Creative Hubbing: What to Expect

This week’s Online Writing Insider is inspired by Anish Patel, who sent in the following question:

What does HubPages think about fictional Hubs or other creative Hubs? (spoofs, funny hubs, short stories, poetry, comic strips etc.) Is it a good idea?

Of course publishing creative writing and art on HubPages is a great idea! We hosted the HubPatron of the Arts Contest last November just to highlight these types of Hubs, and we absolutely love the fiction, photos, art, and poetry people regularly share in our community.

That said, publishing creative content on HubPages is a very different experience from publishing informative Hubs. We cover these differences in this week’s podcast (The Gist of Creative Writing Online), though the gist is this:

  • HubPages is a great place to develop your skills and get feedback on your work
  • HubPages is a wonderful place to showcase your work and host an online portfolio
  • HubPages is a splendid place to build a following

BUT…

  • Creative Hubs don’t typically earn significant ad revenue
  • Creative Hubs won’t be found on their own- you have to share them and promote them if you want them to be read

With reasonable expectations, we think any creative type could have a blast on HubPages- plus make a bunch of meaningful connections! Thanks for the great question, Anish. 😀

How to Give Your Hubs a Good Shot at Success

Back in January, Jason Menayan shared some impressive stats on our old Flagship Hub program. Flagship Hubs, which were published following very rigorous standards, have seen some very impressive traffic and earnings in the months and years following their publication. To help you cash in on these potential benefits, we have updated the old Flagship standards and encourage you to work on incorporating them into your own work.

In this week’s podcast (Essential Elements of a Successful Online Article), we discuss these standards (as it happens, there are eight of them) that tend to give online articles a greater shot at success. In addition to offering tips on incorporating these aspects in the most effective way possible, we share some reasons why these standards make such a difference.

If you would like to read more information about these standards, stop by our Learning Center guide. We hope that incorporating these things into your Hubs brings you a broader audience and more earnings!

Is there something you would like to see us discuss in a future podcast? Tell us about it! Just send us an email at podcast-at-HubPages-dot-com.

A New Contest & The Benefits of Q&A

The HubPages Know it All ContestGreat news, Hubbers! We’ve got another contest in the works. The HubPages Know It All Contest will take place throughout the month of March, and revolves around the Answers section of the site. You will be able to win prizes not only for Hubs you publish as Answers to Questions, but also for Questions you ask that inspire winning Hubs.

In honor of our upcoming contest, we’ve made this week’s Online Writing Insider all about the benefits of using Q&A as an online writer. In the podcast (The Benefits Asking and Answering Questions Online), we discuss various ways in which both asking and answering questions online can help you conduct research, build a brand, and engage in some valuable networking.

Now, you’re probably interested in knowing more about the contest, so here are the major details.

Most importantly, we’ll be giving away over $3,600 in prize money:

  • $1400 in $50 Daily Drawing Prizes awarded to a randomly selected Hub Answer from the entries submitted each day of the contest
    • $280 in $10 Daily Drawing Prizes awarded to each Question that the Daily Drawing Hubs Answer
  • $600 in $50 Weekly Prizes awarded to the best Hub Answers of each week
    • $300 in $25 Weekly Prizes awarded to the Questions that each winning Weekly Hub Answer
  • $500 First Place Hub Answer Prize
    • $100 First Place Question Prize for the Question that inspires the First Place winner
  • $250 Second Place Hub Answer Prize
    • $50 Second Place Question Prize for the Question that inspires the Second Place winner
  • $100 Third Place Hub Answer Prize
    • $25 Third Place Question Prize for the Question that inspires the Third Place winner

Now, to win these prizes:

  • Hub entries must answer a Question on HubPages (the Hub must be created by first visiting the Question, then clicking “answer this question” and then choosing the “make a Hub about it” option. Short-form responses are not entered in the contest.)
  • Hub entries must have at least one image, and all images are legally used (see our Learning Center guide on legal image use)
  • Entries must be published for the first time on that given contest day
  • Hub entries must be a minimum of 500 words
  • Question and Hub entries must be entirely original to HubPages
  • Hub entries must not be in response to your own Question

And non-random winners will be judged based on:

  • The extent to which the entry accurately answers the Question asked
  • The presence and quality of original photos and video
  • Whether the entry is on a long-tail, niche topic that has not been extensively covered online
  • Whether the entry has a search-friendly title (mirrors common search terms)
  • Excellent writing (proper use of grammar, capitalization)
  • The entry’s uniqueness (not copied or paraphrased from elsewhere online, full of details, examples, names, and figures)
  • Attractive formatting (avoidance of excessive link, eBay, or Amazon capsule clutter, excessive bolding or italics, and all-caps)
  • Judicious use of relevant capsules (original photos [especially your own], video, maps, tables, links, etc.)

Finally, while the contest does not start until March 1st, you can start asking Questions that qualify and drafting Hub Answers (NOT published) now! Here are the logistical details:

  • Hub Answers may first be submitted Thursday, March 1st at 12:00pm (PT) (though Questions may be asked at any time, and Hub Answers may be started as drafts, but not published, ahead of time)
  • The final deadline for entries is Friday, March 30th at 12:00pm (PT)
  • Daily Drawing prize winners will be announced every weekday around 4:00pm (PT)
  • Weekly Prize winners will be announced on Mondays (starting on the 12th)
  • First, Second, and Third Place winners will be announced on Friday, April 6th around 4:00pm (PT)

We hope you’re as excited about this contest as we are- and that you have fun with the Answers feature on our site!

The Family Secrets – Chapter 8

Fascinating FictionMost of our Fascinating Fiction podcasts are just short stories, but from time to time, it’s hard to leave out snippets of longer series.  That is definitely the case with today’s podcast, The Family Secrets – Chapter 8, which is one chapter of a 40-part series by Joseph Owens (Dobson on HubPages).

If you like this chapter of the series, I recommend hopping over to its beginning.  Dobson has them wonderfully organized in a group on HubPages, so moving from one chapter to the next is a breeze.  Right now, Chapter 8 is the latest installment, but there are sure to be more!

Do you have a short story that you’d like to see featured in this podcast? Are you interested in providing your own recordings of your readings, or recording narration for others’ stories?  Drop us a line if you would like to join in on the fun!

Fabulous Skincare Tips

Weekly Advice from Everyday ExpertsWhat’s the difference between dull and radient skin? Skincare! HubPages is filled with helpful guides on skin maintenance, and we want to share them with you.  That’s why in this episode of Weekly Advice from Everyday Experts, Michelle Padro and I discuss two of the most popular skincare Hubs on the site.

The first is 4 Steps To Beautiful Skin – How To Get The Best Body Skin Ever by moonbun, which shares some great foundational skincare practices. The second is Best Essential Oils For Skin Treatments by Om Paramapoonya, which includes not only tips on using and choosing essential oils, but also recipes for making lovely toners and remedies.

We hope this podcast helps you take better care of your skin. We also hope that you send feedback and suggestions for future podcasts our way– we’re always looking for new Hubs to discuss in the podcast. 😀

Climbing Mount Fuji

Weekly Advice from Everyday ExpertsDo you fancy yourself to be quite the explorer? If so, you might be interested in what Sir Cumference has to say about climbing Mount Fuji.  In Climbing Fuji-San – A Quick Guide, Sir Cumference shares background on the mountain as well as a wealth of tips on climbing this famous volcano in style.

If you’re so busy exploring and summiting famous mountains that you cannot read the full Hub (which we highly recommend, not just for the gorgeous photos and excellent writing, but the useful tips and tables as well), do not despair.  Jason Menayan and I discuss Sir Cumference’s major points in this week’s podcast!

We hope it inspires you to climb ev’ry mountain 😀

Have any suggestions for future Hubs to be discussed in Weekly Advice from Everyday Experts podcasts? Send it our way!

Hubbie Award Voting & The Importance of Community

Hubbie AwardIn this week’s Online Writing Insider podcast, Robin and I discuss the Importance of Community in writing online (and offline, too!).

In line with this podcast theme, I’m happy to announce that voting for the first annual Hubbie Awards is now open!

To submit your nominations (votes) for each Hubbie Award, enter the username of a Hubber or URL of a Hub into the corresponding text box in our official voting form.  We ask that you only submit your votes once, so make sure that you have all the Hubbers and Hubs you want to nominate on hand before you go to the form (the full listing of candidates is in our previous post introducing the awards).

Voting will be open for three weeks (it closes on August 3rd), so you’ve got plenty of time to think about who you think should win each award, but don’t worry if you don’t have someone in mind for each Hubbie- you don’t have to submit a nomination for each award.

We look forward to seeing which Hubbers and Hubs win each award, and look forward to celebrating the HubPages community with the winner announcements on August 5th!

Enemy Hearts

Fascinating FictionRarely do I read things online that prompt me to make audible reactions, when something I’m reading does cause me to make noise, said noise is typically laughter.

Enemy Hearts by Taressa Klays is one of the very unusual Hubs out our site that has made me actually yell out in alarm- in a good way of course! That said, I should warn anyone listening to this week’s podcast to proceed with caution, because there might be just a little bit of blood.  Just a little.

But really folks, this is a wonderful short story, and I’m very thankful to Taressa Klays for sharing it with us!

Again, my apologies for my voice- and please, if you’d like to grace us with your (without a doubt) superior voice for Fascinating Fiction recording purposes, drop us a line!  We’d also love to get any suggestions of additional short stories to feature in this fiction-focused podcast.

Overcoming Writer’s Apprehension

The Online Writing InsiderAre you new to HubPages, or online writing in general? Are you having trouble publishing your first couple of articles?

In this episode of the Online Writing Insider (Writer’s Apprehension), Michelle Padro and Yours Truly discuss the mysterious effects of Writer’s Apprehension- that troublesome nervousness about sharing one’s writing in the public sphere.

In addition to sharing solutions to common roadblocks new online writers face, Michelle and Simone outline the best ways to push through Writer’s Apprehension.  After listening in, you may feel it is just as easy to publish an online article as it is to send off an email.

Is there an online writing-related topic you’d like to see covered in a future podcast? Tell us about it! We’d love to discuss it.

The Red Monologue 2.0

Fascinating FictionThis week’s Fascinating Fiction podcast features a new spin on an old story.  In The Red Monologue 2.0 – From the Big Bad Wolf’s Big Mouth to Your Big Eyes, ProCW offers a new take on Little Red Riding Hood.

Listen in to the podcast (The Red Monologue 2.0) as I have a go at narrating (do everyone a favor, Gentle Reader, and volunteer to take over for me).  I hope you enjoy ProCW’s story!

Is there a short fictional story on HubPages that you think deserves more attention?  Tell us about it!  It may very well be featured in our next episode Fascinating Fiction.

We’re also looking for volunteers to do recordings of their own (or other Hubbers’) short stories.  If you’re interested, let us know!  We’d love to add your voice to the mix. 😀