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7 Key Reasons Why You’re Going To Click This Article

7 Key Reasons Why You’re Going To Click This Article

If you haven’t heard the word “clickbait” before, you’re probably not on the internet very often. Hi, welcome.

Clickbait titles are those titles you just can’t resist clicking on. They beckon you to them with their promise of wisdom and insight–or, at least, their promise of adorable/weird animals. Not to disappoint you, check out this little guy:

small tiny cat person cat
    I’m talking about the leopard cat baby, not Conan O’Brien.

    That’s because clickbait titles tend to follow a predictable formula which, one you are aware of, becomes easier to see through. Venngage did a study looking at the top performing articles from 24 high-traffic sites known for their particularly clickbait-y titles (including BuzzFeed, Collegehumor, Mental Floss and Cracked). They looked at both the number of shares each article got and the title rating (using CoSchedule’s headline analyzer).

    What they found was that, ultimately, there was no correlation between the number of shares an article received and the headline score they received. Some posts had thousands of shares but a relatively low score, while the scores and shares of other posts were almost the same. What did become apparent, however, what a different pattern: all of these articles combinations of 7 common elements.

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    The 7 elements found in these successful clickbait titles were:

    1. A list.
    2. “You” or “I.”
    3. An animal.
    4. A trending topic.
    5. A pop culture or food reference.
    6. A new or unknown concept.
    7. An element of excitement or shock.

    7 clickbait elements chart

      Let’s looks at each one a little more closely.

      1. Titles with a list.

      A lot of people like easy to follow, step-by-step guides, and a list article (or “listicle”) promises that. Dividing up your article in a number of different points or steps makes it easier for readers to skim through the article and pull the key information in only 30 seconds to a minute, which, let’s face it, is what most people do.

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      2.  Title with “You” or “I” (or a personal story).

      You’re more likely to respond to someone if they address you directly than if they just shout out to everyone in general, right? If you speak from specific personal experience, it’s easier for people to relate to what you’re saying than if you speak in broad, general strokes.

      3. Titles mentioning an animal.

      Animals are a hit. Who doesn’t like animals? (If you don’t like animals, don’t talk to me.) That’s why although the percentage is small compared to the other elements of clickbait titles, titles mentioning animals still factors in.

      4. Titles that mention a trending topic.

      This one is a give-in: if you reference a trending topic, you enter your article into a conversation that people are already having. When they search a trending keyword, your article will be thrown into the mix of possible search results.

      5. Titles that make a pop culture of food reference.

      Just like animals, people like food. And entertainment. And eating for entertainment. Food figures prominently in entertainment now and people will spend hours watching food shows and looking at pics of food. Titles that promise people food and entertainment will entice them to click.

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      6. Titles that introduce a new or unknown concept.

      Suggesting at an element of mystery that will be revealed within the article is enough to get people to click for more.

      7. Titles that have an element of surprise or shock.

      Shock and surprise will always get attention. Making readers do a double-take is often enough to entice a click, if only for them to clarify what the heck you’re talking about.

      Mix ‘em up!

      Now here’s the key part. How many of these elements should you aim to use if you want people to take the bait?

      If you try to stuff all seven elements into one headline, you’re going to have a disaster on your hands, my friend. Venngage’s study looked at how many of the seven elements could be found in each of the titles they analyzed. They found that the optimal number was three of the seven elements.

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      clickbait title elements 2

        The thing to keep in mind is that while clickbait titles entice readers, writers should take responsibility for delivering what the title offers. Basically, don’t make false promises. You can pull the most sensational aspect from your article but it better appear relevantly in the article, otherwise people will get tired of your writing pretty quickly.

        Featured photo credit: Venngage via infograph.venngage.com

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        Sara McGuire

        Content Editor

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        Last Updated on March 29, 2021

        5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

        5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

        When I left university I took a job immediately, I had been lucky as I had spent a year earning almost nothing as an intern so I was offered a role. On my first day I found that I had not been allocated a desk, there was no one to greet me so I was left for some hours ignored. I happened to snipe about this to another employee at the coffee machine two things happened. The first was that the person I had complained to was my new manager’s wife, and the second was, in his own words, ‘that he would come down on me like a ton of bricks if I crossed him…’

        What a great start to a job! I had moved to a new city, and had been at work for less than a morning when I had my first run in with the first style of bad manager. I didn’t stay long enough to find out what Mr Agressive would do next. Bad managers are a major issue. Research from Approved Index shows that more than four in ten employees (42%) state that they have previously quit a job because of a bad manager.

        The Dream Type Of Manager

        My best manager was a total opposite. A man who had been the head of the UK tax system and was working his retirement running a company I was a very junior and green employee for. I made a stupid mistake, one which cost a lot of time and money and I felt I was going to be sacked without doubt.

        I was nervous, beating myself up about what I had done, what would happen. At the end of the day I was called to his office, he had made me wait and I had spent that day talking to other employees, trying to understand where I had gone wrong. It had been a simple mistyped line of code which sent a massive print job out totally wrong. I learn how I should have done it and I fretted.

        My boss asked me to step into his office, he asked me to sit down. “Do you know what you did?” I babbled, yes, I had been stupid, I had not double-checked or asked for advice when I was doing something I had not really understood. It was totally my fault. He paused. “Will you do that again?” Of course I told him I would not, I would always double check, ask for help and not try to be so clever when I was not!

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        “Okay…”

        That was it. I paused and asked, should I clear my desk. He smiled. “You have learnt a valuable lesson, I can be sure that you will never make a mistake like that again. Why would I want to get rid of an employee who knows that?”

        I stayed with that company for many years, the way I was treated was a real object lesson in good management. Sadly, far too many poor managers exist out there.

        The Complete Catalogue of Bad Managers

        The Bully

        My first boss fitted into the classic bully class. This is so often the ‘old school’ management by power style. I encountered this style again in the retail sector where one manager felt the only way to get the best from staff was to bawl and yell.

        However, like so many bullies you will often find that this can be someone who either knows no better or is under stress and they are themselves running scared of the situation they have found themselves in.

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        The Invisible Boss

        This can either present itself as management from afar (usually the golf course or ‘important meetings) or just a boss who is too busy being important to deal with their staff.

        It can feel refreshing as you will often have almost total freedom with your manager taking little or no interest in your activities, however you will soon find that you also lack the support that a good manager will provide. Without direction you may feel you are doing well just to find that you are not delivering against expectations you were not told about and suddenly it is all your fault.

        The Micro Manager

        The frustration of having a manager who feels the need to be involved in everything you do. The polar opposite to the Invisible Boss you will feel that there is no trust in your work as they will want to meddle in everything you do.

        Dealing with the micro-manager can be difficult. Often their management style comes from their own insecurity. You can try confronting them, tell them that you can do your job however in many cases this will not succeed and can in fact make things worse.

        The Over Promoted Boss

        The Over promoted boss categorises someone who has no idea. They have found themselves in a management position through service, family or some corporate mystery. They are people who are not only highly unqualified to be managers they will generally be unable to do even your job.

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        You can find yourself persistently frustrated by the situation you are in, however it can seem impossible to get out without handing over your resignation.

        The Credit Stealer

        The credit stealer is the boss who will never publically acknowledge the work you do. You will put in the extra hours working on a project and you know that, in the ‘big meeting’ it will be your credit stealing boss who will take all of the credit!

        Again it is demoralising, you see all of the credit for your labour being stolen and this can often lead to good employees looking for new careers.

        3 Essential Ways to Work (Cope) with Bad Managers

        Whatever type of bad boss you have there are certain things that you can do to ensure that you get the recognition and protection you require to not only remain sane but to also build your career.

        1. Keep evidence

        Whether it is incidents with the bully or examples of projects you have completed with the credit stealer you will always be well served to keep notes and supporting evidence for projects you are working on.

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        Buy your own notebook and ensure that you are always making notes, it becomes a habit and a very useful one as you have a constant reminder as well as somewhere to explore ideas.

        Importantly, if you do have to go to HR or stand-up for yourself you will have clear records! Also, don’t always trust that corporate servers or emails will always be available or not tampered with. Keep your own content.

        2. Hold regular meetings

        Ensure that you make time for regular meetings with your boss. This is especially useful for the over-promoted or the invisible boss to allow you to ‘manage upwards’. Take charge where you can to set your objectives and use these meetings to set clear objectives and document the status of your work.

        3. Stand your ground, but be ready to jump…

        Remember that you don’t have to put up with poor management. If you have issues you should face them with your boss, maybe they do not know that they are coming across in a bad way.

        However, be ready to recognise if the situation is not going to change. If that is the case, keep your head down and get working on polishing your CV! If it isn’t working, there will be something better out there for you!

        Good luck!

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