Rants and Whimsy

You won’t believe how I wrote clickbait headlines

June 12, 2016

I don't believe you

Ok, you got me, you probably will believe it. But who cares, you’re already reading it now and you’re damned well going to stay and read to the end even if I have to come round and do some Clockwork Orange inspired shenanigans to force the issue.

I got to thinking about clickbait the other day and the thought stayed with me. It niggled so, like one of those brain eating superbugs that just nibbles away at your grey matter and replaces all capacity for normal thought with the one clickbait-y thought that it wants you to think about until you can barely conjugate verbs any more coz click bait bait click clickety clickbait how about that clickbait?

I noticed more people around my corner of the web using it and, more importantly, more people taking the piss out of it and decided that I could jump on that band wagon. I get why people use clickbait; coz it works. It gets clicks. The danger lies in the content that lies behind the clickbait title not living up to the hyped up headline that encouraged the click in the first place, thus leaving you in a kind of “ten reasons why crying wolf is actually a bad idea” type dilemma. 

So I decided to have a go with something safe. I read a few articles about the formula of the classic clickbait headline and set about writing a few for some common household items:

First you’ll be bored. Then you’ll reach for the kitchen knife. Then you’ll cry.

More than 22 men worked on the invention that changed the world, but you only know one of them even though he’s probably a prick

You’ll be astounded when you find out what’s responsible for your missing period

This animal you’ve never heard of will make you want to punch kittens in the face for not being cute enough. Squee!

See how much fun I’m having? Well, it’s not over yet. Buoyed on by the joy of identifying a new skill and never having had to leave the couch, I decide to write more clickbait. But this time, clickbait headlines for the blog posts my friends have written. Because they’ll like the link backs and you’ll like the links and did I mention I’m having fun? See if you can guess the blogger before you click the link. Because I know you’re going to click the link. It’s clickbait.

This woman discovered the underlying problem with society at a book event. Watch as she calls out beardy lumberjack spacecowboys

She thought it was going to be a regular night out, but what happened changed her life and made her want to burn things

Everyone loves a sausage, but you will not believe where this girl’s been hiding hers!

She thought she was visiting friends in a foreign city. She ended up eating cake in a shipwreck

When a whisky tasting event threatened to shatter her relationship, this woman stood her ground

She was just trying to kill some time before lunch… she didn’t expect to wander into 110m worth of epic art

When this popular beauty blogger was too afraid to leave the house without a thick layer of makeup, she knew she had to find a way to fix the problem

She was feeling anxious and overwhelmed, until she discovered one word in the English language that could make it all better

This woman discovered that the secret to surviving 24/7 stress can sometimes be a food you hate

This food blogger tried four different bottles of champagne in one meal. What she discovered will make you tipsy

I don’t know why I wrote this. I just wanted to see if clickbait could be anything other than annoying shite. I think I succeeded.  All these ladies are well worth the read even without the clickbait, so don’t be shy, hop through the linky portal!

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  • This is just brilliant…

  • LondonKiwiEmma

    Clickety, clickety, click click click! I love the way you see the world… (and that whole drinky blogging thing works beautifully!)

  • adales8

    It was a fun game guessing which title belonged to which blogger. You could write clickbait professionally.

    • There’s a certain shame you feel when writing clickbait. I can’t quite explain it 😉

  • These are so funny! I hardly read any of those blogs so I couldn’t really guess. The onion one was so true though!! (I practically cut my fingers off every time I chop an onion because I cry so much I literally can’t see!)

    • Apparently you’re supposed to cut them under running water. Well, that’s what I yell at my husband to do when he complains anyway 😉

  • hahaha this is SO TRUE! I’m a sucker for them all every time! Yours are brilliant! Alice xxx

    http://www.woodenwindowsills.co.uk

  • This guessing game was great fun – I did pretty well!

  • I love this so much! When I was working at an agency doing content work, the daily mail came in to help us ‘write headlines’ – I took this piss and wrote the most offensive one I could, and won a food voucher. Who knew clickbait headlines would be such a valuable skill??

    Erin xx
    islandbell.co.uk