By @TheMarkDalton

Of course you do, we all do. You can be seen easier on some platforms than others but the reality is that we all want the attention in some shape or form. Oh and by the way, thats not a bad thing. As I have mentioned several times over the past number of months, Twitter has a noise problem which is getting worse. Now I am about to tell you just how bad it is.

A new study carried out by researchers at Microsoft and Colombia University has found that 59% of URLs shared on Twitter are never clicked. 6 out of 10 links are just ignored and scroll through the timeline without every getting a single click on them and that is a huge deal.

The study collected data over the course of one month and included 2.8 million shares on Twitter. It also looked at shared links to the BBC, CNN, Fox News, NY Times and the Huffington Post. Not just small publications, but big brands. You can read the full report here.

Sounds like a depressing study if you are a content creator, right? Well it really isn’t all that depressing when you think about it. In fact it makes a lot of sense but it also means you need to get really smart about your headlines. Sometimes your content will strike out and be shared all over while generating great traffic. Other times it will die a slow death.

By that same token, don’t be disheartened if you produce what you think it a great piece of content but it bottoms out. I have had plenty of pieces that I thought were awesome and they died with barely any traffic. At the same time I have had pieces I thought were not so great be shared all over and generate great traffic.

This is the up and down of creating content online, get used to it. This happens to all of us and it will continue to happen to all of us. You won’t have a home run or a grand slam every single time.

Get Smart With Your Headlines

Your headline is now more important than ever before. The real sad news right now is that the winners are so called “clickbait” headlines. You know those headlines that read, “YOU WON’T BELIEVE WHAT HAPPENS NEXT!!”

Those headlines that you all moan about and blast for being ‘clickbait’ but you go and click it anyway. The reason why clickbait is so big right now is because the market dictates what is big. You, the reader, the consumer…you decide what it hot and what is not hot. So while you all complain about clickbait headlines at the same time you are fuelling the industry by clicking on them to get to the content.

Sensational and misleading headlines get easy clicks on social media. What that means is that the rest of us need to get smart about our headlines and craft them carefully.

The headline is the gateway into the content so you need to make it appealing, you need to create a headline that leaves people wanting more. It’s not easy, it is somewhat of a craft and even I don’t always get it right these days. The content in return needs to deliver on what the headline promises.

You need to grab more than just their attention, you need them to click through to the content. Pose a question in the headline which you answer in the content. When you ask a question in the headline people naturally want to see what the answer is.

Now, don’t make every single headline a question. Bold statements also work well. For example a bold statement such as my piece titled “4 Reasons Why Your Digital Marketing Sucks” will also grab attention.

Also ask yourself why someone would want to read the rest of the article. Don’t leave the reader feeling cheated, if you ask a question in the headline then make sure you answer it in the content. Look back at the headline when you finish the content and ask yourself again, ‘would I click on this?’

If the answer is no or you are not sure then you need to go back and work on the headline again. Don’t just tell yourself that people would read it, be critical and look at the headline carefully.

The reality is that sensational clickbait gets the easy share on social media. That doesn’t mean you need to join the sheep and create your own clickbait headlines, it just means you need to think carefully about what you are doing with yours.

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