I have read the FAQ's and other help areas of HubPages, including many topics from the learning center, but, from what I've found so far, it seems like a lot of talking around the question, but not really, directly, simply, accurately addressing the question:
What are good topics for beginning hubbers?
I've been suffering from a lot of writer's block because I'm not sure what to write. At this stage I dont' care so much about the words in the title, I'm just trying to find a topic. From earlier tips I read, I understand that, ideally, one should write what basically amounts to a how-to article. Also, one should avoid "op-ed" pieces or "ranting". However, at the same time, I notice a lot of hubbers giving their opinions on the world, and sharing their personal experiences and perspectives, whether in prose or poetry, and, judging by their awards and number of followers, they're doing quite well. So, I'm confused.
I'm not a consultant. And while I do have a degree, I have very little professional experience in it. So I'm not sure there's much of anything I can really be an expert about in terms of writing a how-to. After 12 months as a member, there is only one hub that I've written. It was an insight into, and sharing of, a personal, spiritual experience I had and what it was about. But judging by the lack of response, I guess it flopped.
So, I don't know. I would like to give writing a try. I've received compliments from family, friends, and professors that I write well. I just am not sure how to get started. Specifically with Hubpages, I'm not sure what kinds of topics I can start with. Again, at this point, I'm not yet concerned with the technical considerations of how to shape my titles and tracking this or that metric. I'm not even concerned with the ins and outs of the interface. While, of course, it is good to know all of that, it is a little irrelevant if you have nothing to write about. And that is the stage I'm at right now. Trying to figure out what to write about. What are good topics for beginning hubbers?
Thank you for reading through my message.
You have a quiet a bit to say on the subject, I couldn't think of writing such a long forum post. Just convert this talent to areas of your interest, do some research and write something that might be useful to someone.
Writing about relgion or politics may or may not shoot you up into google searches, but when you have useful stuff to offer, which people may want to read, you will receive feedback.
One hub in 12 months may have been the reason no one knows of your existence. I have a hub on christian mediation and not many want to read it. Writing on varied topics gets you the accolades that you are looking for.
It is difficult to write in the beginning but you just flow as you continue to write.. I have been there and done that.. now I cannot stop writing.
Hubpages may not be in a position to suggest the topics( it never really works, though you have the weekly topic inspiration for which many hubbers write) , what you want to write depends on your interests.
PS this must be my longest post ever
Thank you for taking the time write more than you're used to.
I will take all your tips into consideration and explore them as I get the chance.
One more thing, if I may, when a hubber gets a new follower what is considered proper etiquette?
Is it A: To somehow welcome that follower or write to that follower to thank them for following?
Or, is it B: Getting a new follower is just something a hubber notices, does not respond to, but is glad that someone has enjoyed what they had to share?
You don't owe anything to a follower. Their reason for following should be nothing more than they enjoy reading your writing, but unfortunately 90% or more follow thinking that you will follow back and that big numbers are important.
I'd estimate less than 20 of my supposed "followers" have any interest in reading what I write. They (the non-readers) mean nothing to me.
When I follow people, I expect that I'll be reading them. If it turns out not to be true, eventually I'll drop them.
I don't expect any thanks or any reciprocal following - just because I find you interesting doesn't mean the reverse.
What do you really know about? That's where to start...
Keep this in mind: successful people can afford to throw out things that they know aren't going to get much attention. If Google loves you for a few hundred important pages, tossing out a bit of ranting isn't going to change their mind.
I think the best way to write for beginners is NOT to follow the common advice of writing about what you know, but rather to write about what you recently have learned. Write it down while your confusion and curiosity is fresh in your mind - "experts" often leave out details because they assume everybody will understand the basics. In fact, it is confusion at the basic level that is often the hardest for beginners to get by - if you are fresh from the same struggles to understand, you may be able to write in a way that is far more useful to them.
The same is true for product reviews - jot down notes while you are thinking about buying something, again after you buy it and then write your review after you've used it for a while. That will produce a page that prospective buyers will truly find useful - and that's what you want.
Hi there. I think you have a lot of great advice already. Writing something that is useful to someone else is the best advice, such as the product review already suggested. To be honest, I'm trying to find my way around hub pages too. What has helped me is some of the weekly inspirational writing subjects, and other writing forums.
Also what I like to do is get some popular subjects out of the newspaper, and watch the news on tv for interesting stories. Also, what do you do for a living? You could probaly generate several interesting hubs from that alone. Read and interesting book lately? You can write a review on that, especially if it is a best seller. Hope my suggestions aren't too far out there.
Thank you Carol for responding to my questions. Far from being far out there, I found your answers to be very in-there, on-target, direct, understandable and useful. If I may, I would like to follow up with a few of your tips:
When you said, “See examples of weekly inspirational writing subjects”...
• Do you mean on the HubPages website itself?
• Where do I find these “inspirational writing subjects on the website?
When you said, “Get some popular subjects out of the newspaper”…
• Like what? Can you please provide a couple of examples of topics you have found, and wrote about?
• Does one have to be an expert in the topic they find and write about?
• If one does not need to be an expert, then how does one keep their writing about the topic from becoming a “rant” or an “op-ed” piece that HubPages generally frowns upon?
Thanks again : )
If you go to the main page of the forum, right at the very top is the weekly topic inspiration thread. It changes most Mondays. Taking part in it is also a good way to get yourself known on HP. My following has increased a lot since with taking part, and I don’t do it every week.
Seanachai - I have not been here long, but I have written a bit. I have found inspiration in everything I do. I carry my camera with me. My husband says that my computer and my camera have become standard kitchen equipment. As I make recipes that I have developed I take pictures along the way.
I also have found inspirations in emails, magazine articles, and news articles. I recently wrote about a new product I had discovered at the pet store. The craft projects that I made Christmas presents from, I took pictures as I made them and then wrote about them. I live in Texas and I have written about the terrible drought we have been having. And as I find information, I update it. I have written product reviews about products we have tried and liked.
I saw a lizard in someone's bathroom and wrote an article about using a lizard for insect control in the home. That lead to another article about how to catch a lizard. When I found a newly birthed squirrel on my dogs bed, that was my first article - about animal rescue. Answering the question,"What makes a good writer?" on a freelance job application became a hub.
I take everyday experiences and turn them into something that can be useful or thought-provoking.
missolive has a good hub that might help you titled, Writing Prompts for Teens - Resources for Teachers and Homeschoolers. We are not supposed to supply links in the forums, but if you look through her hubs you will find this. I plan on using this when I get writer's block.
I hope this has helped. I just try to look at what I know that others might benefit from. and then I have researched interests that I have and have written about them as well, such as sealife and nebulae.
Edit: Also I bet you have alot to say about the naval reserve: how to join, why to join, benefits of being, etc.
And I bet you have alot to share also about graphic design: good jobs to be had with degree, tips about how to be a good graphic designer, characteristics of good graphic designer, etc.
Just a few more thoughts.
Go to the HP blog and listen to the podcast called "How to Find Good Topics" by Simone Smith. It was posted on December 14th and I found some excellent tips for newbies and experienced hubbers both. I highly recommend it! It specifically mentions some remedies for writers block, too.
My view on followers is that they enter two camps:
a) those who genuinely want to read anything I might produce in future
b) those following in an attempt to get followers
Since the motive is not known to me, unless I know the person in question from the forums, I tend to limit myself to:
a) looking at hubtivity; if the person has followed lots of other people at the same time as me, I conclude they are just trying to get followers and do not follow up any further
b) if someone appears genuine, I look at their profile and hubs. If something in either of these speaks to me, I follow them. Otherwise I leave it, working on the assumption that they followed me because something in my repertoire interested them and they are not seeking reciprocation as such.
When I notice I have lost a follower, I do not worry about it. I assume this was a "follower farmer" who either got rid of me because I did not follow back or was kicked off Hubpages for spam or other non-permitted content.
What are good topics for beginners?
At first I think it is a good idea to write about something you already know about and that really interests you. I say that because that way you will be free to concentrate on the look and function of the page as well as the written content. As you know the topic, you will not be spending so much time and effort on researching the subject. Then as you become more familiar with putting together articles you may discover a niche that suits you.
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