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20-Step Checklist of Hub Writing Success Strategies

Updated on July 29, 2017
Glenn Stok profile image

In addition to applying his Masters Degree education and professional background to his writing, Glenn Stok also shares tips with authors.


In addition to my recent Hub about “12 Overlooked Writing Techniques for Successful Hubs” I have compiled a list of strategies I use that I want to share with you.

Among the following checklist of 20 success strategies, I am sure you’ll find a few that you’ll want to include in your work. They are not in any special order, so feel free to browse.

Me and my Lifetime Achievement Award
Me and my Lifetime Achievement Award

1. Do You Write for the Reader?

You have to ask yourself if the reader will benefit from reading your article.

Consider if your reader may have gone through a similar experience. Imagine how you can explain things in a way that will guide your reader. Make it about the reader, not about you.

2. Make Your Hub’s Main Image Square

The first image in your hub is used to make a thumbnail for the list of hubs on your profile as well as any other place where your hubs are promoted. If it’s not square then the sides (or top and bottom) will be cut off. It’s cropped to make the thumbnail square.

If you have placed text in your image, which is useful when pinned in Pinterest, some words may be missing in the thumbnail if the image is not square.

For this reason, you should crop your image to make it square so the smaller thumbnails make sense. You can crop images with image editors such as "Paint" on Windows or "Preview" on a Mac.

If you do place text on an image that’s not square and you want it to be used for the thumbnail, an alternate trick is to keep your text within the square center of the image. When you do that, the sides can be cropped off without cutting into the important text.

Before you go any further, open your profile in another window or another tab and check all your thumbnails. If you have any problems, you’ll see why I’m making an issue out of this.

Alternative to Square Image

If the image is too large, causing people to scroll past it, you can alternatively make the image wide with white space on both sides. The vertical size of the image will be reduced. This is what I did with the image of me holding my HubPages award mug above. As long as the images itself is in the middle, HubPages will crop the square portion from the middle to use for the thumbnail.

3. Log on When Commenting on Niche Hubs

Occasionally I see comments from other Hubbers posted as “guest user” in my hubs on niche sites because they didn’t log into the site. They will never be notified that I had replied to their comment.

If the comment box looks like this example image below, then you need to click the login option. Don’t just enter your name. That’s only for an outsider to post as a guest.

Your login user and password are the same on all niche sites as you use for your main HubPages account.

Click the "sign in" link on the Comment Entry box.
Click the "sign in" link on the Comment Entry box. | Source

4. Maintain Your Obsolete Hubs

Check the “Stats tab” at the top of your hubs. This has sub-tabs that show you view duration, where your traffic is coming from, what people are typing into search engines to find you, and so much more.

Click “Referrers” to see the list of traffic sources. You want to be sure most of your traffic is organic (from search engines). If not, you need to investigate why you are missing out on this, and then make the appropriate changes to your hub.

Click “Search Terms” to see what people are entering into various search engines. This information is vital to helping you make changes of better response going forward. Search terms sometimes guide me to make changes to titles and subtitles.

Obsolete hubs that are dead to the world might be good quality and simply need some tender loving care to bring them to life.

On the other hand, you may decide to delete them if they are taking up too much of your time resources with maintenance. I’ve deleted over half my hubs over the years. I like to keep it down near 100 active hubs so that I can focus on maintenance of those that produce residual income.

Some Hubbers have over 1,000 hubs. When I look at some of them, I see things that are totally obsolete with incorrect data due to changes over time. This is a bad reflection on the author. Don’t let this happen to you.

This is my opinion. If you’re comfortable maintaining over 1000 hubs, that’s fine, as long as it’s working for you and you have the time to keep them all up to date with content modifications and technical changes.

5. Make Your Hubs Mobile Friendly

I wrote a complete hub on this topic, and HubPages had discussed it in one of the weekly newsletters too a while back, so I won’t go into it much here.

I just want bring to your attention that mobile traffic is increasing and HP said eventually they would make all hubs single column to be consistent with the way they’re displayed on smartphones.

If you missed that announcement and you’re still using two columns for text capsules or photos, you may not realize that your right column content falls into the wrong place on mobile phones. You need to click the preview tab while editing your hub and check the mobile preview.

Google Analytics Data Showing Real Time Mobile Usage
Google Analytics Data Showing Real Time Mobile Usage | Source

6. Indicate Your Background and Expertise in Each Bio

I noticed that many Hubbers don’t place their author bio in their hubs. The bio is the first thing that readers notice. It’s most important on hubs where expertise is required as per Google’s Quality Guidelines.{1}

I mentioned this in my last hub on “12 Overlooked Writing Techniques”, but it deserves mentioning again, especially for the traffic problems with HealDove where Google wants to see direct involvement with medical conditions.

You can mention something about your background in the subject that expresses your "expertise" that Google is looking for.

7. Do You Keep Your Focus When Writing Hubs?

I just recently read a very interesting hub about a scientific discovery that the human brain can retain its basic functions after death as long as it is preserved. I became interested in that article because I relate the idea to flash memory, which does not require power to keep its memory.

The entire credibility of the hub was destroyed, in my opinion, because the author went into a discussion of the possibility of zombies. What a turn-off that was, and the hub actually even made it into the Owlcation niche site.

My point is, stay focused on the important aspects of your hub.

8. Usage of Images Found Elsewhere

The thing I see most often misunderstood is that people use images in their hubs that are free for non-commercial use. The problem is that since our Hubs generate revenue, they are considered commercial.

It’s important to read the specific licensing information and understand every detail. If you don’t understand something, stick to using your own images, or at least just use a CC0 license.{2}

CC is Creative Commons and the zero after the CC means “No Rights Reserved” so you are totally free to use the image in any form you wish without attribution, even commercially.

Another Creative Commons license that allows images to be used in our hubs is “Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)” This can be used commercially, but needs attribution.

9. A Trick to Justify Text

HubPages does not have a feature to justify text in a text capsule. However, if you want to center or right-justify your text, here’s a workaround trick that I use.

You can specify left- right- or center justification in the table capsule. Remove all columns and rows so you only have one text block remaining. Then put your text in that block and specify the justification you want to use. Here are examples:

This is a Table Capsule showing left, right, and center justification.
This text is left-justified.
This text is right-justified.
This is centered text.

10. Proper Grammar and Spelling

Why is HP allowing poor English?

I still see hubs where people use poor English. I thought the Quality Assessment Process (QAP) was meant to catch these.

Examples of errors I see:

  • Wrong: Your not doing it right.
  • Correct: You're not doing it right.

  • Wrong: That use to be the way to go.
  • Correct: That used to be the way to go.

  • Wrong: You might of disabled your settings.
  • Correct: You might have disabled your settings.

  • Wrong: What is the furthest you’ve traveled?
  • Correct: What is the farthest you’ve traveled?

  • Wrong: Do you want to go to the concert with Phyllis and I?
  • Correct: Do you want to go to the concert with Phyllis and me?

If you have trouble with grammar, and you’re serious about your work as an author, it’s worthwhile getting a good book on the subject. I recommend The Perfect English Grammar Workbook by Lisa McLendon. I refer to my copy of it from time to time when I’m not sure about something.

11. View Forums Chronologically

The Forums can be viewed in chronological order or in a threaded order. Occasionally I notice that someone missed something in a discussion because they were in threaded view, which doesn’t show the last post at the bottom. It also does not show the posts in order of posting.

I always view the forums chronologically so that I can follow the entire forum thread rather than just threaded replies to individual posts.

I recommend that you don’t use threaded view, but this is entirely your choice. At least give it a try in chronological order. You can change the setting at the top right of any forum where you see these two buttons:

12. Watch Your Page Load Speed

If you use a lot of images in your hub, you need to be aware of their size and how it may be affecting page load. It’s possible that Google lowers ranking if pages load slowly.

When I take pictures with my camera to use in my hubs, I change the setting to a lower quality since I’m not intending to use the images for print. Even then, I usually reduce the size even further before uploading to HubPages.

Try to keep your images under 100 KB and under 700 pixels width. A perfect width for full-width images is 520 pixels. Remember that we shouldn’t be using two-columns anymore since they are merged on mobile anyway, as I mentioned in tip #5 above.

When reducing the size of images, make sure you maintain the quality. Images on HubPages should not become pixilated or they will not pass the QAP. They must be clear and not appear fuzzy, especially if a reader clicks to view the full-size original.

When I find images on Pixabay, I download the smallest version (with a 640-pixel width). That’s all we need for web-based usage. If I’m using it for the first image in a hub, I crop it to make it square, as I talked about previously in tip #2.

By the way, Pixabay is my preferred source for Creative Commons Public Domain images that can be used commercially.

13. Reviewing Traffic Stats with Google Analytics

You probably already know that Google Webmaster Tools no longer works for HubPages since we no longer have individual sub domains, but Google Analytics works great, and it gives us all the information we need.

Google Analytics even works across all network niche sites, so all data is tracked.

It’s important to monitor your analytics reports to know what’s going on with your traffic. I examine my reports to see how long people stay on the page reading my hubs. If they click away quickly, I examine my hub to see what's wrong.

I also compare organic traffic to traffic from other Hubbers. You want to be sure your traffic is coming from organic search. When I find that this is not the case, I review problems I might have with the title and summary. Those are the first things people see in search, and will attract them or not.

Here’s a summary of what I do with Google Analytics:

  • I use it to track the behavior flow of my readers (flow from one hub to the next).
  • I use it to see how long people stay reading each hub.
  • I use it to track the source of traffic.
  • I use it to see how many people come back for more vs. how many are new readers.
  • I use it to check the demographics of my readers.
  • I use it to see what types of devices people use to read my hubs (desktop, mobile, tablet).
  • I used it to watch people reading my hubs in real-time view. It’s cool when I see several people reading the same hub simultaneously. That means a lot.
  • I use it to show me which hubs lose readers (bounce rate).

That last item is the least to worry about. When people are done reading and close their browser rather than going to another hub, this can trigger a bounce. A more accurate indicator of losing readers is the view duration that you can see in the hub stats on each hub.

14. How to Use Flipboard to Organize Your Hubs in Groups

You might remember that once we had “Hub Groups” where we could organize our hubs in categories so that we can easily find them.

Groups have been eliminated on HubPages, but you can use Flipboard to keep track of your hubs and organize them in magazines (as they are called).

Just create a private magazine for each group and flip your hubs into those magazines. If you decide later to make the information public, you can change any magazine to public access whenever you wish.

Publically available magazines also provide a great back linking opportunity that has worked so well that HubPages decided to include a “Flip” button on our hubs. Unfortunately, few people used it and it was later removed since the low usage didn’t warrant the overhead of the share button. Nevertheless, Flipboard remains a useful tool.

My hub about using Flipboard was selected by HubPages for the Letterpile niche site: “Flipboard Online Magazine for News and Article Sharing.”

15. Following Is Meant for Reading

When someone new follows me, I examine the activity log in his or her profile. If they just followed dozens of other people in a minute or two, it’s obvious what they’re up to. They haven’t read any of my hubs, so they don’t really have an interest in following me.

They just are hoping to get followers with this trick. It makes me think they don’t feel they are good enough to capture followers with their writing, so why would I consider following them back?

When I see some real activity, then I'm motivated to check out their hubs to find something that interests me. Then I'll read it and leave a comment.

I only follow as many people via HubPages as I can honestly keep up with, but I do also follow Hubbers via other social networks such as Facebook and LinkedIn.

In addition, from time to time I check out hubs of people who follow me, as well as people posting in forums whose comments attract my attention.

16. Following for the Wrong Reason

Focus on getting followers by writing useful hubs that provide helpful or educational content.

If you're thinking that following attracts followers who read your hubs, you're mistaken. You want followers who decide to follow you based on your own merits, not because you followed them. People who follow you as a courtesy probably never read your hubs, so what’s the point?

Making money from writing is not related to how many followers you have. Although it nice to have followers among our close nit friends of HubPages, we don't make money from them since we don't (and shouldn't) click ads.

People who follow too many and can't keep up with actually reading what they write are fooling themselves, in my opinion.

17. Focus on Getting into Featured Snippets

You may have noticed that Google has a new feature that displays instant answers in the SERPs when searching for information. These are called Featured Snippets. Don’t confuse this with Rich Snippets Structured Data, which is totally different.

How do you get the information in your hub to be featured in a snippet? Here are four methods that increase your chances:

  1. Get right into answering the question posed by your title. People look for instant answers and Google will take notice and might use your content for a Featured Snippet.
  2. You’ll want to use subtitles on text capsules that clearly communicate the subject of the content in that capsule.
  3. Use bulleted lists were appropriate, and again with subtitles for the list.
  4. Use table capsules were appropriate and remember the subtitle method there too.
  5. Don’t use callout capsules for subtitles. Callout capsules should only be used for attracting attention to a noteworthy statement.

That last point deserves a full explanation. When you place a subtitle in a text capsule, or any other type capsule, it is directly tied to the content of that capsule. Google can combine that data together when formatting Featured Snippets.

However, the way the HTML coding is done, if you place the related subtitle in a separate capsule, such as a callout capsule, then Google does not have the ability to combine the elements together.

For this reason, when deciding on hubs to move to vertical niche sites, HubPages curators don’t want callout capsules used for subtitles. I confirmed this with staff.

One of the reasons that we are moving back to using subtitles rather than callouts as headings is so that articles can show up as featured snippets. Callouts don't work great in this capacity.

— Robin Edmondson - 3/15/17

18. Keep an Eye out For Plagiarism

I place a few random sentences from my hubs into Google Alerts{3} so they will notify me when a copy is found.

Make an alert for each title and for one or two sentences taken from the hub. It's a long drawn out process, but once you do it, it’s done. Just remember to do it for each new hub you publish.

If it’s too much work and you don’t feel it’s worth doing, then just do it for your hubs that get the most traffic.

19. Special Consideration for Amazon Links

One of my hubs gets Amazon sales almost every day. HubPages has moved several of my Amazon monetized hubs to niche sites. One hub that they moved even has five Amazon capsules and none were snipped from that hub.

Based on that track record, I feel I can give you a few things to consider:

  1. Amazon capsules need to be 100% related to the subject of the hub. This applies to in-text Amazon links too.
  2. It helps to be a user of the product and show authority of knowing it from first-hand experience. At the least, you must display knowledge of the product.
  3. Less is more. I found that when I removed extra capsules and left just one, I actually got more sales. I just have a couple of exceptions where I needed more capsules.
  4. Describe your experience with the product and place that text in the Amazon capsule. The Buy Now button will automatically fall below that text. I feel this provides a better user experience because you’re not pushing a “buy” button in their face. Placing the button under the description works better since it’s like having a “call to action” in the right place.
  5. Avoid spammy ads. If you just add stuff, hoping people will buy something, you will upset you readers.
  6. Use Amazon to provide value to the reader rather than hoping to make money. Think in terms of the reader. Can you honestly determine if you would order the item? If in doubt, don't include it.

20. Special Consideration for Recipe Hubs

If you publish recipes, make good use of the recipe template in the HubTool. It’s important to use all the required recipe capsules.

There are special capsules that help search engines relate to your hub as a recipe. These are:

  • Cook time
  • Ingredients
  • Cooking Instructions
  • Nutritional Facts

Rather than just putting your instructions in a text capsule, using the instructions capsule will improve the likelihood of getting your hub listed in a Google Featured Snippet (see tip# 17).

Providing the nutritional information will also increase Google’s ranking of your recipe. When I publish recipe hubs, I create an Excel Spreadsheet to add up all the nutritional information of all the ingredients.

Most ingredients have the information on the label. When I can’t find the info I need, I search Google for "Nutritional Facts" and the name of the item. Excel makes it easy to adjust for the serving size.

Example of Excel Spreadsheet for calculating nutritional values for a recipe hub.
Example of Excel Spreadsheet for calculating nutritional values for a recipe hub. | Source

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© 2017 Glenn Stok


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    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 4 days ago from Northeast Ohio

      Glenn, I've nudged HP on Thursday and heard back from Taylor on Thursday night on my Arizona article. Now I've gotten a notice that my article has been selected for HubPro Basic editing. That's good news though since I've made most of the changes to go to Wander Wisdom. Just wanted you to know. Now I can submit to a new hub.

    • Glenn Stok profile image

      Glenn Stok 6 days ago from Long Island, NY

      Kristen, That main title is good, especially now that you changed the hub to relate more clearly to a winter visit with a focus on helping the reader rather than just taking about your family trip from a personal standpoint. That latter would not be of interest to people searching for information.

      I was trying to give you pointers on improving the subtitles. Not the title. I think you still need to work on those. Think in terms of what people search for. You want to consider SEO when dealing with subtitles too.

      I responded to your copy of the email from HubPages in the other hub. You suddenly switched, so I think you may have missed part of our communication.

    • Glenn Stok profile image

      Glenn Stok 6 days ago from Long Island, NY

      Kristen, I never said you don't need the table. I said it does not work well on mobile with so many columns. What was the point of moving it to another hub? Not you have the same problem there! I asked you twice if you ever checked it on mobile preview. You never answered me. If you do that you will underdstand the problem.

      As for the title, making them shorter is not necessarily the best solution. I don't know where you got that idea. I was taking about considering what people search for.

      By the way, for those who are following this thread, Kristen switched from where the discussion began on my other tutorial hub—in case you're looking for the response I gave at the start.

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 6 days ago from Northeast Ohio

      Glenn, I've deleted the table capsule. By the way, HP wanted me to change my title to Visiting the Grand Canyon in Winter back in January. I've shared you their email back last week. And that's what I did for SEO traffic.

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 6 days ago from Northeast Ohio

      Glenn, I removed the table and moved it over to another hub, since you said I didn't need it. I did change the subtitles for SEO traffic. I made them shorter, even for the photos. Now I'm confused.

    • Anita Hasch profile image

      Anita Hasch 6 days ago from Port Elizabeth

      Thank you Glenn. I copied and pasted, the section on adding bio to hubs from your hub. Now I can refer to it all the time.

    • Glenn Stok profile image

      Glenn Stok 6 days ago from Long Island, NY

      I looked at the Grand Canyon hub again. It's better. But you need to watch your grammar. I noticed a couple of errors. You also switch between past tense and present tense. You should remain consistent.

      What's not done:

      You didn't fix the table. Did you examine how it looks on mobile?

      You didn't change the subtitles as I suggested to attract search traffic. That's where the power of getting organic traffic lies—in the title and subtitles.

      I'm not going to look at your other hub, no time. You need to get this one done first anyway.

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 7 days ago from Northeast Ohio

      You can check my Top Leafy Green Vegetable hub that I just fixed right now. I hope to send it to Calorie Bee tomorrow or Friday after I hear back from you.

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 7 days ago from Northeast Ohio

      Hi Glenn. It's been two weeks and now word from HP yet on my article. I did work on your suggestions and fixed my travelogue article. I want mine to be similar to Bill D.'s France/Italy travelogues. So let me know if this is better. I'm thinking of emailing HP on the status tomorrow. I also working on my Top Leafy Greens and fixed formatting as I've gotten feedback from my online crit list yesterday. Feel free to check it out tomorrow after I tweak it. I'll be reworking on the Expressively Writing hub next week and my Benefits for Pilates hub as well.

    • Glenn Stok profile image

      Glenn Stok 10 days ago from Long Island, NY

      Anita, I show how to add your bio to your hubs in my other hub: "12 Overlooked Writing Techniques for Successful Hubs"

    • Anita Hasch profile image

      Anita Hasch 10 days ago from Port Elizabeth

      Thanks again for the tips. I need to improve my old hubs. We were also taught to never start a sentence with, but or and. However, I then noticed that some of the best sellers writing fiction were doing it. I now do it as well as I feel that it lets the story flow.

    • Anita Hasch profile image

      Anita Hasch 10 days ago from Port Elizabeth

      Thanks Glenn for very useful info. I still have to read up on how to include a bio on each hub.

    • Glenn Stok profile image

      Glenn Stok 11 days ago from Long Island, NY

      Krzysztof Willman - I do the same thing as you. I use callout capsules to make important statements visually stand out, but then I also include subtitles with the text capsules when I want Google to make a relationship between the title and the content of the capsule.

      So what you're doing is fine. Leave it alone. Callout capsules are still useful for the way you are using them, as long as you realize that Google doesn't connect them with the following text capsule content.

    • Chriswillman90 profile image

      Krzysztof Willman 11 days ago from Parlin, New Jersey

      Plenty of great information, I'll have to bookmark this hub. My only question relates to the call-out capsules, I usually have a call out capsule addressing a topic, then an image or video, and finally a text capsule with a subtitle in it.

      Should I remove the call-out capsules all together and just have the pics and text capsules?

    • Glenn Stok profile image

      Glenn Stok 3 weeks ago from Long Island, NY

      Sunil - Yes it's true that hubs still remaining on HubPages' main site are not getting much organic traffic any longer. You need to put more effort into getting your hubs moved to the vertical niche sites. That's were the traffic is doing well.

    • sunilkunnoth2012 profile image

      Sunil Kumar Kunnoth 3 weeks ago from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India)

      Very informative and helpful post. I will follow these tips seriously to improve my writing and design of hubs. Still, I am a little bit disappointed for the fact that nowadays, the traffic and earning from HP is very disappointing. Hope you will write more hubs to help the fellow writers. Keep on writing. All the best.

    • Glenn Stok profile image

      Glenn Stok 3 weeks ago from Long Island, NY

      Welcome to HubPages Tomi. It's good that you are researching what needs to be done for successful writing. There are many writers on HubPages who offer helpful tips. You will notice who they are as you continue to peruse the forums. I also have another hub with "12 Overlooked Writing Techniques" for hubs.

    • tomsmithnow profile image

      Tomi Smith 3 weeks ago

      This article was packed with so many good tips on writing articles. It's so obvious that you are so knowledgeable and successful at writing.

      I have written down some of your tips such as: referrers, search terms, and being mobile friendly, which I will have to read your other article on that too, at some point.

      I found your trick about justifying text capsule by using a table capsule interesting too.

      Thank you for writing such a well thought out article. It will really come in handy.

    • swalia profile image

      Shaloo Walia 6 weeks ago

      Very helpful tips... Thanks for sharing!

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 7 weeks ago from Northeast Ohio

      Glennn, I've heard back from Karla at HP. She said no reason why my blackout hub was passed. But she told me, my Arizona hub is still in the long editing queue--and told me to resubmit it after I fix grammar and formatting. I did fix grammar back in January with a friend and Grammarly. So I'll resub this hub next month in place of another.

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 7 weeks ago from Northeast Ohio

      Okay Glenn. I've looked at Owlcation's editorial policy last week and HowTheyPlay's too. But it's mainly commentary for HTP. I would have to try to figure it out this summer and just let it stay on HP as is. I hope you're right about the poetry though. But it couldn't hurt to try.

    • Glenn Stok profile image

      Glenn Stok 7 weeks ago from Long Island, NY

      Kristen, As I mentioned previously, that hub of yours discusses game playing, which is why it fits better in HowTheyPlay. Owlcation, on the other hand, has a strict Editorial Policy that doesn't match the focus you have on games.

      As for poetry, I have two poem hubs that were both selected and moved to Letterpile, but I'm finding that poems don't do as well as other subjects. I don't want to discourage you though. Go for it.

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 7 weeks ago from Northeast Ohio

      Glenn, no word from HP on why they thought my blackout hub was a better fit for HowTheyPlay than Owlcation yet. So I don't know how to make it a good fit by adding commentary to one hub capsule that mentions playing games with the family and nothing else. We'll see how my sunset poetry does with Letterpile this week and my revamped Expressively writing hub does in 2 weeks.

    • B. Leekley profile image

      Brian Leekley 2 months ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

      I bookmarked this hub so I can refer to it when I'm creating or updating a hub.

    • Anita Hasch profile image

      Anita Hasch 2 months ago from Port Elizabeth

      A very interesting hub. I still have a lot to learn. Thanks Glenn

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 2 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Okay Glenn. I'll work on both articles (this one and Expressively writing) this month and have it ready for fall., Thanks for the tips. I'll try my blackout in two weeks and maybe start flipping hubs this weekend.

    • Glenn Stok profile image

      Glenn Stok 2 months ago from Long Island, NY

      Kristen, Why wait till August. Any fixes you apply now will increase its ranking and being more organic traffic. If you wait, Google will continue to reduce the ranking. For example, that section where you mention February being the important month takes away from Google ranking your hub any other month of the year. Waiting to remove that will continue to hurt your traffic. Then if you try to submit to a niche in August, the poor traffic will reflect badly on any possibility of getting accepted. I suggest you never limit a hub to get traffic in only one specific month.

      Grammarly doesn't catch everything, such as the items I pointed out. Word doesn't catch everything either, but it catches some things Grammarly doesn't.

      Per your last comment, helping you online allows others to benefit from the discussion also.

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 2 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Glenn, I did it through Grammarly app and tweaked it two days ago. I've made some changes. I had one Amazon capsule and removed one, since I couldn't find the item on Amazon. Thanks for the tips. I'll work on this in August and see what happens this fall. I wish I can email you for outside help.

    • Glenn Stok profile image

      Glenn Stok 2 months ago from Long Island, NY

      Kristen, I took a look at your hub. I don’t think the problem is with mobile friendliness. You did a good job with that issue. However, I do see a few other things that need attention:

      • You have no content in your Amazon capsule. This is where you should discuss your experience with the product. This will display your authority on the item.

      • Remove the reference to February since that limits the hub to one month a year.

      • You have some run-on sentences. Divide your sentences into individual thoughts. In some cases you have a lot of commas where you could have had periods and had started a new sentence. Doing so makes it read better – with improved comprehension. Readers appreciate that and will keep reading. If they get lost due to run-on sentences, they tend to drop out and Google detects a short view duration – lowering your ranking.

      * You also have a sentence that ends abruptly as if you chopped off the ending. See your description of the American Heart Association and fix that. You can even shorten it since it takes away from the focus.

      * Remove wordiness that adds no value to the content. People want quick results when reading on the Internet.

      * Don’t start sentences with “But”. Usually it’s better to say “However.”

      * Don’t start sentences with “So.” Many times you can just remove that word. Try it and you’ll see what I mean.

      If you have MS Word, run it though the Grammar/spell check. That’s what I do and it catches a lot of issues before I publish.

      I hope you accept this for what it’s worth. Just trying to help. Let me know how it goes.

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 2 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      HI Glenn. My Healthy Meals hub was declined from Carolie Bee after I proofread it and made sure it was mobile-friendly. :-( I'll try this hub again this fall.

    • Glenn Stok profile image

      Glenn Stok 2 months ago from Long Island, NY

      I hope you make good use of the suggestions Amelia.

    • easylearningweb profile image

      Amelia Griggs 2 months ago

      Great tips Glenn! Another good read, thanks for sharing.

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 2 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      I remember that. It would be nice. So much for wishful thinking, right? I hope to do new hubs this summer, and after I resolve my computer issues somehow. My goal is to get at least 20 hubs into niches by the end of the year, including the one that's in the editing queue. (I'll save my pi-yo hubs for last, and if I have more time to send them their way for approval.)

    • Glenn Stok profile image

      Glenn Stok 2 months ago from Long Island, NY

      Every week would be nice Kristen. I've averaged about one a week for a while between my new hubs being selected by the curators and older hubs that I submitted. When they started accepting submissions it was limited to once every other month, so it's better now.

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 2 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Thanks Glenn. I'll do my best. I have a long way to go get half of my hubs appoved in niches. I might have to come to you for pre-niche help, if I have no luck. Good idea to have a reminder. I have it marked on my calender for every two weeks. I wish you can submit every week. :-)

    • Glenn Stok profile image

      Glenn Stok 2 months ago from Long Island, NY

      Kristen, That's great news. Keep it going. I have a reminder in my computer to alert me every 14 days that another submission is due, so I don't forget. I keep list of the planned order of hubs to submit, although I change that order many times as I see traffic views changing.

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 2 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Glenn, I got another hub moved to Letter Pile--I've moved my How to Self-Edit like a Pro hub approved from HP after they had made some final editorial tweaks to it. Two hubs in a niche, one in the editing queue still. I'll do another hub in two weeks and try Calorie Bee again. I'll keep you posted. I'll work on my Expressive Writing hub next month to get it ready for July.

    • Glenn Stok profile image

      Glenn Stok 3 months ago from Long Island, NY

      I appreciate the feedback Audrey. It's always nice to know how useful my efforts are to others. Let me know how the face-lift to your hubs helps with traffic after a while.

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 3 months ago from Nashville Tn.

      What an eye opener! You've no idea how helpful this hub is. I know what I'm going to be doing for the next few weeks. I don't need a "Fairy God Mother....uh...God Father, I need you and your expertise hovering near.

      You've inspired me Glenn and I'm ready to give my hubs a face-lift.

      Thank you so much.


    • CatherineGiordano profile image

      Catherine Giordano 3 months ago from Orlando Florida

      I learned a lot from this hub. I'm going to have to come back to reread some of the sections because it is a lot to absorb. Thanks for providing this information.

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 3 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Okay thanks Glenn. I'll send you an email or comment here and let you know. I'll give it a go.

    • Glenn Stok profile image

      Glenn Stok 3 months ago from Long Island, NY

      Ven, The search phrases may show only a few because each person types it a different way, but the main problem is that Google doesn't capture the search if the user opted out of that. Make sure you click the "Total" tab to see all the search phrases available. When you click the number next to each phrase you'll see graph of when that phrase was used in a search.

    • Glenn Stok profile image

      Glenn Stok 3 months ago from Long Island, NY

      Kristen, I'm not reprinting the email they sent you, but I'll reply to you question. Just take it step by step. If anything they mentioned is not understood, let me know and I'll explain it. However, I realize that I addressed each item they brought up in my various tutorial hubs.

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 3 months ago from Hyderabad, India

      Glenn, I do not understand how they are showing the search phrases. It shows 3 or 4 Top Search Phrases per article. If I get a total of say 1000 views for an article, it shows some 300 views with one search phrase and the other phrases are showing only 1 or 2 views. What does it mean? Most of the views are not from search phrases? Are they only from our friends and circles?

    • Glenn Stok profile image

      Glenn Stok 3 months ago from Long Island, NY

      Kristen, Yes, but just make sure you also did everything they mentioned in the email they sent you when it was rejected. You might even be able to resubmit it before 14 days are up since they usually tag it to permit resubmitting when they request changes. You'll know when you click the submit tab. Good luck with it.

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 3 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Got it Glenn. Now can I resubmit a hub that's been declined for a niche, if I make it mobile friendly and such?

    • Glenn Stok profile image

      Glenn Stok 3 months ago from Long Island, NY

      You got it Ven! That's exactly what you need to do. A hub can be written with great quality, but if the terms people search for are missing, it will not be found. The fact that HubPages shows us the search terms people use - is very helpful to discover what changes you need to make.

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 3 months ago from Hyderabad, India

      Very useful article, Glenn.

      Particularly, your 4th point regarding checking the stats tab at the top of hubs is very important for me as I lack in search traffic. For eg., my hub about Constipation, Bloating Stomach tells me that there are no search terms found for it. I should fix it. I need to check all my hubs to see what search terms are working and what to add more for improving the traffic.

    • Glenn Stok profile image

      Glenn Stok 3 months ago from Long Island, NY

      Kristen, It's time well spent. Believe me. You want readers to see your credentials right up front. It helps get them hooked. You only need to make a bio for each niche you write about. Then just apply the correct bio to each hub. You can do that all from one place under the "About The Author" tab. You do it once and it's done.

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 3 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Glenn, sorry about that. I do include my bios before I submit to a niche site like CalorieBee. I have 4 bios right now. I would have to spend some time updating them with their requirements per niche site, which seems a lot of work. I'll check those tutorials out and make them mobile friendly as well this weekend. Thanks for the sound advice.

    • Glenn Stok profile image

      Glenn Stok 3 months ago from Long Island, NY

      Heidi, Those horizontal images would look good on mobile devices. Nothing wrong with that. However, you also need to look at your own profile page and see what your thumbnail images look like. That's what I see a lot of people skip doing and they have no idea that important parts are cut off.

      It's okay to use horizontal rectangles. Just make sure the main parts of the image stay within the cropped thumbnail, especially if you have text on the image.

    • Glenn Stok profile image

      Glenn Stok 3 months ago from Long Island, NY

      Kristen, I must be losing my mind. I don't remember telling you about tidbit. Where was that discussion? I didn't realize you were having such as tough time with getting your hubs into the niche sites. Make sure you update them properly with all the requirements. See both of my latest tutorials for help, as well as my hub about mobile friendliness, which I see you are not doing. I also see you are missing you bio. That's a major miss, especially since it's the first thing people see at the top of your hubs. Once you get these things taken care of, you'll start getting those hubs moved over.

    • Glenn Stok profile image

      Glenn Stok 3 months ago from Long Island, NY

      Donna, You don't need to write more. At least not at the moment. I see you already have 101 hubs and you haven't updated any of them for over 2 and 3 years. So much has changed since then with Google and requirements for niche sites (you do have four already – that's a start). I would recommend the first thing you do is review your existing hubs and bring them up to present standards so you get them into the niche sites. That's where the money is.

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 3 months ago from Chicago Area

      Fantastic tips, Glenn! I'm going to have to look at the "square" issue for the main images. Usually my images are in horizontal rectangles. They look pretty good in the mobile preview (which I always check when writing a hub). But you make a good point for the new niche sites. Thanks, as always, for sharing your practical insight with us!

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 3 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Glenn, thanks for letting me know that tidbit. I would have to experiment it. I did read your hub on it a month ago or so, before the button was removed. As for niches, I did know that. Much better than when it was prevously after 2 months. But most of my hubs have been declined, except for two hubs-one's still in the editing queue since January, (Arizona in Winter), and one's in Letterpile (Netgalley) in February. Even my poetry hub (Fire in the Sky) have been declined for the same reason as others. But I did submit one in today.

    • Kristine Manley profile image

      Donna Kristine 3 months ago from Atlanta, GA

      Great article. I like #10, proper grammar and spelling, piece. I have fallen off the bandwagon, and need to begin writing more often. I also need to know more about Google Analytics. Thanks for sharing.

    • Glenn Stok profile image

      Glenn Stok 3 months ago from Long Island, NY

      You're right about Pinterest Mary. You don't need to make the main images square as long as you place the text within a square center area of the image. I I've done that with some of mine. The thumbnail still gets truncated, but the text remains fully visible as long as it's placed correctly.

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 3 months ago from Brazil

      I am guilty of my writing being cut off in the thumbnails. Darn! Thanks for calling my attention to that.

      Because I receive a fair amount of traffic from Pinterest, I wonder if square is best, though.

      I think Pinterest like a tall rectangle with a width of 735px.

      It looks like I need to make a few adjustments.

      Thanks for the information.

    • Glenn Stok profile image

      Glenn Stok 3 months ago from Long Island, NY

      Elayne, if it helps any, I see you have overlooked a number of important strategies that I talk about in this hub. That may be why your Hubber score dropped to 51 at this moment. Now that you read my tips you'll know what to fix.

      Here are a few things that I noticed when I looked over your hubs:

      • You are following almost 2000 people. Do you actually read their hubs? If not, that may affect your score IMO.

      • I see you have a lot of self-promotionnal links in your profile description. First of all, they don't work. However, it also makes it look like you are using HubPages for spamming rather than directing people to your hubs. The "follow me" icons suffice for that.

      • You have 345 hubs and only one in a niche site. Are you able to keep up with maintenance of 345 hubs? Are you working on this and submitting every two weeks?

      * You only have one bio and it doesn't even relate to the subject of your hubs. In addition, you hardly use it since it's only in a few of your hubs. That's what I mean about having too many hubs to handle. You reach a point of diminishing returns, in my opinion, and it starts to work against you.

      I hope you take this information with the attitude it is meant. I realize you spent a lot of time writing. It would be a shame to lose out because of overlooking these points. By the way, scores don't mean everything, but let's see your score get up above 90 anyway! I know you can do it.

    • elayne001 profile image

      Elayne 3 months ago from Rocky Mountains

      I'm impressed with your progress and achievements in Hubpages. You really have studied it out and made a go of it. I fell from the 80s to the 50s and can't seem to get back. Thanks for the great tips!! Congratulations!

    • Glenn Stok profile image

      Glenn Stok 3 months ago from Long Island, NY

      Kristen, you can use Flipboard for non-niche too, but read my hub on Flipboard for details. It works better with niche hubs. By the way, did you know you can submit one hub every 14 days to niche sites?

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 3 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Thanks Glen for letting me know. Can you use it for non-niched hubs or just for niches? I don't have many niched-ones these days. I might give it a go this weekend.

    • Glenn Stok profile image

      Glenn Stok 3 months ago from Long Island, NY

      Kristen Howe - Flipboard is still very useful and HubPages still approves using it, as one staff member posted recently. Only the share button was removed for reasons I stated. I never used the button anyway. I always flipped directly in Flipboard by pasting the URL. Some people prefer installing the Flip button on their browser.

    • Glenn Stok profile image

      Glenn Stok 3 months ago from Long Island, NY

      Buildreps - LOL. Some things can really get tiring. The image thing really gets me. I sometimes finish cropping for the main image only to discover later that I missed it by a fraction and some text is cut off on the thumbnail. Then I need to redo the image text.

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 3 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Great hub Glenn. Very useful and resourceful to improve your hubs. As for Flipboard, I never had gotten a chance to use it, before HP removed it. Oh well.

    • Buildreps profile image

      Buildreps 3 months ago from Europe

      Interesting article, Glenn. I actually learned some things, which seem to be simple but are very effective, like the square images, the mobile friendly thing, and the trick to justify texts. I am a lazy author, I get already tired when I thinking of Analytics, Flipboard and Alert.

      Good work.