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12 Overlooked Writing Techniques for Successful Hubs

Updated on March 7, 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.

As I read other Hubs and engage in the forums, I see that some people don’t use all the available tools to achieve success with their writing on HubPages. My mission with this discussion is to bring these tools and features to your attention. This is also useful for newbies and anyone deciding to write for HubPages.
2015 Lifetime Achievement Award
2015 Lifetime Achievement Award

You Write Articles

Don’t You?


When mentioning your hubs to the outside world, or referring to another hub in a hub, don’t refer to them as a hub. Only other Hubbers know what that is. Refer to it as an "article."

Most of our traffic is organic, from the outside world. At least that’s the traffic we hope to get.

In addition, don’t call it a blog! I see some people doing that. HubPages is not a blog site. Articles are stand-alone pages of informative content. Blogs may be informative too, but are less formal and don't require as much research.


"About The Author" Bio

Do You Include This?


The most usually missed feature is the Author Bio. I read so many hubs that are missing this.

Don’t confuse this with the profile bio. The Author Bio is managed under the "About the Author" tab under your account page. You can include a short bio with your avatar image on your individual Hubs. You can create up to 25 individual bios and each is limited to 140 characters.

The purpose of each bio is to provide a description of your expertise in the topic so that readers can see that you have authority on the subject. The presence of a bio under your avatar helps the reader have confidence in you and rely on the information in your article.

I created several individual bios, each one specific to the categories I write about. If all your hubs are related to one theme, then you probably only need one Author Bio. However, most of us tend to write hubs on a variety of unrelated subjects. A unique bio for each category will relate better and add to your reader’s confidence in your writing.

Once you have created one or more bios, you can assign each of your hubs to each bio. There is no limit to how many hubs can be assigned to a bio. You’re just limited to the 25 bios.

Remember, you should make each bio relate well to the assigned hubs. I write most of my bios in a general way so they can be applied to several different hubs. However, in one case I decided to make a bio very specific to the hub as shown below. You’re free to do that as long as it helps the reader gain confidence in your authority on the subject of the hub.

The point is that you should write your bio so that it works well for each of your hubs. Just remember that the bio is meant to express author credibility.

Here is an example of my bio I use for my product review hubs. This is the format on the top of the niche sites. It's a little different on the main site and appears on the right of the hub. Eventually HubPages may make the main site match the same layout.

Display Options in the HubTool

Do You Set These?


Open the Display Options when you’re editing your hub with the HubTool. I always set two things there before I even start, just so I don’t forget later.

  1. Turn on the copyright notice. This shows the Year of Publication, which does not change when you update your hub. It also protects you because it shows Google when the hub was first published in case you need to file a DMCA takedown notice when you find a plagiarized copy.
  2. Select the Author Bio you want to use from the list of Bios you had created as I discussed above. You can also create a new bio right from the Display Options if you hadn't created one already.

Click the "save" button when done. Here's an example:

Have you been using the Author Bio and remembering to set the Display Options?

See results

True Image Avatar and Real Name

Do You Care?


There was a time when Google included our image in the SERPs as long as you had a real face image. They discontinued that for reasons that are outside of the scope of this article, but I feel it still helps show that you are legitimate.

There is so much competition on the Internet that when people search for information and discover an answer written by a dog, a cat, or a tree, they tend to think it wasn’t written by someone who has authority on the subject if they can’t show their face. Please don’t shoot the messenger; I’m just sharing that with you.

A real name, or at least something that looks like a real name, also makes a better impression. Pen names are fine. Even if you used a meaningless username, you can add your real name in your profile settings and that will be displayed in your hubs.


Selecting a Good Title for Your Hubs

Do You Research This?


You can take advantage of a search feature of Google and Bing. When you start to type anything to search, it completes it as you type. This actually provides clues to what other people are searching. Google also shows you alternative search words at the bottom of your search.

This is valuable in helping create good titles that work well with attracting traffic.

You’re not done. Go back after a few months of publishing to fine-tune your titles. Data about search strings may have accumulated after several months. You should look over what people have been typing into search engines when they found you. This can help improve your title.

Click the "Search Phrases" tab under the “Stats” tab on the hub you want to work on. Then click on the period of time you want to review.

When constructing or changing your title, remember that it should clearly state what you discuss in your hub. In addition, you need to deliver on that and stay focused. Avoid anything that does not relate specifically to what the title indicates. I see some hubs where the writer goes off on tangents and I lose interest – not knowing the point he or she is trying to make.

Titles should also be limited to around 60 characters, because anything longer gets cut off in the search listings (SERPs). It’s not exactly 60 characters because character width affects what gets truncated. More ‘I’s and less ‘W’s and you might get away with a longer title, but don’t go crazy with that.

Just keep in mind that people may not see enough of the title to convince them to click to your hub.


Select a Good URL for Your Hubs

Do You Skip This?


You only have one chance to specify the URL and that is when you first create the hub. After that, it remains constant even when you change the title.

I see that most Hubbers let the URL default to the same as the title. The problem with that is if you ever drastically change the title, the URL may not relate as well.

I like to specify a URL that is more generalized than the title so I’m not so locked in to a specific theme that I may change as the hub matures and I collect search strings (remember that from the previous section?).

As soon as you start to create a new hub you will see the title field as the first entry, as shown below. After you enter a title, the URL will automatically fill in to match the title. Notice that directly above the title field is where you can override the URL. Remember, this is your only chance you have to change the URL.


HubPages keeps the URL static so that incoming links don’t break. However, there are cases where it’s forced to change, such as moving to a network niche site or changing the main topic. In those cases HP makes a 301 redirect so Search Engines are informed and older incoming links follow the redirect.

Do you override the URL when you create a new hub?

See results

Purposeless Amazon Ads

Do You Include Personal Content?


I often see Amazon ads in hubs with absolutely no personal description. Amazon capsules have a description field and you should use it to discuss your personal experience of the product. That helps make the ad “personal” instead of just another ad.

Google has been cracking down on Doorway Pages, those that encourage readers to click through to another page. Google may lower ranking of hubs that don’t have enough substantial content discussing the product in the Amazon capsule.

This is why HubPages is so strict about it. If you do it right, you won’t have a problem. I know – I have a hub with five Amazon capsules that was moved to a niche site without snipping.

Showing that you have knowledge of the product from personal experience with it is important. You need to discuss how you use the product. At the least you need to show knowledge of the product, even if you don’t use it yourself, and explain why you are recommending it.

In addition, It MUST relate to the title of the hub. A recipe hub, for example, should not have an ad for a kitchen utensil unless your hub is a review of that utensil. Get the point? Google sure does – and they will downgrade for it, unless HubPages protects you first with a snip snip here and a snip snip there.


Mobile Preview

Do You Check This?


You don’t need a smart phone to see what your hubs look like on mobile. HubPages has a mobile preview built right into the HubTool.

According to 150 top experts on SEO surveyed on MOZ, mobile friendliness has an 88% impact on Google's ranking.

Did you know that your hubs are displayed only as one column on mobile phones? If you use two columns the right-hand column may not be inserted in the right place to make sense to the reader.

Sometimes I see hubs where the author refers to images in the right column. They say “see the image at the right.” However, the image is not on the right when viewed on a mobile device. It may be above or below the text.

This is why it's important to check the mobile preview before you publish a new hub. More importantly, stop using the right column for images or text-blocks.

HubPages will eventually discontinue two-column format anyway and all images will be full-width in order to support the growing mobile audience. They didn’t give a time frame for that yet, so get ready now. I eliminate the right column whenever I update older hubs and I make most of my images full-width.

Mobile preview is available by clicking “Mobile Preview” under the “Preview” tab when editing your hub.

I go into more detail about creating mobile friendly hubs in: “How to Increase Google Traffic from Smartphones


Global Comments Review

Do You Moderate Comments This Way?


How do you moderate your comment? Do you go into each hub? In a forum discussion I discovered that some people do it that way.

In case you don’t’ know, under the “Comment” tab of the account page you can review and moderate all comments in one place. There is no need to log into niche sites and moderate each hub individually.

Just click on "My Account" and then select the "Comments" tab. You can approve or deny as well as reply to all your comments.

You can even change the filter to view comments you have previously denied and comments that you never moderated and HP had to approve for you. Two other filters show you comments that went into your spam folder and your low quality folder. More on this next.


Unrelated Comments


Comments that are not related to the subject are not helpful from an SEO standpoint. Sometimes people get into a discussion and go off on tangents.

I go along with it when appropriate, responding to personal comments as a courtesy, but then later delete them after having been read by the specific person for whom it was meant.

Keep in mind that if a comment doesn't serve a purpose for the general public, and add value to the actual subject matter, then it should not be included.


Low Quality Comments and Spam

Do You Review These?


Low-quality comments are known to negatively affect your Google ranking. These are comments that don’t add value. It’s nice to have someone say “nice hub” but these things don’t add value to the subject.

Most of the time people who just say two words are really doing it for their own recognition, in my opinion. Otherwise they would say something that shows they actually read the hub, and add something meaningful to the conversation.

Google is cracking down on this practice. They consider it spam, which hurts your hub.

Therefore you need to be diligent with moderating your comments and removing anything that is low quality. Go to your global comment moderation page and change the filter to "Low Quality." You can delete them permanently or approve them if you think they are okay.

While you’re moderating comments, delete any spam, such as self-promotional links. HubPages automatically hides most spam in your spam filter but some of it gets through.


HubPages Blogs and Announcements

Do You Read Them?


Did you know HubPages has a blog? Many questions I see in the forums have been answered in the blog. In addition, sometimes I see complaints about changes and new features that were not announced. They were!

Announcements are always in the blog as well as emailed to everyone. Do you have notifications enabled in you settings? You should be getting a weekly Newsletter from HubPages. If not, then check your email settings. There’s no excuse for missing out on important announcements.


Curators and Editors

Are You With Them?


They are just extremely busy right now. Having hired a team of new curators/editors, they are working on moving forward with selections of hubs for niche sites. In the process they have curators assigned to specific niche sites. These curators are well-educated editors. In some cases they use their best judgment for edits and snips made to hubs, but in general they follow a common routine.

The curators are free to be creative (within limits of course), which helps tremendously with improving our hubs. I am pleased with the process.

I have been in communication with several of the curators about the changes to my hubs and in the end it turned out better. I have also learned a thing or two that I went ahead and implemented in my other hubs as well. Keep an open mind to what’s being done. These professionals are paid to improve earnings that benefit both you and HubPages. We’re in this together.

As you can see, HubPages gives you the tools to help with success, so use them.


© 2017 Glenn Stok

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    • sallybea profile image

      Sally Gulbrandsen 4 months ago from Norfolk

      I have always let the URL default to the same as the title which is something I need to experiment with next time I write a hub. I never found this the easiest part of creating a hub. I had problems with not being able to cut and paste the title I wanted into the URL line but I think this issue may now be resolved. Useful hub especially for people starting out on their Hubpages journey, thanks, Glenn.

    • Glenn Stok profile image
      Author

      Glenn Stok 4 months ago from Long Island, NY

      Yes Sally, I remember having that discussion with you in the forum. I gave you a solution to get around the bug that doesn't count the length when pasting text into the URL field, and HubPages staff also jumped in and made changes to the code to improve the function. If it still fails, my trick of typing an extra character after pasting will always resolve the problem.

    • sallybea profile image

      Sally Gulbrandsen 4 months ago from Norfolk

      Thanks, Glenn I have bookmarked that hint somewhere in my brain cells. I will dig it out the very next time I publish a hub.

    • Gina Welds-Hulse profile image

      Gina Welds Hulse 4 months ago from Rockledge, Florida

      Thanks for this article, Glenn. Could you show me how to put on the copyright? I use a laptop. I think I am utilizing most of what you mention but did not realize that I could add a copyright. This would be helping as I found out yesterday that my most popular article was stolen and republished on another blog. I filed a dispute.

    • Glenn Stok profile image
      Author

      Glenn Stok 4 months ago from Long Island, NY

      Gina - I just added instructions directly on the image of the Display Options box. That will make it clearer how to enable the copyright message, as well as specify the bio you want to use. Take a look.

    • Gina Welds-Hulse profile image

      Gina Welds Hulse 4 months ago from Rockledge, Florida

      I saw that. It doesn't show up that way on my computer, for some reason. I'm going to keep trying.

    • Glenn Stok profile image
      Author

      Glenn Stok 4 months ago from Long Island, NY

      Gina - Click the little down-arrow to open/expand the Display Options box.

    • Margaret Schindel profile image

      Margaret Schindel 4 months ago from Massachusetts

      Glenn, thank you so much for sharing that tip about being able to change the default URL before a Hub is published for the first time! That's wonderful to know. I appreciate your ongoing generosity with your knowledge.

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 4 months ago from Chicago Area

      Excellent tips, Glenn! Thankfully, I use all of them and can't imagine why people don't. They're available for all of us here on HP.

      I'm so glad I can use different bios. I have a handful of specialty topics and one-bio-does-not-fit-all.

      I also use the mobile preview when proofing my hubs prior to publishing. Not only does this help figure out if it's mobile friendly, I find I see errors I might have missed looking at it in the desktop version.

      One thing I also do in researching my titles is use a free online tool, keywordtool.io. In addition to the auto fill-in that Google and Bing do, it provides a list of other relevant terms. I see where my title fits into that list to determine if there's something better.

      Thanks for all the great tips and insight you provide! Have a great day!

    • Glenn Stok profile image
      Author

      Glenn Stok 4 months ago from Long Island, NY

      Margaret Schindel - You're welcome. I'm pleased to share that. I notice so many people miss that one. Some people even have keywords in their URL that no longer relate to the hub after having made changes.

    • Glenn Stok profile image
      Author

      Glenn Stok 4 months ago from Long Island, NY

      Heidi Thorne - Thats great that you use all those features of HubPages! I think the reason any not everyone uses them is that they just don't know, and they don't read the learning center or keep up to date with announcements. That seems clear when I see people complain in the forum about things that were clearly announced.

      I also use auto fill-in from both search engines – not only when I create a new hub, but also with old hubs I had published years ago, just to give them new life. Thanks for sharing keywordtool.io with us. I'll have to give that a try. It looks like it gets information form several search engines, as well as from Amazon.

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 4 months ago from Hyderabad, India

      Very useful advice provided, Glenn. I follow most of them. Thank you for reminding all these options available to our Hubbers.

      But, I link my articles after publishing to the related bio not when creating the hub.

      Regarding moderation of comments, I get the notification whenever a comment is posted and I immediately moderate and reply to it instantly.

      I never had any touch with the curator or editors as I didn't get any occasion.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 4 months ago from The Caribbean

      Glen, this is very helpful. I have not been using the tools which help us manage our comments. Thanks to you, I will now. Thanks also for the Heads Up on the double column format. Very thoughtful of you to put this information together.

    • Britt Bogan profile image

      Britt Bogan 4 months ago

      Glenn, this is great stuff! Thanks for using your experience to help everyone out. :D

    • Glenn Stok profile image
      Author

      Glenn Stok 4 months ago from Long Island, NY

      Venkatachari - It's up to you if you assign your bio afterwards or while still in the HubTool. I like to do it in the HubTool just so I don't forget to do it later. I already have all my bios written, so I just select one. I'm glad you moderate comments immediately. I try to keep up with it too, within an hour as long as I'm available when notified. I don't always reply if there is nothing to reply to with added value.

      Just the other day one of my comments I left in someone's Hub a year ago was finally approved. Some Hubbers just don't pay attention. That's why HubPages decided to start moderating comments.

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 4 months ago from Brazil

      This is excellent and I am guilty of not doing a few of these, just this week I referred to one of my articles as a hub. I need to correct that.

      I too feel pleased to have the editors on board, I know they are working for the betterment of the site.

      Regarding author bios, I must update mine and create some which better reflect the nature of the articles.

      Venkatachari is referring to the picture of you holding the mug, I too thought it was Billy Buc, initially. I never noticed the resemblance until today.

      I'm bookmarking this to use as a reminder if I slip back into my old habits.

      Well done and useful, thanks.

    • Glenn Stok profile image
      Author

      Glenn Stok 4 months ago from Long Island, NY

      You're right Mary, we do look the same. I just noticed that, especially with the expression I have.

    • Larry Slawson profile image

      Larry Slawson 4 months ago from North Carolina

      Really interesting hub! Thank you for posting this! Very helpful to read all of this!

    • Glenn Stok profile image
      Author

      Glenn Stok 4 months ago from Long Island, NY

      I just added an additional section to this article: "Unrelated Comments"

    • Kaili Bisson profile image

      Kaili Bisson 4 months ago from Canada

      Thank you for these great reminders Glenn...most I do, but will pay more attention to things like URL name going forward.

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 4 months ago from Hyderabad, India

      Glen, I thought that image to be of Billybuc as it resembles him which is evident from Blondlogic's comment also. Sorry for the confusion. I assumed he might have been invited to present the gifts along with other senior hubbers (it happens at functions to invite guests to award the gifts to one another as a token of respect and gesture). Now, I came to know that both of you resemble one another. Thanks for the clarification and other points revealed by you in the comment.

    • letstalkabouteduc profile image

      McKenna Meyers 4 months ago from Bend, OR

      Thanks for this helpful article, Glenn (I'm not using "hub" any longer)!There's so much to learn and remember so it's beneficial to have it broken down like this. I didn't know about the copyright in "display options" so I'm switching to that on all my articles.

    • Glenn Stok profile image
      Author

      Glenn Stok 4 months ago from Long Island, NY

      Venkatachari - Only HubPages staff would present the award, and they did with a very nice email expressing their appreciation.

    • Glenn Stok profile image
      Author

      Glenn Stok 4 months ago from Long Island, NY

      Nancy Mitchell (letstalkabouteduc) - I don't understand. What do you mean you're not using HubPages any longer? I see you have a lot of activity writing and updating hubs. Well, you said "hub" so maybe you mean something else.

    • CreeViking profile image

      Robin Olsen 4 months ago from Rural Canada

      Awesome, I am particularly happy to learn about the copyright notice as I have had two of my hubs basically stolen for content and until today was unaware I could mark them in this way. As a amateur, someone stealing my content was a totally foreign thing to me...

    • Glenn Stok profile image
      Author

      Glenn Stok 4 months ago from Long Island, NY

      Robin - The copyright notice also protects hubs that were moved to niche sites. When filing a DMCA takedown request, some hosting services don't believe that your hub was stolen when it was done before the move. But the copyright shows the actual date of the first publication.

    • easylearningweb profile image

      Amelia Griggs 4 months ago

      Hey Glenn, this is really helpful, thanks for writing this. I didn't really know about the URL and I usually would let that default.

      Thanks for all the great tips!

    • Glenn Stok profile image
      Author

      Glenn Stok 4 months ago from Long Island, NY

      Most Hubbers don't notice that option Amelia. I have even more tips coming next week in another hub. Many are based on things I see others missing.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 4 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      I feel relieved now knowing about the URL. A useful hub and lots to practice on my next hub.

    • Glenn Stok profile image
      Author

      Glenn Stok 4 months ago from Long Island, NY

      Devika, I'm glad I gave you a lot to apply to your next hub. As for those URLs, just remember to make them more generic than the specifics in the title.

    • Natalie Frank profile image

      Natalie Frank 4 months ago from Chicago, IL

      This is a great Hub! Even though I've been writing on HP for months now (though I joined it 2 years ago I didn't write my first Hub until well after - I guess I just got busy with other sites) and didn't know or pay attention to several of the things you mention. I never change my URL which I will begin doing now and had no idea about the search command under stats. I am interested in knowing how you interact with the curators and editors as I've never seen anything that allows you to do that. I would add that you should also check your links every so often as sometimes other articles, news or videos no longer are up and I've caught several (one just now) that were not caught in the editing process or auto review mode. Thanks for a great article!

    • Natalie Frank profile image

      Natalie Frank 4 months ago from Chicago, IL

      I just skimmed this again and realize I need to check the mobile preview for all my articles as I haven't done so before. I think at the beginning I just figured it should be fine even though I knew that there can be a difference between the two views. I got in the habit of doing some things and not doing others. Sometimes new Hubbers may at first feel overwhelmed with the variety of functions and tools available and not use every option. While I wish I had this article when writing my first Hub, it's still incredibly valuable for me now. I encourage all Hubbers who were a bit overwhelmed at first as I was, to use the information you have provided and go back to edit each Hub as appropriate. I have my days work cut out for me! Thanks again, Glenn.

    • Glenn Stok profile image
      Author

      Glenn Stok 4 months ago from Long Island, NY

      Thanks for both your comments Natalie. You added a useful additional step that people should do. That is to check the links. I actually keep a record in a spreadsheet of all my hubs that have YouTube videos or other links. So I routinely check these from time to time and I have indeed found broken links that way. Sometimes that's reported in the stats list, but sometimes I catch it before then.

      As for your second comment, you'd be amazed how many Hubbers use two columns and don't check the mobile preview to discover how messed up the order of their content is displayed. Maybe it's too overwhelming as you say. In my opinion, they should get it, because it only hurts their ranking when people stop reading half way through due to things being out of logical order. the HubPages stats also shows you the length of an average visit with the stars (****). The length of a visit for an average reader is determined by the number of words, so Google registers it as poor quality when visitors quit reading too soon. Glad you're on top of things.

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 3 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Glenn, great article as always. I've had one ad snipped from my hub in February and then it was approved. I would have to check out changing the default URL for one of my revamped hubs and create a new one. Handy tips to use now and in the future.

    • Glenn Stok profile image
      Author

      Glenn Stok 3 months ago from Long Island, NY

      You can't change the URL after you publish a hub Kristen. If you mean to create a new one, check carefully first that it was not plagiarized. Once you delete it the copy has the original start date. I recommend not ever deleting hubs you plan to reuse for that reason. I only delete hubs that I give up on entirely.

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 3 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Oh okay Glenn. When I revamped my hub for my Pilates break break, the URL still had the same URL as the old one with its former title. So you can't change it after you rewrite the hub?

    • Glenn Stok profile image
      Author

      Glenn Stok 3 months ago from Long Island, NY

      That's what I've been saying all along Kristen. Actually I think it was in one of the forums. Someone asked the same question. You can change the title all you want, but that has no effect on the URL, which is fixed once you publish. That's why it's so important to give consideration to the URL when you first start a new hub. Take a look at any of my recent hubs and you'll see how I do it. I make the URL more general than the title.

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 2 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Thanks Glenn for your insight.I'll keep it in mind in future new hubs later this year.

    • simplehappylife profile image

      sannwi 2 months ago

      Good information. In regards to the mobile preview, what I have done is taken mental note of how Hubpages editors have edited past articles (prior to moving them to niche sites) and have basically used that "layout" as my template. I figure that if I follow the format of the way they laid out my "worthy" articles, I can't go wrong. Lot's of articles since and it seems to be working.

      My point is that we can also learn a lot about standards by paying attention to what they "fix" and "move" in our hubs, for future pieces to be more successful :)

    • Glenn Stok profile image
      Author

      Glenn Stok 2 months ago from Long Island, NY

      SA - Yes that's true – to a degree. However, we do need to be careful with what the creators do because rules change.

      As an example, in the past a couple of editors changed my subtitles into callout capsules. So I did the same thing in new and old hubs. Then Google came out with the "Featured Snippets" and the subtitles in callout capsules failed to work with that. So staff told us we need to avoid using callout capsules for subtitles, and the editors no longer do that.

      So it's fine to learn from the editors as long as we stay abreast of the changing climate.

    • simplehappylife profile image

      sannwi 2 months ago

      aaaah! Good Point! Is there a way that we can stay up to date or gain any useful knowledge in regards to Google's current and next moves that might affect us? That way we can stay in the know?

      This might seem like a silly question, but I'm kind of new here and I seem to always feel as though I'm late to the "party", when it comes to what's going on with Google and its affect on Hubpages. I do try and keep up with Hubpages announcements, but haven't seen anything new in a while.

      A side note, I have noticed a drop in traffic the past week (seems to be climbing back up now). Someone said it was due to a Google update. I've also noticed that the publishing/Quality Assessment Process seems to be lagging a bunch among other things. I've wondered if they are short-handed at Hubpages or if it is all due to the update?

      Sorry, I'm not trying to divert the conversation. You just seem so knowledgable about these things.

    • Glenn Stok profile image
      Author

      Glenn Stok 2 months ago from Long Island, NY

      SA - The best way to stay up to date is to click on the "Forums" link each day and see what's new. Look for forum titles that specifically indicate important details. Some people post bug reports, that's how you can find out where those bugs stand with staff working on them, since staff usually posts replies in those threads.

      Also make sure you have opted into getting email from HubPages – check your settings. Make sure you are getting the weekly newsletter. Also, when you see staff members post in forums, go to their profile and follow them. Staff always has an "H" on their avatar.

      The slowdown is due to a new algorithm Google put out called "Fred." It specifically affected those of use who have niche hubs in Healdove, so staff is frantically going over all those hubs and either fixing them or unfeaturing them. Emails had been sent out to those Hubbers asking them to fix their own hubs to meet Google's new quality guidelines ( I put a link to that in the reference section of my last tutorial hub - "20-Step Checklist of Hub Writing Success Strategies").

      As you can see, things have been happening. It definitely keeps everyone on their toes. One of the things I like about HubPages is that they proactively stay alert to what's needed to be done. I can't say that for most other writing sites. You may have noticed I wrote about the shortcomings of a few others.

    • simplehappylife profile image

      sannwi 2 months ago

      Aaah. OK. I never realized I should be checking the forums. Thank You for that! I do get their emails, I wonder if I missed the one that discussed this current issue. I have a some articles on Healdove, I haven't received any edit requests or any news regarding those, so I guess those are fine for the moment.

      Thank You so much for taking the time to answer my questions. I'll definitely check out your articles to read more on this.

      Thanks again!

    • Glenn Stok profile image
      Author

      Glenn Stok 2 months ago from Long Island, NY

      SA - If you haven't received an email listing one or more hubs on Healdove that they will be reviewing, then that's good. But you may want to be proactive anyway and make sure they meet all the stellar hub requirements. Here is the explanation in the learning center... https://hubpageshelp.com/content/Learning-Center-E...

    • simplehappylife profile image

      sannwi 2 months ago

      Thank You, Glenn :) I actually have that link "saved" :) I try to follow that particular article (stellar hub) and also the little "need some goals" checklist in the upper right-hand side while in edit mode :)

      Thanks Again!

    • Glenn Stok profile image
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      Glenn Stok 2 months ago from Long Island, NY

      SA - I always watch the goals checklist too when I create new hubs. I find that very useful. It's great that you noticed it, some people don't even know it's there.

    • simplehappylife profile image

      sannwi 2 months ago

      It is, I know it has played a major role in helping me be successful on here. I use that, the stellar hub info, and the edits from the editors as guidelines. So far, I've experienced very positive results :)

    • Glenn Stok profile image
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      Glenn Stok 2 months ago from Long Island, NY

      SA - That sounds great! You're definitely making good use of all the tools HubPages provides. There is always so much to learn and HubPages is a great place for that. I'm always learning something new. The process of writing online is an ever-changing field. Those who are willing to keep up with the changes are the ones who will be successful.

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 2 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Glenn, no dice with the same hub . I made it mobile-friendly, changed my bio, and proofread it for errors. Got the same rejection email from Letter Pile on my How to Write Expressively hub. I'll try a new hub for a niche in two weeks. I couldn't find your email address to contact you via fan mail.

    • Glenn Stok profile image
      Author

      Glenn Stok 2 months ago from Long Island, NY

      Kristen, I looked at your hub. It’s a useful educational hub and you have a lot to offer. You just need to take care of the following additional things I talked about in my tutorial hubs that still need your attention.

      1. The main image has text that is not positioned to display properly on the thumbnail on your profile page. Take a look at it and you’ll see how it’s all cut off.

      2. The title is not something people will search for. For one thing, drop the words “for yourself” from the title. You want to show that you are teaching how to write for the reader.

      3. No one is looking for solutions to solving your own therapy. They might be looking to solving THEIR issues. However, this really isn’t the subject of the article, is it? The confusion may lose readers. Focus on what your intention is with the hub.

      4. Start your hub with a direct answer explaining the definition of “Expressive Writing.” That’s the subject of your hub and readers want a quick answer to what they expect from the title. Then if interested they will continue reading. Without that immediate answer in the first paragraph, you will lose most readers.

      5. The image you used from Illuminated Living has a Creative Commons 3.0 license which does not allow use on commercial sites. Since you get paid for your hubs, this is commercial. Read their license on their site.

      6. Some grammar issues:

      (a) “Once of my classes” should be “One of my classes”.

      (b) Point number 5 has a few sentence structure problems. Capitalist first word in sentience, remove misused comma, fix fragmented sentence.

      (c) “liked to be” should be “like to be”.

      (d) “it’ll be held” should be “it would be held”.

      (e) Try not to start sentences with “But”.

      I bet you’ll get it passed for the niche site if you correct these issues. Don't give up. Good luck with it.

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 2 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Thanks for the tips Glenn. I'll work on it one more time and try again in July. Maybe third time is a charm. As for my yoga and Pilates hubs, it would take me all year to revamp and rewirte them.

    • Glenn Stok profile image
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      Glenn Stok 2 months ago from Long Island, NY

      Kristen, Wow, you have to wait till July now. Remember for the future that you can save yourself this wasted time by running a grammar check and checking image licensing before submitting. Those are the two things that I think killed it for you. I write my hubs in MS Word so I run its grammar and spell check before I copy completed hubs over to HubPages.

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 2 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      I did ran it through Grammarly on Wednesday. Maybe I missed it. I would have to check the licensing on all of my hubs's photos now. I write my hubs in Text Edit and then copy/paste. I'll keep it in mind for future hubs and let you know hjhow I do with a new hub to try to get into a niche in mid-May.I hope to try Flipboard this weekend as well.

    • Glenn Stok profile image
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      Glenn Stok 2 months ago from Long Island, NY

      Please do, Kristen. I look forward to seeing you get your hubs into the niche sites. You are a good writer and it would be sad to let these things stand in the way.

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 2 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      I will, Glenn. You're a good friend here and thanks for helping me out. Thanks for the kind words too. I hope to write more hubs this spring/summer, depending when I have free time with my upwork assignments.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 4 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Glenn,

      I had no idea that we could change the URL to make it more general in nature.

      HubPages has been encouraging all photos to be full size for some time now unless they look too pixelated so I have been doing that. Hopefully the images that are on the right side will continue to show up if and when they go to only one column.

      In the past I have referred to hubs but for some time I have been calling them articles. Thanks for the reminder on all of these points you made.

    • Glenn Stok profile image
      Author

      Glenn Stok 4 weeks ago from Long Island, NY

      Looks like you've got your act together Peggy. Good going!

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 4 weeks ago from Northeast Ohio

      HI Glen. It' s been a week since I submittted my Blackout hub to Owlcation and haven't heard a word yet, whether submitted or declined. Any thoughts? Meanwhile, I'm almost finishing tweaking the Write Expressively hub to resubmit in 2 weeks (just need to do one paragraph) and my Fire in the Sky poetry hub is ready to go next week (just need to do author bio) for Letterpile. I also hope to tweak Healthy Meals next week and get it ready for the fall among others this summer to rewrite or write (when I have a slow downperiod for Upwork). I hope to try flipping them this weekend and see where they goes.

    • swalia profile image

      Shaloo Walia 4 weeks ago

      Great advice!

    • Glenn Stok profile image
      Author

      Glenn Stok 4 weeks ago from Long Island, NY

      Kristen, Either it's an extra busy time for them or you submitted it to the wrong niche site and they put it on hold until someone can determine a better place. You can always email the team to ask about the status.

      As for flipping, remember to delete and re-flip the new URL after any of your flipped hubs get moved. This updates the title and image in case those were changed.

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 4 weeks ago from Northeast Ohio

      HI Glenn. Hmm. I believe Owlcation would be perfect, since it's more educational and scientific, like when I originally submitted it for a hub. Good idea. I'll get back to you on their answer. Thanks for the tip for niched and un-niched hubs.

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 4 weeks ago from Northeast Ohio

      Glen, I've heard back from HP. You were right. It was moved to HowtheyPlay for a better fit. But it was declined. I've made sure it was proofed and spell-checked, that the photo was correct, etc. Let me know your thoughts on how to make it better to resubmit this fall, perhaps in August or September? I'll retry my poetry hub next week.

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 4 weeks ago from Northeast Ohio

      By the way, I'm confused. HowtheyPlay is for sports only. So I don't see how or why it would be a better fit than Owlcation, just by mentioning board games with the family? I've recontacted HP about it just now.

    • Glenn Stok profile image
      Author

      Glenn Stok 4 weeks ago from Long Island, NY

      Kristen, I have 20 additional tips in my other hub. In addition, Google’s Quality Guidelines should help since you're still having trouble getting accepted for niche sites. I have a link to it in my other hub: 20-Step Checklist of Hub Writing Success Strategies.

      As for the confusion between HowTheyPlay vs. Owlcation, I can't answer that since I didn't read your hub. You did the right thing asking HubPages. The curator will tell you why, and if you don't agree with his or her answer, then you need to express your reasoning for why you feel it belongs in Owlcation. Remember that Owlcation is science oriented.

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 3 weeks ago from Northeast Ohio

      Thanks Glenn for your insight. I just find it was odd that it was moved to a sports-orientated niche and not a science one, since blackouts are part of science and weather. If I hear back over the weekend, I'll let you know. I'll check out your other hub over this weekend. Feel free to read my hub, if you want to.

    • Glenn Stok profile image
      Author

      Glenn Stok 3 weeks ago from Long Island, NY

      Kristen, You talk mostly about playing games and other similar activities to do during a power blackout. That seems to be your focus and that's why it fits better in HowtheyPlay.

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 3 weeks ago from Northeast Ohio

      I see Glenn. I do talk about exercise and reading and such. I guess I have to check out their HTP's editorial policy to figure it out. I bet they would say the same thing this weekend.

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 8 days ago from Northeast Ohio

      Hi Glenn. Third time wasn't the charm for Expressive Writing, when I submitted it to LetterPile today. I did everything you told me to do and still got zip. Oh well. I'll move on.

    • Glenn Stok profile image
      Author

      Glenn Stok 8 days ago from Long Island, NY

      Kristen, if you want my comments on what I find wrong let me know which hub it is.

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 7 days ago from Northeast Ohio

      Sure Glenn. How to Write Expressively for your novels. I'll be tweaking on my Arizona hub next week and resubmit it out in 2 weeks.

    • Glenn Stok profile image
      Author

      Glenn Stok 7 days ago from Long Island, NY

      Kristen,

      I read your hub and, per your request, I'll tell you what I found. I hope you make good use of what I'm about to help you with. You really have a lot to offer, you just need to understand why you're not getting your hubs into the niche sites.

      Your title is confusing. You contradict it in your summary. You need to decide if you want to write about applying expressive writing to a fiction novel or to non-fiction. I suggest you discuss it in general for any type novel. But by contradicting yourself you will never get anyone to read past the summary.

      The main image represents writing a journal. But the title refers to a novel. Also confusing. You need to stay focused on topic with everything—title, content and images.

      You need a title that represents what people are searching for. Two better ideas that match your topic:

      * Is Writing a Form of Therapy?

      * What Does Expressive Writing Mean?

      Notice that both of those are direct and to the point. Do you see the difference from how your present title is?

      You also could do the same thing with the subtitles within your hub. Each subtitle should be something people search for.

      Logical order matters. Start with the second subtitle that you have. That's a better way to grab attention. "What is expressive writing?" People want to know that, especially if they are confused. For that matter, this would make a great main title for the hub itself.

      Drop the subtitle at the top. It's not helping any: "Writing to Heal can Help You Find Peace With Yourself and Improve Your Own Writing". It's out of place. You can place it in the text later, and then elaborate on it. But to start your hub with that is sure to kill your hub. It's useful, but it's meaningless without first leading into the subject. In addition, it's a statement, not a title.

      You need to include attribution for your images. Specifying the license is helpful too. I only use CC0 licensed images, just to be safe. Better still, use your own. Make your own when you can.

      What does "Find your digging or mining in creative writing" mean? You lost me on that sentence. And you don't explain it. You could easily add more useful content if you explain the statements you make. Don't expect the reader to know what you mean. The entire hub is too short anyway, as it is.

      Explain what you mean with "Expressive writing is expressing what you notice by tapping into an emotional truth for fiction and might have an arc of a story." As it stands, that sentence looses the reader right there. Remember that if you say anything that's not clear, you have a chance of losing the reader.

      You have a couple of other places where you suddenly said things that don't fit in or don't make sense in the content. See if you can find these on your own and fix them. Read your own hub back to yourself out loud. And try to think like a reader who knows nothing about what's in your head. That's how you find these problem areas.

      When you write, you need to always keep in mind if you're saying things that the reader may not understand, or needs clarification. If you use terms that are not generally known, explain them, or leave them out. I think only screenplay writers might know what "arc of a story" really means.

      Don't use two columns. HubPages will eventually be dropping that from the hubtool. You need to be sure your hub is mobile friendly. Avoiding two columns will do that. I explain that in one of my tutorial hubs.

      Try to use lists with bullets. It's easier to read and easier to absorb information. For example, the entire first paragraph under "Transform Feelings Onto Paper" can be made into a list.

      Reading out loud, as I mentioned earlier, will help you find grammar errors—such as where you say "Before you start, read this careful." That really should be "carefully". That section also needs a subtitle because it has nothing to do with the section just above it.

      Another grammar error: "it’ll would be held..." should be "it would be held..."

      Reading out loud will also help you find things you say that are meaningless or contradictory. Like point number 6 under "Before you start." So which is it? — Within two hours of your session, or by the first or second day? It can't be both! Sorry, but I can't believe you didn't catch that error yourself. When curators see mistakes like that, they know you're not putting any effort into your writing and they will ignore anything further.

      Get to work now, I want to see that you are getting your hubs into the niche sites. You have a lot of good things to say and you provide useful information. You just need to put more effort into expressing yourself clearly, stay on topic, get to the point in a way that holds your readers attention, and explain things that may not be easily understood. Work harder at catching your mistakes—we all make them, it's just a matter of catching them before you publish.

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 7 days ago from Northeast Ohio

      Okay. I'll retry it again in the fall like in October or November. I thought the journal photo would be better and be related to journaling or free writing like for novels. I'll take your advice into consideration once again Glenn. I'll try my Arizona hub by fixing the format and grammar in two weeks and see how it goes.

    • tomsmithnow profile image

      Tomi Smith 41 hours ago

      This is another good article with excellent tips on writing articles.

      I seem to have trouble with coming up with good subtitles that would come up on search engines. I am not seeing much by looking into the search phrases in my stats as you have suggested.

      Could you possibly give me some ideas for my articles that are mostly written about the Sedona Method, since the method seems to pull up a lot in search engines? The method teaches you techniques on letting go of negative emotions, feelings, and thoughts. It is kind of like meditation or positive thinking. Could you give me any ideas? I just seem to be at a loss on thinking up good subtitles that someone would put into a search engine for this. Thank you for any insight and for writing your informative articles.

    • Glenn Stok profile image
      Author

      Glenn Stok 35 hours ago from Long Island, NY

      Tomi, First of all, since a lot comes up in search engines, that means you have a lot of competition. So you need to narrow your focus on something specific that people are searching for that doesn’t exist elsewhere on the web. Then add that extra content as keywords to your subtitles where you elaborate on it.

      IN order to come up with subtitles that relate to what people might be typing into search engines, you need to think like the reader. Think what you would search for if you were looking for information about any aspect of the Sedona Method.

      Keep in mind that many people may not know the term. So what would they be searching for? Here are some ideas. You should be using these phrases as subtitles–even work it into the main title:

      • Positive Thinking

      • Negative Thoughts

      • Negative Emotions and Feelings

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