We have our own fair share of list posts on this site and they are by far the most popular on the blog. I do think it’s important to imtermingle lists with other styles of writing though to keep interest in your blog (and to cater for all visitors). Much as I love them, I have also been known to bounce off a site that seems to only contain lists – everyone likes a bit of variety!
I know there are plently of people out there who hate list posts (mainly because ‘everyone does them‘) but I think there are still several reasons why they are worth doing if only for the simple reason that they are fun to write!
Easy to read and skim
Everyone skims when they’re reading. I’ve gotten so practised at it that I sometimes have to stop myself while reading a book to go back over a page and read it properly. On screen it’s even more pronounced. It can be hard on the eyes to read on screen so lists are a fantastic option for breaking text into small readable chunks.
Getting to the point
On the same vein as being easy to read, a list post give you the chance to headline your post to let the user get to the main point, they’re eye-catching. For example, someone coming on here might already know a list post is easy to read and so can skip point one and skim down the page to a point that’s new to them – getting them to the intersting information faster.
Easy to write
I enjoy writing list posts, I find that when I can start a post with simple, bulleted headlines I can knock up a post in record time. Once the headings are down on screen the rest just seems to flow. I also find that when I’m writing lists I tend to keep my posts shorter which also adds to the easy to read angle.
Easy to start off with
Another thing we found when we have a student in for work experience is that lists are an excellent introduction into blog writing. For some reason they seem an easier idea to get into and we’ve had a lot more success getting these written than tutorials or straightforward articles.
People love lists
Well, most people do! Probably for the easy of reading once again but readers do like lists. Every morning when I login to Twitter there is one person I’m following who Tweets loads of lists, there is always something there that catches my eye and I will end up clicking on. I think if I see a ‘5 reasons…’ or ’10 things…’ post I assume that it will be a short, easy read that won’t take me away form work for too long rather than a massive essay.