A List Post About List Posts No 1
Do you think list posts are a good idea, or do you steer away from them? I believe they have their place and, if done well, can form a valuable part of your blogging repertoire. I present my case in the form of a list post because that seemed appropriate.
I originally wrote a long post with 25 points but decided to split the post up into a series of three. Read on to find out why.
Advantages of List Posts
- We are very familiar with, and therefore identify with, lists. We all make them to keep our life in order. We use them to remind us, to meet deadlines, set goals, and to simplify tasks: to do lists, shopping lists, bucket lists, wish lists… Writing posts that readers identify with is an excellent way of empowering them and meeting their needs.
- List posts are popular and shareable. Currently, 17 out of the 26 most popular posts on Daily Blog Tips contain a number in their title.
- Umberto Eco author, and expert in the meaning of communication, says that lists are a basis of our culture. They are very important in helping us make sense of our whole world!
- Their layout makes them easy to scan and read. They are less taxing on the brain. This is a real advantage in the web world where information comes pouring at us from all angles. (Please excuse me while I reply to a Facebook message)
- List posts are a winning formula for writing the types of posts that entice readers: 10 Ways To …, 10 Reasons to …, 15 Best …. The top 10 …, 8 Free …They make us curious and offer solutions to our needs, and we tend to not like missing out.List post titles usually call for the type of power words that compel us to take action. Take a look at my post 7 Sure-Fire Ways of Writing Compelling Posts for lists of these types of word. They are often words we search for to answer our how and why questions. (best, reasons, ways)
- List post titles, which include the number of points, inform readers what to expect. They are finite. Or, as Copyblogger, Brian Clarke, puts it:
- Lists with bite sized snippets of information allow readers to easily pick out areas of interest.
- Clear concise points are often all that are needed to avoid unnecessary padding.
- Lists are predictable. Psychologists say that list predictability allows us to build up schemata (mental maps in our brain) from experience. This gives us an idea of what to expect. These mental maps then allow us more easily understand, and take in, information that follows.
- The list post formula is recommended, and used by, top bloggers. List posts are one of the types recommended by Problogger Darren Rowse. You can learn about these in 31 Days To Build A Better Blog
So why am I splitting up this topic into 3 posts?
It’s partly because of the power of succinct lists but I’ll explain the reasons in more detail in the next posts in this series:
If you didn’t notice the message at the top of the page: I’m publishing a daily magazine which contains the most recent posts from experts in Social Media, plus some evergreen posts on the subject.
I’m continuing to add to my new resources site. The latest page is An A-Z list of Blog Post Ideas
What are your own feelings on list posts? Do you like reading them? Do you write them yourself? If not, please let us know why they don’t suit your particular style ?