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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 November 19, 2019

        Work Smarter, Not Harder: 12 Ways to Work Smart

        Work Smarter, Not Harder: 12 Ways to Work Smart

        I imagine that like me, you say that you never have enough time and that you just cannot cope with 60 dozen things all at once.

        How on earth do you get out of that spiral?

        Many people never sit down and look at how to work smarter, rather than harder and even longer hours. But not you, you’re smart enough to try to learn effective ways to work.

        So how to work smarter not harder? Here are 12 smart ways you should be following:

        1. Improve Your Time Management Skills

        Easier said than done? Well, no actually, because there are a few simple rules that can really help you to manage time better.

        For example, when setting up a top priority task, you need to switch off the phone and ignore your email first. Then you need to abandon any ideas of multitasking as that will slow you down and ruin your focus.

        Finally, set a reasonable deadline and do everything in your power to meet it.

        “When you’re born, you’re born with 30,000 days. That’s it. The best strategic planning I can give to you is to think about that.” — Sir Ray Avery

        2. Speed up Your Typing and Use Shortcuts

        These days we’re all keyboard slaves. So why not speed up your typing and try to get rid of the two finger syndrome. In fact, when you save 21 days per year just by typing fast!

        This is exactly what I am doing now, so I cannot honestly say I am practicing what I preach!

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        But help is at hand. Try some of these apps and games to help you type fast: 8 Most Effective Games and Apps to Learn to Type Fast

        Using shortcuts on the keyboard is another time saver and can speed up your work.

        For example, press F2 to rename a selected file, while CTRL + I will put selected text in italics.

        There are so many of these. If you make the effort to learn them, they really can be helpful.

        3. Learn How to Use Productivity Tools

        It is well worth downloading all the useful tools and apps that can highly boost your productivity. Take a look at these 18 Best Time Management Apps and Tools and install whatever fits your needs.

        Now that is really a great way of working smarter, not harder.

        4. Use Your Phone Wisely

        Instead of writing emails, sometimes it’s better to pick up the phone and talk to the person responsible. It saves time, especially for important or urgent discussions.

        If that colleague works in the same office, it is even better to go and talk to him or her. It gives you a break, you get some exercise and you actually make human contact which is becoming quite rare in this electronic world.

        5. Keep a Tab on Your Tabs

        If you are like me, you might well find that you have a ton of tabs open at the top of your browser.

        In order to find the one you want, you have to search for them as they are off screen. Having all these tabs open slows down your browser too.

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        One solution is to use OneTab which can keep a neat list on the screen of all these tabs when you want to quickly get to one of them or you want to remind yourself which ones you have open.

        6. Use a “To Don’t” List

        We all know about to do lists and I find that they are generally great. They give me a great sense of achievement as I cross off the tasks done.

        But often, I find that we are doing non-essential tasks or ones that can easily be postponed. That is why many people recommend the to don’t list.[1]

        Some people prefer to savagely prune the to do list while others prefer to have two separate lists, to do and to don’t. You just have to work out what works best for you when you are trying to save precious time to become more productive.

        7. Expect Failure and Fight Paranoia

        When failure rears its ugly head, some people get a bit paranoid and fear that this may become a trend.

        Projects will go wrong and failure should be expected rather than feared. Learning lessons from failure and analyzing what went wrong is the best way forward.

        “Do not be embarrassed by your failures, learn from them and start again.” — Richard Branson

        And here you can find 10 Great Lessons Highly Successful People Have Learned From Failure.

        8. Be Concise

        Rambling on at meetings, in emails and even when introducing yourself to new clients can waste a lot of people’s time.

        One way is to practice and sharpen your “elevator speech,”[2] which tells people in 30 seconds or less why they need your skills and how they can benefit from doing business with you.

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        Just think of the many situations where this could be useful:

        • Making new contacts
        • Talking about yourself at a job interview
        • Meeting people at conferences or parties
        • Phone calls to new clients

        9. Ask the Right Questions

        “You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers. You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions.” — Naguib Mahfouz

        How do you get feedback? The secret is to ask the right questions at the right time.

        When you do this, you are gathering the information you need to help in decision making. This will save you time and you will be able to cut meetings to a minimum.

        Forbes magazine reports on research that they carried out on asking the right questions.[3] When that happens, the positive effects are increased by 400%. There are also other benefits in staff motivation and a positive impact on the company’s bottom line.

        Lifehack’s CEO Leon has shared about how to ask for feedback to learn faster: How to Learn Quickly And Master Any Skill You Want

        10. Learn as Much as You Can

        You should always be on a steep learning curve. Look at your skills profile and determine where you need to fill a gap. Talk to important connections and network in your niche.

        Keep up to date on trends and developments. It is a fact-changing world. When an opportunity arises, you will be the best equipped to seize it because you have never stopped learning. Just another way of working smarter.

        “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” — Mahatma Gandhi

        11. Look After Your Greatest Resource

        No, your greatest resource is not time. It is YOU.

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        If you do not get enough sleep, exercise and relaxation, you find that you become less and less productive. You begin to work longer and longer hours, which is the exact opposite of what you want.

        What you should be doing is making sure you are in the best shape. It is useful to remember that you need a break of 15 minutes after every one and a half hours of work.[4]

        Taking breaks and getting fresh air and exercise is one of the best ways of working smarter, not harder.

        12. Don’t Fall into the Trap of Working Smarter and Harder

        As a society, we are obsessed with doing everything smarter so we are more efficient and we save time all around.[5]

        But the most important thing to remember is to accept when we are ready to switch off that computer and not fill up the time with even more work!

        The Bottom Line

        The key to greater productivity is to work smarter, not harder. Working smarter saves precious time and energy for the things that really matter — your life goals, your personal growth, your health and your relationships.

        Stop working for more hours and start working smarter!

        More About Working Smart

        Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

        Reference

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