1. Ignore the number of followers & internal views.
2. Ignore hubber and hub scores.
3. Write, write, write to build up a base of quality content.
4. Write on low competition topics so views increase with time.
5. Stop promoting so much when you could be writing. It's a waste of time unless you have a big social following or you know it's content that's already successful and really relevant. It's like Avon - the really successful people don't get there by annoying their friends!
Thanks so much for giving us the benefit of your experience. I think that number 3 is really the key. If you write enough, eventually you will stumble upon a successful topic.
Good advice. Especially number 3. Recently I realized I haven't written enough; when I read success stories, one thing that stands out is how much those successful Internet writers have written. I'm earning some money with what I have written and when I consider that, I could be making a lot more if started really putting in work writing.
Excellent advice as always, thanks for sharing.
Great advice - at the beginning, looking at my stats, I saw that most of my readers were fellow hubbers (this is still the case!) but we need to remember that we are writing for a worldwide audience instead.
We are all trying to solve some practical problems with our articles, or maybe entertain the public with our wit!
Re: promoting - I would say that posting your articles on social media is vital. It doesn't take long, just 5 minutes a day, and you can spend the rest of your time writing.
As I manage the social media accounts of a number of clients, I have noticed how much of a difference it makes to share content on social media, as people become more aware of you as a brand and of your writing.
Yes, but are those clients writing about a wide range of topics, or do they have a recognizable "brand" that's built around a particular expertise or activity?
The reason social networks are less useful for Hubbers is that they tend not to have a brand, other than the fact they're writers. it's tough to build a following purely on the quality of your writing.
Great suggestions, as always, WryLilt. I find myself focusing on fixing what's already there rather than creating new content.
This is great advice WryLit. Writing, and writing some more is really the key to make money by writing.
I think writing meaningful, searchable content that is well produced,uses some SEO and that you know something about is more valuable than just writing in terms of bringing views in.
That's true. There is writing that is effective and writing that is not. If you just write, you may simply be wasting your time if you don't write about a topic that people are interested in, don't use effective SEO etc., but at least there is a chance you will randomly hit the proper keywords, etc. And if you do try to write the article effectively, then you will have a better chance on getting readers.
But if you don't write at all, then you have absolutely no chance.
I basically wrote my previous comment as an admonishment to myself, since it has been a while since I have published an article. I need to get to writing some more.
Thanks for all the great advice. I spend too much time here on HubPages reading and promoting other members hubs to my readers, when most of my followers were Squidoo members and they have left and gone their own way, so I really do not have many followers at all.
Now I will spend more time writing new articles first and try to build new followers later.
6. Have some patience and wait a few years while the content matures. Write more in the meantime.
Every year, well written content seems to do better. Google still likes aged quality content.
I have a question about #4. I have a feeling "low competition topics" doesn't mean "low interest" and that nobody's searching for it. Does it mean that it is a frequently searched topic but there aren't a lot of articles out there about it? Please explain.
"Low competition" is much misunderstood.
Some people think it relates to the Google keyword tool - it doesn't There's a column there which tells you the "competition" - but that relates to the number of advertisers competing to place ads.
"Low competition" means looking for subjects that other websites are not covering effectively.
So if you're covering a particular subject, it has to be "better" than those not covered effectively? Does that mean more in-depth, more content, more interesting, more how-to/answers to questions, more visually appealing, etc. This in turn makes the advertisers compete for ads on that page?
Low competition means that the topic or sub-topic is not being covered effectively or there are few pages for that subject.
For example, years ago, when I started writing about the books my children were reading, I noticed that pages about authors and a particular book were very competitive. However, there was low competition when looking for books by a grade level. So I created a series of pages around "Books for nth Graders", instead of writing another review on say "The Hunger Games", and those pages received decent traffic until everyone else created the same type of page. Now that type of topic is heavily covered and I wouldn't do the same series or it would be more difficult to generate traffic for "Books for nth Graders".
What Marisa said.
There are thousands of topics out there that no one has written actual articles about - there are just Yahoo answers questions, forum posts etc. I've had great success with pregnancy topics because of this - the "big" pregnancy sites are so busy writing about what they THINK is an important pregnancy topic, they miss the questions pregnant women are REALLY asking.
For instance the term "lightning crotch" is a common term referring to pelvic pain, mentioned on pregnancy forums and questions. I am the only person who has ever written an article with a definition and causes, so that article gets plenty of traffic simply because it's the only one on Google and everyone links to it as the "definition" when asked what it is.
I use Google suggest to find topics that people are Googling (or it wouldn't be listed in Google suggest) but no one has written articles about.
Please note you can also attract readers by making your content half vacuous info that doesn't actually support the premise of the title but does pad out the length of your writing.
I've been doing this writing thing wrong the entire time. Does it count if some of my articles are only 200 words?
Very good points and well said.
I told many of my people whom are in business or any other kind of markets such like networking, is they all worry about the sell either of purchase of there products or getting more people as a distributor or what have you.
I told them time and time again there is always a time to TOOT YOUR OWN HORN when the time comes. I also told them DON'T BE ABOUT SELL, SELL, get to know your people no matter whom they are.
In time they will see what you do and possible be interested in what you do. Once you create a relationship with someone it shows you care about the person not just yourself wants, needs, oor selling.
Great tips that all writers should follow. I've seen so many newbies who write a couple of articles and annoy the crap out of people with their promotions. A few articles doesn't mean jack if you're trying to be a writer and it's a waste of time to self-promote when you have nothing to offer.
Here's what I think of promoting too early.
If you had $200 in your bank account, would you:
a) Go to a broker and every bank manager at every bank, trying to haggle for the best interest OR
b) Work on turning your $200 into $10,000 (or more) so you're more likely to get higher interest AND you are actually getting more than a few cents in interest for all that networking.
In case you're wondering, the money in this example is content. You need to build up a good base of content before you promote.
One thing I'm struggling with is the length of the articles required for HubPages. Does anyone in this day and age read anything more than just the headline and first one or two paragraphs? They want the info in a nutshell and someone to explain it to them, no one wants to work for the info any more. That's why great photography is also required, people like to look at photos and then move on to something else.
In this fast paced world of 140-characters or less on Twitter, text messaging that has come up with an abbreviated language of its own, and snappy Facebook and Pinterest posts, I'm finding it harder to buy into the requirement for such long articles on this website unless its DIY articles and recipe hubs. Personally, I think 600-1000 would be long enough.
Wouldn't you have to be avidly interested in the subject matter to read 1,200 words? Plus, it had better be darn good copy to expect web surfers to put in that kind of time investment.
That's where both subtitles and lists come in very handy. That way, people can skim to the relevant subtopic they're most interested in. Keeps them on page longer - and Google uses how long they stay on the page as an SEO indicator.
It's true many people want things short and to the point, but you have to remember - people won't even SEE your content if you can't persuade Google to feature it in search results. And Google wants content, the more the better.
So, write your long content to interest Google - that will bring readers to your Hub. Then make sure you grab your reader in the first paragraph or two, and organise the rest into clearly defined topics and sub-topics so readers can scan to find the answer they want. And there will always be people who are genuinely interested in studying the topic in more depth, and they will appreciate your effort too.
My thought on that is "it depends."
I write mostly to narrow niches in which I have expertise/authority. From an audience perspective, I am only trying to reach the niches-- where readers are looking for INFORMATION, not fluffery-- and I don't care about the reading habits of the "general public."
I have an article that's over 4000 words long and has dozens of comments... and has been read over 60,000 times. And because the Amazon offerings on the article are very specific to the niche, that part also boosts earnings quite well.
Very few of the more "general" articles I have written get read very much... in fact I have killed most of them...
Excellent advise Suzanne, as always..really encouraging for both new and older hubbers..
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