I read something recently about ways to get more people to visit your website and read your blog. Most of them had nothing to do with improving the quality of your writing, making the content snappier and punchier, more thoughtful or even funnier. Most were merely about the simple mechanics and tricks you can use to lure people to your website.
Probably not the Kardashians
Like putting headlines such as the one on this blog. That gets enough people to click on the link to your site so that the numbers for your blog go way up.
But then you have to wonder. The headline might lure people to the site but once they realized they’d been tricked did they stick around long enough to read what was there?
It reminded me of a story about an evangelist preacher’s efforts to reach out to people in New York’s Times Square, many years ago when the place was a cesspool of drug dealers, strip joints and sex shows (gosh, I wrote that as it that was a bad thing!). The preacher rented a store front and painted the door with gaudy colors and put up a big neon sign that said “Completely Naked” and an arrow pointing to a small window. When people looked through the window they saw themselves, in a mirror, and a sign above it that said “You stand before God.”
I thought, “Wow, how clever and creative.” But then I thought, “And how many people’s minds did that change?”
Honesty is the best policy – usually
It’s certainly a fun gimmick, but like all gimmicks if you lead people to your site under false pretenses the likelihood is great that, when they discover the hoax, they’ll not only leave in a hurry, they’ll also leave in a huff. Maybe you’ll get a few to stick around and think about the things that you care about, but in most cases they’ll just head off to another site that really talks either about sex or the Kardashians or both.
So, if you have read this far after being lured here by that misleading headline I apologize. Thanks for sticking with this. Feel free to head off to TMZ or some other celebrity gossip site that really does deliver the goods you thought you were going to get. And I promise I’ll never do this again. Next time I’ll use a rumor about Lindsay Lohan and Charlie Sheen buying the Betty Ford Clinic to lure you in.
Come to think of it, that does sound really intriguing doesn’t it?