Why do I read articles whose titles promise the best, greatest, longest, shortest, dumbest, smartest, est-est? Why do I find articles with numbers in the title irresistible? And those articles that promise to solve a pressing problem? I gobble them up!
Do I really believe I’ll discover the Holy Grail or, at least, that one morsel of truth that will complete my life? No, but I’m getting closer to the allure of “est” and enticement of numbers. For me, it’s about scarcity—you know something I don’t know, you’re “In” and I’m not—mixed with a dash of competition, as in who knows more, whose list is better-yours or mine? Once in awhile, I read these types of articles without judgment, but that’s usually when I’m in the waiting room of a doctor’s office, forgot to bring my iPad, and am forced to read the latest news from a four-year old copy of Better Homes and Gardens.
I’m not the only one seduced by lists and –est. If you want to have some fun, go to http://linkbaitgenerator.com/. There you can generate titles for blog posts and even customize the title to the subject of your choice. In short order, you’ll find the majority of titles have a list or an –est. I did notice Linkbait Generator had another way to hook readers—using words that evoke strong emotion (e.g. Osama bin Laden, occult, political parties, TV personalities). Would you be reading this post now if I hadn’t added the words “truth” and “passion”?
I can even offer some anecdotal proof: I track how many times people have looked at my blog posts (notice I said “looked” and not “read”). On Valentine’s Day I published a list of 25 romantic getaways for 2011, http://travelingking.net/25-romantic-great-getaways-for-2011. As of today, 4 days after the original post, I can report 664 clicks on the article. That represents an increase of over 50% of the normal number of clicks.
So, here’s my dilemma—do I succumb to this cheap ploy to get you to read my blog or do I opt for the high road and hope that your intellectual curiosity is impetus enough? I suppose the BEST way to find out is to read the next TEN posts, which topics might include “7 Unbeatable Travel Values”, “5 Ultimate Vacation Hideaways” or “the Savvy Traveler’s Smartest shopping tips”! Come on, admit it, those titles do sound enticing, don’t they?
Posted via email from Travelingking