Top 10′s, Hot Chicks, And SMX Social Media

by CSR on October 29, 2007

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Chris Richardson here. There are a number of posts and articles dealing with linkbait, but because I’m still feeling a little bit of the SMX hangover, I figured this preview would be a good time to revisit some ideas and strategies that will cause people to do nothing but throw links your way… well, if not that, at least check out your work and perhaps add you to their feed reader.

Top “10″ Lists

It’s hard to stress just how popular these are with bloggers and the Digg crowd alike. It seems you could do a Top 10 list of Top 10 Lists and it would be well received, as long as it has a strong headline. Currently, there is only one Top 10 List story on Digg’s popular page — Top 10 Cities for Job Seekers — something that isn’t necessarily par for the course. Quantifying why web users like Top 10 lists is pretty easy: people like to see what others think, if for nothing, than for something to disagree with. Normally, these types of lists are met with plenty of scoffing and “worst list ever” comments, especially on sites like Fark.com.

Currently, there is a Top 7 List on Fark discussing why zombie movies — a favorite of the Fark crowd — suck. As you can imagine, the responses go after the author, attacking his points (or lack thereof). But whether or not people agree with your list is not the point. The point is getting the traffic to your post. If they don’t agree, it’s up to you to defend your work, but there should be some satisfaction knowing your blog posts can elicit these kinds of reactions… unless it’s the quality of your work — grammar, misspellings, weak arguments — causing the negative reactions (not the case at with the zombie article… they just don’t agree with the author).

If you are going to post a Top Whatever List for your target audience, be compelling. Be confrontational. Just make sure you can generate a definitive reaction from your readers, whether it’s a disagreement or approval. However, if you do take a opposing view, be prepared to back it up because if you make a point and don’t defend it, you’ve essentially made a useless post and there are far too many of those in the blogosphere as it is.

Linkbait of any kind is not a “set it and forget it” exercise.

Pictures are probably the “Best” Linkbait

A fact supported by Aaron’s last post about Google. Quick, what did you notice first? The title or the hot chick holding the sign? Yeah, that’s what I thought. Hot chicks are considered almost instant linkbait and considering just how much male web users like these pictures, I’m surprised we don’t see them with every post being made. These types of pics are so effective, members of the sports blogosphere have started using them in recurring posts just to keep your attention a little bit longer.

For example, the awesome college football blog, Every Day Should Be Saturday, has a feature called the Friday Cheesecake. This post consists of whatever hot chick Orson and the gang are feeling at the time.

Not to be outdone, the great Kissing Suzy Kolber has a category called The Friday Cheerleader Post, which is exactly what it sounds like.

On With Leather, they have Saint Andrews Net, a daily link-dump post that features an attractive lady to assist with any attention-span trou…

Sorry about that, I got distracted by Sara Stokes.

However, not all picture/linkbait posts have to have a hot chick to be popular, although that never hurts. There have been a lot of image-only posts that have blown up on Digg that aren’t hot chick-related. This particular picture of Pikachu (what the hell is going on here?) got almost 7000 diggs and it was featured on Fark… all because it looks like a child is climbing into a giant Pokemon vagina… man, you gotta love the Interwebs.

Another one, as pointed out by Rebecca Kelley at SMX, simply stated Carmen Sandiego has been found. This post also received over 6000 diggs. If you don’t know who Carmen Sandiego is, read her Wiki page.

As you can see, images are very powerful linkbait, be it through the use of hotties or weird, Pokemon-based sex organ oddities. There are some other pointers to consider when making a linkbait post as well:

First, current event posts are always good linkbait fodder. This applies to most blogs, regardless of topic. If a current event item even remotely applies to your target audience, make a post that comes down on one side or the other. Spirited discussions are a good way to get returning traffic. Second, don’t be afraid to turn your ads off. Most socially adept net users don’t like ads and will navigate away from a page featuring an ad smorgasbord. Remember, you are making these posts for traffic, not ad clicks.

Finally, be sure you submit your stuff to the normal social media outlets at the right time. Weekends, evenings and holidays are not considered good times because many people actually try to turn off their Internet personas and actually venture out into the wide-open spaces. It sucks making a worthy post, only to see it get lost in the shuffle because you made it on a Friday afternoon (much like this very post I’m doing right now)… Although, I have noticed sports blogs are good about making weekend and holiday posts, especially when big games are on.

Just don’t expect the Diggs of the world to notice. Your work, however, may make Fark and they stay pretty active on the weekends. Anyway, before I go, I’ll leave you with some linkbait of my own:

Hot Chicks Making Out

Because, you know, you can never have enough hot chicks making out… at least for my money. Take care and enjoy the week.

Chris Richardson

Edit 10/29/07 for clarity

I thought about this post a little more this weekend and it occurred to me that what I called linkbait in reference to the sports blogs mentioned above should be called “trafficbait,” because I doubt those posts get a great deal of backlinks… no, it’s more accurate to say those pics are a good way to get your traffic to stick and to possibly attract more if they are discovering these images on feed reader.

I hope that clears things up a little.

/edit

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{ 8 comments }

James November 1, 2007 at 3:12 pm

hahahah.

Way to practice what you preach with that nice little number at the end. What is it about 2 chicks?

TheMadHat November 1, 2007 at 6:09 pm

You mean what is it about two hot chicks…

Utah SEO November 3, 2007 at 3:13 pm

I have one of those seo-chicks.com shirts that says “I Digg SEO Chicks”. It’s always a hit at SEO get togethers and/or conventions.

Lisa Ditlefsen November 12, 2007 at 4:16 am

Hey Utah SEO, that’s so cool that you bought a “I digg SEO Chicks” t-shirt =)It’s quite funny as I made those t-shirts just as an addition but they are the ones that has sold the most. ha!

TheMadHat November 12, 2007 at 8:43 pm

Lisa…who doesn’t dig(g) SEO Chicks? If they don’t they should be hanged, drawn and quartered!

Chris November 12, 2007 at 10:04 pm

seo chicks are hot.

The Anti Hype January 18, 2008 at 6:45 am

I just stumbled across this blog as I was looking for a way to increase exposure for my new blog – guru-fodder. Top 10 list, ah why didn’t I think of that! Perfect for what I’m trying to do. Thanks.

TheMadHat January 18, 2008 at 10:30 am

Thanks for stopping in Anti Hype!

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