Jeff spent the last 16 years selling advertising, writing advertising copy, sports scripts and news copy. He is now semi-retired.
Let's Everyone Read More Hub Articles!
What Hub Writers Alone can do and What Hub Pages Management Alone can do!
How can we increase Hub readership - and therefore revenue - for our Hub articles. (I will use the term "Articles" as shorthand for all of the non-fiction articles, humor, fiction stories, essays and poems published by Hub Pages.)
I have 16 years of experience as a radio advertising sales representative and advertising copy writer (plus having written sports reports and news copy, too). This makes me an expert in almost nothing related to marketing Hub Pages articles on the internet, but it does mean I'm willing to try a lot of new things in order to increase our Hub readership. Some of my ideas are for us writers and some will require some leadership or a relatively small investment by Hub management:
(1) Obviously, we Hub writers should post our articles on to social media as much as possible and I am probably one of the worst offenders for not doing this! I know very little about social media and social media marketing - and I definitely need to learn much more! Because of my relative ignorance in this area, I won't say anything about this for now. I linked to an interesting short review of social media usage in the United States, done by Pew Research Center, on the demographics of social media use. I suggest that serious Hub people should read this information and maybe even print it out, as I am. I had no idea that over 80% of Americans use at least one social media website, every week! (Presumably, this percentage would be roughly equivalent for citizens of Canada, the UK, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, India, the Caribbean islands, some Latin American nations, etc., plus other developed countries around the world). Wow!
(2) Next, why do our Hubs not allow for Reader Comments?! Reader interaction and involvement can only help the entire Hub Pages community: writers, editors and web site owners. Why is it not the Number 1 priority to encourage the Hub Pages technical staff to program a section for comments ... and maybe a more transparent and easier way for our readers to forward our articles to their family, friends and co-workers?!? This should be JOB ONE for the technical staff! This would increase the overall Hub readership by a significant percentage, I believe!
(3) There are thousands of small-but-popular websites and blogs that are all hungering for content. Well, guess what? Hub Page writers are producing tons of content every week, on a galaxy-wide variety of topics and using a galaxy-wide variety of styles and approaches. What if the Hub Pages management/marketing team approached these bloggers, vloggers and website owners with offers to let them link to - or completely re-publish - Hub articles that would serve their purposes? Hub Pages should charge "X" amount of money per word or post and and require that each of these give us a link or 'mention' at the bottom of their blogs, vlogs, websites, etc. The money earned for this content could be split up in the exact same way as currently being used to figure the percentage split between Hub writers and the Hub organization.
(Don't ask me how Hub Pages revenue is apportioned. Personally, I believe that unicorns, fairies and trolls have all had a secret meeting in a swamp with Hub Pages managers. They had a day-long debate on how to split the Hub Pages' revenue between the company and the writers, then finally reached an agreement.)
(4) I think that the more dedicated Hub writers should form into writer's groups in order to encourage other people to read the Hubs written about that particular topic! We don't need Hub Pages management to support us in this effort - in fact, it might even be counter-productive to overtly do that. Every Hub writer who has any size following, or a Facebook page, other social media pages, plus followers and/or friends, relatives and co-workers who might be interested in that subject area. It will be more motivating to readers if YOU can honestly say, "Hey, _____________, I read this linked article on the five best furnaces for the home. I thought you might find it to be useful/interesting/funny/touching/money-saving/helpful!" ... rather than: "Here is a link to my article about the five best furnaces for the home. I think you will find my article to be useful/interesting/funny/touching/money-saving/helpful!" In the first case, recommending some one else's article (or articles) just seems like you're being disinterested and objectively helpful. Recommending your own article (or articles) sounds like your just boosting your own writing career and won't seem as sincere! (Maybe Hub Pages could offer a little digital scoreboard where we could keep track of the number of referrals by topic/category and then we could see the correlation between number of referrals and number of article readers within that particular topic or category.) Success in this Recommendation method should make it self-fulfilling with increased readers (and revenues) for most of us. [Note: Participating Hub writers should be recommended by other members of the group, while Hub writers who DO NOT participate in this Booster Idea should not be eligible to receive recommendations and referrals from the other participating Hub writers!] This would cost Hub Page management very little in costs or effort, while providing for some nice increases in readership and revenue for most of us.
(5) There is something known as "Trade Out" in the advertising industry. Basically, its a "I'll scratch your back, if you'll scratch mine" marketing philosophy. For most examples, the net cost to Hub Pages management would be zero or very little! You trade display advertising, classified advertising or sponsored links with other webzines and blogs in the internet world. You can either do this for free, for low prices or even for high prices, because it really doesn't matter! For example, let's say that a popular 'Team Sports' blog or vlog offers to link or advertise Hub Pages on their site for say, $100, for seven straight days, to reach their 10,000 visitors. In turn, Hub Pages will advertise the 'Team Sports' blog/vlog in some, or many, or all of Hub Pages' "Sports and Recreation" section articles, for the same $100 price. This works well because the 'Team Sports' blog, vlog or website should be reaching a variety of very interested sports fans, who may well be interested in then reading our Hub articles on 'Team Sports'. We can thus 'cross-pollenate' the sports fan market at little or no net cost to Hub Pages. [If Hub pages management wants to discuss this concept in more detail, just contact me.]
(6) On a somewhat related topic, but why does Hub Pages not have a 'high level' sub-section for American and World History? We have high level, specialized websites for everything from Automobiles to Zoology, but no titled section for History? Do you know how many history buffs watch documentaries and YouTube videos, plus they gobble up literally thousands of books, magazines and webzines about History?! We are missing out on a large audience here - maybe as many people as pay attention to tattooing! (Well, maybe not quite as many billions of people as seem to be fascinated by tattoos - but you catch my meaning!)
P.S. Does Hub Pages have any SEO Specialists?
If somebody wanted to wager a bet with me and I had to back the argument that there is an SEO Specialist at Hub Pages, I would not wager more than $5. Why? I would lose this bet, that's why!
You see, I did a look through 30 random search terms last weekend on popular subjects and Hub Pages did NOT have a single "Article" listed on the first page of Google's search engine. Not one! And hardly any Hub Pages articles made it onto page two or three of these thirty Google Searches!
Either Hub Pages authors are producing damn little by way of popular article topics - or Hub Pages has lousy SEO! I remember from 5 - 10 years ago that Hub Pages management and authors tied themselves in knots trying to please the Google Gods. This turned out to be a Sisyphean Quest that did little productive, beside consuming many hours of worry by those same managers and authors.
Look at the popularity breakdown of all the search engines and you'll see that Google Search is still the 800-pound gorilla in the room. But ... maybe we should try to get HP articles on the first or second pages of all of the other search engines, instead! My guess is that the higher we climb on all of the other search engines, the higher that we will (perhaps inadvertently) climb on the Google search engine, too! Hub Pages needs an SEO guy or gal who can constantly experiment, tweak and improve our search engine rankings, depending on things like the choice of words used, number of images used, whether or not there is a comment section, length of article, evaluating keywords, placement of keywords, usefulness of keyword locations, etc., etc. A good SEO person will easily pay for his or her salary, both in increased readership and in advertising revenue! Next good question: Why doesn't Hub Pages have somebody doing that already?!?
P.S.S. Style Hint Needed
By the way, going back and breaking up this long Hub article into smaller sections is recommended by the Hub Pages software system. But, I can find no way to do that without re-writing the whole piece. Any suggestions?