Hi and welcome! HubPages can be anything you like, it just depends on your goals.
If you're here to write for the HubPages community, you can write any way you please. Just bear in mind that the social aspects of Hubbing (like reading each other's Hubs, commenting, following etc) are just a way to foster community, and don't help you earn income from the site.
If you're here to earn from your writing, you'll do that by writing to attract visitors who arrive via the search engines. They're the ones who will click on your ads!
The highest-earning Hubbers write product-focussed Hubs (the best example is Nelle Hoxie). You can also choose to write about subjects that interest you, but give some thought to what angle you'll take - consider what people are likely to be looking for. Hubbers like Relache (who pays her rent with her Hub income) and Maddie Ruud are good examples of that style.
Hard core journalistic pieces don't have much success on Hubpages, mainly because they're likely to be about highly topical subjects. Hubs tend to earn better and better as they get older - and if you choose a subject that dates quickly, you won't get that benefit.
Final tip - you can have as many links as you like in your profile, so why not list your websites? In time, your profile will gain some decent PR and the backlinks will be worth having.
You've gotten some great advice here already. As Darkside said, start by reading up a little bit in the Learning Center. Once you've read the basics, don't be afraid to ask questions. There's always the "Need Help, Ask Here" forum for general questions, or the "Extreme Makeover" forum where you can put your hubs out there for other hubbers to review and lend advice.
Whether you're here to make money or just to write and meet some awesome people, you're bound to have some fun.
You're sure to find your fellow Hubbers very supportive. We've all been there before, after all. We're a compassionate bunch too, so if you're having any trouble, just pick one of these forums...we're here for ya. At the same time, many of us don't take things too seriously either, so have fun too.
If you read a good sampling of the articles here, you'll find everything from heartfelt to hilarious, and anything in between. So just write what you know, or anything you're passionate about. You'll soon be getting comments on your hub articles...and followers. Go for it
I think one of the things I need to get used to is the formatting of the forums and how to find articles. I noticed that HubPages seems to be pushing Hubs according to my interests but I always like to just browse around as well.
I've been here about a month and have learned so much from the community of writers here. Everyone is very friendly and willing to help. There are some great hubs about monetizing and gaining followers. I'm sure you'll like it here.
Hey guys! My name's Chiquita and I'm new here! I've created this forum for new people who like to introduce themselves and share with us there goals while they're using Hub pages.SO, I'm going first with why I'm here.*...
Hi allI'm new to Hubpages and was wondering if anybody has any suggestions for a first hub? I'm interested in arts and crafts, film criticism, and book reviews - do these types of hubs get much traffic?Any ideas will be...
How long did it take before you started earning $50 to $100 a month on Hubpages?I try not to think all too much about the earning part on Hubpages since I'm still new here (4 months), but when you're earning literally...
Just want to say hello and introduce myself. I'm new and just published my first hub. I think I will recognize some of the writers here from Squidoo and Bubblews.I would love to write more, but I have a cat on my lap...