List posts are great. Though sometimes they are referred to as Listicles, and they seem not so great, right? But really, they can be so intriguing and attractive to your audience. Think of all the ways you’ve been lured in by the List titles:
- 25 Top Tools for Automating Your Blog Work
- 14 Best SEO Optimized WordPress Themes
- 20 Best Blogs for Beginning Bloggers
Usually, these lists are numbered for the reader so they can keep track of where they’re at on the page. Then the blogger, preferably in a niche where they have some respected expertise, will choose something to judge then find a variety of them and sometimes arranges in an order of preference.
1. Remember Who You’re Writing For
This is where it’s important – remember to consider your avatar when building your list! Your site is about solving their problems. Sometimes, I’ve seen a site get off-topic with a list article because they came up with a ‘neat’ list idea. —Make sure the list TOPIC and the list items are on point, if it doesn’t fit, then get rid of it!
2. Keep it Up to Date
What also happens with these is that they can get out of date, style, or trend. Also, bloggers often try to one-up another by posting a list with even more items. Sometimes this can backfire, because who can stay focused or interested in a list of 101 Ways to …?
3. Don’t Create a List Only Site
Be sure to let your personality shine through. These lists can be almost quasi-content. You’re sharing some expertise with your audience but it’s focused on this list, almost like a crutch to get you through to make a long post. I realize this isn’t true, but try to ensure you don’t have only this post format, as your reader may disengage.
4. Remember Attention Spans Are Limited
I just looked and found on for the Top 100 Lifestyle blogs! Wow, a list of 100. As a reader, that seems a little overwhelming to me.
5. Establish a Bit of Pattern
Also, break them up with headers and try to establish a basis for common comparison or ranking if you can. Then you can also go into details, and this creates a well-rounded information set the audience can consume.
6. Make it Eye Candy
Add visual interest, like photos, shorter sentences, even a way to work through it that’s visually appealing. Think about it, do you want to come into a list post that just looks like your To Do list? Bold the important stuff for the skimmers.
7. Consider Your Purpose
Why are you writing this? Is it to do any of the following (or mix of the following):
- To educate, help, or grow your reach?
- To sell an affiliate product?
- To see one of your own products?
- To get organic traffic?
- To go viral and have people share?
- To attract backlinks?
- To increase subscribers?
Work to ensure this piece does just that. Also, if there’s something to plug that makes sense, or you have affiliate links, be sure to add them along with a strong call to action.