Best Practices and Tips for Increasing Hub Followers and Page Views
Why is Nobody Reading My Fantastic Hub?
So you've created this wonderful hub that is just chock full of info that you've been dying to share with the world. You cross the last "t," dot the last "i," and hit "publish." Then you sit back and prepare to watch the page views shoot through the roof.
Shockingly, the world doesn't beat a path to your door (or your hub, rather). While hubs on how-to-watch-paint-dry and making-art-out-of-cow-patties get thousands of hits per day, your magnus opus gets a single page view. (Thanks, Mom!) Where's the love?
Many of us have experienced this particular scenario. We feel that we've created a great hub, but it's not as well-received as we had envisioned. However, there are several things that can be done to maximize it's popularity, both within and outside of the HubPages community.
Content, Content, Content!
First and foremost, no matter what you are writing about, you have to understand that content is king. People will be drawn to your hub by the content. In fact, you've probably heard the phrase "unique, quality content" quite often in this context, but have you ever thought about what it really means?
For me, "unique" content refers to information that can't be found anywhere else. That's a tall order in today's society, where an online search on almost any topic will find millions of hits. However, it's not the subject matter that has to be unique; rather, it's your writing. In short, you can't have copied the information from somewhere else. The words that go into your hub must have your brain as their point of origin. As long as that's the case, even if there are a billion pages on your topic of choice, your writing shouldn't lack for originality.
Next, in my mind, "quality" content means it has value. Not necessarily monetary value, but it should offer the reader something in exchange for his time. Maybe it does help them save money, but maybe if just offers a solution to a problem, or just provides them with simple reading pleasure and enjoyment. Just using my own work as an example, I have hubs on where to find cheap goods (pianos, cars, etc.), representing yourself in a lawsuit, drafting a will, investing and more.
That said, I don't think you have to overpower your reader with a bunch of bells and whistles, like a thousand pics, videos, etc. Those are good, but they're not your main selling points in terms of quality content. Think about the last great book you read. Assuming you're older than 10, it probably only had one picture (on the cover - maybe the back as well) and then a couple of hundred pages of text. The reason you bought it was for that text, not the cover art, so feel free to keep your hub somewhat simple, allowing the reader to find your content with ease.
Finally, watch your grammar, spelling, punctuation, etc. This might mean not just proofing your hub before publication, but going back afterwards - maybe a few days later - to see if there's anything you missed. Also, don't be afraid to update and add additional content. Again, you're trying to create something of value to the reader, so if you think of anything that can enhance the experience of a visitor to your hub, add it.
(12 1/2 Rules of Writing Poster available at AllPosters.com.)
Promote Your Hub
Don't be shy about promoting your hub. For instance, if it's the answer to a question here on HubPages, there's a forum for posting your link. Likewise if you've constructed a hub as part of a HubChallenge (30-hubs-in-30-days), put your link in the appropriate forum.
Outside the HubPages community, feel free to tell your friends about it. Send them emails. If allowed, post it on your high school or college alumni message boards. Inform all of your Facebook friends. And don't forget about LinkedIn, if relevant.
In short, tell all of your friends and family about it, and encourage them to give you their comments. They may ask a question or make a statement that you can incorporate into your hub and make it better.
Create Relevant Backlinks to Your Hub
Backlinking, of course, is an important link in the chain (no pun intended) with respect to getting more traffic. Thus, you should develop a viable backlinking strategy that will work as intended without getting you branded as a spammer. One of the sites I recommend for this is Redgage.com, because not only do you get nice backlinks, but you also get paid for bookmarking your content there, whether it be hubs, blogs, pics, what have you. (FYI: I also have a hub on How to Get Lots of Free Backlinks for those who need them. And on a side note, I recently won $25 in the RedGage Daily Contest - twice! - for a total of $50, so it really is in your best interest to sign up there.)
In short, getting more traffic can be simple, but it doesn't necessarily mean that it's going to be fast. It takes time for hubs to find an audience; you aren't going to get a thousand followers overnight. Your writing first has to merit the loyalty of the HubPages community. Thus, you should should focus on creating unique, quality hubs. And if I can steal a line from Field of Dreams: "If you build it, they will come." (That's actually a misquote, but we'll save that discussion for another hub.)