After all, isn’t the objective of a title is to get you interested enough to click it?
So why do we get pissed off with over-sensationalized headlines?
Two reasons I can think of:
1. Over promise, under deliver.
Remember when Facebook was deluged by titles like, “24 Pictures That Will Make You Feel Better About The World; I Just About Died Reading #9!”? When you clicked on the article, you discover #9 really wasn’t all that special.Same is true when someone makes a bold claim, but doesn’t follow through with the promise.
2. Plays with the wrong emotions.
(SPOILER ALERT: she won’t die. At least not permanently. She’s the reason we keep watching). News sites, survivalist blogs, and conspiracy theory videos get a ton of sustainable traffic using this tactic. But that doesn’t mean you should.
Being in a constant state of anxiety, anticipation, disgust, _____ can be crippling. Mind numbing, even. Headlines and the copy can do that to people.
How do you want to treat your readers? More importantly…
Is burning your reader’s trust really worth that extra click?