“How to Write a Click-Bait Headline!” On-Line Course Being Offered?

“How to Write a Click-Bait Headline!” On-Line Course Being Offered? March 10, 2015

(AoftheANews) Are your blog post titles bland and uninteresting? Do your friends avoid your site because your headlines are too boring to click? Is traffic at your site suffering due to a lack of artificially-generated outrage?

If you answered “Yes!” to any of those questions, then you may want to consider registering for the new on-line course, “How to Write a Click-bait Headline!” Learn the principles that have made Pewsitter so successful! This ten-week course covers everything from start to finish on crafting the most outlandish blog post titles and headlines EVER!!, and guarantees an exponential increase in traffic!

Here’s a partial list of the “Pewsitter Principles” courses being offered:

Bold, Italics, or Both: Making Font Styles WORK for YOU!!

“From Text to Pretext to Out Of Context: How Your Headline can Create INSTANT Bias!”

“Phrase-Latching: the #1 SECRET to Induce Feverish Clicking!!”

“Want to Promote Misconception?? Make Punctuation Work for You!!”

Nothing says “Click Me!” like a headline that makes you believe it’s the focal point of the article you link to or write, but in reality, isn’t. Don’t think it’s true? Let’s look at a couple headlines before and after applying the “Pewsitter Principles” (actual Pewsitter headlines in bold).

Here’s a headline from the Vatican Insider about Pope Francis’ homily from Mass on March 8:

Francis: “The whip of Jesus with us is His mercy.”

It’s not bad, but after taking the on-line course, you’d be writing:

‘Pope: True worshipers of God are not the guardians of the material temple, the holders of power and religious knowledge?’

Whoa! That question mark at the end makes it insta-clickable! And the out-of-context quote would make any reactionary Catholic believe the Pope is talking specifically about him!

Here’s another example, taken from the U-T SanDiego story about the appointment of Bishop McElroy to the Diocese of San Diego:

New Bishop May Need to be a Miracle Worker

Rates pretty low in terms of generating interest, but once you learn the Pewsitter Principle of ‘phrase-latching’, you’ll be able to write:

‘New San Diego Bp. McElroy: Faithful see evil day of wrath, ex-Catholics heartened…’

Who wouldn’t want to read about an evil day of wrath, right? Makes you think the article’s full of fire and brimstone, when it’s…not. And so what if only one ‘ex-Catholic’ was interviewed? Pluralize it! It creates misconception!

So sign up today! Stop suffering under the weight of writing accurate, judicious headlines. Learn all the skills necessary to create buzz, generate more traffic, and promote your version of truth. The cost is free – only the price you pay may be steep.

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  • Viterbo Fangirl

    Larry D, I love you.

  • I wonder if your fellow Patheosian, Fr. Dwight Longenecker, read your post before writing “Pope Francis the Big Coward”?

  • Katalina

    I read Pewsitter every day and while it is like a Catholic Drudge Report they are simply sharing articles from other bloggers and I see the same highlights are other sites. DON”T SHOOT THE MESSENGER because you don’t like their message.

  • Katalina

    Or are you going to the Father Rosica route and just SUE PEWSITTER because they say things other Catholic Bloggers won’t talk about.

    • Can I like this or would it be inappropriate?

  • Guest

    How much per click LarryD?

  • How much per click Larry D? Because you should be sending the gang at Pewsitter a thank you.

    • tj.nelson

      Now I know why you were threatened with a lawsuit. Nasty.

      • Strife

        What was so nasty about his comment?

        • I don’t think TJ can answer Strife. You called him out.

          • tj.nelson

            True. I have no answer.

          • Janet Baker

            Why is it nasty? How do you arrive at that evaluation?

          • tj.nelson

            I made a mistake. Sorry.

      • Janet Baker

        It is no secret that Patheos bloggers are compensated based on the number of clicks their sites receive. I for one clicked on this site from Pewsitter. For the compensation attributed to my visit, Larry is indeed beholden to Pewsitter. Larry D, I enjoyed many of your posts when you operated outside the umbrella of Patheos. I am glad I sensed something amiss months ago and removed your blog from my own sidebar. Your talent is wasted at Patheos. I will take a screenshot of this comment – just in case it disappears – so there will be proof of its existence.

        • LarryD

          I will take a screenshot of this comment – just in case it disappears – so there will be proof of its existence.

          God bless ya, Janet, but that’s so funny, why would I delete it?

          • Janet Baker

            Well, that seems to be a pattern at Patheos. My comments have disappeared from Shea’s blog, for example. I take heart in your assurances that it won’t happen on this particular page.

          • LarryD

            I don’t know what happens at Mark’s blog, and there isn’t a universal “Patheos Comment Policy”. But I still reserve the right to delete any comment I choose, for any reason. So there’s still the possibility that future ones may be. Ya just never know.

      • Speaking of nasty. Say again?

  • BAMinRI

    I enjoy Pewsitter. The headlines are frequently outrageous, and often misleading or borderline-false. The question marks are just a silly gimmick to draw the readers in.
    And to tell you the truth, I enjoy having my liberal sensibilities offended by the frequently wacky and far-rightwing sourced stories. Also it’s nice to have all manner of crazy stories in one convenient location.

    • JTLiuzza

      Typical leftist condescension.

      There is a reason Pewsitter is successful. And it has nothing to do with punctuation. But don’t bother trying to figure it out. That would be beyond the liberal mind.

      The “click bait” stupidity put forth by this author and others fits in nicely with the leftist worldview: “I’m the smartest person in the room. Anyone who doesn’t think like me is a troglodyte.”

      • Jezzzer11


    • Strife

      “liberal sensibilities” = moral relativism and hypocritical double standards.

  • Jude

    Pewsitter is the Catholic Drudge, which I also check daily. I find that they link to really interesting, thought-provoking articles.
    My only complaint with Pewsitter is that I would like it to consistently warn me when I am going to link to a Patheos site.

    • Guest

      I agree that PewSitter is of great service to the Church. Jude’s suggestion would be helpful, too, in that it would be nice if there was a warning about Patheos links. Larry D could possibly update this “On-Line Course” to click-bait with the following suggestions: something like WARNING-PATHEOS PRO-GAY article or PATHEOS-INCLUDES PORNOGRAPHY or PATHEOS-KIND OF HIPPY. Then again, simply providing the warning of a patheos link might imply inappropriate and heretical literature.

      At the same time, PewSitter has increasingly been providing many links to SSPX supporting stories. Their SSPX support is a legitimate concern.

      • Jezzzer11

        “Their SSPX support is a legitimate concern” how does linking to an article mean that you support it?

        • Aaron

          Simple, no question mark.

    • JefZeph

      Uh oh. Your thoughts are being provoked? You must be one of those dreaded “reactionary Catholics”.

      I think I hear Mark Shea beckoning LarryD for some further boot-licking.

  • Jacob

    Don’t read this blog, please click immediately and go to Pewsitter to read real catholic news

  • Harriett

    Pewsitter is terrible. Doesn’t at all represent authentic Catholicism. It’s mean-spirited, calumnious and angry. If that’s what Catholicism is boiled down to, count me out!

    • Jezzzer11

      but it links to Patheos a lot….*confused :s

    • Strife

      Yes of course – because Jesus was always so nice and pleasant. He never launched harsh criticisms ever. Oh wait. You’ve never actually read the Gospels – have you.

      • Harriett

        Our Lord never resorted to calumny or base smears. Pewsitter is little more than cheap, gutter “Catholicism.”

        • Strife

          Pewsitter doesn’t resort to calumny or base smears. But obviously you subscribe to the heretical liberal/progressive ideology of the fantasy Church-of-Nice where all sins are tolerated in the name of faux-mercy.

          “Hope has two beautiful daughters. Their names are anger and courage; anger at the way things are, and courage to see that they do not remain the way they are.” – St Augustine of Hippo

          • Tish Morgna

            Love that quote, gotta remember to use it on any others who subscribe to the “pay pray and obey” crowd.

  • John Albertson

    Pewsitter is marvelous (my only complaint is the way they use question marks to indicate sarcasm. That should be stopped.) But your comments on Pewsitter are silly . Are you irritated Pewsitter has so many readers and you do not? They would not condescend (or think it worth the bother) to write something so mocking about you.

  • tj.nelson

    Oh! My! Gosh! You hit the jackpot – you got a Pewsitter link! Right at the top of the page!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Your stats are going to shoot through the roof, Poodle! Congratulations!!!! I do screenshots and critiques all the time but they totally ignore me – I’m not complaining though.

    Oh man Larry – this is great.

    I’m not worthy!

  • Bungo Baggins

    I’m an avid reader of PewSitter, but I do tire a tad bit of some misleading headlines. I have to go through the article to see what was actually said. PewSitter if you are reading this, please tone down the creativity of the headlines…

  • bosco49

    Very strange take on Pewsitter, Larry. I would never have heard of Patheos but for ‘New Advent’ who harvest urls which serve to attract readers in much the same way as you say Pewsitter does. I find Pewsitter enormously educational whereas I rarely visit Patheos at all any more.

    Nice try. I suggest you might spend more time with that cat of yours which your bio indicates is ‘plotting to kill’ you.

  • jacksprattaz

    Wow. Did I hear a meeeeooow? Jealousy is so distasteful…and obvious. I check Drudge everyday for secular news and Pewsitter everyday to see just how bad things have gotten in the Church. That Pope Francis; what a whacky guy. The fact he’s so popular in today’s world should be your first tipoff something’s very very wrong.

    • Strife

      That Pope Francis; what a whacky guy. The fact he’s so popular in today’s world should be your first tipoff something’s very very wrong.

      Yep. You’re absolutely right. And we see this warning in the Gospels:

      “Woe to you when all speak well of you, for their ancestors treated the false prophets in this way.” – Luke 6:26

      • standtall909

        Yes the world does love him. Latest stats if they are correct say 80% of American Catholics love him. Wonder if they are all Church going Catholics? And I wonder what percentage actually knows their faith? Just sayin.

  • Strife

    Patheos is just one of many junk-food media versions of watered-down “catholicism” for the self-serving self-centered modern “catholic” who insists that moral “truth” is always changing to fit the latest collective wisdom of our tolerant society.

    And if there is one thing this delusional world doesn’t need – it is more delusional reasoning in the guise of moral relativism and false mercy spewed forth from the progressive heads of self-appointed theological experts on yet another dying blog.

    Dear Patheos – don’t go away mad. Just go away.

  • Carolyn C

    Interesting that sites such as crux, pathos, vatican, “benefit” from direct links. Most journalists or writers or preachers want others to hear them speak “truth. If you write what is good, holy, and the doctrines of the Church, then your truth will stand no matter where links come from. If you speak truth, then be happy. Jesus said: If you are of this world, the world will love you. If you are not of this world, the world will hate you. So if you are standing for the truths of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, then the world will hate you. Jesus said they will put you out of the synagogue… So today who is more welcome in the Church? Pewsitter or Pathos?

  • Tish Morgna

    ” And so what if only one ‘ex-Catholic’ was interviewed? Pluralize it! It creates misconception!”

    Um….do you have blinders on? Just about all the anti-Catholic ex-catholics are howling in approval of the “new direction” of the Church under pope Francis. It doesn’t take any interview of such people to see them dancing in hellish delight and proclaiming the impending end to the “bad OLD church”.

  • Strife

    Dear Patheos and The-Church-of-Nice et al:

    “Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions.” ~ G.K.Chesterton

  • Aqua

    Patheos might be interested in giving your techniques a try. My guess is that it won’t help. Pewsitter is a beacon of media truth in an ocean of dissembling and PC obfuscation. It presents facts and opinions and doesn’t make judgements for me. Read it all and decide for yourself what it means.

    I’ve been on Patheos a few times, and tried to participate on issues on Mark Shea’s blog. My opinions are respectful, but contrarian, and Mark Shea cut me off twice now, banning me with unbelievable anger and emotion from “his blog”, (I visualized him pounding his chest as he typed the words). THAT is NOT a good way to promote dialogue and increase readership. I have lost HUGE amounts of respect for Mr. Shea, and I have previously purchased his books.

    If you want to be successful in media, then stop trying to manipulate outcomes! Just present the truth, media people!

    • John Albertson

      While I agreed with him on many subjects, I gave up reading Mark Shea simply because of his serious anger problem which at times seems to reach clinical seriousness.

  • standtall909

    Pewsitter at least gives the reader more of the truth of what’s really going on. It’s up to the reader and proper discernment to pick and choose, but at least you get an idea of the shenanigans that go on, and a sense of the direction the Church is going, which is not real wonderful at the moment. To be fair, Pewsitter links to lots of sites both ultra traditional and ultra progressive, so I don’t understand what Larry’s problem is. At least at Pewsitter we get the WHOLE story regardless of the ‘punctuations’ and what he calls ‘clickbating’. I think the readers are smart enough to look past all that. I mean, if you’re going to hide the truth or spin it and misrepresent it according to your own agenda, you’re no better than the liberal main stream media. I think people including Catholics are really tired of all the deception.

  • JCC

    It works. I am a real fan of Pewsitter.

  • Allen Troupe

    Larry, congratulations on becoming a Pewsitter Headline.
    I do visit Pewsitter & have found some very useful links. But I also have some problems with the often misleading nature of their headlines as well as the overuse of ? @/or ! at the end of them. They remind me more of the headlines found on the tabloid covers you see at the grocery store checkouts.
    Additionally, I have some problems with their unquestioning use of certain sources, for instance, The Remnant. 1 of the Remnant’s main contributers is Chris Ferarra. They often link to him. In addition to his book attacking EWTN that included many claims that can easily be refuted, Ferarra is associated with Fr. Nicholas Gruner & The Fatima Crusader. Gruner is a suspended priest who has falsely represented himself as a good Catholic. In the 80s, Gruner was ordered back to his diocese in Italy where he was incardinated. Gruner claimed he didn’t have the money to return to Italy but was also flying to Rome to speak at conferences. He also claimed he couldn’t speak Italian despite having attended seminary there. I could go on, but I say this simply to point out how Pewsitter needs to not only clean up how it describes its links, but who they link to.

    • LarryD

      Good to see you around, Al. Been praying for ya.

  • conservative5

    I am at the point of no longer following this web page. It seems me there is too much criticism of other Catholic bloggers.