HubPages is a one-of-a-kind online community of writers, editors, artists, and everyday enthusiasts sharing expertise and information.
The key to online-writing success is to create high-quality, engaging, useful, and informative content. In today's online world, you have to create in-depth, content-rich articles in order to see search traffic. Successful online articles:
- are written by authors who are passionate about their topic and have individual expertise that they want to share with the world.
- share brand new, cutting-edge insights and research.
- bolster their written content with original or legally used and attributed photos, videos, and other useful media.
- have few, if any, grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors.
- are well-formatted, visually engaging, and easy to read and navigate.
- are better than other articles on the same topic.
This guide explores the above ideas in detail and provides a number of additional tips and recommendations for improving the quality of your articles. Use this page as a toolkit to refine your work and boost your chances of search-engine success.
Write About Topics You Are Passionate About and Have Expertise In
The first step in publishing an article is figuring out what you want it to be about. What's your topic? Ideally, it should be something you're well-informed about and want to share with others. So, before you start typing, make sure you can answer "yes" to both of the questions below.
Are You Passionate About Your Topic and Genuinely Interested in Sharing Your Expertise With the World?
We have found that the most successful articles are those written by authors who are passionate about their topic and have genuine expertise in the subject. Those who write on a topic solely for monetary reasons usually have a harder time sustaining that traffic and income. Plus, it's a lot more fun to write on a subject you love. The earnings are an added bonus, and you'll be making the world a better place with your amazing knowledge.
Will Readers Be Interested in Your Topic?
This is an important question to ask yourself before you sit down and begin composing your article. There's nothing wrong with having specific, niche interests, but make sure you would be interested in the topic if it were written by someone else. Being a good online citizen means creating high-quality content that others will find useful.
Add a Personal Touch
Share your tips and advice. Many people turn to the Internet to find solutions to their problems and answers to their questions.
If you can think of a question that many people ask but very few seem to have the answer to, that question can be a springboard for a fantastic article. Many article ideas come from personal searches that render poor results. If you conduct a search on a specific topic and come upon only lackluster results, write the best article on the topic, and you might be able to rank well on search engine results pages. Here are some suggestions.
Provide a DIY Guide to a Project or Problem You Have Recently Tackled
Are you building a bureau? Modifying a bicycle so it has built-in lasers and jet packs? Learning how to file for patents and trademarks? Why not share the notes and photos you have taken along the way in an article?
If you have to research and plan for something, chances are other people do as well. If you cannot already find very helpful guides and resources on a particular project or problem online, you stand to gain a lot of readership by creating one. The more guides, photos, templates, facts, figures, price estimates, links, and concrete tips you can provide, the better.
Review Products That You Know Well
Have you tried a product, appliance, or service that you'd like other people to know about? If you have a lot of information on a product, give it an extensive review, compare it to similar products, and include original pictures and technical specifications.
You can also use the Ratings Capsule to give certain products a star rating where appropriate.
Furthermore, you may use the Amazon Capsules to provide links to relevant products for sale, and earn a commission if visitors follow your links and buy (make sure your affiliate codes are active for both in the Affiliate Settings section on your My Account page). Remember, to build trust with your readers, only add products that are relevant to your article. Also, keep in mind that products are not appropriate for every article. Be sure to carefully review the product guidelines to avoid spammy elements any time you choose to add a product to your article.
Share Your Opinion on a Subject
Are there any hot topics that you feel passionate about, and would like to educate other readers on? If you're the "go-to person" in your circle of friends when it comes to chatting about a certain topic because you're exceptionally knowledgeable about that subject, you should share your expertise with a larger group of people by creating articles on it. Your opinion is powerful, but it's even more respected if it's followed up by concrete facts and research!
Opinions that can be explored in great detail and backed up by facts and data (and possibly even generate discussion via comments with readers), would make for a great article.
Write for Your Readers, Not for Yourself
Please remember, HubPages is not a personal blog. HubPages provides a platform to express yourself and share your expertise. Purely personal topics, very short or poorly-written articles, and proposals of dubious value won't make the grade here and will not pass our Quality Assessment Process. HubPages is the best place to publish online, but the content has to be high quality or your readers will quickly go elsewhere—and that hurts our whole community.
Share New Insights and Research or Create a Page that Covers Your Topic More Extensively than Other Articles
If you're looking for something on the Web, you want to find the page that will give you the best answer to your question. If there is a subject you're particularly passionate about, share your expertise by creating a useful, well-formed, and well-researched article that is the best resource available. If you are privy to cutting-edge information/research, or if you've discovered a new, more efficient way to explain a topic, then share it with the world!
You may also have discovered that there isn't a go-to place for all of the information that a reader would like (i.e., you have to hop around to multiple websites to get a complete answer to a problem). If you find that there isn't a comprehensive place for your topic, then create one!
Add Pictures, Videos, and Other Useful Capsules
We all know "a picture is worth a thousand words," and we all know the power of television and film to communicate. Carefully chosen, relevant original pictures, videos, and other related capsules help communicate some messages that words never can, or they can complement text nicely, giving the reader a visual foothold into the topic you're writing about.
The Photo Capsule
You can upload as many images as you'd like, either from your computer, your iPhone, or a Web page. Original pictures are always the best, but if you find a picture from a site like creativecommons.org, be sure to cite the owner. We do not allow pictures that are watermarked, pixelated, or where the owner does not give permission for re-use. If your article has photographs with any of these criteria, you will most likely be moderated and asked to take them down. Plus, your readers won't be too happy to see unoriginal, poor quality photographs and as a result may not trust your content.
The Video Capsule
You can add relevant videos using the Video Capsule; all you need to do is insert a URL.
The Recipe Capsules
If you're writing a recipe, the Recipe Capsules enable you to share information in a manner that can be summarized in the article's listing in search results and used in online recipe searches (this gives the article an extra competitive edge).
The Table Capsule
The Table Capsule is great for all sorts of purposes- from comparing prices across different products to listing timetables and providing tips based on certain criteria.
There are several other capsule options (map, poll, quiz, etc.) that you might consider using as well to make your article more engaging to a reader. Relevant capsules tell your reader that you care about the topic and are willing to give them as much useful information as you can. It also makes your article more engaging and you are more likely to have your reader stay on your article longer and go to another article that you've written.
Use the Spell-Checker and Check Your Grammar
You don't have to be able to win a spelling bee to write a great article, but perfect spelling makes your article understandable and credible. A spelling-error-free article is easy to publish thanks to the spell checker that we've built into the Text Capsule.
In the Text Capsule menu bar, you'll see a blue check mark with ABC above it. If you click on that button, your misspelled words will have a red squiggly line underneath them. You can correct the mistakes, run it through a second time, and make sure your article looks professional.
It's always a good idea to re-read your article before publishing. Checking your grammar as well as your spelling will help you build your reputation as a high quality writer and attract readers!
Create a Beautiful Page with Appealing Formatting
Readers have many choices online. Keep your readers engaged and on your page by making it beautiful and easy to read. Here are a few formatting tips that we have seen to be successful:
- Text should be broken up into multiple Text Capsules with clear subtitles (increase your chances of being found via search engines and make your subtitles other search terms around your topic)
- Use bullets and numbers so your readers can quickly read your article's main points
- Start your article off by answering the question of your title right off the bat
- Add vivid, high-quality images that explain your topic better and add visual interest (make sure they're either original or legally used and attributed)
- Include relevant video
- Add a table that organizes your information in a logical way
- If you are writing an article that has a finished product (recipe, how-to, etc.), include an appetizing finished product image at the very beginning of your article.
Things to Avoid
- One long Text Capsule
- Pixelated or watermarked images or videos
- Tangential links or products (only add products or links that will absolutely, without a doubt, be beneficial to your reader)
- Graphic page breaks
Article Templates Based on Category
To help you with your article formatting, we have created templates that are influenced by the category of your article. The template will be the default when you are choosing your article's format. We strongly encourage you to use the templates to get a feel for what is expected to be featured on HubPages.
Have you Crafted the Best Piece of Content Out There?
One last check before you publish: Is my new article better than what Google, Bing, and Yahoo think is the best on this topic?
For example: Let's say you want to build the best page on the web on building a birdhouse. First, go to Google, type in "how to build a birdhouse," and have a look at the potential competition. Would your article be better than the first listing from Google? Could you either add more useful information, better pictures, clearer explanations, or more in-depth feedback? If there's room for improvement on what search engines think is the best, then there's an opportunity for you to create an article that's truly a winner.
Now, Get Writing!
In short, the idea is to create really great, high-quality articles that other people will want to read. HubPages' tools and format allow you to make truly rich pieces of content. Utilize the features available to you to own a topic in search and gain readership.