I received a request to write a hub that covers the very basic elements of writing a hub. I searched “How to Write a Hub” and found that, while the advice out there was good, I couldn’t find a hub that laid it out on the total, ultimate beginner level (although my search may not have been exhaustive). So, given that I’ve made a few hubs and have nothing else productive to do, I’ve written this up to give people the super basics.
If you want to write your first hub, this will tell you exactly what to do. This is not going to show you advanced features, nor will it cover how to write, how to do search engine manipulation or optimization, how to make money, style, or even how to use modules (also referred to as capsules) beyond the most basic parts.
That said, let’s get started:
1. Write your hub article
Write your article in MS Word or in Notepad or some word processor if you like. You can just write it directly in the hub if you want, but I really recommend already knowing what you are going to say before you start making your hub, and do it in the comfort of a writing program.
However, that is not necessary, and if you want to write directly into the hub, go for it. To do that, just sort of think ahead to at least what your title will be and your topic because you will need to know that to set up the hub before you can start writing.
2. Click the "Start a New Hub" on top of the HubPages window.
3. Write the title into section #1 of the page that pops up.
4. Choose a category from the #3 drop down menu
Choose a category from the #3 section using the drop downs. You don't have to keep going to the sub menus if you don't want; one category level is fine. But if you want to refine the category of your hub for people looking for specific topics, you will see that each category you pick opens up a new set of choices that focus down on the specific area of your topic.
For example, if you are writing about "cooking" you might start with "FOOD" and be done. But if you want to keep going, you can work your way through to Dessert Recipes or Kitchen Equipment and Cookware, or Food Safety or whatever else you like. But one category is perfectly fine.
5. Choose a starting layout in #4
Use the first one on the left for your first hub. It's easy. They all are, but for your first hub, so that we can be on the "same page," let's just go with the first one on the left. It will already be highlighted, but if it's not, or if you click off it for some reason, click back on it before moving on.
6. Add tags
Tags are just related terms. For your first hub, just start with two or three or so. You can always add later. So if you are writing a hub about food, put "cooking" in the first box. Then "cooking tips" for the second. Maybe "baking" in the third, etc. Just terms that are related to your topic. Tags help search engines find your article. (You will notice a gray box pops on to the far right when you click the tags field, that too explains the nature of tags.)
7. Click Continue. It will take you to a screen that gives you some rules.
8. Read over the rules, and click Continue
9. Take a look at the layout of your empty hub
You will now be at your hub, with three modules. One is a photo capsule, one is a text capsule, and one is the comments capsule that will be at the bottom. This arrangement is the result of the choice we made back on step number 5 of these instructions.
The Text capsule (or module as I sometimes call them) is for the body of your article. The Photo capsule will support pictures, charts, etc. And the Comments capsule will be where readers can give you feed back. The comments capsule can be a lot of fun in the days, weeks and even months after you publish.
You will notice a section at the top-right where there are other capsule types (text, photo, Ebay, video, etc.). U can add whichever you like, but for a VERY basic hub, the three modules will work, and for now, let's just stick with the three we have.
Keep in mind, you can also add more later, when you are done. Hubs are very easy to edit and modify.
You will also notice as you begin working on your hub, that if you scroll down very far in your browser window, a bar might pop up along the top that has all of these options on it too. That is simply for your convenience if you are making a long hub, enabling you to add capsules/modules without having to scroll all the way back up to the top.
10. On the text module, click the EDIT button. Type or copy/paste your article from your word processor
11. Click "save."
12. Photograph/Image step
If you have a photograph, follow the instructions below. If not, click the red X at the top right corner of your Photo capsule and it will go away. Don't worry, you can always get it back later if you decide to add a photo. Otherwise, follow the steps below.
If you have a photo to go with it, click the EDIT option on your photo module and it will open an options box.
13. That's it. Click Publish and you have your first hub up.
14. Make changes to your published hub whenever you want.
If you spot a typo or want to change something or add more text, or an Ebay capsule or whatever, just click the EDIT button that appears at the top of each of your hubs.
So there you go. You have all you need for a very basic hub. You can get fancier with each new hub. Try things. Type titles in the module “capsule subtitle” portion of each module. Use the up and down arrows, and the sideways arrows to move photos around (or other capsules like Ebay or Amazon or videos). Have fun. Pretty soon you'll be a master.
- How to use the Various Capsules
This is a hub by Darkside that shows you how to work the different capsule types (video, Amazon, RSS, etc.) It's a fantastic hub, I don't believe there is a better one available on the topic.
A nice video if you want to see it in action.
Jack Lee from Yorktown NY on July 20, 2015:
Great information for beginners. The only thing I would add is to make sure you pick the "right" title for the hub. This is how your page will be searched and ranked by google. Before choosing a title, check google search for number of hits returned. Make sure it is not so large (greaster than 1 million hits). It is my experience that the lower this number, the more likely your hub will be ranked high by google page rank. The reason the title is important is because it is the one thing that cannot be changed after you publish. Your web address is tied to this title.
Donna Caprio Quinlan from Newburyport, MA on January 20, 2014:
Thanks for sharing the very basics of how to get started. I have written my first hub and hope it will pass the test to get published.
jagersly on December 13, 2013:
hello! just joined, and am still at a loss right now. I found your hub interesting and plan to follow it step by step. I don't know really know what to do next after I signed up! lol, i wish to see more beginner hubs for additional infos. i'd like to follow you but i don't even know where to hit that button. lol
atotsm from Timbuktu on September 21, 2012:
Thank you for this interesting post!
Shadesbreath (author) from California on August 08, 2012:
Hi, Mcstiner81. It just means you haven't commented on a lot of hubs lately. The number goes higher the more often you comment on hubs over time.
mcstiner81 on August 08, 2012:
Thanks, I haven't been on the site for so long I forgot how to post. Do you know anything about what it means to be a Level 1 commenter?
HubbyMaker from Fort Myers, Florida on April 06, 2012:
Nice hub, Helps a lot.
Shadesbreath (author) from California on January 22, 2012:
Hi Mona, glad to have been of some use. :) I appreciate the kind words, and wish you the best in your hubbing!
Mona Germain from Ontario, Canada on January 22, 2012:
Ijust read an article for beginners which was very helpful and now yours adds to the picture--going through the steps and adding how to do the image addition. I recently learned this from another site. I have some hi speed internet now so I have to tune up with what I can do. The red hilight was a nice touch and the video was ag good complement.
I did a trial run with my first hub using the procedure from the Hubs page. Reading your page just gave a little extra commentary! Thanks a lot for following your muse!
I enjoyed your voice and style too.
Shadesbreath (author) from California on January 08, 2012:
You're welcome. Thanks for taking the time to comment. :)
ovas on January 08, 2012:
this is good for starters, Thankyou.
Shadesbreath (author) from California on December 05, 2011:
I'm glad this was useful for you, Bhasweti Gewhas. I suppose I need to update the photographs portion now (it's not quite the same screen anymore... though still close enough). Thanks for reading and commenting.
Bhasweti Gewhas from US on December 05, 2011:
Very well written and easy to understand. Thank you so much.
mathira from chennai on November 23, 2011:
Very useful information for the newbies.
Shadesbreath (author) from California on November 10, 2011:
You're welcome. :)
dodsy on November 10, 2011:
Thankyou for sharing!
sam-eg from Happy Land on November 05, 2011:
Thx that was really helping I didn't what tags are for :)
Shadesbreath (author) from California on November 03, 2011:
Thank you for saying so, Jeremy. :)
jeremytorres on November 03, 2011:
Nice hub to get started on hubs.Thanks for sharing.
Jeromeo from Little Rock on November 02, 2011:
It always a good Idea to brush up on the Rules of The Road, especially since here on the Hub Pages they regularly hand out tickets, for bad writing. Not complaining just stating facts.
Well Done SB
Shadesbreath (author) from California on November 02, 2011:
Thanks. It's the kind of thing I always wish I had handy when I'm trying to learn something new (and rarely can find LOL). I'm a visual learner, and when I (and lots of people) start something kind of "technical" like HP feels to certain types of people, it's nice to have a list of stuff to just DO. I don't wnt to have to understand everything at first. Just tell me what to do so I can make something happen. I'll fill in the missing details what's I have an idea what the process is.
htodd from United States on November 02, 2011:
That's really great ..Very helpful for newbies
Shadesbreath (author) from California on August 23, 2011:
Open the text box of your first module up and see if there are some spaces at the bottom of the text you can delete/backspace out of.
Oilcan from Roseburg, Oregon on August 23, 2011:
Hi; Thanks to you I just created my first hub. I just don't know how to fill in the blank in between my first and second module.
Shadesbreath (author) from California on August 23, 2011:
Hi Oilcan. I'm glad to hear this was useful. I'm sure you'll have it down quick and be cranking hubs out like a seasoned pro.
Oilcan from Roseburg, Oregon on August 21, 2011:
Hi. Bobby is my name, but everyone calls me "Oilcan". I am a totally new at writing Hubs. In fact, i haven't even started to write my first Hub. I'm trying to learn, and I find your hub very simple and helpful. Thank you.
Shadesbreath (author) from California on July 09, 2011:
Hi TLG. I'm glad to hear this was useful. :) I'm waiting for that hub... where is it? Don't be shy.
The Gullah Lady from Charleston, South Carolina on July 08, 2011:
Thanks for the info I am about to publish my first hub and your article was helpful, very easy to follow.
Shadesbreath (author) from California on May 28, 2011:
Thanks, htodd, nice to see you on this hub too. Hope you got something useful out of this one as well.
htodd from United States on May 28, 2011:
Thanks great post!
Shadesbreath (author) from California on November 10, 2010:
Thanks, Dumbledore. I'm glad you liked it. Thank you for saying so too; it's nice to get feedback, especially the GOOD kind. :)
This Old Guy from Somewhere in Ohio on November 10, 2010:
This is an awesome beginners guide and tutorial. I especially appreciated the annotations on the screen shots. Great hub!
Shadesbreath (author) from California on November 06, 2010:
Hi Joyful Pamela. I'm glad you liked this one. I'm a very visual learner, and I'm always trying to find stuff that SHOWS me how to do stuff, so, this approach seemed reasonable to me. Thanks for the nice comment, and welcome to HP.
Joyful Pamela from Pennsylvania, USA on November 06, 2010:
As a newbie on Hubpages, I find this very helpful. Thanks so much for your wonderful details and ideas! = )
Shadesbreath (author) from California on October 02, 2010:
Thanks, Leni. I haven't written a hub in the week or so since they put the new photo stuff up. I suppose I need to check and make sure I don't need to update this thing or my photo one. I have a feeling the photo one might be dead now. Hope I'm wrong.
Leni Sands from UK on October 02, 2010:
Really useful and awesome hub. Thanks Shadesbreath.
Shadesbreath (author) from California on August 18, 2010:
We're trying to figure out how to stream our Netflix on our Wii (I think it's too far away from our router), but that's one I'm going to try to stream if I can.
mysterylady 89 from Florida on August 18, 2010:
Last night I watched "Revenge of the Pink Panther." My favorite is still "A Shot in the Dark."
Shadesbreath (author) from California on August 15, 2010:
Yeah, back in the day, she was pretty hawt for sure. I actually did see that comment (at work) and went to Google that movie and see which one it was before responding and then work distrated me. How unfair! lol. So, I will respond now, and THEN go look it up.
mysterylady 89 from Florida on August 14, 2010:
I can be so dumb! I was searching for some hub of yours I had not read and ended up reading not only the hub but also the comments of one I had already read. All I wanted to do was to post what I suspected you had not read as an answer to your comment to my Mark Twain hub:
Btw, so far I have read two Peter Sellers movies (the Inspector). The first one titled The Pink Panther I did not like. The one before that, "A Shot in the Dark," I really enjoyed. Kato was very active. Elke Sommer is one "hawt chick"! I googled her. Born in 1940 in Germany, the daughter of a Lutheran minister who died when she was 11, she went to England to be a nanny when she was 16 or 17. She speaks 7 languages. Since the early '90's, she has been painting. I found this interesting!
Shadesbreath (author) from California on August 13, 2010:
Thanks Dorothee-Gy. I've heard that from a few others. Unfortunately, I think for lots of folks, when they are new enough to really need this, they are also too new to know how to find it. LOL.
Dorothee-Gy from near Frankfurt/M., Germany on August 13, 2010:
Super Step-by-Step description, too bad that I didn't find that earlier...
Shadesbreath (author) from California on August 12, 2010:
Thanks, Susan. Took a little time to place them all in the image capsules, those can be fussy sometimes, but I had fun making this one. A few people have said it helped and that makes the effort totally worth it. :)
Susan Deppner on August 12, 2010:
Thanks for making the effort to put together all the screen shots. A very helpful hub indeed!
Shadesbreath (author) from California on July 12, 2010:
Hi Jashryn, and welcome to HP. I'm pretty visual when it comes to learning too, so this hub seemed so obvious to me that I was pretty surprised it hadn't been done yet. I'm glad this was useful to you. Make sure you check out Darkside's hubs too, he's got some great stuff for you once you get the first one out of your system and are ready to really crank them out knowing how it works.
Jashryn from Chicago on July 12, 2010:
Great step-by-step process, a visual learner and just joined a few days ago. Have to have a picture of what a hub is first, before jumping in. Appreciate the willingness of others to share their know-how. This is refreshing, after always having to pay for specialized course or idea that didn't work. Thanks.
Shadesbreath (author) from California on July 02, 2010:
Hi Joyful Pamela. I hope it helps too. Feel free to ask if there's anything you need. I'll gladly help. Or you can ask on the forums too. People are very friendly. You might get a snooty remark from one or two, but you'll be more joyful when you discover how many nice people are around to help out!
Joyful Pamela from Pennsylvania, USA on July 02, 2010:
Thank you for your wonderful step by step tutorial. I know it will help me greatly as I try to build my first hubs. :-D
Shadesbreath (author) from California on June 29, 2010:
Hey Saddlerider. Thanks for that. It took awhile to put this together, but I've gotten really great response so it was totally worth it. It's nice to know you actually helped someone here or there.
As for the bikini thing, yeah, I doubt that would have played out the way we both would have liked, but I am glad you appreciated the time I spent to make sure I was amused as I made this thing too. :D
saddlerider1 on June 29, 2010:
Yes I totally agree with everyone else. A great presentation by you my friend. This will help all beginners and some of us who have forgotten a thing or two. Hey #13 why didn't you push the PUBLISH button. She may have put her bikini stringy back on though as she was watching your every move. Whoot...lol..
Shadesbreath (author) from California on June 29, 2010:
Terry Hoover from Denham Springs, Louisiana on June 28, 2010:
Great info for a newbie to get started writing hubs.
Shadesbreath (author) from California on June 14, 2010:
Sweet! Thank you. I am tragically remiss when it comes to building my business. Don't get me wrong, I love business and would love to be a mighty tycoon, so I wish your venture (our venture) to be a great one! Go US!
Debra Allen from West By God on June 14, 2010:
I linked this hub in my new hub and using the Chamber Of Commerce to build your business.
bladesofgrass from The Fields of Iowa on June 12, 2010:
Thank you for replying and the extra advice! Off to check out Darkside. I've never traveled on the Darkside, might turn out to be a very interesting adventure. LOL ;D
mysterylady 89 from Florida on June 12, 2010:
Thanks, Shadesbreath. We both have something in common -- we love humor...and irony...and intelligence. Many thanks for the praise!
Shadesbreath (author) from California on June 12, 2010:
Hi again, Mysterylady. Glad to see you here, and hopefully there was still some useful bits for you here. I just read your cockroach hub, btw. What a gas. You write famously!
mysterylady 89 from Florida on June 12, 2010:
Of course, I had to find this AFTER struggling while trying to write five hubs. Better late than never! Thanks for the hints and again for your sense of humor.
Shadesbreath (author) from California on May 29, 2010:
Bladesofgrass: First, welcome to HubPages! Thanks for reading my hub, and I'm glad to hear it might come in handy to get you started. All these capsule boxes and gizmos and Google searching, and links, and, SEO and ... it's sort of a whirlwind in your face when you first start on here. Or it was for me anyway. You'll figure it out, I promise.
As far as what to write and what will get comments, here's my two cents on that:
1) You are brand new, so you might not get too many comments at first - DON'T let that be discouraging. People have to discover you, and, frankly, that takes time (a frustrating amount sometimes).
2) Other hubbers will find you if you find them. So, play in the forums if you have time and inclination, and read other hubbers work. When you find someone that you enjoy, or a hub that you like, a nice, thoughtful comment (like the one you made here for me) will let people know you have moved into the HP neighborhood.
3. Most importantly, write what you like. There are readers on HP who like memoir type stuff, there are readers who like every possible hobby and activity there is, there are people from every religion who LOVE to read about how people address their faith, there are hard core computer guys and mega marketers, there are political folks, and, my personal favorite, people who like dumb jokes, sarcasm, humorous rants, and general silliness. So, write what you like. There's an audience here for it. :)
4. Just write. Do good work, proofread it and make sure it's clean and neat, and people will read it.
Check out Darkside's stuff, he has a lot of helpful hubs too.
bladesofgrass from The Fields of Iowa on May 28, 2010:
Can I just say again...thank gawd! Here I've been researching and studying everything I can get my hands on, so I can learn how to get this set up. I was stuck, I'll admit it and worried as hell that I wouldn't figure it out. At least this will get me started. Now all I have to do is figure out how we are suppose to know what topics they would like to comment on. My goal is to finally take the leap and post something within a week...maybe sooner. Just trying to get over my fear of screwing up, because first impressions say a lot about a person and I definitely don't want people thinking I am a half-wit. :) Thanks again and have a great day!
Shadesbreath (author) from California on May 27, 2010:
I hope you can get them out there for us too, Beverleejb. If you have trouble with something, don't hesitate to ask, either on here, or thru contact link on profile if you are worried about how newbee the question might seem in the public eye. :)
Beverly Boisen from New York on May 27, 2010:
Hi, okay:) At least I know where the text is LOL
We newbees need someone like you to guide us when we have no idea which rode to go down
So I can hopefully understand your directions and hopefully get some of my how tos out there in cyber-space :)
Hopefully of some interest to all of you.
Shadesbreath (author) from California on May 27, 2010:
I'm glad it was helpful or at least amusing, Vickymom. And thanks for the nice comment.
vickymom64 from Westmorland Ca on May 27, 2010:
Wow! That article you wrote was excellent. Thanx for all the info.
Shadesbreath (author) from California on May 21, 2010:
Thanks. Appreciate that a lot. :)
Dorsi Diaz from The San Francisco Bay Area on May 21, 2010:
Bookmarked and saved for those that come after me in the writing arena...
Excellent information shadesbreath!!
Shadesbreath (author) from California on May 20, 2010:
Thanks Haunty. I will swap out the news image on my next hub though, I'm glad you pointed it out.
Thank's It's tnt, appreciate you sending folks over. :)
Its tnt from God's own Country on May 20, 2010:
Very well executed! From my experience here, I have suggested this hub to most of my friends. They have surely liked it as I have!
Haunty from Hungary on May 20, 2010:
I was thinking of the new rules screen. It's no biggie though, as people should be able to realize they just have to click continue on that screen.
You see, lots of newbies have trouble figuring out the hubtool and this is an awesome hub to solve my problem explanation-wise. Thanks again. :)
Shadesbreath (author) from California on May 19, 2010:
Ahhh, such is the problem with making a hub like this. I suppose I will have to do just that. I've got a hub in the works that I'll pay attention to (hopefully) when I put up and will capture necessary screenies. Thanks for pointing it out... whatever "it" is lol.
Haunty from Hungary on May 19, 2010:
Thank you very much for this helpful hub, Shades. I recognize a lot of effort must have gone into it.
Is there a chance you update the hub so it shows recent changes to the process?
Shadesbreath (author) from California on May 17, 2010:
You're welcome. Thank you for saying so. :)
Helna on May 17, 2010:
Very helping hub
Shadesbreath (author) from California on May 15, 2010:
You're welcome, Jssattain. :)
And you, too, Irishlady. I saw your post on the forums. I've been watching to see if you got a hub up yet. Welcome to HP. I hope you have fun and makes lots of adsense money too!
Irishlady451 on May 15, 2010:
Thank you, it certainly cleared up some questions. Now I know what I have to do!! Thanks again!
jssattain from Pakistan on May 11, 2010:
thanks for this
Shadesbreath (author) from California on May 09, 2010:
Thanks BP. Now I need some of the SEO people to write something this simple for ME. :)
blondepoet from australia on May 09, 2010:
Wow Shades what great info especially for a beginner wanting to write a hub. Thumbs up baby!!!!
Shadesbreath (author) from California on May 07, 2010:
Thanks, and I will. I'm actually hella motivated to do it because the point I have on your hub is a passion and caring one, so, I can "rant" it in my typical fashion. I'm actually really enjoying the emotional energy of your hub and am trying to get a 1 hub in 30 minutes contest going... INSTA HUB thing... my unfocused counter to the 30 hubs in 30 days monster. Someone needs to represent for the slackers on HP!!!
Rebecca E. from Canada on May 07, 2010:
Bravo excellent work done here! great job, arted up and all that good stuff.
PS, when you get that hub of yours up please let me know I'd love to read it.
Shadesbreath (author) from California on May 01, 2010:
I'd love a link. I wrote this as a response to a request and it's all about trying to help. You are lucky to have the mind that grasps Internet stuff. I've read some of your hubs and I am envious of your grasp of web stuff. I wish I had that. The upside of my ignorance is that I have learned some things at least and I can truly grasp how hard the really minor stuff can be for folks who don't have your natural skills.
Anthony Goodley from Sheridan, WY on April 30, 2010:
This is a great hub with awesome screenshots to help new users get rolling. I guess I'm lucky to have been able to catch on quickly to all this stuff, but I am a geek.
Bookmarked to share this with other new users. I have one hub I'd like to link to this from, if that is alright with you?
Shadesbreath (author) from California on April 27, 2010:
That's great to hear, thanks. And I'm glad you're on a roll, too!
Sam from Tennessee on April 27, 2010:
Very nice and informative..., I'm new and working on my 3rd HP. This is a God send, and helpful to all.
Shadesbreath (author) from California on April 04, 2010:
I'm getting that a lot so far. Alas, my timing was off by a bit, but at least future new hubbers might be able to get some use from it. :) Thanks for the comment.
Susan Hazelton from Sunny Florida on April 04, 2010:
I wish I had seen this when I first started out. It would have saved a lot of time. Great information, easy to understand. Thanks
Shadesbreath (author) from California on April 02, 2010:
That is awesome. Ten hubs, too, that's great! You're a busy bee. You will do great on here. Don't be shy, if you need any help feel free to come back here and ask or contact me thru my profile, whatever. Looking forward to seeing your new stuff.
celticmelody from Chicago IL on April 02, 2010:
Oh, thank you. Thank you. THANK you for this hub. Ijoined a week ago and, I have WRITTEN 10 hubs but have yet to post anything. The reason: so much good information that NONTECHNICAL me had a brain melt down. But, between this hub and your answer to Lorilee, I think I can actually get a couple of these up this weekend!!!
Shadesbreath (author) from California on April 01, 2010:
I'm happy to hear it, Enchanted Moments. I hope it helps.
Kerry, good plan. Just nod and go "mmHmm," as he talks himself through it.
Nicomp, thanks. I hope it is.
nicomp really from Ohio, USA on April 01, 2010:
Very helpful for newbies. Well done.
Kerry43 on April 01, 2010:
Hubby is cheesed off today and needs somewhere to vent. So, he plans to start hubbing alongside me. Should be fun, but I'm sending this hub to him to save me the time trying to act like I kmow how all this works.
Enchanted Moments on April 01, 2010:
Yeah! I was searching for something like this! :)
Shadesbreath (author) from California on March 30, 2010:
You're welcome. :)
lightning john from Florida on March 30, 2010:
eureka! Just what i've been looking for!
Thank you so much!
Vfoxfire from Cartersville, GA on March 28, 2010:
Great break down, very informative.
Shadesbreath (author) from California on March 28, 2010:
stars439 from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State. on March 28, 2010:
Shadesbreath (author) from California on March 27, 2010:
Yeah, I'm hearing that a lot, Pink. I only hope that the folks he need this the worst are not SO new that they don't know how to find it when they get here.
the pink umbrella from the darkened forest deep within me. on March 27, 2010:
Seriously you broke it down nicely. could have used this when i started!
Shadesbreath (author) from California on March 26, 2010:
Thanks Gramarye and Michael Jay for looking this over and commenting. That's very kind. I hope someone does find it that can use it. If not, well, gave me something to do for three hours on a Saturday. lol.