Why List Posts Work So Well On Blogs

Well, here’s a topic I haven’t touched upon in a very long time, so let’s look at it again shall we?

If you’ve checked out any blogs on the topic of blogging, you’ve probably read that one of the post popular types of posts are list posts. It is what it sounds like; it’s a post where you have anywhere from 3 to 20 numbered lines where each one tells something about the topic at hand. I’ve written lots of list posts on this blog, some long, some short, as well as my other blogs.

From the deep (Explored)
John Ryan via Compfight

Why are these posts so popular? Here’s a list lol:

1. Lists are easy to understand because they usually begin with a highlighted line so you know what each line is about. Sometimes the list only consists of lots of single lines.

2. Lists can be pretty easy to read, and fast as well. If you only have to take in a few words, less than 20, things move along fast.

3. List posts indicate in the title most of the time how many points there are going to be. This can be a misleading indication of how long a post will be. You can bet that a post with only 3 points is going to be much longer than you think, whereas a post with 10 points could be either long or short, as this post of mine on another blog listed 10 points but was close to 2,000 words; I’m kind of proud of that post, just so you know. 🙂

4. List posts can help you get people to ask you questions. You can use a list to highlight things without getting into detail, and if people are interested you can bet they’re going to ask you more. That could be good for business if used properly.

5. List posts are very easy to write. As opposed to having to write a lot of words to try to draw readers in, like I do, a list could just be a bunch of random thoughts strung together and yet still convey everything you want it to.

Go ahead, try it out to see how it feels. Just so you know, there are many blogs where every post is a list post, and it probably suits the writer and their readers just fine.
 

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Post #900; Blogging Baby!

Wow, I’ve made it this far! This is post #900, and at least this time I didn’t miss it by two days as I did #800. I usually wait until the post after the monumental day, but decided to change it up this time in preparation for #1,000 at some point in the spring.

This post is two days before the anniversary of the first post on this blog, which was December 12, 2007. At that time I didn’t know what I was really going to write about in this space. Now I have no idea every time I write what I’m going to write about, but I at least have a format that works for me.

For those of you who are new, let me explain the process I go through. For every 100 posts, I like to go back and take a look at the topics I wrote on and the posts that seemed to be the most popular for one of two reasons, which I’ll mention as I go along. I do it to help me chronicle what types of posts work better than others, but I also think it highlights for people just what kind of writing I tend to do on this blog, if anyone is predisposed to visit and then take a look back at things. And of course it’s another way for me to have backlinks to previous posts, in case you want to check them out. 😉

Time to get to the numbers. I always start with an accounting of my top 5 categories for the month. This month they were:

Blogging – 28

Sunday Question – 13 1/2

Personal – 9

Product – 7

Social Media & Entertainment – 6

That’s the first time that the majority of topics weren’t in double figures; freaky! The products was a fluke, since 6 of those posts were me highlighting the products I have for sale that I created, something I’d never done before.

Next, I like to show the posts that supposedly were the most popular per Google Analytics. This one is always weird because these are almost never any of the posts that were written during the 100 post period, but older posts that, for whatever reason, continue to always dominate the numbers time and time again. There is a new contender on this list this time; first, let’s see the list:

Cleavage – Yes I’m Going There – 4,335

Getting Google To Index Thunderbird – 497

Should Sexting Be Illegal – 415

Webshots – 309

Images Used By Permission – Copyright Laws – 178

The last post was a guest post by my friend Scott, and it was written on August 12th, which is outside the last 100 days, but is still a relatively new post. Regarding those others, I’m really surprised people are still having difficulties with Google Desktop, especially since I’m assuming more people are on a newer operating system and the product now comes in 64-bit. As for that cleavage post… well, no wonder Google Adsense went away on this blog. 🙂

Finally, let’s look at the blogs that got the most comments. As always, the disclaimer is that I commented on them as well:

Sunday Question – What Happened To Modesty – 57

How Can You Get Noticed On Other Blogs – 40

Four Reasons To Put A URL In When Commenting On Blogs – 38

W3 Total Cache – 38

I’m Supposed To Ask You To… – 37

I did write a lot of posts about blogging, but I think the responses were fairly eclectic so that means I really don’t have one style that grabs everyone, other than the one salacious post that I didn’t think was all that salacious. I thought about trying to find a way to only show posts within the 100 with the highest views for the second category, but that wouldn’t be quite fair to later posts, plus that would be way more work. But for your edification, the post with the most views that was within the 100 days was the one on modesty with 107 views.

And that’s that. Thanks for going down memory lane with me. I don’t have any platitudes on what I’m going to write about over the next 100 posts; let’s see where the mood takes me.

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Visitors Love “Lists” Posts

Once again, it’s been proven, at least to me; folks just love posts with lists of things they can comment on, whether they agree or not.

My most recent post on sci-fi movies proves that it’s a great way to get visitors engaged. And it’s gotten lots of visits also, which is why I paused a bit before writing a new post here.

Of course, the other side of that is that list posts are popular if people know about you to begin with. I started getting more buzz about this blog around October or November, so a few posts from a period before that didn’t get quite as many visitors or comments. I want to highlight some of both types, if I man, just to bring them back to the forefront for one more go round.

Let’s start with this one, as it’s probably the one that’s not quite a full list. It was actually my commentary on another blog post giving reasons why some people should stop blogging, and I commented on a few of the points the originator brought up.

The next one to talk about was in response to something similar I saw on another blog regarding the top five presentations in history. It has to be since you’ve been alive, which knocked out Franklin Roosevelt’s speech and, of course, Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, since I not quite THAT old. lol I think it would have been interesting if someone had shared their thoughts on this post and given some examples of their own; it got nothing. It might be a bit too deep, but so be it.

This next one was another I thought would get a lot of attention. Once again, I was inspired by something on another person’s blog and wanted to give it my shot. The soundtrack of your life idea was to find three songs that explained your life to others. I also added the videos to each song, which the original person did too. Was this one too scary for most folks?

This one did get a lot of attention and comments, as I basically talked about my favorite blog posts for my first year in existence. This one brought back some good memories, and helped to highlight other posts that might not have gotten much attention, but I felt deserved it.

And finally, one of my most visited posts ever on this blog, where I gave my own top 100 singers of all time opinion, based on a Rolling Stone poll that I thought was way off the mark. I mean, if they’re not singers, they shouldn’t count. There’s certainly lots of things to debate on here.

And there you go. And look, a list post about lists; what could be better than that.
 

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