Hub research and writing methods survey...

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  1. Charles K. profile image63
    Charles K.posted 12 years ago


    I want to do a little survey with all your Hubbers on your own, individual hub research and writing methods. I am interested in this on a personal level, but I thought other present and future new Hubbers could benefit by learning from your examples.

    I'm not looking for information on the layout of capsules, or the filling in of the various forms.

    I want to learn how you actually research and write your hubs, the actual research and writing process itself.

    For example, how do you select your subject, how do you gather research material, where do you go to conduct your research, do you outline your work or just wing it, how do you write and edit your hub, do you compose directly into a capsule or copy and paste from a word processor, etc.?

    I'm sure there are many dozens of related questions I've left out so feel free to include any other specific information about your research and writing methods.

    So, can you tell us how you go about selecting, researching, and writing your own hubs?

    Thanks in advance for participating.

    Charles K.

    1. Sally's Trove profile image78
      Sally's Troveposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Granted, this is not a survey you are taking, but a question you are asking.

      I always start with something I care about and also have at least some knowledge about. I'm not interested in trends for the sake of trends (OMG, some of these gaming Hubs are way beyond me!). I'm interested in sharing what I know or what I can come to know for the benefit of others.

      So, I write about gossip, or food, or deer hunting, or politics combined with food, or my mother, or spitting, because these things interest me. In the process of doing this for two years here on HP, I've learned a lot.

      Yes, I'd like my Hubs to make some money, and some of them are doing just that. That's to the credit of very good advice in many places on this HP site.

      So I find a topic that means something to me, do the keyword research (which still escapes me mostly, but I'm learning), do the networking thing, and learn by my successes and failures.

      Bottom line, I write about what I know about, or can learn about because I'm interested. I'm a good researcher. The way I learn is not just from the Internet. I talk to friends and neighbors and family, consult my own library and my community's, call or email specialists in a field I'm interested in, read everything I get my hands on avidly, and I listen daily to Public Radio.

      I don't outsource anything, but then, I'm not in that league, though I do admire those who have taken that step and make it work for them. That's a matter of making the economy work for you.

      Hope that helps.

  2. Pearldiver profile image69
    Pearldiverposted 12 years ago


    Well You Have probably worked out by now that each of us is an EXPERT in our respective fields. hmm

    I've spent 22 years researching the fishing and hunting habits of the West Peruvian Scarab Beetle and yet another 15 years at the Public Library reading about the number of molecules that get destroyed within a possum at it's exact time of being struck by car and also after the second Kaboomp Kaboomp noise made by the cars wheels! smile

    Great subjects can talk about them for hours smile
    But If you need to know something else... then maybe another expert will come along.... We Are Like Buses You Know!!   So Have your money ready smile

  3. profile image0
    Website Examinerposted 12 years ago

    The OP also posted a similar question: … -your-hubs

    I am always skeptical of surveys, none more so than when the following information is not provided up front:

    - Who is behind the survey;
    - Where will the survey results and associated analysis be published;
    - For what purposes may the feedback from the survey be used.

    Too often, it turns out there is a hidden agenda.

    1. Charles K. profile image63
      Charles K.posted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Perhaps I shouldn't have used the word "survey" but that is what a question is that is posed to large numbers of the general population.

      As to purpose of this "survey", and that of the related question I posed in the "Questions" area, it is no more nor less than stated above: for me, and for others who, like me are new to writing hubs, to learn about other hubbers' researching and writing methods.

      I am simply hoping to pick up a tip or two from the methods of more-experienced hubbers that might make my writing experience here more useful, more productive and quicker. There is no hidden agenda in this post. Just trying to learn more about writing hubs. But your suspicion and skepticism is somewhat amusing, so thanks!

    2. Pearldiver profile image69
      Pearldiverposted 12 years ago

      That's why I wanted to talk to him about my Scarab Beetle breeding plans.... I was hoping he'd know where I could find more BS for them to roll hmm

      1. Charles K. profile image63
        Charles K.posted 12 years agoin reply to this

        Well, if you're looking for more BS for the beetles, I would suggest searching in your previous reply above as it appears to be loaded with the stuff ;-)

      2. Greek One profile image63
        Greek Oneposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        i once bred IN a VW beetle..

        it was blue and we were in a drive in.

        Wasn't too much space in that thing

        1. profile image0
          Kathryn LJposted 12 years agoin reply to this

          Thank goodness your here Greeky, every one is being so po-faced.

    3. SteveoMc profile image74
      SteveoMcposted 12 years ago

      I usually write in Google docs.  This way I can access my writing in transit and wherever I am.  I change locations several times a day usually.   From there I copy and paste into capsules.

      1. Charles K. profile image63
        Charles K.posted 12 years agoin reply to this

        Thanks, SteveoMc, for this idea. I had not thought of using Google Docs but since I also use multiple computers for my work, using Google Docs might be a lot easier than repeatedly saving files to a flash drive. Any idea that save time or work is a welcome one.

    4. Flightkeeper profile image68
      Flightkeeperposted 12 years ago

      I like to write about my vacation or anything that comes across my way or that strikes my fancy.  There's really no method to it.  It's probably not the most moneymaking way of doing things but it's how I do it.

      I write things on word first then just copy it on a hub.  I try to find a picture for it on the web if I don't have some of my own. I always put a news capsule so that google can search it and think it's new.

      That's about it.

      1. Charles K. profile image63
        Charles K.posted 12 years agoin reply to this

        Thanks, Flightkeeper. I haven't used any news capsules yet so I will have to try adding that element.  When you write in Word, do you do any brainstorming like building a list or topic-spoking to get started? Or do you just sort of "wing it" by writing off the cuff?

        1. Flightkeeper profile image68
          Flightkeeperposted 12 years agoin reply to this

          I already have the topic in mind when I start writing in word. I don't write lists or anything.

    5. Pcunix profile image93
      Pcunixposted 12 years ago

      I tend to agree with Flightkeeper (probably the only thing we can agree on).

      I write about things I know or have recently learned about.  I never pick a subject and then go research it - I have plenty enough bouncing around in my alleged brain already.  Quite often someone else's hub or a question or a forum  will trigger me - I'll start writing a comment or reply and it gets so long I turn it into a hub.

      I don't use Word -  a text editor is more than enough for this purpose.  I often write the stuff on my iPad and then email it to myself (because, so far at least, you can't edit capsules on an iPad).

      I tend to use my own pictures or just draw a little cartoon.   I don't use news capsules and I'm surprised that people think Google is dumb enough not to recognize that news and rss capsules are not new additions to your post.  I do use RSS, but not for Google's sake.  I always encourage comments and will only delete spam.

      I am going to be publishing my 100th hub soon.   I have to get by number 99 first,  and right now I have no idea what either of them will be about, but I definitely  know they will be about something :-)

      1. IzzyM profile image88
        IzzyMposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        Or they could be about nothing? That'll be different!

        1. Pcunix profile image93
          Pcunixposted 12 years agoin reply to this

          Naw, that would be Seinfeld.

      2. Charles K. profile image63
        Charles K.posted 12 years agoin reply to this

        Pcunix, thanks for your comments. I like the idea of long comments becoming the base of a hub.

        Curious what you mean about using RSS: are you using it somehow for writing or importing content into the hub? (Excuse my ignorance if I don't understand something basic but I am new here and still learning what's what.)

    6. Aficionada profile image84
      Aficionadaposted 12 years ago

      Check out this similar forum topic.  Not identical question, but covers some of the same thoughts.

      1. Charles K. profile image63
        Charles K.posted 12 years agoin reply to this

        Aficionada, thanks for the link. It is very relevant and helpful.

    7. Misha profile image63
      Mishaposted 12 years ago

      Lately, I do keyword research and once I have the winner, I order a 800 words article. smile

      1. Charles K. profile image63
        Charles K.posted 12 years agoin reply to this

        Interesting, Misha. I am more of a do-it-yourself-er when it comes to writing online but I can see the benefit of outsourcing some writing tasks, for some sites. Do you find the quality of the work to be good and the cost affordable? I'd like to read more about your outsourcing a hub or lens on it? Thanks for the comment.

        1. Misha profile image63
          Mishaposted 12 years agoin reply to this

          No, I don't have a hub on this. May be I should write one. And it is not something that you "set and forget", this is always trial and error thing. You find somebody who can write good for reasonable money, then they move on to something else and you are back to square one... smile

      2. Pcunix profile image93
        Pcunixposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        That's great.

        Do these 800 word articles add any value to the Web or are they just more MFA junk?

        Are they cleverly designed to fool Google into thinking that they ought to have good SERP?  Or are they really useful pieces that deserve SERP on their own merit?

        Are they crafted so that the hapless reader who follows that link is more likely to click on an ad than continue reading something that adds absolutely nothing to what they could find in Wikipedia?  Or is it truly unique content that they might want to share on FB or Twitter?

        Just wondering what these are, Misha.  I don't suppose you'd like to post a link to one of them so we might see for ourselves?

        1. Misha profile image63
          Mishaposted 12 years agoin reply to this

          Adding value to the web - at least in the sense you used this phrase - does not feed your kids Pcunix, and I have two kids and two parents to feed. However what I do does add value of liquidity, if you understand that trading analogy. And no, I am not going to uncover my other accounts just because you ask. smile

          1. Pcunix profile image93
            Pcunixposted 12 years agoin reply to this

            So, you are  making money from junk.

            I hope you understand my fervent wish that Google continues their efforts to devalue such content and that they succeed in doing so soon.

            Piling up trash may line your pockets but it does nothing good for the rest of us.

            1. Misha profile image63
              Mishaposted 12 years agoin reply to this

              Not sure why exactly you decided those hubs are junk - other than out of the urge to kick me. They are not on Shakespeare level granted, but neither are yours. Your almost 100 hubs in less than 2 months look quite impressive and hint on highest quality, no doubt. Talking about glass house and throwing rocks... smile

              1. Sally's Trove profile image78
                Sally's Troveposted 12 years agoin reply to this

                That would be "stones" instead of rocks. smile

              2. Pcunix profile image93
                Pcunixposted 12 years agoin reply to this

                I dont know they are junk - you seemed to imply that.  If they are not, then I have no beef with you.

                As to my hubs, I'll stand by them proudly.   They have value and are not cookie cutter posts  you can find anywhere.  I HAVE written junk way back when, but I realized the error of that very quickly.

                Your hubs here are not junk, plainly.  If your others are not, then fine.

            2. Pcunix profile image93
              Pcunixposted 12 years agoin reply to this

              Let me just expand on that.

              You have mouths to feed.  So do I.

              Junk content (not necessarily yours specifically, but in general) interferes with my income in two ways.

              First, it makes it harder for me to find good content.  It takes longer and often requires more creative searches to bypass the junk.  Time is money.

              Second, the junk sometimes hides good content that I have written. That might keep me from getting Adsense income, book sales or a consulting opportunity.

              So junk and the people who produce it take food from my mouth.  That's why I wish Google the best of luck in removing you from SERP.

    8. Aficionada profile image84
      Aficionadaposted 12 years ago

      You are very welcome!  big_smile

    9. rebekahELLE profile image86
      rebekahELLEposted 12 years ago

      my hub style varies.

      select subject?  I write about career related topics (what I know) and subjects that interest me. sometimes I  write in the weekly HubMob. sometimes I write when I'm inspired by an issue or event.

      gather research? my own experience, books and material I have at home, my files.  OR magazines, online, newspapers.
      do some keyword research.

      outline work?  I usually write down ideas, sub categories in a notebook then I write it out in longhand. it varies if I compose in Word first. usually I write directly into the capsules since I'm basically copying from notes.

      write and edit? I write it out until I think it reads well. Then I edit once it's in the capsules ready to publish. even once it's published, I'll read it again to make sure I didn't miss anything, which I usually do! smile
      I always go back and tweak my hubs, eventually.

      1. Charles K. profile image63
        Charles K.posted 12 years agoin reply to this

        rebekahELLE, thanks for commenting with your specific methods. Very useful information.

    10. Pcunix profile image93
      Pcunixposted 12 years ago

      I'm sorry.  Misha just set me off, not necessarily at him, because he could be absolutely blameless for all I know, but at the MFA industry in general.

      I just detest that stuff.  It costs all of us money and time, and it just ruins things.

      Misha, if you are maintaining quality, I have no anger at you.  You seemed to say that wasn't important, but maybe that's not what you meant.

      I don't even mean quality, really.  Few here are ever going to be lauded as great writers.  I mean at least trying to add value, not just trying to write something that will make money.  The two are not absolutely exclusive, of course.

      So, I apologize for being po-faced, whatever that is :-)

      1. Misha profile image63
        Mishaposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        No problem smile

        But I do not share your attitude towards junk. Flowers grow of manure, that's just the way nature works. smile

        1. Pcunix profile image93
          Pcunixposted 12 years agoin reply to this

          Then why is Google working so hard to get rid of it?

          1. Misha profile image63
            Mishaposted 12 years agoin reply to this

            I guess Google does not want to sell manure as flowers. Sensible approach I would think. Does not mean it does not use manure to grow flowers. smile

    11. Sally's Trove profile image78
      Sally's Troveposted 12 years ago

      A flower garden takes a long time to establish. It takes the knowledge of the gardener, the growing conditions, patience, manure, and luck. It may take many years to achieve a stellar flower garden.

      We're all, including google, walking that path when writing on the net. I think google's posture for now is to discover just how much text, and what kind, can continue to generate a google garden. We sheep will probably follow suit.

      1. Pcunix profile image93
        Pcunixposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        Googles interests lie in providing the best results for searches.   Billions of dollars depend on that. If competitors manage to filter out MFA and Google cannot, searchers will move to the competitor.

        This "manure" is not good for the garden.

        1. Sally's Trove profile image78
          Sally's Troveposted 12 years agoin reply to this

          You know that I agree with you. At the same time, there are two sides of the coin. For as long as google is the prime mover of dollars and text, it's their game. For now, it has no significant competitors in what it does so well.

          With google and similar mindsets unchecked, we will all be a bunch of sheep or zombies, and maybe that will cause a genetic mutation in the human species, where 1984 may become more of a reality in 2384 than Orwell ever imagined. Or sooner or later.

          For now, it's a matter of bread. Google tosses out the crumbs, and like good pigeons, we snap them up. It's hard to resist.

    12. relache profile image72
      relacheposted 12 years ago

      I started writing when was I was in grammar school.  I got lucky in junior high being placed in the honors English class, and stayed in those accelerated/harder classes through the end of high school.  In college I had some required writing classes, and took some creative writing electives.  Upon graduation, I applied for and was accepted to the Clarion Writer's Workshop.  That was a cool six weeks.  A few years later, I went to graduate school and earned an MFA.

      I was taught a lot via all those experiences about different ways to research, and how to use different voices in writing, and how to write for different audiences.

      If you want to be a better writer, my advice is to go take a class at a junior college, or see if a community center near you offers a workshop.  Like any other skill, writing skills come with study and practice.

    13. rebekahELLE profile image86
      rebekahELLEposted 12 years ago

      relache, all of your studies and experience clearly show in your hubs. you are definitely one of my favorite hubbers to read and learn from. all of your hubs are diverse, laid out so well and very well written. you have learned the art of appealing to your audience, the reader.

    14. Paradise7 profile image72
      Paradise7posted 12 years ago

      I usually get interested in something through reading.  I read a lot, in my spare time.

      Then, as far as research goes, Google and Wiki are my best friends...It's a bit lazy of me and I'm deeply shocked at myself whenever I remember how long it's been since I've actually visited a library, for research purposes!

      I think I'll go check out relache now, I'm intrigued!


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