5 Ways to Revise Your Poorly Performing HubPages Hubs - A Writer's Point of View
Getting More Traffic and Earnings from the HubPages Experience - A Writer's Point of View
I've been publishing articles on HubPages for nearly four years. Although that accolade makes me one of HP's longer-standing contributors, it does not make me one of its most income-generating. I found myself thinking about this a short while ago, and to tell the truth, I started feeling a bit sorry for myself. You see, I know I’m a good writer and editor (that's what I do for a living), so, if I’m all that good, why do I earn only enough on HubPages after all this time to treat myself to a designer cup of coffee five days a week or pay a phone bill once a month? After getting over the wallows, I started looking at my older Hubs with the reader in mind and found that I’d missed the boat in a number of places. I want to share those places with you.
The five points below describe the questions I asked about my poorly performing, older Hubs and the actions I took, from a writer’s point of view, to revise them. Some of these earlier Hubs, now revised, do seem to be picking up a bit in both traffic and earnings. Perhaps this approach will make an impact for you.
1 ● Are You Letting the Reader Sail, not Stumble, Through Your Words? Review and Correct Spelling, Grammar, and Punctuation.
Even if you had a professional editor comb your earlier Hubs for accuracy and readability, you most likely will find a stumbling place or two for the reader. However, when you revisit your writings after time passes, you are more likely to see the places that are awkward or just plain awful. Fix them, for the sake of the reader. One too many stumbling places will chase your reader right to the back button.
HubPages text capsules have a spell checker built in. Put your older Hub in edit mode and check the spelling of your text blocks.
Essential References on Punctuation and Grammar
Grammar checking is more challenging, depending on your skill level: If you want to use an automated grammar checker, that's fine if you don't mind your head being spun around by some of its suggestions. What will stand you in better stead is the help of a knowledgeable friend, and in best stead, the experience you've gained since writing your early Hubs.
Punctuation accuracy is not to be understated. My favorite example of how meaning can go awry only because of a simple comma is this:
"Eats, shoots and leaves."
Please don't leave your reader thinking that a panda will eat, shoot, and then leave.
2 ● Are You Keeping the Topic Fresh and Current? Update Stale Information.
The one thing you can be sure of in life is that change will happen. Even evergreen content needs review from time to time. As there are always new destinations on the Net that could bring your older Hub more up-to-date, add or replace external links for your reader’s benefit.
Look for new and appropriate videos, illustrations, and pictures, or even better, incorporate fresh visual material that you have created.
3 ● Are Your Product Offerings Current? Update Amazon and eBay Capsules.
I've found that keeping Amazon and eBay merchandise current in my Hubs is more of a challenge than I expected. Although I don’t write a lot of Hubs that are geared specifically to sales, I do include Amazon and eBay capsules in most of my other Hubs. When I read someone else's Hub and find the product link missing or at odds with what is being described, I become annoyed and click the back button. The first thought that goes through my head is, if you can’t make the effort to keep your products current, then why should I make the effort to spend time on your Hub?
Although merchandise can disappear from these online mega-vendors in the wink of eye, it is still your responsibility to maintain your sales offerings. Think of it this way, if you are window-shopping downtown and see an item you want to buy, then you go into the store only to be told the item is discontinued, what would you think of that store?
4 ● Are You At Risk for Your Hub Being Unpublished by HubPages? Review and Implement Changes to HubPages Guidelines.
Obviously, you won't have a reader if you have no Hub. But there's an additional backlash to this: Other Hubbers may have linked to your Hub, whereby you may have enjoyed more readership, but by letting your Hub be unpublished you've put the other Hubber in a position to do more maintenance on his Hub. This lack of responsibility could eat at your credibility not only with your readers, but within the HubPages community.
As evergreen content needs updating from time to time, HubPages rules and guidelines need your vigilant review. The guidelines change not capriciously, but for reasons that promote the HubPages business, which is your business by virtue of your earning money here.
5 ● Are You Telling Your Reader What You are Going to Tell, Before You Tell? Examine Title and Sub-headings for Logic and Flow.
Think about how you land on a page of content that is new to you. What do you want to see, a solid body of unbroken text, or sub-headings that let you get the gist of what the writer is going to tell you? When constructing your Hub, put yourself in your readers' shoes and give them what you would like a writer to give you: clear direction about where you are and where you are going.
Treat sub-headings as chapter titles in a full-length book, even though any Hub you write will probably never be that long, nor should it be. Use sub-headings not only to break up a sea of text, but to tell readers what they are going to learn from the text described by the sub-heading.
I believe most readers on the Net are an impatient lot, and thus it takes well-thought-out writing to grab and keep their attention. Formatting and layout are vitally important, too, but HubPages simplifies these aspects for you with the flexibility built into the Hub Tool. Take advantage of this tool to emphasize the logic of your text, but first and foremost, make sure your text flows logically from beginning to end with the added aid of sub-headings that summarize what's to come.
Hindsight Is Foresight
After a year or two or more on HubPages, you have a new perspective because you grow. When you look at a piece you wrote two years ago from the present place in your life, you may very well find that your writing has matured. In addition, perhaps your voice (an often elusive, subjective quality) has changed. The way you said something a year ago to get your point across may not be as effective or as true to you as it could be today.
On the other hand, you may be making tons of bucks here on HubPages, and if you are, please email me your secrets. I promise, cross my heart, to never reveal your identity or steal your stuff.