Where do we Writers set the Line with our time?

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  1. Don Bobbitt profile image82
    Don Bobbittposted 10 years ago

    As HP has evolved its standards I have found that it takes much more time FORMATTING my Hubs to meet the ever restrictive HubPages requirements.
    I now write almost no impulsive creative pieces because I will get sucked into the time-consuming HP posting process. I now write these things on my WordPress site.
    So, I now have less writings on HP than ever before and even though they are what HP calls "better" they take a lot of time.  I find myself pitting inspiration against time and often time wins.

  2. janshares profile image92
    jansharesposted 10 years ago

    Don, I hear you. I've been struggling with what to do for my 50th hub. I want to do a creative piece because I know I can do it in no time. But I feel like I should be investing any time I have writing a stellar, informative hub but that takes a whole lot of time and effort that I don't have right now. So I've been schlepping along, not writing anything for the past two weeks which is not good either. I'm not completing blaming HP's new standards, but it certainly impacts our attention to detail and extra efforts we must put forth to avoid becoming un-featured. It is a struggle, my friend.

    1. Don Bobbitt profile image82
      Don Bobbittposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      janshares- My point exactly.  I like writing quality content, but sometimes I really don't feel like spending the extra time to format, format, format.
      Why can't there be a new format or category of Hub for a few hundred words of Poetry, Commentary, or other writing that we can use when we have a spontaneous moment of creativity.
      Oh, Well, That;s what I now use my WordPress site for.

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

        I'm sure you wouldn't expect your daily newspaper or your favourite magazine to include impulsive, creative pieces.  You understand that they have editorial standards and that their articles are chosen to maximise sales by attracting their target audience.   You also expect their articles to be nicely laid out and illustrated.

        HubPages is a commercial enterprise too  - exactly like a newspaper or magazine, its whole mission is to make money from advertising revenue.  Yes, in order to do that, they must present interesting quality articles, but the motive is profit. In the past that was less obvious, and some people got the impression HubPages provided a writers' site from the goodness of their heart.

        HubPages is not doing well, so they've finally realized it's necessary to focus on writing for profit.  That's the reason for all the changes.  I think they've made some wrong decisions but I understand their reasons. 

        Creative writing pieces earn little or no advertising revenue, (especially if they're published 'warts and all'!).  Same with poetry.  So there is absolutely no incentive for HubPages to encourage writers to produce such work.

        1. LeanMan profile image78
          LeanManposted 10 years agoin reply to this

          Marisa is right; Once upon a time it mattered not if there were 100 pages of crap or un-searched for content  for every good page that Google liked on this site. This meant that spammers, scrappers, auntie lovers, idiots, and everyone else could post whatever they liked and it hurt no one else.

          Now however the game has changed, Google does not judge pages on their own merits but as part of the whole site. This means that if your site has pages that contained copied content, thin content, stuff that no one reads etc that your whole site will suffer. So as a commercial venture what choice do they have? They can either have thousands of 3 line poems published or meaningless rants that no one can decipher or they can aim to showcase (feature) what Google wants.........

          If you want to do creative stuff build an audience for your own site as you will not get paying search engine traffic for it unless you are very lucky.

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

            Just to emphasise, I wasn't saying that creative writing and poetry are rubbish.  I love creative writing myself - I just don't do it on HubPages.  I wouldn't expect my creative writing or poetry to be accepted by my favourite newspaper, either.  All magazines, online or offline, have to choose their content to attract the audience they want. HubPages hasn't done that in the past, leaving the door open for anyone to publish. Now they're trying to fix that.

  3. tillsontitan profile image82
    tillsontitanposted 10 years ago

    It certainly is a tough situation, however, it is not impossible.  Including the elements that make a hub "featurable" is not too difficult.  Make sure you have pictures, a video, a poll and if possible a map.  All of these things help the quality of the hub.  Of course the length of the hub is important too.  Keep it at least 1200 words.
    We are all in the same boat and helping and encouraging each other will get us through.

    1. Don Bobbitt profile image82
      Don Bobbittposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      tillsontitan- You are right, but, as I mentioned to janshares, I now feel that I can no longer publish a short 200-400 words?) Poem or Commentary, and have any chance at all of it surviving the HUBPAGE standards.
      It seems that if what you write isn't carefully designed for LONGEVITY then it really isn't desired by HP anymore.

    2. janshares profile image92
      jansharesposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      Well said, tillsontitan. Support is the key.

  4. nicolehubbard10 profile image58
    nicolehubbard10posted 10 years ago

    For HubPages you have to have a lot of detail (preferable 1,0000 words or more), use high quality photos (cite image location if taken from Google Images, or another image service), and any videos you created yourself you can post them on your hub. You can also include polls, pie charts, bar graphs etc. I hope this explains the requirements for making a hub post.

    1. Don Bobbitt profile image82
      Don Bobbittposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      Sorry nicholehubbard10- but I am quite aware of what is REQUIRED NOW.
      My point was that I miss the opportunity we once had to write something spontaneous, short and to the point that doesn't require my being a MARKETEER rather than a Writer.

  5. psycheskinner profile image84
    psycheskinnerposted 10 years ago

    As I have said in other threads, I still have hubs with less than 300 words sail through QAP.  You just have to throw in a lot of headings and pictures.

  6. LauraD093 profile image69
    LauraD093posted 10 years ago

    I have taken a brief hiatus and haven't published anything new in several months due to this issue. Upon returning I have spent a great deal of time re-formatting and I completely understand your frustration. I will write more spontaneous work to Word and then plug it into the hub format in the future.  I hope this will be less time-consuming and will allow me to once again enjoy writing  hubs. Thanks for a good topic.

    1. Don Bobbitt profile image82
      Don Bobbittposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      lauraD093- That is my whole point. I see people trying to get spontaniety having to use Questions (Whoops Answers) in an effort to do similar things without falling into formatting Hell!.

      Why not something NEW like allowing us short EDITORIALS?
      And even make them be less than 500 words and have content that supports a specific Title and Thesis, for instance?

      And, even feature them in an HP Magazine type format of Politics, Commentary, Poetry, etc.categories?

      Just Thinkin'

      1. zeusspeak profile image68
        zeusspeakposted 10 years agoin reply to this

        That's a great idea Don, I wish this materialises into reality sooner than later. Spontaneity has taken a huge setback due to these recent changes.
        It is as Mark rightly pointed out being in a school and getting punished for deviations. Creativity, sometimes cannot adhere itself to the rigid structures.
        HP is slowly evolving as a taskmaster applying strict guidelines. Don't you think some of these criteria should be relaxed at least in creative pieces?

  7. Mark Ewbie profile image82
    Mark Ewbieposted 10 years ago

    I used to enjoy throwing something together - just letting it come.  Add a pic, maybe a joke, and job done.

    My way of feeling creative.

    New HP QAP is now an obstacle to that.  I want to enjoy my writing not feel like I'm back at school being marked.  At least a couple of rejected pages of mine I KNOW were good enough for the internet because I KNOW my competition.

    If I look for a certain search term, I won't say what it is, the top result is a single paragraph and a picture.  On someone's blog.

    I couldn't put that on HP.  After an initial reluctance I am putting my short efforts elsewhere.  It doesn't earn anything, and may never do, but it satisfies my creative thing.

    I understand the HP need for the long-form doodah - but I am not sure I am up to it.  I hated school, hate authority and hate rules.  Writing for me should be fun and free.

    1. Don Bobbitt profile image82
      Don Bobbittposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      Mark Ewbie- You just summarized my feelings.
      i almost feel like HubPages wants to turn itself into some kind of WikiHP resource for the rest of the world.
      As I mentioned above, why not also have a "magazine" for us to write short less-than-500-word articles of commentary, poetry and such?

      Just Thinkin' DON

      1. Mark Ewbie profile image82
        Mark Ewbieposted 10 years agoin reply to this

        I guess that's we we need a blog Don.  Just to write anything and everything.

        1. Tom London profile image39
          Tom Londonposted 10 years agoin reply to this

          Yeah. HP is more about official style of writing; we all need a blog to release the steam once in a while.

  8. Tom London profile image39
    Tom Londonposted 10 years ago


    What did you mean by "impulsive creative pieces"? And how were they hurting your HP so that you took them over to WordPress? Very curious about this.

    1. Don Bobbitt profile image82
      Don Bobbittposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      Tom- I see that you are a Newbie. No Insult, intended.
      But, you are going to find that HP has evolved into a site that requires a writer here to meet some extensive formatting as well as writing standards.
      Nothing wrong with these standards, but they take a lot of creative writing time from a writers day in order to get a work in what they consider acceptable for themselves and what they "think" is acceptable for Google Search Engines.
      And, where we could once take an inspiration, mold it into a creative chain of expressive thoughts, and then just put it out there, warts and all, for the world to potentially read and enjoy, many of us are now taking these pieces of ourselves to other less restrictive sites.
      As I mentioned, I opened a site with WordPress so I had such freedom once again, without hurting my precious "Hub Score".

  9. CMHypno profile image80
    CMHypnoposted 10 years ago

    I'm a bit confused by this thread as I have been here four years and find the formatting is now easier than it used to be????

    It was always important to have an attractive, well formatted hub so what's changed?

    I agree with Marisa that. although I don't always agree with HP's decisions, they needed to work on this site looking more professional and improving the quality overall

  10. Tom London profile image39
    Tom Londonposted 10 years ago

    CMHypno, I don't really think it's about formatting. It's about the creative expression not being framed by the rules of HP.

  11. Paraglider profile image87
    Paragliderposted 10 years ago

    I've deleted about 30 hubs recently (saved them elsewhere, on Google Sites till I decide what to do with them).
    Some of them had up to 500 comments which did for a time make me think they were popular and would do well. But the problem was that they were only popular within the HP community among people who 'know' me from the forums and will visit my hubs for a good discussion. That's fine. I enjoyed the discussions. But they never made their way in the wider Internet. Why? Because I'm not famous. If Seamus Heaney joined HP and published poetry hubs they'd do well, because thousands of people search for Seamus Heaney every day. Same goes for political, religious, philosophical, social commentary hubs. HP is not associated in peoples' minds with these areas. So, unless you're a famous name in the field, you'll lose out to the recognised sites like the Economist or BBC.

    Nothing wrong with that. It just is.

    1. janshares profile image92
      jansharesposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      Interesting bit of info, Paraglider. I will file that away as another piece to the puzzle of online success: name recognition/ authority(?). Thanks!

      1. Mark Ewbie profile image82
        Mark Ewbieposted 10 years agoin reply to this

        I already have that.  Anytime people are looking for an internet asshole who draws stickmen - I'm cleaning up.

        1. janshares profile image92
          jansharesposted 10 years agoin reply to this

          I bet you are, Mark.

    2. Don Bobbitt profile image82
      Don Bobbittposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      paraglider- Your comment is so true.
      I see these people that think they are going to make a fortune by putting some words together and publishing them to the World Wide Web.
      Then they sit back and wait, and so many eventually wonder; Why am I not famous? Where are my readers?
      Readers are hard to get, and even harder to hold onto. And, as you said; Getting lots of search traffic is easy, once you are famous.
      As to the rest of us? We write what we think is our best, we put it out there, and we move on.

  12. Jo_Goldsmith11 profile image59
    Jo_Goldsmith11posted 10 years ago

    Well, I will add you to my list for sharing and spreading my gratefulness to those who
    read my work. I know what you mean. I can't believe my score went from 89-93 to 76!
    I haven't been a 76 ever!  I am not here for the money, believe me!
    Geeze, I miss Simone! sad

    1. Jean Bakula profile image90
      Jean Bakulaposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      I don't follow the suggested format, although technically, there aren't too many ways you can format an article on here. If you want links or a paragraph to stand out, you can use the arrow and put it towards the right side of your piece, and click the little box that puts blue coloring behind it. Use Subtitles with your main keywords in them. Make them Bold.

      I think the polls and graphs are BS, nobody takes them, or you check and maybe 3 people have. I do OK, but my pieces are usually about 1500 words, usually more. I think they want people who are experts or have specialized knowledge on a certain topic. I write on several sites and my own, and all of my hubs are featured.

      If they are "Unfeatured" for a bit, you can add a few pictures, update the into, or just tweak a few sentences and usually it's OK again. Rushing to put them on your own blog is a bad idea, unless it's so successful you make more money on it than you do here.

      Sometimes pieces are seasonal, although I write all evergreen stuff, a few hubs just seem to interest others more at certain times of the year. Basically, a 400 word article with little info except how much you miss your ex, and 10 pictures with no cited sources, aren't going to cut it anymore.

      But I came here and Panda happened when I had 50 hubs, so I rushed to write on other sites. The rules are much harder on many other sites, you still have it pretty good here. The people are nice, the staff is helpful, and it's easier to navigate than some sites. It's good to write a dozen or the obligatory 10 pieces on Infobarrel, Wizzley, or your site of choice, and it's more professional to use your real name or the same pen name on all sites. I have a blog, and tweet the title of each new article. But I noticed that many tweets are about my writing on HP. So name recognition is very important now. I hope some of that helps.

      1. Don Bobbitt profile image82
        Don Bobbittposted 10 years agoin reply to this

        All are good points for new Hubbers, and essentially, you are saying the same thing as I am. HP wants us to work at being a Hubber, often more than they want to allow us a template or tool for those spontaneous moments that all writers need to vent or just say a little something.

        1. Jean Bakula profile image90
          Jean Bakulaposted 10 years agoin reply to this

          That's so true Don. And being writers, we like to vent a LOT!

          1. Don Bobbitt profile image82
            Don Bobbittposted 10 years agoin reply to this

            HOO Ra!


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