We need to stop over embellishing

22nd February 2019. Reading Time: 4 minutes General. 842 page views. 0 comments.

Often when we are putting something on social media, we have to use carefully selected wording to make it interesting to the reader. When it comes to the Paranormal, it is easy to throw around terms such as 'shocking evidence'. If your content is good, you don't need to shortchange yourself with these embellished headlines. Let your work speak for itself.

As someone who has studied broadcast journalism, one of the things I was taught was about wording a headline in a way that attracts your reader. The same can be said about Social Media. You usually have to have a title, and some carefully selected wording (which is sometimes restricted to a number of words depending on which platform you are using) to draw your viewer in. The more people that click on your post, like your post,, comment on your post or share your post - the better it is for engagement. Particularly when it comes to Facebook, it is getting harder and harder to have your post to shown to your followers unless you 'boost' your post by paying. It is kind of ridiculous considering people have pressed the LIKE or FOLLOW page because they want to see your content, but they aren't always shown your content. More than ever, the sentence needs to draw a person in. To compensate for this, people like to sensationalise.

In journalism, a headline is designed to evoke a reaction and an emotion. It might be designed to make you feel angry or on the other end of the spectrum, designed to make you laugh or feel good about yourself. The end goal is to get you read or view what is there. Very often, we are finding these days that the headline can be extremely misleading. The content is sometimes absolutely nothing like what the headline indicates. This is what we call 'Clickbait'. One of the things that I am noticing more and more is that people are using these techniques when it comes to social media. They need the clicks to get the engagement. What happens though when it is used for paranormal content?

It is certainly not a new practise. I often see headlines like 'shocking evidence' or 'terrifying experiences'. When posting headlines like this, we really just think to ourselves 'What is the best way we can get people to read this article or watch this video?'. What we should really be saying to ourselves is how we can get people to watch without having to sensationalise the content? By us saying 'This is a very haunted location' or 'shocking evidence' etc, in a way you are shooting yourself in the foot. You might get more views, but what does it leave you with if the content doesn't live up to what you have presented? Most likely, a viewer or reader won't fall for it twice and wont come back. Likes mean nothing and social media is a fickle place. People follow you one day and all you have to do is one post of something they don't like or agree with and they are gone. You work hard, and you don't need to short change yourself by going for what I guess you could call 'cheap headlines'.

The other thing I encourage people to do, is not to judge a book by it's cover. I know from personal experience in running this blog for the last 4 years that often when I share an article on social media, people only read the description and not the actual content in the article. They will voice an opinion (usually negative) without reading what I have actually said about the topic. I sometimes feel like yelling at my laptop (maybe I have a couple of times) 'maybe if you actually read what I wrote you might not be saying these things'. This though is the reality of the world we live in now. We have become so conditioned to this kind of sensationalised reporting that we take it as we see it. How many times do you see arguments start on social media just because someone has not read something properly? They are responding with emotion meaning the headline has done it's job. It has evoked that emotion.

When it comes to promoting your work in the paranormal field or your paranormal content ,don't feel you have to sensationalise or embellish your descriptions. You don't need to use this kind of wording to get your message across. I assure you, if the evidence in the video you are posting really is amazing, it will get the hits and the shares without you having to make an embellished title for it. If the article you have written really does hit a chord with the viewer, people will see it because they will like and share it. If the video you have made really is beautifully made, people will pick up on that. When people enjoy something, they share it. They talk about it and recommend it to their friends. They don't care what the headline says after they have viewed it, in fact they probably don't even remember what the headline was, it comes down to the content itself. Focus your energy on the content itself.

For myself,, I try to use a little bit of sarcasm in some of my titles or descriptions which aren't always understood, but that is OK. People that know the blog know that is just me and how I write. My content is not for everyone. You either like it or you don't and that is OK. When you are creating content, you are leaving a piece of yourself behind with it because you really do put your heart and soul into it and it is a reflection on yourself. Some people won't like it and some won't get it and that is OK. But don't embellish your creation and shortchange yourself to try and bring those people in. You don't need to, as you likely have an audience that understand and enjoy your content. Let your work speak for itself!

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