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One Million Views - One Million Thanks

Updated on July 26, 2017
Greensleeves Hubs profile image

HubPages is a content creation site, and a great platform for budding writers. The author shares his experience of HubPages on several pages

Introduction

This week someone, somewhere in the world chose to press a keyboard key and access one of my pages at the HubPages website. And in so doing, they unwittingly contributed the one millionth click on my articles. That's a milestone which I've been anticipating for some time with a huge amount of delight, and also with a healthy dose of realism about its significance. This page is a brief reflection on the milestone, my history at HubPages, and the people who have provided those one million clicks. For each click, I owe one thank you.

N.B: Please note, all of my articles are best read on desktops and laptops

Before we go Any Further - Let's Keep Things in Perspective

We'll start with the dose of realism - just to get that out of the way before it spoils the party! One million views sounds pretty impressive, but we all know that a page of celebrity gossip, or a YouTube video showing a cute animal or a stupid human, or even a 140 character tweet by someone with a 'name', could get a million views in a teeny length of time. One million hits on all my articles put together, in nearly seven years of writing, is pretty unimpressive by comparison.

What's more, traffic on any scale is not necessarily indicative of quality. Knowing how to use Google effectively, and writing on subjects which catch the public mood, are more important. Mere click numbers do not determine worth. What determines worth is whether that traffic lingers more than a few minutes, reads and enjoys an entire article, and perhaps goes on to read other pieces by the same author. There are of course ways of deciphering some of that information via the Google Analytics tool, but I've never really learned how.

Traffic to my 'Hubs'

Leaving aside the question of merit, where did that one million figure come from? It came after 6 years and 7 months on the HubPages site, and it came from 159 articles or 'hubs' published during that time. My postings haven't exactly been very consistent in their frequency, and the success of those articles (measured only by the traffic to them) has been even more wildly varying. The most popular article which contributes almost one fifth of the million total is a page of quotes about aging - nice, but I must say it is a source of some frustration that my most popular hub of all consists almost entirely of other peoples' clever quotes, rather than my own original work! The next most popular subjects have been music pages about Christmas carols and the folk song Greensleeves, articles about electronic colour creation in computers and TVs, and some very short stories, all with substantially more than 25,000 hits. I've also written with modest returns on travel, astronomy, politics, and a whole host of other subjects - whatever takes my fancy.

But at the other end of the spectrum are many hubs which still haven't achieved their one thousandth click. Very poor performing work may be 'unfeatured' by HubPages staff so that it doesn't show up in Google searches - thankfully only seven of my pages have so far suffered that fate, and ironically six of those are hubs which focus specifically on the benefits of the HubPages experience. The reason is simple - no one outside of the HubPages community is interested in introspective articles about the community. For that reason, I suspect this page about my millionth site visit also isn't going to be hugely successful. It's not exactly going to be the talking point of people in households in the remotest corners of the world ..... or in the least remote ..... or for that matter in my next door neighbour's home. Shame, but true :)

Anyway, it is clear that the mere scale of traffic across the board or on specific pages, does not tell one much about anything. But there is nevertheless a symbolic significance to that one million figure, and I won't ever have another chance to celebrate it, so forgive me my gross self-indulgence. I have to do it now!

TRAFFIC - On the left, what traffic is like en route to a celebrity gossip page. On the right, a representation of the more typical level of traffic to one of my web pages. Oh well - I've always preferred to journey along the quieter roads
TRAFFIC - On the left, what traffic is like en route to a celebrity gossip page. On the right, a representation of the more typical level of traffic to one of my web pages. Oh well - I've always preferred to journey along the quieter roads | Source

Who, Where and Why?

Where have all those views come from? Well I've already established that I'm not the best when it comes to interpreting website statistics, but there are some things I've figured out. It seems that exactly one third of my traffic has come from the main American-based, Google search engine, and nearly a tenth has come from Google UK. The importance of Google worldwide is highlighted in the table below. Other search engines have also contributed significant traffic, as well as social media sites such as Letterpile, Facebook and Pinterest.

Major Sources of More Than 10,000 Views

SOURCE
TRAFFIC
Google.com
335,000
Google.co.uk (United Kingdom)
94,000
HubPages.com
65,000
Google.co.in (India)
44,000
Google.ca (Canada)
36,000
Google.com (Australia)
35,000
Google.com.ph (Philippines)
15,000
Bing.com
11,000
Yahoo.com
10,000

The Internet is truly global and even though HubPages is an U.S based site, we should never forget the potential worldwide audience. In addition to the regional search engines listed above, people as far afield as South Africa, Thailand, the United Arab Emirates and China and many other countries have visited and read more than a thousand times. So that's who and where. But why do they visit? Most of my hubs are factual in nature, so I guess it comes down to anyone who wants to find information and does a keyword search, and then just happens upon me.

But one other figure in that table above needs to be considered - 65,000 views have come directly from fellow members of HubPages - people who whilst on the site see an article and decide to read it. And most of all those members who have done me the honour of becoming 'followers'. So the HubPages experience, and my followers, must be the subject of the next two sections.

The HubPages community and all who read my pages receive my thanks
The HubPages community and all who read my pages receive my thanks | Source

The HubPages Experience

HubPages is a content creation site where the members can post articles on pretty much any subject they wish, and also communicate with each other via a question and answer facility, and on various topic forums. That means that there is a strong social network element to it, albeit with the primary goal of publishing creative or informational content. There are some 'cons' to writing here - limited ranges of fonts, layouts etc - but the 'pros' are more significant. It's just so easy to write here as no site building know-how is required, whilst the community atmosphere gives advice and encouragement. All of my key Internet articles are published here.

Highlights of HubPages

Since starting here at the beginning of 2011, the HubPages experience has for the most part been very rewarding. Merely to have one's work published for all to see is a great feeling, but during that time, there have been some specific highlights. In the past, HubPages has run various competitions and awarded various accolades including the 'Hub of the Day', of which I received four. Those were undoubtedly highlights for me. Sadly in recent years, some of these social elements have been discontinued, largely due to the time-pressure constraints on staff who had to administer them - a distraction when their main task is obviously to concentrate on managing the site to make it as competitive as possible in Internet search engines.

In any case even though these awards are nice, it is personal contacts which have meant the most, including e-mails from people associated with causes, institutions or places about which I have written, and also some notable Twitter followings which I've received as a result of promoting my pages there. Sadly these have not yet translated into greater HubPage traffic - but maybe one day.

Of course, any time I experience a traffic surge also gives pleasure. I've never yet had a hub go truly viral, though I did have a Tug-of-War article promoted by the world governing body's website, and it then received a few thousand clicks over the course of just two or three days. Given that some pages on the web get millions of views, I guess that particular 'viral' experience was more of a mild sniffle than a full blown epidemic, but nonetheless it was exciting while it lasted!

Finally, when it comes to highlights, I must return to all those people who have visited and read the pages, and particularly those who have followed my writings and who have most helped me to reach that one million landmark.

The problems writers face when trying to find suitable images for our articles :)
The problems writers face when trying to find suitable images for our articles :) | Source

Followers and Comments

Ever since Day One, other HubPage members have been an invaluable source of support. In the early days, people who took the time to read and comment on my pages gave a fledgling writer like me the encouragement to continue, lifting me up the first few rungs of the writing ladder and giving me the self-confidence to try to climb higher still. Since then, they have remained crucial to me and to many other members. 771 at the present time, have become 'followers' which means that they receive regular updates about the hubs I publish. Many of those have looked at a lot of my pages, and many have given me good feedback. Feedback which seems heartfelt and constructive tells us that someone has taken the trouble to read, and that they have taken enough from the article to feel motivated to contribute. And if the feedback is also complimentary, well, that provides a greater joy than almost any other which can routinely be experienced. Income received from writing here is small, so it is positive comments which really makes the effort worthwhile.

With that in mind, I did think of compiling a long list of those people here to whom I owe the greatest thanks. But I won't name names - it would be unfair to single some out, introduce an arbitrary cut-off point, and inevitably miss others out. But I do hope those who have helped me with their visits and comments know who they are, and they will accept my gratitude in this way.

The important point on which to conclude this section is this - there is no point in writing webpages if no one ever reads what is written. For me, the knowledge that people have taken the time to read them, and the hope that they may have gained something worthwhile from the experience, is the most important thing of all. Hence the second part of the title at the top of this page 'One Million Thanks' - one for everyone who has taken the time.

COMMENTS - A chance for others to express their opinions (for better or worse)
COMMENTS - A chance for others to express their opinions (for better or worse) | Source

The Future

It took me almost exactly four years to reach half a milliion views, and another two and a half to reach the million. So two million views is the next target? I hope so.

The future is unseeable. There are a few issues, including some differences of opinion with HubPages policy which concern me, but hopefully those will not prove insurmountable. Also it remains an ambition to open a website of my own one day and maybe some of my future articles will find a more appropriate home there.

However, it also remains very much my intention to keep the bulk of my work on HubPages. The site has enabled me to put together a large body of work. It's also given me a platform on which to express my opinions on a whole host of subjects which matter to me. And it's given me a chance to interact with some quality writers and a helpful community. To all of them and to all who have read my pages at any time in the past 6 years and 7 months - thanks a million :)

Source

© 2017 Greensleeves Hubs

I'd Love to Hear Your Comments. Thanks, Alun

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    • Greensleeves Hubs profile image
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      Greensleeves Hubs 2 months ago from Essex, UK

      Jo Miller; Thanks Jo. I think two million may be a while coming, but I do agree about HubPages. Although I have some issues at the moment concerning changes being introduced here, there's no doubt that the site, and the interaction with other members, has been beneficial in getting many writers started and giving them the confidence to pursue their creative dreams. Alun

    • jo miller profile image

      Jo Miller 2 months ago from Tennessee

      Congratulations on this achievement and hope we'll soon see your article about two million. HubPages has been very beneficial to many writers. That personal interaction one gets with other writers here is very important.

    • Greensleeves Hubs profile image
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      Greensleeves Hubs 2 months ago from Essex, UK

      FlourishAnyway; thanks for coming back to comment again. I appreciate what you say. Cheers very much. I was particularly glad after your previous comment here, that Sally Gulbrandsen (sallybea) chose to publicise your own 'million visits' achievement in a forum post about you. It was well deserved! Alun

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 2 months ago from USA

      I'm back to say that I think you've inspired a lot of fellow Hubbers! Best wishes on reaching that next million even more quickly.

    • Greensleeves Hubs profile image
      Author

      Greensleeves Hubs 3 months ago from Essex, UK

      Krzysztof Willman; Thanks Krysztof (Chriswillman90) for that nice comment. I know you have been less perturbed by the changes being introduced to the formatting of articles than I have, and we've disagreed slightly about that on one of the forums, so it's especially nice that you've had the grace to compliment me here.

      The proposed changes won't of course affect this particular article in which I've made very little use of floated capsules, but most of my hubs are much more complex, containing numerous half width photos, polls, tables, text capsules etc, and I really cannot see any way to keep all that information as readable on desktops and laptops in the new format, which is designed for smartphones.

      It is something I feel extremely strongly about after all the effort I've put into creating those pages in the past, and it may affect my future here. I do have an article in production (very ironically but coincidentally a lighthearted page about smartphone usage!) which I may publish soon, but I am inclined to give HubPages a bit of a break at least as far as complex hubs are concerned, and may finally get round to building my own website(s).

      Anyway, that's something for me to think about. Reaching a million views was one of many highlights of my HubPages membership which I'd be loathe to leave behind, and I really hope you continue to enjoy writing here. Thanks again for commenting. Much appreciated. Alun

    • Chriswillman90 profile image

      Krzysztof Willman 3 months ago from Parlin, New Jersey

      Great article, it actually made me understand why the latest announcement to remove floated capsules was so upsetting. The journey to any milestone is always the best part and as an author I enjoy reading about others rise to the top. Great work and here's to another million.

    • Greensleeves Hubs profile image
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      Greensleeves Hubs 3 months ago from Essex, UK

      Dora Isaac Weithers; Dora thanks so much. I will of course never take your support or anyone else's for granted, but dare I say it's no surprise to see you post here - because there are few people on HubPages who are as supportive as you. Whenever I read other peoples' hubs, your name is so often there among the commenters, so I hope everyone appreciates you.

      It sounds from the way you phrase your comment as though you haven't as yet reached the million figure. If so, that is surprising, but it certainly is not due to the quality of your writing which is first rate. Keep 'trudging along'! :) Alun

    • Greensleeves Hubs profile image
      Author

      Greensleeves Hubs 3 months ago from Essex, UK

      Louise Powles; Cheers Louise for that second post. Long may you continue to enjoy writing here! Alun

    • Greensleeves Hubs profile image
      Author

      Greensleeves Hubs 3 months ago from Essex, UK

      Heidi Thorne; Thanks Heidi. I am very grateful for your words. We'll have to see how it goes from here on, as to whether I get to two million, but it's certainly been enjoyable writing here over the past six years, and meeting fellow hubbers such as yourself. Cheers, Alun

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      Dora Weithers 3 months ago from The Caribbean

      Alun, thanks for sharing your observations and insights on this great achievement. It is encouraging for folks like me who are still trudging along. Best to you as you journey towards your second million!

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      Louise Powles 3 months ago from Norfolk, England

      Thankyou for the lovely comment Alun. I do enjoy writing on Hubpages and I love reading other peoples hubs. I've learned so much, and keep learning.

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 3 months ago from Chicago Area

      Alun, congrats on becoming a hub views "millionaire!" :) Well deserved. Your hubs are definitely interesting and well written. Keep the good stuff coming and here's to the next million!

    • Greensleeves Hubs profile image
      Author

      Greensleeves Hubs 3 months ago from Essex, UK

      Irene; Thank you Irene. I see you have only just joined HubPages this week! I truly hope you find the experience of writing here enjoyable and beneficial, and I'm sure you will find some of the other members helpful and supportive. One day I hope you have one million views! Best wishes, Alun

    • Greensleeves Hubs profile image
      Author

      Greensleeves Hubs 3 months ago from Essex, UK

      Linda Crampton; Thanks Linda. Much appreciated. I find your portfolio of hubs one of the easiest for me to check through when looking for interesting topics to read about - so often you seem to write about subjects which also appeal to me, and you write about them with great clarity.

      As I say in a reply to Bill De Giulio, just a day after reaching that million landmark I heard of a policy change by HubPages which already makes me question my future here. I guess it'll be a while before I can make any decision, but if I do eventually leave the site, then receiving hub correspondence from fellow members like you and Bill would be one of the things I would most miss.

    • Greensleeves Hubs profile image
      Author

      Greensleeves Hubs 3 months ago from Essex, UK

      Bill De Giulio; Thank you very much Bill. I see you reached the million figure a year or two quicker than me! But on the other hand you've published about 30 more hubs than me, so we'll call it honours even OK? :)

      Seriously, you are one of the writers whom I have most admired on HubPages, and particularly of course, all your travel pages - a passion which we share in common.

      Things have changed even in the two days since I published this article Bill. Like you, I use a lot of photos on most of my pages and I've made full use of the so-called 'right-floated capsules' to improve the presentation. Sadly I've just heard these are being discontinued, and that decision upsets me so much. I'm not sure how easy it will be to amend my old hubs to suit the favoured mobile format. They certainly won't look as good. So I don't know at present about the next milestone, whether to persevere on HubPages or whether to look elsewhere to write. It's something I'll have to think about in the coming months. Alun

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      irene 3 months ago from kenya

      Congratulations

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 3 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Congratulations on your million views, Alun! It's a well deserved milestone for you. Your articles are always informative and enjoyable.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 3 months ago from Massachusetts

      Congratulations Alun. Well deserved. Seems we are on about the same trajectory here. My millionth view came in March and it's now on to the next milestone. As you mentioned these numbers need to be taken with a dose of realism but it is certainly an achievement to be celebrated. Like you I have one hub that accounts for a healthy chunk of my views, about one-third. We need to find that second and third Hub that generates that kind of traffic. Anyway, well done.

    • Greensleeves Hubs profile image
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      Greensleeves Hubs 3 months ago from Essex, UK

      Diana; Hello and thanks. That's interesting. In the case of my article, I think 'quotes' tend to get keyword-searched a lot, so maybe they always have lots of potential.

      In the case of your articles, I've just had a quick look and you've also got some quote pages, but also hubs on other subjects which I would imagine could have a large following. I guess it comes down to good keywords, and whether you can tackle a particular aspect of the subject that isn't covered elsewhere. Or maybe that one hub just got shared on a social media site?

      It does take time however. For many months when I first joined, traffic was negligible. Then some hubs took off, and traffic has stayed good. Others have shown rapid escalations in traffic, but then dropped off. There are ways of analysing the statistics to find out why, and other hubbers may be able to advise on that, but to me it's still very much a mystery :)

      Best wishes though, and I hope some of your other hubs pick up soon. Alun

    • Kiane profile image

      Diana 3 months ago from Kyiv

      Greensleeves Hubs , congratulations on your achievement!

      You say that your most popular article which contributes almost one fifth of the million total is a page of quotes, and I'm also wondering why only 1 of my 29 hubs earns more than 1/2 of all the views! The thing is, when I was writing that "popular" hub I didn't even think it would gain me traffic from Google. That article is simply about the thing I'm really passionate about. But it's also frustrating at the same time, as those hubs that I think should earn at least some traffic from search engines...well...they barely earn traffic at all.

    • Greensleeves Hubs profile image
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      Greensleeves Hubs 3 months ago from Essex, UK

      Paula; Thanks very much Paula for that really nice comment. It's been a pleasure getting to know you on HubPages! :) Alun

    • Greensleeves Hubs profile image
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      Greensleeves Hubs 3 months ago from Essex, UK

      FlourishAnyway; Flourish, you really should have marked the occasion of your one millionth 'hit' - there's nothing wrong with a little bit of self-indulgence! Seriously, you're not only a top writer, but also one of the most supportive commenters on HubPages - I feel I should come along to your pages soon and listen to a few more songs :) Cheers, Alun

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      Paula 3 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      KUDOS!! on a great achievement! I am not the least bit surprised!! You've earned it and deserve it. Cheers! Paula

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 3 months ago from USA

      Congratulations on a remarkable achievement well worth celebrating! I like knowing how well others are doing so thanks for sharing your success. I allowed my 1 million mark to quietly slip by.

    • Greensleeves Hubs profile image
      Author

      Greensleeves Hubs 3 months ago from Essex, UK

      Angel Guzman; Thanks Angel. I believe you are the most recent of all those 771 HubPage members who have been willing to 'follow' my hubs and for that I am grateful. I shall be taking an interest in your pages too, especially as I suspect that politically some of your views may well resonate with my own! Alun

    • Greensleeves Hubs profile image
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      Greensleeves Hubs 3 months ago from Essex, UK

      Lousie Powles; Thanks Louise. I believe you've only been on HubPages for six months, but I know you've already commented on several of my articles and that is greatly appreciated. You've made a great start with your own hubs, so somehow I suspect if you stick with it you may well get to a million views rather quicker than I did! Alun

    • Greensleeves Hubs profile image
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      Greensleeves Hubs 3 months ago from Essex, UK

      Sally Gulbrandsen; Thank you so much Sally. It's easy to give you encouragement because your writing - and your photos - have been high quality. I particularly remember your story 'Homeless, old and invisible on the streets', and above all a beautiful article which worked on many levels - 'Walking in Fields of Red Poppies in Norfolk'. Sorry I'm not into wet felting, but I promise I'll visit again soon! :) Alun

    • Angel Guzman profile image

      Angel Guzman 3 months ago from Joliet, Illinois

      Congratulations! I hope you bought yourself something nice and what a wonderful feeling of accomplishment.

    • Coffeequeeen profile image

      Louise Powles 3 months ago from Norfolk, England

      Well done. That's a great achievement. =)

    • sallybea profile image

      Sally Gulbrandsen 3 months ago from Norfolk

      Hi Alun,

      Congratulations! That is quite an achievement! I have enjoyed following your writing over the years and look forward to reading more hubs in the future. Thank you so much for the encouragement you have given me over the past few years. It has been appreciated. All the best for the future.