What is Clickbait?
It is basically something you can’t help clicking on and wasting your time spending time reading. It is rarely the astonishing secret you are led to believe. They hook you with a gimmick, a promise of something astonishing and when more clickbait articles appear on the side bar, you click on another. We’ve all been there. We all say we aren’t going to do it again, yet why do we continue to give in to the urge? How do they hook us?
The answer is simple and I will share the secret with you. I recently gave a presentation called “Blogging for Writers” at Rose City Romance Writers and gave examples of funny and effective clickbait. One of our exercises for coming up with better titles for blogposts was by looking at clickbait. Even though we are a romance group, it was really hard to find romantic clickbait, so most of my examples were based on science fiction and fantasy books/movies. Below are the tricks I taught with funny examples. Even if you don’t use them in your writing, they are fun for the average sci-fi lover.
1. Clickbait appeals to our curiosity. Often the words “astonishing,” “amazing” or “shocking” are part of the wording.
2. Clickbait targets us personally, and hones in on our fears and hopes.
3. The wording is inclusive. It uses the word “you” and breaks that fourth wall.
4. We are hooked emotionally.
5. There is often a formula. How many times have we read “Try this one weird trick to. . . .”
6. Clickbait is often edgy, naughty or a little bit risque.