Fascination With Bigger, Better, Faster

by derek on August 2, 2007 · 7 comments

Stop by the bookstore or newsstand on any given day and you will see headlines such as:

  • The 5 Best Stocks for 2007
  • 3 Fastest Ways to Lose 10 Pounds
  • The Only Bicep Workout You Need

These headlines themselves are not such a big deal. But have you noticed that the same magazine will repeat the same topics with different information. They are feeding the people’s desire to have quick access to what is the best or fastest even though it may be different than what they were just told the previous month.
It is not uncommon to see the very same magazine have headlines like this in back to back months:

  • Build Abs In 20 Minutes
  • 9 Steps To a Flat Stomach

So which is it? Do I need to follow the 20-minute workout or the 9 steps?
While I am fully aware that magazines are trying to appeal to the people and sell as many issues as possible, I find it funny how the same magazine can present so many different solutions as the “only” thing you need to do or the “best” way to do something.
It seems like there are two types of magazines that I see use these contradicting headlines the most and those are anything to do with money or fitness.
There aren’t too many people that don’t have a desire to have more money or be more physically fit. In addition, most people that don’t have money or are out of shape are looking for the quick fix.
Who wants to do a full workout when there is “The Only Ab Exercise You Need“?
Who wants to research their own stocks when they can just buy “3 Stocks Ready To Skyrocket“?
Don’t get me wrong, I am not blaming the magazines at all. As a matter of fact, they are simply catering to a need or desire that they know exists. They also know that they can exploit that on a regular basis. Otherwise you wouldn’t see “The Best…” or “The Quickest…” type articles every single month.
Browse around the blogosphere and you will see this in play as well with blogs touting the “3 Easiest Ways to Make Money” or “Get 5000 RSS Subscribers In 3 Days“.
In the end, I guess it really boils down to good marketing skills on the part of the content provider as they know how to hit the hot-buttons to get people to read their content.
Be sure to stop by tomorrow when I share “The Best Way To Earn Repeat Business“. 😀

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Damien Riley August 2, 2007 at 11:54 pm

If it were easy, anybody would do it.
Your post might as well be a textbook example of a well-written blog post. You have a great title, a hook at the beginning that draws the reader in, you give lots of examples then you bring it home by making a relevant point! Excellent. I enjoyed reading it. What’s more, I’ll be tuning in to read the next one!

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derek August 3, 2007 at 12:05 am

Damien, thanks for the very nice feedback! I’d had another post in the works for tonight and scrapped that one to share this as it had been on my mind today.

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Glen Allsopp August 3, 2007 at 2:27 am

One of the reasons that blog headlines can be very effective in the social media space

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Erik Karey August 3, 2007 at 9:47 am

That’s just the mindset of people today. Everyone wants it quicker, easier and more of it for less and marketers know this. It’s the same in the blogosphere where most bloggers try to write enticing headlines to gain attention and maybe even some Diggs. Nice post!

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derek August 3, 2007 at 4:14 pm

@Glen :: You’re absolutely correct. If you look at many of the headlines that receive attention from digg, StumbleUpon or others, many of them cater to the bigger,better,faster idea.
@Erik :: Thanks. In our society there is a large appeal for the “magic answer” so to speak and writing enticing headlines is certainly part of that from a blogging perspective.

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Eleanor April 29, 2008 at 10:20 am

agreed! you pretty much have all the elements of writing a good blog post… just read and commented on one of your posts, and look at me now… i sure was drawn here because of the catchy title, but the content definitely does not disappoint! keep it up!
Eleanor’s last blog post..GrowLean 15

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Eric May 6, 2011 at 11:27 am

I couldn’t agree more, but what’s more disturbing is the amount of people who buy these articles, programs, or schemes thinking that this time it’s going to work. If any one of these programs worked as easily as they said, it would be a worldwide phenomenom and no-one would be working.

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