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Blog readers have the same attitude. They don’t read your blog post – who has time for that? – they scan it. (For more information on how readers scan a website, see our article on eye tracking heatmaps.)
A bulleted or numbered list is fast and easy to read because they are neat and tidy, stripped of all the “fluffy extras.”
There are several ways to incorporate a list in your blog:
- lists within posts
- the list post
- the extended list post
List Posts Are Like Bite-sized Brownies – All the Goodness in One Gulp
List Post Headlines
List posts are popular for bloggers who want the message to go viral. And why do they go viral? Copyblogger tells us its because the headline of a list post makes a clear promise to the reader. They know exactly what they’re going to get if they read on.
- 7 Reasons Why/To . . .
- 7 Early Warning Signs of . . .
- 7 Steps/Ways to . . .
- 7 Types of . . .
- 7 Things You Ought to . . .
- 7 Secrets to . . .
- 7 Best/Worst . . .
- 7 Tips for . . .
- 7 People Who …
- 7 Mistakes . . .
How to Write a List Post
Decide on the Number
- Brainstorm as many things as you can on the topic you’ve chosen – and only use the best
- Problogger says a round-numbered list (20, 50, 100) gives the impression you are an authority on the topic
- End an odd-numbered list with a request for readers to add one more
- If you have less than 5 it suggests that you don’t know that much about the topic
Be Consistent With How You Write Them
- If you’re using numbers or bullets, use the same on all – don’t mix it up
- Make each item in the list the same length – one sentence, one line, etc.
- If you use punctuation, punctuate all items
- Consider starting each item with the same part of speech – noun or verb
- Order the list logically – by importance, alphabetically, chronologically, step-by-step
Extended List Posts Are Like Fast Food – the Whole Meal as Fast as Possible
What IS an Extended List Post?
The extended list post includes short, meaty explanations for each point.
When you’re trying to provide a resource on your chosen topic, the extended list post is the way to go.
- Bold or use headline tags for your point
- Be comprehensive in as short a space as possible when including information
- Tell readers how to implement the information given in the list item
- Include links for more extensive information on the topic to help keep it short
How To Use an Extended List Post
Use it as one of your Pillar Articles or Cornerstone Content. It is a resource on your topic that people will want to bookmark and share because the information is comprehensive, practical and stays current.
Use it as a landing page. When you guest post, link to it as a resource reference in the text of your blog post to get traffic to your site. Use it as a “start here” page and make a list of all your foundational but archived posts.
Use it as an e-book. If your extended list post is more than 2 pages, turn it into a PDF that can be easily shared and offer it as a freebie e-book or a free report in your sidebar.
Use it to make connections and get traffic. Brian Dean tells us that we should:
I hope this helps you understand the usefulness of the list post and encourages you to try writing one of your own. It can be a list of things for fun or a comprehensive resource list – or maybe try writing both!
Do you know someone who would love to see this? Please share!
Subscribe today & don't miss a thing!
Once a week we'll tell you the upcoming daily celebrations & the articles you may have missed.