A few weeks ago, WryLilt, one of our top Hubbers, made an incredibly generous gesture by opening up a Forum thread in which she would give a critique to anyone who asked for help with a Hub. Last week, she published a Hub guiding people through the most common mistakes she encountered when reviewing others’ work.
WryLilt kindly summarized some of the most common mistakes she covers in that guide in this guest post. Should you find her tips to be useful, be sure to read the entire Hub!
The Top Five Mistakes Made by Bloggers
I have plenty of my own projects now, but I love coming back to the HubPages community because it feels like home. Recently I started hanging out in the Forums again and saw a huge number of questions relating to why people were seeing issues with their traffic or earnings. Taking a look at many of these Hubbers’ Hubs, I saw some really obvious issues that could easily be fixed. I figured that it would be a lot easier to help all these Hubbers in one place, instead of going through all the Forum posts I kept finding, and then collate the information.
I started a Forum Discussion asking people to post if they wanted feedback on two things they could change to improve their Hubs. I was amazed at how many responses I got – and also by how many people were making the very same basic mistakes.
Five of the biggest mistakes I saw people making included:
- Titles – Both Hub titles and subtitles play important roles in getting Google traffic as well as helping people navigate your Hub. Make sure your title tells readers exactly what your Hub is about (leave out words you found in the thesaurus or “pretty titles”), and break your Hub up into subtopics so visitors can easily skim your content to find the information they want.
- Writing For Yourself – Sorry, but if you’re “writing for yourself” on the internet, you’re probably not going to make money. Unlike published writing, you don’t have editors to add red crosses throughout your content and cut out the purple prose, so you need to get it right to get the traffic. Online, you’re writing firstly for the reader and secondly for Google. Yes, that includes poems and stories – which may get you a following but are notoriously low earners if you don’t know what you’re doing. You can write on topics you love, but don’t fall too in love with your own voice!
- BOOOO-RING – Titles and content are just one step in creating an attractive and readable Hub. You need to keep the reader’s attention, especially if it’s a long Hub – having pictures, videos, and highlighted text boxes with interesting information will help keep your reader interested and scrolling. Don’t go off on tangents either – if your reader came to your Hub for information, give them that information instead of telling them about something else.
- Traffic Leak!!! – I’ve visited many Hubs where there are literally dozens of links. Links to other people’s Hubs, Wikipedia, random sites, even links to their own profile. I feel like I’m rolling my mouse through a minefield. If you do want to start throwing in some links, choose only a few so readers notice them – link to your own Hubs if possible, so you can redirect your reader to your own lower traffic Hubs in particular. If you really have to add links to other people’s Hubs or outside sites, add them at the very bottom of the Hub so people have to read all you have to say, first!
- Don’t Stress If You Don’t Get Traffic – Many new Hubbers see a dive in traffic and assume their work is done for. Wrong! It generally takes 6-9 months for quality content to start seeing regular search traffic, and with time that search traffic will begin to share your Hub with their own social circles, increasing your traffic even more. Stop stressing about traffic and go write more content (or do a Hub Challenge). By the time you’re done, you’ll have learnt a lot, and your first Hubs will either be seeing more traffic or you’ll go back and edit them when you realise how bad they really were (yes, I’ve been there!)
If you want to read more about everything from white spaces through to using teasers to grab readers, you can check out the full Hub I wrote on common new online writer mistakes.