How clickbait works

Clickbait is a huge problem that reels in all sorts of fish from the sea.

Clickbaiting is a technique that many websites use to pull people in and get them to click on a link which leads to low quality content, fake information, or information that the viewer was not looking for. Lots of people get fooled by clickbait since it can be so easy to trick people into thinking that they’ll get what they were wanting. Clickbaiting can happen through videos and articles.

Here’s an example of clickbait:

Screenshot-2018-1-12 How Clickbaiting Works

The above example has a title that purposely withholds information to incite the curiosity that will lead to a click. If you look at the example above, it says “Did you know that in 1977, a 13-year-old child found a tooth growing out of his …” this title makes people want to know what the title is; The title is a cut off sentence which can make viewers curious about the missing information.

Bryan Gardiner, in Wired Magazine, writes that according to research, “humans are quite willing to put up with massive amounts of disappointment and frustration so long as there’s an occasional payout.” When viewers are looking at the article and realize that it is clickbait, they’ll feel upset or angry, making them realize that it was clickbait all along because of the title. Clickbait titles can be easy to identify and yet we still choose to click on it because we get manipulated into clicking on it. Even if we recognize that it’s clickbait, our emotions still get the best of us and give the writer another click of ours.

Clickbait writers manipulate our emotions in order to get more clicks. Headlines focus heavily on emotions like anxiety, anger, excitement, humour, surprise, and inspiration as they can poke at a lot of people’s interests. The whole point of using our emotions is for getting views. This works especially well on YouTube.

Big Youtubers get paid according to video views, so if they get lots of views then they get lots of money. Using clickbait can upset people if their favourite YouTuber has stopped making good video content, turning to the dark side of YouTube, where people just want the money and make bad content.

Articles that clickbait often have titles that say something like, “You’ll never see Video Games the same after you see these pictures,” or “He Helped this Lady and her Reaction was Priceless.” The first title promises to change your mind on a specific topic, and the second title promises to give you something pleasurable. These two types of titles are often seen a lot and can be spread on social media platforms such as Instagram, and Facebook, as well as media sites like Buzzfeed and Upworthy. They create curiosity by giving you a piece of what you’re wanting to know, but not all of it. They promise the article will give you the rest, making you anticipate, feeling as though you just had to click on the article.

Clickbait often leads to articles with fake or unwanted information. For example, if you were just casually scrolling through your Facebook account and find an article with the title, “Do you still feel tired no matter how much you sleep? Well here’s some tips to stop feeling tired all the time,” but instead, the article tells you a common and trite point like, get out of bed right when your alarm goes off in the morning, you got clickbaited. Maybe the advice is sound, but really, you were expecting more. Or the article could have given you false or poorly supported information like, “Studies have shown that heat can make you fall asleep faster because it makes you sweat more so that you get tired”. The thing about that is that it is not correct. Research has shown that having a bed that is too hot will cause problems such as tossing and turning to cool off making you use more energy, clickbaityour body naturally changes temperature on its own over a 24 hour period. The title pulled you in thinking that you would find the answer to your problem, but ended up wasting your time reading an article that gave you low-quality contenclickbaitt or false content.

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If you are a newcomer to being a writer in the world of media, avoid using clickbait at all times. If you want to get your content out in the world, avoid it or else you will lose the trust of your audience. You want to make sure that all of your content isn’t fake and has 100% legitimate information. Make sure that you’re titles are solid, eye-catching titles, not clickbait like titles. Don’t try to force people into wanting to click on your article by making overly manipulative or misleading titles.

Both your text and picture should pertain to the topic of your article. Try to take the time to brainstorm various titles that use different sentence structures and phrases to convey an important idea of your article Once you have a few titles that faithfully represent an important idea in your article, trust your instinct and pick the one that sounds the most interesting.

If you want to be a well-known writer or represent a brand, do not use clickbait ever because it will make your name or brand lose credibility fast. You have to give authentic headlines that stay true to the content of your article, making a headline that doesn’t relate to the contents topic, makes you lose your trust in viewers since you didn’t give them what they were seeking from the headline.

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