In an earlier comment, someone asked how to apply the Tao of Linkbait method to a site covering “payday loans”. At first I thought ?the cheeky bugger? and was about to write a smart arse comment about my hourly rate.
But rather than do that, lets turn this into something interesting.
Using “payday loans” as the target market, lets develop some linkbait ideas and I will document my process for creating a piece of quality content intended to get links.
I’m going to cover:
- Headline creation
- How to structure the piece
- How the headline works with social media
I write the headline before anything else, then I go do some research on the target market and write some more headlines.
The reason being I want to skim off initial thoughts in my head before filling it with the thoughts of others. This enables me to come at the headline from multiple angles.
If you do not give your headlines at least 50% of the time you spend writing the main article you are doing something wrong.
You need to spend quality time with your headline.
After the research I go to my swipe file. A swipe file is a collection of effective headlines written by others, hopefully this triggers fresh ideas. Copying verbatim is not what I suggest, although with some extremely simply headlines it’s difficult to avoid.
The best thing a swipe file provides is structure and pointers to how the language can work. The aim is to produce an emotional response in the reader which causes an action such as to read further or vote on a social media site.
Whilst continually keeping the headline in the back of my mind I mooch around magazines, newspapers, daytime TV ( they have excellent adverts), a lot of social media, IM a few people, talk to a few people.
Basically I knock the headline against anything that may trigger an idea. This all takes time of course, I suspect that 99% of bloggers out there spend more time making their instant coffee than figuring out a killer headline.
As I trawl through my ever expanding RSS feed I cringe at some of the headlines even though the content of the blog post may be excellent. What’s interesting about the RSS skim is that I never read the author column, I always scan the post headline instead and without knowing which blog it’s from I always get stopped in my tracks by the same bloggers. This is a subject I will blog about later.
Lets do a headline skim for the actual Payday Loan Article headline. These are the ideas I immediately came up with in a few minutes.
- Are payday loans a scam?
- What you absolutely must know before taking out a payday loan
- Why you should not take out a payday loan before you read this
- An easy tip on how to chose a payday loan
- Are payday loan providers low down scum or do they offer a useful service
- What you need to get a payday loan
- Fast money, right now, but what about the downside?
- 25 tips to get out of debt fast
- Ways to keep your creditors eating you alive
- How to get free money online
- Why free money online is too expensive
- How one man become a millionaire from payday loans
- How to legally scam a credit card company
- Legally write off your debts now
I’m not going to employ the full process of writing the best headline. But after the skim I would continue knocking ideas around and constantly weighing up options. This is what separates someone like me, who invents headlines as a job and someone whose main business is something else. People just do not have the time to devote to hunting down that killer headline. I not only get paid for it but I love it. I have found it is better to outsource to experts than to do everything yourself.
If I had to pick one quickly it would be “How one man become a millionaire from payday loans”. To me it stands out from the rest, it’s different, it tells a story. It’s enigmatic for that fact that you don’t know if it’s someone borrowing the money or if it’s the borrower. Either way someone is making a lot of money from a subject the reader is focusing on. This should trigger the readers curiosity and have them dying to find out what it’s about.
“How one man become a millionaire from payday loans”, is a human story, a narrative exists. The story is one of the most powerful tools when it comes to marketing. Sometimes advertising is not selling you the product, it’s selling you the story of the people who buy the product.
OK so we have our headline
You may think it’s crazy to have the headline before the body copy. Here’s why it makes sense.
Your reader is going to come across the headline first. She is not going to know what the article is about, her only motivation for reading the article is the headline. So if you cannot be motivated to write the article based on the headline, how is the reader going to be motivated to read it based on the headline.
Lets get down to basics.
The headline suggests someone who has become very successful offering payday loans. With a little research it shouldn’t be too hard to find someone who has made a killing from this new form of credit. The actual explanation of the man will be fairly short.
The main objective of the article is to acquire links, but a story of a man making money is a little weak for someone to link to so we need to inject useful content that the blogger will want to share with her readers. Often a link is given as a bookmark or as a statement of “this is what I think too” and other reasons. For this article I would go for a resource hook.
Along with the story of the millionaire I would detail the pros and cons of taking out a payday loan. Something that people could go through before people knew that that was what they wanted to do.
I may include a top ten of the best payday loan companies around, with aff links of course. But the article is not there to sell payday loans it is there to inform, it must offer real information that people may want to come back to.
The millionaire aspect is the hook that stops people in their tracks and invites them to read further. The content then educates and informs whilst satisfying the readers lust for the story. It must contain information which the reader needs to come back to or if they have a blog or website wants her readers to check out.
If the article is successful in it’s main objective which is to gain links, the pr of the page will be good enough to attract some Google juice. This should be taken advantage of by including keywords in the content. This is where skill with the English language comes in, as it is tricky to weasel in those keywords and keyword phrases and retain readability.
It’s hard but it can be done, I have done it in this article for example.
The article must be as short as it possibly can, fluff must be kept to a minimum.
In summary the article must:
- Get attention
- Draw people in
- Answer the question the headline posed.
- Lead the reader to another destination
- Inform, educate, must help solve a problem (the problem here is “should I take out a payday loan”)
- It must contain keywords whilst keeping the content exceptionally readable
On Digg, people are notorious for digging simply because they like the headline. It’s possible this could be such a headline, but I kind of doubt it as it does not give us all the story and although that fact may draw a reader in, it may not be suitable for social media optimisation.
One way around this and something I do a lot is to give one title to the article and then a different headline for the social media submission.
The cool thing about that is that you can mould each headline to each social media site. On digg you could use “How a 15 year old scammed a payday loan website“, on Netscape you could go with, “Bush policies cause untold poverty except for one man.” etc. I exaggerate for effect but you get my point.
Different social media site equals a different demographic, equals a different headline.
Here?s a bonus, the initial skim for this article.
- How to apply linkbait for payday loans
- How to linkbait a payday loan website
- Grab backlinks to your payday loans site
- 5 Easy steps to increase traffic to a payday loans site
- Why Linkbait is the best way to market a payday loan site
- Put your payday loan site on crack with linkbait
- 15 reasons why using linkbait will boost your traffic to your payday loan site
- Why viral marketing will make your payday loan site into a cash machine
- Get links fast, payday loans linkbait!
- Quick web traffic, to your payday loan site with killer linkbait
- The secret of boosting traffic to a payday loan site
- If you don?t use linkbait for your payday loan site you will kick yourself later
- When building links to your payday loan site don?t make these mistakes
- How to get a traffic avalanche to your payday loan site
- Effective examples to linkbait a payday loan site
I?m not going to record the rest of the process for this section. Well I?m not going to give away all of my secrets.
I think I would go for ?Effective examples to linkbait a payday loan site?. My target market for this blog is SEO?s and marketing people. Because of this they are savvy to the language used in marketing to everyday people. Although the word ?killer?, seems to be effective in a lot of online marketing, when appealing to a more professional crowd there is less reason to use excitable language.
The article is made up of real examples. Messing around with a linkbait headline for a competitive area. It?s not an area I am playing in so I don?t mind giving away juicy stuff.
So rather than go with an ?avalanche? of emotionally stimulating headline it?s a more matter of fact, ?this is what it is? headline. But, I know that sticking the word ?example? or ?case study?, does induce excitement in SEO’s and so possibly that is the emotional soft spot.
I have just changed the headline to “Linkbaiting a payday loan site”, it scans better, it’s catchier and it’s more pithy. Sure it doesn’t contain the juicy “example”, but what I lose with one I gain with another. I feel that the new headline is more enigmatic. If the reader is into linkbaiting they will probably take a look.
I often change headlines at the last minute
The End or is it?
In writing this I have had to leave a lot out and even then the post is one of my longest, if you are still with me congrats.
The thought occurs that the subject may be ripe for an ebook, a step by step guide to link baiting. It’s actually a bigger subject than you think as although it’s a new term it encapsulates some very old techniques.