Changes to the Weekly Topic Inspiration Program

I’ve really enjoyed leading Weekly Topic Inspiration in its current iteration and seeing the amazing Hubs that participants have produced and shared each week. You guys are awesome!

I’m very pleased to announce that the program is undergoing a major overhaul. We’re making a lot of changes to streamline and simplify the Hub-sharing process and to give you more options and freedom, dear writers. Why the sudden change, you ask? While we love the idea of creating Hubs together as a community around a shared theme, we have found the current Weekly Topic Inspiration lacking on a few fronts. Here are the major issues we are working on rectifying:

  • Low Hubber engagement
  • A complicated system that makes sharing difficult and confusing (the need to post Hubs as Answers to a Question, which trips a lot of Hubbers up)
  • A lack of options for Hubbers who aren’t interested in a given week’s theme
  • Difficulty in reaching many Hubbers at once with the program

Here’s how the new version is going to work. Each Friday I’ll make a Forum post announcing Topic Pages where you can vote for the week’s Rising Star nominees (to make it easier for you to find Topic Pages with open polls). In that post I’ll also mention three newly-created promising Topics that seem particularly fun and interesting. Any Hubber who wants to write about one (or more) of the week’s Topics can simply post his/her Hub directly in that Forum thread.

I’ll still be browsing your posts for Hub of the Day material and commenting occasionally, but I also strongly encourage you to organize themed Hub Challenges on your own with your fellow Hubbers. It’s an awesome way to get motivated, stay in touch with other Hubbers, and meet writers with similar interests. If you’re still hungry for more inspiration, don’t forget to check out our Exclusive titles. Just type a word or short phrase into the Hub Title field of the HubTool and see what comes up!

We’re Adding a Fresh Twist to Weekly Topic Inspiration!

As you may have read in an earlier blog post, the lovely Christy Kirwan is expanding our Topic Page ecosystem, adding fun new Topics every day.

To raise awareness about the cool opportunities these new Topic Pages provide (they’re not nearly as crowded as older Topics, in which your chances of being Featured on the first page are pretty low) and to encourage people to publish Hubs on niche subjects (that are not already extensively covered online), we are shifting our focus of the Weekly Topic Inspiration program so that each week’s theme revolves around one of Christy’s newly-created Topics.

Aside from the weekly release date moving to Tuesdays (it has historically been on Mondays) and removing suggested titles from the forum threads (they were seldom used and it’s best to practice creating your own high-potential titles), nothing has changed.

For more information on participating in the Weekly Topic Inspiration challenge each week, stop by our Official Learning Center guide on the program and consider joining in on this week’s new challenge (with a super fun focus on beards, mustaches, and facial hair)!

Participating in the Weekly Topic Inspiration Program

On HubPages, we’re all about giving as much as you get, which is why Weekly Topic Inspiration is such a fun way to spread the love in our community. This weekly challenge is all about sharing and getting feedback on your work- as well as constructively critiquing the work of others.

Weekly Topic Inspiration involves the selection of a new theme each week- one on which Hubbers are encouraged to write. Throughout the week, Hubbers post their Hubs as Answers to the Weekly Topic Inspiration Question and also share them in the week’s official forum (the current theme’s thread is always stickied).

By sharing your Hub in the thread, you can get valuable feedback on your work- as well as encouragement. You can also lend other Hubbers a hand by providing them with feedback on their own work and offering some suggestions on how they might make it even better.

We even provide search-friendly title ideas for those who would like an extra push. 🙂

If you’re looking for something to write about or hoping to make some new friends on HubPages, Weekly Topic Inspiration is a great place to start!

The Best Way to Write a Sports Hub

Many people avoid writing about sports on HubPages because typical sports articles are too newsy to be successful in the long run. That said, sports are actually splendid activities to write about! In addition to being fun to write about (not to mention search-friendly), chances are that you know one or two sports very well, and can therefore leverage your expertise.

The key is to write evergreen, helpful guides to sports explaining their background, the rules of engagement, and helpful tips on developing one’s skills and finding greater success.

If you don’t think you’re a sporty person, think again! You may know all the inns and outs of bog snorkeling, for example, or perhaps you’re an expert at thumb wars and toe wrestling, or maybe you’re well-versed on jousting etiquette.

If you’re concerned that your favorite sport is too mainstream for any of your guides to break through the competition, just go niche. If you really like football (as many do, right now 😉 ), you can always write a Hub on properly fitting protective padding and choosing good helmets, or perhaps you can share your tips on using wet fields to your advantage, getting started as a kid, or transitioning from a high school to a college football team.

We’ve made sports this week’s Weekly Topic Inspiration theme, and encourage you to join us in sharing tips, background, and explanations of your favorite sports. To join in on the action, create a Hub as an Answer to our Weekly Topic Inspiration question, and share what you’ve published this week’s Weekly Topic Inspiration forum thread, where you can also find additional tips, ideas for titles, and community support.

We hope you’ll join in on the fun!

[Photo (CC-BY-2.0) via Alaskan Dude on flickr]

How to Find Good Topics

We recently asked for some Online Writing Insider topic suggestions on our Facebook page and received a couple of excellent recommendations. One came from Tracy Robinson, who was looking for some advice on How to Find Good Topics to Hub about.

In this week’s Online Writing Insider podcast, we outline five different ways to find topics for new online articles. These are methods we have found to be most successful in inspiring Hubs that aren’t only popular, but high earners, and they’re taken directly from the standard practices of some of our site’s top earners.  We hope you find these resources to be just as useful as we do.

Big thanks to Tracy Robinson for inspiring this week’s theme. We always appreciate getting feedback on the podcast, so if you have any comments or recommendations of your own, please send them to podcast-at-HubPages-dot-com!

Weekly Topic Inspiration: The Next Generation HubMob

For a couple of years, HubPages has offered a special program called HubMob, which offers a new search-friendly topic each week that Hubbers can write on as a group.  HubMob has been an excellent help to those looking for an extra challenge, a cure for writer’s block, or simply the opportunity to write in a more social setting.

Last Monday, Princessa announced that she and the HubMob team will be retiring.  On behalf of HubPages staff and the entire community, I want to thank team HubMob for everything they have done!

If you enjoyed participting in the weekly HubMob, don’t worry- we’re rolling out its next generation this coming Monday: Weekly Topic Inspiration.

Weekly Topic Inspiration will be very similar to HubMob.  Each week, we’ll post a sticky thread in the forums sharing a new topic and pointing to a question.  All you have to do to participate is write a Hub on the week’s topic by answering that question.

In addition to forum posts, we shall also be sharing the new topics each week as events on our Facebook page to make them more convenient.  We encourage you to recommend new topics for future weeks by leaving suggestions in the forum thread or as comments on a Weekly Topic Inspiration Facebook event.  If we choose your topic, you’ll be the Hubber to ask the question for the week!

We will also occasionally offer additional guides and tips on how to cover a particular subject successfully in the online world, since we have found (and you may well have discovered) that some approaches work better than others.

For more information on the Weekly Topic Inspiration, visit our Learning Center guide.  Thanks again to the HubMob team, we’ll miss you, but look forward to seeing you around the site 😉