We’ve all been scrolling through Facebook absentmindedly reading article headlines when, suddenly, it grabs your attention; The Clickbait Headline. And you know you shouldn’t click it. But… some part of you needs to know Why Doctors Hate Her, Or Who Showed Up At This Kid’s Birthday Party.

The trend sky rocketed about five years ago, with the success of companies such as Buzzfeed and Upworthy using sensationalism. However, it’s a technique employed now by everyone from the big guys to the spam sites. This trend has been compared to Yellow Journalism, a term coined before the 20th Century, and is proof that the headline takes precedence over the article presently, hence the many articles teaching the creation of clickable headlines. While a clickable headline is fine, and a clickable headline backed up by a great article is even better, this isn’t what you’ll usually find when browsing on your social media or news platform of choice. Instead, it’ll be some variation of…

curiosity gap formula

Formula found here.

Then the article writing is completely neglected, as you’ve already fulfilled their brief and clicked on their website. They’ve now got you viewing all the ads that their sponsors pay for, and that’s all they need you to do.

These shady looking sites are the result of people desperate for their portion of advertising money doing something that’s not technically illegal but super scammy.

The End Is Nigh

However, these will eventually die out. Once you’ve clicked them 40 times, you start to realise which ones just won’t give you the information you’re thirsty for. It’s making people less trustful. Facebook has even started penalising it. Hopefully some day soon everyone will have realised the trickery and this won’t be the trend anymore.

Not only do the readers hate it, but it’s actually harmful to their own website. You need to create the perfect balance between your headline and your article…


good article formula


Remember, budding writing enthusiast, that your article is worth more than to be ignored for some advertisements. Maybe very soon the internet will be a happier place, sans clickbait headlines.

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