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 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.
And that's the first, and major, reason why blogging on HubPages doesn't work.
Reason 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 - but it's not much use if you want readers to stay with your train of thought.
To prove it, let's take a look at a random Hubber, and how her work is displayed on HubPages, compared to her blog. Here's a random Hub by Jean Bakula: The Egyptian Goddess. When you're looking at that Hub, how many other Hubs can you see belonging to Jean? How many that belong to other people? In fact, Jean has written over 150 Hubs, but you'd have no idea. Readers are far more likely to click on the "Related" or "Popular"articles by other people, because that's so much easier than clicking on Jean's name and browsing through her profile. They may not even notice that her name is a link!
Now let's look at a post on Jean's blog. It's on Wordpress, but the principle is the same for Blogger. Even though Wordpress and Blogger are both shared blogging sites, each person is totally separate. Can you see any blogs by anyone else? No. All the menus and links lead to other pages within Jean's blog. There's no temptation for the reader to wander off and read someone else's work.
But Can't I Add My Own Links?
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menu of your other Hubs on a Hub - in fact, it's against HubPages rules and if you try, it may result in your Hub being unpublished. You can use in-text links, but only to Hubs that are directly related to the main topic of the Hub.
To summarise: when a reader visits one of your Hubs, most of your other Hubs are invisible to 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.
Reason 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 350 to 500 words. That's far too short to make a successful Hub. 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 Hub, compared to blog posts.
Reason 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.
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.
© 2010 Kate Swanson