The Battle Against Linkbait

Every time I post an article, I shamelessly submit it to Hacker News in the hopes that it will get picked up and generate a significant amount of attention and traffic to my site. Somewhere in the back of my mind, every time I submit something I wrote to Hacker News I think, “Maybe this is the one, the article that will go viral, and tomorrow I’ll see John Gruber post about it and hear Dan and Haddie talk about it on The Frequency. Maybe...” But that never happens.

Pursuant of this goal and in the face of my past “failures”, to use a bit of a strong word, I have to decide, each time I write a piece, whether to use a somewhat witty title or an overly-explanatory “linkbait” title. Each time I am faced with this decision though, the same arguments pop up in my mind: linkbait titles don’t drive the kind of traffic I want to attract. More importantly though, there’s a line that I don’t want to cross. I don’t want to be another blog clamoring for attention with a sensationalistic title on a tired topic with my nuanced opinion attached at the bottom. I want to be the blog people are excited to see new content coming from. And those kinds of blogs don’t post those kinds of titles; those bloggers battle against linkbait each and every day with each and every article, and they win.