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Capsules

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capsules

Table of Contents

What is a Capsule?

Metaphorically speaking, they are the tools in your toolbox. They are building blocks. You pick and choose the ones you need to build the hub you want.

There are two types of capsules:

Content Capsules

  • Text Capsule
  • Photo Capsule
  • Video Capsule
  • Links Capsule
  • News Capsule
  • Comments Capsule

Revenue Capsules

  • Amazon Capsule
  • Ebay Capsule

We'll be having a close a look at each one so you can be familiar and confident with using them.

HTML

You can not add HTML, any form of HTML, into a hub capsule.

No affiliate code, no HTML code that Amazon gives you... nothing.

It will not work in a hub.

HubPages does not allow HTML to be used.

The same goes for javascript.

Toggle Width

I was going to save this for last to explain it fully... but to better explain how some of the features for each Capsule works I must give you a brief overview of what it does. Later I will explain how to do it.

Toggle Width changes the size of the capsule. If you Toggle Width on a normal sized capsule it will reduce it to half it's size. If you Toggle Width on a half size capsule it will snap it back to full size.

This allows Text Capsules to be put side by side. Or put an Amazon Capsule next to a Text Capsule.

That's all you need to know for now. At the end of this tutorial we'll explore and demonstrate and experience its power.

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Text Capsule

This is the heavy lifter of the Capsule family. The hardest working. Or at least it should be if you intend on making a Hub that's up to standard.

Scroll to Continue

You publish text... words... sentences... paragraphs... content!

There is no character limit. Though using several Text Capsules and giving each one a chapter heading would break up your content nicely.

Accompanying it with Photo Capsules whether inset (achieved by use of Toggle Width) or between each Text Capsule would prevent the reader being confronted with a large and daunting slab of text.

You can place Text Capsules side by side (again with Toggle Width).

Here is an example.

This works well to compare one list to another, in this case the difference between two words.

Photo Capsule Demonstration 1

Photo Capsule Demonstration 1

Add To Batch List

“Add to batch list” is a means of queuing images you want to upload. You can quickly find all the ones you want, and rather than upload each one and have to wait before you do the next one, you just Add To Batch List and after you've got them all, upload! Depending on your internet connection and how many and how big the file sizes are, you may have time to go make yourself a coffee before it's done and you can continue on with your work whilst sipping on the sweet taste of caffeine.

Photo Capsule

The Photo Capsule which is anything but humble. It adds spark and pizzaz to your hub. It can be can be used as an inset with a Text Capsule (using Toggle Width it can be floated to the top right) and the text will wrap around looking very neat and tidy. As a matter of fact we'll demonstrate that right now.

Experiment with Full Width, Half Width and Quarter Width (this is done under the Photo Data tab when in Edit Mode for the Photo Capsule).

For Toggled Width Photo Capsule there seems to be no difference between Full and Half Width. And Quarter Width will make the image smaller but still leave a footprint of half the width of the page (of the content column). So it will extra whitespace around the sides of the image.

You can give the Photo Capsule a Title whether the Toggle Width is set on Full Width or Float Right. You can also give the image a caption.

When not using the image as an inset you can upload and display as many as you want in the one Photo Capsule. See Photo Capsule Demonstration 2.

In Photo Capsule Demonstration 3 we have set it to Thumbnail under Display Style in the Display Settings tab. See the diffence between Photo Capsule Demonstration 2 and Photo Capsule Demonstration 3? This is merely by changing one setting.

Change it to Slideshow and you'll see the results like Photo Capsule Demonstration 4.

Play around and experiment. Try different dimensions. Always be sure that you're using images of the right size or larger (as it will resize down). However if you use small images and try and display them at Full Width they will look pixelly.

The Thumbnail and Slideshow functions also work with an image when it's been made into an inset when you Toggle Width.

Photo Capsule Demonstration 2

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Video Capsule

HubPages supports Youtube AND Google Videos.

Just get the URL from say Youtube, it'll look like this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MJDDxHIaaVk and copy and paste it in.

You can also Toggle Width on Video Capsules (so they too can be used as an inset with text wrapping around it).

Video Capsule Demonstration

The Links Capsule is an easy way to present a list of links. You (copy and) paste or type in the Link URL and Link Title. You can also add a Link Description, but that is optional.

  • How HubPages Works
    HubPages is an easy way to publish your thoughts, stories and articles. You don't have to worry about the design and layout, you just bring the words. The tools are provided. At no cost. Yes, that's right. HubPages is free.
  • How HubPage Tracking Works
    HubPages referrals work in two ways: referring a visitor to sign up to HubPages to become an author. Or referring traffic to another HubPage Authors hub. You are rewarded for this and it is credited to you via "tracking".
  • Hubpages vs Squidoo
    This hub is a close look at Squidoo, how it works and what's in it for you, looking from the viewpoint of a Hub Author.
  • How To Hub
    An up close and personal look at building your first Hub. You learned in How HubPages Works... how it works. Now find out how to do it.

The News Capsule is a special tool only to be used for a specific purpose. Don't pull it out of the toolbox unless it's justified and it enhances your hub.

News Capsules

Automatically-refreshed news on your Hubs

The News Capsule is something that's easily added to your Hub -it takes about 20 seconds to add and customize-that will add value in search engines' eyes to your Hubs.

When in Edit mode, you can add a News Capsule by clicking the link in the "Add More Stuff" box to the upper-right. Then click on the EDIT button and pare down the "News keywords" to just those words that you want to find related to your topic. Press the Preview button and any news items with that topic will show up.

What's the value? In Google's eyes:

  • You have more content on the page; i.e. it has more informational value. There is value in the link to relevant information, and in the short excerpt that often accompanies the link.
  • You've included important keywords and related keywords (in the link and excerpt) that can broaden the scope of what your Hub covers.
  • The news will be continually refreshed, so that when Google visits your site to see if there are changes, most likely there will be. Google rewards continually-refreshed pages over stale ones. (Another reason to encourage comments from visitors)

What happens when you get irrelevant news items?

You can add a "negative keyword" by adding a hyphen, without a space, and the word you want to exclude, if you don't want your news results "polluted" with irrelevant results. If, for example, you want news items about the city of Paris, but don't want results about Paris Hilton, you should type as your news keywords: paris -hilton

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RSS Capsule

The RSS Capsule no longer exists. But I'm leaving this here as part of a history lesson.

An RSS feed is similar to a News Capsule, except that it shows most recent entries of a specific blog instead of news articles related to a specific topic. RSS stands for "Really Simple Syndication" and is a standard used to present a summary of a site's most recent entries on other sites.

So, for example, if you create a Hub all about algae-based biofuels, you could include an automatically-updating feed of blog entries from a blog like this one - Oilgae Blog.

How to add an RSS feed to a Hub

  1. On the blog, look for "Syndication", "RSS", "RSS Feed" or "Subscribe to Posts". You can also look for the RSS symbol, which looks like the logos to the right . Click on the link. It will take you to a pared-down version of the blog (called an XML version).
  2. For the Oilgae blog example above, in the right-hand column, I see a link called Oilgae blog RSS Feed. Clicking on it takes me to this XML version. The feed page of the blog you're working with should look very similar to... LINK NO LONGER EXISTS.
  3. Copy the link.
  4. In your Hub, click the RSS link in the Add More Stuff box to the upper-right while in EDIT mode.
  5. Edit the RSS Capsule.
  6. Paste your RSS link into the Feed URL field, choose how many entries you'd like to have displayed, and test the feed by pressing the Preview RSS button.
  7. Click the SAVE button in the RSS Capsule.

Just a few caveats here:

  • Keep in mind that blogs come and go, and some go stale after a while. Be sure to only provide feeds for active blogs in your Hubs.
  • Try to choose a blog that most closely matches your topic. Otherwise, if most of the blog entries are off-topic, they might dilute the targeted keywords you want to focus on in your Hubs.
  • You can find relevant blogs by going to Technorati, searching on a relevant term, and clicking on the Blogs tab in the search results. Check to see if the blogs are still fresh-if they've had some entries lately.

Comments Capsule

The Comments Capsule is best saved 'til last. Right at the bottom of the page.If people are going to leave feedback it's best to wait until AFTER they've read the entire hub before expecting them to comment.

There is no character limit.

Benefits: visitors of course can leave feedback, but what it really means is they are contributing content.

Capsule Settings

You can choose to switch any of these off or on...

  • Comments must be approved before they appear
  • Email me when new comments are posted
  • Only signed-in users may post comments.
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Revenue Capsules at a Glance

If you want to make money from your hubs, instead of relying solely on Adsense revenue, then this is a good way to start.

Both have an incredible range of products so you won't ever find yourself short on finding something appropriate.

Choose products that complement your content.

It is extremely important that you do. You've got a real opportunity to present laser targeted products to a potential customer.

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Amazon Capsule

For a start, if you want to be earning revenue from Amazon, you need to be signed up as an Associate (you join their Affiliate program).

The commission rate varies depending on the product range, but books will get you around 4.25% (not including postage)

Choosing products can be done one of two ways: selecting a specific item, or allowing the system to choose for you, by letting it know one or more keywords that describes the product.

If you're going to add a specific item (with the Amazon ASIN) be sure to change the 'keyword' default in "Type of search to use to gather results" to 'ASIN'. If you don't the products you have selected will not show in the capsule when you exit from edit mode.

To find the specific products you want to promote do a search at Amazon and on the product page you'll find the ASIN on the page (do a Find in the browser window with "ASIN" as the search term if you have trouble finding where it is).

Strangely I've found that not all Amazon products work. Not nearly as effective as Squidoo which works 100% of the time. Maybe the API is limited. Hubpages can't access products through a third party seller on Amazon. Or certain third party sellers. Nevertheless it's only limited me with products outside of the book, DVD and CD categories.

Speaking of books... if you can't find the ASIN on an Amazon page it'll be because you're after the ISBN. So do a search for that.

You can also do a search by keyword. It's quick and easy but not always appropriate. You can narrow down the search according to product category or you can set it for "All".

Below is a series of screenshots with accompanying captions that I hope explains it better.

And below that is a demonstration of an Amazon Capsule. I'm going to use "coffee" as the keyword. Because I imagine a lot of coffee is consumed while making or reading hubs and who knows, I may even make a sale! :-D

(By typing in coffee -filter it removes all items with the word "filter" in it. The same could be done to remove coffee machines eg: coffee -machine. This is handy when trying to narrow down items so the keyword search works better for you. However most of the time specifically select items and don't often leave it up to Amazon and the keyword filter).

Here's an example of a text capsule with an image AND an Amazon ad blended with it.

Amazon Capsule Demonstration

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Ebay Capsule

NO LONGER APPLICABLE

Ebay can be used to fill in the gaps of discontinued lines or objects that are rare, antique or hard to find. Or in some cases for items that are cheaper second hand then what you'd find brand new.

Particularly useful for hub authors who are avid Ebay Sellers.

You can have the capsule serve results by keyword. As an optional feature you can select a specific Ebayer Seller by entering their Seller ID.

You make a commission on the sale. It is a small percentage of the total final bid (not including postage).

Adsense

Adsense is not a capsule, it is automatically placed on your hub unless your ads frequency is set to "None".

You must be an Adsense Publisher and insert the Publisher ID in your Affiliate Settings.

If you're not already an Adsense Publisher you can apply through HubPages after you've registered your HubPages account.