I'd like some help with passing the Quality Assessment Process. Will you please give feedback on my Hub American Folk Music, Past, Present & Future. I have removed several product links. The 3 remaining Amazon links I listed are for products which I personally own and endorse. What else can I do to improve? Thanks!
Mr. Becher, I just read the work. Here's what you need to change:
1. First two paragraphs and particularly the opening sentences of each of those paragraphs. "I wrote this ...." and "The links below...". They change the tone of the article into a set of instructions instead of letting your work flow. Kind of fragments the work. For the first paragraph, just start out with "American folk music..." Just go ahead and make a declarative statement.
2. The overall formatting is a little disjointed. I keep using the word "flow," but I can't think of a better description. The reader should be able to go from topic to topic seamlessly. I struggle with it myself all the time. Whenever I'm writing a hub, I constantly say to myself to remember to make the article flow.
3. The hub seems a little short. Re-outline it and look for spots where you can add more detail. I always use the 3-5K word rule for mine. Although I have a few that run about 2500 because I edited them down.
Love the topic. So I can't wait to see the final product. Good luck. If you need anything else, just let me know.
James, I read your post when it first went live. In fact, it looks like I was the first to comment. In looking at it today, I see several things that would stop me from reading the entire article.
1. The subtitle at the first paragraph is unnecessary. It also makes the article come off as all about you, your opinion and what you like, rather than giving an informative history of the genre.
2. There are many typos and misused words.
3. It would be nice to break the text up with videos between each subheading, rather than save them all 'til the end.
4. It's way too long. You don't give your reader a break (see #3).
5. You make statements without backing them up, which (again) makes the article seem like a spewing of your opinion.
To be honest, I did not read past the first four paragraphs after seeing your request here. I happen to love folk music, which is why I read it the first time. I wrote an article about a young boy who won The Voice two years ago. He's an old soul who sings and writes folk music. If you read my article, you'll see I give some background on him in addition to why I like him so much. I also compare him to other great folk artists. If you get the chance, you might want to check it out. It seems to have been well-received by not only my followers, but fans of the artist outside of HP. <link snipped>
One other thing I'd like to mention and this has nothing to do with quality but everything to do with community. I notice you haven't responded to a single comment on your hub. Why is that? We humans engage in and are encouraged by discourse. That means a give and take in communication. You might gain more connections in the HP community if you responded to comments on your own hubs and read/commented on hubs that other writers post.
I know this has been a bone of contention on HubPages in the past, but the fact is that we all use HubPages differently and we all need to respect each other's right to do so.
The community on HubPages is a lovely supportive part of the site but not everyone wants to (or has the time to) participate in it. That's not a problem because over 90% of HubPages' readers - and our income - comes from OUTSIDE HubPages. So if a proportion of Hubbers prefer to just write and not interact, it's no skin off anyone's nose and no one should be upset by it.
Also bear in mind that HubPages is now deleting all comments that are just a simple acknowledgment, because they damage the Hub. So he may well have replied to comments and they've all been removed!
The first thing to be aware of is that if your Hub isn't Featured, it has NOTHING to do with style of writing. The people who assess your article are looking for things that break HubPages rules, and bad spelling and grammar.
So by all means, look at things like "flow", because the better the article is, the more likely that it will be moved to one of the niche sites, where it will get more readership. But it won't make any difference to whether it gets Featured.
What will make a difference is your links. You can't have more than two links to one website, and it looks like you have several to About.com - so you'll need to remove all but two of them. I didn't check them all, but if you have more than two links to any other website, those will have to go too. Don't forget, the ones in photo credits count too.
By the way, if you are going to keep the link to the Complete History on About.com, I would move it all the way to the END of the Hub and title it as "Further Reading". Why would people bother reading the rest of your Hub if you refer them to a "more complete" source right at the beginning??
Another rule that may be tripping you up - if you're going to link to another site, it needs to be for a good reason. So, for instance, if you're discussing various musicians and you link to a site about each of them, that's probably OK - but if you link to someone's site just because you mentioned his name (like Ken Braiterman), that's not a good enough reason. If you want to give him credit for the information, then link to the EXACT page of the website where he says it - the front page of his website isn't good enough.
A couple of other points:
Amazon capsules - you've got the message that you must personally recommend the products you feature. However, in this Hub you write a long recommendation and then have a "bald" capsule under it. The related paragraph is so long, a moderator skimming the Hub might not make the connection. I would flip the capsules around: start with the Amazon capsule and put the first sentence of your recommendation in the Description section of the capsule. Then under it, put your more detailed explanation of why it's such a good CD.
Do please be careful with photos. If you are using photos from newspapers (like the first one), you are putting yourself at grave risk of being sued for thousands of dollars. The stock photo companies who supply the newspapers are the most vigorous when it comes to protecting their copyright - they have gone after lowly bloggers in the past, so don't think you're beneath their notice, even if you have had the photo displayed for years without any trouble! You never know when they might stumble across it, better safe than sorry.
Finally, I agree with Bravewarrior - it's too long. You would gain many benefits by splitting it up. For one thing, you wouldn't have to get rid of as many links (because you could have two links to each domain in each of the new Hubs, i.e. at least twice as many).
I would split it in two. the first one for the Past (and then you could get rid of the annoying "Past" at the beginning of every sub-heading!!), ending at the end of the 1960's. Then the second one would take the title from one of your sub-headings - The Fall of American folk Music - Where will it be tomorrow?", covering in the 1970's and how it has stayed in the doldrums since, in spite of the slight resurgence of the 1980's, and speculating about the future.
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