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When I write a personal recommendation in the 'description section; on my Amazon capsule, it doesn't seem to be appearing as it has in the past. Will this appear, after publication?
I am confused. Is it a recommendation or a review? Recommendations are not allowed, as far as I think.
HP want us only to place Amazon ads on our hubs which we have used or feel strongly about. When I select a specific product and not use the Keyword search option, I can write a description.
This has always been a crucial part, I believe, of why my viewers make their purchases.
Currently, I am able to write my description in the Amazon capsule, and say what I like about the product. But when I click out of that capsule, my description doesn't show up, as normal, just the image of the product.
Yes, that option is available there. But, there is a warning also mentioning only to provide details or qualities that are not already available on Amazon. So, that might be the reason for not picking up your content. But, I am not sure. A more professional may answer it clearly.
Were you the one with the nurse's hat? Long time, no see. How the heck is Brazil anyway?
Nurse's hat? No, I had a flower. Brazil is beautiful, warm and breezy 87°F.(30°C).
Would you like to attempt a commercial enterprise? I have no idea what, but different countries equals different possibilities,
If you write a long description, it won't appear all of it. This is the only problem I have experienced when describing Amazon capsules. That box can only accommodate one & a half sentence. You can try 20-30 words.
Perhaps it has changed. I know on one of my hubs, I have written a couple of paragraphs in the Amazon capsule.
It seems silly to give a positive recommendation or talking about our personal experience with a product in only 30 words.
Thanks for you comment, I will have another look at that possibility.
I always discuss my views and comparisons within my hub and then post a short comment in the Amazon capsule. This resolves the problem of not saying too much in the capsule, but still allows you to write a description. A couple of paragraphs is way too long to have in the Amazon capsule. A sentence or two is best.
Hi Time Traveler,
I have a bit of a mixed bag on my hubs. Some are shorter than others. I usually float the Amazon capsule to the right and try and make it a similar length as the text capsule it's next to. This, to my way of thinking, makes it look better. Of course that all goes out the window when they are viewing it on a mobile and it gets shifted down.
I am still experimenting with a method which works. However, I do want to stay away from that cookie cutter hub template which was popular on Squidoo, and I think was part of its downfall.
Some time ago I decided to use full width photos and ads because doing so eliminates the problems you are discussing. If your reviews are being removed or cut off, then what's the point of placing them in the Amazon capsule. Another thing you can do is link to a product within your text capsule. You won't see a photo, but that isn't always necessary. Good luck!
You need to stop floating capsules to the right column. I read that eventually HubPages will be eliminating two-column format because it is not mobile friendly.
I always check the mobile preview in the hubtool before publishing a new hub or when I update an old one. This is important to do now since so much of our traffic comes from mobile.
I think I recall you saying on one of your hubs, 85% was from mobile devices.
I guess my week will now be spent moving Amazon capsules to full width.
Any idea if above or below the relevant capsule is best? As a reader, I would prefer to see it after but as a marketer I would prefer before.
I just wonder if there is a generally preferred ad placement rule.
The answer to your question is easy, just think in terms of the reader. Whenever you write, you have to write for the reader, not for yourself. That should help you decide what is best with the placement of the capsules.
You might also want to consider using in-text links. I found that they work much better, especially now since HubPages includes a little Amazon icon on the link.
Thank you, Jan. You solved this mystery. I am unaware of it as I always inserted the capsules through keywords only.
Now, I hope BlondLogic's problem might have solved.
One thing to note is that it doesn't matter where you write your description. It doesn't have to be in the capsule, it could be in a text capsule above the capsule. And it can be as long or as short as you like, there is no rule.
I just noticed this thread. Perhaps you are not saving the capsule after you enter the description. I have no trouble with it and I wrote lengthy content in the Amazon capsules. I never discovered any limits.
I'm having a major problem with Amazon ads.
I can’t figure out why almost all of my previous hubs that always included 2 Amazon ads were accepted on first submittal as “Featured” are now being repeatedly rejected.
My first Hubs were so successful that I even created my own template so I could repeat that success. Four, five, six, seven hubs in a row were accepted as Featured until recently none of them are. I read the emails I get about “spammy elements” and quality standards and all the rules on your website multiple times but it’s all too generic and vague to help.
And besides, I’m doing nothing now that I wasn’t doing when my articles were being accepted as Featured. What I’ve discovered is that if I rip out the two Amazon ads and resubmit my Hub it will be accepted. It’s almost as though the new reviewers HubPages brought on board recently have an entirely different playbook.
In short I’m being effectively blocked from your Amazon Program and that’s one of the major things that brought me to write for HubPages in the first place. I haven’t made a penny from Amazon yet but now it’s guaranteed that I never will.
This is very disappointing and discouraging since I’m doing nothing different than I was doing successfully before.
You're right, the playbook has changed. Where I use to have a few Amazon capsules on a hub, I am lucky if I get to have one.
Even during a 'hub edit' by the staff, they wanted me to remove all of them. Their argument was that they didn't add value to the hub. I disagreed and told them this.
I had also sold the product off of this Amazon capsule although the person doing the edit, either didn't check or wasn't privy to this information. I rewrote the information on one of the Amazon capsules, and after several emails back and forth the capsule is back on my hub. This isn't like I was sending up a hub with no info and only Amazon ads. My hub is over 3000 words and I get one Amazon ad.
My advice to you is make sure the Amazon product is relevant to the topic of your hub. Then, write a killer recommendation about why you can't live without it and why it solves whatever problem your reader is having. Don't just regurgitate the same info which you find on Amazon reviews though, make it personal.
Another point is keep it towards the top of your hub (above the fold) as it is called. Joe Public has a short attention span. Although the product should be relevant to the text it is sitting beside.
One last thing, because Amazon ads have only a 24 hour cookie you want your reader to buy then and there. In my experience, products geared toward men may do better as they see and buy. Although women probably spend more, they tend to shop around before making a purchase. That is okay if they come back to your site and then click through but they may just type in Amazon and go and find the product for themselves and you'd lose that sale.
I hope some of this helps.
Thanks for the feedback. It's funny but to me placing Amazon ads "above the fold" seems even more "spammy" to me than placing them further down. But I'll try that.
Here's a related problem that really bothers me.
All of my articles are openly and obviously written from a libertarian viewpoint for my large number of primarily libertarian readers that I've developed over years of writing. The Amazon ads I carefully research and post with my article are books that are also openly and obviously written about, by or for the libertarian viewpoint.
So my question is how can any reviewer POSSIBLY decide that my Amazon ads are NOT appropriate to the Hub article that they appear in? My Hubs draw libertarians to read my articles and the Amazon ad links draw them to click through to the Amazon website. Isn’t that the whole point?????
I also very specifically write about 50 words in the Amazon Ad capsule making it very clear to my readers how the book in the ad specifically relates to what I’m saying in my article. I long ago learned never to repeat anything from the Amazon ad site but write my own comments. It just still doesn’t seem to help.
I'd love to hear more on this from you and others. I'm seriously considering giving up on HubPages and am already looking around for other venues where I can publish. I had high hopes for HubPages but now I'm losing trust in them.
Did you actually read those books? Do you use those books to make a point clear about something you say in the hub? That is what I meant in my previous post about being 100% related. If you're just listing those books because they are on the same subject, but don't actually help the reader understand something you said, then it's not useful.
Google is cracking down on that and HubPages knows that. This is why they are being very cautious about getting it right.
The rules have changed and that's why your old hubs are being reevaluated.
I am having a different experience than you are. My hubs with Amazon capsules are being accepted for niche sites. I never get a request to remove Amazon capsules.
I'll tell you why there is a difference. You need to show that you have a personal experience with the product in the capsule. You need to be using it yourself, and it needs to be 100% related to the subject in such a way as to be of value to the reader.
Ask yourself if you are hoping to make money from the sale of the item or if you are placing it there to show an example of what you are discussing. If it's the latter, and you follow the other rules, your hub will be accepted.
First, Hub has never told me to remove an ad. I had to experiment with editing until one time I just blew away the ads and BINGO they accepted the article.
Making money has never been a priority but I always want to leave that door open. Now it's entirely closed.
Since all my articles are about libertarian ideas the only appropriate Amazon ads I can include are libertarian-related books. I can't read every specific book. If that's what they expect then the reviewers/editors are just crazy. But I have been a self-identified libertarian since the early 1970s and have done extensive reading on the subject so that I know enough which books to recommend to my readers that specifically relate directly to my article. If that isn't good enough for HubPages and for Amazon I guess I don't belong on HubPages.
HubPages did tell you exactly what to do to have your Amazon ads accepted. It's all in the learning center. You're missing the point with blaming others. It's not good enough for Google. Don't blame HubPages and don't blame Amazon. Google wants you to show authority beyond a doubt. You admit yourself that you did not read those books. I guess that comes across in your hubs.
Garry, I'm going to give you a tip which will no doubt cause an outcry from some.
Yes, HubPages says you must have personal experience of the product but as you well know, that's bunkum. It's perfectly possible to select a good product or book that helps the reader, without owning it personally. And anyway, how does HubPages know if you own it or not?
The key is to use the magic words. "I recommend...." or "In my opinion, this is the best book on the subject..." or "If you want a basic introduction to this topic, I think this book offers...." etc.
You may be choosing the books with great care, but if you don't make it clear that you have taken a personal interest by using "I" or "my", the capsule won't get approved.
Also, keep it down to one or two products. If you're choosing three or four and don't differentiate between them, then clearly you haven't chosen the very best, you're just showing what's available. HubPages wants you to make a recommendation.
The only way you can get more than one Amazon product in a Hub is to make it clear that each book caters for a different audience. For instance, you might say you recommend book 1 for one particular audience, and book 2 for people interested in another angle.
Now you've created a challenge for me. I chose up front to write all of my articles in a third person POV while occasionally throwing in third person challenges for emphasis -- making a point that will impact "you" personally. Never using "I" or "me." Just an editorial choice. So it would look strange I think to switch to first person in the ad capsule.
My articles are long enough that they used to accommodate two Amazon ads without problem. Now I guess I might try one to see what happens.
I keep my comments in the ad capsule to 50-55 words max so they never get truncated. And I have written things like "this book is a perfect example of..." exactly what the whole topic of my article is about. So maybe with a little creativity I can still get around the first person pronouns. Thanks Marisa!
It's your choice but I think strictly applying third person is inappropriate for HubPages (and for internet writing in general, actually) if you want to grow your readership.
Third person is appropriate for academic papers, reference works and print media. The point of difference for sites like HubPages is that it's written by individuals who can offer a personal perspective on the subject from their own experience or knowledge or expertise. If readers are just looking for facts, they'll go to Wikipedia (and probably get the wrong facts, but that's by the by).
The other problem with third person is that if you want to express a personal opinion, you have to use a sentence construction that loses impact. For instance, "this book is the perfect example..." has less force than "I think this is the best..." and is much less likely to make sales.
Glenn: You are spot on with this comment. I've only had one or two times when my Amazon ads were questioned as the result of my hubs being moved to a niche. I send emails explaining why I placed the ad, and the team gives me their viewpoint. When we agree, the ad stays. When I see they are actually correct, the ad goes. It's important to remember that your ad is portal through which readers access Amazon...so you don't need a bunch of ads in order to earn. You just need to do as Glenn says!
Wait! What? Timetraveler2, You said “I send emails explaining why I placed the ad, and the team gives me their viewpoint. When we agree, the ad stays. When I see they are actually correct, the ad goes.”
You have actual personal contact with HubPages? How do you do that? Before I signed on I asked a few questions and got a personal response. Since then the only feedback I’ve ever gotten has been identical impersonal generic form letters in my inbox with the subject line “A Friendly Heads Up: Your Hub Could be Featured!” telling me my latest hub couldn’t be “Featured” because of “spammy elements” and “quality issues” with zero personal specifics.
At the bottom of these emails it always says “Please do not reply to this message, it was sent from an unmonitored address.”
So you actually communicate with real people? You email back and forth, ask specific questions and get specific answers? HOW?
The Learning Center is so big I can seldom find anything really detailed that I want to know, even after using the Search feature for keywords like “personal contact” and similar.
I’m still new here (21 Hubs). My recent hubs have been “featured” only after stripping both Amazon ads and every single link embedded in the text. So what’s your secret of getting personalized help?
firstname.lastname@example.org is the address of the team. It is not that I have a personal relationship with them, it is that I only use that email for important issues and do so politely and respectfully. I have been here a long time, so they know my work and know I do not take advantage of contacting them via email.
If you think they're going to personally "teach" you what to do, you are mistaken. They simply do not have enough staffers to do this.
It is up to you to read the learning center and/or use the forums to get answers to your questions. However, if you want people to help you, you have to listen to what they say and not overdo the questions. There are plenty of details in the learning center, you apparently don't want to take the time to find them.
What they want is very clear. Write correctly, don't spam, use good visuals and write on search friendly topics.
If your work is no longer doing well here, you are doing something wrong. Find out what it is and fix it, otherwise, you'll be wasting your time.
Thanks! I really have been trying to learn as I go and not bother other Hubbers or the Team. For awhile there I really had it all figured out since everything I wrote, including embedded links in text and my choices of Amazon ads, were accepted as "Featured" with no problem at all. Then suddenly out of the blue everything changed and I've been trying to catch up ever since. Sorry if I came off too pushy -- I admit I sometimes don't handle frustration well. Anyway, thanks everyone for your help!
Don't think of posting on the forums as "bothering" other Hubbers. It's part of being sociable! Many of us have benefited from the help of others in the past and we're more than happy to pay it forward.
HubPages doesn't always do a good job of letting Hubbers know when things change. When new rules are made, they're announced - but if you look back over the history of HubPages, the rules haven't really changed that often. It's how they've been applied that has changed.
I remember back in 2011/12 after the Great Google Panda Disaster, many Hubbers had most of their Hubs unpublished - not because the rules had changed, but because HubPages suddenly started applying the existing rules more rigorously. The same thing is happening now - irrelevant or self-promotional links have always been frowned on, it's just that the definition of "irrelevant" has been tightened up to the max.
Thanks for the confirmation of my prior statement. I like your method of explaining the Amazon ads as a portal. I've noticed that I get revenue for products I don't even have in my capsules. So it goes to show that as long as you get the reader interested enough to check out Amazon, they may very well end up buying something else and you get credit for that too.
Side capsules automatically go full width for mobile. No need to go and manually change them all, just make sure they will work okay in either position.
The problem you're overlooking is that if you place the capsule on the right side and don't pay attention to where it falls in on mobile, it may end up being in the wrong place and not make sense to the reader. That's why you have to check the mobile preview to be sure it's working right if you do use two columns.
Most of the curators/editors who work on our hubs for moving to niche sites prefer making everything full-width. There are just a few exceptions where they leave it as two columns, such as images that don't look good in full-width. I've also noticed that they leave it alone as long as we made sure it falls into the correct position on mobile.
So, you see, you do need to work on this. Either manually change it, or at least confirm that it works right, by checking the mobile preview in the hubtool.
I know this is a hobby horse but this is what drives me mad. Yes, curators/editors make everything full width but PROVIDED you pay attention to where the capsule falls in mobile view, there is nothing wrong with using a right-floated capsule. And it looks so much better in desktop view to have variety in the layout.
It's as if HubPages thinks we are too stupid or too lazy to check mobile view before we publish our Hubs.
Glenn, we will eventually make all capsules full width.
@Marisa, we primarily make things full width because the system we have that aligns things vertically works well, but isn't perfect. An article with floated capsules can still be problematic on mobile.
Good discussion. Flight is taking off and mobiles need to go into airplane mode...
So are you saying that Mobile Preview isn't always accurate? Important to know if so.
Marisa, Paul is presently on a plane, so I'll answer you if that's okay.
The Mobile preview is very accurate. What Paul meant was that when Hubbers use two columns and fail to check how it looks on mobile (by using the mobile preview) then there is a possibility that the right-hand capsule does not appear in the proper place when merged into a single column.
A good example is this: Say you have text in the left column that talks about the image in the right column. You'd think it works well because the reader sees it side my side on a desktop. Now, consider the subtitles. One might have placed a subtitle in the left-hand capsule and also one for the image on the right side. When merged, the subtitles might not make sense.
Before I started making everything one column, I used to avoid this problem by placing the subtitle for BOTH the left and right column above the two capsules, in the prior capsule, tagged as H2. This forces the subtitle to appear where you meant it to appear for both desktop and mobile views.
It's just so much easier to simply make everything one column. Then we don't need to worry about it.
I see a lot of mistakes being made when I read other hubs. The worst thing is Hubbers placing "table capsules" in the right column. If they don't check how it looks on mobile, the table may appear in the wrong place, making it difficult for a mobile reader to follow along with the content that is supposed to refer to the table.
Thank you Glenn but I do understand how to make it work. It's simple.
You use Mobile Preview to see how your Hub looks to mobile users, and tweak as necessary until it looks right. That's not difficult to understand and it's only a small extra effort, especially once you're used to it.
To write a Hub successfully, Hubbers have to learn several things - how to add capsules, how to break up text, the concept of callout capsules etc. Learning that you need to look at the Mobile Preview before you publish is a very small extra step and I find it sad that HubPages staff think Hubbers can't cope with that.
Saying "it's just easier to make everything full width so let's just do that" is plain laziness IMO.
I know that you know this, Marisa. I was just being explicit for the benefit of others who are reading this too.
As for laziness, that's why I mentioned that I used to take the extra step of placing the subtitle above the two columns that belong together. When callout capsules were introduced I started using those for that purpose as well.
Nevertheless, I'm sure you will agree that we see many hubs poorly formatted for mobile readers. If that implies laziness on the part of other Hubbers, maybe that's so.
I've been vaguely following this thread, but this part about eventually making everything full width got my attention. I know, personally, if a switch were suddenly flipped and all capsules were forced to full width I'd have over 100 Hubs that required immediate, red-alert attention. So, I feel compelled to offer my two pennies.
Images: As I edit Hubs and write new ones I've moved toward making as many images full width as I can. However, not all images look good full-width. Tall, skyscraper images look massive full size, and take up a huge amount of space in the Hub. If used as a top image, the reader has to scroll forever to get to the first text.
Think of product images of tall, thin objects like baseball bats, golf clubs or guitars. If they could be centered and reconfigured in the image capsule somehow maybe it would work, but as it stands these tall images would wreck a Hub if suddenly made full width.
Amazon Products: My favorite way to use the Amazon capsule is to write 300-500 words of text about a product, split it roughly down the middle into two text capsules, stick an Amazon capsule between the two text capsules and float it right so the text wraps around the Amazon product. It's just a little image, there for the reader to click on if so moved by the text. It works very, very well.
Conversely, centering the Amazon capsule and adding text to the capsule itself has the effect of interrupting the reader and saying, "Yo, buy this." Readers are okay with little ads, especially with pretty pictures of products they like. They don't like being interrupted and pitched to, which is what I feel like we are doing when we center the Amazon capsule and add text about the product.
I use Amazon capsules both ways, but I much prefer the first approach and I do think it gets better results. If all capsules were made full-width, it would be great if we had the option of larger Amazon images, maybe without product text. (Hate to say it, but like on Wizzley). It would look much cleaner, and less intrusive for the reader.
I DO think capsules look better full width. My Hubs with all full width images look much better than those with a bunch of images floated right. But I also think the current capsules we have to work with need some tweaking if everything is going to have to be full width.
Anyway, whatever happens, I hope it doesn't happen until after Christmas. And I hope the HP staff thinks it through so the shakeup is minimal. I guess I'm glad I know this so I can keep it in mind as I work through my Hubs.
The reason I like right-floated capsules is simply variety. I don't have "a whole bunch" of right-floated capsules in any Hub because I think that looks boring, too - I like to mix it up, the way a graphic designer would in a print magazine. That has always been part of the attraction of HubPages for me - the ability to create an article that not only has good content, but looks good too. I'm going to be sad when we lose that ability.
I've simply stopped using tall photos for the reason you mention - which is a pity, because it means I can't use a lot of beautiful dance photos.
Marisa, I happen to agree with you. I also always liked the flexibility with HubPages to place capsules anywhere. However, times are changing and we have to accept the fact that most traffic is mobile now. I see that in my GA reports. Therefore, one column is necessary so that everything is readable.
I know what you mean about tall photos. As I edit my existing hubs, making them mobile friendly, I have been cropping my tall images to make them square or landscape. That way they work in a single column very well. My traffic has been steadily increasing, so the effort seems to be worth it.
But you can't crop images that aren't yours. In most cases CC-licensed and product images can't be cropped, legally speaking. So (for me I mean) if these images are forced full width they will have to be completely replaced, which is a shame because they are attractive, useful images that benefit the Hub.
Eric, images that have a CC0 license can legally be cropped.
CC0 are public domain, so sure they can be cropped. Some CC images can and some can't. It depends on the license.
In any event, my biggest hurdle here is the product images.
Right. Many people don't realize that there are different CC licenses. CC0 allows use on commercial sites. Since we get paid it's considered commercial. You know this, but I'm just elaborating for others who are reading this.
The best thing to do when you need a product image is to take a picture of it yourself. One really needs to have the product anyway if they plan to include it in an Amazon capsule.
Glenn, I respectfully but strongly disagree with that last statement, and I think it is one (of several) of the biggest points of confusion in these forums.
If someone is an expert on motorcycles it isn't reasonable that they own every motorcycle ever made. However, they likely have experience with every type of motorcycle over many decades of riding them and working on them, and can write authoritatively on most things related to motorcycles. As an expert they are in a position to give you advice on what kind of motorcycle you should buy and which ones are better than others.
IMO, having experience and demonstrating knowledge is far more important than actually having the product on hand to photograph. In fact, I'd rather hear from a real expert than someone who just bought a product and is offering an uneducated opinion. Of course that doesn't mean you lie and say you've used a product when you haven't. You simply offer your expert opinion, which has value to the reader whether they buy something or not.
BTW (I'm answering myself here) this is why I like using Amazon capsules floated right with text capsules wrapped around them. In doing so I feel like I'm saying "Here is what I'm talking about if you want to check it out." When I center a capsule I feel like I'm saying "Go buy this thing now!"
I don't like to tell readers to go buy something. I tell them what I think, and what I would do if I were in their situation, and they can do what they want from there.
I like the idea of wrapping the text around the image. I do the same thing by adding more text within the Amazon capsule. Then what you describe occurs automatically when the capsule is full-width, with the image on the left and the text wraps underneath once it gets passed the bottom of the image. Try it, it's a neat trick.
I do try that sometimes, but depending on the size of the image and capsules around it it can look a little wonky. It also moves the BUY NOW button to odd locations. By wrapping the text I can control exactly how the Amazon ad will display in desktop and where it will appear in mobile. (I thought . . . after Paul's comment I feel like I need some clarification on that.)
I really think we would benefit from more options for displaying Amazon capsules, especially if they are going to need to be centered. Larger, nicer images with the option to remove anchor text would look great IMO.
That's a very good point Eric, and it shows that there are always exceptions to the rule.
In this case it's important for the Hubber, who references an item in an Amazon capsule, to clearly indicate his or her expertise in the field. That will hopefully get it passed the QAP as well as the curators for niche sites.
I will say there are cases where I do Hubs on products where I am most definitely NOT knowledgeable in the field. In those cases I do own the product and only write about my immediate first-hand experience with it.
So, I do think your point is valid as well in many cases.
In years past there were many writers on HP and Squidoo who wrote "sales" articles on subjects where they certainly were not experts, and did not own the product. That's the thing that needs to be avoided, IMO.
Totally agreed. After all is said and done, with all the examples all three of us have given, this is the only one to avoid. Not owning the product AND not being an authority on the subject is a failing combination that Google frowns upon, IMO. I think that's why Squidoo failed — they had too much of that.
That's another alleged rule that makes me angry. We are not allowed to review a product unless we own it? Piffle. There are things called knowledge, experience and research, as Eric so rightly explains.
I just updated a Hub on castanets. In it, I recommend a suitable pair of castanets for beginners. I am not a beginner so I do not own them, but I am more qualified to recommend them than a newbie student who's just bought a pair.
Marisa, see my reply to Eric. It's the same thoughts in reply to you. We're in agreement on that, as with the example you gave.
Well then, please don't distort the rule!!!
I am SO fed up of people exaggerating the rules on the forum, especially if they are people whose opinion is listened to.
You are one of those people who newbies will listen to - and in your previous post, you've just told them they CANNOT put a product or book in an Amazon capsule unless they've not just experienced it - it must still be in the house!
That's how we've ended up with people who believe you can only have one Amazon capsule in a Hub, or that you must only use your own photos, or that you're not allowed any links at all. All of which are exaggerations of the rules and needlessly restrict what Hubbers can do.
You may think, "I'm seeing so many Hubbers misuse photos or Amazon capsules or links, it's better to make the rules really, really simple because Hubbers are too dumb to understand the actual rule". I think that is incredibly condescending - and it also reduces Hubbers' ability to add value to their Hubs, AND increases the likelihood that intelligent Hubbers will go elsewhere where those restrictions don't apply.\
The rule, really, is that you must be able to say why you're personally recommending the product or book in the capsule. That may be based on a variety of different experiences - personal ownership, expertise, researching the market, even buying the wrong product and then realising the one you should've bought. Recommending for those other reasons are just as common and legitimate as personal ownership and therefore can't be called exceptions - they're just part of the rule.
"One really needs to have the product anyway if they plan to include it in an Amazon capsule."
So I don't see how that's a misquote.
Then you conceded that you'd make an "exception" if someone has expertise in a subject - then they can recommend products related to that expertise. An exception implies that's a rare situation, which it isn't. And it's still precluding other situations.
For instance, I have an article where I purchased one brand and realised it was a mistake. I wrote a review of that product and why it wasn't a good buy, then explained in detail why I should have bought its competitor - drawing on reviews in respected publications like Which?, other reviews, friends' feedback etc. I don't think it's unreasonable in that situation to include an Amazon capsule for the alternative product.
What if someone is reviewing eye shadows, has researched all the makes and has gone to countless beauty counters to try them all out - does the fact they didn't buy any of them mean they're not allowed to say which is best?
Magazine writers have been writing reviews of products based solely on research for years - it can be a real value-add to draw together disparate reviews from across the internet and print media and reach a conclusion.
That's called "research" and it definitely applies. That is one of the exceptions, although I realize you don't like that word. You're putting too much weight on every word.
A misquote is when you put words in my mouth as you did in your prior post. It sounded a lot more harsh than the way I had said it, or meant it. The purpose of a forum discussion thread is to let everyone interject their understanding of how to succeed. We are all trying to help the others who are listening. Your opinions are very valuable, as well as the others in this forum, and together we all hopefully help others.
Please try to calm down Marisa, as I highly respect your input. Have a good Thanksgiving.
I know you're trying to be helpful, Glenn, and that's exactly why I get agitated when you make such a silly statement as "One really needs to have the product anyway if they plan to include it in an Amazon capsule."
You do have weight in the community and therefore when you say something like that, there will be Hubbers who take it to heart - and then won't follow on the rest of the conversation to discover there are "exceptions". OK, so I read too much into your over-simplification but I still feel it's wrong and more importantly, misleading.
I put the word exceptions in quotes because by using it, you're saying "one really needs to have the product but on those rare instances where you actually have expertise or you've done some research, we'll let you off."
All three options should be equally valid - and in fact, as Eric says, there's an argument that someone with expertise, or who has done extensive research, will do a better review than someone who has simply bought the product in isolation.
Paul, Thank you for confirming what I was saying in this thread. I remember reading it somewhere (I think it was the HubPages blog), which is why I am mentioning it here.
As you may have noticed, I have been updating my hubs with mobile friendliness in mind, and re-cropping my images to work better in full-width.
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