This Article Is About Clickbait. What Happens Next Will Make Your Head Explode

Clickbait is type of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) tactic that tries to get people to link to or simply click on a particular website. Interesting content and creative, witty writing won't be enough to generate pageviews; you have to come up with some kind of hook that will grab people and compel them to not only click on the link, but share it among their social networking circles.

Not long ago, the trend most commonly used in click-baiting was a numerical list, such as "Top 5 ways to con people into visiting your website." (or some derivative of that). Probably the best example of this formula being used is Cracked.com. For years they've built an empire by cranking out article after article using this rubber stamp technique.  (I'm fairly sure they don't know any other way to write.)

But over the years, people have grown wary of this tactic and its' appeal is waning. So like a circus barker that has to change up his patter to attract the right kind of mark into the freak show tent, "marketing professionals" (and I use that term loosely) have had to come up with new techniques to hook the suckers customers into surfing to their page.

The latest trend appears to be what I call the "what happens next" tactic. My Facecrack feed is awash with my friends posting this kind of crap. The one I saw today:  "A Lioness Killed A Baboon, But What She Did Next With The Baby Is So Shocking." Just in case you were curious, the lioness protected the baby until the father baboon dragged it to safety. Interesting, maybe, but not very "shocking" if you ask me. But that article wouldn't be linked to or shared nearly as much if the headline had instead read something like  "Mother Lion Doesn't Eat Baby Baboon."  This is how marketing is used to drive traffic.

By the way, the baby baboon died shortly after the video was shot.

As I have learned, a modern VO business is perhaps 1% voice and 99% marketing. (Which makes all of this even more amusing when you hear people trying to get into the VO industry say things like: "I've always been told what a great voice I have.") If you want to be a successful voice artist, you need to focus on finding new ways you can sell your voice, not just what your voice sounds like.

When you browse through your social media sites, keep an eye out for the linkbait. See what works and what drives you away. Then start thinking about how you can apply those techniques towards your VO business. Maybe you can apply this to a blog post. Maybe you can use it to generate interest in your site on a social media page. Maybe you can use the technique in a marketing letter or in the text of a job proposal.

What happens next will completely shock you and restore your faith in humanity.

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About Rob Marley - 
A Los Angeles native, Rob is an accomplished voice talent, producer and writer 
now living in the hill country of Austin Texas. 
For more information, visit his website at MarleyAudio.com