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Linkbait – It’s a Cliché for a Reason

written by John Chow on July 10, 2007

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This post was written by Matt Jones, the author of Blogging Fingers

Much like the phrases “write quality content” and “content is king”, “linkbait” has become such an over used phrase some bloggers have made resolutions not to use it anymore. However most of those phrases are repeatedly thrown about for a very good reason; because there is something to be learnt from them. However, there is a little extra in the story of linkbait.

Recently on the BBC news, the UK has been described as having a ‘knowledge economy’, I.e. where the commodity being traded is knowledge. It’s interesting that this is much the same as blogging. I guess all the latest booming industries mimic the UK…

A linkbaited article is essentially a blogger offering up his knowledge for trade. In-fact every blog post is, only by using linkbait the post has been especially well packaged in the hope to impress more potential buyers, who pay with a link.

Linkbait has gone from being a ‘must know phrase’ to being an old and overused gimmick within a matter of several months. It’s almost dangerous to say it (in-front of muggles), for fear of being shunned.

Why did the phrase “Linkbait” rise and fall so fast?

The answer is quite simple. Linkbait started of as part of a “lingo” that all the cool kids were speaking. Much like in video gaming, if you asked what the words “leet/1337″ meant and didn’t use them excessively you could prepare to be ridiculed and not included in the fun. Just like those phrases, linkbait was snapped up by everyone who understood how topical it was.

You can accuse me of confusing analogies (UK economy, Harry potter and now video gaming) but after all, isn’t making use of topical analogies the “in lingo” of today?

Conclusion

Linkbait may be getting very old but it had its use in the past as a buzzword and although we all want to stick it in a home it’s actual meaning of writing remarkable content remains the same.

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