Hey, thank you for clicking on this.
If you’re here already you read the headline.
I know what you’re thinking “there’s no way this dummy could write a viral post.”
And hey guess what? You’re right. But, you clicked on it so you fell for it too. So who’s really the dummy?
I’m not saying it’s you, but if the clickbait fits.
So why is this post going viral you ask?
Well, there are a number of reasons but I will get to that later. Right now I’m going to lead you through an introduction to slowly draw you down to the list.
I’m creating intrigue and then delaying the payoff.
The longer you read the more you want to know what those ten reasons are. It’s okay I promise we’ll get to them.
But first, we need to waste a little time in the intro. You know, just kind of meander around a little like a trip to Ikea.
I mean this post is going to big. Huge. You’ll see this post around for a while. So you might want to get used to it.
It could be worse. I could be tricking you into a mildly useful self help article or an article about writing.
I mean I’m tired of those so you have to be.
I assume so since you’re here.
Now where were we? Right, I assume you want to get to the good part. I can feel you getting anxious, saying, “Where are the headings? Where are the heading? I need to be lead visually through the article like a small child at the zoo.” Don’t worry we’ll get to those.
1. My Tone
See how I’m writing this?
This friendly casual tone is to put you at ease. It makes you more comfortable and want to read more. I’m making it sound like we’re old friends.
In fact, if I write it well enough it will sound like one of your friends speaking to you.
You should be insulted really.
I mean I’m purposefully trying to manipulate you. I’m acting like I’m your friend when really I just want you to read the article.
I know nothing about you other that you wanted to read an article exactly like this.
And you know nothing about me unless you happen to Agnes Louis then you might. Other than that. Complete cipher. This could be anyone writing this.
Still, this tone is a big part of why it will go through the roof. If it started out like it was a science journal people are clicking off.
So thank you for reading and I hope you like the rest of the article.
2. I Used The Number 10
Boy oh boy do people love the number ten. I don’t get it. Like cool, 10’s a decent number but man the Internet has a bigger crush of that number than the metric system does.
If you put the number 10 in the headline watch out. The views will be rolling in so fast it will crash you page.
I once just posted the number 10 as a headline. That’s it.
People couldn’t handle it.
I broke the Internet.
3. I Used A List
Once the purview of Santa Claus and Craig. Those were the only lists people knew.
But sometime around the year 2009 the Internet started using more lists than an old woman at Whole Foods.
There’s even a term for it now. A listicle. I was once paid to write listicles. Want feel your soul die? Write listicles professionally. It was so bad. I would sooner give an adult lion a prostate exam while wearing a hat made of tenderloin than do that again.
But Matt? You’re doing that right now? Well I’m clearing making fun of them. Also your soul can only leave once. I’m just a robot now.
4. Clickbait Headline
Yep. I said it. That headline up there is the clickest of bait. The baitest of clicks.
You can disagree with the methods all you want but they work.
If you want to go fishing you need a lure. That’s all this is. It clearly worked. It got you to click didn’t it?
I know you think you’d never fall for clickbait headlines but that’s not true.
It that was true Buzzfeed would go out of business.
Now, am I sorry I used such an underhanded trick? No. It’s the Wild West in the world of writing and I’m coming out on top.
So don’t be mad you feel for the title. When a fish falls for a lure they get pulled from the stream by the gills and photographed.
All you did was waste a few minutes on this increasingly dumb article.
5. I’m Posting This At Night
I’m posting this at night.
Hopefully the way it way works is that it picks up a little steam now. Then it will be one of the first things people see tomorrow morning. Then it will have all day to let the views come pouring in.
Also, should someone share it (more on that later) then it will pop up in people’s social media when they check their phones in the morning.
6. I Used A Long Word In The Title
Yep, something as simple as that can make people click.
And not like an SAT word. I mean more than one syllable.
Studies show that if you put at least one 8 letter or more word in the title it will increase the chances of people clicking on it.
And by study I mean I saw one article that said it works.
But no one would ever lie on the Internet, so I just assumed it was true. And it looks like it worked.
7. The Picture
It’s cheating but if you put a picture of a woman missing some of her clothes then your click rate goes off the charts. People see that while and can’t help but click and go “Well I should really see what this story’s about.”
People are visual creatures and some people’s eyes can’t help but stop.
Also, if you’re like me you’re wondering, what the heck is she going to do with that pineapple?
8. I’m Giving You Value
It may not sound like it but I am.
First and foremost, this article is hilarious. I mean I wrote so it has to be funny. That’s worth the price of admission alone. You have something the you could share all day with your coworkers or your dog or your plants if you’re weird like that.
Just barrels of laughs.
Second, I’m sneaking in some good tips.
I know this article sound dumb but all these things work.
I got you here in guise of a joke but there is actual advice.
Maybe you take some of it. Maybe you don’t.
I don’t really care. I’ll moving to my island shortly after this goes public.
9. It’s Long
Statistics show that the longer articles tend to really do well. Yes, quick little blog posts can catch fire, but if you want some staying power that article better have a little heft.
They are the ones people spend time with and want to share. You’ve built up enough rapport with the reader at this point where they care about it and they just want to send it to everyone they know.
This one has already crossed the 1,000 words point so I can wrap it up anytime here.
10. You’re Going To Share It
Is this some kind of Jedi mind trick?
Yes. Yes it is.
You’ll tell your friends.
You’ll your family.
You put it on Twitter and Facebook and each time you write “You’ve got to read this” I win. That means I did something that you felt compelled to tell people about.
You, of your own, volition helped make this post what it is.
How did I get you to do it?
Well, it’s easy I appealed to narcissistic side everyone has. You want to be in on the joke and so if you share it let’s everyone else know you weren’t fooled by all the tricks. You’re a part of this.
Because if you’re sharing it that means you’re part of the satire and not part of the culture it’s making fun of.
Each time you share it you win too.
So thank you.
In fact, you should check back when it takes off to see if it indeed has done what I said it would do.
I promise it will.
And no one ever breaks promises on the Internet.