Six Pixels of Separation - The Blog
October 8, 2008 3:16 PM

Twitter Is The Ultimate Tease... Does Your Content Tease?

If you want traffic you have to be a sensationalist.

If you're not making National Enquirer tinged headlines or content, your traffic is suffering.

How does that make you any better or different than mass media?

These are the types of Blog posts that get clicked on (and commented on):

- 25 ways to create an A-list Blog.
- The five things people on Twitter will never tell you.
- How Social Media wins during this financial crisis.
- What Paris Hilton knows about Personal Branding (that you don't).
- 5 things you should always do on MySpace.

(all of these were made up).

Being provocative and bold is what sells newspapers (and it also sells magazines, TV show, advertising, etc...). Most Bloggers, Podcasters and individuals trying to build some kind of presence in any and all of the online social networks know how to write (and be) provocative or sensationalist, because human beings react to visceral and raw statements (like the ones above)... and that's how it is in a sea of Blog posts populating your Google Reader. Take a quick look through your own feeds and decide for yourself...

What makes you click?

Better yet, hop over to Twitter. Twitter is quickly becoming the destination for sensationalism. It's being used to highlight the "look at me" culture and the very nature of the conversation on Twitter leans towards encouraging people to click on "you" to learn more, read more, see more, hear more, etc... A good tweet will get you more followers and will also get them clicking on to read your Blog or subscribe to your Podcast.

Let's be honest: Twitter is the ultimate content tease.

It's the "how-to's", the "best of", it's the "lists" and it's the headlines that are over the top, surprising and crazy that get the most attention, reader reaction and distribution. Those headlines above were made up. But let's look at the first one:

What would you be more likely to click on?:

"25 ways to have a winning Blog" or "Blogging is an important tool to build traffic, community and your business".

We're all busy. We're looking for quick fixes and with the tons of content being piled on to each and every one of us everyday, the only way to stay on top or to get some recognition is to be a little sensationalist. We all know that a more provocative headline (or tweet) gets more attention and more clicks. In the end, more attention and more clicks is the same as more people buying and increasing your distribution, which is - exactly - the same model that mass media uses to build audience and, in turn, get those ad revenues up.

Do you still - really - see a big difference between how Bloggers and mass media are trying to get your attention?

By Mitch Joel


Comments Comments Feed
  • Posted by Rahaf Harfoush
    Mitch Joel

    I find that with main stream media it has to be either about who is the fastest or the catchiest angle, since I find that there are so many options for people to choose from. Maybe it's just me, but I find the relationship with the blogs that I read that is much more intimate because you're not going for the story, you're going to get a perspective on something.

    Often I even seek out particular bloggers when I know something is going on because i'm interested in hearing what they have to say. So blogging that is thoughtful, consistent and adds a relevant and unique opinion always grabs my attention.

    @rahafharfoush

    Reply
  • Posted by Mike Muise
    Mitch Joel

    Great post and it is all very true. Twitter is something I have been using for a while now to help promote myself and my blog. Catchy titles get you more followers, but if the content isn't there or isn't quality content, you lose them.

    Clicks are worthless if you cannot keep them coming back.

    Mike
    www.dropthemike.com

    Reply
  • Posted by Connie Crosby
    Mitch Joel

    I learn fairly quickly if someone's content isn't worth a visit, regardless of catchy title. I keep coming back here because you are smart, thoughtful, and provoke me to think. I'm thinking you could just number the posts, and I would keep showing up here like a bad penny. ;-)

    The one exception is SEO - if you put some solid terms into your titles you will get some solid traffic from the search engines, if not now then possibly in the future. My simple blog post "The History of Facebook" keeps pulling in the traffic despite it being a fairly simple short list of links with no analysis or discussion.

    Cheers,
    Connie

    Reply
  • Posted by Scott Monty
    Mitch Joel

    Perfect timing! I wrote a blog post two nights ago, and since my RSS feed goes directly into Twitter (thanks to TwitterFeed), the tweet came out like this:

    "What's Greater Than Sex?: Well, if you're a male between the ages of 18 and 34, it should be obvious: .. http://tinyurl.com/4y4en7"

    Twitter automatically creates the TinyURL, so it was just happenstance that it placed the ellipsis in just the right place to tease. The result? I got about 8X the usual traffic I get, and thanks to the catchy title (and I suppose some good statistics and decent writing), it got placed on StumbleUpon and Reddit, which helped as well.

    It's all about creating content that speaks to your readers and that makes them want to share it with others.

    Reply
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  • Twitter Is The Ultimate Tease from Drop the Mike

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