Insert Titillating Headline Designed To Compel People Into Clicking
Pageview competition is driving news sites (legitimate and not-quite-so legit) to “out outrageous” each other.
I don’t watch the news because it’s full of negativity that ruins my mental health. Why all the negativity in the news? It gets people to watch, to read a paper, to visit a blog. Humans are innately attracted to bad events.
News Media Know You’re A Rubbernecker
Since we can’t help ourselves, we look, we click — we are entertained by tragedies that befall other humans. We might feel empathy for the people we see in the news. Some might even send some money to charities helping those people.
But in the end, the news is entertainment. Entertainment that must fight for your attention.
I only pay attention to tech/software/business news because 1) I’m a geek and love the stuff and 2) it keeps me informed on innovations in business.
But… business news, tech news, software news isn’t immune to the economics of Pageview Profits. They must get my attention so I don’t go to their competitor’s site for the same news. These sites may even trick me with misleading headlines (which pisses me off and sometimes I don’t go back). They also have to fill the Internet with dozens of posts a day — most of which are just filler with a catchy headline and a few sentences.
My Site’s Totally Epic, Dude!
What does this rant have to do with you and today’s episode? Everything.
We are seeing the misleading headlines filtering down to just regular blogs. Bloggers are trying to “Out Epic” each other and then fall into a trap of needing to “Out Epic” themselves.
When battling for clicks to your site, you may end up on a treadmill of churning out stuff designed to just get people to visit your site.
Become Newsworthy Without Selling Your Soul
In this episode, Ryan Holiday, author of Trust Me I’m Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator, shows us the inner workings of a click-based economy and the hyper-competition that comes with it.
He shows us the holes in the system that allows people like him to manipulate what becomes deemed as real news.
There is good news for us ethical business owners.
We don’t have to manipulate, but we can influence our market so we break through the noise and grow a great business.
Use PR To Propel Your Business
I’ve talked to a lot of business owners who have gotten hung up on the shady tactics Ryan shares in his book, but you’ll hear in this episode how to take the shade off the tactics and ethically become a newsworthy business.
I specifically ask Ryan to teach us how people in a small niche can move up to national (even international) prominence if they have that level of ambition without selling their soul in the process.
Trust Me I’m Lying is an excellent business book (even for honest people) if you pay attention to the leverage points that are highlighted and find a way to honestly get your story onto content sites in your industry.
Enjoy your Foolish PR Adventure,
Tim “Honest Abe” Conley
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