We’ve all seen them.
Articles, image galleries and content that use a remarkably effective call to action in the headline to reel in traffic.
The moniker for such a thing is known as click bait or link bait, which is self-explanatory.
Some examples include:
» Are you…?
Many believe that “link bait” content is fun and creative. While this is true, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s easy to put together.
To help make sure you do it right, we’ve compiled a list of 10 tips for creating quality content that will help you draw in traffic:
1. Target Your Audience
If you look at a lot of great click bait examples or viral content, you’ll notice that it’s not generalized in nature. That is, it speaks to a particular audience or group of people. That’s the same thing you’ll want to do with your own content.
Don’t worry about pleasing everyone — just target a specific audience and run with it.
If you’re talking about games, try to speak directly to gamers. If you’re talking about soccer moms, well, you get the idea. These are just a couple examples of the demographic you might be shooting for, but the point is that you want to specialize.
It’s okay to change your demographic with each new piece of content. After all, every article, image gallery or post you produce is going to have a different topic. Just make sure you stay within the boundaries you set for each project.
2. Incorporate Useful Data, Stats & Other Interesting Facts
Infographics get shared by everyone — consumers and marketers alike. That’s because they often include a lot of useful data, stats and hard facts. You could go the easy route and stick with creating infographics exclusively, but the point is that you need to incorporate some of the data and stats into your content.
If you focus on a topic that has a lot to offer the community and your audience, you’ll be reeling in shares in no time.
This encourages people to share the content with others because they learned something from it, and they believe that others can learn from it, too.
In this post on MarketingLand, you can see how Neil Patel — the founder of KISSmetrics and a blogger for QuickSprout — creates infographics that are shared so openly. He’s able to do this because he employs enticing information — like data, stats and facts — that can help educate others.
If you focus on a topic that has a lot to offer the community and your audience, you’ll be reeling in shares in no time. Journey Pure Emerald Coast — a drug rehab center in Florida — does a great job with this on their blog.
For instance, this article on depression not only speaks to those who may feel they suffer from an ailment, but the article also tells them what to do about it. You’d be surprised how many people just want a helping hand, or two.
Helpful Post: How I Create A Bangin’ Infographic That Gets 1000 Shares
3. Go Visual
Many social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and countless others have embraced visual content. That’s because it’s incredibly popular and viral-friendly.
In fact, Hubspot’s Ultimate Link Bait guide even says, “blog articles that included infographics generated an average of 178% more inbound links and 72% more views than all other posts.”
Alongside your articles, you should also create videos, images or infographics to share with your audience. Visual content tends to be much more engaging, and therefore, people love to share it.
4. Ask for Shares and References
It’s okay to ask for shares at the end of your content, and guess what? It works, too! People will respond accordingly, and all you have to do is ask them nicely. It seems so simple, but it’s true.
This is why it’s best to include sharing links, buttons or tools within your content. If all it takes is the click of a button for someone to share what they just read or watched, they’ll usually do it — especially if it helped them in some way.
If you’re curious about some of the best — and most acceptable — ways to do this, Neil Patel has a great write-up on QuickSprout.
Useful post: 11 Awesome Social Sharing Buttons For WordPress
5. Leave out the Conclusion
Keep in mind, we’re not telling you to end your content abruptly. However, it’s always best to use open-ended conclusions for anything you want to publish. Why? Because your audience will fill in the blanks and continue the discussion when they share it with friends, family and social followers.
They may augment your content by adding their own opinions, tips or advice. They may discuss where they agree or disagree with points you’ve made. It really doesn’t matter how or what they’re doing with it, just that they’re doing something. At any given time, people are ready to share their opinions and views, and sometimes an open-ended conclusion will extract that from them.
6. Come up With a Killer Hook
No matter what topic you’re writing about, if your endgame is to create link bait, then you’ll need a decent hook. It equates to fishing. Even if you have the right bait — read: content — you need a hook to snag the fish. That hook can be something that’s fun, insightful, entertaining, interesting or even addicting. It doesn’t matter which angle you choose — just make sure your content has one.
Todd Malicoat wrote about many of the different hooks you’ll encounter. Keep in mind that the post is extremely old, and so many of those hooks will have evolved considerably over the years. The fundamentals are still important, though, and that’s what Malicoat touches on.
7. Come up With an Engaging Title
The first thing your audience — or anyone that’s interested in the content — will see is your title. Make sure it’s engaging and draws people in.
If you’re having trouble coming up with something useful on your own, you can give this title generator tool a try. Just enter your topic, hit the button and wait for some engaging title ideas to appear!
8. Be Different, Be Fresh
Honestly, this is arguably the most difficult thing to achieve on this list. There are so many voices, so many blogs and so many publications out there that it’s truly difficult to come up with fresh and different ideas. Guess what, though? If you’re just regurgitating the same content, news and tone as other publications, then people are going to have no reason to view or share your content.
Go against the grain and try to come up with something original, innovative and maybe even controversial. Don’t just follow the crowd and agree with what everyone else is saying — cause a stir! That’s how your content will become viral.
9. Create Personalized Content Like Tests or Quizzes
It’s not just about the content itself. It’s also about how people engage with said content. People love to take personalized quizzes, tests and interact with others. That’s why you’ll often see friends and family participating in these quizzes and then sharing the results on Facebook or Twitter. They want to compare their results or score with everyone else. They want to open a discussion about it. If you use this to your advantage and create your own content with this in mind, you’ll have a much better chance of generating traffic and shares.
The dating site OKCupid does a very good job of this. Their 2008 politics test offered the community a chance to see what their political affiliation should actually be, based on the responses they give during the quiz.
10. People Love Lists
Lists are easy to read, quick to finish and highly shareable. It’s no wonder why there are so many list-based articles and posts out there. When all else fails, put together a compelling list, and spice it up with a bit of your personality.
Quality content matters, and you want people to read it. Incorporate these tips into your content, and get ready for the viewing, clicking and sharing to begin!