Lest anyone think I’m casting stones without acknowledging my own sins, I decided to share a list of the shameless ploys I’ve used to get page views for my employers and blogs. What I’ve listed is hardly out of the ordinary for any website, but I still feel bad about it sometimes.
If I could go back to when I was in journalism school and share the following information with 2001 Mandy, she’d probably change majors. I won’t say when these stunts were done or who I worked for at the time – but it’s happened. I’ll repent for my sins someday.
Feel free to add your own or others you’ve seen in the comments.
Mandy’s Most Shameless Page View Ploys
- Built a photo gallery when a story would have better served the subject matter
- Changed the headline and summary to reflect something far more exciting/scandalous than the story’s subject.
- Published an online story that only has a paragraph of text and a link to a competitor’s story.
- Given premiere position to outrageous crime stories even though news judgment did not warrant it.
- Published link bait from the AP and other services even though it was out of our coverage area.
- Submitted news content to Digg and Fark before waiting for others to submit it.
- Picked the sexiest girl out of a photo gallery to feature for a gallery in a prominent news spot.
- Prominently featured crime stories/pet stories/disaster stories on the site long past their expiration date to keep getting page views.
- Linked together completely unrelated stories to draw views to unpopular content.
- Published content that is indistinguishable from advertising/press releases simply because it will get traffic.