Video vs. Online Articles

For about one week now, all Hubbers have had the ability to publish Videos in addition to regular online articles. We have already seen a litany of great Videos published on HubPages addressing everything from travel to recipes, but many writing-centric Hubbers are still a bit dubious about the new format.

What advantages does online video have over traditional multimedia articles? We cover the top perks in this special bonus edition of the Online Writing Insider (Video vs Online Articles). The gist is this: in addition to being an additional source of revenue, online videos are often more attractive to searchers, they are highly engaging formats, and they can help you as an author cater to different learning styles.

We hope you enjoy the new feature on our site, and have a go at branching out into one of the Internet’s most popular and quickly growing formats!

Do you have any online writing or video issues that you would like some help with? Tell us about it! Our email address is podcast-at-HubPages-dot-com, and we’re always looking for new subjects to address in these podcasts, so send suggestions our way!

Using Real Examples in Your Work

Are you looking for a quick way to improve the utility, quality, and allure of your online articles? Consider adding some real examples in your work! While it is common sense to include facts and figures in a strong body of writing, any online writers forget to add these all-important elements to their Hubs, posts, and tweets.

In this week’s Online Writing Insider podcast (Tips on Using Concrete Examples), we discuss various ways in which you should consider adding concrete examples and information into your writing. These include:

  • Generally backing up arguments
  • Adding in historical dates and names
  • Referring to actual past events and figures
  • Including statistics and numbers
  • Including charts and graphs
  • Including visual evidence (e.g. photos of an actual product, place, event, etc.)
  • Including examples of a letter or conversation
  • Augmenting personal opinion with personal experiences and external sources
  • Referring to reliable, reputable sources

Adding hard evidence to your work is rarely difficult- often we are referencing it or thinking of it when composing guides and arguments and we just forget to put it in. So next time you write a Hub (or anything else online), make a point of minding your examples, facts, and figures. Your readers will be glad you did!

Is there some other element of a successful Hub that you think we should explain? Tell us about it it! All you have to do is pop an email over to podcast-at-HubPages-dot-com.

Publishing Standards for Video on HubPages

Soon, Hubbers will be adding video publishing to their repertoire. Before this feature is released, I’m going to give you a quick overview of the types of video content that will not be permitted on HubPages. All of these rules are slight modifications to our existing rules, outlined here in our Violations section of the Learning Center. We will not be reviewing all Videos that are published, so we encourage Hubbers to flag any Hub or Video they encounter that violates our Terms of Use. The Moderation team’s workflow depends on community flags to keep the site clean!

Adult content

This rule is fairly straight forward. No sexually suggestive nudity, pornography, lewd or provocative images, explicit or profane content, and no promotions of adult websites, services, or products. As always, our standards for adult content are more lenient than the standards of our advertisers, therefore ads may be disabled on sensitive content that is acceptable for publication on HubPages.

Mature content

Videos depicting fighting, gore, violence or links to any site containing mature content will not be permitted. Self-defense instructional and minor dramatized violence will be allowed, but videos of gruesome assaults, wartime causalities, or domestic violence will not permitted. In addition, content that contains depictions of illegal activities will not be permitted. For both Mature and Adult content rules, ask yourself if you would be comfortable presenting your video to your children. If you wouldn’t be, the content may not be appropriate for HubPages.

Overly Promotional content

Video advertisements, just like written promotional flyers, will not be permitted on HubPages. Unbalanced discussions on a particular product or service, especially when accompanied by links, email addresses, or other contact information will be strictly prohibited.

Poorly Structured, Watermarked, and Pixelated content

A Video with distorted, warped, or excessively noisy audio, watermarks, or pixelation will be considered low quality. In addition, a Video that has no discernible value independent of your other Hub content will not be acceptable. If you encounter problems in your video file after the uploading process, please do not hesitate to contact us – it may be a bug!

Content that is not recorded in English

Content that is primarily recorded in a language other than English, even if it contains subtitles, will not be permitted on HubPages. Tutorials on how to communicate in a foreign language may be permitted, as long as the majority of the content is spoken in English.

Purely Personal content

HubPages is a wonderful place to find others with similar backgrounds and interests that you share. We ask that you reserve diary entries, whether video or written, for your personal blog.

Content that infringes on copyright

If you are not sure that you have the rights to use the content you are publishing on HubPages, do not publish it! Copyright issues are complex, so we encourage you to brush up on copyright rules before using any media that you did not create from scratch.

Heads Up: Video is On the Way!

For the past couple of months, we have been testing out a new feature which will enable you to upload videos directly to HubPages.

With the help of some fabulous Hubber beta testers, we’ve worked out the kinks, and are now ready to introduce Video to the community at large.

The rollout will happen this week, so keep a heads up for a new Videos tab under My Account, and consider what sorts of Videos you might like to publish on HubPages. Video is a great format for recipes, beauty guides, historical subjects, and more, and we can’t wait to see the Videos you’ll be sharing with us!

About Video

Videos on HubPages are different from Hubs, though they come with all the perks and benefits of a Hub. Videos are auto-play, HubPages-hosted videos to which additional capsules, such as Text, Photo, Table, Map, Poll, and Quiz Capsules can be added.

As of now, you cannot turn already drafted or published Hubs into Videos, but this one-time switch will be possible in the future.

One particularly exciting thing about our new Video feature is that it can give your work a great leg up in search results. Have a look at the query I made on weight watchers points below. Robin’s Video on the Weight Watchers Point Plus system has a great preview image, which makes me (and no doubt other searchers) much more likely to click on it.

You will also have the opportunity to earn more ad revenue from Videos you publish, which is most certainly an added bonus.

For more information on Videos and a guide to publishing Videos on HubPages, check out these two Learning Center guides:

We hope you’ll be giving this new feature a try!

Meet a Greeter: 10 Tips from Easylearningweb

In our second installment of a short but advice-packed series of blog posts in which we introduce some of HubPages’ illustrious Greeters, I am happy to present easylearningweb. When not publishng fascinating Hubs, managing a blog, computer learning website, and online bookstore, and welcoming new Hubbers as an official HubGreeter, easylearningwebworks as a freelance Instructional Designer and Technical Writer.

Given her interest in education and e-learning, you know that easylearningweb can offer some very useful instructions to HubPages’ newest writers.

Here are her top ten tips for new Hubbers: 

  1. Write with passion about something you know a lot about.
  2. Read lots of other Hubs to learn what’s already out there and to get ideas.
  3. Make a list of 10 or more topics that you want to write about such as hobbies, subjects you have studied, or things related to your career.
  4. Remember to include keywords with each new Hub and read how to tips for keywords on HubPages.
  5. Remember to include a keyword-rich summary for each Hub which is created using Summary link on right side when you are in edit mode. This will boost your search potential.
  6. Write for HubPages because you love to write- not to advertise or make money. Success will come in time.
  7. Make your Hubs’ titles unique and not too general so they are searchable.
  8. Link to other Hubs with related content, from your own Hubs (via link within the Text Capsule as well as the Links Capsule).
  9. Keep HubPages upbeat and positive!
  10. Finally, make each Hub a masterpiece and include images (your own or ones those you have purchased or have rights to), well written text, nicely formatted paragraphs, and links to related videos. Include polls and Comments Capsules, and monitor your progress!

 

Big thanks to easylearningweb for sharing these useful tips!

Tips on Using Your Own Photos

We say again and again that using original photos in your online articles does wonderful things for your Hubs by adding credibility, a personal touch, additional information, and visual appeal. But what if you’re not a good photographer? Don’t worry- there are some very simple things you can do to make your photos- be they taken with a nice DSLR or your simple cell phone- look good.

This week’s online writing insider (Quick Photo Tips) is positively packed with simple pointers on augmenting your existing photos and building up a strong collection of stock images. Our advice covers:

  • Using photos in recipes & photographing food
  • What to use as the first photo (in a series of instructional photos)
  • Lighting and framing
  • Building up stock photos of your own
  • Using your own images in abstract pieces
  • Using doodles and sketches in your work
  • Including photos of yourself
  • Making a point of photographing everyday activities
  • Using apps to augment smartphone photos

We hope you find these pointers to be helpful. Just remember, you don’t have to be perfect, and the more you practice, the better you’ll become!

What other tips might you like to get? Let us know by sending questions, suggestions, feedback, and requests in an email to podcast-at-HubPages-dot-com.

Meet a Greeter: Advice from Emichael

As welcomers of new Hubbers, our fabulous volunteer HubGreeters meet a lot of writers who are nervous about their new Hubbing endeavors. Thankfully, HubGreeters are happy to offer support to those with the online writing jitters. In a short series of blog posts, some of our HubGreeters will share their top tips for new Hubbers.

Our first set of newcomer-friendly tips comes from emichael, who, in addition to being a HubGreeter, is a fabulous photographer (and second place prize winner in our HubPatron of the Arts contest for his Hub Music of The Street).

Here’s his advice:

1. Don’t worry, just write!

It can be easy to get bogged down in the details of writing on HubPages. Questions like:

  • “Why is my Hub Score so low?”
  • “How can I get more followers?”
  • “What are all these accolades about, and why don’t I have any?!”
  • “What the sweet glory is a HubNugget?!?!”

Relax.

Take a breath.

It’s really not that complicated. All you need to worry about is finding a topic that interests you, which you are knowledgeable on. Do your research and start putting your Hubs together. As you publish quality work, the followers will come, the score will rise, the Accolades will be bestowed, and your addiction to HubPages will be complete.

2. If you won’t read, don’t follow!

It can be tempting to follow lots and lots of Hubbers all at once. It’s understandable. You want to get connected. You want people to read what you have written. I mean, come on, that’s why you joined, right?

But trust me. You have to let that process happen organically. Write good stuff, and the readership will follow. You have to be patient.

Following lots and lots of people you don’t necessarily care to read will result in a few unpleasant things for you. Your HubScore will inevitable plummet and you will be overrun with notifications about new Hubs published by people you follow that you care nothing about!

So be deliberate with your following and wait for people who are interested in your writing find you.

And, if over time you are not getting the followers you hoped for, take it as a sign that maybe you need to spruce up your writing or beef up your Hubs!

3. Write. Wait. Read. Rewrite. Publish.

It is important to not be too hasty and haphazard with your Hub construction. This will result in poor writing, bad grammar, misspellings, sloppy layouts, and just plain amateur Hubs. Trust me, as someone who does a lot of perusing of Hubs, if a Hub only has one heading followed by a block of unbroken paragraph and a pixelated, watermarked image, I don’t even bother.

So take time.

Break up your Hubs into sections. Use original images. Then let it sit. Come back to re-read and rewrite, and THEN publish your Hub.

4. Go forth and explore!

There are so many good things on HubPages. From awesome recipes, to how-tos, to craft ideas, to short stories, photography collections, even whole novels! Take time to explore, and you will find a great network of writers who will provide you with honest feedback, criticism, support, and encouragement unlike any other writing site.

[Thanks, emichael!]

Responsible Research Tips

While many Hubbers pull exclusively from areas of personal expertise when writing Hubs, most Hubbers utilize information from external sources. But… are those sources legitimate?

In this week’s podcast (Responsible Research Tips), we outline some basic tips on finding trustworthy sources when doing research for Hubs and other online articles, as requested by the ever fabulous Amy Douglas Gillie on our Facebook page.

The gist is this:

  • Get as close to trustworthy- that is, reputable and vetted- sources as possible.
  • Err in favor of educational (.edu), governmental (.gov), and scholarly sites and articles whenever possible.
  • Utilize scholarly add-ons in search engines (such as Google Scholar) and search engines for scholarly articles (such as LexisNexis) to find trustworthy information.
  • Acknowledge that scientific studies do not necessarily indicate conclusive results (and that there may very well be conflicting suggestions reached by other studies).
  • Be aware that articles from (reputable, well-known) news sites are OK, to a point.
  • Do not trust information on random websites or articles written by un-vetted, non-expert authors (that includes bloggers and, yes, Hubbers).
  • Share your sources with your readers

Most of our advice is common sense, but even the best online writers find themselves getting sloppy from time to time. All you have to do is keep your wits about you and make sure you’re carefully vetting source information before incorporating it into your Hubs.

Thanks for the great topic, Amy! If you have any suggestions for future podcast themes, please send them over in email form to podcast-at-HubPages-dot-com. We would love to hear from you!

A Hubber’s Guide to Using Pinterest

If you spend any time on social networks, chances are you’ve heard of Pinterest. If you follow social media news, chances are you’ve read multiple times over that you have to establish a presence on Pinterest now. Maybe you’ve looked at the site, but haven’t yet “pinned” anything. Maybe you’re already knee-deep in your friends’ boards. But how can Hubbers best use the service to attract and engage readers? Wonder no further.

Pinterest Logo

What is Pinterest?

If you’re not familiar with Pinterest, you’re probably wondering what the heck I’m talking about. Don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten about you. (And if you are familiar, you can easily skip this section.)

Create a Pinterest boardPinterest is, essentially, a virtual pinboard — or, more accurately, collection of pinboards — where you can easily share images and videos from around the web. These images (or “pins”) can be “liked,” commented upon, or repinned by other users, and they link back to the original source. You can sort your pins into boards like “Food,” “Craft Ideas,” “Shoes I Need,” “Cute Dog Pictures,” “Wedding Reception Planning,” or any other category you can think of.

Just like on HubPages or Twitter, you can “follow” a particular user whose pins you like, but you can also follow an individual board. Boards can also be collaborative; by granting other members permission, you can all pin to the same place, creating a shared collection of images together. This makes Pinterest a great tool for brainstorming and party planning.

Using Pinterest with HubPages

You may already see the appeal for your personal life, but have you started to understand the potential for content producers (like Hubbers)? It was hidden back up there in third paragraph: Each pinned image links back to the original source page. That means more traffic and backlinks whenever your pin is clicked or reshared!

But wait! Don’t run off and start pinning images from every Hub you’ve ever published. As with any site, it’s important to read the Terms of Service and understand the community’s etiquette and rules before diving in. In this case, there are a few key points of which you need to be aware before you start contributing:

  • Only pin your own content. Pinterest’s Terms of Service require that you either hold the copyright to each image you pin, or have permission from the copyright holder to do so. While this isn’t how most people are using the service, if you want to stay on the right side of the law, we recommend that you exercise caution.   This means that you must have the rights to the images/videos you are pinning, not just the text content of the Hub on which they appear.  (If you are confused about image copyright, please visit our Learning Center entry on the legal use of images.)  Because of the way Pinterest allows others to repin and share your images, they need legal protection in case a disgruntled copyright holder files a complaint. The bottom line: If you pin it, you’re legally responsible for it.
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  • Don’t sign up solely to self-promote. You might be doing a double take. If you can only pin your own content, aren’t you solely self-promoting? Well, no. There are lots of ways to interact on the site, not just pinning from your own Hubs. “Liking,” commenting, and repinning are all valid ways of interacting with other people’s pins. If someone else pinned it first, you don’t have to worry about holding the copyright.
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  • Report objectionable content. Here at HubPages, we ask you to flag content that doesn’t conform with our rules. Similarly, Pinterest does not allow hateful or obscene content. Obviously, you won’t be pinning any of that from HubPages (since we don’t allow it either), but if you run across it on the Pinterest site, be a good citizen and report it for them.

How to Pin from HubPages

Whew! Now you’ve made it through the TOS and you’re ready to pin, but you’re overwhelmed and don’t know where to begin! Luckily, from this point onwards, it’s pretty easy. Click the “Add +” button at the top right of the Pinterest page, and you are prompted for a URL. Enter the address of the Hub where the image appears, not of the image itself.

"Add a Pin" on Pinterest

If I put in the URL of my Hub Simple Cornbread Recipes (which contains all original photos) and hit “Find Images,” I’m then directed to choose an image to pin, based on scrolling through thumbnail previews, as well as pick a board to pin it to.

Pinning from HubPages

You can also choose to share your pin straight to Facebook or Twitter, if you have those accounts connected.

Pinterest also has a Goodies page where you can install a “Pin it!” button on your browser toolbar or download the iPhone app, to make pinning from anywhere smooth and easy.

Pin On and Prosper

That’s not so hard! So what are you waiting for? You’re finally ready. Go forth and pin!