If this post was to open with such a clickbait headline it might read “It looked like a standard click-bait headline but what happened next will blow your mind.”

These headlines are everywhere now. Designed to entice you in but leaving you rather disappointed when they do so. It will be a mildly entertaining experience but, for the most part, about as fun as opening a kinder egg; poor quality chocolate surrounding a cheap and disappointing surprise.

Everyone wants to attract you in and you should be warned. Anything that promises to blow your mind probably won’t. If somebody’s mind really was blown by content, then that would certainly be a shocking story and the headline would be easy to write. The problem is, it never happens so don’t believe it.
Photo: Steven Ritzer. Creative Commons.

The explosion of cheap-trick clickbait headlines is damaging for everyone. We are learning not to trust the headline as we’ve been misled so many times now. It’s something like a law of diminishing returns where the shock value goes down for every ‘shocking’ or ‘mind-blowingly awesome’ headline we read. Sooner or later, we’re immune.

Remember, the purpose of the headline is to let you know what the article (or film or any other kind of content) is about. There’s no point attracting in your audience if they’re not going to be interested in it. You will lose them long-term.

So, it’s time then to reclaim the headline to its former glory. Join me. Lets vow not to click if we’re promised a mind-blowing experience. Let’s vow to click on the headlines that tell us what the story really is about and lets write headlines that are useful, informative and eye-catching in an honest way.

If you’re struggling on a headline right now, then this nice piece on five top tips for headline writing may help.

If you’re still stuck, get in touch and we’ll chat about it together.

Colm