List posts, you hear people saying you should create them and you wonder why, what’s the big deal, and what is it about lists posts that’s so darn great anyway.
I’m a fan of lists. I make a lot of lists … so many my kids make fun of me for making lists of everything. Lists of things we need, lists of things to do, lists of books, lists of craft supplies, pro/con lists, lots and lots of lists. I buy legal pads and index cards in bulk for my list making obsessions.
Posting a list of something to your blog almost seems like it’s too easy to matter in a way. Content is supposed to be hard, isn’t it? And lengthy, at least 5,000 words, and full of information and tutorials, and images and sticky grabby pushy things?
Here’s a fun fact. Content doesn’t have to be hard or lengthy to work and connect with your audience on a personal level. Content can be fun, light, enjoyable to create and to read. List and bullet point style posts are easy to research and write, so you can incorporate them throughout your content calendar pretty easily.
Lists attract people, they’re quick to read and fun to share. Sites like BuzzFeed thrive on nothing but lists. Look at the “Popular Posts” section on a site like Copyblogger and you’ll see quite a few list style titles.
You can make lists work for you in any niche, too.
As an example:
On one of my niche sites I created two focus pieces of content for February…
The first piece was a long tutorial type piece, packed with information, over 7,000 words plus images and examples. It was loved, liked, shared a few times, commented on, etc…
The second piece was a list post of a dozen useful resources to read related to the long information packed tutorial. It was loved, liked, shared, pinned, commented on with additional resources, shared some more, and some more, and it’s still going with a few hundred shares on Facebook.
The list reached more people, but it also referred them to the long form content. The two pieces worked together, attracting people in different ways, both articles providing the reader with the information they were seeking about the same topic.
The information seeker that was ready to dig into the topic found and enjoyed the long piece. The information seeker that was skimming quickly and making notes for later found and enjoyed the bullet point list and saved it to refer to. Some people found and went through both pieces, and they were linked to each other on the blog for a good internal flow.
What kind of lists can you use in your niche?
Here are a few ideas…. in list format, of course 😉
- Do a weekly (or monthly) roundup of news or resources linking to other blogs in your niche. This builds community and the other bloggers will likely share it as well.
- List X number of must-have tools for your niche. (The 10 ____ Every ____ Needs) Use affiliate links!
- List your favorite books on the topic.
- List your favorite podcasts in your niche.
- Holidays around the corner? List the top 10 gifts this year for a person in your niche. (example: Top 10 Gifts for Quilters in 2017)
How detailed should your list be?
You can do a detailed list or a short quick list. Both types do well. I actually use a little bit of each type on several of my niche blogs.
- In your weekly news roundup you might include a blurb or snippet for each item and then link to the full article.
- For a gift recommendation list you might include an image, a quick description, and an affiliate link to buy the product.
- If you’re creating a list of online courses to take on a specific topic you might want to include a paragraph or two about the benefits of each course along with the registration link and information.
- A how-to article can be formatted into a short step by step list of easy to follow directions.
How long should your list be?
This is mostly a matter of preference and of resource availability. Basically, make your post as long or as short as makes sense for the topic you’re writing about in the time that you have and using the resources that you find available.
- Top 10 ….
- The 5 Best…
- 7 of the…
- 101 Amazing….
- 12 free resources on…
Quick Tips for Lists Your Audience Will Love
I could honestly go on and talk about making lists and doing bullet points all day, but I know this post is getting long and you have work to do, so I’ll leave you with these last few quick tips.
- Format the items similarly. It makes for a pretty layout that’s easy to follow.
- If your title includes a number, consider actually using a numbered list. Numbering the items helps the flow and people can refer to specific items in the comments and in their social share conversations more easily.
- If you have comments enabled, ask readers to contribute their favorite item. It’s a great way to grow engagement and learn what your audience likes.
- If a list does really well, consider doing an individual blog post on each item. Series posts are just as popular as lists and are great for strong internal linking signals.
Now go out there and make some awesome list style blog posts.
Drop a comment below and tell me about your experience using lists and bullet point style posts, share a link to a favorite post example you might have, or just say hello 🙂