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What Makes Many Articles and Hubs Successful?

Updated on July 26, 2010

When I first wrote for profit, first for Triond, I started out writing poetry and articles that include specific dates. Those works alone did not earn me much, and I wondered what I did wrong in them. I did the same for Associated Content and here on HubPages, and found that just writing content about an upcoming event on a specific date didn't do wonders for me. I read a lot of articles on how to boost earnings and traffic in my articles and Hubs and took them to heart. Surprisingly, my earnings improved and I gained more page impressions and views after learning those tips. After writing for quite a long time, what made most of my articles and hubs successful?

I Took Original Content to Heart

A lot of successful online writers live by this belief - content is king. I paraphrase the content I'm citing while writing my articles and hubs as opposed to plagiarizing it by copying and pasting it. It's a bit different than just merely writing an school paper because you are supporting the article with your personal insights and experiences - even without using I, my, me, we, or our. Using what I know and putting it in my perspective made my articles and hubs gain traffic and earnings as well as linking to the site to cite it.

Like rosemary, make your content evergreen.
Like rosemary, make your content evergreen.
Make a mixed forest of evergreen and deciduous content.
Make a mixed forest of evergreen and deciduous content.

I Distinguished Between Ephemeral, Deciduous, and Evergreen Content and Wrote More on the Latter Two

I made my own philosophy in making my articles and Hubs earn more in the long run: like rosemary, make your content evergreen. I compared rosemary to this content type because even through trying times or through any season, the topic is still relevant. I wrote a lot of health-related advice, how-to tutorials, and travel tips that can be used year round, like cruising and year-round theme parks. (Money, relationship, and parenting articles or Hubs also count as evergreen content.) I also classified two other types of content: ephemeral and deciduous.

The dictionary defines ephemeral as "lasting a very short time." Some veteran writers write ephemeral content, but they frown at it because they earn traffic the day it's published only to fall days or weeks after. Those include news stories, fads, fashion trends, and weather forecasts. Articles or Hubs with specific dates (unless it's a historical article) and those that explicitly refer to celebrities and fads are considered ephemeral content.

Like ephemeral content, deciduous content is dated, but it only refers to the whole season or holiday in general and/or the specific date of the holiday if it's permanent on every calendar. Like evergreen content, it includes how-to, health, and home decorating articles or hubs as well as those on histories of the holidays and music. It earns money and traffic year after year, but only before and/or on the specific season or holiday. I compare this to a deciduous tree, because it sheds leaves in the fall until it grows new ones in the spring (just as it loses traffic after that period until it gains it back on its appropriate season). Most writers are fine with just focusing on evergreen content, but I have created another philosophy that made me successful in online writing in the first place: make a mixed forest of evergreen and deciduous content.

I Put The Subject in Perspective

To me, it all comes back to original content, which I believe firmly in. Instead of just generalizing an article or Hub with simple facts and information, I put the topic into a new perspective. One of my successful articles on Triond is the one regarding the bad luck superstition of putting shoes on the table. Instead of simply explaining it can cause death by citing other people (such as putting boots on the table to inform that a their loved one died while working in a coal mine or because the table represents the platform before people hang criminals), I traced it back to the times of post-mortem photography in the Victorian Era, when photographers dress their dead children up and laid them out on the tables sometimes with their shoes on to photograph them. I don't be afraid to add my own twist to the topic by applying what I read on the Internet.

I Aimed for Relevant Keywords

Nothing creates quality content than quality keywords, but too much irrelevant ones can hurt traffic and earnings, and if writing on a site like HubPages, you may get your Hub penalized or flagged, veteran writers say. I choose keywords that match mine by using a keyword tool (Google's keyword tool works great) and find some that are not only high in traffic but congruent to what I write. The suggested tags button gives me good tags, but most of them are just too irrelevant for me, so I take what veteran article and Hub marketers tell us online writers to do and use keyword analyzer tools and that made my articles and hubs successful and search-engine friendly.

I Heavily Promoted Them

Besides having the right content and the right keywords, I promoted them like the experts in online writing encourage us to do. Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, and Digg are just some of the sites that I frequently bookmark them, but I felt that it's not enough to harness traffic. I used sites that helped me make money while promoting my work - RedGage, Xomba, SheToldMe, and YouSayToo, the latter which I made a blog out of it. I also found that submitting my content to search engines (only if evergreen or deciduous) worked miracles for me because most of the content out there are unreachable by the lesser-known ones.

I Put Insight on Others' Content

There is a clear reason why my Hubscore is high and why I gained a lot of traffic in the long run - I commented on the content of others. A lot of people, with those who can't just describe how well-written it is as exceptions, just write, "nice Hub," "great article," or "good." I put a lot of insight to my comments in content sharing sites, avoiding what many young people write all over Internet chat boards or text messages like "ur," "LOL," or "IMHO" (the respective common abbreviations and shorthand spellings of "your," "laugh out loud," and "in my humble opinion"). I added personal experiences, quotes from media, and what I learned when writing feedback on others' content to support my views.

I Added Media to My Content

While text content represents a bulk of the quality level of the Hub or article, I found that videos and photos serve my point and make the article interesting to look at. I usually search for photos to be used on Creative Commons and find images I can use commercially. If it asks me to attribute a photo, I use the link as a caption or after it. Personal photos also work for me when writing my Hubs and Articles not only because I love taking a lot of pictures (especially during vacations and day-trips), but because they add originality and personality that helps them stand out. Videos that still remain popular and are commented also tie in with the article, providing that they are relevant.

Having written online for quite a long time, I learned from my failures I made when starting out. I used to start out with low-quality keywords, dated content, and low traffic on the early months of writing articles and Hubs. With my own insights, proper keyword research, and quality content that are original and varied, I'm on my way to successful online writing and publishing.


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    • profile image

      Olde Cashmere 

      6 years ago

      Great work with this hub. I've been looking for ways to improve my experience here and this is of tremendous help. Thank you for sharing these helpful pointers talfonso. Voted up, useful, interesting, and awesome :)

    • writing4action profile image


      6 years ago


      To improve this hub score you should add more BOLD and ITALIC, at least 3 links to other hubs, at least one poll, one map, and 3 more images and also a Youtube video.


    • jigg2009 profile image


      7 years ago from Cracow

      I love to read articles that really shows how much you can achieve with hard work and a good marketing plan. I'm at the beginning of this “path” but I know that I'll try to follow. Hopefully the success will come with time. Wish you all the luck :)

    • Dobson profile image


      8 years ago from Virginia

      You have some good information here about creating hubs with a reason to be published. Evergreen hubs are more of my focus now that I am learning about the maturation process. I had a few date oriented hubs in the beginning becasue i was unaware of the particulars of Hub Pages, but now I aim for a differrnt goal.

    • MF8888 profile image


      8 years ago from Maine

      Nicely written!


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