Great linkbaiters are social misfits

After reading Dustin Woodard’s post on 10 Biggest Master Baiters in the Search Industry it inspired me to think of my own top ten masters of the Linkbait.

Off the top of my head these would be

  • Adolf Hitler
  • Johnny Rotten
  • Bill Oreilley
  • Rosie Odonnell
  • Anne Coulter
  • Winston Churchill
  • Richard Branson
  • Kurt Cobain
  • Howard Stern
  • Anita Roddick

“Hey!”, I hear you scream as you accidently spill coffee over your beloved, “I’m not Matt Cutts”, T shirt. “What do these guys have to do with linkbait.”

Sigh!

First, step back from the computer and realise what Linkbait is and what it is not. Peel back the skin of the beast to see organs function to truly understand.

People link the way they buy things. Emotion is more important than logic. Note the incestuous nature of SEO blogs and how links are given freely to the new pal you met over an SES triple vodka.

The commonality of the list above is that they all inspire emotion, even extreme emotion. They have the ability to make people listen to them. I’m not talking about agreeing with the person, how many SEO’s got trapped in the Calacanis web as they found themselves linking to his site. Was that emotion driving those links? You bet your ass it was.

Emotion drives people to link.

Being a social retard myself I understand one of the driving motivations to create linkbait. It’s to have people listen to your point of view. Desperation to be heard will force the linkbaiter to hone his craft and fine tune his content. Desperation is a fantastic motivator.

“You will hear me even if it means you hate me.” Is the mantra of the great linkbaiter.

The best way to think about linkbait is to think about creating the spectacle. The attack hook, resource hook etc. are just different methods to use. But it is not the fundemental component.

The problem is with the term. Many of the people on this list are not happy with the term “Linkbait”, because it does not accurately describe what it is. But does any one word label accurately describe something.

When you label it, you destroy it.

Read every article in the Enormous Linkbait list and you will not be a great linkbaiter until you get that fire in your belly that craves people to listen to you.

Linkbaiting is psychological warfare. It’s seduction, it’s persuasion. It’s getting you to perform an action. It’s about creating content which instills an urgency in the reader to share the experience.

Lets face it people. Getting links is better than sex.

The title of this article used to be, “Great linkbaiters are social retards”, since then I have changed the last word to “misfits”, I think this is more accurate, although it doesn’t bite as well.

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