I thought the new article http://hubpages.com/learningcenter/Elem … tellar-Hub change the way you write articles?
It will for me. I have been trying to write longer and more thoroughly researched articles, but this advisory really hit home.
What about you? Does it change the way you think about how you will write your next hub?
From the linked hub, my opinion after reading is it is all about building content to make Hubpages money, as well as yourself. I have yet to experiment with many of the concepts mentioned, but after reading the hub, I will play around with some of the features mentioned.
As for adding videos of my own, well I have done so via YouTube as I have yet to get the option of the video feature for HP hosted videos. I have been told I have been approved, but for some reason the activation keeps getting delayed. I will experiment with that once it becomes available. I am a firm believer that videos greatly enhance any hub.
Personally, I hate being forced to watch a video in order to obtain some information I need.
Fine, if a video is there as an extra, which I can choose to watch or not according to my preference. Generally, I choose not to watch it, because I find videos an unhelpful way of obtaining information.
One reason I hate videos, is because I read far faster than the speed of speech on most videos. Also, it is far less easy to take pieces of information from a video and combine them with other pieces of information from other sources. This is vital, because I never, ever restrict myself to information from only one source. To document information from a video means hunting for a piece of paper and pencil, making notes and then typing them up. If I miss something because the person is not speaking clearly enough (a very common event), it means starting from the beginning again to try it catch what is said a second (third, fourth, nth) time round.
If I land on a page where the information is only available as a video, with not even a transcript provided, I leave immediately.
As for making my own videos. I do not have and have never had a video camera, have not the faintest idea how to use one and am certainly not going to spend 100s of pounds to buy one.
I do not think having videos and photos makes one an authority in a field. My own judgement of authority is based on the depth and accuracy of the content being presented (I always double/triple check each fact I take for my own use)and, when stated, the formal qualifications possessed by the author.
I am right there with you on the videos, WriteAngled. They are clutter in many cases, IMHO. And like you said, for the purpose of gathering information, videos are far too slow. I like to skim (read) a page quickly to find the info I need, or to determine whether or not I'd like to carefully read the entire article.
Videos can be helpful when showing exactly how to do something tricky, however, but for the most part I never click on videos or even slide shows, for that matter.
+1 and then some.
Exactly why I detest video and lament the need to include it for the astonishing number of poor readers.
But, faced with the paucity of skill and education so prevalent today, I have started adding the stupid things. When in an Idiocracy, do as the idiocrats request.
NO!!! There is no magic number that will work with all hubs. The length of a hub really depends on what is already out there, what the competition is, and the keywords you are targeting. The standards in that article may very well be what is needed to do well with the HP ad program but not if you are focusing on Google Adsense. The fact is, if you want to earn with Google Adsense then your visitors need to click away, preferably through a Google ad link. Optimally, your hub should provide just enough information but not enough to give away the house. If it is targeted correctly then the hub will provide related Google ads which will entice the reader to click through. If your hub doesn't have that then all you can rely on is product links that you placed or the HP ad program.
That is good information, but honestly, I think it depends on the subject. Some articles do not need 1500 words.
I had/have an extremely successful article that has a little over 600 words and has tons of comments. I can not say I am proud of every article I write (some I feel could be improved), but this one I am quite proud of.
I am still trying to learn what makes an article succeed or fail. It seems that finding long-tail word phrases that are highly searched work well. And also providing information that is valuable because I think some readers post articles on social networking sites.
I agree that not every article needs to be 1500 words. I found on many, shorter articles on an account proved to be problematic, but you are spot on. If you can write a good quality article in less, then by all means, you should do so!
I am amused by the disingenuous manner in which a hub on flowers in some park or other is used to illustrate how one must have at least five photos. Well, yes, if you want to write about flowers, it's easy enough to run round a park taking photos, and probably people do want to see what the flowers look like.
However, there are very many subjects, where to find five photos would be more or less impossible, and to produce one's own even more so. To state that producing own photos implies one is more of an expert on a topic is total and utter balderdash. If I write a piece about a viral disease, for example, am I supposed to go and borrow an electron microscope and tissue samples for an hour or so to make my own virus pictures!!!
No. You should own your own electron microscope and go around for an hour or so snatching tissue samples from unsuspecting people.
If you stay out of jail you can then take photos and write your hub.
Just, please, stay away from me!
Seriously, though, nearly all of my hubs have at least 5 photos; I want a slide show available as I see quite a few clicks from slide shows. Most of the photos are my own.
For many hubs this is not a problem; they are "how to" hubs with photos taken as I did the task myself. Travel hubs are not a problem as I won't write about somewhere I haven't visited and clicked pics of.
A few hubs, though, defy such simple methods. Commentary or opinion based hubs for instance don't lend themselves to photos and I have to resort to wikimedia or some such to find appropriate photos.
*shrugs* You can't win every time, and taking pics through an electron microscope is a little beyond my abilities.
+ 5 Totally Agree!
I really struggled to get photos on the Giant Floxbinger Bat (a native of somewhere before its extinction)... but I could only get pics of the lunch it ate 200 years ago! Even though I've seen a few grumpy people who look like those bats.. I don't believe that taking pics of them and pretending they are.. would be good enough to be taken seriously! So you ditch the article... because how many words does it really take to describe Batshit?
I just wrote about corporate personhood. Forget about it. Hub Pages is not GETTING a photo.
Thanks first of all for pointing out the info - I hadn't seen it before and found it interesting.
The information is clearly intended as a helpful bit of advice and not some sort of standard to which all Hubs have to adhere. Personally, I think it's great that Hub Pages take the time to help writers with advice such as this - after all, we all know it's in everyone's interests and we really are all in the same boat.
Take the advice from the people most likely to be in the know, or ignore it - it's an individual's choice...
All of those elements used in the 'standard' are means to keep the reader on page for a longer period of time. Sure they make great articles for reference but they do not provide much of an incentive to click away through a targeted Google ad. Personally, I do not write to gain a following, I write to earn an income stream. I won't go as far as to say I don't really care what my readers think of my hubs, I care more about how they are going to click away.
I agree that many of the suggestions will help almost any hub, but there are always exceptions.
Sometimes,Your own unique idea and presentation will be a homerun!
I think it is a good idea to go through your hubs and see if there is something, that can be added (or changed) in any existing hub.---And I think this was the intent.
If HP makes money, it's because a hubber made money. They get 40% and you get 60%. I would be more than happy if HP made more, as it means I would be too!
I agree about the videos, but different people gather the information in articles differently. It seems wise to cater to as many types as possible regardless of how you personally want to read it. Ideally, we would want everyone to be happy with the way info is presented, be it a chart, pictures, or even videos (in addition to well researched text)
Just my two cents...
As someone who cares more about my articles being useful and as complete on the subject as possible, I don't wish for readers to want to click away just so I can make a few cents. But then, that's just me. I had rather furnish what the searcher is looking for as I would think that would be the object of their quest. But to each their own.
+ 2 And as another who thinks the same way (ethically) having to share those readers with you... should in essence keep a few more honest! (so to speak)
I agree, Randy. I would much rather see a satisfied reader than one that has read my hub and is still looking for information.
If nothing else, these are the readers that will provide me with organic backlinks, tweets, etc. and that will come back for more if I offer what they want.
If they want all this then they need to provide the tools to do so. My concern on pictures is copy write violations and such. Personally, I am fed up with this hubbing thing. Very few people have any desire to read 1500 words or any desire to do such an essay. Currently, we have way to much opinionated garbage that contains no facts at all. Even this would be fine if it was an open forum but the writers have only an agenda and no desire to see the views of its readers and yes it would be great if the readers had something more then rhetoric as well. There is no way you could even do comedy on here with-out someone taking it beyond serious.
Huh. I read it.
1. Length. My hubs are the length they need to be to cover what I want to cover. 1500 words to me is too long for most subjects. People will lose interest.
2. Videos. Not everyone has the ability to make their own videos. I do not use videos because I ONLY use media I created myself and I have neither the equipment nor the skill. If this loses me some earnings, then so be it. (If videos ever become required, I'm likely gone).
3. Pictures. For most articles, five pictures is redundant. I do plan on going back and adding relevant pictures as I can get them to my horse color hubs, so I can represent each color, but again, I only use my own media, and that means finding a horse of every single color for reference pictures...it's on the list.
But I think the most important thing is that every hub needs something different. Videos are extremely valuable for recipe hubs, for example, or how tos. Which is why I don't write those kinds of hubs.
How sad it is that so many people think a mere three pages of typical text are too long to read.. It says something very unsettling about the intelligence of the average visitor.
You can see the genesis of our recommendation to adhere to this standard in today's blog post:
http://blog.hubpages.com/2012/01/truly- … ship-hubs/
BTW, we do not recommend "just enough" information so that the visitor is encouraged to click on an ad. We don't recommend any strategy that compromises the quality of the information your Hubs provide.
From the blog post:
"•Current total monthly views: 430,330
Per Hub average: 2,759
•Assuming a $6 CPM average to the Hub Author, an ongoing $16.50/month per Flagship Hub in ad/affiliate revenue"
My best-performing hub gets just under 5000 views a month, so does better than your flagship average.
It is less than 1500 words, less than 5 pictures and has no videos, no poll, no map, no games for visitors to play, but has 5 stars for length of time visitors spend on it.
In comparison, another hub has almost twice your 1500 word suggestion, as well as four videos, and also 5 stars for time spent on it by readers. It gets an average of 30 views per month.
Ergo, these indicators mean very little. You made rules for your flagship hubs, which is why they have all the extra stuff in them. However, to cite statistics for those hubs alone is meaningless.
How many other hubs on this site are stuffed full of "visitor candy", yet earn next to nothing? How many shorter, photo-sparse, video-less hubs earn a lot? Without these comprehensive figures, you are making statements that have no statistical significance whatsoever.
I also raise eyebrows at the "assuming a $6 CPM average". I have rarely hit that much on this account. On another account I have, the CPM goes down to well under $1 some days, and is usually less than $3. I am not sure if it has ever reached anywhere near $5.
About making our own videos: It is possible to create a video with Windows Movie Maker using JPEGS, which themselves can be made from photos, screenshots, or PowerPoint slides. Making a video does not require a camcorder. There's more than one way to skin a cat, right?
I like what GinnyLee said about providing information in various ways to suit the different learning styles of different people. It's just one more way of trying to reach a broad audience. But I also agree that each writer (and each subject) is different and should provide information in the way that they best can for their probable readers.
Is there a similar software for a Mac? (I suppose iMovie could do it).
Thing is, though...which is better? No video or a bad video?
People will read a longer article that's well-organized and broken into sections. So 1500 words is not a problem. There are times when that length is not necessary, but function should dictate form. (Personally, my problem isn't 1500 words -- that's easy -- the hard part is making my writing concise, well-organized, essential and compelling.)
Hubpages is one of the few places I've seen that pays for impressions, so one's goal need not be sending people on their way as quickly as possible. Although it might be prudent to include an Amazon capside in the sidebar near the top, with as compelling a product image as possible, to catch the attention of "Sammy the Ten Second Surfer" (my frequent adversary). Of course, not every topic lends itself to a product.
I'm a little surprised that the top hubs typically earn ad revenue under $20 a month. We can't really discuss earnings, but if that's only the exceptional Hubs, it makes me ponder the whole ad revenue model: not just here, but on one's own websites and blogs. It's a tough ROI for the amount of time invested, it's it?
I wouldn't argue with the ROI. Even if the hub took me 20 hours to research and write, at $20/month, it would be $240 for the year or $12/hour after just one year. How many years do you expect it to continue to perform?
Ginny, I'm afraid I'm a little spoiled. My most successful articles, off Hubpages, earn more than double what these "flagship hubs" earn. Only my top articles, mind you, but I assume that's the kind of high bar I'd be aiming for here.
When I became active on HP, I told myself, "Once you've established a portfolio of good hubs, they'll earn comparable income to what you're used to." But according to this Hubpages HQ announcement, they won't. I was operating under an unrealistic assumption. It makes me pause to consider the benefits of diversification vs. the pitfalls of a much lower ROI.
Sorry to stray from the 1500 words topic. Regarding article length, I've seen circumstantial evidence from seo-theory.com (which tests this kind of thing) that longer articles have more opportunities to pick up search traffic . There are simply more possible keyword combinations on the page. I've certainly benefitted from the "longer article = bigger net" effect.
Then again, I've had the most search traffic luck not with keywords in text, but rather, in image names. Image search traffic is a powerful tool.
However, it may not remain so for much longer, and likewise, I'm not sure whether longer articles will continue to enjoy search engine favor. The web is undergoing a dramatic shift as the majority of its users switch to mobile browsing. How does that impact traffic patterns? Do people on mobile devices seek shorter articles, or will they seek articles at all? We're still finding out.
Also...as I know HubPages is reading this thread. I suspect I am not the only person who would really appreciate a word count feature built in to the hub interface itself. Am I?
To answer both (er, all three) questions -
There is a word counter in each text capsule in edit mode. Look on the bar at the top left. When you copy and paste (from a word editing program, for example), the word count will not show up until you add another word or click Enter - I forget which.
I don't know about a movie maker for Mac. I hope some of the Mac users will respond. I have been a Windows user for more years than I can tell, but I didn't know about Windows Movie Maker until just a year or so ago. It may be new. Could you run a search for "movie maker for Mac"?
I think "No Video" is better than a bad one. But that's just my opinion. I also think No Hub is better than a bad Hub, but that doesn't prevent some Bad Hubs (IMO) from getting traffic and making money.
The thing is, I have so little skill at taking videos that I suspect any video I add would count as a bad one. Also, some of my hubs don't lend themselves to relevant videos that actually add value.
Others, I don't have the logistical capability, right now, to get to places where I can take relevant videos. And besides, they would be hard to do videos for without including people, and then you open an entire other legal can of worms.
Right now I'm seriously considering giving up on Hubpages over this, because I always figured videos to be an optional extra and I'd rather leave them out than provide bad or irrelevant ones.
I tend to write shorter hubs but i plan to revisit some and expand them.
I am quite certain that there are many exceptions. I think HP is giving an average over a group of articles that share similar characteristics. I am quite certain that someone has a 250 word article with four pictures and is making more than one of these. I suspect that these are just averages as HP is trying to help everyone make more. It doesnt make sense to discredit their analysis because you happen to have an outlier or two. If you are happy doing what you are doing, then great! If you aren't, then here is an analysis of key characteristics that seem to be linked with good performance. It is an average and not indicative of each and every hub in that category.
Add a video or don't. Have four pictures or five or none. It really doesn't matter. They are just trying to provide some commonalities.
Bit hacked off with this.
I wrote OVER 150 words on the Roman Empire plus a picture of my cat and I've had no traffic at all.
I mean. Just how many words are you supposed to have? It was fifty originally, which is plenty anyway but the fascists said you need more for the Amazon ads. I have a couple on there for Roman sandals which is appropriate.
Anyway I'll add a Justin Bieber video and see if that helps.
I've written a few really long detailed hubs with videos, photos etc and have not seen them do better than short ones that were concise, to the point, but short.
Reading some of the success stories from newer hubbers too makes me think that shorter hubs might be the way to go.
More and more people are accessing the web through cell phones and don't want to wait to load an article that is heavy with photos etc.
Google search should be taking people directly to the relevant part of an article that they were searching for.
Will they read the other 1300 words?
Personally I'm tending to write shorter hubs these days although I have written three recently that almost touched 3000 words. They don't get views either but then they are new or newish.
Certainly shorter hubs seem to do better initially.
My latest is getting a lot of views and its not even 600 words long.
It's fantastic when people create a style of writing that works for them. It usually means they have put a lot of effort and tried many things to become successful.
There are certainly short Hubs that do very well, but the overall trend we see today is toward long format and rich content. If you're new, or working to find a style that fits your voice, I'd try a few long format Hubs to see if they work for you.
I'm off to start one now...
Heck, it's hard to keep mine from being over 1500 words as it is! But then, I ain't makin' much money anymore either! People sure like to steal my stuff though! Imitation is the sincerest form of......
I think a lot of us are getting our work stolen, but it only shows up more on a depressed account.
I hate going into search and finding a plagiarist ranking above me for MY work!
I hope they steal the one I wrote about Homeland security all the same. that will get them into trouble in a way they couldn't imagine!
I hope they have better luck with my stuff than I'm having here with it! If not, it serves them right!
The sad thing is that they probably will have better luck with it. You have great content which would do well anywhere else but here, at the moment.
Still, hopefully the sandbox effect will be lifted soon.
One of the easiest ways to know if you have been affected by the sandbox is to check your rankings in other search engines.
If they are high, then you know it is Google, and not something you have done/written.
As it can last up to year, you should be back out in time for your best time of the year, which was when you went in it, wasn't it?
Hopefully, it'll only last 6 months though.
Edit, just checked the main keywords from a couple of your hubs in duckduckgo and you were #1 everytime!!
Yep, on many of my hubs Yahoo and Bing send more views than Google at the moment whereas before it was just the opposite. I don't plan on waiting around for a year to go by as there is no guarantee it won't happen again soon.
I've put too much time and research--not to mention making hands on, step-by-step photos to accompany my repair hubs--to waste them on here much longer. I now have little faith in HP and even less in their mods. Respect is important to me, even if it isn't reciprocal.
Thanks for checking for me, Izzy! I used to have lots of #1 hubs but now I don't bother to check anymore. Somethings got to give!
No, once we come out of the sandbox, we won't go back in, because the sandbox effect is only for new domains or subdomains.
We might get slapped about a bit, but we won't go back in the sandbox, unless HP somehow makes major changes to our subdomains to make them seem like new again.
As someone who is an author of 8 flagship hubs - I can tell you that the averages quoted on that blog post are meaningless - accurate, no doubt, but meaningless. Some of flagship hubs are have had less traffic than others published at the same time which had 1/2 the words and modules.
Longer hubs may rank better = but only because there are more long-tail keywords in 1500 words than in 500.
What will get you traffic and earnings - is quite simple, keywords you can rank for.
I thank HP for teaching the reality of that - but the only reason that some of my flagship hubs still rank and earn both me and HP money - is the effort I've put into backlinking them, not updating them.
I can admit that a +1500 word article is my longest standing and best traffic producer on Hubpages.
But in the course of experimentation, one must compare apples to apples.
So the question isnt does a 1500 word article perform better than a 500 word article, its:
Does a 1500 word article outperform three 500 word articles.
A 1500 word articles has the chance of having a long page view and being rewarded for that metric.
3 500 word articles offers a better chance of hitting the proper keyword or being interlinked in a manner that is conducive to the bunch.
I dont know the answer in Post-Panda Hubs or Google, but I do know yo still have to compare apples to apples in regards to the effort placed in production.
Why would you want to compare a 1500 word hub to (3) 500 word hubs?
I cannot write 3 500 word hubs in the time I write a 1500 word hub, including keyword (and other) research, interlinking, finding or taking photos and placing them, etc. The time of actual writing is the smaller part of the whole process.
In addition, the two are quite different products. It seems to me that in comparing the two you will always be comparing apples to oranges. The types of topics (at least for me) are just too different.
I do, however, agree completely with your points on time on page and keywords. Each has both strong and weak points.
Ahh .. as in the scenario, the three 500 word hubs would be very closely related/similar topics. Essentially, that same 1500 word hub packaged in 3 parts Sorry, I expected that point to be inferred as it what makes it "apples to apples" and would use the same keyword research data.
I never really adopted Youtube videos and images takes all of 3 seconds to collect. The "candy" part of a hub isn't time intensive for me. In more commercial topics, product selection involves the most time expenditure.
But,Its a hypothetical , I don't care if you want to imagine three 600 word hubs compared to a 1800. I only used the 1500/500 figures as they were already occurring in the thread.
I was only discussing the packaging aspect and would rather see statistics that compared equal word count across n individual articles
(note: I just checked and my last ten informational articles naturally were in the 1600-1800 (including hubs)range without any "goal" and my last ten "sales" style posts were in the 300-400 word range. I assure you those 300-400 word posts (not Hubs)are the real earners between the two styles regardless of the difference in word count. These type of discussions really need some focus on what the Authors intention with the article/hub is to be helpful. There is no cookie cutter format for every possible audience or revenue angle. )
I would have to agree that 3 hubs on same or similar topics should outperform one long one, and much for the reasons you list.
The time to write, though is extremely subjective. I wrote another one over the weekend, at around 3400 words. It took me about 6 hours, of which probably an hour was writing the text.
I take my own photos, and always clean them up (crop them, adjust lighting, etc.) and that takes time. Usually they are taken for the express purpose of fitting into that particular hub, so there is setup time as well.
Keyword research takes considerable time, partly because I'm always on the lookout for new subjects (it's what caused me to write the last one - I started out looking at search terms and keywords for existing hubs).
I have to also agree that the sales hubs are the real earners. HPads and adsense fall with lower traffic, but Amazon makes up for it. A $500 sale will cover a lot of lost adsense.
And there is certainly no cookie cutter for either readers of writers. They are all different.
I don't think I've ever written a 500 word hub unless it would be the photo gallery hub I did for the HubPatron contest. I always have a lot of words I have to get rid of when I write.
The competition just gets tougher and tougher and if you want to rank you need to put the work in. None of the stats or advice regarding those flagship hubs surprises me.
Many of my hubs are between 800 and 1200 words, so that won't be too much of a stretch for me. My problem is loading it with all of the other stuff: the poll, the quiz, the video, the 'high resolution (5) photos...seems to me that it bogs it all down. Maybe I'm getting the wrong impression or having the wrong attitude about it. After all, if it will bring in money that is what counts, right?
I could see that. If you think it isn't appropriate, I wouldn't include it. That said, capsules like the polls are a way to engage the reader and offers another option besides comments. I like to include these as I can. I am not marketing them to "me" - I am marketing them to other people who may absorb the information through pictures, graphs, interaction, videos, etc... If you can put a bit of each in a hub (as appropriate) then more people will find ways to learn from your writing.
That's just my 2 cents...
As a woman writing mostly poetry, I cannot constantly write 1500 words. No poet works this way. No Book publisher does for that matter. It may work for a certain type of hub. Does Hub Pages just want a certain type of hub but not others...?
Ultimately I do not think so... as many would move elsewhere....
But standards are a good idea at least for some writers.
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