And so, for a short while on March 15, one reader might have seen this:The article is here, but you may find it paywalled.
$2 Billion Worth of Free Media for Trump
While another saw this:
Measuring Trump’s Media Dominance
Any guesses on which won the test, and by how much?
The top one got nearly three times as many readers, which underlines the crucial role of headlines in the digital age.
A story might be 1,000 words long, but tweaking the tiny handful of words that promoted this one on our home page gave us 297 percent more readers.
In other cases, headline tests have increased readership by an order of magnitude.
Soul-Searching in Baltimore, a Year After Freddie Gray’s Death
was paired against this:
Baltimore After Freddie Gray: The ‘Mind-Set Has Changed’
The test showed a 1,677 percent increase in readership for the second one. . . .
Can you tell which of the headlines below resulted in a tenfold increase in readers?
Is Everything Wrestling?
It’s Not Just Wrestling That’s Fake. It’s the World.
It was the conversational two-sentence version, with “fake.”
It has occurred to me that I might be able to get more readers by tweaking the titles of my posts, but between laziness and a snobbish disdain for clickbaiting I haven't bothered.