I’m primarily a writer, not a computer buff or web-site designer and in my other attempts at on-line writing I haven’t been trying to earn money, so I haven’t bothered about gaining traffic. I’m patient, I’ve read it takes a while to build up earnings, but from what I’ve also read some people only earn a few cents a week and would like to earn more than that.
My main aim is to write posts that are well-written, informative and useful, so I’ve been concentrating on that, but I’ve also been trying to understand how to earn money and have read posts on how to get traffic, RSS feeds, SEO (or is it SOE or even EOS - that’s how confused I feel right now.) I’m a reasonably intelligent person (honest!!) but I’ve been going round in circles trying to understand the various terms and still don’t feel that I am getting it.
I keep reading I should use keywords. How important is this? Can I assume that if I write an article and stick to the point then there will be key words in it? (That’s what I’ve been doing up to now though several of my hubs have been about premature babies and the HP automatic moderating filter doesn’t like that word so I’ve been trying to use other words instead will that affect the likelihood of the hubs being found by a search engine?)
I keep reading I need to create backlinks, so I tried to add my hubpages widget to my wordpress blog, but I can’t see any way of pasting the HTML into it. Does anyone know if this is possible with a WP blog? Or am I totally misunderstanding what a back link is?
Any advice will be hugely appreciated, and please feel free to write as if you are explaining to a 3 year old as I think that’s the level of my understanding on this!
Urbane Chaos's answer is very good. Here's some more about keywords.
Suppose you write an article about premature birth. Do most people type "premie babies" or "premature babies" or "premature baby"? You don't know and neither do I. Enter all of those variations into Google's Keyword Checker (https://adwords.google.com/o/Targeting/ … earch.none).
The Keyword Checker will tell you the monthly search volume for each variation and suggest other variations. Suppose that one variation gets 100 searches per month and the other gets 1,000. Obviously it would be worthwhile to target those 1,000 searches. Recast your sentence, perhaps changing singular to plural or vice versa, to make sure the desired keyword has presence in the article.
As for Wordpress widgets, if you are using wordpress.org, html can be pasted into any Text widget. If you're using wordpress.com, some code is disallowed and I'm not sure where the Hubpage widget stands.
This is an awesome tool! I usually look for low competition and high monthly searches. If there's a lot of competition out there for the keywords you use then you'll just get buried in the search engine results.
You are aware that the "competition" column in the keyword tool refers to competition for those buying ads? It is of no value for us as writers trying to be seen.
Hi Wilderness, I’m really interested in what you’ve written here. Could you explain more? Eg, what do you use to assess the value of keywords if not the competition?
The "competition" column in the Adwords tool is competition for PPC (Pay Per Click ads), not competition for organic search. There are no *free* tools for checking organic competition.
However, it's a pretty good rule of thumb, as most businesses will put efforts into both PPC and organic search. While some will only do one, some will only do the other, so you still have some understanding of the search demographics by looking at competition.
Keywords are valuable based on search volume and targeted terms (potential conversion rates). In fact, competition has *nothing* to do with keyword value, competition just tells you your likelihood of success.
The keyword tool tells you how many people are typing that word into Google.
As Wilderness says, the competition column tells you how many advertisers are competing for those words. In that context, low competition is a bad thing for us writers, because it means there aren't many advertisers for that word and therefore, if we write about that subject, we won't get many relevant ads.
You need to use the keyword tool along with other tools. Bear in mind, too, that everyone learns about the keyword tool and uses it to find "hot" topics, so everyone is coming up with the same results!
Personally, I think the best approach is to choose your subjects based on your own interests and knowledge, then use the keyword tool to find out what people are searching for around that topic. You can also use the Wonder Wheel.
That way, you're going to get different results from the internet marketers and could hit on a great subject no one else has thought of.
Thanks for that response, Marisa. I also had no idea about the competition being relevant to advertising. That's a pretty handy piece of information.
Thank you deblipp and Marissa.
Marissa, I think the points you make are REALLY helpful, particularly that everyone is using the tools to find hot topics. I also find this paragraph of yours very helpful:
"Personally, I think the best approach is to choose your subjects based on your own interests and knowledge, then use the keyword tool to find out what people are searching for around that topic. You can also use the Wonder Wheel."
This is how I started off and seemed to get on fine. (apart from Wonder Wheel as I’ve no idea what that is.) I really enjoyed writing the first few hubs and earned a few cents within a few days. Then i started trying to get to grips with the money aspect of it all, and it’s slowed me right down. I’m going back to writing about what I know and love, and the money will come when I’m good and ready.
Great points, Melovy. What the heck is the Wonder Wheel, anyway? LOL
One of the great things about HubPages (unlike your own blog) is that you can write on a wide variety of subjects, so you can use it as a test bed.
If you like writing about a subject, try it - if it gets traffic, great. If it doesn't, what have you lost - no more than the time it took to write one article.
Write on a wide range of topics. When you find one that works, write more on that topic.
Bear in mind that it takes three or four months for your Hubs to start getting real traffic, so don't make judgments till then!
Thanks for all the information Marisa.
I read the article you suggested and had a quick look at the wonder wheel tool last night. Then today when i actually went to use it, it’s gone! I’ve read on the Google that this has happened to several people and some had success only with google’s own browser Chrome, but others couldn’t even find it on that. I couldn’t find anything to say if Google are addressing this issue, but it was a relief to see it wasn’t just my ignorance. I also tried to download Chrome, but the site isn’t working, so maybe this is something that happens intermittently. I guess I won’t be using it today anyway, unless reappears later on. Very mysterious.
Marissa's suggestion for the wonder wheel is spot-on. It's another way Google shows you affiliated search items.
The nice thing about HubPages is that it allows anyone to write and earn, regardless of computer experience. At it's most basic form, you simply type the text and hit publish, but to make good earnings, that's just not enough.
With only five hubs, and since you've only been here for about three weeks, I wouldn't expect a lot at first. Unlike traditional writing, you don't get paid up front. It takes time - sometimes several months - to start showing a good income. It can be said that once you reach your first payout then they should start coming pretty regularly after that. The biggest thing is to be patient and keep writing.
You will only earn a few cents a week, especially starting out. As you gain experience and have a few more articles, you'll also start seeing better earnings. On HP, I average a couple bucks a day, but combine that with my amazon store, my blogs/websites, etc, then it all adds up. But, you have to start somewhere, and HP is the perfect place to learn and grow.
Now, to your questions..
First, it's SEO, or Search Engine Optimization. I wrote an article about it here so feel free to check it out, or simply search for SEO on HubPages - there's a ton of great articles on it out there.
RSS feeds basically just show off your topics, and allow people to follow them as you post. There's a lot you can do with them, but for now I would recommend you focus more on SEO and learning how to use keywords.
...keywords are *extremely* important. Think about it this way, if you're looking for something online, what words do you type to find it? This is how you have to look at your hubs - what words are people going to type to find your article? The better your choice of keywords, the higher you'll get ranked in the search engines. Besides that, the ads that appear on your page are directly influenced by your keywords. People are more likely to click on your ads if they are directly related to the topic that your hub is on.
There are two big tools that you need to use to make sure you get the right keywords. I use Google AdWords: Keyword tool and SEOQuake.
With Google's keyword tool, you can either plug in your URL or the keywords you think people will use, and Google will return a list of keywords that are related. It will also give you stats like monthly searches and competition. Use this before you write the article to figure out what keywords you want to show up best.
SEOQuake is only for firefox, but there's a thousand tools like it. Just type in "Keyword Checker" in Google. Basically, this tool tells you what your keyword density is after you've published your hub. This is important because you can then see your page how the search engines see it.
Again, there's a thousand articles on Keywords in HP, just do a search for them. They'll explain things a lot better than I can on the forums here.
Backlinks are just links that link to your article. You can create these with social bookmarking sites, forums, blogs, etc. I don't know anything about WordPress, but I'm sure there's a hub on that as well. While manually creating backlinks for HP helps, the best backlinks are the ones that happen naturally, over time. As people read your articles, they'll link back from their own webpage, or mention it in a forum, or whatever. Start off using HP's "share" tools, then as you go along, add backlinks wherever an opportunity presents itself. Just remember not to "spam", that's bad.
Also, pick a hub and post it in the makeover area for people to review. Usually, this helps quite a bit and will give you a lot of direction in how to format hubs and optimizing them for search engines.
Hope this helps! And Welcome to HP!
Melovy, I would just like to know that you're not alone in your bafflement. I've been writing with HP for a little over four months, and all that stuff confuses me as well. Thanks to Urbane Chaos and deblipp. Your answers have been very helpful.
Thank you Urbane Chaos for you very detailed reply and also to Deblipp. Your answers are very helpful.
Urbane Chaos, I have read several Hubs on these topics already and I still felt very confused, so your suggestion to focus on SEO and learning to use key words is VERY helpful because it gives me a starting point, instead of feeling like I’m going in circles I can see a direction now.
Thank you also for checking out my profile. I will have a look at the articles you’ve written on this.
deblipp, thank you for the information keyword checking. I had a go at it with the title of my first post, but I didn’t really understand what I was doing, so your explanation gives me the motivation to have another go.
Motown2Chitown - glad to hear I’m not alone in my bafflement! Thank you for that. But you know to make smiley faces and I don’t!! How do you do that here? This is all that I can do :-)
Melvoy - Smileys are easier in here than almost anywhere other than Yahoo. When you reply to a comment, there is a button called "formatting" on the lower right of the text box. It will show you the text to type in to achieve your desired emoticon. Good luck.
Just looking at the downloads for SEO quake Firefox. Over one million downloads! That is a lot of content writers. Jeez.
The other minor thing is... I can't see anything on these poxy geeky websites what the thing actually does in plain language.
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