Share Your Goals With Us!

As you go about setting and sharing your goals for 2013, we hope you will share them with us!

We encourage you to tweet your goals to us on Twitter and include the hashtag #HubPagesGoal, and to post your 2013 objectives on our Facebook wall as well.

We’re especially interested to hear about any particular systems you are adopting that will make it easier for you to achieve your goals. If you have created a vision board for 2013, a special checklist you keep on your fridge, or something else visual and fun, snap a photo of it and share it with us!

Your idea might be just the sort of inspiration another Hubber needs as she develops goals and achievement mechanisms of her own.

Share Your Custom Illustrations With HubPages!

This month, as we share tips and advice on working custom made graphics into your Hubs, we encourage you to share cool sketches, drawings, graphs, graphics, and other illustrations you have included in your work to provide our community with some inspiration.

Here’s how to join in:

  • On Facebook: Visit our Facebook page and select the “Photo/Video” option, then upload a custom graphic you’ve created for one of your Hubs, along with a little description explaining how you made it and the Hub it is intended for
  • On Twitter: Share your photo with the hashtag #HubPagesGraphic (and feel free to mention @HubPagesDotCom)
  • On Google+: Upload a photo and description of a custom graphic you created (complete with an explanation) and be sure to tag +HubPages
  • Email photos to us directly and let us post it to our official albums on Facebook, Google+, and/or Pinterest by sending a message to Simone (dot) Smith (at) HubPages.com with the image, a link to the Hub in which it appears, and some background on how you created it.

I can’t wait to see what you have created!

A New Learning Center Guide to Google+

With our series of Learning Center entries on social media, we have already offered advice for Hubbers who seek to make the most of Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest, and our latest guide addresses a fourth popular social network: Google+.

Even if you do not have time (or motivation) to be an active participant on Google+ (so many social networks, so little time…), you can still reap major benefits from setting up a nice Google+ profile and connecting it with your HubPages account.

We cover tips on doing just that in The HubPages Guide to Google+, as well as:

  • Setting up a good profile
  • Claiming authorship of your Hubs
  • Proper use of +1’s
  • Utilizing circles
  • The importance of moderation
  • Tips on sharing
  • Interacting with others on Google+
  • HubPages on Google+

We hope you find it to be useful!

 

Pinterest Tips for Hubbers

Our social media-centric series of Learning Center entries (which has already addressed Twitter and Facebook) continues with a guide to Pinterest, which offers tips and tricks on making the most of this trendy, image-centric social network.

Our guide covers:

  • Using the Pin This button on Hubs
  • Including beautiful images in your Hubs to increase their chances of being pinned
  • Getting started on Pinterest
  • The importance of moderation and balance
  • Tips on pinning images from your own Hubs
  • The importance of interaction
  • Group boards
  • Pinterest and image rights

Be sure to give it a read and make a point of taking our advice to heart! Even if you do not want to have an account on Pinterest or be very involved within the social network, there are some very simple actions you can take to boost the chances of your Hubs’ images ending up on people’s pinboards.

Next week, our social media series concludes with a guide to Google+. Stay tuned!

 

A Hubber’s Guide to Facebook

Last week we published a new Learning Center guide sharing tips on using Twitter in a way that can benefit one’s Hubs and general online brand. This week, our focus turns to Facebook.

This second installment in a series of four guides to using social media as Hubber (which cover Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and Pinterest) touches on:

  • Using the “Like” button on Hubs
  • Finding a good balance of posts and shared links so that your shares actually show up in people’s feeds
  • Monitoring the response to things you share to see what sort of content your friends are interested in
  • Boosting interaction with others to increase engagement with your own posts
  • Utilizing lists to share niche-style posts with specific groups
  • Friending other Hubbers on Facebook
  • Whether or not to create a Facebook page for your Hubs
  • Interacting with HubPages’ Facebook page and posts

Be sure to stop by the full Learning Center entry to explore all of these topics in detail!

We hope you find our advice to be useful, and that you take some time to sharpen your Facebook sharing and diplomacy skills! Savvy behavior on Facebook reflects well upon all facets of your online identity, both on HubPages and elsewhere.

[Image by Sean MacEntee, CC-BY, via flickr]

 

Tips on Making the Most of Twitter

If you want to create a robust online brand and share your passions and expertise with as many people as possible, you will need to expand your reach beyond just HubPages. While many people do so on personal websites and blogs, it makes a lot of sense to maintain a presence where everyone else is- namely on major social networks.

To help you make the most of the most popular online hangouts, namely Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Google+, we will be rolling out a series of new Learning Center entries offering tips on making the most of the unique features you’ll encounter on each one.

The first new guide we have rolled out covers Twitter. We hope you find it useful! Some of the major points we cover include:

  • The Tweet This button on Hubs
  • Setting up a good Twitter profile
  • Moderation and balance
  • Interaction with fellow Twitter users
  • Major Twitter tools
  • Interacting with HubPages on Twitter

What is the biggest Twitter tip we can offer? Only get involved with the network if you would like to do so as a genuine user. This entails following people whose tweets you will at least occasionally read, interacting with other users, and sharing a variety of things- not just links, but plain text tweets, photos, retweets, and @mentions.

Avoid creating accounts (on Twitter or any site) that are just designed to promote Hubs. They’ll ultimately be a waste of your time- not to mention a lost opportunity! Twitter is an excellent place to discover new people and ideas, find inspiration, and further develop your following. By following some simple best practices, you can gain a great deal from all this site has to offer.

For more helpful tips on getting the most possible out of your Twitter experience, stop by our Learning Center guide– and keep an eye out for the additional social media guides that shall be rolling out in the coming weeks!

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!

Separating Business and Personal Lives Online

Many online writers use social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter to promote their writing, but doing so is not as simple as you might expect.

If you combine business and pleasure online, you run the risk of alienating your audiences.  By sharing personal information with people who are only interested in your writing, you run the risk of boring them or seeming unprofessional. By sharing purely professional updates on social media channels that include your friends, you run the risk of appearing like a self-promotional spammer.

We’ve packed this podcast (Separating Personal from Business Accounts) full of tips on using Facebook and Twitter in such a way that will please your professional and personal followers alike. In addition to reducing the number of people who block your posts or un-friend you, our advice will help you share information with those who care about it most.

If there is an online writing issue you would like us to cover in a future podcast, tell us about it by sending an email to podcast (at) HubPages (dot) com!

Social Media 101 for Online Writers

Are you interested in sharing your writing and personal brand with others? Chances are people are telling you to use social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

These channels can be excellent platforms to help you promote your personal brand and writing, but there is a wrong way to go about using them.  Listen in to this week’s Online Writing Insider podcast (Social Media 101 for Online Writers) to get the lowdown on responsible sharing behavior (hint: it involves sharing only on sites you’re already active on, limiting sharing to only those articles and links you think would interest your followers and friends, and not sharing only your own work).

We hope our tips help you to develop a better online reputation!

If there is an online writing issue that you would like us to cover in a future podcast? Tell us about it by sending an email to podcast (at) HubPages (dot) com.

Establishing Your Personal Brand

Online Writing InsiderWhen you hear the word “brand” you may think of companies, not writers, but creating a strong personal brand is very important if you wish to make it as an author.

For this week’s Online Writing Insider podcast, Pia Chatterjee and I discuss four simple things you can do to build your personal brand as a writer- both online and IRL.  This episode is inspired by one of Pia’s previous On Writing Well blog posts (How to Create Brand Awareness as a Writer), which we discuss and expand on in the podcast.

Are there online writing challenges, issues, or practices that you would like to see discussed in this series? Tell us about it! We’d love to hear your feedback and suggestions.