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14 Overlooked Hub-Writing Techniques That You Should Be Using
When 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.
Tell People You Write Articles, Not Hubs
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.
Include "About The Author" Bio on Each Hub
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.
The Importance of Using "About the Author" to Manage Bios
You can add bios directly in the HubTool when creating a new hub, but be careful with that. I noticed a number of Hubbers get confused when they try to change their bios from there.
I suggest that you should always maintain your bios in the "About the Author" page. That’s the only place where you will see your entire set of bios, along with the list of hubs assigned under each one.
Being that they are all in one place, it’s easy to move hubs from one bio to another if you need to do that. In addition, you can clearly see how your have organized your hubs under various bios.
HubTool Display Options for Bio and Copyright
The display options used to be in the sidebar of the HubTool, where you specify your bio and activate your copyright notice.
In August 2017 HubPages changed the HubTool to make these two items more obvious because many Hubbers overlooked these important details.
Now the bio is right up front under the summary field when you edit a hub, as shown below.
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 while editing your hub, if you hadn't created one already.
The copyright notice has been moved to the bottom of the HubTool to be consistent with where it appears in the final version of your published hub.
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.
The default is to not display your copyright, so you should turn this on as shown here:
Have you been using the Author Bio and remembering to set the Display Options?
Show Authority With a True Image Avatar and Real Name
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.
Research Good Titles for Your Hubs
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 When Creating New Hubs
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?
Include Personal Content in Amazon Capsules
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.
Moderate Comments All In One Place
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.
Delete 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.
Review Low Quality and Spam Comments
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.
Keep Up With HubPages' Blogs and Announcements
Stay Up to Date With HubPages' Blogs and Announcements
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.
Work With the Curators and Editors
HubPages has hired a team of curators/editors to working on 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 personally very pleased with the process.
I have been in communication with several of the curators about changes to my hubs, and in the end it turned out better. I have also learned a few things from them that I 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.
Capsules Can Be Set Invisible
Do Your Editing in Invisible Capsules
You may not know this, but while you’re editing a published hub, the changes you make are live! That is, people see the half-finished work, even search engine bots see it if they happen to visit while you’re ion the middle of a lengthy update.
When do much of my work off-line using MS Word. However, many times I work in the hub itself. In order not to let my work-in-progress be seen, I make the capsule I’m working on invisible. You can do that by adding a check-mark next to “Don't display this capsule:” in the top right corner as shown in this example.
If I’m just adding content, I add to an invisible text capsule. But if I need to do massive mods to an existing capsule, then I copy and paste the text into a new capsule and mark that one invisible so I can take my time working on it. I can even leave it to finish another day.
When I’m done, I make that capsule visible and delete the older version capsule.
When you’re doing this, just remember to make it visible when you're finished.
There also is no need to worry about losing your work if your computer crashes. HubPages has an auto-save function, and that works while a capsule is invisible too.
How to Use Q&A to Bring More Ad Revenue
The new Q&A is an optional feature that allows readers to ask questions. When you answer, a new page is created that may be indexed by search engines.
The reader who asked the questions will also be notified when you answer, with a link to the page (if they entered their email address for notification).
If this seems too much trouble for you, then you can always opt out by clicking the “Pause” button at the top of the Q&A maintenance page. You get to that page by clicking the “Q&A” tab on your stats page.
What are the benefits of the Q&A?
For one thing, you can get ideas to enhance your article with new content by including your answers to useful questions in the content.
However, it may be better to take advantage of the Q&A since it provides an additional page that search engines may index. These pages have ads that can bring you additional ad revenue.
You can also increase traffic by taking a little time with adding your own questions, with answers. Once you create a new Q&A, each one may bring traffic that you would not have had otherwise. This begins to become another passive venture.
The passive idea behind this is the same as when you take the time to write articles. Once you’re done, it’s more or less passive work after that. So in my opinion, it’s worth the time you spend answering Q&A and even adding your own.
One more thing that I think is powerful:
As you may know, when readers click the "contact author" to ask a question, they get your email address when you answer. The Q&A avoids that!
Now when a reader sends you a question in email, you can just copy and paste their question into the Q&A and answer it there. Just remember to fix their grammar and typos.
You can also include their email address so they get notified with a link to the answer. They won’t get our private email address because that notification comes from HubPages.
Remember that the added benefit with posting questions and answering them in the Q&A is that it creates another page with ad content that can bring you more traffic. Make your answers provide as much useful content as possible (on topic of course). This will increase the SEO status of the Q&A page.
Google Analytics Report of Ad Impressions
If you want to see a report of ad impressions with your hubs as well as your Q&A pages, you can create a custom report that will show this.
Here’s how. Log into your GA account. Expand "Customization" in the left column and click “Custom Reports” - Then:
- Click +New Custom Report
- Give it a name
- Under Metric Groups click “+ add metric”
- Enter and select “AdSense Ad Units Viewed”
- Enter and select “AdSense Ads Clicked”
- Enter and select “Unique Pageviews”
- Save the custom report.
The report will display all hubs and Q&A with the top performing first. The “AdSense Ad Units Viewed” column shows the impressions.
If you want to focus on Q&A, these all have a filename such as:
Since the Q&A may have less views or impressions than your hubs, change the order by double-clicking the “AdSense Ad Units Viewed” column.
Other Success Strategies
As you can see, HubPages gives you the tools to help with success, so use them.
Now, if you're ready for more tips, check out "How I Reached A Million Views With These 21 Hub-Writing Success Strategies" for your viewing pleasure.
© 2017 Glenn Stok