunge into writing once again, good luck!

      1. sgbrown profile image93
        sgbrownposted 10 years agoin reply to this

        Thank you zeusspeak.  I appreciate your honest opinion and will work on these points. smile

        1. zeusspeak profile image69
          zeusspeakposted 10 years agoin reply to this

          No need to mention that, hope you do not quit this fantastic platform.

          1. sgbrown profile image93
            sgbrownposted 10 years agoin reply to this

            I really hope not too zeusspeak. I do enjoy writing here, but I am spending a lot of time doing so and would like to have a little income from it. I am going to work on several different areas and see what happens. Thanks again!  smile

  2. carol7777 profile image74
    carol7777posted 10 years ago

    I checked your hubs and also have been reading them since I came just over a year ago.  I also think titles get saturation points.  Remember also that Google has gone wild and things have changed for everyone. I am writing only very occasionally now as I have sites where I do make money. I have written 150 plus in the time I have been here..and also tweaked all the old hubs.  I get a pay check about every three months..Not worth making a big effort and it does take time to write for sure.  So not to worry..However, you have to determine how you wish to spend your writing time.

    1. TIMETRAVELER2 profile image86
      TIMETRAVELER2posted 10 years agoin reply to this

      Carol7777:  What sites are you writing for that pay so much better than HP?

    2. sgbrown profile image93
      sgbrownposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      Hi Carol!  I really appreciate hearing from you. It appears that my topics are my biggest problem. When trying to choose a topic, I use the keyword tool, but I'm not real sure I understand the way to use it. I will have to work on that.  Thank you so much for your input and your kind words, it is greatly appreciated!  smile

  3. janshares profile image95
    jansharesposted 10 years ago

    Hi sgbrown. From a brief browse of your hubs, I agree with the majority. It's not your skill or ability to produce quality hubs. It's competition and most likely changes with Google. Your titles are about common things, some using words with broad meanings (for example, "The Beauty of Spring"). The competition for those titles have got to be huge. So many articles on picante sauce, taking pictures of birds, mean dogs, etc. It's got to be tough to get a lot of searchers just to click on yours, no matter how good it is.

    I can understand your wanting to quit but maybe you can just take a break. You have an excellent body of work here that you can build upon. So don't leave. It is damper when earnings and traffic start to decrease. I haven't been here a year yet so I shouldn't complain but I only made .36 yesterday, and the day before. But it's a holiday weekend so I tell myself it will go back up. I will keep plugging away and look forward to accomplishing as much as good hubbers like you have here at HP.

    1. Jean Bakula profile image93
      Jean Bakulaposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      Hi sgbrown,
      I took a quick peek and as a flower lover, am enthralled by your lovely pictures! I live on a shady lane, so I know a lot about Hostas, but your summer flowers are just breathtaking. You are a good photographer by the way.

      Your hubs seem interesting, the titles are good, you have subtitles, and include lots of info. All kinds of oddball things are going on with Google. This is my 2nd summer with HP, and traffic does tend to slow down as people are on vacation and such.

      We all get disgusted at times, and writing doesn't seem worth it. Then you write that hub everyone loves, and get that happy feeling, and all sorts of ideas flow through your mind. I wouldn't take it personally, it's just a slump. Things will pick back up in the Fall. Maybe take a break for a week or two, I do that when I get in that mood. I don't see anything wrong. And as far as oversaturation, I don't think I'm allowed to say my topic on forum, it may seem I'm promoting myself. But I'm getting views, less than summer, but getting paid every month, and many write about my topic. Hang in there. Plus don't be afraid to check out other sites. Lots of people like I write on sometimes too, and they are OK. Don't worry about it so much, and DON'T STOP WRITING if you love it!

      1. sgbrown profile image93
        sgbrownposted 10 years agoin reply to this

        Hello Jean!  Thank you for taking time to reply, I really appreciate your input and your kind words. I love to take pictures of just about anything to do with flowers and animals. However, it seems that those two topics are pretty well saturated. Maybe I am just in a summertime slump. I am very busy with our garden, and grandchildren, so maybe everyone else is busy too.  I hope to get out of my slump and get motivated to write again now that I know it is not my "bad writing" that is holding me back.  Thank you so much for your compliment on my pictures and for your "pep talk".  I really appreciate your opinion!  smile

    2. sgbrown profile image93
      sgbrownposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      Hi Jan!  The majority of opinions seems to be my topics and/or titles.  I need to rethink how I choose my topics and work on the titles.  I really appreciate your input as well as your kind words.  It's just hard to get motivated to write when I am wondering if my writing is even any good!  You have been very kind to reply and give me your suggestions.  I really value your opinion!  Thank you very much!  smile

  4. Greensleeves Hubs profile image92
    Greensleeves Hubsposted 10 years ago

    Sheila; I've had a similar experience. Virtually all my hubs are featured and none of those which have been unfeatured are for reasons of quality. Traffic steadily rose on my pages over 2 years to between 700 and 800 visits per day. Then - about the same time as your slump - my views dropped to between 300 and 400. They still haven't recovered. It is the most dispiriting thing which has happened since joining HubPages, but it's not the fault of the hubs. I assume it is to do with Google algorithm changes.

    It's easy to feel like giving up when you put a lot of effort into writing, and then the hub doesn't receive the audience you expect or which it deserves. You feel 'what's the point if nobody's going to read it'. But I hope you don't give up. I know HubPages is trying to improve ratings for the site on Google, and I am sure that traffic will pick up again. Your hubs are fine - better than many I've seen - informative and well written. In fact, I'm happy to follow, as some of the subject matter is of interest to me. Alun.

    1. sgbrown profile image93
      sgbrownposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      Hello Alun!  Yes, it sounds like the "slump" hit you about the same time it did me. I went from between 500 and 600 views per day to just over 100. I was just starting to get a check every month and the check was gradually getting larger. I had hopes that the more hubs I wrote, the more that would continue to increase. Boy, was I wrong! I had just finished "tweaking" all of my hubs and was very excited. It is very dispiriting to see my views sink like a stone and stay at the bottom of the internet pond.

      Due to all of the kind feedback I am receiving, I will probably not quit. I am feeling a little excited now that I know where I may be going wrong and I have a goal. I will be tweaking my titles, summaries and hubs and try to write on better selected topics.

      I appreciate you taking the time to reply to my request and hopefully Google will eventually put HubPages back on their "good" list soon. Thank you again for your time and caring reply and your follow!  Have a wonderful day!  smile

  5. MichaelUS profile image70
    MichaelUSposted 10 years ago

    I haven't seen your hubs yet, but I guess there's no problem with your hub. You stated that you are already about 2 years here. I saw it, your hubs are great. If it drops well that is normal. You cannot expect a loyal viewer. It always depends on the topic of your hubs.

    1. sgbrown profile image93
      sgbrownposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      Hello Michael.  It has been rather disheartening to see my views drop as they have done since March. I needed to know if my writing was worthwhile or if I was just wasting my time "trying" to be a good writer. Everyone here has been very helpful and considerate. I appreciate your input and opinions as well. Thank you so much!  smile

  6. Judi Bee profile image92
    Judi Beeposted 10 years ago

    Your hubs look great to me.  If it's any consolation, I have had a similar experience.  Views used to be great, now I am on a terminal decline.  The last 30 days, compared to this same time last year show a 2.2% increase in traffic - at least it's an increase, but I have over 50 more hubs and have completed the AP since then!

    Like you, all my hubs are featured, I have never had an issue with the QAP process.  I can only imagine that Google gave me a grace period whilst my sub-domain was relatively new and that has now expired.  If you decide to stay, I hope that the trend is reversed.  I've not written here for six months - in my case, it's not worth the effort and I am working on other stuff.

    1. sgbrown profile image93
      sgbrownposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      Hi Judi!  I understand your phrase, "terminal decline"!  That is where I have been since March. I had hopes that the decline in views was temporary, but not so far. I had just about decided that Google had put me on their "black list" and I was doomed. I had just finished "tweaking" all of my hubs when the views went down. I was afraid that instead of improving them, I had done something to ruin them. I wondered if my writing was getting worse instead of better.

      I appreciate you taking the time to look at some of my hubs and respond. If my writing is worthwhile, I will continue to write. I do enjoy it, but a little money for my time would be nice. I am feeling a little excited now and will be going back and tweaking some titles, summaries and working better topics. Hopefully, in the meantime, Google will put Hubpages back in their good graces and we will all be excited about writing here again. Thank you again, I appreciate your feedback very much!  smile

  7. dewahoki profile image60
    dewahokiposted 10 years ago

    great no finding mistakes

    1. sgbrown profile image93
      sgbrownposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      Thank you dewahoki!  I appreciate you taking the time to help me. Have a great day!  smile

  8. LongTimeMother profile image92
    LongTimeMotherposted 10 years ago

    It might be worthwhile copying a sentence or two from each hub and then pasting it "between inverted commas" into google and checking the search results. If your content has been stolen and now appears on other websites, that will definitely drop your stats.

    I hope nothing's stolen, but lots of us have had that problem. Worth a look. smile

    1. sgbrown profile image93
      sgbrownposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      Hello LongTimeMother!  I checked many of my hubs and found 2 that were stolen. I may need to do that again and this time on all my hubs. I appreciate your suggestion and will be working on that too. Thank you!  smile

  9. zeusspeak profile image69
    zeusspeakposted 10 years ago

    Best of luck for your writing enterprises then sgbrown,

  10. tillsontitan profile image81
    tillsontitanposted 10 years ago

    Your hubs are great and your photos superb.  The problem does not lie with you or your hubs.  We are all losing views and money and I don't think its just competition but a combination of things.  I think Aufait needs to email all of us wink

    1. sgbrown profile image93
      sgbrownposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      Thank you so much, Mary. I appreciate your kind words and support. I wish I knew exactly what changed as of early March of this year. I was doing fine and then the bottom fell out and it hasn't recovered. I went 15 months with my views gradually increasing as I wrote more hubs and tweaked some old ones. It seems as though now, no matter what I do, my views just keep dropping. I feel like my hubs are pretty good, maybe on saturated topics, but they were doing quite well for over a year. I don't know what to do anymore.  Maybe I will give things a rest for a while and see what happens.  Thank you for your support, my friend!  smile

  11. tillsontitan profile image81
    tillsontitanposted 10 years ago

    I find myself in the same situaion, if you find an answer let me know too!

    1. sgbrown profile image93
      sgbrownposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      I would be happy to!  smile


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