When is Your Headline a Click-bait
Let’s say you’re John. And you want to take her to bed.
Because everyone else wants to, she’s got high taste.
But then you immediately become the nice guy, strongly built, humble and decent. Quiet worthy of a trial, you convinced her.
And then she lays flat.
John’s dead out, sweating. He couldn’t give a lift.
She packs and leaves.
That’s exactly what happens when our headlines over promise and doesn’t deliver what she promises.
It’s world war III, perhaps IV in the online space and everyone’s looking to get attention “by all means” and we overly grip over our headlines and back our actions with the rather oxymoronic hyperbole that says:
“90% of your time should be spent crafting a very good headline”
Because the headline is what get the article read.
And gradually, in the process of tweaking and “retweaking” the headline, the phrases tend to walk away from the original thoughts into something outside of Babylon.
Perhaps we get too enthused by the desire of many people reading our work that we unknowingly begin to mold layers of claims we can’t claim and end up sadly, with a fantastic piece of phrase called:
Click-bait is not only when
You deliberately infuse false news into your headline to get clicks, nor when you massively deceive busy readers through ironies. It is as well this:
So when your desire for clicks outweighs your effort to great content, invariably, you’re guilty.
Now, let’s grind this:
1. If your headline is the only great thing about your work; sorry man, I know it’s hard. It’s a click-bait
2. If your content under delivers by 1% what your headline promises, the web of click-bait is coming right after you.
3. Worse. If your headline goes north and the body sways in the middle; needless to say, it’s a damn click bait.
So how often are you guilty of click-baits?
Much of what has been said about headlines is correct. Thousand pages and archives have been dedicated to teach budding men and women how essential a good headline is to the success of an article.
“It won’t get read”
And that’s the truth. It won’t without a very good headline.
But often, we are wiped by the false feeling of arrival when we finally craft a good headline. We sigh of joy and then place a hand over our head and write the rest. Besides its just 10% of “time.”
A good headline is one victory, worthy of celebration. But the joy lasts for less than a second when the reader finally clicks. And then, a new war begins.
What Comes After the Click?
They either read through or run away.
If you’ll join me, of what use is the headline when “clickers” don’t read.
What work have you done if all you get is a basket full of bouncers?
So this is it:
I’m not suggesting you reduce the quality of your headline or spend lesser time.
Spend the 90% of time on it. Go ahead. But be assured that what’s left for the content is not 10%.
The more time you spend on your headline, spend equivalently more crafting the body.
A rule of thumb will be that the more time you spend on the headline, the more time you spend promising readers of the package there in. Therefore, the more time you’ll need to deliver.
If you’re spending 60% on your headline, chances are, logically, you’ll need only 160% to craft a good body that clears your debt.
Here’s the advice:
Deliver Value and Don’t Over Promise
Writing is marketing.
While you want attention, the later wants money.
Time, as abstract as it could be, is more valuable, even more expensive than money.
When you tell your readers “I’m going to give you this,” anything less than this is an utter betrayal of both time and essence.
For instance, when you say:
“Top 10 amazing ways to reduce body fat without burning out”
Your ways should not only be amazing (not the kind of ‘amazing’ littering the internet) but truly easy.
Not only that. They should be at the top of all the amazing ways one can easily reduce body fat. Surely, the reader on clicking, is most likely to expect ways he’s completely unaware of.
Before you hit the publish icon, do checks. Ask questions and be sure you’re delivering.
If you’re not, either up-work the content to meet the promise, or down-size the promise to fit the content.
Anyway, don’t be a lazy dude.
For many people, the headline is the most important piece. While it is true, it is also true that it’s not. Once the reader clicks.
It’s more important to deliver what the headline says. Anything less, is guilt.