Just over a year ago I wrote an article titled 5 Reasons Why I Probably Won’t Share A Guest Post From Your Blog. Obviously I highlighted 5 reasons why I wouldn’t do it while still highlighting a few guest posters in the article. I’m someone who has my principles, and I stick by them. I also have reasons why I do things; whether anyone likes them or not, they’re still my reasons.
Now it’s time to talk about this thing I’m calling “group list posts”. In essence, these are posts where someone is addressing a certain topic and then either gets opinions from a lot of people or designates the “top” whomever based on their own criteria… which is usually no criteria, just opinion.
For full disclosure, I’ve been a part of a few of these over the years on different topics. I’m someone who, if I’m a participant, will help promote an article multiple times. Some of you might ask the question “if it’s good for me, then why won’t I share the posts of others who are doing the same thing”. I’m going to tell you, whether you like it or not. 🙂
First, I don’t like group lists without criteria, especially if the topic line is something like “The Top 50 Women Bloggers”. What you usually see is a list of 50 women without any type of criteria. It leaves me asking why are these women the top 50? Did you use a ranking system like Alexa or Kred? Did you just make it up and throw a title on there you knew many people would check out to see if either their names were on it or maybe one of their friends?
The biggest problem with these types of list… and a lot of other lists I’m going to bring up… is that they’re either all or overwhelmingly white; yeah, I went there. You think I’m making this up? Am I being sensitive?
Here’s an example. An article titled Start A Blog Like These Top 50 Successful Women Bloggers at this link, successfulblogging.com/start-a-blog/ (no, I’m not actually linking to it; you can copy & paste it if you’re so inclined) has 5 Asian women and no other minorities. This one was easy to pick out because it has a picture of every blogger.
Another article was titled Top 25 Bloggers In The World and was written on Medium at this link, medium.com/iambloggerguru/top-25-bloggers-in-the-world-94c81406ddb1. This one was interesting because there’s 3 women on the list, one of whom isn’t really a blogger (Sorry Arianna Huffington, but you’re not…) and all the rest are white men… and the writer was Asian!
What this shows is that the criteria is fake, and the writers need to expand their fields of knowledge. That’s why the women had to have their own article (even if they missed out on the minorities) and I’ve had to write my own articles highlighting black blogs… but I haven’t said any of them were “top” anything, even as I wrote my Black Web Friday series for months back some years ago.
Second, lists with criteria almost always have the same people… and once again they’re almost always white and male. I did find an article titled “Up and Coming Influencers Share Marketing Predictions for 2016” at ninjaoutreach.com/influencer-marketing-predictions/ with 7 women out of 25, way out of the ordinary, and out of those numbers one was black… and I didn’t know her. There were 4 Asians, which means 80% were white and 72% were male… and I knew more than half of them.
It was good that I saw my buddy Lisa Sicard (hi Lisa!). But where was Ileane Smith? Where was Lisa Irby? Where was Kim George? Where was Danielle Little? Where was Reg Saddler? Where was Enstine Muki? Where was Kharim Tomlinson?
Just to be clear, it’s not that I don’t appreciate some of the topics and some of the people highlighted on these sites. I don’t begrudge some of the folks who show up often; some of them are well known for their contributions; I thank them for that. The issue is that just like the movie Black Panther has shown, there’s a thriving community of people of color in America that deserve more attention and promotion.
The problem is that I hear all the time “I don’t know any black bloggers” or some such nonsense. What do you think I am? I’ve been out here for 12 years! Others have been around a very long time. I know who “you” are; doesn’t that deserve a bit of reciprocation?
I don’t want to be on a list because I’m black; I want to be on a list because I know what I’m talking about and I happen to be black! I don’t want to be an anomaly; I want to be part of the large community that’s also part of the small community… if that makes sense.
If not… let me share this story by video:
A little bit more inclusion; is that too much to ask?
Third, you almost never get anything usable from these lists. Whenever I’ve participated, I’ve always offered specific and usable tips. Mostly what I see is tripe that everyone says that’s meaningless. Y’all know what I mean; telling someone to write “good content” is useless (I’ve got you covered; “great content” lol) unless you either tell them what good content is or give some more specific recommendations.
That’s all I’ve got; what say some of you?
18 thoughts on “Why I Share Few Group List Posts”
I find the expert roundup posts the worst when it comes to group lists.
I see people on them and I think to myself, who are they?
When I look them up on their blogs, many of them clearly aren’t experts.
I guess those kind of blog posts are easy to write and can be used to flatter?
That’s how I see it sometimes Tim. Thing is, whenever I’ve participated in one of these things, I actually give out tips I know will work. If there’s a topic I’ve been invited to write about that I feel I’m not the right person for, I turn it down and say I’m not an authority on it. If there was a lot more of that I might feel better about them… except for the other stuff I mentioned in this article.
And I was going to do a post about my top 10 favorite bloggers. Oh well!
I know what you mean by these top whatever posts. It’s the old, list posts are a good way to generate traffic, advice that create these haphazard lists.
You have plenty of traffic, you don’t need them anyway. Besides, you have your reasons. lol
I do have my reasons! lol Actually, doing a post on your 10 favorite bloggers is legitimate because the title infers these are your favorite and not “top” because of something arbitrary. That’s what I did with my Black Web Friday series. I mentioned people to give them exposure without saying they were tops at anything. I did have one post where I did name a top 10 or something group, but it was based on Klout scores at the time… which I came to hate later on.
Hey Mitch, I’m surprised I’ve never appeared on a list, and I am white lol.
Yeah, I know, my blogs aren’t the type that would appear on any list.
I’ve never taken much notice of those sorts of lists. Apart from some of my YouTube videos that list some really sexy women I’ve never put up a list. As for the video, it was my personal opinion 😉
You’re Australian; it doesn’t count! lol I used to look at these lists because in my mind I figured I could glean something useful. Truthfully, I did when it was Neil Patel but for most others it was pretty much pablum. Still, it wasn’t my biggest gripe, just a piece of it.
First of all, thanks for the shout out! Those marketing lists, round ups, etc. started to seem very disingenuous to me over time. I like the idea but I started to see it was really more about the author trying to get their blog or account out there.
It seems the goal is typically to get the social love for their own posts or retweets more than to help the “community” or niche they serve. There are exceptions of course. Once again, the obsession with likes and popularity rears its ugly head. lol
I also stopped participating because I felt I was forcing answers and was starting to say the same things. A couple of times I declined because I just didn’t have anything different or insightful to say. And sometimes the questions in the round up weren’t even that relevant to my business. Again, it was all about them reaching out to people with large followings so we can share their post.
But I’m so glad you pointed out inclusion. It’s a very topical subject these days and glad to see the convo spreading to the blogosphere too! Thank you Mitch!
Glad to see your comment Lisa. I’ve been pushing this issue since 2011; me & Ileane. Here we are years later and nothing’s changed; that’s a major shame. Inclusion is a big deal to me, but then it would be. These types of group list posts seemed intriguing initially, but lately I find that I won’t even check them out. I remember a couple of years ago checking out an article about 50 top bloggers; half of those folks hadn’t written anything in at least 3 months! Useless; pbfft! lol
Holaaaa Mitch! Wow…thank YOU sooo much for the shout out. It’s an honor to get mentioned in the post with peeps that I admire in the blogosphere. To be honest with you … kind of on the lines with what Lisa mentioned, I take those round up posts with a grain of salt. Ive noticed and have heard that a lot of peeps intentionally reach out to certain people to get shares, mentions and link love back to their sites (nothing wrong with that at all)… more than anything else. I do appreciate you calling out the lack of diversity in these posts as there are some really talented bloggers out here that are doing great things…but don’t get the attention they deserve. Ah well. Just another day in the blogoshere. Again, I appreciate you talking about this topic as I have been feeling this way for a while now.
Thanks for commenting Kim; you deserve to be right there with the people I mentioned. I’ve been fighting the good fight for a lot of years, and every once in a while I feel the need to remind the rest of the world that we’re here. We’re fairly successful in our own way (well, maybe not me so much lol), and increasing our visibility gives us the opportunity for even more success.
As for these posts… sigh… I’m thinking about putting together a post of some of my favorite bloggers, but they’d be MY favorites; no other criteria. Wait; I’ve already done those posts; I’ll wait to see what Rasheed puts together. 🙂
I tend to skip over most of these now as they rarely provide useful info any more. They just skim the surface. I found them more useful 5 or 6 years ago, and it also seemed that the so called “experts” were more knowledgeable then. Maybe it’s because there are just so many more bloggers now.
The funny thing about this is that I recently saw a top 50 flooring blogs and I wasn’t included in there. Based on the stats they showed (including Alexa), I should have been #2. But maybe they just excluded women. After all, my flooring girl blog and 2 other female bloggers also excluded (they should have been in top 10 to 15). Then I looked and saw I needed to subscribe to something to be included…no thank you.
I think this overall shows that people tend to know, interact, like etc. with people that are more like them. I bet they don’t even notice. I can’t figure out which is worse.
That’s exactly the issue. You can’t call anything “top” without having criteria, unless you mention it’s your personal belief. Years ago this blog was ranked in the top 75K in the world, yet I never got any attention as a blogger (that’s when I was writing almost daily). Lisa Irby, who I mentioned in this article, had her blog ranked in the to 7K in the world at the time; never got any love except from me.
I’ll admit that I’ll share an article I’m listed in, but it’s mainly people I know who have added me as someone they appreciate. What’s funny is that periodically I do a search for my name (well, with criteria since my name is the same as Jimi Hendrix’ former drummer lol) and I find my name on lists that I never knew about. You’d think someone would have informed me; that’s just bad marketing.
I know what you mean by these top whatever posts. It’s the old, list posts are a good way to generate traffic, advice that creates these haphazard lists.
True. They’re also missing the meaning of list posts. I’ve written a bunch of them; the thing is that if you don’t actually say anything then they’re meaningless.
Hello there Mitch!
As a matter of first importance, a debt of gratitude is in order for the yell out! Those promoting records, round ups, and so forth began to appear to be exceptionally insincere to me after some time. I like the thought yet I began to see it was extremely more about the creator attempting to get their blog or record out there.
It appears the objective is regularly to get the social love for their own posts or retweets more than to help the “group” or specialty they serve. There are special cases obviously. By and by, the fixation on preferences and prominence raises its monstrous head. lol
I understand the wish to drive traffic to one’s blog or website. I don’t fault anyone for doing that sort of thing. What I fault them for is not getting anything specific or useful for the people who end up reading those posts. Of course, I also believe I should be in more of them, along with other black bloggers and social media people; that’s something that’s very important to me.
You really hit the nail on this one. That is one more reason why “expert roundups” and “top X” are my least favorite kind of lists. They are so repetitive and as marketers, we know exactly why they exist. I usually blame the big guys for this problem, though. They have been teaching these methods as very reliable and can get a lot of traffic and links. There is an article actually showing that these lists don’t get these results. Usually, they are just dead weight.
I can point out maybe one or two articles that use “experts” that actually are good pieces of content. Useful, actionable, and actually worth reading. The rest is just content published for the sake of gaming the system.
Thanks for sharing your opinion.
Glad to do it Stefan, and of course I agree with your position. It’s another one of those “any publicity is good publicity” things, but if nothing definitive is being offered then it’s not a good use of anyone’s time. It can take a while to learn this lesson, especially if you think no one’s noticed you online previously. Now, if someone adds me to a list I don’t know about, at least I’ll be flattered as a non-participant; I’m at least that vain. lol