There’s been a lot of talk recently about “click bait,” which is term used to describe inflammatory or controversial headlines, videos, photos, links or other media to drive internet traffic to various sites, mostly news sites and blogs which rely on advertising to keep themselves in business and support the livelihoods of those operating or owning such sites. While I will never begrudge anyone the ability to make a living through legal means, there is something I wanted to make my readers aware of so expectations of this blog are clear.
I will not knowingly engage in the practice of “click bait” on this blog, or any other blog which I either operate or contribute to. Others might do so, but I won’t, no matter the pressure or the cost.
That said, I do take great pains to ensure that my headlines are eye-catching, informative, or witty. In addition, I strive to ensure that media, images, or photos posted are either humorous, educational, beneficial or well-informed. Still, that does not mean I will post articles which are controversial for controversy’s sake. A real, genuine, beneficial purpose must be served. In a climate which is hyper-partisan and mean-spirited enough, there is no reason for me to add any fuel to that fire which doesn’t serve a beneficial purpose. Simply posting to drive traffic isn’t me. When one of my posts catches fire, I’m grateful for it.
Yes, there have times in the past where I have attempted to dabble in this practice, but I felt empty that a better end was not served. My writing was always meant to serve my readers in some way, be it through thought, laughter, or helping to change one’s heart. The fact is, I’m writer who blogs, not the other way around. My love is for the craft, not for the fortune – maybe someday I can make a living doing this, maybe I won’t. Nevertheless, there is absolutely zero reason for me to engage in the sort foolish, greed-driven contrivances which run the risk of compromising the one thing I have worked carefully to cultivate, my professional integrity as a writer. Yes, this post will probably cost me many opportunities, both personal and professional, down the road, but I compromised my integrity once years ago in college while running our campus newspaper; I promised myself that I would never again commit the same error.
If this sentences me to a life of languishing at the bottom of the blogging barrel, so be it. Better to be a professional who maintains his integrity than be someone who is willing to post something potentially false or libelous simply to make a fast buck. That’s just not me. I’d rather blog for free the rest of life and work like a dog for the peanuts I currently make and what little I do have.
At least I can look at myself in the professional mirror every day with a clear conscience.
If you still like what I write, check out my Amazon author page. Yes, expect to see this at the bottom of every post from this point out. Hey, I won’t compromise my integrity, but I will at least try to get people to read my books!