Data: The More Followers You Have, the More Traffic per Hub

Ari Lamstein, a HubPages engineer that programmed the great milestone notification emails we get, queried our database a couple of weeks ago to demonstrate that the more you publish on HubPages, the more traffic you get per Hub.

Ari’s dug through the data again to see if there’s a relationship between the number of followers a Hubber has, and how much traffic per Hub that Hubber enjoys. We suspected a fairly positive correlation, and the data bears that out.

Ari looked at Hubbers in different groups, based on the number of followers they have:

  • 0-9 followers
  • 10-19 followers
  • 20-29 followers
  • 30-39 followers
  • 40-49 followers
  • 50 and more followers

The data showed that the more followers you have, the more traffic you get monthly to each of your Hubs. Here is the data:

  • 0-9 followers: 22 Hub views per month per Hub
  • 10-19 followers: 33 Hub views per month per Hub
  • 20-29 followers: 45 Hub views per month per Hub
  • 30-39 followers: 56 Hub views per month per Hub
  • 40-49 followers: 64 Hub views per month per Hub
  • 50 and more followers: 102 Hub views per month per Hub

Here’s the same data represented in graphical form:

So why such a strong relationship?

  • The more followers you have, the more immediate readers you enjoy. This is obvious. When you publish a new Hub, your followers get notified almost immediately. Many of them will come to visit your Hubs and read. They might not be clicking on your ads, but they add value in some other ways…
  • Your followers do more than just read your Hubs. They leave comments, they rate up your Hubs, and they can promote your Hub in social media. I would also venture to guess that people clicking on links to your Hubs from Gmail is probably noticed by Google, too.
  • A large readership points to quality Hubs. Some of your followers like you as a person and want to support you, but most follow you on HubPages simply because they love your Hubs. They really want to read what you’ve written. So, lots of followers suggests high quality, something that guarantees long-term readership.

Did you know that a large majority of Hubbers are in the 0-9 followers category? If you’re a Hubber that’s publishing great Hubs that people should love reading, then make sure you grow your regular readership and enjoy the benefits of a rapt audience. Here’s how we suggest you do that:

  • Find Hubbers whose Hubs you like. HubPages is an enormous community of talented writers whose interests run the gamut. Browse through your favorite topic areas, and find some Hubbers whose Hubs are a pleasure to read. Look especially for those who engage with their readers in their Hub comments.
  • Leave comments. I’m not talking about the “great Hub!” or “follow me!” kind. Leaving sincere, insightful comments allows you to make a genuine connection with the Hubber. Often, the Hubber will want to check out your Hubs as well; they’ll want to know a bit more about the person who left an intelligent, heartfelt comment on their Hub.
  • Follow those Hubbers you really like. You’ll be counted among those readers who wants to be apprised of their Hub publishing activity. Leaving some fan mail on their profile on why you’ve chosen to follow this Hubber marks you as someone who’s worth getting to know better on HubPages.
  • Answer Questions. In our Answers section, there are thousands of Hubbers posting questions every week. You can answer questions that are up your alley in the form of a short answer, or in the form of a Hub. Those asking will often appreciate high-quality answers, and follow those providing them.
  • Help other Hubbers out in the Forums. All sorts of Hubbers, especially newbies, ask questions about how to do things in the Forums (particularly in the Need Help? forum). If you know what you’re talking about, help another Hubber out. Often gratitude for help will take the form of following you.

Knowing that your Hubs will be read by an audience is one of the most gratifying aspects of publishing on HubPages. And, importantly, there’s no reason anyone who writes great Hubs shouldn’t enjoy an audience here. Sometimes taking the first step of being a great follower will be just the thing to grow a group of dedicated followers of your own.

31 thoughts on “Data: The More Followers You Have, the More Traffic per Hub

  1. Or perhaps it shows that people who are better at attracting traffic are ALSO better at attracting followers. How many of those visits actually WERE from the followers?

  2. This is the most ridiculous, misleading post I’ve read on here in a long time. IF there is a correlation between followers and traffic, it’s ancillary at best.

    For those people looking to make money by writing on HubPages, it’s not going to happen by having followers, as hubbers are not allowed to click on ads on hubs. Sure, maybe they’ll rate you up or something, but all that’s gonna buy you is POSSIBLY a featured spot somewhere at some time on HP that draws in more internal traffic. Having followers in no way, shape or form has any impact on search engine traffic. Full stop.

    The simple fact of the matter is that extraordinary writers do tend to draw a lot of followers, and it doesn’t matter to them where the traffic comes from as most of them are seeking exposure rather than income from HP. The hubbers that actually know what they’re doing and do make the money also tend to have a lot of followers, usually people who want to emulate them.

    Then there are the spree followers who misguidedly follow anyone and everyone hoping to get a few followers back and therefore reads on their hubs. You know, the kind of hubber that this blog post is sure to spawn.

  3. Sorry, but I agree with Lisa – this blog post is very very misleading.

    When someone writes a new hub, there’s usually an initial “burst” of interest from within HubPages but this soon dwindles (unless of course the hub in question is lucky enough to end up on the front page of HP).

    If you want to carry on getting views to your hubs, they have to come from organic search engine traffic. People who find your hubs via the search engines don’t even know how many followers you have, much less care.

    In other words, the apparent causal connection between number of followers and number of views is almost entirely bogus.

    I can’t believe that you don’t realise this.

      • Empress, others –

        There is a correlation between Hub views and followers. I did not say that the correlation was necessarily causative, and I make that clear in my third bullet point.

        I also didn’t say that all of your followers will read your Hubs; I said that they won’t. I didn’t say that Hubber visits are particularly valuable in terms of ad clicks; I said that they’re not.

        I didn’t suggest blindly following a lot of people will get you anywhere; I make the case for judicious commenting on Hubs and following of Hubbers that actually interest you.

        While I appreciate the comments, I was hoping people would read the entire blog post before reacting. That would be fair, wouldn’t it?

  4. I *think* what Jason is talking about here is getting noticed by Google. All that activity to your brand new hub is noticed by the bots and so pushes your hub higher in the SERPS than it would have otherwise done. Interesting concept and may well be true.

    • Hi IzzyM – Yes, that’s what I’m speculating, too. Thank you for reading the blog post in full. 🙂

  5. I don’t know… I don’t really see what’s misleading about this post. It emphasizes the difference between the less-than-50 people and the 50-or-more people, and I have no reason to doubt the numbers the showed up. 50 followers isn’t many, and I can see how new people, or people who just write Hubs and otherwise keep to themselves could remain kind of invisible on here. Also, I can see how having fewer than 50 followers could mean not much activity on a person’s overall account.

    To me, the post just essentially says, “Here’s the data that showed up. If you have fewer than 50 followers you may want to think about doing a few of these things, because we noticed how few views people with fewer than 50 followers seem to get a month.”

    Granted, there’s the chance I didn’t infer more from the message, maybe, because I have the advantage of being on here awhile, knowing the whole thing about followers/outside traffic/earnings etc. etc.; but then again, that information (the overall thing about number of followers not mattering a whole lot) is pretty much “everywhere” and available to anyone who decides to learn a little more about how everything works on here. Whatever data showed up showed up. It was shared. I don’t really read more into this blog post than that. :/

    • Lisa – Thank you for taking the time to read the post in full. You’re in rare company! 🙂
      Having more sincere followers can be great if you want to not feel like you’re writing in a vacuum, that you have interested readers. It can also help keep your content fresh, and the sharing is probably something Google takes a look at, so it might help your search rankings, as well. Up ratings/feedback probably also help signal to new readers that your content is well-received.

  6. Jason, you said: “There is a correlation between Hub views and followers. I did not say that the correlation was necessarily causative, and I make that clear in my third bullet point.”

    By which I assume you mean the bullet point which starts “A large readership points to quality Hubs. Some of your followers like you as a person and want to support you, but most follow you on HubPages simply because they love your Hubs. They really want to read what you’ve written.”

    Jason, if I were a newbie reading your blog post, I would come away with the overwhelming impression that you WERE saying it was causative. OK, so you’ve added that rider (“some of your followers like you as a person and want to support you”) – but it is just a rider.

    Jason: “While I appreciate the comments, I was hoping people would read the entire blog post before reacting. That would be fair, wouldn’t it?”

    I did read the entire blog post actually. You’re seriously underestimating my reading comprehension skills and those of most of the other commenters here.

    • Empress – If anything, that bullet point says it’s causative the other way around. If you write high-quality Hubs, then you will get lots of readers/traffic, many of which will choose to follow you. I was not arguing that by artificially boosting the numbers of your followers will lead to lots of valuable traffic, and I’m not sure where you would draw that conclusion from my post.
      As I go on to say, meaningful social interaction on the site can also improve your readership in ways that can be valuable to you as a writer and also as someone who might be interested in search traffic.

  7. Just thinking this through a little as I was somewhat disappointed that I did not fit the example as my hubs x followers does not equal the suggested page views. However I think what may be a factor is the quality of the follower- and I do not mean to deride anyone here. There are people who follow at the push of a button, literally anyone and everyone whilst others actually look and see if they enjoy the hubs and continue to read further hubs- this may be a factor to take into account in the calculation? I have many lovely followers who leave kind comments and I hope I read a significant amount of hubbers works and sometimes leave comments. However if I have 238 followers (when I last looked) then in theory I should get 238 page view within a week or so- well that does not happen, so maybe some people are not as industrious or have just stopped reading?

    • case1worker: Yes, as I said in my post, unfortunately not all of your followers will read your Hubs. There is a lot of “quiet following” but among your followers you do have a group that likes to read your work and leave comments. That’s exactly the type of follower we would like to have more of here. 🙂

  8. Jason: “Empress – If anything, that bullet point says it’s causative the other way around. If you write high-quality Hubs, then you will get lots of readers/traffic, many of which will choose to follow you. I was not arguing that by artificially boosting the numbers of your followers will lead to lots of valuable traffic, and I’m not sure where you would draw that conclusion from my post.”

    I never stated (or even thought) that you were arguing in favour of artificially boosting one’s followers to gain extra traffic. But your blog post doesn’t tell the real story about what it takes to gain halfway decent traffic to your hubs – THAT’S what I’m reacting to. A newbie reading your post will probably think “yeah, great – all I’ve got to do is write some hubs, take part in the social side of HP, get lots of followers and I’m sorted for traffic!”

    Those of us who have been here a while know that it just ain’t like that – there are plenty of people who come to the forums and say things like “I got loads of views at first and now my traffic has died, what do I do?” The answer being that their traffic died because the person didn’t try and write on subjects that people are actually searching for. Or they went for highly competitive subjects that they had no chance to rank in the SERPs for. Or they failed to optimise their title for suitable keywords. Etc. (In other words, they just wrote a hub, hit Publish and hoped for the best.)

    To use my own Empress Felicity account as an illustration: I get around 350 views a day on it, on average. Around 90% of these views are from search engines – I am sure that a lot (though not perhaps all) of this 90% is down to keyword research, niche research etc.

    That leaves 10% of views coming from hubbers. 10% equates to 35 views a day, which is peanuts as I’m sure you’re aware.

    And another thing: even if I had waaay more followers than I do, I doubt if they would make much of a dent in the “90% search engine, 10% hubber” traffic scenario.

    • Empress – I’m sorry, but you’re still missing the point.

      First, I’m not arguing that getting followers will solve the search traffic equation for you. I doubt a newbie reading the blog post in full would get that impression, since at the very beginning, I link back to another post suggesting that how many Hubs you publish also has a positive correlation with per-Hub traffic.

      Second, the impact of followers on revenue is not in their direct traffic. I urge you to reread the post.

      Third, getting traffic for revenue is not what everyone’s after. There are many valued Hubbers who write for pleasure, but they would like to know their writing is getting appreciated, too.

      I’m not disputing that good titles, keyword research, and other things have helped you garner search traffic. That has been a central part of our messaging from the beginning, something we reinforce constantly. What this post was trying to demonstrate is that having a readership can be beneficial, and also a probable reflection that you’re doing things right.

  9. Jason: “Empress – I’m sorry, but you’re still missing the point.
    First, I’m not arguing that getting followers will solve the search traffic equation for you. I doubt a newbie reading the blog post in full would get that impression, since at the very beginning, I link back to another post suggesting that how many Hubs you publish also has a positive correlation with per-Hub traffic.”

    I reckon that when it comes to what a newbie is likely to think on reading your blog post, we’ll have to agree to differ.

    Jason: “Second, the impact of followers on revenue is not in their direct traffic. I urge you to reread the post.”

    Yeah but – getting your hub tweeted and liked on Twitter and Facebook surely accounts for a tiny number of views if you average it out over time. I mean, even if you do get a massive burst of social-media derived traffic, (a) is it going to last and (b) are such people going to click on your ads?

    Jason: “Third, getting traffic for revenue is not what everyone’s after. There are many valued Hubbers who write for pleasure, but they would like to know their writing is getting appreciated, too.”

    The points I made in my last comment are equally relevant to people who write solely for pleasure, *IF* they want their hubs to be read by more than a handful of people within Hub Pages or from the people who come via an occasional burst of Twitter/Facebook tweets and likes.

    Jason: “I’m not disputing that good titles, keyword research, and other things have helped you garner search traffic. That has been a central part of our messaging from the beginning, something we reinforce constantly. What this post was trying to demonstrate is that having a readership can be beneficial, and also a probable reflection that you’re doing things right.”

    Hmmm, it seems to me that recently Hub Pages has very much been playing down the role of titles, keyword research etc. in favour of gaining a readership internally (via followers) or via social media. Why is that?

    • Empress – I suppose we’ll just have to agree to differ, as you said…except for the social media bit! I’m glad you noticed. Yes, we are working on making our site more social; we should have some exciting new features rolled out soon! But this should not lead you to believe that we’ve downplayed the role of titles, keyword research, and other important, white-hat SEO skills, because we haven’t.
      Glad we were able to end this exchange in (partial) agreement! 🙂

  10. Jason: “Yes, we are working on making our site more social; we should have some exciting new features rolled out soon!”

    OK then. Let’s hope that your new features don’t exclude non-Facebook users and don’t require some form of enforced participation.

  11. All I can say, Jason, is that I have been doing what you said in this post for about 2 months and it has certainly worked for me! I have tripled my followers, nearly quadrupled page views, and I have made money every single day (not a lot!) for almost 2 months now, something that was rare before I stepped up my campaign. For those who ‘doubt’, well, take it or leave it!

    JSMatthew~

  12. Whilst I am not Jason’s favourite person right now, I have read the comments and I will make one point which doesn’t appear to have been made.

    And that is that those who write decent stuff, or at least entertaining stuff, are more like to get followers. At the same time, they are probably more likely to have their stuff shared, and if Google pays attention to social media now, might get ranked a little higher as a result.

    So whilst I do agree that there is likely little or no correlation between followers and traffic, the followers may well come as a result of the same factors which win traffic is other ways. The decent content.

    I do however believe that painting a picture of more followers = more traffic leaves a risk of more newcomers going on “fanning sprees”. So I am on the fence here.

    In a way, this is like saying that famous people are more likely to have fans. They do, of course, but they have fans as a result of talent. The fans don’t come first. For that reason I think that it is a poor analysis, as the effect isn’t going to correlate as a direct result of the cause, but that doesn’t mean that the correlation doesn’t exist.

    I don’t really have anything against the blog post, it is pretty light and fluffy stuff and doesn’t necessarily have a motive. I guess I’m being quiet, by sitting firmly on the fence, with pretty much no opinion at all. I hope you enjoyed my complete non-opinion.

  13. Jason,
    Thank you for sharing some of Ari’s data. Seems that if you share your findings you are wrong and if you dont share any findings then Hubpages is guilty of not speaking to the community.
    Everything that you posted here is for writers to read, digest and put to use in what ever way they deem fit. Some continue to be negative and others will take this post and use it to their benefit.
    Personally I think more of us need to to think about our presence here. You can’t just blindly go out there and start writing a bunch of crap. How about thinking in tems of building and collaborating. There are no tricks, there are no shortcuts but we can strategize in building our personal brand, our niches. The ability of writing on Hubpages gives us the ability to follow and compliment one another.

    Find others that you want to follow, but follow them for good reasons not just so they will follow you back. The ability to follow and compliment others is obvious, isnt it? . We all need to remember to nurture relationships and know that everything we say and do reflects on our personal “brand.”
    Spend your time focused on the content you’re producing. By participating consistently and adding value, more people will find you and begin connecting with you.
    And today, Social networking has gone beyond simply “making new friends.” Anyone that feels that Hubpages needs to include non facebook users is excluding themselves. The power of social media is here. Face it. Embrace it or you are the one missing out.

    Someone once told me that that anything worth doing is worth measuring. Thanks for this post Jason, and I hope any new Hubbers (or veteran hubbers) that come across this post can take away all the positive suggestions that you have presented here.

    • Thank you, Shari, for your comment. Yes, it can seem like a Catch-22 sometimes. 🙂
      I agree with your sentiments completely about the importance of focusing on quality content and nurturing online relationships, something that is rarely lost among those who are successful on HubPages. Thank you for understanding the spirit of Ari’s research and the blog post.
      – Jason

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