By JOEL PHELPS | The Arkadelphian
One million is a big number, and it’s one we’re celebrating.
Our training and education in journalism makes us frown upon punctuating with the exclamation mark unless there’s good reason to do so, but here’s two for the books: The Arkadelphian has received 1 million views in 2022!! For the uninitiated readers of digital news, this means simply that our homepage and the articles therein are being clicked on and seen. A lot.
Picture your bedroom. Remove all the furniture. Now start adding golf balls. Toss one into the bedroom for each time someone read an article, whether it was found in a Google search, the Newsbreak app, Facebook, Twitter, or by simply typing arkadelphian.com into a web browser. Remember how your bedroom was empty? It’s now packed from floor to ceiling with a million golf balls.
That’s a lot of golf balls, and it’s a lot of traffic for a website that delivers news to a small Arkansas town. Many folks tossed in a few golf balls every day, and some added one a week or less.
Enough with golf balls: we also equate this landmark victory to posting a million articles, each of which were read by one person, posting one article that a million people read, or somewhere in between. However you look at it, we’re doing something right. People are paying attention. Our 2022 goal was to hit half a million views, but that number was reached in no time as our audience grew with each story, whether it was heartbreaking news, an uplifting feature article or an eyebrow-raising police report.
We have you, Kind Reader, to thank for helping us surpass our goal twice in one year. But we’re not there yet. While we’re celebrating our success as Clark County’s reliable, go-to source for daily news and information, we now raise the bar for next year. Launched in summer 2021, The Arkadelphian is a young news publication, and one that’s in good company. With continued support from readers and advertisers, we aim one day to be on par with our counterpart/mentor in Magnolia, which has been in existence for more than a dozen years. It will take a great deal of both persistence and perseverance on our part to reach our pinnacle.
What is our pinnacle? To be able to afford a livable wage for Yours Truly and our advertising manager as well as the services of reputable stringers throughout the region to be an all-encompassing source for information for Southwest Arkansas. Can I help it if I still dream time to time? It may be a long shot, but considering our success in the first full year of operation, it’s an attainable goal, and one we hope the business community will get behind. Local business owners, here’s a fact worth considering: each of our regional stories typically receives well over a thousand views without ever being shared with our social media audience, meaning readers throughout Southwest Arkansas and beyond our growing Facebook audience are seeing the advertisements on our site.
People still call us a “newspaper” despite its digital-only platform, and that’s fine; we take it as a compliment (hey, it has a better ring to it than “news site”). This “newspaper” has helped connect the good people of Arkadelphia to the information they seek, and Yours Truly has oddly enough achieved a measure of local stardom just by working behind the scenes. We know we’re doing something right when we see that some of our stories have been shared more than 1,000 times. It gives us a feeling of peace at the end of the day. It’s nice to know our service is appreciated, even desired. It’s good to be king, whatever it pays.
Now if only we could turn those golf balls into dollars.