As a writer for 12 years, Audrey gives us practical reasons for being a member of Hub Pages.
Being a writer is not for the faint of heart. There's just no time to sit around and rest on your laurels. If you want to improve your craft, you must keep writing and jot something down every day, even if it's just a thought or an idea.
I like to write about things I know. Our passion and expertise are crucial and must be displayed throughout our content because it's the very thread that keeps the reader stimulated. If I've learned anything about writing, it's to develop original, unique, high-quality content. This requires trust and confidence in oneself.
Another good thing to keep in mind is this: learn to revise your work again and again, and you just might turn mediocrity into greatness.
So if you're ready to stretch your writing wings and fly, let's go!
15 Tips for Writing a Stellar Article
- Let's begin with the title. When writing your title make sure it isn't too long or too broad and be as specific as possible.
- Answer the question found in your title early. This captures the attention of the reader right away and they are more likely to stay with you to the end of your article. During my early years as a writer I made the mistake of beginning my articles with a long, tedious introduction. It took me way too long to get to the point. Live up to the promise you make to your reader; the sooner the better.
- Write a minimum of 500 words with useful content that keeps the reader interested.
- When revising your article, make sure all content is fresh and up to date. Nothing will lose a reader as fast as out-dated content.
- Keyword stuffing—void this like the plague. Google looks at keyword stuffing as spam. You may not even realize you're repeating words unnecessarily, so always double-check your work.
- Do a double check on your spelling. There is nothing that cries out amateur like a misspelled word.
- Articles with original photos rate better. Remember to use photos approved for commercial use and always give correct attribution. Your own original photos are best, so keep your camera handy wherever you go. A picture really is worth a thousand words and helps the reader to use their imagination and even feel the emotion you are trying to convey.
- Videos. Good, relevant videos complete your answer to the title question, so select those that are top quality and on good authority.
- Add additional content. Adding even one paragraph with interesting new content will make a difference in bringing in more traffic.
- Resources. Give credit where credit is due, listing all resources and include links.
- Include an interactive feature like a poll or map. This is another way to keep your readers interested and engaged and may give rise to more comments.
- Summarizing. Make your summary clear and to the point. Using bullets helps to attract the reader.
- Comments. Reply to all comments as soon as possible and thank your readers for their visit.
- Proofread. Finally, proofread your entire article at least two times.I make it a point to read out loud. Do this carefully before submitting your article.
Helpful Instruction For Writers
Revise Your Articles Often
To revise means to "look again." After you complete your revisions, be sure to read it completely through at least once:
- Does your opening paragraph grab your reader's attention?
- Have you given enough examples?
- Do your paragraphs flow well from one to another?
- Does your summary list key points?
- Double-check for misspelled words and typos.
When you edit and revise, you become a better writer. Make it a practice to do this often.
Visit the Hubpages Learning Center for tutorials and community discussions.
Have a Plan for Writing
In order to succeed, you need to have a plan. To just blindly jump into any challenge just isn't enough. Taking time to prepare your strategy not only assures you of success but saves you time in the long run.
- Begin by making a list of topics to write about.
- After saving the titles in word, begin to build a brief outline.
- You may change the title at any time as you build your content.
- When ideas come to you, jot them down. Sometimes inspiration can come to you when you're driving, watching television, on a walk, or even reading a book.
- Set aside a window of time each day to devote to writing. I find that if I do some form of activity to get my heart rate up just before sitting down at my desk, the juices begin to flow. There are times when my mind is so filled with inner dialogue, I can't write fast enough.
- Enjoy the process of writing. As you discover your own voice, your imagination will flourish, and the journey itself will be your reward.
How Disciplined Are You?
Completing any challenge requires self-discipline. There will always be distractions; however, we can learn to focus on the business at hand:
- Set aside a specific time to write. During this time, don't let yourself get side-tracked with anything else. Devote this period of time to writing.
- Avoid distractions. Don't be tempted to open your email, read other articles, check your scores or your traffic. The period of time you have set aside for writing must involve only writing.
- Do not answer the phone. Before you begin writing, turn off the ringer on the telephone and set the volume to low or quiet.
- Family interruptions. If possible, find a time to write when you're alone. I realize this isn't always possible, and you may need to gently explain to members of the household that you need their cooperation during your time for writing. Explain to them that you will need to concentrate for the next hour or your designated time, and you must not be interrupted.
- Drinks. Keep water or other liquid (no alcohol) at your desk and sip often.
- Take a break. Every so often, get up from your chair and stretch your back and legs. Take a nice full deep breath three or four times, letting the air out slowly. This will re-energize your brain and help with circulation.
- Blink every once-in-awhile. This reduces strain on the eyes.
Self-discipline isn't something you're born with. It's an existence you cultivate. By using all the self-discipline you can muster up, you'll achieve greatness of character.
Read More From Toughnickel
11 Final Tips to Keep You Writing
- The plan is to keep writing and if you can't find the time, start with just 15 minutes.
- Instead of trying to write your entire content, start by writing the subheads. Once these are established, you can go back at another time and fill in the details.
- Keep your writing simple and let it flow.
- Keep a file handy on quotes, poetry, art, or anything that will ignite your imagination.
- Allow your ideas to incubate. Let them sit for a few days and add more ideas as they come to you.
- Avoid perfectionism which takes up too much time.
- Add a dominant photo to your article. This helps to grab the reader's attention.
- Use bullet points or number lists.
- Edit, edit, edit. Check your spelling and grammar.
- If you use quotes, use them sparingly.
- Be sure your subheads are informative.
Summary: Key Points to Review for the Writer in You
Our main reason for writing a particular article is to resonate with our readers, so it's a good idea to think about what your purpose is for writing your article. As you create your content, keep the following points in mind:
- The introduction gives the reader a preview of what your article is about and entices them to stay with you and continue reading. Grab your readers' attention early.
- All photos should be high-quality with necessary attributions, or even better, your own original photos.
- Keep the content original, simple, but strong.
- Proofread your work and make any necessary changes, such as grammar and misspelled words. Read your entire article out loud. Never submit your article without checking it two or three times for errors.
- Organize your various ideas and information.
- Choose reliable sources when adding videos or suggested reading.
- Avoid overwhelming your reader with long paragraphs. Break up long content into short capsules.
- Adding a story helps to keep the reader interested.
- Your article should contain a minimum of 500 words.
Most of all, keep your readers harmonized with your message. Make it true, interesting, and informative.
Thank you for joining me. I'd love to hear your comments.
© 2011 Audrey Hunt
Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on March 31, 2020:
Welcome to this, your first writing gig..This is a marvelous platform for writing with so many heplful folks reading and willing to help you how.
Let me know if I can help you too.
Richard from Texas on March 19, 2020:
I’m brand new to writing, still trying to get my first few articles through the “boot camp” portion for HubPages. This article has some very helpful guidelines, especially the part about discipline and avoiding distractions. I wish I had read this a few weeks ago. I’m amazed at how helpful writers on this site are. I’m going to copy and print these tips and keep them by my laptop.
Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on January 16, 2020:
You are very welcome. So nice to have your visit. Take care.
Tawny from Kennesaw, GA on January 16, 2020:
Thank you for these tips!
gyanendra mocktan from Kathmandu,Nepal on March 27, 2017:
Thank you! I've read your article. I have to put into action what you advised to do.
Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on November 12, 2014:
I'm glad to know that my hub has given you help for writing hubs as well as revising older hubs. Very nice to see you here and thanks for following me. Audrey
Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on November 09, 2014:
Writing everyday is what I need to do. Couple this with a plan and I ma sure this will help me move towards success faster. Thank you for your tips.
Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on April 20, 2013:
nArchuleta - Hi there. So nice to see you here. I know what you mean about Lindemann meowing for his food. I have one too :) Actually, it's a good time to take a break and rest my back. Thanks so much and I look forward to seeing you again!
Nadia Archuleta from Denver, Colorado on April 20, 2013:
Thank you for your great advice. Sometimes I have trouble making myself STOP writing -- Lindemann meowing for his food often reminds me. :) I also like your idea about switching between genres.
colpolbear from Pennsylvania on January 23, 2012:
Hey. Good for you! This seems like a great goal. I'll try it out as soon as school is over and I'm sure I won't have to cut into "study time." Great hub and great inspiration!
Shasta Matova from USA on December 10, 2011:
I think it is always useful to challenge yourself. Whether you actually succeed or not, the stretch makes you taller.
MonetteforJack from Tuckerton, NJ on September 06, 2011:
Go! Go! Go! Sounds like fun, VC! I might join you. Am a newbie at blogging and have lots to learn. By the way, thank you for mentioning about link ... I still don't know how to do it, but I will learn of it soon. Also about Cloverleaf ... Thanks and I hope you win !!!
Sharon Smith from Northeast Ohio USA on September 06, 2011:
Well, now that it is September 6 and I didn't even know there was a challenge going on, I guess I missed it, ha! Seriously, I am not in the right frame of mind for this type of challenge currently, and I envy those that are. I wish you the best - I believe you will make it this time. Good luck!
Cloverleaf from Calgary, AB, Canada on September 05, 2011:
I'm so excited for you that you are embarking on the challenge once again - and you're well on your way by writing 4 already!!! And over the Labour Day weekend, too! Now that's determination for you :-)
What a lovely surprise to see that you had mentioned me and my own 30 Day Challenge, thank you for writing such wonderful comments. I am very happy that I have inspired you to do the challenge again!!
I know that your determination will pay off - you've written a list of topics and have also listed a great list of reasons why you want to achieve your goal. And now you are well on your way!!! I am looking forward to seeing you in the challenge forum...I've been looking for you, but haven't seen you over there yet!!
Voted this UP UP UP!!!! Go for it!
All the best,
Maria Jordan from Jeffersonville PA on September 05, 2011:
You are an inspiration, vocal! I wish you all the best in this personal challenge! Voted UP & UABI, mar.
Movie Master from United Kingdom on September 05, 2011:
Audrey, I am very excited for you, good luck with the challenge, we shall be supporting you, and with you every inch of the way!
Christina Lornemark from Sweden on September 04, 2011:
I know you will make a success out of this challenge and I will be reading with joy and cheering you on!
Great inspiration also:)
courtlneygdtm from United States on September 03, 2011:
Good for you! I was also inspired by cloverleaf's story. Kudos to you for going for it. I wish you the best of luck!
CountryCityWoman from From New York City to North Carolina on September 03, 2011:
Thank you! You have truly inspired me. What I will do is increase my hubbing this month and prepare for the 30 day challenge next month. It does taking preparation. I'm getting topics together.
I am actually earning good money with hubpages - better than with AdSense. And more quality hubs means more money - and there is nothing wrong with that.
Thanks for the inspiration! Yay and rated way up!
Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on September 03, 2011:
allpurposeguru - I so understand where you're coming from. You have much on your plate. As I try to figure out how this all works (hub scoring, ratings, traffic, making a few bucks), I am finding that rich content and bringing traffic to my hubs is key. I know that keywords are important, but I'm still working on that aspect.
I really want to complete this 30 day challenge. It isn't easy for me. And knowing you're in my corner really helps. Thank you for that. We do have some important common interests and that feels good :)
I appreciate your following my links and will do what I can to drive traffic to your hubs. Thanks too, for bookmarking. You're a true friend!
David Guion from North Carolina on September 03, 2011:
I can't help noticing that everyone who makes good money here has a lot more hubs than I do. I have four blogs to feed, and so write four posts every week. I'm also trying to get an affiliate marketing site off the ground. I don't know when I'll be able to take anything like a 30-day challenge, but I'm certainly hunting for a systematic way to turn blog posts and other things I've already written into hubs.
I'm rooting for you. We have some important common interests. Now, I'm going to have to go back and follow your links to see what other hubbers I can discover and what other ideas I can pick up. I'm bookmarking this one.
Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on September 03, 2011:
Charlotte - Wow! I really feel your support for me on this quest. Its awesome to find someone like you. You deserve to be a real success here on HP, and I know that you will. Many thanks!
Kelly Umphenour from St. Louis, MO on September 03, 2011:
Vocalcoach - you possess so many gifts and talents, but one of the most amazing is your ability to make people feel special!!! That is why you have always been a hub hero.
I hope everything is going in an upward direction for your too gorgeous:)!!!
Brenda Barnes from America-Broken But Still Beautiful on September 03, 2011:
Write about the sun! How it provides energy to all life and Vitamin D and makes us happy and even causes the sunflower to raise her face in wonder.
Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on September 03, 2011:
Ruby - Thanks for cheering me on. I'm brain dead. Really needed your encouragement. Only published 2 hubs and am already tired:) I need a hug!
Truckstop Sally - I can do it! I can do it! You've given me a "power chant". Wonderful! And, replacing the dark covered strawberries today with carrot sticks :)
Thanks for being on my cheerleading team. You're the best!
Truckstop Sally on September 03, 2011:
I'd do it just for the dark chocolate-covered strawberries. Ha! I'll be chanting for the Little engine that could -- You can do it!
Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on September 03, 2011:
You go Girl, you can do it! If i thought it would increase my vocabulary--- No i'm too lazy, but i love yout companions. HaHa
Chinemere onuekwusi on September 02, 2011:
This challenge is really worth taking, though I for once has never embarked on it. But I believe it is an exercise that'll bring in more visibility, prominence and more cash for the hubber. Hubs performance on the search engine has been really abysmal and it my believe that a challenge like this can help bring in some juice after the panda slap.
All that matters now is writing quality stuff while on this challenge.
All the best as I forward to reading about your experience after this wonderful ride.
Rose Clearfield from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on September 02, 2011:
I was inspired by Cloverleaf's post this week, too! Good luck with the challenge! I'll be here reading all the way through it.
Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on September 02, 2011:
Susie - "I can do it, I can do it!" Love it and believe me, I will be repeating this every minute of everyday.
Thank you so much. Your support helps me to sprout wings and fly!
Susieq42 on September 02, 2011:
Just keep telling yourself, "I can do it, I can do it!" Then you will!!
Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on September 02, 2011:
tamron - I won't give up, altho it is tempting when my brain goes to sleep. :) I'll see you at the finish my friend!
Happyboomernurse - So grate to be wished "good luck" by you. I will try my best and persavere. If this were easy, there would be no growth, right? Thanks, dear one.
J T - Wow, 50 hubs a month! Terrific. Go to darkside in the forums and join this 30 day challenge. You'll be great! Thanks for the support.
Realhousewife - I hope things are finally going better for you and that your uncle is healing. You are one of my favorite heroes on hubpages.
I so appreciate your linking to my hub on handling negativity on hubpages. How very generous of you! You will do so well on the 30 day hub challenge with your natural gift of writing.
Bless you each day with peace and joy!
Hyphenbird - As busy as you are, you still find time to support me with just the right words. I find strenght in your words and comfort in your sweetness. Thank you!
philzgrill - Thrilled to hear that my hub inspires you to take the hub challenge. You can do this! I will be cheering you on, my friend. Thanks!
tamron on September 02, 2011:
Never give up! You can do it! We will be there when at the finish!
Gail Sobotkin from South Carolina on September 02, 2011:
I love your suggestion for creating a word document for hub ideas which can be useful even if a hubber isn't currently doing the challenge.
I also like the fact that you gave credit to fellow hubber, Cloverleaf, for being your inspiration.
Good luck on your new challenge and hope you're able to reach your goals this time.
Jt Walters on September 02, 2011:
I always love your articles. Is the challenge formal? Because I think I have been doing these challenges all along without being formally involved.
I think it is brilliant to write down all your article ideas. I do that and then I do outlines as well. I add a bit of research and a picture or two and it all comes together.
I look forward to following you on your journey of your challenge.
All My Best,
I haven't been commenting as much on other hubs because I have been averaging 50 hubs a month.
Kelly Umphenour from St. Louis, MO on September 02, 2011:
Vocalcoach - you are an inspiration - and I am going to follow suit. I love a good challenge am I am just now starting to feel like I might be able to do it.....ohhhhh and I'd love to link one of your hubs to mine - receiving negative criticism. Would that be ok with you?
I adore your spirit and within the first two paragraphs of this hub you had me hooked with the idea!!
Brenda Barnes from America-Broken But Still Beautiful on September 02, 2011:
WhooHoo, I am happy for you and proud of you!
Philzgrill on September 02, 2011:
great article, you've inspired me to think about the 30 day challenge and go after it. thanks!phil
Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on September 01, 2011:
WillStarr - Your lovely daughter Sophia, must be your pride and joy. And isn't it the truth about Cloverleaf? As you have said, how could anyone not love her. And, I might add...how can anyone not love WillStarr? I do! So glad this is inspiring to you. Thanks, my amazing friend.
WillStarr from Phoenix, Arizona on September 01, 2011:
You know what, Coach? Your lovely face and sweet enthusiasm inspires me to do better!
(And look at the charming face of Cloverleaf! How could anyone not love her, too? She reminds me of my beloved daughter, Sophia!)
Charlotte B Plum on September 01, 2011:
Hey Vocalcoach! I'll be supporting you as you do this challenge! And I will be waiting to read your hubs too! Go for it, aaaaalllll the way!