Characteristics of Online Content that Drives Traffic

The Online Writing InsiderThe best practices of online writing (at least when it comes to search engine friendliness) have been shifting in very interesting ways.  Have you updated your writing style accordingly?

Listen in to this week’s Online Writing Insider podcast (Content Characteristics that Drive Traffic) to discover some important methods that can help your writing be found online.  Sharing these insider tips is none other that HubPages CEO Paul Edmondson himself.

Gone are the days of many old tricks that, quite honestly, I did not like much at all!  The new characteristics of search-friendly content might surprise you, and are better for writers and readers alike.

[UPDATE: Several of you have requested a written version of this podcast. While we do not provide transcripts, Paul Edmondson wrote a Hub about this subject (which actually inspired the podcast) which covers this issue. You can check it out here]

Do you have any suggestions for future Online Writing Insider podcasts? Send them over to podcast (at) HubPages (dot) com.  We would love to hear what online writing obstacles and challenges you are working hardest to overcome.

Emerald Wells Cafe 13, Speakeasy Night

Fascinating FictionThe most popular fiction series on HubPages right now is the Emerald Wells Cafe series by mckbirdbks. Each installment of the series revolves around another day at the Emerald Wells Cafe- sometimes an evening, too.

For this podcast, mckbirdbks was kind enough to share one of the most popular installments of the series: Emerald Wells Cafe – 13 – Speakeasy Night. This is a special day at Emerald Wells Cafe- some of the regulars get together in the evening for poetry recitation.

It is wonderful how mkcbirdbks combines poetry and fiction in one place with this Hub.  No wonder it is such a hit!  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do, and highly recommend dropping by original Hub, as well as the other Emerald Wells Cafe Hubs, too.  Many Hubbers have wandered into the cafe and pulled up a chair, but there is always room for more.

If you have a suggestion for a future Fascinating Fiction podcast- perhaps a short story you have published on the site, or another great fiction Hub you’ve always enjoyed, email us about it! You can reach us at podcast (at) hubpages (dot) com.

Not too late for vote for our SXSW proposal (just takes a minute)!

Hey everyone,

Have you had a chance to vote for Paul’s SXSW (South by Southwest) speaking proposal, entitled Bringing Back the Love When Google Hates You? If not, it’s not too late! Your vote will help Paul get selected from among over 3,000 other candidates, and will help HubPages get media attention, which benefits us all. The speaking proposal highlights the recovery (still underway) of traffic to high-quality Hubs on HubPages. HubPages is the only large “Pandalized” site to have seen traffic return. We hope that trend continues, and Paul is anxious to share how good-quality writing can avoid future Google penalties in his talk.

How do you vote? It’s easy. Just visit the link below, sign up (it’s quick and easy) and click the “thumbs up” button on our proposal page.



Thank you for supporting us and for publishing on HubPages!

To Wed? Or Not to Wed?

Weekly Advice from Everyday ExpertsThat is the question…. addressed in an awesome Hub by michelleonly3 titled To Wed or not to Wed- Making the Biggest Decision of Your Life.  The Hub is, as michelleonly3 puts it, a brutally honest discussion of the issue that both Marina Lazarevic and Yours, Truly found to be very insightful.

Listen in to this week’s podcast (To Wed Or Not to Wed) as we discuss the marriage issue and review the wrong reasons why people get married.  We also delve into some of the modern issues confronting the concept of marriage, and, of course, talk about the right reasons to get married, too.

Did you ever get married for the wrong reasons? What is your personal way of telling if one is really ready to marry?  Let us know what you think about the decision to “take the plunge” by sending us an email! We may very well discuss it in our next podcast.

We’d also love to hear your suggestions on future podcasts, so send those our way too!  HubPages is filled to the brim with fascinating guides and amazing advice, and we want to share the best of the best!

On Writing Well – Managing Your Writing Life

There are so many people that I meet every day, who, having heard that I’ve finished a novel look at me sorrowfully. “I wish I could do that,” they say to me, “but between work, housework and kids, I don’t know where my day goes.”  My heart goes out to them. Writing is harder work than non-writers understand, and it’s pretty tough to balance the demands of everyday life with our need to write.

So, I spoke to various working writers, many of whom are also parents and have full-time jobs, on how they fit writing into their lives. These were the top 3 pieces of advice.

Assign a specific time: This was possibly the most resounding advice from everyone I spoke with. Allocate a time within your week during which all you will do is write.  If you can pocket only one slot per week for a few hours, make sure that during this time you don’t email, check Twitter, answer the telephone, or tend to others. Write! It’s true that initially the words might come slowly, or not be as delightful as you had wished, but as you write, your writing will grow stronger.

Allocate a place: Find a place within your home or elsewhere, that will be your designated writing space. Whether it’s your dining table while your kids are at school, or a favorite café on the other side of town, it matters not. What is important is that you go there at the assigned time and write.

Meet other writers: Meeting and connecting with other writers will give you a kind of support and self-belief that is hard to replicate. Writers often work in isolation, and communicating and connecting with others who share their passion helps renew their much-needed creative energy.

How do YOU manage your writing life? Please share here in the comments.



Personal Content – How to Walk the Line

Online Writing InsiderIs personal content bad? Absolutely not!  Some of the most entertaining, instructional, informative, and most useful Hubs on HubPages revolve around personal stories and experiences.  That said, personal content can be a contentious issue on our site. As it stands, “purely personal” content is against our publishing standards, meaning that if a Hub does not offer any value to a complete stranger, it may be moderated.

In this week’s podcast (Personal Content – Walking the Line), we discuss five major classes of personal content- four that are great, one that is best avoided.  After listening in, you should be all set to incorporate your personal stories and experience into your writing knowing full well that you have avoided the “purely personal” boring hole of doom!

Is there an online writing practice, issue, or subject that you would like to see covered in a future podcast? Send us an email about it! Just address it to podcast (at) hubpages (dot) com.  Happy Hubbing!

Vote for HubPages!

We love, love, love our Hubbers! Thank you to EVERYONE who voted for Paul for SXSW, we are delighted that you want us to get to this amazing conference.

To those who have not yet voted for HubPages – here’s the story again: South by Southwest (SXSW) is one of the most fun, cool, and interactive technology conferences in the world, a place where Twitter and Foursquare were launched and where author Tim Ferris, gave a presentation of his first book, The Four-Hour Workweek.

In the upcoming SXSW, we would be profoundly delighted if HubPages could participate. Only YOU can make it happen! We need we need your votes for HubPages! Here’s how: click on this link, and when the proposal shows up, click on the “thumbs up” button on the left corner. And you are done!

Our Panel is on the effects of Google Panda, and how sites can tell whether they have been ‘pandalized’ and what they can do to shake off the Panda-embrace.

The panel is titled Bringing back the love when Google hates you and Paul would give the audience, made up of tech geeks, writers, bloggers and others a sense of how they can get back into Google’s good books if they have been hit hard by Panda.

After you’ve voted, please let us know, so that we can personally send our thanks to you!

You can vote for this panel on SXSW website.  To cast your vote and leave a comment, you’ll need to sign in or create an account, but doing all of those things only takes about a minute. Be a great Hubber and Vote now!!


The Three Gifts from the Wise Men

Fascinating FictionPast stories featured in the Fascinating Fiction podcast have taken place in the past- sometimes the ’50s, sometimes in old country Western times… but never before have they gone all the way back to Biblical times.

In this week’s Fascinating Fiction Podcast (The Three Gifts from the Wise Men), SamboRambo reads a story of his revolving around an exchange between some individuals you might recognize from a rather famous publication indeed- the Bible!  The sweet tale is about sacrifice and faith, and is a heartwarming read for religious and nonreligious alike.

SamboRambo’s narration is excellent- we’re so glad to have another Hubber’s voice come forth in this series.  If you, too, would like to read one of your short fiction stories for the Fascinating Fiction podcast, let us know! We would love to hear from you.

A Visit & Interview with Lela Davidson

LelaDavidson and the HubPages Team

Paul, Robin, Pia, Lela, and Jason at lunch

Not too long ago, Lela Davidson was in the neighborhood (visiting San Francisco on business) and stopped by HubPages headquarters to say hello! Paul and Robin Edmondson, Jason Menayan, Pia Chatterjee, and myself got to catch up with her over lunch, and really enjoyed meeting this long-time Hubber in person- not to mention hearing about all of the exciting things she is working on!

Because Lela Davidson is such an inspiring HubPages community member, we thought it would be fun to share some of her advice and projects with you in a short blog interview. Enjoy!

Lela Davidson, it was so much fun to see you at HubPages headquarters, especially because you’re one of our top Hubbers! With four years of experience on the site, not to mention over 650 Hubs, do you have any simple words of advice you would like to share with the community?

Setting and meeting a goal at HubPages–whether independently or by participating in a contest–is a great way to strengthen your writerly discipline, which we all need to develop! Write what interests you, keep it simple, and don’t spend too much time on the whole keyword thing. (But if you figure it out, please let me know!)

In addition to being a mother and published author, you’re incredibly active online. In addition to your own website, you maintain a wonderful, humorous blog, are the Managing Editor of Parenting Squad, and maintain an active Twitter feed. How do you do it all?

I have no idea how I do it! And what you mentioned isn’t even the half of it. I used to make a big list every week and then beat myself up when I didn’t accomplish everything. Then it got to be too many items for one list. Now, it’s all about priorities. I make a list of just 5 must-do items each day, and those items make the list based on their ability to generate income, advance my platform, or if they are just creatively fun. And, after 41 years of tracking my days with pen and paper, I have recently become addicted Google calendar.

Your book, Blacklisted from the PTA, just made its debut. What inspired it you to physically publish your work, and do you plan on publishing more?

I decided to publish the essay collection because I was tired of feeling bad about myself every time I received a rejection letter for my novel. I’d been selling the essays to magazines for a few years and I knew readers liked them. I also knew I had built enough of a presence online that we could generate some word of mouth buzz, and that’s what sells books. I’m proud that my tiny little “indie” published book ranks right along with the heavy hitters of its genre on the Amazon charts. (Even if they did terminate my affiliate contract!) The response has been wonderful, so yes, I predict there will be more!

The Native American Indian Two-Spirit Tradition

Weekly Advice from Everyday ExpertsOne thing I love about the Hubs on HubPages is that many introduce me to new points of view, histories, cultures, and traditions. Native American Indian Berdache Tradition by Southern Muse does all of those things, hence Jason Menayan and I had to do a podcast on it.

Have you heard of the berdache, or two-spirit tradition before?  It is a practice that was adopted by many Native American cultures across the continent, and it basically entails the adoption of a culturally defined social role that is associated with the opposite sex.  For example, a two-spirit person born as a male might assume the cultural role (activities and dress) of a female.

Listen in to this week’s podcast (The Native American Indian Two-Spirit Tradition) as we discuss this tradition, its various facets, and its historical and modern implications.  It just might change your perceptions of gender and sex altogether!

What are your thoughts on the two-spirit tradition? Or on European-inspired gender roles?  Do you know of an equally interesting and well-written Hub that you would love to have us feature in a future podcast?  You should send us an email sharing your thoughts! We’d love to build your ideas and feedback into future podcasts.