Kate Swanson wrote her first novel at 15, created her first blog in 2006 and has been writing for profit, and creating websites ever since.
HubPages is not a blogging site. Some people would argue with that statement, because one online dictionary defines "blogging" as any kind of writing online - which HubPages is, of course. However, most dictionaries still define a "blogger" as someone who writes regularly on his or her own dedicated website - and you don't have your own website on HP.
Yes, you have your own account on HubPages - but it is just an administrative tool, to enable you, the writer, to manage all your articles in one place. Your articles are displayed to the reader as part of one big website, all mixed up with everyone else's articles.
And that's the first, and major, reason why blogging on HubPages doesn't work.
Reason 1 - Navigation
The emphasis on HubPages is the magazine, not individual authors. Everything about the site is designed to tempt readers to browse around the whole site, not within one writer's work. Every one of your Hubs includes links to lots of Hubs by other people. That benefits you, too - because your Hubs are also displayed on other Hubs - but it's not much use if you want readers to stay with your train of thought.
To prove it, let's take a look at a random Hubber, and how her work is displayed on HubPages, compared to her blog. Here's a random Hub by Jean Bakula: The Egyptian Goddess. When you're looking at that Hub, how many other Hubs can you see belonging to Jean? How many that belong to other people? In fact, Jean has written over 150 Hubs, but you'd have no idea. Readers are far more likely to click on the "Related" or "Popular"articles by other people, because that's so much easier than clicking on Jean's name and browsing through her profile. They may not even notice that her name is a link!
Now let's look at a post on Jean's blog. It's on Wordpress, but the principle is the same for Blogger. Even though Wordpress and Blogger are both shared blogging sites, each person is totally separate. Can you see any blogs by anyone else? No. All the menus and links lead to other pages within Jean's blog. There's no temptation for the reader to wander off and read someone else's work.
But Can't I Add My Own Links?
There's no way for you to display a menu of your other Hubs on a Hub - in fact, it's against HubPages rules and if you try, it may result in your Hub being unpublished. You can use in-text links, but only to Hubs that are directly related to the main topic of the Hub.
To summarise: when a reader visits one of your Hubs, most of your other Hubs are invisible to readers - unlike a blog, where you have a sidebar displaying all your posts grouped into categories, recent posts, popular posts etc to tempt your readers to browse around your blog.
Also when you write a blog, readers can click on an icon to sign up for your RSS feed to be notified of new posts. That's not available on HubPages. To be notified of your new Hubs, readers must become a member of the site and "Follow" you. Most people won't bother to do that - nearly all the members of HubPages are other writers, not readers.
Reason 2 - Length
Compared to problem #1, this is a minor issue - but I'm mentioning it for completeness.
The average blog post is fairly short, say 350 to 500 words. That's far too short to make a successful Hub. Most experienced Hubbers recommend the optimum is 800 to 1,500 words. That means you need to cover a subject more thoroughly or use up more material for each Hub, compared to blog posts.
Reason 3 - Subject Matter
If you're aiming to write a personal blog, HubPages won't work, period. "Purely personal" Hubs are not allowed and will be unpublished. That word "purely" is important! If you wanted to document your battle against cancer, for instance, that might not be acceptable because it's just a personal story. But if you were documenting your battle and offering tips to other sufferers based on your experience, that would be fine.
I mention this because some newbies think they can use one Hub as their blog, creating each blog post in a new text capsule. It won't work because:
- A Hub is just one long page. If you keep adding posts to the end of the Hub, readers will soon have to scroll a very l-o-o-o-n-g way down to read your new posts - and most won't bother.
- There's no mechanism to let anyone know when you've added a new section.
But I Can Make Money Here!
As I said, even though they know HubPages isn't designed for blogging, some people are determined to use it - because "you can make money on HubPages". Yes you can - but not with a blog. You make money writing on HubPages by writing long, high quality, magazine-style articles, on topics people are always looking for. Write a blog here, and you won't make money anyway!
If you want to blog, you'll be much better off on a proper blogging platform where readers can sign up to your feeds, and easily navigate around your blog using your sidebar.
The two best (and best known) platforms which you can monetize are Blogger and Wordpress. Both are free, but for the monetized version of Wordpress you'll need your own domain name and hosting.
© 2010 Kate Swanson
Paddy Michelson from Australia on August 06, 2018:
Quality article. An useful information for those out there looking at Hubpages.
srsddn from Dehra Dun, India on October 17, 2017:
Quite useful information, Marisa. Will help to keep focussed while contributing to HP.
Abiye Warmate from Italy on October 17, 2017:
Thanks Marisa for this insightful hub..I'm beginning to learn a few things about HP and this article was really helpful.
Joanna McKenna from Central Oklahoma on September 11, 2014:
Thanks! I'm an armchair political activist, but don't yet have a place to "blow off". Thought about revamping one of my blogs that's been growing dust bunnies as a venue for that, but it's linked to my "nice", non-political family history and travel blog. Perhaps a new identity totally separate from my normal haunts is the way to go.
Kate Swanson (author) from Sydney on September 09, 2014:
There is a lot of rubbish on the site, but you'll also find plenty of refugees from recently closed sites like Helium and Yahoo Voices. It's not a place to make real money but as I said, if I feel the urge to write about something which doesn't fit elsewhere, it only takes a few minutes to dash off a post there. I'm Marisawright over there too - and a good way to find other "real writers" among the dross is to check out who I'm following.
Joanna McKenna from Central Oklahoma on September 09, 2014:
I've heard of Bubblews, but haven't tried it yet. Thanks for the heads up!
Kate Swanson (author) from Sydney on September 09, 2014:
@JamaGenee, Bubblews is another good spot for random short posts, if they don't fit the theme of your blog. It's not a high earning site but for those posts which wouldn't earn anywhere else, why not?
Joanna McKenna from Central Oklahoma on September 09, 2014:
Good answer, Marisa! Much the same things I've told friends and family members who want to write what amounts to blog posts on Hubpages and not "full-length" hubs. As a matter of fact, the HP recommended minimum word count was a speed bump for me, too, in my first or second year here until I found Blogger. I found blogging perfect for topics which only warranted 300-400 words.
Also, blogging is more appropriate for day-of-the-week themes like "Tombstone Tuesday" or my "Thursday Drive" (day trips to local landmarks and such). Although many hubbers have a "niche" - a particular interest or area of expertise (like writing, travel or the supernatural) - a niche is NOT the same as theme-specific blog posts which require daily or weekly updating.
Upped and shared! ;D
Harry from Sydney, Australia on April 28, 2014:
I think HubPages falls midway between your blog and writing an e-book . . of course ..with Google algorithms changing by the year I don't know how profitable it is as compared to what it was 2-3 years ago ...nevertheless..I'm a huge fan and recommend it to everyone considering passive writing for income ..
srsddn from Dehra Dun, India on December 07, 2013:
marisa, Thanks for very useful information. It will help to keep the Hubbers focussed.
No Name from No Where on July 08, 2013:
Ah, but is it possible to make a hub on a blog site ?
hulah cagen on May 30, 2013:
Thank you Marisa. This was very useful and informative.
NurulsCulinaryArt on May 28, 2013:
Totally new to hubs. Very informative. Thanks!!
aykianink on October 26, 2012:
This is terrible, but I'd love to see a 'failed blog' here on hubpages. How 'not to do it' as it were.
Ladymoura on November 28, 2010:
Thanks Marisa, I am a newbie so this was very helpful for me.
GurinderBedi from India on May 14, 2010:
Great article. Your are right hub pages is not right for blogging. Although it is a great platform, but it is just not designed for blogging.
Website Examiner on May 10, 2010:
You surely have done your homework, this excellent hub must be the Ultimate Guide on the issue.
skyfire on April 26, 2010:
Some short hubs do look like blog but then again we can modify them and add more into it. Some of the topics that didn't worked with my blogs are working fine here on hubpages. I think community pulls much of traffic here on hubpages but with blogs you need to attract readers so some niche take time to perform outside hubpages.I don't know how poetry and personal hub are performing here but i think setting wordpress blog is much better for authors.
George Poe from United Kingdom on April 25, 2010:
Very nice Hub. Keep 'em coming!
Kate Swanson (author) from Sydney on April 19, 2010:
We always knew you had it in you, Art!
TattoGuy on April 19, 2010:
Great lil hub, I am at last making money due to 2 people having faith in me, Nelle and you, for that I will always thank you !
Kate Swanson (author) from Sydney on April 18, 2010:
@IFD, your Hubs look pretty good to me! @Bianca, glad I helped clarify things for you. That's the reason I wrote this Hub - I see too many newbies joining and writing blog posts instead of Hubs. When they discover their mistake, they're annoyed at having wasted so much time! Better to know what you're doing from the start.
IFD1253 from Indianapolis, IN on April 18, 2010:
I came to Hub Pages via an article a friend wrote discussing his time on a reservation. It motivated me to write quite a lengthy response. When I went to post it, I realized it was too long for the comments section. I didn't want the work to go to waste so I opened an account.
I had no idea what HP was about. I also had no experience with blogging. What I did have were four weeks of being laid up with a broken foot and a desire to spend at least some of that time reviving a lost passion for writing.
It took me a few posts, but I think I have the gist of it now. Had I been immediately censored, I may not have come back. Aevans helped me get on the right track. I'm not sure I even understand how to make money on here (but am sure that my Hubs are not of high enough quality to worry about it).
Thanks for the Hub. I definitely needed it for clarification. It will make me a better contributor.
bianca* on April 18, 2010:
Thanks Marisa, I've certainly made this mistake. Will attempt to create higher quality hubs in the future! cheers for the tips :)
Obscurely Diverse from Tennessee, U.S., Earth, Milky Way via Cosmos on April 18, 2010:
I've seen this numerous times, and I really think that some people are under the misconception that HubPages is a platform for a blog-style type format. It is not; I agree with ya on this one. But, until the required standard raises, we can only try to install some advice to the newbies and misguided individuals. Then again, one can do like someone mentioned above, and flag these type of hubs as substandard --- but, many of us have better things to do than flag crap all day, since it would be a 24/7 project - if one got involved in such things.
HubPages also provides the opportunity for versatility, which we can use this site in different ways. Some of us, for example, are not die-hard AdSense seekers, but like to express ourselves and/or enjoy the community here. ...So there are, of course, many different uses of the site that draws members into Hubland, to say the least. To cut it short, some people REALLY need to just go get a blog! Ha-ha!
Nice hub... :)
Steve 3.0 from Cornwall UK on April 18, 2010:
Nice article. I use blogger for my photo blogs. Don't think blogging works here but I can use the same photos to illustrate articles and link between my blog and hubpage, hopefully increasing views to both.
prettydarkhorse from US on April 18, 2010:
I understand it and some people will really turn HP into blogs. Thank you Mam for the insights, Maita
Imelleda on April 17, 2010:
Well explained, Marisa. Good luck on the challenge!
Origin from Minneapolis on April 17, 2010:
I used to have a blog, but I just couldn't keep it up along with my website network (I couldn't bounce back and forth 24/7). I kinda miss blogging, I ranted about this and that, probably why I've always liked Hubpages/Squidoo because I can talk about anything.
Gener Geminiano from Land of Salt, Philippines on April 17, 2010:
Thanks a lot Marissa I am actually using wordpress for our sites and they are powerful when it comes to keywords and phrases... and very glad to have a great teammate in 60dc in you. All the best.
Renee S from Virginia on April 17, 2010:
You make some excellent points.
Springboard from Wisconsin on April 17, 2010:
Most of the stuff I write here is of the opinion type, mostly on politics, but ARE generally much more in depth and certainly longer than what I typically post at blogspot.
As with anything ultimately, I think what matters most is that the content is well-written, factual, relevant to the topic at hand, AND that it generates traffic. I think if all of those elements are in place, it works.
Kate Swanson (author) from Sydney on April 16, 2010:
Thanks Norah, I really appreciate a comment from a HubPages team member and it's good to have that extra bit of information.
Norah Casey on April 16, 2010:
Great Hub, Marisa! I'd also like to comment on one thing. "Blog" hubs that are overly personal in nature and lack relevance for the community in general may be moderated as substandard. A significant portion of my day is spent moderating hubs that are not very deep reflections on daily events.
You said it best, though. HubPages isn't a platform for a personal blog, and that should be the biggest detractor.
besthubs on April 15, 2010:
Thanks for share. The excellent hubs I will follow you.
Kate Swanson (author) from Sydney on April 14, 2010:
Thanks all! @jstankevicz, you express it very well - that's exactly how I see HubPages, too.
Sandy Mertens from Wisconsin, USA on April 14, 2010:
Interesting. I have seen some hubs that look like blogs. But why do it?
sagebrush_mama from The Shadow of Death Valley...Snow Covered Mountain Views Abound! on April 14, 2010:
This is really informative...I found Hubpages when I was exploring different blogging platforms. I like to blog as a way to keep my friends and family updated on life. Hubpages is a great creative writing outlet, and I'm seeing more each day how to link individual hubs together when they relate to each other.
jstankevicz from Cave Creek on April 14, 2010:
Interesting topic. I learned early on that HubPages doesn't work as a blog, if you think of a blog as a journal. Agree that many use the blog platform as a quick and easy website. I think a single HubPage is best thought of as an article that can be edited to keep current, or evolve. HubPages.com itself is like your personal magazine. You are the writer, editor and publisher, and ad manager of your magazine.
salt from australia on April 14, 2010:
marissa, well explained... I use one hubpage as a personal log on how Im doing, but dont see it as a blog. What you wrote makes total sense.
2patricias from Sussex by the Sea on April 14, 2010:
Pat writes: Hi Marisa, this seems to be just what some people need to read. I have been flicking through hubs using the 'Hub Hopper' (its addictive!) and see that many people seem to post blogs as Hubs. In my opinion, it doesn't work! I can't see how a blog as a hub would ever be picked up by a search engine.
My experience (with the other Patricia) that Hubpages work best when each one is on a specific topic, and you take the time and effort to write about that topic from a new angle.
Kate Swanson (author) from Sydney on April 14, 2010:
Kowality, I don't agree that HubPages is a combination blog/landing page. It's more the other way around - blogs are no longer just daily diaries, they are also used as websites and as a selling platform, more like HubPages.
kowality from Everywhere on April 13, 2010:
Hi Marisa. I have been exploring this question for some time. The definition of a blog can go in many directions. HubPages seems to be a combination..blog/landing page for most of the writers.
The readers get to choose where they want to participate. Blog/Landing Page or purely an info site.
I've seen so called blogs that are just advertising platforms with little content.
My guess is that as the search engines refine their process of weeding out the spammers, Ezines like this and others will soon become the future because of the PR power amongst other factors.
Traditional SEO is falling by the way side and savvy entrepreneurs are starting to see the power of HubPages.
This opened my eyes. Thank You so much.
Dense from somewhere in a concrete jungle, hugging a green plastic tree, and wondering what happened on April 13, 2010:
Never thought it's even possible. Thanks for pondering all the possibilties before I even have to think of it. :D
BJBenson from USA on April 13, 2010:
thank you this was helpful