Can I Blog on HubPages?
HubPages is not a blogging site. Some people would argue with that statement, because one online dictionary defines "blogging" as any kind of writing online - which HubPages is, of course. However, most dictionaries still define a "blogger" as someone who writes regularly on his or her own dedicated website - and you don't have your own website on HP.
Yes, you have your own account (sub-domain) on HubPages - but it is just an administrative tool, to enable you, the writer, to manage all your articles in one place. Your articles are displayed to the reader as part of one big website, all mixed up with everyone else's articles.
Take a look at a couple of blogs on the big free blogging sites:
While you're looking at those blogs, can you see any blogs by anyone else? No. All the menus and links lead to other pages within that blog. There's no temptation for the reader to wander off and read someone else's work - unless the blog owner decides to provide a link.
Why Blogging on HubPages Doesn't Work
#1 - Navigation
The emphasis on HubPages is the magazine, not individual authors. Everything about the site is designed to tempt readers to browse around the whole site, not within one writer's work. Every one of your Hubs includes links to lots of Hubs by other people. That benefits you, too - because your Hubs are also displayed on other Hubs across the site - but it's not much use if you want readers to stay with your train of thought.
There's no way for you to display a menu of your other Hubs on a Hub - in fact, it's against HubPages rules and if you try, it may result in your Hub being unpublished. What that means is that most of your Hubs are invisible to your readers - unlike a blog, where you have a sidebar displaying all your posts grouped into categories, recent posts, popular posts etc to tempt your readers to browse around your blog.
Also when you write a blog, readers can click on an icon to sign up for your RSS feed to be notified of new posts. That's not available on HubPages. To be notified of your new Hubs, readers must become a member of the site and "Follow" you. Most people won't bother to do that - nearly all the members of HubPages are other writers, not readers.
#2 - Length
Compared to problem #1, this is a minor issue - but I'm mentioning it for completeness.
The average blog post is fairly short, say 250 - 400 words. That's too short to make a successful Hub. You need at least 400 words, and most experienced Hubbers recommend the optimum is 800 to 1,500 words. That means you need to cover a subject more thoroughly or use up more material for each post.
#3 - Subject Matter
If you're aiming to write a personal blog, HubPages won't work, period. "Purely personal" Hubs are not allowed and will be unpublished. That word "purely" is important! If you wanted to document your battle against cancer, for instance, that might not be acceptable because it's just a personal story. But if you were documenting your battle and offering tips to other sufferers based on your experience, that would be fine.
I mention this because some newbies think they can use one Hub as their blog, creating each blog post in a new text capsule. It won't work because:
- A Hub is just one long page. If you keep adding posts to the end of the Hub, readers will soon have to scroll a very l-o-o-o-n-g way down to read your new posts - and most won't bother.
- There's no mechanism to let anyone know when you've added a new section.
- If you want readers to find your blog, it needs to be included in Google's search results. Google values quantity as well as quality. That means it looks at how many posts a site has, as well as how good the content is. Google regards your HubPages account (sub-domain) as an individual website, and your Hubs as posts. If you have only one Hub, that's only one post, no matter how long it is - and therefore Google will ignore it, which means readers won't be able to find it.
But I Can Make Money Here!
As I said, even though they know HubPages isn't designed for blogging, some people are determined to use it - because "you can make money on HubPages". Yes you can - but not with a blog. You make money writing on HubPages by writing long, high quality, magazine-style articles, on topics people are always looking for. Write a blog here, and you won't make money anyway!
If you want to blog, you'll be much better off on a proper blogging platform where readers can sign up to your feeds, and easily navigate around your blog using your sidebar.
The two best (and best known) platforms which you can monetize are Blogger and Wordpress. Both are free, but for the monetized version of Wordpress you'll need your own domain name and hosting.