Long, long ago, it was easy to write a hub. This is what I did:
Spent two days producing 1500 words or so. Got the page about 80 percent right. Published it.
After a couple of weeks, if the visitors started coming from the search engines, I would put in a few more hours editing and improving. The page would then be about 90 percent right.
If the page gathered a lot of visits, I would pay a proofreader to take a look. The page would then be about 95 percent right.
Nowadays, there is no point publishing a new page unless it is 95 percent right. It is not going to get to a niche and will never get traffic, regardless of its potential.
The result is that it takes 3, perhaps 4 days for me to produce a page. That is a big investment when there is no guarantee of a return.
It would really help if HP provided us with the tools to get a proofreader into the mix. Make the existing editing features available to all, so that we can give someone that we trust access to pages to make corrections, on a mutual exchange or paid basis.
I think it was Sallybea who suggested it, but the Grammarly app (free version) for chrome or just the website is a great tool. I use it to help me with my commas There are times where I do not place commas, and it points out my mistake.
Just curious, why do you need a proofreader to get your hub to the niche sites? Do you make a lot of mistakes, usually? Unless they are serious mistakes, they are not frowned upon IMO. I'm sure my writing is not perfect, there are bound to be some mistakes here and there. But I never had a hub rejected because of the quality of the writing. The same should go with you?
Yes, it takes me longer to write hubs too. I'm still working on my second one since Paul posted about the two observations. It takes so long that I need long pauses in between, where I end up playing or doing something else altogether.
You can create a hub in a week very easily. Why do you worry or try to hurry up? Create one capsule per day with full devotion. It will build into a 1500 or 1800 word nice Hub. And, for checking and editing, the Grammarly tool is there which is free. I use Grammarly since one year and it is very good. It checks most of your grammar mistakes, commas, and complete spelling mistakes. That is more than enough for any niche Hub.
Grammarly does not correct language per se, it just helps with spellings and punctuation. It will not tell you when your word choice is wrong or when the sentence structure is not right.
I use the spelling and grammar correction in my Microsoft Word. Up till now it does a good job as far as I can tell. It highlights whole sentences to reconsider.
No, Grammarly corrects your phrases and sentences also or at least points out that the sentence is not good by underlining it. So, you will know when a sentence is not properly written. You can rearrange the words or change the words to get it passed by Grammarly.
The first thing to say is that the editors have been kind to me. All of my new pages have been moved, usually after a quick edit. So this is not a complaint. This is me saying that I want to produce more pages, more quickly.
Around a third of the pages that I have published here have had enough traffic to stay featured. Only half (very roughly speaking) of those get genuinely worthwhile traffic. So there is a high failure rate. Not having to work up pages to the highest standard before publishing in the past meant you could test the waters without committing a huge time investment.
I want to get back to producing two pages a week rather than one and the editing feature that I suggested would help.
It would also help if HP were prepared to take a little more risk on pages. Give pages in the seventies a short trial, dump those that get no traffic/bad metrics fast. Use the mTurk evaluation more wisely to pick out pages with potential, perhaps. Send out automated messages saying a page has ben tested in a niche, got some encouraging traffic but needs improvement to stay on that niche. Whatever...
Bottom line: find ways to offer writers more encouragement to produce pages.
As to grammarly, it is nowhere as useful as a pair of human eyes.
That last sentence has been checked by grammarly, so you can see what I mean. 'Nowhere near' was not suggested and never will be.
I agree about Grammarly, that's why I added in my later comment that it will not help with word choice.
Personally, I don't see the team doing this nor the 70's to the niche sites. The hubs that score 70 if you look at the scale are not really good enough if you want to ever build up some level of trust with your readers. And I think that's the goal here with the niche sites.
My experience is that if you drop ideas into any culture those ideas go to work. Often with surprising results. So it is worth saying what you think.
As to the pages in the 70's, plenty of those do well. HP should look at those and see what their characteristics are, where they scored high on mTurk and where they scored low. There must be thousands of pages that would do well on niches if HP could identify them.
Possibly. But perhaps Hp would just rather let them die in the field if the proper owners are not tending to cattle, so to speak. I bet they will be less intolerant to inactive accounts, regardless of quality. Time to feed the cows I suppose.
As for me, I don't really get above 75 for my hubs. Then I think I am way behind. I want to find out whether with time some of my hubs would naturally improve by themselves?
The score you see is not the score we are referring to in this thread You cannot see the mTurk score that your hub receives.
Your pages are well written but they cover ground that is already well covered. They also focus on health issues which are notoriously difficult to rank for.
I reckon you need to experiment more. Check out pages that have already been moved to niche sites and see what those pages have that your pages do not.
I think the Hub quality would stand as is, and if anything will lose value if left not updated with relevant information over time.
What can be any relevant information for, suppose, the recipe hubs. They are straight forward with how to prepare tips and ingredients. What can be added to that to update it other than loading a recent photo of the final recipe? Everything has been already included in those recipe hubs or how-to-do hubs.
Personally I'd not bother. I will only write new material if I am suddenly struck with something fab to write about, that gives me that burning desire to write it up.
I'd rather spend the time promoting what I've got - or doing nothing.
The online world is a different place to 10 years ago - and there's too much "instant/competition" content out there. I used to write and get to be number 1 in Google, traffic would come, job done. Now it's more about persona/sharing and engagement with an audience ... and I can't do that with my random pieces
There is nothing unique about me that I can bring to the party these days. 10 years ago I could write a list of Windmills in Norfolk and do well with it ... today I'd be competing with every windmill's own website, their twitter feed, their Facebook page, the tweets/posts of their visitors and neighbours with their photos and text about what a fab time they just had there....
I have nothing to offer that others cannot do "better" now.
Writing on HP is tough because writers are on their own. To be successful, each hubber has to be strong in half a dozen areas:
finding good keywords
crafting good titles
producing well written copy
producing helpful graphics (not mandatory, but very useful)
copy editing and proof-reading
HP has tried to help in all of those areas. from time to time, but I think they should have another look at what they can do.
I'd suggest that to be successful, your suggestions are just technical givens. Necessary but insufficient.
What really matters is whether you have good content and are an authority on your topic. It's my belief that the mega niche website is the way forward - but one owned by the author
I'd then add on another technical given which is
* website structure and
* ease of navigation and good signposting.
It's no good if people land on your website and then can't find lots more tempting reasons to stay - so good navigation copy ranks very highly in my eyes.
In terms of HubPages that means seeing other hubs which are HIGHLY related - not just in the same category.
I think it is important to have great text obviously but I believe it's just part of the story here. For instance, our friend Will Aspe has a Hub on belt sanders which has top-notch text, but what stands out for me personally is the quality of the photos and images he uses and also the way he lays them out in his Hub. It's very pleasing visually speaking and invites the reader to keep scrolling and engage I think. Just food for thought and I think we should not only look text but overall layout and feel as well in our Hubs.
Thanks for that, Jesse. I enjoy working on the graphics, simply as a break from the words, lol. I have no training, so its a bit hit and miss, but I reckon I've improved of late.
https://piktochart.com is a good place to make infographics, by the way, simple and free.
I read somewhere that once you try to proofread your work yourself, your eyes won't see the mistake no matter how many times you read it. I've been asking people to proof mine too. And I think they are a bit nit picky, one of mine got rejected for a niche because a comma should have been a colon. I thought that was odd, it was in the title. I fixed it and the hub was moved.
Sometimes when I am interested in a new subject, new hub ideas come from that, or a book I've read. But I'm guilty to, I am mostly fixing up old hubs and not writing new ones. I have so many from the days when they were telling us "don't put your eggs all in one basket." I wrote on Infobarrel, Wizzley and my own blog. All it got me was carpal tunnel. And many older hubs to move.
I have to wait for two or three weeks after writing a page to 'see' the typos. Sometimes two weeks is just too long.
Do you use commas and semi-colons in titles? Is it okay?
Regarding proofreading, it is good to do it as it makes you realize some of those gross mistakes committed and gives a chance to rectify them. So, proofreading one's own work is not so bad.
No, normally I can't even think I ever saw a colon in a title, that's what I thought was so odd. It was a piece about Greek mythology, I wrote a lot of them. I do use commas in titles though. I just submitted another old hub and put a colon where they wanted it in the last hub, so I'll see what happens.
The moderators are all different too. Some are more lenient.
I go right in there with my Grammarly plug in and let it do its thing. It takes away the strained eyeball effect a little so to speak. It does miss a thing or two here and there but I just use the free version.
Ditto here, Jesse. I find much relief with the Grammarly app as it corrects most of your mistakes with a free version. Only the Academicians need the paid version.
This just got passed by grammarly:
It id another day that I go to the zoo with some of my best. Friends we loop at the tiger. It not the favorite. It lost my lunch in its belly fat rolls and grow. L.
Grammarly is just not up to serious editing.
Something is off there Will. Mine is really very accurate actually. Sallybea and others recommend it all the time to Hubbers..perhaps you have a rogue version or a copy of it and not the right one? I don't know just throwing darts.
Yeah, I put that into grammarly and what Will posted is right
Will, small typos are not a problem as long as you did your best to get rid of them, I guess. If the hub is overall good, they still consider it. The last hub I submitted got approved within 24 hours, and there were some alterations made to the language to make it more to the point. For example, I wrote something ... can be done as well. They changed it to ... can also be done.
Edit: I'm guessing it's got something to do with the editor and the site. The missing comma by another poster for instance is an extreme case.
Something is off. Top Hubbers would not be in the forums recommending it to people if it didn't work. And mine is just fine.
I recommend it too. But did you try copying what Will posted and seeing if it works fine? I used the website to check not the chrome extension.
I uploaded the text to the website. When I check the post about tigers, above with the chrome app, I get one error detected which happens to be the name, 'grammarly'.
I'm not saying grammarly does not help. It will find spelling mistakes and some grammatical errors. It is just not a human editor.
My Grammarly version is fine also. I didn't find any problem till now. I wonder why others find problem.
I didn't Brandon. I assume then you have to use extension for it to be useable. That's interesting.
I know the feeling. I've spent a long time just improving existing stuff for the reasons that you give. Only a minority of my hubs do well, although they can get significant boosts if edited by HP or moved to the new niche sites. Writing new stuff is much more intimidating nowadays. The game has got much harder and with falling ad revenue, I consider anything with less than 100 views/day a bit of a failure nowadays. Focusing on Amazon revenue is even more perilous.
If you focus on Amazon revenue, you need to produce very good pages indeed but that is learnable if you stick to it.
I don't get even 20 views per day. So, you may say, I should not attempt writing at all. I just write and don't think of earning.
I've always struggled with getting a handle on just what HubPages thinks is worthwhile. I also think it is harder to please the editors, and find making new hubs discouraging.
I think what might help the most in these forums (which I check into and read a number of times daily -yeah, no life) would be genuine tips beyond "be awesome".
I have to agree with that advice that time spent on one's own website has been guiding me in writing efforts in the last year. What I miss about that is the wider range of topics that a site like this offers.
Maybe people who know about specific niche sites could offer advice beyond the basics? I am so hit and miss about being accepted I truly have no idea why some made the cut and most didn't.
There are so many variables. One big issue, which you can't control, is that they won't move a Hub if it's too similar to something already on the niche site.
So, for instance, you might have a Hub about Pilates for Golf. If there's already a few Hubs about Pilates for Golf, it's likely your Hub won't be moved - but if you write one about Pilates for Tennis instead, and there aren't any about that, then you stand a good chance.
Apart from that, just follow the Stellar Guidelines and tick as many boxes as you can (where they make sense for the topic, obviously).
If it's anything to do with health, you need lots of links to references to back up your statements, and you should do them in the text, not at the end of the Hub.
Always, always, always check your Hub in Preview mode, looking at the Mobile version most carefully. If you've used any half-width capsules they can come out in unexpected places and you must avoid that.
thanks- I'll begin to double check some of the issues starting with the half capsules.
I know about the health topic being particularly stringent, but I don't write on that topic generally.
I do wish it weren't so much of a "pig in a poke", since working on creating and maintaining hubs is takes more attention than a full time job at times. Thanks for the help... Hopefully I can right those hubs that aren't doing well.
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