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Strategy Tips for Being Successful as a Writer on HubPages

Author:

Glenn Stok received writing achievement awards from Yahoo, Ezine, and HubPages. He likes to help other writers with useful techniques.

hubpages-strategy-tips

The following 20 strategies will help make your articles more professional and get published on the network niche sites. These points are crucial for new writers on the platform, but they are also an excellent refresher for anyone who has been writing here for a long time.

1. Write for the Reader

You will achieve the best results with articles that offer help to queries people search for online. Always keep in mind how well your reader will benefit from your article.

Write with a point of view that your reader can relate to, and make it about the reader—not about you.

2. Indicate Your Background and Expertise in Your Author Bio

Your bio is the first thing that readers notice at the top of your article. It’s essential to have a description of your expertise, as required per Google’s Quality Guidelines.¹

Mention something about your background related to the topic to make it clear why you are an authority on the subject.

That's especially important in the YouMeMindBody and PatientsLounge niche sites, where Google wants to see specific expertise.

Don't just write one generic bio for all your articles. Write specific ones for each category you cover. You can create up to 100 individual author bios.

Author bios can be written and selected in the HubTool. However, you can also maintain all of them from one place by clicking the “About the Author” tab on your articles page.

3. Show You’re Serious With a True Avatar Image and Real Name

There is so much competition on the Internet that you need to appear real. When people search for information and discover an answer written by a dog, a cat, or a tree, they wouldn’t trust the authority of that author. If a writer doesn’t show their face, they aren't serious.

A real name, or at least something that looks like a real name, also makes a better impression. Pen names are okay.

If you used a meaningless username when you created your HubPages account, you could still add your real name in your profile settings. That will be displayed in your articles.

4. A Square Main Image Produces a Better Thumbnail

The first image in your article is used to make a thumbnail for your profile listing and other places where listed. If it’s not square, then the sides (or top and bottom) will be cut off in the thumbnail.

If you have text on your image, some words may be missing in the thumbnail. Therefore, you should crop your image to make it square, so the thumbnails make sense. You can crop images with image editors such as "Paint" on Windows or "Preview" on a Mac.

If you place text on an image that’s not square, keep it within the area that won't be cropped off.

Do you want to check it now? Open your profile in another window or another tab on your browser and review all your thumbnails. If you see any problems, you’ll know which need to be fixed.

5. Create Better Titles With Good Search Phrases

You can take advantage of auto-complete, a feature that both Google and Bing provide when you search. Start to type anything in the search bar and you'll see that it completes it as you type. That offers clues to what other people are searching.

In addition, Google shows alternative search strings at the bottom of the SERPs. It's helpful to consider those suggestions when working on creating a title. That will help create good titles that work well with attracting traffic.

You might want to fine-tune your titles on older articles that haven't been working well. Problems with search traffic might merely be due to titles that need improvement.

Make your title clearly state what your article is about. In addition, you need to deliver on that and stay focused. Avoid anything that does not relate specifically to what the title indicates. I see some articles where the writer goes off on tangents. When that happens, I lose interest, not knowing the point he or she is trying to make.

Titles should also be limited to around 60 characters because anything longer gets cut off in the search listings (SERPs). It’s not exactly 60 characters because the character width affects what gets truncated. Letters such as ‘I’ take less space than ‘W’s.

6. Review Your Obsolete Articles

Articles that are dead to the world might be good quality but may need some tender loving care to bring them to life.

On the other hand, you may decide to delete them if they are taking up too much of your time-resources with maintenance. I’ve deleted over half my articles over the years. I like to keep it down to a manageable number so that I can focus on the maintenance of those that work well.

Some writers have over 1,000 articles. When I look at some of them, I see things that are obsolete with incorrect data due to changes that were made to the platform over time. That is a bad reflection on the author. Don’t let this happen to you.

That is my opinion. If you’re comfortable maintaining over 1,000 articles, that’s fine, as long as it’s working for you and you have the time to keep them all up to date with content modifications and technical changes.

7. Delete Unrelated Comments

Comments that are not related to the subject are not helpful from an SEO standpoint. Sometimes people get into a discussion and go off on tangents.

I go along with it when appropriate, responding to personal comments as a courtesy, but then I delete them after having been read.

If a comment doesn't serve a purpose for the general public and add value to the subject matter, then it should not be included. Google will consider unrelated content low quality.

That goes for things like "nice hub" comments too. It’s pleasing to see someone say “nice hub,” but these things don’t add value. For that matter, delete any comments that contain the word "hub" because readers that come from organic search do not know what a hub is. That's especially true when your article is on a niche site.

8. Review Your Low Quality and Spam Filter

Did you know you have a filter on your comments page? You can use it to see comments that are spam or low quality. Low-quality comments that don’t add value can negatively affect your Google ranking.

Most of the time, people who say two words are doing it for their own recognition, in my opinion. Otherwise, they would say something that shows they actually read the article—and add something meaningful to the conversation.

You need to be diligent with moderating your comments and removing anything that is low quality. Go to your global comment moderation page and change the filter to "Low Quality." You can delete them permanently or approve them if you think they are okay.

While you’re moderating comments, delete any with self-promotional links. HubPages automatically hides most of these in your spam filter but some of it gets through.

9. Only Use Images That Are Free for Non-Commercial Use

If you're using your own images, you don't need to be concerned about this. But if you use images found elsewhere, you need to be careful with the license.

I see many people overlook the fact that our articles are commercial. That's because they generate revenue. Many free image sites allow use for non-commercial content only.

It’s important to read the specific licensing information. If you don’t understand something, stick to using your own images, or at least use a CC0 license.²

CC is Creative Commons, and the zero after the CC means “No Rights Reserved” so you are free to use the image in any way you wish without attribution, even commercially.

Pixabay and Unsplash are my preferred source for Creative Commons Public Domain Images that can be used commercially.

Another Creative Commons license that allows images to be used in our articles is “Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)” This can be used commercially, but needs attribution.

10. Improve Your Page Load Speed

If you use a lot of images, you need to be aware of their size and how it may affect page load speed. Google may lower ranking if pages load slowly.

When I take pictures with my camera to use in my articles, I change the setting to a lower quality since I do not intend to use the images for print quality. I usually reduce the size even further before uploading.

Try to keep your images under 100 KB and no larger than 900 pixels width.

When reducing the size of images, make sure you maintain the quality. Images on HubPages should not be pixilated, or they will not pass the QAP. They must be clear and not appear fuzzy.

When I find images on Pixabay, I download the smallest version (with a 640-pixel width). That’s all we need for web-based usage.

11. Proper Grammar and Spelling Can Be Easily Overlooked

I still see articles where people use poor English. I thought the Quality Assessment Process (QAP) was meant to catch these.

Examples of errors I see:

  • Wrong: Your not doing it right.
  • Correct: You're not doing it right.

  • Wrong: Try and do this the right way.
  • Correct: Try to do this the right way.

  • Wrong: That use to be the way to go.
  • Correct: That used to be the way to go.

  • Wrong: You might of disabled your settings.
  • Correct: You might have disabled your settings.

  • Wrong: What is the furthest you’ve traveled?
  • Correct: What is the farthest you’ve traveled?

  • Wrong: Do you want to go to the concert with Phyllis and I?
  • Correct: Do you want to go to the concert with Phyllis and me?

That last one seems to be a common mistake. Some people think they sound intelligent by using "I" instead of "me" when speaking, but that's not correct in all cases.

An easy way to determine that is to say each item separately. If it sounds silly, you'll know it's wrong. For example, "Do you want to go to the concert with I?" — See what I mean?

I recommend a book that I keep by my side and refer to whenever I’m not sure about my grammar. The book is "The Perfect English Grammar Workbook" by Lisa McLendon. She includes a lot of instructive examples.

12. Give Your Articles an Annual Checkup

Every so often I give each of my articles a routine checkup. This is what you should do too. Check each of the sub-tabs under the “Stats tab” at the top of your hubs.

  • Under “Overview,” you will see several useful items. I find “incoming links” and “view duration” useful. These are represented with 1 to 5 stars. The more stars you have, the more incoming links were found from other sources, or the longer people have been reading through the entire article.
  • A short “View duration” indicates you are losing people too quick. Hint: You might be starting with something that’s not related to the title.
  • All the traffic sources are listed under “Referrers.” Make sure your major traffic is from search engines. Organic traffic can be perpetual, but traffic from social media leads may have limited success.
  • “Search Terms” shows what people are entering into various search engines. This information is useful, but lately many search engines no longer pass that information as part of their privacy strategy.

13. Review Traffic Stats With Google Analytics

Google Analytics collects data across all HubPages' network niche sites.

Your analytics reports will help you know what’s going on with your traffic. I examine my reports to see how long people stay on the pages reading my articles. If they click away quickly, I review my article to see what's wrong.

I also compare organic traffic to traffic from other sources. You want to be sure your traffic is coming from organic search. When I find that this is not the case, I look for problems I might have with the title or summary since those are what people see in search listings.

Here’s a summary of what you can do with Google Analytics:

  • Track the behavior flow of readers (flow from one article to the next).
  • See how long people stay reading each article.
  • Track the source of traffic and the demographics of readers.
  • See how many people come back for more vs. how many are new readers.
  • See what types of devices people use (desktop, mobile, tablet).
  • Watch people reading in real-time view. It’s cool when I see several people reading the same article simultaneously. That means a lot to me.

14. Get Into Google's Featured Snippets

Google has a feature that displays instant answers in the SERPs when searching for information. These are called Featured Snippets.

Here are four methods that increase your chances of being listed in a featured snippet:

  1. Answer the question suggested by your title immediately at the beginning of your article. People look for instant answers, and Google might use your content for a featured snippet.
  2. Use meaningful subtitles on text capsules that clearly indicate the subject of that capsule.
  3. Use bulleted lists where appropriate, with subtitles for the list.
  4. Use table capsules where appropriate.

Don’t use callout capsules for subtitles. Callout capsules should only be used for attracting attention to a noteworthy statement. When you place a subtitle in any type of capsule, it is directly tied to the content of that capsule.

Google can combine that data when formatting featured snippets. If you place a subtitle in a separate capsule, such as a callout capsule, then Google cannot combine the elements.

"One of the reasons that we are moving back to using subtitles rather than callouts as headings is so that articles can show up as featured snippets. Callouts don't work great in this capacity."

— Robin Edmondson (HubPages Support) - 3/15/17

15. Keep an Eye Out for Plagiarism

I place a few random sentences from each article into Google Alerts³ so they will notify me when a copy is found.

Make an alert for each title and for one or two sentences taken from the content. It's a long, drawn-out process, but once you do it, it’s done. Just remember to do it for each new article that you publish.

If it’s too much work and you don’t feel it’s worth doing, then just do it for your articles that get the most traffic.

16. Use Amazon Ad Capsules and In-Text Links Properly

All my Amazon monetized articles have been moved to the niche sites. One of them even has five Amazon capsules, and none were snipped. I get Amazon sales every day. So I can attest that if you do it right, you will have success.

  1. Amazon capsules need to be 100% related to the subject of your article. That applies to in-text Amazon links too.
  2. It helps to clarify that you have used the product yourself. That goes a long way towards showing your reader that you are an authority with knowledge of the item.
  3. Describe your experience with the product and place that text in the Amazon capsule. The Buy Now button will automatically fall below that text. I feel this provides a better user experience because you’re not throwing a “buy” button in their face. Placing the button under the description works better since it’s like having a “call to action” in the right place.
  4. Use Amazon to provide value to the reader rather than hoping to make money. Think in terms of the reader. Can you honestly say you would order the item? If in doubt, don't include it.
  5. In-text links to Amazon are favorable in many cases since they don't appear as ads. However, I found the capsules work just as well when used properly. Either one will be snipped if you don't follow the rules above.

17. Avoid Spammy Amazon Ads

In addition to the points I mentioned above, it's crucial to avoid any Amazon ads that look spammy. It's vital to understand these things to avoid getting your Amazon ads snipped.

You need to avoid placing ads for items with little or nothing to do with your article's subject. It needs to relate 100% with the topic promised by your title.

If you place Amazon ads in hopes of making money from sales, they may be considered spammy. If you're hoping people will buy something, you will upset your readers. The only reason for placing Amazon ads is when the item adds value for the reader.

18. Special Consideration for Recipe Articles

If you publish recipes, make good use of the recipe template in the HubTool. It’s necessary to use all the required recipe capsules.

There are specific capsules that help search engines relate to your hub as a recipe. These are:

  • Cook time
  • Ingredients
  • Cooking Instructions
  • Nutritional Facts

Rather than putting your instructions in a text capsule, using the instructions capsule will improve the likelihood of getting your recipe listed in a Google Featured Snippet (see tip# 14).

Providing nutritional information will also increase Google’s ranking of your recipe. When I publish recipe hubs, I create an Excel Spreadsheet to add up all the nutritional information of all the ingredients.

Most ingredients have the information on the label. When I can’t find the info I need, I search Google for "Nutritional Facts" and the name of the item. Excel makes it easy to adjust for the serving size.

Here's an example of an Excel Spreadsheet I made for calculating nutritional values for one of my recipes:

Example of Excel Spreadsheet for calculating nutritional values for a recipe.

Example of Excel Spreadsheet for calculating nutritional values for a recipe.

19. Don't Abuse Animated GIFs

HubPages and Maven support animated GIFs, but this can be very distracting for readers. I suggest you refrain from using this feature unless you have an excellent reason for it.

A short animation that adds value to the content may be useful, but adding one just for the sake of having something in motion should be avoided, in my opinion.

Example of Animated GIF

Example of Animated GIF

20. The Myth of Building a Following

Followers are pleasing to have, but they don’t read every article, especially if we write content on various subjects that followers are not interested in knowing.

You’d do better when you attract an audience from search engines. Organic traffic is a much more substantial and limitless audience. Followers are limited to those in your list.

Besides, people who search for information online are much more prone to read your article when it comes up in their search results.

Thank you!

Thanks to everyone who voted for me as “Most Helpful Hubber“ in 2017. This is the second award mug I’ve received from HubPages.

Me with my award mug for being elected as the most helpful Hubber in  2017.

Me with my award mug for being elected as the most helpful Hubber in 2017.

References

  1. Google’s Quality Guidelines
  2. CC0 FAQ - Creative Commons
  3. Google Alerts

© 2017 Glenn Stok

Comments

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on April 26, 2020:

Cynthia Hoover - You're doing the right thing that helps SEO with on your articles. I also see many Hubbbers who leave spam or unrelated comments in their hubs.

It's amazing how so many just don't care. It's a shame that HubPages staff tolerates that on the niche sites, because it affects the ranking of the entire domain.

I wish they would notify those Hubbers to pay more attention. Some of them let comments post without being moderated. That feature should be eliminated.

Cynthia Hoover from Newton, West Virginia on April 26, 2020:

Very useful information. I was recently wondering specifically about comments. I have seen articles under niche sites that the author does not seem to moderate the comments. While the comments are technically relevant, they are also spam, I have written an article under a similar topic and it resides on a niche site.

I get the same exact comments on my article and I always delete them. Thank you for sharing the detailed tips, I have been going through applying these to my own articles and this article was most helpful.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on January 16, 2020:

Very exhaustive and useful article for not only beginners but also for everyone. Thanks.

Dominique Cantin-Meaney from Montreal, Canada on January 05, 2020:

Thanks Glenn. These are very useful tips. I'll definitely remember them.

Michele Kelsey from Edmond, Oklahoma on November 23, 2019:

Glenn,

I apologize. I didn't see the answers. Thank you.

Regards,

Michele

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on November 23, 2019:

Michele, I replied two days ago to your last questions. See that below in this thread. The only question I missed is about HubPages' apprentice program. That has not been repeated.

Michele Kelsey from Edmond, Oklahoma on November 23, 2019:

Glenn,

Thank you so much for your sharing! I have several questions that I was hoping you could answer, some of which are listed in the last comment I made on this hub.

Would you like me to ask them here or is there a specific place that helps you answer them better?

Thanks! I look forward to hearing back from you!

Michele Kelsey

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on November 21, 2019:

Michele Kelsey - You had asked me to email you direct, to help you with your articles. My policy is to help people via comments in these tutorials so that everyone gets helpful ideas from the interaction. Feel free to use comments in my tutorial articles to ask me questions. I’ll always be glad to help.

Per your last comment, you need to keep up with notifications. You can change your email address in your “profile / account settings”.

I left you a private critique in one of your hubs as you requested.

Thanks for the nice fanmail. Much appreciated.

Michele Kelsey from Edmond, Oklahoma on November 21, 2019:

Thank you so much Glenn! That gives me a great start! Actually as i am fumbling along trying to figure out where to start, I actually had HubPages Writing Guide open, but I got a little overwhelmed by the amount of information in there. However, you have given me new insight and motivation to give it another shot! I really appreciate your prompt feedback. I know this will all take a lot of time, but I am feeling more motivated!

It seems like you know a great deal about HubPages and how to keep earning on here! I would love to keep picking your brain! LOL. If you don't mind, I would love to consider you as one of my mentors to keep me going! I went ahead and followed you and sent you a fan mail.

I may not get thru all of the details on your HubPages' hubs yet, because I want to take useful notes for me to follow, but I will continue referring to them, so I apologize if I leave numerous comments to let you know my thoughts on the particulars of the hub areas I'm reading. You can share them or not if you want. I can't imagine stating anything bad tho! :)

One thing I was thinking about was:

#1 Maybe I should only follow people that I wish to read their new or updated hubs, not just people who are following me or whatever.

#2 If I do #1, I could gradually focus on the ones I follow and give them useful comments.

#3 The email I have set up for my main hubpages account (misslong123) is not one I check regularly so I have no idea when people comment or something (unless I log in and see the notifications); that email is more of a catch-all. I could:

A - do some serious clean-up in that email which may take weeks or months

OR

B - tell hubpages to contact me with a newer less crowded email - do you know if I can do that and if so, how?

Sorry, of topic.....and one more question off topic....

Does hubpages still do the apprentice thing? I read about

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on November 21, 2019:

Michele Kelsey - You said a lot about what you are doing with the tips I gave you in this article, and I thank you for the feedback. I’ll respond to your specific questions:

How much time do you spend in writing, editing, and tweaking your hubs?

I spend more time tweaking old hubs than I do with writing new ones. After a year of two, Google has accumulated a lot of stats that help us see what changes are needed.

Many times I discover that I need to change the title to improve the understanding of the subject. That comes from Google’s suggestions.

Other times, I discover that the view duration is too short, so I analyze what I did wrong to lose readers. Usually, it’s a bad beginning. Then I update it to make the first paragraph clearly state what to expect.

I also update when things change, so that the information I give is accurate and up to date. I do that with my articles on health insurance, finance, and technology. But most of all, with writing tutorials since Google keeps changing the rules.

HubPages always keeps up with Google’s requirements, and they tell us what we need to change to conform. Or they make changes to the platform to comply with the rules. That makes certain things obsolete, and then I update my tutorials accordingly.

You also asked me to comment on your work. I’ll check a few, and I’ll leave critiques in comments. I suggest you don’t approve those comments since they will be meant only for you.

One thing I noticed is that you only have seven hubs in niche sites out of 114. Hubs on the home site don’t make much money. The main focus should be to get your hubs into a stellar condition and get them moved. Review the “HubPages Writing Style Guide” and the “Elements of a Stellar Article” that you can find in the learning center.

Michele Kelsey from Edmond, Oklahoma on November 20, 2019:

Glenn,

Wow! I am blown away with the level of detail and information you have provided for other writers. That is very kind of you to share your words of wisdom.

There were many of these tips that I really needed to hear, some that I didn't understand (at least not at the moment), and very few that just would not apply to me.

I did a lot of studying when I read this hub and I highlighted the areas that I want to work on right now (not today, but you know what I mean!). My hubs desperately need some kind of change, so I am anxious to make a dint in them with these tips.

The first one that I want to work on is to add individual, relevant bio's to each of my hubs. This is something that you recommended I do in the forum where I asked for some help in understanding why my earnings are so low. So, I highlighted that one for sure!

You mentioned making images a specific size, specific pixels, and even MFP (made for Pinterest) so that is also on my list! You also brought up Pixabay to find more images, and I have never checked them out, so that is on my to-do list as well. This also goes hand in hand with the specifics on the load speed you discuss in this hub.

This is going to be a lot of work, but I think I can try to do it. Anyone can TRY to do something, so I have faith in my abilities and you are very good at helping others who don't have your wisdom. I greatly appreciate it!

The final tip I'm going to look into is the featured snippets you discussed here. I had never heard of this, but it kind of goes hand in hand with just creating relevant content, so I am excited to try that as well.

How much time do you spend in writing, editing, and tweaking your hubs? I can really tell that you take the time to share valuable, useful, and up to date content. I understand that you give all of your hubs check-ups, because it shows. You truly have a great line-up.

Thanks again for sharing! I'd love to have your opinions on some of mine; I know I am a great writer, but I am just not clicking with this site for some reason. I look forward to reading more of your content!

Thanks,

Michele Kelsey

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on July 31, 2019:

Vivian Coblentz - I'm glad I brought something new to your attention. Thanks for reading all my tutorials for HubPages. I noticed you’re not missing a beat!

Vivian Coblentz on July 31, 2019:

This is so helpful! I've been on Hubpages a long time and never even noticed those stats above each hub! Thank you for opening my eyes to tools that can improve my experience here!

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on January 03, 2019:

Dina - Welcome to HubPages. I never realized it, but my methods could be useful for other writers to know. So I appreciate your questions.

I find it easier to write only about subjects I know. I do a lot of reading and studying topics I’m interested in. So this gives me the background to write without having to do much research for any one particular article. The research already had been done, in essence.

I usually save notes with references to source material when I feel it’s important to be able to review later. So when I write about something I’m not totally familiar with, such as a health condition I’ve experienced, I can go back and confirm my statements I’m making, and I can even include those references as needed in my articles.

I never write about things I don’t know or don’t understand. And I can assure you there are many topics that fall into that category. LOL. It would either take too much research to get it right, or would just end up being of no value to the reader anyway.

You can make things easier as a reading experience just by writing as if you are talking with your reader in a personal one-on-one conversation. That’s what I do. It helps make the content flow.

I proof read many times, and each time I’m always finding something else to fix or change or improve. Even after I publish, months later I go back and proof read again. Many times I make adjustments to the content when I realize I could have said something clearer.

It never ends. I put more time into old articles than I spend writing new ones. But it pays off. I see that, because I keep track of all changes I make (title changes, summary changes content improvements) along with the present stats. I save that data so I can review it later to see what changes worked.

I consider my writing as a business, as it should be, because it’s a revenue stream and it always helps to improve upon it. That’s it in a nutshell. :)

Dina AH from United States on January 02, 2019:

Glenn, this was informative, relatable, and surprisingly not overwhelming to read. I have been a hub-writer for a little under a year and, man, I have such a long way to go. But, I definitely found your article motivating as well.

What's your process like, if you don't mind me asking? Like, do you pick topics you already have a bit of a history with to establish credibility? Or, do you ever write about things you don't know much about and then do research?

My biggest qualm is that I go a bit too heavy with the research, perhaps? And, I am trying to work on make things easier as far as reading experiences go.

I am giving you a follow, Glenn. I am looking forward to reading more of your hub articles and just being floored by the ease in your writing.

Pleased to meet you!

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on December 09, 2018:

Thank you John. You can get to the Comment moderation page by clicking “My Account” and then the “Comments” tab. While there it’s also useful to check your spam folder. I find sometimes good comments fall into there by accident.

The tabs for global control of the Q&A and Author Bios are also tabs under “My Account” that make control of these features very easy.

John Hansen from Gondwana Land on December 08, 2018:

This is a very helpful article, Glenn. Congrats on the Hubby award too. Can you tell me where is the "Global comment moderation page" found?

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on December 07, 2018:

Thelma, In addition to monitoring traffic, I also like to watch people reading my articles in “real time view” on Google Analytics. It’s cool watching how many people are reading simultaneously.

Thelma Alberts from Germany on December 07, 2018:

These are useful tips Glenn. I have not viewed my traffic status for a while. Thanks for reminding me. Have a great weekend!

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on November 25, 2018:

Poppy, View Duration is represented by 1 to 5 asterisks in HubPages' stats on each hub. But you can see actual length in minutes and seconds in you Google Analytics report.

Poppy from Enoshima, Japan on November 14, 2018:

The first photo had me giggling! What a great picture. I like what you said about checking Google for popular phrases. I usually use UberSuggest for SEO clues before writing an article.

I had no idea you could check duration and things like that! And I thought I was doing quite well with HubPages. For shame. Thank you for that. These are very useful tips and I'll be coming back to this article in the future.

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on October 31, 2018:

I need to review my own tips from time to time, Nell. I forget them too sometimes. Thanks for the awesome comment!

Nell Rose from England on October 31, 2018:

You say useful tips, no. They were awesome tips! lol! and so many that I had forgotten. And thanks by the way for the blue writing answer. Sometimes I have a brain fry so to speak! lol!

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on October 17, 2018:

Sunil Kumar Kenneth - I see a number of reasons why you are having trouble.

• You're not using proper capitalization on subtitles. • You're using Amazon capsules without content in them.

• You're not saying why you are showing those ads.

• You need to have used the product yourself and prove that.

• You have no author bio on your hubs.

• You're following people you are not really reading.

• Your titles are not attracting organic traffic (that's where the money is).

See my other tutorials for more help with HubPages. Also study how to write a stellar article in the learning center. Good luck. You can do it if you put your attention to it.

Sunil Kumar Kunnoth from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India) on October 17, 2018:

I had a rich past with HP once. But now all lost like traffic, followers, comments and earnings too. My more than 100 hundred hubs too getting defeatured everyday. I lost hope and stopped writing. Thank you for your wonderful post which gives me a new level of energy.

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on October 17, 2018:

Lovelli Fuad - There are a lot of apps you can use to make animated GIF's, both for smartphones and desktops. Just make sure you install only approved apps. Don't use unknown third-party apps to avoid malware.

Lovelli Fuad from Southeast Asia and the Pacific on October 16, 2018:

Lately I find hubs with GIFs to really stand out. They're so pretty, and so I get that they could easily be overused. In fact, I'm taking some online courses to understand them better, and learn how to make proper GIFs - can't wait to make one. (It's not that easy it turns out.)

Shaloo Walia from India on June 20, 2018:

very informative and helpful idea...thanks for sharing!

Linda Bryen from United Kingdom on June 19, 2018:

Thank you Glenn for these helpful tips. Great ideas that help hubbers like me and other hubbers, too.

Venkatachari M from Hyderabad, India on April 05, 2018:

Thank you, Glenn, for this wonderful tip. Using a blank template and pasting my images on it. It is a good idea. I will do that. Thanks a lot.

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on April 05, 2018:

Make a square white template that you can use when needed. Then copy and paste the virtical one into that template. That will make the entire image appear in the thumbnail.

You can also get away with a compromise if you know what you’re doing. You can use a horizontal template and paste it into that. As long as the image is centered in that template, it will fully appear in the thumbnail.

Venkatachari M from Hyderabad, India on April 05, 2018:

Okay, Glenn. I will try to make it square.

But the shape of it is like that. You can't make a man or woman appear square and appealing at the same time. It is not covering the whole width of the capsule. I do not know how to add some borders or color to the blank space to make it full-width.

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on April 05, 2018:

Venkatachari - The whole idea behind my suggestion is to keep the image from missing important sections in the thumbnail on your profile.

I looked at your profile and I see you don’t have any text on your images, so losing cropped parts isn’t really a problem for you.

People who add text to their first image for Pinterest advantage may have some of the important text cut off if they are not careful. I see that all over HubPages.

As for your virtical image of the Saint, I see how her head is cut off on the thumbnail in your profile. You can fix that by cropping the image properly within a square form.

Venkatachari M from Hyderabad, India on April 05, 2018:

Glenn, I got one doubt. You informed to place the square image as a first photo. I hope, by square you mean one which is not a vertical image. Because, nowadays, all images are good if they are wide and of shorter height. That is a rectangular one covering the full width of the article. I keep all my photos to be larger in their width and shorter in their height. But, I have one photo which I could not change in my article on a South Indian Saint who married God as I couldn't find an alternative.

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on March 25, 2018:

Liis Windischmann - Thanks for the feedback. I have several hubs with more tips for Hubbers. Glad you found this one useful.

Liis Windischmann from Toronto, Canada on March 25, 2018:

Solid tips Glenn! Great advice and happy to read your piece today. Thanks so much for sharing this super helpful info. Will be delving into more of your work here. Have a wonderful week!

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on February 26, 2018:

Kathy, Glad you found my other hub helpful too. I have several hubs with tips for HubPages writers. A list of all tutorials can be found at http://www.glennstok.com/list-help-for-writers.php

Kathy Burton from Florida on February 26, 2018:

Glenn, I found the hub. It’s fascinating how much I have to learn and I am learning through hubs like yours. Thanks for sharing.

Kathy Henderson from Pa on February 18, 2018:

Hi Glenn

Every time I read your Hubs I realize how very little I know. They are always informative and yet, a tad over my head, that just means I have more to learn. I will return to this hub again and take it all in slowly but surely. :)

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on January 26, 2018:

Thanks for the feedback Suzanne. I actually do have another hub with more tips: "21 Hub-Writing Success Strategies"

Suzanne Day from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia on January 26, 2018:

Hi Glenn,

I think this is a very useful hub and will be bookmarking it for future use. I must say, I am very slack when it comes to keeping my obscure hubs updated, but I have noticed improvements in ranking when I have done so. Keep up the useful tricks and tips!

Daniel Mollat from Nevada on January 22, 2018:

This is is certainly one of the good hubs I've read on how to use HubPages correctly. Very nice and useful suggestions.

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on November 23, 2017:

Carolyn Dahl - I see some people complaining in the forums that they need to constantly make changes to their hubs, but you have the right attitude. It actually pays off well to keep them fresh for your readers, as you said.

Carolyn Dahl from Ottawa, Ontario on November 23, 2017:

I had forgotten how helpful these articles are so thank you for taking the time to post this article. Over the years I have gotten a little lazy so your article smartened me up and made me pay attention to the smallest of details which I overlooked.

I have found that staying on top of my articles and going over them now and then with a fine tooth comb so to speak, really helps keep them fresh and enjoyable to my readers.

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on November 21, 2017:

Venkatachari - I have 12 more points you may also want to check out: "12 Overlooked Hub-Writing Techniques You Need to Use" https://toughnickel.com/self-employment/overlooked...

Venkatachari M from Hyderabad, India on November 21, 2017:

Very useful information in an elaborate manner. You have covered all the important points needed for writers to succeed in their career.

Thanks a lot, Glenn.

Billie Raucci from Illinois on October 20, 2017:

Thanks for the link! I will be sure to check it out. :)

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on October 19, 2017:

Billie, I’m glad you found this useful. I have one other hub with ten more tips:

https://toughnickel.com/self-employment/How-To-Get...

Billie Raucci from Illinois on October 19, 2017:

Glenn,

This was very useful to me being new Hubpages! I will be using it to format my capsules better, as well as my bylines (author bios). Thanks for writing this!

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on October 18, 2017:

Thank you Alexandra. That is a very nice affirmation of my efforts. I appreciate your wonderful feedback.

Welcome to HubPages. I see you’re off to a great start! Your first two hubs have already been chosen for a niche site. That goes to show that you’ve done your due diligence and that you know what you’re doing.

Alexandra Hoerl from USA on October 17, 2017:

I'm relatively new to HP and appreciate this piece. I don't have Google Analytics yet, but I'm trying to prepare for when that day comes, and reading about how you use the service was helpful. I also like your authorial voice--you're supportive and positive, but you're not a Pollyanna who just tells people what they want to hear.

L M Reid from Ireland on October 17, 2017:

I enjoyed reading this. Some stuff I already do but others are new to me. Will be putting your excellent advice into practice. Thanks

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on October 13, 2017:

Glad you're putting my 20 strategies to good use with your hubs Margaret. That makes my work writing this all worthwhile.

Margaret Schindel from Massachusetts on October 13, 2017:

Glenn, thank you for such wonderfully useful, actionable and clearly explained tips. I'm off to bookmark this, since I know I'll want to refer back to it often.

Kari Poulsen from Ohio on September 28, 2017:

Thanks for all the great advice! :)

Kathy Henderson from Pa on September 27, 2017:

Wow Glenn,

So much to consider in this article. I to have been around and still feel like a beginner when it comes to Hub. This article gives me a homework list that I need to get to ASAP. Thank you for breaking things down into these pointers. Again very helpful.

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on September 20, 2017:

Marie, I noticed you don't have any hubs in niche sites yet. Hubs left on the main site hardly get any traffic anyway. I would focus your first attention towards getting your hubs moved to the appropriate vertical niche sites.

Take it one at a time by going through all my suggestions in this article and my other article on the subject, fixing your titles (see below), and making it mobile friendly (I explain that in another hub also). Then submit it to the niche site that it belongs in by clicking the "submit to niche" button at the top of your hub.

As for titles: Most of your titles need to be fixed to use proper "title capitalization" rules. Do a Google search on that term if you don't know what it means.

Once you complete all that with one hub, go on to the next. You can submit to niche sites once every 14 days. Please report back to me here on your progress and how your traffic is picking up once you have hubs on the niche sites.

Marie Ryan from Andalusia, Spain on September 20, 2017:

Good article, Glenn. Thank you.

I have been floating around Hubpages for years now, 7 actually, but get disheartened with my lack of progress. (I have never reached even one payment yet!)

I'm going to start slowly implementing your advice but am feeling a little overwhelmed and don't know where to start.

I wonder if you could advise me as to which few points you mention would be the most useful to start with. I would be very grateful for that.

Regards. Marie.

Barbara Radisavljevic from Templeton, CA on August 19, 2017:

Thank you. I've been away so long I hardly know what to do here anymore to update hubs. I see a lot has changed and I've a lot to catch up on.

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on August 05, 2017:

Krzysztof Willman - I do the same thing as you. I use callout capsules to make important statements visually stand out, but then I also include subtitles with the text capsules when I want Google to make a relationship between the title and the content of the capsule.

So what you're doing is fine. Leave it alone. Callout capsules are still useful for the way you are using them, as long as you realize that Google doesn't connect them with the following text capsule content.

Krzysztof Willman from Parlin, New Jersey on August 05, 2017:

Plenty of great information, I'll have to bookmark this hub. My only question relates to the call-out capsules, I usually have a call out capsule addressing a topic, then an image or video, and finally a text capsule with a subtitle in it.

Should I remove the call-out capsules all together and just have the pics and text capsules?

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on July 21, 2017:

Sunil - Yes it's true that hubs still remaining on HubPages' main site are not getting much organic traffic any longer. You need to put more effort into getting your hubs moved to the vertical niche sites. That's were the traffic is doing well.

Sunil Kumar Kunnoth from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India) on July 21, 2017:

Very informative and helpful post. I will follow these tips seriously to improve my writing and design of hubs. Still, I am a little bit disappointed for the fact that nowadays, the traffic and earning from HP is very disappointing. Hope you will write more hubs to help the fellow writers. Keep on writing. All the best.

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on July 20, 2017:

Welcome to HubPages Tomi. It's good that you are researching what needs to be done for successful writing. There are many writers on HubPages who offer helpful tips. You will notice who they are as you continue to peruse the forums. I also have another hub with "12 Overlooked Writing Techniques" for hubs.

Tomi Smith on July 20, 2017:

This article was packed with so many good tips on writing articles. It's so obvious that you are so knowledgeable and successful at writing.

I have written down some of your tips such as: referrers, search terms, and being mobile friendly, which I will have to read your other article on that too, at some point.

I found your trick about justifying text capsule by using a table capsule interesting too.

Thank you for writing such a well thought out article. It will really come in handy.

Shaloo Walia from India on June 29, 2017:

Very helpful tips... Thanks for sharing!

Kristen Howe from Northeast Ohio on June 27, 2017:

Glennn, I've heard back from Karla at HP. She said no reason why my blackout hub was passed. But she told me, my Arizona hub is still in the long editing queue--and told me to resubmit it after I fix grammar and formatting. I did fix grammar back in January with a friend and Grammarly. So I'll resub this hub next month in place of another.

Kristen Howe from Northeast Ohio on June 27, 2017:

Okay Glenn. I've looked at Owlcation's editorial policy last week and HowTheyPlay's too. But it's mainly commentary for HTP. I would have to try to figure it out this summer and just let it stay on HP as is. I hope you're right about the poetry though. But it couldn't hurt to try.

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on June 27, 2017:

Kristen, As I mentioned previously, that hub of yours discusses game playing, which is why it fits better in HowTheyPlay. Owlcation, on the other hand, has a strict Editorial Policy that doesn't match the focus you have on games.

As for poetry, I have two poem hubs that were both selected and moved to Letterpile, but I'm finding that poems don't do as well as other subjects. I don't want to discourage you though. Go for it.

Kristen Howe from Northeast Ohio on June 27, 2017:

Glenn, no word from HP on why they thought my blackout hub was a better fit for HowTheyPlay than Owlcation yet. So I don't know how to make it a good fit by adding commentary to one hub capsule that mentions playing games with the family and nothing else. We'll see how my sunset poetry does with Letterpile this week and my revamped Expressively writing hub does in 2 weeks.

Brian Leekley from Bainbridge Island, Washington, USA on June 07, 2017:

I bookmarked this hub so I can refer to it when I'm creating or updating a hub.

Anita Hasch from Port Elizabeth on June 07, 2017:

A very interesting hub. I still have a lot to learn. Thanks Glenn

Kristen Howe from Northeast Ohio on June 03, 2017:

Okay Glenn. I'll work on both articles (this one and Expressively writing) this month and have it ready for fall., Thanks for the tips. I'll try my blackout in two weeks and maybe start flipping hubs this weekend.

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on June 02, 2017:

Kristen, Why wait till August. Any fixes you apply now will increase its ranking and being more organic traffic. If you wait, Google will continue to reduce the ranking. For example, that section where you mention February being the important month takes away from Google ranking your hub any other month of the year. Waiting to remove that will continue to hurt your traffic. Then if you try to submit to a niche in August, the poor traffic will reflect badly on any possibility of getting accepted. I suggest you never limit a hub to get traffic in only one specific month.

Grammarly doesn't catch everything, such as the items I pointed out. Word doesn't catch everything either, but it catches some things Grammarly doesn't.

Per your last comment, helping you online allows others to benefit from the discussion also.

Kristen Howe from Northeast Ohio on June 02, 2017:

Glenn, I did it through Grammarly app and tweaked it two days ago. I've made some changes. I had one Amazon capsule and removed one, since I couldn't find the item on Amazon. Thanks for the tips. I'll work on this in August and see what happens this fall. I wish I can email you for outside help.

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on June 02, 2017:

Kristen, I took a look at your hub. I don’t think the problem is with mobile friendliness. You did a good job with that issue. However, I do see a few other things that need attention:

• You have no content in your Amazon capsule. This is where you should discuss your experience with the product. This will display your authority on the item.

• Remove the reference to February since that limits the hub to one month a year.

• You have some run-on sentences. Divide your sentences into individual thoughts. In some cases you have a lot of commas where you could have had periods and had started a new sentence. Doing so makes it read better – with improved comprehension. Readers appreciate that and will keep reading. If they get lost due to run-on sentences, they tend to drop out and Google detects a short view duration – lowering your ranking.

* You also have a sentence that ends abruptly as if you chopped off the ending. See your description of the American Heart Association and fix that. You can even shorten it since it takes away from the focus.

* Remove wordiness that adds no value to the content. People want quick results when reading on the Internet.

* Don’t start sentences with “But”. Usually it’s better to say “However.”

* Don’t start sentences with “So.” Many times you can just remove that word. Try it and you’ll see what I mean.

If you have MS Word, run it though the Grammar/spell check. That’s what I do and it catches a lot of issues before I publish.

I hope you accept this for what it’s worth. Just trying to help. Let me know how it goes.

Kristen Howe from Northeast Ohio on June 02, 2017:

HI Glenn. My Healthy Meals hub was declined from Carolie Bee after I proofread it and made sure it was mobile-friendly. :-( I'll try this hub again this fall.

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on May 29, 2017:

I hope you make good use of the suggestions Amelia.

Amelia Griggs from U.S. on May 29, 2017:

Great tips Glenn! Another good read, thanks for sharing.

Kristen Howe from Northeast Ohio on May 19, 2017:

I remember that. It would be nice. So much for wishful thinking, right? I hope to do new hubs this summer, and after I resolve my computer issues somehow. My goal is to get at least 20 hubs into niches by the end of the year, including the one that's in the editing queue. (I'll save my pi-yo hubs for last, and if I have more time to send them their way for approval.)

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on May 19, 2017:

Every week would be nice Kristen. I've averaged about one a week for a while between my new hubs being selected by the curators and older hubs that I submitted. When they started accepting submissions it was limited to once every other month, so it's better now.

Kristen Howe from Northeast Ohio on May 19, 2017:

Thanks Glenn. I'll do my best. I have a long way to go get half of my hubs appoved in niches. I might have to come to you for pre-niche help, if I have no luck. Good idea to have a reminder. I have it marked on my calender for every two weeks. I wish you can submit every week. :-)

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on May 19, 2017:

Kristen, That's great news. Keep it going. I have a reminder in my computer to alert me every 14 days that another submission is due, so I don't forget. I keep list of the planned order of hubs to submit, although I change that order many times as I see traffic views changing.

Kristen Howe from Northeast Ohio on May 19, 2017:

Glenn, I got another hub moved to Letter Pile--I've moved my How to Self-Edit like a Pro hub approved from HP after they had made some final editorial tweaks to it. Two hubs in a niche, one in the editing queue still. I'll do another hub in two weeks and try Calorie Bee again. I'll keep you posted. I'll work on my Expressive Writing hub next month to get it ready for July.

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on April 27, 2017:

I appreciate the feedback Audrey. It's always nice to know how useful my efforts are to others. Let me know how the face-lift to your hubs helps with traffic after a while.

Audrey Hunt from Idyllwild Ca. on April 26, 2017:

What an eye opener! You've no idea how helpful this hub is. I know what I'm going to be doing for the next few weeks. I don't need a "Fairy God Mother....uh...God Father, I need you and your expertise hovering near.

You've inspired me Glenn and I'm ready to give my hubs a face-lift.

Thank you so much.

Audrey

Catherine Giordano from Orlando Florida on April 21, 2017:

I learned a lot from this hub. I'm going to have to come back to reread some of the sections because it is a lot to absorb. Thanks for providing this information.

Kristen Howe from Northeast Ohio on April 21, 2017:

Okay thanks Glenn. I'll send you an email or comment here and let you know. I'll give it a go.

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on April 21, 2017:

Ven, The search phrases may show only a few because each person types it a different way, but the main problem is that Google doesn't capture the search if the user opted out of that. Make sure you click the "Total" tab to see all the search phrases available. When you click the number next to each phrase you'll see graph of when that phrase was used in a search.

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on April 21, 2017:

Kristen, I'm not reprinting the email they sent you, but I'll reply to you question. Just take it step by step. If anything they mentioned is not understood, let me know and I'll explain it. However, I realize that I addressed each item they brought up in my various tutorial hubs.

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on April 21, 2017:

You got it Ven! That's exactly what you need to do. A hub can be written with great quality, but if the terms people search for are missing, it will not be found. The fact that HubPages shows us the search terms people use - is very helpful to discover what changes you need to make.

Venkatachari M from Hyderabad, India on April 21, 2017:

Very useful article, Glenn.

Particularly, your 4th point regarding checking the stats tab at the top of hubs is very important for me as I lack in search traffic. For eg., my hub about Constipation, Bloating Stomach tells me that there are no search terms found for it. I should fix it. I need to check all my hubs to see what search terms are working and what to add more for improving the traffic.

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on April 20, 2017:

Heidi, Those horizontal images would look good on mobile devices. Nothing wrong with that. However, you also need to look at your own profile page and see what your thumbnail images look like. That's what I see a lot of people skip doing and they have no idea that important parts are cut off.

It's okay to use horizontal rectangles. Just make sure the main parts of the image stay within the cropped thumbnail, especially if you have text on the image.

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on April 20, 2017:

Donna, You don't need to write more. At least not at the moment. I see you already have 101 hubs and you haven't updated any of them for over 2 and 3 years. So much has changed since then with Google and requirements for niche sites (you do have four already – that's a start). I would recommend the first thing you do is review your existing hubs and bring them up to present standards so you get them into the niche sites. That's where the money is.

Heidi Thorne from Chicago Area on April 20, 2017:

Fantastic tips, Glenn! I'm going to have to look at the "square" issue for the main images. Usually my images are in horizontal rectangles. They look pretty good in the mobile preview (which I always check when writing a hub). But you make a good point for the new niche sites. Thanks, as always, for sharing your practical insight with us!

Kristine Manley from Atlanta, GA on April 20, 2017:

Great article. I like #10, proper grammar and spelling, piece. I have fallen off the bandwagon, and need to begin writing more often. I also need to know more about Google Analytics. Thanks for sharing.

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on April 20, 2017:

You're right about Pinterest Mary. You don't need to make the main images square as long as you place the text within a square center area of the image. I I've done that with some of mine. The thumbnail still gets truncated, but the text remains fully visible as long as it's placed correctly.

Mary Wickison from Brazil on April 20, 2017:

I am guilty of my writing being cut off in the thumbnails. Darn! Thanks for calling my attention to that.

Because I receive a fair amount of traffic from Pinterest, I wonder if square is best, though.

I think Pinterest like a tall rectangle with a width of 735px.

It looks like I need to make a few adjustments.

Thanks for the information.

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on April 20, 2017:

Elayne, if it helps any, I see you have overlooked a number of important strategies that I talk about in this hub. That may be why your Hubber score dropped to 51 at this moment. Now that you read my tips you'll know what to fix.

Here are a few things that I noticed when I looked over your hubs:

• You are following almost 2000 people. Do you actually read their hubs? If not, that may affect your score IMO.

• I see you have a lot of self-promotionnal links in your profile description. First of all, they don't work. However, it also makes it look like you are using HubPages for spamming rather than directing people to your hubs. The "follow me" icons suffice for that.

• You have 345 hubs and only one in a niche site. Are you able to keep up with maintenance of 345 hubs? Are you working on this and submitting every two weeks?

* You only have one bio and it doesn't even relate to the subject of your hubs. In addition, you hardly use it since it's only in a few of your hubs. That's what I mean about having too many hubs to handle. You reach a point of diminishing returns, in my opinion, and it starts to work against you.

I hope you take this information with the attitude it is meant. I realize you spent a lot of time writing. It would be a shame to lose out because of overlooking these points. By the way, scores don't mean everything, but let's see your score get up above 90 anyway! I know you can do it.

Elayne from Rocky Mountains on April 20, 2017:

I'm impressed with your progress and achievements in Hubpages. You really have studied it out and made a go of it. I fell from the 80s to the 50s and can't seem to get back. Thanks for the great tips!! Congratulations!

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