Am I just that jaded, or am I just that observant?
Recently, I have been experimenting with writing Hubs at HubPages. For those of you who are not familiar with HubPages, it is basically one of those sites where you can write whatever you want and publish it on their website for free. Of course, they don’t pay you either, but that is the price you pay for unmoderated access to their huge, and subsequently, semi-high ranking domain. (Technically, your Hub could be flagged and then taken down if it was truly terrible, but pretty much anything resembling a partial effort at writing something useful or entertaining passes muster.)
Anyway, one of the important things to know is that your links are nofollowed by HubPages unless your writer’s score, or HubRank is above 75. It is actually pretty easy, it seems, to get your score above 75 as long as you write six or seven half-way decent hubs and participate a little bit in the "HubPages community." That is a fancy way of saying you should leave a comment or two on some Hubs every now and then so that you are "active."
This also has the side effect of putting a link to your profile on someone else’s Hubs by way of your comment. Obviously, maximizing the value of this link requires commenting on popular Hubs early so that your comment is near the top where it has a chance of being read, and that the Hub itself is read by enough people so that if a small percentage of them click, that adds up to something worthwhile in the way of visitors to your HubPages profile page.
HubPages, perhaps unintentionally, helps you in this endeavor by showing you some of the top ranking people who publish Hubs, called Hubbers. These people are shown across the screen from time to time as featured authors. Some of them are very prolific and some of them write very good stuff, unfortunately, the two do not always coincide. Being a featured author is at least partially a function of your PageRank which is a function of how much you publish, how much traffic those Hubs get, as well as how many people comment on them, and how man "fans" you have.
I’ve noticed that a higher than expected proportion of highly ranked authors are very attractive women, or at least their profile pictures are sexy pictures of hot girls. I cannot say whether or not those pictures are accurate representations of those writers. However, I can say, that I know men, and in particular, the kind of men who would write for a free publication website are prone to clicking on those links and articles which appear to have something to do with attractive women.
To that end, I popped up on a free stock photography site and found an alluring picture of an attractive woman and change my characteristic blue llama graphic in the profile to the picture of the pretty girl. The stats at HubPages are not real-time and I’m not completely sure how much of delay there is in reporting the number of visitors to your Hubs. Regardless, I expect my traffic to increase in the next day or two. How much it increases will determine whether I’m just a jaded author wondering what makes some people get more hits, or whether only a fool uses something other than a pretty woman for their profile picture.