Clickbait Headlines? A Cracked.com Analysis from Experiment27


Cracked.com is one of the most popular sites in the world with over 300 million people visiting monthly and they are known for their wild use of clickbait headlines.

In the video below, I go through 10 times they used the exact same headline to drive views – it was actually dozens of times more than that – and go over a framework for creating headlines based on Cracked’s most popular articles.

Let’s Go!

We always care about the quality of our contents, therefore, we made an excellent summary of our video for you in case you prefer to read.

Clickbait headlines = million of views?

From 2015 to 2016, Cracked.com published a series of posts titled “The 14 Most Insane Things Happening Right Now”, which summed a total of more than 30 posts. Just to give you an idea of the number of views they got, here’s a small sample:

  • A post from April 29 (2016) got 1,195,405 views.
  • Another one from October 13 (2015) got 2,447,075 views.
  • Next, April 26 (2016) with 3,495,613 views.
  • Then, July 12 (2016) with 4,478,224 views.
  • And June 14 (2016) with 5,512,477 views.

We are talking about more than 12M views for just those posts!

So, what is making those posts to be so attractive? Why do they have so many views?

The answer is simple: the type of headline they use.

Cracked.com Headline Analysis

What I’m going to show you right now is an excel sheet I made up of what I consider are the most clickbait headlines on their website (the viral ones):

Clickbait Headlines? A Cracked.com Analysis

As you can see, each one of them uses a particular syntax or formula. For instance, we have numbers, use of an adjectivenouns, and dates.

We also observe they make reference to something well-known or respectedor something outrageous. 

Our definitive template

All you have to do is to make use of each “template” to create your own clickbait headline. In my example, the highlighted one is the title of this post video.

So what do you think?

Go ahead and try to use these headlines in your own content, see if they work.

I’m Alex Berman from Experiment27.If you like this type of content give it a thumbs up on YouTube and subscribe for more teardowns!

If you need marketing support for your agency or startup, check out experiment27.co

Music credit: http://soundcloud.com/handsalmon
Google doc link: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/…

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