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What Is Clickbait? And How To Ethically Attract Clicks

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So, what is clickbait? It means what it says, and it's a term used by affiliates and marketing specialists to describe any promotional piece or advertisement that contains or links to a website, product or affiliate product which in some way uses misrepresentation to entice clickthroughs.

For Example: “The dirty secrets of clickbait. This post will blow your mind!”

What is deplorable is that clickbait is very often used as a deceptive one-way link to another web page with items for sale, or to an affiliate offer. Most web users dislike being led without their consent to sales pages unless they decide that they may wish to make a purchase. For this reason, the use of clickbait is seen as underhand and whenever there is deception involved, it in a small way, damages the reputation of the internet as a progressive force in the world.

Image text: "What is clickbait?"

So the purpose of this article is not so much to go into further detail to describe what is clickbait. Rather we will concentrate on how you can use well-devised article titles and eye-pulling images to attract people to click on your links and promote your own business. And, do it without being underhand or deceptive to create a win-win situation where both the website owner and the visitor gain satisfaction from clicking on engaging article/ page titles and images.

Is Clickbait Ever Used for Good?

Clearly, not all promotional pieces or advertisements that contain an embedded link to an affiliate offer should be considered to be clickbait. Typically, clickbait is done in a deceptive or highly exaggerated manner. In the early days of the internet, click-baiting would be done very simply. The use of a small blinking light or another animated visual trick to catch the user's eye was enough of a pattern interrupt, to get them to “watch” a message. And, once watched, the embedded link was commonly clicked.

After the user is convinced by the attractive flashing object, they were more than happy to click on the link until they found that they were, without any warning, whisked away and directed to the new site, product or service with the sole purpose of extracting money from each visitor.

Clickbait creates the curiosity gap

There are several common bait pages that many affiliates use. One of the most popular ways to use bait links is to create a “feeder site” for your own website. When someone subscribes to your feed, they may visit another website via your feed. If you have created a feeder site with all of the right features and attractive banner ads, this could very well become a money-making venture for your business. Just make sure you carefully monitor what is being advertised on your feeder site to avoid any spamming issues or to ensure your visitors have a pleasant experience while visiting your website.

Clickbait can be good?

Another good method of enticing visitors to your feeder site is through creating a “feed subscribe” link directly under or around your article. This works especially well if you provide incentives to encourage people to subscribe. The easiest way of doing this is to offer something of value for free as part of your subscription. If you create an eBook, mini-course or other content that is valuable, you can include a link to it in your article. This can create a lucrative link back to your site, resulting in even more visitors.

Offering Easy to Read Lists Makes Clickbait Headlines That Work!

A great way to start building a feeder site that generates clicks is to simply create a list of web sites on a frequently reached topic, and offer something for free as bait. You can easily create such a list using any one of a number of free web site visitor magnet programmes available online.

Simply paste the code provided into your HTML page, add your website's keywords and submit the page. Then post the pages up onto your social media accounts for free, to prime some traffic from social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Linked-in.

The site visitor magnets will automatically insert a code in the address bar which captures their name and email address. The beauty of this method is that it generates lots of web traffic at a very low cost.

Misleading Clickbait Content Damages Brands and Erodes Trust

Another great and perfectly ethical method is content marketing which is to write articles and submit them to article directories. These directories usually provide generous incentives for guest articles. They give these incentives out in exchange for providing the bait in your article Itis most common that the directory owner allows you to place a link back to his or her web page in your author resource box. This is another effective method of what may be called “Bait Directories”. These are nevertheless, useful tool for generating traffic. But you have to be very careful that the directory owner is reputable, and won't overdo the baiting and does not have a bad spamming reputation.

Newsletter Subscription Form With a GiveAway/ Reward: A Clickbait Method That Actually Works!

You may also want to consider creating your own product. A good example is offering “How to” video tutorials in exchange for a subscription to your newsletter. Once someone subscribes to your newsletter, they can view your videos. Now you can add a link back to your own web page with a very convincing bait line. This is an example of bait being “trashed in” marketing fashion because once the customer views your bait line they will most likely make a purchase from your website.

‘X Reasons Why…’

Once you have determined what is ethical clickbait, you can start to apply it to your online marketing efforts. If you do not know how to create a good bait line, research the topic well. Read books on the subject. Watch tutorials online to brush up on this type of marketing.

In conclusion…

Remember, always be sure your clickbait is still good marketing practice and not deceptive or making dishonest promises.

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