What advice do you have for other hubbers?
I'm just getting back into writing on HP, and it feels like idk how to write anymore.
I'd like to reach $100/month- and of course, I'm sure others would. Do you have any advice in terms of SEO, writing, and topic selection that is relevant today?
Reaching $100 a month is a lofty goal that not many people here reach, especially now that HP has tightened up the rules. You should take the time to read the learning center with regards to producing stellar hubs, then apply that info to your articles. Topic is king, as is use of searchable words and terms. You'll get back into the swing of it, but will have to do a lot of hard work and be patient. Good luck.
You need to find a niche that clicks with people. I'd suggest a new or developing niche that not a lot of people had written about but has the potential to grow. Understandably that's kind of a guessing game but if you guess right then suddenly your views and earnings will sky-rocket. Experimentation, good SEO knowledge, and a little bit of luck goes a long way along with hard work of course.
But you don't want to write hundreds of articles about things people won't even read because quantity is not the answer here.
I don't agree that you need to find a niche. If you do find a niche, you should be starting your own website!
The beauty of HubPages is that you can write about anything you like, instead of sticking to one subject. However I do agree with DrMark that the best plan is to write about what you know (or what you're genuinely curious about), rather than trying to choose subjects to suit the market and then cobbling articles together from internet research.
Firstly, I would recommend going back over your stock of Hubs, identifying which ones are suitable to move to the niche sites, and work on improving the layout. That way they will stand a better chance of being selected.
When they started the niche sites they were willing to put work into editing them before the move - now they seem to be looking for Hubs that are ready or very nearly ready in their current state.
The main thing to work on is to review the Hub in Mobile view. That is the way most readers view Hubs these days, so HubPages has said they want us to prioritize the layout to suit them. You'll notice right-floated paragraphs and images appear ABOVE the related paragraph, not below, which can make a nonsense of some Hubs, so you'll need to fix that.
Definitely do some keyword research and write a decent numbers of Hubs. WryLilt here has written a good Hub about finding keywords through Google Suggest. If you have money, I think subscribing to a good keyword tool is effective.
It is good to know some SEO basics: Find keyphrases that are actually being searched for on the Web, and look at the competition - find out if the competition is credible or if they've already covered the subject well enough. Of course, if the competition is not that great then you have a chance of ranking in Google search and getting good traffic.
Of course, as far as writing goes, it is good to be thorough as far as details go. You have to write a very good Hub, one that covers the subject well and that is well-written generally.
I'm sure Wrylilt will correct me if I'm wrong - but I think the core of her success is NOT that she knows how to use keyword tools or Google Suggest to FIND topics. She already knows what to write about - she chooses topics from her own knowledge or because she's noticed a gap in the market, and then uses those tools to ensure she maximises their potential.
If you're using keyword tools to DECIDE your topics, then you're doing what 90% of other would-be writers do, so you're all going to come up with the same results, so you're all going to be competing in the same space and it's all pointless.
Susanna can speak for herself, but she's given lots of excellent advice about keywords, that's for certain. And that's all I said; her Hub on Google Suggest speaks for itself. Also, and this isn't the first time, you've misinterpreted what I wrote - didn't attentively read what I wrote: I never said she suggested using a keyword tool; I suggest it, not her. I just suggested people read her Hub, which, again, speaks for itself. If she doesn't believe in doing keyword research, she sure wrote an excellent Hub on the subject.
Believe me, a person can do excellent keyword research and not just write what other writers are writing about.
There is a lot of editorializing about whether people should be writing about what they know, etc. and it gets sanctimonious. I'm only pointing to basics. Period. It was a simple statement, no need to read into it.
I apologise if you thought it sounded sanctimonious. I wasn't correcting you, what you said was perfectly valid. I was just pointing out the EXTRA element which Wrylilt doesn't make clear in her Hub - i.e. that she uses things like Google Suggest to find keywords for topics she's already thought of, rather than choosing the topics in the first place.
If the OP read Wry's Hub, she could get the idea it's recommending she choose her subjects based on keyword research alone. I don't think that's what Wry does, at least not most of the time. Like I said, I'm sure she'll be along to correct me if I'm wrong.
By the way, I read your Hub on SEO and found it interesting. I understand what you mean about "writing what you love" not working. I think it's a distortion to say you should only write about your passions, but I do think it's a clear advantage to write from your own knowledge and experience and observations - because you're more likely to come up with original ideas.
Sometimes instead of writing about what I know, I study a subject I've always been a little interested in, but never had time to learn about. It can be a rich vein of material, if you are willing to read and study, and really put the work in.
And it's been said before, but I'm sure you know more about some subject than others do. Ask your friends and family for ideas. Good luck.
Well said, Jean! That's exactly what I mean - it doesn't have to be your passion, it can be something you're curious about. Coming at the subject as a newbie, you can often see where the existing material is lacking and come up with a new angle.
The problem, of course, is where to do that research. If someone is a newbie, and just does research based on the internet, they can find an old article that gives terrible information, a newer one that uses that article as their research source, and on and on. Before long the newbie finds so many articles based on that first that he thinks it is fact too, and cites it as such.
2 days ago I read an article on "25 things your dog should never eat" from one of the newspapers that requires several sources before they publish articles. About half of the things on the list were wrong, but I am sure the author had plenty of sources to back up his stupid list.
I can't imagine any self-respecting dog accepting that were as many as twenty five things that it should not eat.
That is a very good point - anyone contemplating it shouldn't be relying on the internet for their sources. There are things called libraries.
I think the most important thing is to write what you know about. I get so tired of reading articles by people that read another article on the internet and then write something, putting themselves out there as an "expert".
To find a topic you should focus on what you know.
All of us have areas of expertise. If the area in which you are knowledgeable does not have that many searches, and your articles will not have enough page views to earn a good income, write more articles. Some of my articles have less than a thousand page views, some have hundreds of thousands.
(The people that I have seen with a lot of articles and very few page views have not learned much about SEO. The most important thing to gain a one-time reader is the title, but if the article is nothing new--just something that the author had read on the internet--the reader will not bother coming back to read more articles.)
You also mention you feel you do not know how to write anymore. Were you able to write in eighth grade? That is the writing level to which you should be working. I can use a lot of terms from my veterinary education but when I write an article I think "Can I say this in any plainer language?"
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