Click Bait for Bloggers….Wrong?

Click Bait.

Some people seem to love it and others seem to hate it. We have all seen it. Social media is full of click bait. That link that just lures you in. That tempting story about a celebrity and some scandalous trouble they are in. A picture with the most exciting bit covered and for both…you just HAVE to click….

To find an advert, nothing at all or that what you thought you would find wasn’t the case at all or the headline has been completely exaggerated.

It can be really frustrating. It feels like a bit of a waste of your time and effort but the point is we all click on it and someone in the ethos is making a lot of money out of us for it.

Some people seem to get really hacked off with it. I’ve seen a friend’s blog post shared on social media get some negativity because of the title; it was inviting clicking apparently. One reader had even gone to the point of summarising the post for others to stop people viewing it on her blog. Extreme? I thought so.

For a blogger it can be extremely useful. Ultimately what do we all want? Page views. Good reads. Good stats. We are not writing for nothing and a good, luring title is what we need to get the clicks. It’s not all it’s cracked up to be however.

I was featured by a well-known blogging network and some of the lines in my post were used. Lines that could have taken the post of context and made it very easy to slate the post and slag me off, without even reading the post. This is what happened and it was the first time I have ever been under the firing line for my blog. The title of my post itself was not classed as click bait at all and it was very obvious a lot of the commenters on social media, had only read the title. If you are a person who is easily upset and anxious, this could be a very negative thing.

But is it wrong for bloggers to use a bit of click bait?

In my opinion it depends. Widely ridiculous titles, for example, “I don’t think you should breastfeed in public” which actually turns out to be a person who may have a mildly negative experience and the post title is actually not their opinion at all, can bring about irritation in the reader. It’s frustrating and can put you off reading that blog again.

However, if the title at least in some ways fits the content of the blog post, then why not? You want people to click and read your blog. You are just playing the internet game and getting the clicks and hits you want. People online are often looking for controversy, something they can read and form an opinion on. Blogging is the perfect platform to hit that market. As a blogger I wouldn’t give someone stick for it, I’d probably be jealous I hadn’t thought of it first.

I think you have to be prepared for some backlash. Often the most clickbaity posts are the most controversial and like for me, some people won’t even click the link and read your post properly. If you skin is thick and you can cope with that, then why not?

Ultimately the majority of bloggers want their voice heard and if this involves being clever with words and a title, fair play to them.

What do you think? Would love some opinions.

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7 Comments

  1. August 14, 2017 / 7:24 am

    I don’t really mind it too much, but in the YouTube world this happens ALL.THE.TIME and it is really annoying, certain people do it on every video which I think is wrong, but I think in moderation and when the title is actually some way related to the video it’s not too bad and wouldn’t put me off watching x

  2. August 14, 2017 / 8:08 am

    Click bait is important. It brings in the readers. But I do hate it when things are taken out of context. Big media outlets are awful for this, specifically Lad Bible/Pretty 52 and The Mirror. It infuriates me, BUT I get why they do it.
    I was fuming for you when you got that backlash a few weeks ago. You didn’t deserve that at all.
    Rach recently posted…10 Qualities I Admire in a PersonMy Profile

  3. August 14, 2017 / 10:15 am

    I had something similar when I’d only been blogging 3 months-it nearly made me stop! I was happy that netmums picked up one of my posts, but they did exactly what you said-took a line that in context was humorous and gentle, twisted it, and made it the headline of the post, making it sound condescending and like I was deliberately spreading hate. The comments were AWFUL. Only one person bothered to read the whole post, and comment to the others ‘have you actually read it? The headline is out of context.’ But most people were adamant they were being judged/taken the piss out of, and said they weren’t even going to bother. I was furious!!! I do agree with enticing headlines, but ones like you mentioned, that turn out to be nothing like what you imagine, are annoying, and personally not something I do!!
    This Mum’s Life recently posted…The Big Pink Link Week 72My Profile

  4. August 14, 2017 / 8:43 pm

    I think a clever title that hints at the content without giving it away works really well. It should be like a blurb on a book, makes you open the book up.

    I HATE clicking on posts that are just ads or links that are badly placed to make you accidentally click or pop ups.

    I think backlash is a good thing. People type comments several times a day but rarely hit enter. If you can make them hit enter it means you’ve stirred emotion which only good writers can do. Good or bad emotion is irrelevant! Emotion = good writing. For me that’s the real goal of blogging. Any old blogger can write a review or top 10 tips but only the good writers spark emotions.

    I read hundreds of blogs but just don’t comment because I’m a chilled out person so I never get irate enough. If something gives me a good emotion I’ll just give it a like normally.

    I think I’ll press enter…

  5. August 15, 2017 / 6:13 pm

    I think it’s fine as long as the post is actually about whatever the title implies. It does irritate me when I click something just to find the post isn’t about that, or is a watered down version of it, but if you are actually writing a post about a controversial opinion, then I think it’s crazy not to use the title to get clicks (assuming you can deal with a couple of keyboard warriors).
    Debbie
    Random Musings recently posted…Let Us Praise: Why We Should Celebrate Excellent Customer Service – Guest PostMy Profile

  6. August 16, 2017 / 8:43 am

    To be honest if someone can’t be bother to actually read the post before commenting, it’s more then that looks a bit daft and they boost that blogger’s views but spreading the post. I personally don’t like click bait posts, but I also don’t think a fellow blogger should write a summery to stop other people clicking through. It’s not good etiquette.