Writing Hubs With Legs
Having written the odd Hub or two, I have learned a few lessons (mostly from trial and error) as to how to write a Hub with Legs. I know, I know, the hubs on your car have wheels, not legs... but a "Hub with Legs" is one that has long-term appeal and keeps getting spurts and spikes of readership, long after you've even forgotten about writing it!
Of my 658 Hubs, I would say that less than a couple of dozen of them truly have Legs. This goes to prove that Legging a Hub is as much art as it is science, as if I truly did possess the Sacred Secrets of the Holy Hub Entrails, I'd have 658 Hubs with better legs than the New York Radio City Rockettes. Therefore, file this Hub firmly under "Advice" and realize that my liability for your lack of success in following my edicts is strictly limited to the entrance fee I charged you to read this Hub.
It goes without saying that it is important to write Hubs with value for the reader and which respect the audience, rather than have them be cajoled or tricked into clicking onto your ads or scam links.
I have written a variety of Hubs on the necessity to write only what your readership wants to read with an unwavering and solid commitment to ethics, responsibility and respect. One of these Hubs is Hal's Not-So-Secret Method To Writing Successful Hubs and it's definitely one of the articles I've written on this platform that draws long term interest from the Hub audience.
Given those very simple and basic prerequisites (mostly don't be a trickster or a scammer), it's a good idea to examine the types of Hubs that do work over the long term.
There seem to be some factors which pretty well all of my Leggy Hubs have in common, however the most important one of them all seems to be the one of Timelessness. If I get something off CNN and rant and spit about it, the reader results may show an immediate spike while the story is hot, but as soon as the story falls off the front pages, so will the readership fall off on the Hub, never to return. The Hubs with Legs discuss items that interest people in the longer term and aren't attached to that day's headlines.
Let's take, for example, what has to be my most consistent Leggy Hub: How To Turn Off Vista's Useless Junk And Speed Up Your PC. This Hub has been getting between 100 and 200 page views every single day since I wrote it, and that was almost two years ago. From the standpoint of sheer technical information, it's one of my lighter Hubs. There really isn't that much to this Hub other than a relatively brief summary and a link to a complete list on someone else's site. However, if you Google: Vista Junk this Hub comes up as number one every time, so all of the frustrated people trying to run Vista Ultimate on a 256 MB RAM Celeron immediately click on it to read my pearls of VistaWisdom.
On the other extreme of the technological gobbledigook spectrum lies DDR1, DDR2, DDR3: Navigating The RAM Maze. This Hub is filled with pearls of RAMWisdom such as: "CK goes high [the + side], and /CK goes low [the - side]. DDR1 utilizes the JEDEC standard for Double Data Rate [DDR I] SDRAM. Like all DDR RAM it is available as registered or unbuffered. Registered DIMMs are generally known as FB-DIMMs..." and lots of other stuff that interests only uber geeks who have not seen daylight since they were 8 years old. Still, given the complexities of RAM choice and the fact that selecting the wrong RAM can screw up your PC bigtime, this Hub has also been good for about a hundred page views per day for the same last couple of years. Yes, the fact that when you Google RAM DDR2 DDR3, this Hub is the number one on the list is a major reason for the continued Legginess.
Not all Leggy Hubs are constant. Hotmail Fails To Deliver Up To 81% Of All Attachment Emails and 86 Mac Plus Vs. 07 AMD DualCore. You Won't Believe Who Wins have more ups and downs on their stats chart than a roller coaster at Magic Mountain. The Hotmail Hub has received about 50,000 page views, all in wild spurts and troughs, while the Mac Plus Vs. AMD Hub is the granddaddy of all MegaHubs, fetching over a quarter million page views. This latter one is a bit of a weird bird, as it will go semi dormant for a while, barely pulling in a dozen page views a day and suddenly come surging back up again as it has in the last couple of days when it was pulling in about a thousand page views a day.
Not all Legs on Hubs are tied to PC Tech. Top 10 Ugliest Motorcycles Of All Time, Could MPG Alone Get You On A 250 Cruiser? and 75 Sarah Palin Joke One Liner "Quotes" all keep on pulling in the big long term page views.
But The Secret To Making The Best Braciole On Earth definitely takes the grand prize for the strangest tie-in to Hub traffic. There is an episode of Everybody Loves Raymond where Braciole is discussed. Whenever this airs on syndication, my page views shoot way up, only to fall way back down to almost zero until the next airing!
It's quite obvious that writing a Hub that shoots up to the number one Google position in a reasonably well searched-for term is the single most important aspect to drawing long term traffic. And as we can see from Braciole, tying into something that has repeated attention drawn to it can also be a strange but effective way to get those long term page view legs pumping. But don't discount the timelessness aspect, as finding a subject that people are interested in for more than a week or two can be the key to getting those page views rolling in!