10 Reasons Why I’m So Over Clickbait Blog Posts and Useless Advice Articles

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With just a quick scroll through Bloglovin feed and I’m faced with a vast Sahara of lifestyle hacks and blogging tip articles all promising to make my life more SuCcEsSfUl. Suddenly, it feels less like I’m looking at features written by real individuals with personalities and opinions, and more like I’m spending my lunch break on Buzzfeed with a billion listicles laden with self-help advice and spewing out psuedo-wisdom. 275 easy ways to make your dream a reality! Like, what the fuck does that even mean?

It’s not just on the explore pages of Bloglovin, but in my own feed of what I actively chose to follow. It’s on Facebook. It’s on twitter. And being spouted from every digital orifice, from bloggers to hugely respected publications. And all of this begs the very serious question: when did everyone become a lifestyle guru? And obtain a PHD in how to win in the digital world? Or is every blogger, or to use the new term du jour, influencersimply becoming aware of the fact that clickbait blog posts = an excel in their page views and therefore a nice inflation to their google analytics? Suddenly the only thing on my mind is 10 reasons why the blogging world is doomed to become choked by cookie-cutter clickbait *content*.

One of the first things in the royal book of blogging commandments that I learnt was the power of numerical list blog posts. 5 ways to X, 7 reasons why Y, 8 simple tips on Z… Couple that with handy self-help or self-improvement advice on positivity and chasing the goal of happiness and success and you’re on to a clear winner in the page views race. I’m not here to piss on anyones parade of happiness spreading, but my major issue is the fact 90% of these articles never offer up any new information, they simply repackage everything you already knew, pulling you in with cutesty-cum-inspiring title using words like the best! the top! must-see! life-changing! (this is definitely not a statistic I just made up…)

Here’s a little example featuring a recent title I came across:

5 of the best ways to increase your page views! 

Who doesn’t want more hits? Because in today’s modern world of writing, success is measured entirely in page views, no? So with the click of my mouse, I took the metaphorical jump into cyberspace to try and better myself as a blogger and become more SuCcEsSfUl. Let me summarise what I learnt:

Join twitter chats
Post on forums
Schedule tweets
Utilise your social more

Seriously, that was it, all packaged neatly alongside some fluffy inspiring phrases that were actually really vague and meant nothing. A four-strong list of the most obvious, fundamental things, shedding absolutely no light on the subject on how to actually improve what I’m already doing that can be summarised in 12 words. Damn you, self-appointed lifestyle gurus, for pulling me in with the promise of teaching something new (although really, should I not be blaming myself for being dumb enough to get lured in once again?) 

Ironically, what was missing from their list of useless advice was the real winning pointer of “writing clickbait advice posts that offer no real information or value but lure readers in, and ooh, look there’s another page view for me! *evil laugh*” – because let’s face it, that’s the most useful tip out there. Perhaps I should have titled this blog post “10 top tricks on how to succeed at being the most successful successy success EVER!” just to illustrate my point?

We know how it works, it’s manipulative, traffic-driving tactics that have spun our digital media platforms into flux, pulling us in with a snappy title that play on our emotions and desires to better ourselves, then follows up in the body of the post with something utterly underwhelming and far from groundbreaking. And we’re falling for it, hook, shitty headline, and sinker.

How I Keep My Skin *Flawless* Without Makeup 
– Some magical beauty product made using the tears of Jesus? Photoshop???
The One Thing All Successful Women Do
–  I don’t know, maybe stop looking for success in fucking blog posts about success?

Success. Money. Fame. Popularity. Sex. Votes. Likes. Hearts. Immortality. Winning! – Digital writing has fast become a race to stand out in the eternally-scrollable news feeds, and in doing so, searching for the holy Mecca that’ll teach us 8 top tips to truly smell like Beyonce, all we’re doing is wasting more time sitting at a computer screen that could have been spent doing something far more active and inspiring.

I’ve been there. I’ve written how-to’s and I’ve written listicles knowing full well that they’ll get hits. But each time I’ve done so, I’ve sought to give a fool-proof piece that actually sheds a little more light on the situation by answering unanswered questions in similar-style features. There’s no problem with sharing actual advice when you’re doing just that – sharing advice rather than digital word-vomiting some inspiring pseudo-wisdom phrases.

Everyones looking for success, but I can tell you now, you won’t find it reading clickbait posts about how to be more successful. It tricks you into thinking you’re being productive, when in reality, there’s nothing less counterproductive then wasting precious time reading about productivity. Read some hard-hitting fiction. Some fluffy fashion article. Go to a museum. Learn something. And leave the pseudo-wisdom firmly on screen.

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    I also don't understand the lists. Or a post with nothing but pictures (of affiliate items). It looks so disingenuine! When I do product posts I will have a sentence or two about each why I think it's great. Heck, I even buy the items half the time.

    But clickbait is annoying. My blog is still 'new', but I've been getting 4k views/mo and my bounce rate is still below 30%. I think if you want people to stick on your blog, easy navigation is key, second to content (obvs).


    1. Those pageviews are awesome for a new blogger still! Keep up the awesome work xx

  2. Brilliantly put. Totally agree with you; sitting in front a computer, clutching a cup of coffee while reading some vague advice listicle does not a successful woman make. Having said that, I do keep falling for click bait posts, be they within the blogging community or elsewhere. So. Annoying!

    1. God babes honestly I still fall for it ALL OF THE TIME. And then I get so mad about it! x

  3. I'm glad I'm not the only one who is sick and tired of these posts. I used to always fall for them and they would never teach me anything new. It's so frustrating!

    Those kind of posts have given me one hell of a complex. Yes! I thought dreamy posts like theirs were the WIN and posts that ruled Bloglovin and Pinterest were the real deal and there was nothing good about my own blog. But posts after posts, reading the oh-so-crap and meaningless words, and tons of advice from friends, I stopped clicking and reading those posts. There are still so many people who would love to read them, but I'm out for good.

    Thank you for speaking up. It's been boiling up in my head but I was literally out of words in way of putting them appropriately. Woo!!!!

    Noor | Noor's Place

  5. I hate these articles, they always make me want to roll my eyes – they're so full of nothing, I have never read one of these posts and actually taken something away from it. It bores me so much, I'm not even that bothered about page views, I just want to create posts that I am proud of. x


  6. Hahaha, so funny and so true! It's not just blogging and make up. It's EVERYWHERE. And it's so frustrating, because sometime I would love to read advice from someone who actually KNOWS what they are talking about. I'm sorry, but if I am looking for relaxation techniques, reding 'take a moment to breath… take a bubble bath… enjoy your life' simply don't cut it! Clearly a bubble bath is not a technique, nor is it an action that required googling. I love blogging and blogs, but I feel that actual content and outfits has been replaced by content about content and looks about new way to wear sneakers. So annoying.


  7. This was really interesting to read! In the past year that I have been blogging, I have done 2/3 posts like these because I read that they helped gain page views! Haha but on another note I did them only with the subjects I was very familiar with and tried to give different advice from the norm!

    Agnes x


  8. I mostly agree with you lol. Sometimes these posts offer insightful advice, but you're right, a lot of them really don't contribute anything new to conversation which can be super annoying. I'm not a big fan of click bait at all, but it seems like it's sometimes the only way to get anyone's attention anymore. I do write "listicle" posts, but as you said, I try to offer some new advice that hasn't been mentioned before so that way it's giving readers more value. As a lifestyle blogger with an emphasis in green beauty, I do recommend a lot of products, but I'm working to recommend alternative lifestyle changes which can improve your skin/life that don't cost you anything because I'm sure it's tiring to be inundated with a thousand products every day of the week. Thanks for this entertaining, thoughtful read.

    Stop by and chat with me, if you like > http://storybookapothecary.com

  9. If I could burn all the fking clickbait titles and thumbnails I could probably harness enough power to fuel the world for a bit. You are SO on point with this article. It's beautifully written, by the way. I like listicles, but so many now are just rehashings of poorly cobbled together rehashings and it's all gone a little bit circular and a lottle bit dull. Great, post.

    Fii | little miss fii | uk fashion & lifestyle

  10. I came back to blogland recently, because I missed writing and the community, but suddenly I found like a lot of the content was just… what you described in this post. I'm sure there's a lot of bloggers with really great content, but I feel like often they get overshadowed by clickbait posts coming from all directions. And I'm tired of them. If you're going to give advice, give something.

    Great post, will check out the rest of your blog. xo!

  11. Oh wow I didn't even know there was a word for this! It's really put me off blogging to be honest and I feel there's inspiration anymore! Totally agree with you!

  12. Hahahah, I agree! I get the occasional posts for tips about blogging all, but not in every single post, please! And I seriously don't get the ones that are so long with only a few pointers in it and filled with outfit posts! How does fhat relate to the title of the post?!