Don’t Read This Post

“Negative” headlines often generate more readers than “positive” ones. Several years ago in a previous life, I helped a buddy of mine build a website where he included a link “For Executives Only” — this generated much more traffic than any other links on that site. It turns out people react to negatives more than they do to positives. “Worst”, “Not”, “Don’t”, and “Only” are interesting words and people want to know what’s there. Oh yeah, people are curious.

I once saw a link on a website that read: “10 Important Reasons NOT to Hire Me”. While the “negative” technique most certainly works, IMO it should be used sparingly. Only one negative link is appropriate on a site. And don’t forget — there must be something compelling and interesting to read once people go there. Don’t promise something interesting with a negative headline and then fail to deliver.  So let it be written, so let it be done.