Accepted for Owlcation but requires baffling revisions. Help!

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  1. stuff4kids profile image60
    stuff4kidsposted 7 years ago


    My hub: … ut-Spiders has been provisionally accepted for Owlcation, but requires revisions. Here is the advice the curator offered me:

    "The Curator who reviewed your article suggests that you address the following issues:

    Text should be broken up into multiple capsules with clear subtitles. Think about ways you can condense the information in the article so that it is more readable and scannable (especially on mobile). Bulleted lists and table capsules are both great ways to summarize information into a more digestible format.

    Every article on Network Sites should have at least one high-quality photo. If there are multiple photos in the article, they should all be relevant to the content and visually appealing. Original photos are always preferable to stock photos. If you must use stock photos, please choose them carefully and tastefully.

    All articles on Network Sites should demonstrate a good command of the English language with appropriately chosen words and readable sentences. It always helps to get an extra pair of eyes on our writing to spot those pesky, missed errors. Perhaps you can ask a couple of friends or colleagues to proofread your article!"

    I've been through the hub with a fine toothed comb and as far as I can tell it conforms precisely to the requirements stated.

    Perhaps it needs another pair of eyes. Would someone be kind enough to have a look for me? I would appreciate that greatly.

    Many thanks,


    1. TIMETRAVELER2 profile image87
      TIMETRAVELER2posted 7 years agoin reply to this

      Hi:  I took a quick look and think I see your main problems:

      You content does not match your title!

      If you are going to write about fun facts about spiders, myths and legends are not what I would expect to see.

      I also would not expect to see sections on various types of spiders. 

      The piece really doesn't fit together or have good flow.

      If this were my hub, I'd divide it into three different ones:  1 for facts about spiders, one for myths and one for types of spiders.

      I also would make each section longer and more detailed. 

      As it is, it just appears to more or less be a list of different things with short descriptions.

      You write well, but to do well, hubs need to have focus as well as detailed and specific information.

      Hope this helps.  Good Luck.

      1. stuff4kids profile image60
        stuff4kidsposted 7 years agoin reply to this

        Thank you very much, TT2!

        Wow, that's quite a dissection and potentially very useful, although it seems to suggest more radical changes than the curator perhaps indicated. The big takeaway is to determine what the core focus of the hub is and let everything stem from and point clearly back to that, eradicating unnecessary elements.

        Thank you so much!  smile

        1. TIMETRAVELER2 profile image87
          TIMETRAVELER2posted 7 years agoin reply to this

          You're welcome.  I often have a problem with focus myself, so I'm quick to notice it.  Even though the curator did not ask for more, your big goal should be to collect page views.  The tighter your article, the more views it will get.

      2. Renata Kell profile image71
        Renata Kellposted 7 years agoin reply to this

        I happen to agree, I liked your article but the title suggests that you will be giving facts about spiders. I thing the title is completely off subject and I think if you stop and think about it you will be able to find the things the editor is talking about. I have done this a few times myself where I thought it was just right and when I went through it again I had one of those duh moments, realizing the fix was less complicated than I was making it.
        A new set of eyes sometimes helps but re reading it without thinking about the changes sometimes gives yourself a new look.
        Good piece though

    2. Marisa Wright profile image87
      Marisa Wrightposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      My advice - implement Glenn Stok's advice and IGNORE EVERYONE ELSE!

      HubPages already think the Hub is good enough for Owlcation, they just want you to make some minor tweaks. If they thought it needed a major overhaul they wouldn't have picked it.   If you start changing the whole article, you may change the very things they like - it won't be the same Hub and it may even get rejected! 

      Where there are specific problems they will usually let you know, so if they wanted you to remove irrelevant material they'd have said so.  If it needed a huge overhaul they'd have put it into HubPro and done it themselves.

      1. TIMETRAVELER2 profile image87
        TIMETRAVELER2posted 7 years agoin reply to this

        Marisa:  Sorry, but I have to disagree with you on this one.  This is because the author has to think about her goal.  Is it to get the article on the niche site, or is it to garner a lot of views.  If it's the first, you are correct, but if it's the second, I'm right.  Personally, I'd rather take the time to tighten up an article so that it will be successful rather than just leaving it basically as is so that it can move to a niche site.  With my plan, she could have THREE niche site articles instead of just one and might, indeed, triple any views she might get otherwise.

        1. Marisa Wright profile image87
          Marisa Wrightposted 7 years agoin reply to this

          Her original post asked what she needed to do in response to that email, so I took it that her goal was to have it moved to Owlcation.

          I'm just pointing out that if she changes it substantially, it may not get moved at all. It's true that if she writes two new Hubs, they would have a strong chance of moving to Owlcation because they're new - but that's a different discussion.

      2. stuff4kids profile image60
        stuff4kidsposted 7 years agoin reply to this

        Hi and thanks.

        That's more or less what I have decided to do. It's not that I don't value everyone else's advice, which - depending on what my aims might be - is clearly very excellent and born out of long experience and understanding. But you're right - the key idea is to do whatever little HP requires to accept it.

        I'm working on my own site at the moment, but in the meantime, one of my hubs moved to Owlcation is getting mountains of traffic now and rising daily (after an initial slump) and the other four look set to catch up. The more the merrier. While creating new material for the new site, it makes sense to maximize what I have here - and it's a great "testing ground" for ideas.

        But that would be another thread.

        Thanks everyone for your generosity and advice - every last bit is appreciated and will be useful at some piont, without doubt.  smile

    3. letstalkabouteduc profile image95
      letstalkabouteducposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      Hey Mindi -- I recently got an e-mail saying my "awesome" hub about Tom Cruise and Scientology just needed a few tweaks and it was ready for ReelRunDown. It was rather generic: 1) Remove Amazon capsule 2) eliminate key words 3) check spelling and grammar. I had already proof-read the hub many times, but I spent a lot of time going over it again, keeping in mind those 3 areas. Then I re-submitted it. The next day I got a rejection e-mail, saying it was too "topical" (never mentioned as an area of concern in the first e-mail).

      Needless to say, I was angry and frustrated. My enthusiasm for Hubpages has waned. I tell you this so you'll take those generic e-mails with a grain of salt. There are new editors and no consistency.

      1. Will Apse profile image87
        Will Apseposted 7 years agoin reply to this

        There seems to be a 2 stage process here. Perhaps a lower level editor thinks a page will be a good fit for a niche site and sends out a generic email. Then a more senior editor makes a final decision after you have revised your page.

        If that is the case they should be honest about how it is working.

        ie they send an email saying, 'we are considering your page for a niche site but it is borderline, please fix up the issues outlined below. We cannot make any promises but a few changes might get you hub moved...'

        Or something like that.

      2. TIMETRAVELER2 profile image87
        TIMETRAVELER2posted 7 years agoin reply to this

        From what I've seen, some of the editors the team recently employed have problems.  They need some training and supervision.  Three times now I've had to go back and correct their edits to my hubs because those areas in my hubs were already grammatically correct and they created mistakes!  I'm a former Language Arts teacher, and although I do make my share of mistakes, those were not among them.

        On the other hand, and for the most part, I have found many of their edits to be really good.  This makes me think that there are just one or two people there who do not have enough of a background in grammar to be correcting other people's work. 

        Letstalkabouteduc: If you want me to review the hub in question for you, please supply the title.  I'll be happy to take a look for you to see if I can help you get it placed on the niche.

        1. letstalkabouteduc profile image95
          letstalkabouteducposted 7 years agoin reply to this

          Thanks so much for the offer, Time Traveler. I appreciate it. However, the hub was ultimately rejected for being too "topical" so there's nothing I can do about that. I guess that's the risk of writing about celebrities -- lesson learned!

          1. TIMETRAVELER2 profile image87
            TIMETRAVELER2posted 7 years agoin reply to this

            That's interesting.  It makes me think that they only want Evergreen topics.  Good to know!  Makes me wonder, though, why they considered it to begin with if topicality was the issue!

      3. stuff4kids profile image60
        stuff4kidsposted 7 years agoin reply to this

        Thanks. Hmm. Food for thought.

        Sorry about your experience, though.

  2. Beth Eaglescliffe profile image96
    Beth Eaglescliffeposted 7 years ago

    I enjoyed reading this hub - and I'm scared of spiders! I could only find a few things that may need improvement (and I had to try really hard to find anything ).wink

    1. The photo and comment about The Amazing Spiderman seem surplus to the theme, so I would delete them.
    2. I would make all text and photo boxes full width as they don't appear as half width on mobile. That way all your readers get the same experience (and it may make you want to reposition a photo or text box).
    3. You have paraphrased and repeated yourself in some paragraphs eg "But different species of spider use these threads in different ways." and "Let's take a look at the web weavers and the non-web weavers and the interesting and surprising ways they use their gossamer threads."
    4. Perhaps the picture of the crispy fried tarantula is the one that the editor considered to be in bad taste for a hub aimed at nature-loving children? I think the video on the same topic is OK because kids get a warning and can choose whether or not to view it.

    Otherwise I thought this was a well written and informative hub.

    1. stuff4kids profile image60
      stuff4kidsposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      Hi Beth.

      You.Are.A.Star!  Thank you so much!  *Big Smiley Face*


  3. Glenn Stok profile image96
    Glenn Stokposted 7 years ago

    In addition to the great ideas Beth just gave you, I can add a few other ideas.

    • Make your main image square so the text does not get cut off when shown in featured links. Just crop off the bottom row of spiders and that should do it.See how it looks where that hub is listed in your profile and you'll see what I'm taking about.

    • Consistency is important. Make both your tables consistent by using the same colors. You made the first one blue and the last one grey. Pick one color for both.

    • That image of Spider-Man is maybe fun for the kids, but it is not really applicable to this hub. You ate not talking about cartoon characters. You are talking about spiders from an educational perspective. I would drop that image since it's not totally relevant to the subject. HubPages mentioned that in their email to you.

    • Your hub does not flow well on mobile. Some of the right column capsules fall in the wrong place on mobile. They mentioned considering mobile readers in their email too. Use the mobile preview (see tab on top in edit mode)  and you'll see what I mean. The easiest solution is to move everything into a single column, as Beth said, so the order of capsules appears the same on desktop or mobile.

    Besides all that, congratulations on being considered for the niche site. You have a great hub there.

    1. stuff4kids profile image60
      stuff4kidsposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      Thank you, Glenn.

      Those are really helpful, detailed and actionable pieces of advice. Fantastic!

      Thank you very much indeed.  smile

  4. Jan Saints profile image88
    Jan Saintsposted 7 years ago

    TIMETRAVELER2 has given you the best advice. And just to add, should you ask questions or just go straight to the facts? I think instead of saying " Are Spiders Insects?", you could say " Spiders are not Insects!"

    Then I don't think there is anything wrong with layout, photos and grammer/spelling. That curator message should be auto-generated! I don't understand why the curator didn't see the bigger problem!

    1. stuff4kids profile image60
      stuff4kidsposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      Thanks Jan. Very helpful!

      I have to confess, if I take into account all the advice I've been given, I need to scrap the original hub and start a new one with the same title. Which does make me wonder what hubpages meant when they said they thought it was awesome and wanted it for Owlcation. I wish they'd been more specific. It does seem like a standard list of advice, doesn't it?

      I'm more confused than ever now.

      1. TIMETRAVELER2 profile image87
        TIMETRAVELER2posted 7 years agoin reply to this

        I wouldn't scrap the entire hub.  Just decide which element you really want to write about and adjust the title to match it.  Save the parts you don't use to use as the basis for other articles.  Then you'll have THREE that go to Owlcation instead of just one!

  5. Will Apse profile image87
    Will Apseposted 7 years ago

    Glen's advice is simple to implement and should be enough.

    I would also rethink the section titles.

    If your page is '10 Interesting facts about Spiders' it should really give 10 facts.

    So rather than a section title with the question 'Are Spiders Insects?' you could try a simple statement of fact:'Spiders are not Insects'

    Rather than 'How Long Do Spiders Live?' state the fact that 'Some Spiders live 20 Years'


    You would not need to change any of the info.

  6. Jodah profile image91
    Jodahposted 7 years ago

    It is a good, well-written hub. You got some good advice here, but just a few small changes should be necessary to have it moved to the niche site.
    I can see where TT2 is coming from though and feel it could be split into at least two hubs, one about myths and folklore and the other about the 10 facts.

  7. Rupert Taylor profile image95
    Rupert Taylorposted 7 years ago

    I've received a pretty much identical notice over this piece

    I suspect it's a form letter and that some of the issues are not relevant to all articles.

    "Text should be broken up into multiple capsules with clear subtitles." That was done in the original.

    "Every article on Network Sites should have at least one high-quality photo." Ditto original.

    "Only bold words and phrases that are essential to emphasize." Didn't use bold.

    Spelling and grammar are not issues.

    The only things that I've changed as per instructions are to make photos and videos full width and to bullet my list of sources.

    If anybody can spot something that's out of whack I'd love to know.

    1. Will Apse profile image87
      Will Apseposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      Great first picture, lol.

      I reckon this is too long for an H2 header: Keep in mind ......................... never get back

      It would be better in plain text.

      Saying 'little lady' is likely to upset half the population for reasons best known to themselves.

  8. LongTimeMother profile image91
    LongTimeMotherposted 7 years ago

    I just took a look at your spiders hub and spent ages on the page! Loved it. I wasn't reading every word ... just scanning down for headings that caught my eye. Bear in mind, I live in Australia with tarantulas in my garden and woodpiles so I already know quite a bit about spiders, but there was lots of interesting info in your hub. No wonder it is headed for a niche site. smile

    Please don't follow suggestions about removing your questions. Those questions will attract search engine traffic. People will google 'Are spiders insects?' and your hub includes that question, and an answer. Nobody is going to google 'Spiders are not insects'. So don't make changes that will reduce your chances of attracting search engine traffic.

    Also, I don't see any problem with your spiderman reference and the like. The only problem I did notice there was that you copied exactly the same sentence from a caption beneath a photo to a text capsule. Not a good idea to duplicate the sentence. I suggest you rephrase one of them.

    And hey, it is a fact that people eat spiders. So leave that in. Even children would be interested in the reality of 4,000 tarantulas being sold in one Cambodian village on one day as live food. (I saw footage of that in one of the videos I watched on your hub. Wow. That was incredible!)

    Yes, google and other search engines like us to 'focus' on specific topics. But they also reward writers who offer something 'different' or 'more' than other sites. No point just regurgitating what can easily be found elsewhere. So please don't make too many changes that might make your article less engaging and informative than it currently is.

    My key suggestion for you, my friend, is this ....

    Use the Stats on your page to see if you are currently receiving search engine traffic. ('Referrers' will tell you if traffic is coming from search engines.) And then take a look at your 'Search Terms' to see what people are entering into Google, Bing, etc to find your page. All this info is available at the top of your page when you are signed in (but not in Edit).

    If your hub is new, you may not have Stats to view yet. But if you've had it up for a while you'll have some helpful data in there. You can't rely on HP's editors to make changes that give you the best SEO results, so you'll need to keep an eye on that for yourself. In my experience, they have their focus on trying to make things 'easier to read' without actually understanding that the best of intentions can have a negative impact on search results.

    Respond to the Stats data on your hub, and build on your strengths.

    Good luck with it. smile

    1. stuff4kids profile image60
      stuff4kidsposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      Thanks, LTM! That is really encouraging, helpful, specific and actionable advice - just what I was looking for!  smile


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