You’re Not Going to Believe This!! The 7 Elements of a Clickbait Article

Clickbait is a topic of much annoyance these days, especially on social media. Articles with titles that promise to wow the reader but somehow always seem to flat line. Here are the 7 elements that are involved when it comes to a clickbait article.

List Based Articles

This style of the article is considered to be one of the most popular types on the internet right now. The titles of these articles will normally say something like, “10 Things That Only Siblings Will Relate to.” This is most popular among sites like Buzzfeed.

“You” or “I”

The whole reason for clickbait is to engage with people to get them to click on (and hopefully read) your article. Titles that contain you or I in them convey a sense that the article will be personal, and if it’s personal it may also be relatable to other people. If someone can connect with something they are likely to want to read more.


Now this one is slightly different depending on the individual. But if you’re like me and love animals then clickbait titles that contain any mention of animals will draw you in every time. Animals are cute, and who doesn’t want to watch a video of a panda sneezing, or read an article about a cat that saved their owners’ life. Add a cute picture to the article and it will send most people into a frenzy.

Topic That Received Recent Media Attention

People who write clickbait play on trending topics and relevant news to generate reads. For example, many people are writing articles such as “Lists of Sexual Assault Allegations Against Donald Trump” and “13 of the Most Pressing Question About Refugees Answered with Charts.” People want to find out more information about what’s going on in the world, but less and less young people are switching on the news to keep up-to-date. Instead, their turning to social media – which can actually be damaging due to fake news going about.

Pop-Culture or Food-Culture Reference

Whether this is the Kardashians pregnancy rumours or Buzzfeed’s tasty videos, chances are you’re going to click one of them. Food and pop-culture are two things that seem to be irresistible. It doesn’t even need to be modern pop-culture, 90’s pop culture references are also massive clickbait, as a lot of people who actively use social media can remember that era well. And sometimes people are more interested in nostalgic topics than current ones.

Unknown or New Concept

Adding a touch of mystery to an article by bringing up an unknown or new concept is also extremely popular.

Which article are you most likely to click on?

  1. This Duck Just Swam Across the River to Get to The Other Side


  1. You’ll Never Guess Why This Duck Swam Across This Pond!

Clickbait uses simple techniques like this to draw people in by making them want to find something out. Even if it’s boring or simple, the aim is to get the clicks.

Shock Factor

We all like a bit of shock and excitement, and this has proven to be an extremely powerful method when it comes to clickbait. You want to shock the reader – even if the title seems too good to be true – you’re probably still going to click it. In today’s world, we get to see some extraordinary things, especially with easy access to the internet and easy sharing options on social media. So when the article reads “This Duck Just Swam Across the Lake to Save a Man from a Burning Building” you’re probably going to click it, just in case.