This Post is Clickbait

Clickbait is a negative phenomenon online where the title or featured image of an article or video entices you to click. Then the article or video does not discuss that topic.

This isn’t always how the word is used now, but it was a couple of years ago. The common usage is about it grabbing your attention. Hence, clickbait. But the word “bait,” has an implication of drawing you in for bad reasons.

That thumbnail on Youtube that never appears in the video and never discussed? Possibly clickbait.

That title that really grabs your attention but the introduction makes you doubt that’s the topic? Possibly clickbait.

I will say it happens that titles, featured images, and thumbnails can appear clickbaity but actually deliver on the promised topic. Appearing to be clickbait does not make something clickbait.

If you have the title “Why I Will Never Eat at (Restaurant),” that looks like clickbait. If you tell your story succinctly and don’t waste time getting to the why, it’s not clickbait. If, on the other hand, you follow the model of a lot of “storytime” Youtubers, and take a while to meanderingly get to your point, that’s sort of clickbait. It’s not entirely, because you do discuss the topic, but you waste time getting to the point.

Clickbait is bad because it wastes people’s time and makes them distrustful of your content. If you have a video or article that will seem clickbaity, I don’t think you need to specify that it isn’t clickbait. Rather, you need to grab and hold people’s attention and be aware of the time you are asking them to spend with you.

Don’t waste people’s time with your content and they won’t cry “clickbait” with every engaging title.

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