Tips for Finding Success on HubPages
It took me over a year to make my first payout on HubPages. By then, I had written over a 100 articles. Now, more than 7 years after I started writing on the HubPages platform, I am well on my way to 200 articles and nearing 2 million views. Over this period of time I have tried many things and experimented with different writing styles as well as writing on various topics. In addition, I spent a lot of time trying to use proven SEO techniques and backlink building methods in order to grow my readership and improve traffic. In the end, I learned many valuable lessons and am looking forward to a long career on HubPages.
My hope is that if you are reading this that you can learn from my experiences (and mistakes) just like I have. Although I will be discussing several key tips for winning on HubPages in the remainder of this article, if I had to give only one recommendation that would be to focus on writing high quality content. Quality is king above all else. If all you did was write amazing content, you would still probably be successful since HubPages is a great platform where the owners want to see you succeed.
1. Proofread and Edit Your Content
High quality articles are grammatically correct and free of errors. I understand that after spending the time to write something that you are eager to get it published. The temptation to post (and share) your content is very strong, however, you must resist that temptation. Early on in my writing career I would publish articles quickly only to have to go back soon after and make edits to them. Nowadays, once I finish a new article I usually let it mellow out for a few days before I revisit it. When the time comes, I go back and reread the articles multiple times, making any necessary edits or changes, before I finally post them. It also helps to read them out loud to yourself to see how the content flows together. You'll be surprised how many mistakes you will catch using these tips.
2. Write on the Right Topics
You've probably heard that you should focus your efforts on writing about topics that are evergreen. What this means that is you need to write about things that will stand the test of time. Something that goes out of style quickly, like the news, will eventually fade away. Readership will likely go down over time. Evergreen topics are things that will remain trendy, useful, and/or needed for the foreseeable future.
When coming up with things to write about it helps to focus on solving a problem or answering a question with your article. Think about what people might be searching for online that they can find easily if only you decided to write about it. What do you search for online? What questions have you Googled that still need answered? Focus on these ideas and you will likely do well.
In addition to these things, your content should be on niche topics with little competition. If you write on something that thousands of other people have written about, it's going to be difficult to get any traffic. This is where doing keyword research can help you with your specific writing topic.
And honestly, this article that I am writing right now will probably not do so well with organic traffic from Google. It's a very specific topic and a lot of other Hubbers have written on it in the past. This article will likely only interest people who just recently joined HubPages. Perhaps some veteran writers would enjoy it as well. However, I expect that most of the traffic to this article to come from the HubPages community.
3. Keep a Topic and Idea List
Keep a running list of every idea that you come up with to write about. You never know when an idea will come into your head. Things you do at work, interactions with customers, family members, etc can all help with ideas. There are opportunities to create ideas to write about around every corner. By maintaining a list of writing topics you are sure to never run out of anything to write about.
4. Set Goals for Yourself
One thing that helps me in the area of writing/publishing new content is to start writing down some personal goals. You can write down the things that want to accomplish with regards to writing and then read those goals to yourself daily. This will help you to maintain the daily mental focus needed to keep writing long after you have started. For instance, at the beginning of this year I set a goal to write over 200 articles for my various web properties and platforms. I committed myself to writing at least 40 articles for HubPages. So far, I've written 23 articles for HubPages this year and am well on my way to reaching my goal.
5. Write 800 Words or More
In the beginning, many people may find it challenging to write at length for any one topic. In order to make it online, and have good quality content, the length of your articles matters. In my experience, the best articles seem to be at least 1000 words long but not longer than 2500 words. Articles that are 800 words seem to be minimum and anything below that just doesn't have enough detail for the search engines or your readers.
If you have a topic that you want to write about but can't seem to get more than a few hundred words, there are a few things you can try. First try adding a personal story or anecdote to your article to add some authenticity (and length) to it. Another thing you can do is to spend some time researching your topic, learning more about it, and then coming back and writing more. One thing that I have done is to let the article sit for a few weeks and then start writing a brand new article on that same topic. After I've finished that I will go back to my first article and combine the new content with it.
6. Learn SEO, But In Moderation
When I first started writing online I heard a lot about the importance of search engine optimization. It intrigued me, so I learned as much as I could about the topic. In my early years I spent a lot of time setting up systems to share and bookmark my content. At one point, I was using upwards of 75 tools and websites to share and link my content. After a few years of doing this, I found that a lot of my content was not getting the traffic that I expected. Even after all of the SEO work, only about 10% of my articles were bringing in over 90% of my traffic. No amount of sharing or bookmarking would help to bring consistent, long term traffic to the remaining 90% of articles.
While SEO is important, I wouldn't recommending spending a lot of time on this when writing for HubPages. Much of the time I spend on this in the past could (and should) have been spent on writing more and better articles instead. I still share things on Twitter and other platforms, while also trying looking for legitimate ways to get natural backlinks (like guest posting), however, this is not where I spend the bulk of my time. No matter how much keyword research, sharing, and social bookmarking you do, it likely won't help much in the long term.
The HubPages platform does a great job in managing a lot of the important SEO elements that are needed to get a lot of traffic. HubPages wants you to succeed so they have put many rules and templates in place that helps you to optimize your content automatically. Furthermore, Google is always changing their algorithm which makes following the changes challenging and time consuming. However, keep in mind if you are writing on your own website or other platforms, SEO will become a bit more important.
7. Develop a Writing System
Learn to develop a system that helps make to writing easier and more efficient. Use a word processing program to write your articles before copying and pasting them into HubPages. Create an outline of your main ideas or points for an article and then "fill in" the rest with content. Having a plan for your article will make actually writing it significantly easier.
Learn to type faster and it will be easier to write longer and higher quality articles. If you have trouble typing fast or accurately, try using dictation software. If you are a good speaker and know what you want to say, this is a great method for expediting article creation. Most smartphones will let you use voice to text to write emails and their doesn't seem to be a limit on the length of the content that you can write. I've written several articles using this method because its quick, easy, and secure. In addition, most email apps automatically save your content in the draft folder before you send it to yourself. You can also enable voice typing in Google Docs when using the Chrome browser to create content with just your voice.
8. Create an Environment That Helps You Write
Setup your computer for success and spend some time making your desk/work station ergonomically correct. Make sure you have a comfortable chair and that your keyboard is positioned correctly to minimize fatigue. Get rid of distractions and put on some some soothing background music (I prefer music without words). I use headphones to help drown out the noises of the rest of the house. It's best if you can work in a separate room where there is not a lot of commotion or things to bother you.
9. Know Your Topic
Obviously, knowing the topic that you are writing about is very important. I can write many articles just with the information contained in my head, however, many others will require research before I can create something of quality and value. Over the years, I've realized that I may typically spend a 3:1 ratio of time in researching versus writing an article. In other words, for every hour of article writing that I do, I will have spent about 3 hours reading and learning more about that topic.
I realize that reading and researching the fundamentals of your topics can take a significant amount of time. However, this is vital to having a well written, high-quality article. In addition, the process of researching a topic will allow you to see what has already been written on the subject. Whenever you do a Google search, take note of the top 4 or 5 articles that you come across. You will want your article to be written better than all of those if you desire to get readers from internet searches.
10. Don't Take Shortcuts
If success were easy everyone would do it. Taking shortcuts (like copying other peoples content, or paying for 1,000's of instant backlinks) is one sure fire way to shoot yourself in the foot. I realize it can be tempting to take short cuts. People are driven by instant gratification and working hard for things takes time and is, well, hard. Avoid the get rich-quick schemes and get back to the basics. Just sit down and spend some time writing good quality articles to publish.
11. Participate in the HubPages Community
This is something I should probably spend more time on myself. When you engage with other writers they will help inspire you to write more and better content yourself. As a community we can help each other to succeed and get readers and additional traffic at the same time.
If you come across another author's article that you enjoyed reading, leave a comment behind to let them know your thoughts. Commenting on articles adds value to them and continues to keep the content fresh. This often leads to reciprocal behavior as well. In addition to this, it wouldn't hurt to share the work of others on your social media platforms. Not only will this add value for your followers, it also helps to grow and improve the HubPages writing platform as well.
12. Be Patient and Don't Give Up
Success with anything in life requires time, patience, and perseverance. Succeeding on HubPages is no different. Even if you published 100 articles today, it would still take time for the traffic to arrive. It takes time for search engines to find and index your content in addition to allowing backlinks to be naturally created as the Internet grows in size. Many of my best articles did not get very much traffic until a few months after they were first published. I've also had articles that did poorly for a number of years and then they suddenly started doing really well (likely after Google changed something). Don't necessarily delete a young article if it's not doing well right away.
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