Yesterday on Facebook I asked my “dedicated” readers whether the links to my blog needed pictures. I enjoy pictures and I think others do too; however, I can’t actually link my blog to the pictures so they’re mostly for decoration—the internet equivalent of putting a bird on it. It did get me thinking, though, that I might need to up my click bait game a bit. I toyed with the idea of putting a picture of Corky and Violet kissing with yesterday’s blog but I didn’t. I also thought of putting a picture of Dr. Alan Grant with it. Which would get more clicks: two sexy lesbians or a middle-aged archeologist? Tough call.
Click bait, for those who don’t know what I’m talking about, is the technique of including a picture or title with an internet article, video, or web link that hypes the link in a way that makes curious people click it. Usually, click bait relies on sensationalized use of pathos (rhetoric!) by making the link seem sexualized, inflammatory, excessively sentimental, or otherwise click-worthy. Typically, click bait makes people angry if the link it leads to doesn’t deliver on the promised goods. Also, if it pops up a porn video in a new window while you’re at work with your computer’s volume cranked to ten.
Occasionally, click bait does get you to legit good content. I follow some YouTube creators who are geniuses in the art of click baiting. On YouTube the volume of clicks a channel gets is everything. Most ‘Tubers exploit that super-simple internet marketing gimmick for all it’s worth. Here’s an example from one of my favorite channels, BriaAndChrissy: “SHOCKING Super Bowl Commercial 2015 (GAY KISS).” That video has over a million views. Now don’t get me wrong, the video itself, a parody of a Super Bowl beer commercial, is hilarious and these women’s videos are totally worth watching, but the baiting title and the thumbnail that went with it—well-built naked men kissing in a locker room—made this video rocket to the top of the YouTube chart like no other. These women don’t even need the click bait. They’re an actual real sexy lesbian couple on YouTube. That’s like what half of the YouTube viewership is there to see in the first place. I’m cynical.
Speaking of volume of hits and, frankly, my own selfish interest in this whole topic of click baiting to drive traffic, I’ve learned that if I can get about 100,000 people regularly reading my blog, I can make a decent income and quit my day job. Since I am not quite to that level of popularity yet, I’m exploring my options. Clearly, in order to drive more readers to my website, and my conceptually questionable business model, I’m going to need to cheat a bit. Click baiting may be the answer I’m looking for.
So, what would click bait for this blog look like? I can’t very well get away with Corky and Violet pictures every single day. I guess I can use Willow and Tara occasionally; then maybe a close-up of boobs now and again; possibly Kirk/Spock slash fan drawings will be a click-o-rama; and of course, pictures of cats that look like Hitler. Kitlers are still popular right? I think this will be my new formula for blogging success. Don’t judge me.
In summation, cats that look like Hitler are the only way anyone would use the words “Nazi” and “adorable” in the same sentence, click baiting works even when it pisses people off for being misleading, and I am only 99,999 hits away from world domination. I’m counting my Harry Potter robot minion.