How to increase the number of readers that read your online content from start to finish

Limitless Possibilities, does have limited word count...


When you write what you write...

When you write, do you ever wonder how many are really reading your work? Do you want to check? Here is how. Time how long it takes you to read from start to finish, watch videos and answer any polls within your hub? Now…check your hubs stats, where it says view duration… How does your time compare to the average person reading your article? Not quite what you expected? Many will be surprised to learn that the view duration of our hubs is not necessarily equivalent to how long it takes to read the hub. We all want our work to be read and fully enjoyed from start to finish- here are some tips to insure that this happens.

It is all relative...


When you are feeling, "Wordy", DON'T

When you are feeling a little wordy…either put the feeling in check, break up the topic into a Part I, Part II sequence, or return to edit useless (filler) content later. If you write too much over 600 words, odds are that you are going to deter some of your readers. I know, I know- it is a shame to think that we have all gotten so lazy that we find it almost painful to take the time to read a 750 word article, but this is a high paced world and no one is getting any younger.

Realize- people are afraid of words…Too many words without an ample amount of pictorial content will hurt your readership and your ability to go viral. Less, is more often than not- MORE. When building your hubs, make sure that you do not group your content together within a single text capsule, but rather create additional text capsules and picture capsules, which you can integrate throughout the content. If you do not create additional text capsules make good use of your H2 Titles. What formatting your hub in this manner does is creates a more inviting hub, by breaking up the monotonous flow of the content. Too many words clumped together can appear overwhelming to a reader or put them to sleep, which as a writer, we don’t want.

There is a reason Picture Books are so popular

Just like children, readers like pictures. Visual aids help viewers to understand or get a full perspective of your writing. If they want it-give it to them; add some visual eye candy to capture their attention. Visual Aids can be anything such as a drawing, photograph or info-graphic that assists in getting your point across.


Video and Picture Placement

Also, don’t be afraid to use a video, but do not place the video smack dab in the center of your content. Placing a video in the middle of your writings is the equivalent of having a conversation with someone, stopping abruptly-watching a movie and then attempting to finish the conversation where you had left off. NOT GOOD! Your audience will forget what you started off saying, and be lost when you finish up what you were saying…regardless if you had a great and valid point that you were emphasizing. Videos should be placed either in the beginning of your hub, as an introduction to the persona of the hub, or at the end; to further emphasize your topic. You may also want to consider providing a brief intro to your videos- this prepares readers to what they are going to experience, which can greatly increase the amount of readers who will take the time to view the video, read the hub and then provide feedback within your comments section.

As for me- that about sums it up, I don’t want to put anyone to sleep (remember 600 word count).. Thanks for reading.

#4/15 for the March Challenge

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Comments 53 comments

ecoggins profile image

ecoggins 4 years ago from Corona, California

This hub is well-written and informative. Sadly, I know I violate some of the principles. As such, this hub is very helpful to me and I can see how it will be helpful to many others. I will attempt to incorporate some the ideas into my future hubs. Thank you for sharing such important tips.

Cagsil profile image

Cagsil 4 years ago from USA or America

Hey Holly, saw this one pop up on Twitter, but then saw it pop up on Facebook, so I hopped over to see what you had to say. Thank you for a brief account of what it takes to get more readers. I tend to be wordy at time. But, I don't have too many articles that are extremely long. Then again, I try to keep my hubs flowing from beginning to end, so the reader just has to follow along. :) Voted up! :)

Lesleysherwood 4 years ago

This is fantastic advice. I had never thought of the timing trick. I need to take your advice, I get far to wordy. My best stats are always on hubs I think are quite rubbish to be honest. It just goes to show, people do want short, concise and to the point. O yes, they also want to enjoy it. Bookmarking for future ref.

ArtzGirl profile image

ArtzGirl 4 years ago from San Diego

I carry business cards now with a link to my hub account. When I find myself in a discussion over a certain topic, then I write the article name down on the back of the card-- then hand the card to the person where they can go directly to that page and see what I'm talking about.

I've noticed an increase in my readership this way. Certain topics will draw a specific audience. If these people are impressed with your hub, they will often pass along the link to other friends in e-mails or on their Facebook page. This can really increase your traffic!

bizwin profile image

bizwin 4 years ago from England, UK

Great advice. You hit every good point there. Thank you for sharing.

Millionaire Tips profile image

Millionaire Tips 4 years ago from USA

This is great advice. I've often wondered about the videos. What you said makes sense. I'm going to have to change my positioning of them.

Arren123 profile image

Arren123 4 years ago from UK

Super Hub, great info. I like ArtzGirl idea, not thought of that before, going to get some cards done. Voted up :)

Sinea Pies profile image

Sinea Pies 4 years ago from Northeastern United States

Absolutely superb topic. Thank you so much for this very insiteful hub. Voted up, useful and shared!

homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 4 years ago from Texas

There is a lot of good advice you have here. I wonder how long it takes to get the stats on viewing duration to go into effect. None of my hubs have it, even the first one I wrote over 7 months ago. Thanks for the advice.

Astra Nomik profile image

Astra Nomik 4 years ago from Edge of Reality and Known Space

This is great and useful information. I think also, that if you really love the subject or whatever it is you write about, people notice it and react positively in some ways.

Also I am always favoring the "I relate to the subject" camp. We all love great readable writing, and not things spoken in poor choice language.

Wonderful Hub. :)

H.C Porter profile image

H.C Porter 4 years ago from Lone Star State Author

ecoggins- thanks for the comment. I think all of us know from our own habits what makes or breaks a good read, it is just hard when you are creating something that you are passionate about to get to the point, which tends to make us ramble. I too am guilty of this...but this hub is at least a guide for huber's (even if it is not a concrete rule book) :)

H.C Porter profile image

H.C Porter 4 years ago from Lone Star State Author

Cagsil- You? Wordy? NEVER! lol... but it is okay...that is what we all love about you :) Thanks for sharing and commenting :)

H.C Porter profile image

H.C Porter 4 years ago from Lone Star State Author

Lesleysherwood- I came up with the timing trick when I noticed that on some of my longer hubs the view duration was short, and even if you are a fast reader, when the video is longer than people are staying on the hub, there may be a bit of a problem, lol. The advice within this hub actually works...granted the content is of interest to the reader---thanks for the feedback, I appreciate it!

H.C Porter profile image

H.C Porter 4 years ago from Lone Star State Author

ArtzGirl- What great advice! Never thought to do something such as that to gain outside readership. The majority of my readership comes from Google and other search engines...but word of mouth readers are also great. Thanks for reading and for commenting.

H.C Porter profile image

H.C Porter 4 years ago from Lone Star State Author

bizwin- thanks for the comment, I am glad you found the hub informative.

H.C Porter profile image

H.C Porter 4 years ago from Lone Star State Author

Millionaire Tips, thanks for stopping by and commenting! Sorry to create additional work for you, but I hope that it begins to pay off as far as your reads are concerned :)

H.C Porter profile image

H.C Porter 4 years ago from Lone Star State Author

Arren123- Thanks for reading and commenting. I appreciate the feedback- hope that both my advice and ArtxGirl's can help you out a bit :)

H.C Porter profile image

H.C Porter 4 years ago from Lone Star State Author

Sinea Pies- Thank You-Thank You... I am glad that you liked the hub and I truly appreciate the share and vote up!

H.C Porter profile image

H.C Porter 4 years ago from Lone Star State Author

homesteadbound- hmmm? It should be there? If you need any help figuring it out, message me on FB and I will try my best to guide you in any way I can. Thanks for stopping in and reading, I appreciate the support Ma'am :)

H.C Porter profile image

H.C Porter 4 years ago from Lone Star State Author

Astra Nomik- I too am at my best when I write on something I can relate to, which allows reader to relate to me... other times, I write about what I know, which is a benefit to my numbers being that what I know is SEO-SMM and Internet stuff...which is booming now. The trick is making it use it writing it, if the readers are scratching their heads when they Thanks for the comment, I appreciate the feedback :)

Marcy Goodfleisch profile image

Marcy Goodfleisch 4 years ago from Planet Earth

Such good advice - and I know it's coming from one who is an expert. I need to follow the suggestion to write shorter hubs. Mine tend to be longer, but I'm not sure that's serving either me or the reader.

Thanks for this great information - voted up, useful and interesting!

the clean life profile image

the clean life 4 years ago from New Jersey Shore

Holly, Great work here as usual. I (we) learn so much from your hubs. The information you put in your hubs are so useful to me and I am learning more each day. Thank you for sharing!

Voted Up and Useful!

HowToLoveOne profile image

HowToLoveOne 4 years ago from San Francisco

Great point about the picture books. I have the attention span of a four year old yet I continue to write hubs that are too wordy. Thank you for the good info.

timorous profile image

timorous 4 years ago from Me to You

Hi Holly. Excellent points all around. One thing I might add is, I find it a good idea to write in a more conversational style, as though you were just chatting with someone...including off the cuff remarks. This is much better than a matter-of-fact approach.

Haha...I guess I'm guilty of going too long. My last couple of hubs were about 1200 words. Cheers.

Chuck profile image

Chuck 4 years ago from Tucson, Arizona

This is a great Hub. I realized that in many cases I have Hubs that are too long and am considering breaking them into two and publishing the second part as a separate Hub with a link. I also liked the suggestion about putting videos at the beginning with an introduction. That makes a lot of sense.

And I too, like ArtzGirl's suggestion of carrying business cards with the URL for my HubPage on it. I recently had some business cards printed with the URL for my HubPage profile but so far have only given them out to a few people who have asked me about HubPages or writing for the web. I never thought of using them when in a discussion about a topic I have published a Hub about. But I will certainly start doing that now.,

moonlake profile image

moonlake 4 years ago from America

Good information. I also don't have view duration on my hubs. I like the under 600 words because I have enough problems putting in enough text. Voted up

CreateSquidoo profile image

CreateSquidoo 4 years ago

Thank for sharing this nice information of yours.

jenubouka 4 years ago

Such a great help to read. It is very true, at least for me, to sit down and read a lengthy article on the computer with out much interaction or pictures. I always try for 1200 characters, not words, characters, so about 650 words and links, captions this seems to help me write, and hope it keeps the readers entertained. Voted up!!

Claudia Tello profile image

Claudia Tello 4 years ago from Mexico

In a recent weekly topic mail, Hubpages gave some pro tips for successful Hubs. These included at least 5 original high quality photos, at least one video, one map or table, one poll or quiz, attractive formatting and at least 1500 words. When I read the word count, I was really surprised to see they recommended such a long hub; I, like you, think the reader gets quickly board and doesn’t have the patience to read such a long article. This contradiction has left me a little bit confused about the right length of the Hubs! You are clearly a successful Hubber as well, and you are giving a different advice to the one included in the pro tips.

Thanks for your advice. I had never before considered writing an introduction for the videos and I am sure you are right when you say that would increase the number of people who actually watch the video.

pandula77 profile image

pandula77 4 years ago from Norway

I think now I know what I am doing wrong! thanks a lot for the insight and will give you a feedback after trying out few of your tips.

H.C Porter profile image

H.C Porter 4 years ago from Lone Star State Author

Claudia Tello- I read your comment and had to respond to you first. Let me clarify before I begin this explanation that there is absolutely no magic word count that determines whether a hub/article is successful. Neither I nor hub pages can say that a hub with 300 words compared to 1600 words is going to be less or more successful. I have hubs with well over 1000 words that have 10,000/20,000 views… for example- the hub I have written regarding women’s panties has a higher word count and over 20,000 views and the time people spend on the article is concurrent to the time it takes to go through the article. On the same note- the format of the hub breaks up the content and the way I wrote the hub is entertaining to ensure that I was not putting the reader to sleep. This hub in particular would not have had the same effect with 600 words…

What 600 word count stems from is attempting to ensure that your hubs are not passed over because of too many words that are emphasized by bad layout, and so you can keep from repetitive content creation. What I notice many extremely talented writers doing is jamming so much nonsense into a hub, killing its effectiveness just to hit a higher word count. This is bad and what kills the view duration on a hub. If you want them to read all the way from start to finish-you have a better bet with a solid (information packed/quality) 600 words than you do with 1500 hundred that is ½ rubbish.

My advice is based off of my findings and watching the numbers (page durations-bounce rate-comments-shares-and virility) on the various blogs I write for various companies within various industries, as well as looking at what others are doing. 600 words is a good number to aim for to keep your content inviting, precise and to the point… If you need to go over this and hit 700-800-1000-1600 words… make sure that you do two things…ensure that your content is worthy of the higher word count and not just a bunch of filler text, and get creative with your layout (including pictures) to give a reader’s eyes a break and to so you are not deterring your readers before you even have them.

H.C Porter profile image

H.C Porter 4 years ago from Lone Star State Author

jenubouka- thanks for the comment- You do, in fact keep us entertained :)

H.C Porter profile image

H.C Porter 4 years ago from Lone Star State Author

Create Squidoo- thanks for the comment :) Glad you stopped by to read

H.C Porter profile image

H.C Porter 4 years ago from Lone Star State Author

moonlake- hmm? i need to make sure that I am saying it correctly, if I am not, I will let y'all know what to look for. thanks for reading and for commenting.

H.C Porter profile image

H.C Porter 4 years ago from Lone Star State Author

Thanks Mark- I appreciate the support and I am glad that what I share with you here and on other hubs is helping, or at least giving you additional things to consider when creating blogs.

H.C Porter profile image

H.C Porter 4 years ago from Lone Star State Author

timorous- thanks for the comment- I cant imagine you putting your readers to sleep, and i totally agree with you about the conversational approach. It makes for a more friendly read :)

H.C Porter profile image

H.C Porter 4 years ago from Lone Star State Author

pandula77- thanks for the feedback! Please do let me know how your results are...

H.C Porter profile image

H.C Porter 4 years ago from Lone Star State Author

Chuck- ArtzGirl did have a great suggestion, didnt she. I think videos often help emphasize what points we are attempting to make and help settle any doubt that a reader may have about the feeling of our hubs are. I hope that this hub helps out in some manner...Thanks for reading and for commenting :)

H.C Porter profile image

H.C Porter 4 years ago from Lone Star State Author

Marcy, an occasional long hub is not a bad thing-specially if you are keeping their attention throughout. With that said, you also dont want to drown your readers in text every time they stop by. I love your hubs, and wouldnt worry too much. :)

H.C Porter profile image

H.C Porter 4 years ago from Lone Star State Author

HowToLoveOne- lol... yep, everyone loves a Thanks for your comment and I hope that this helps you a little bit :)

mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 4 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

Hello H.C. I find your hub both interesting and informative. Reading the comment stream brings up two points, the business card comment by ArtzGirl. I like. And that some of your hubs have in excess of 20k hits makes you the 'go to' person for hub traffic advice.

Bldg an Architect profile image

Bldg an Architect 4 years ago

Great hub. Very useful advice. I'm glad I've discovered you!

bdegiulio profile image

bdegiulio 4 years ago from Massachusetts

Excellent advice and tips. I've been on HP for only 5 weeks now and I'm learning a lot every day because of articles like this. Was this as addicting for you when you first started as it is for me?

tsmog profile image

tsmog 4 years ago from Escondido, CA

Hello H.C. Porter. I read and appreciate this article and will heed the advice. It is bookmarked under Hubpages Business.

H.C Porter profile image

H.C Porter 4 years ago from Lone Star State Author

mckbirdbks, oh well thank I have tried various things and experimented with different tactics to get people to look over my content here, and after 2 years of keeping a journal, noting the rise and fall of traffic- subjects that I have posted on- word count- time of day of publishing...along with so much more, I am starting to analyze what will work and what will not, and posting around that...I will then start to narrow down those findings, lol... Who knows- perhaps in 2 more years I will be getting 20,000 hits a day on the majority of my hubs?!? Thanks for the comment and for reading :)

H.C Porter profile image

H.C Porter 4 years ago from Lone Star State Author

Bldg an Architect- I am glad that you discovered me as well. I hope that you can see an increase in traffic with some of my SMM and SEO articles... let me know how this advice works out for you. Thanks for commenting and for reading!

H.C Porter profile image

H.C Porter 4 years ago from Lone Star State Author

bdegiulio, lol...yep, I was an HP Addict at first as well... After about a year, I started to slow down my usage and stay clear on the forums...Now I can control the habit, lol...thanks for the comment and for reading. I am glad you are hear on HP and do not worry, you will get the hang of it and the traffic will come in no time at all :)

H.C Porter profile image

H.C Porter 4 years ago from Lone Star State Author

tsmog- THANKS for reading and for commenting. I am glad that you feel the content is worthy enough to be bookmarked. I hope this advice helps you in someway gain more traffic!

Express10 profile image

Express10 4 years ago from East Coast

Great tips, I have committed the video smack dab in the middle of the article faux pas.

H.C Porter profile image

H.C Porter 4 years ago from Lone Star State Author

Express10, lol- it is okay, admitting the problem is the first step in correcting it, lol :) Thanks for commenting, I hope that the tips help out!

kjrzeek1 profile image

kjrzeek1 4 years ago from New Jersey, USA

As a new Hubber advice like this is so great. I have been around for 4 months and seem to be more confused some times than not when trying to write a good hub. Useful and voted up!

H.C Porter profile image

H.C Porter 4 years ago from Lone Star State Author

kjrzeek1- I am glad I could help out some, I hope that you begin to see some increase in your views and total time spent on your pages... Welcome to hubpages!

Matt Easterbrook5 profile image

Matt Easterbrook5 23 months ago from Oregon

Thank you H.C. Porter for the advice. I found your hub to be very useful. I am new to hub pages and I have a rule I follow those hub authors that will also follow my hubs. This was really great advice for my future hubs.

Thank You,


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