Actually, I didn’t. And that’s why this post matters.
Money shot by Tracy O.
If you’ve been around the internet marketing sphere for any extended period of time you’ve seen one of these hypey, outrageous headlines. They suck you in by telling you half the story, but when you read the content, you find out one of two things:
- You’re at a Getrichquickbank-run one page sales letter landing page. Some guru will unveil the “the secrets” of how he/she/they made $3000 each and every week, while sitting in their pyjamas reading the newspaper and eating croissants. Or drinking their coffee, rather, as these people aren’t usually sophisticated enough to appreciate French pastry. When I was at Andy Beard’s (who is a truly bright guy), I saw a badge for Rich Schefren’s crap, featuring something about a $580,000 video. Puh-leaze.
- You’re reading a post by some legitimate author, in which case, they’re disguising the fact that they actually worked long, hard hours building up to the point where they can make $3k+ a week. Skellie (for whom I have a lot of respect for, just to be clear) wrote a post like this, albeit relating to subscribers: How To Get 1100 Subscribers in 5 Days. Here’s an excerpt:
“I had decided to be optimistic and hope for 100 subscribers in the first week. Clearly, I had underestimated the value of three factors:
- A loyal audience.
- A profile in your new niche.
- Connections with other bloggers.”
So if it took you a while to build up the audience, profile and connections, why did you say that it can be done in 5 days? Because sensationalism sells, and when so many people are suffering from information overload, titles like that obviously help break through the clutter.
But sensationalism is also really annoying, and a time-waster. Frequently, it can hurt your brand too, as with a certain goofball’s repeated exclamations that SEOs suck. Likewise with the search conference that, as per their website magazine ad, is inviting him to speak again (I’m pleased to say that it’s not the search conference I’ll be at). Does Jason Calacanis have anything to say that could be worth an SEO’s time?
Personally, I’m extremely turned off by these titles because I know that they’re misleading. The only reason Skellie’s got a link is because there’s some decent content there. But as part of my frustration with this tactic, the link is nofollowed. (@ Skellie: Since you regularly write quality content, let it stand on its own two feet. Your readers will appreciate it more.)
I’m speaking about my own frustration with sensationalism and similar tactics. But I’m sure many other people are sick of seeing flamewars and ignore them too. And if my experience/opinion is at all a bellwether – and as far as calling trends, I suggested to my college economics prof that a recession was looming for 2008 back in mid-07, and I called Google’s stock dropping under $500 – many others are tired of this too.
Think about that next time you make $7538 in a day. Drink some more coffee before you click publish. Maybe even eat a croissant.
As always, your thoughts and insights are welcome (likewise social media votes ;D), and the better ones are rewarded with dofollow links here in the post. Also, if you liked this post, check out my friend Charlie’s blog on why trust matters, and my earlier post on credibility and linkworthiness.