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8 Reasons Why Lists are Good for Getting Traffic to your Blog

Posted By Darren Rowse 15th of September 2005 Writing Content 0 Comments

Here’s a tip for how to get people to link to your blog.

Write lists!

I’ve been reminded by this again today by seeing just how many people are linking up to Piaras Kelly’s list of Tips on writing content for your blog. I must have seen 10 or 15 people link to it in the last few hours (including me). Even though I don’t agree with all of it there is something about a list that bloggers and blog readers love. Here’s a list of reasons why lists can be good for your blog:

  1. Lists are Scannable – online readers are notoriously lazy. A list helps communicate a number of points quickly and easily
  2. Lists keep posts succinct – there is something about a list that keeps you from rambling
  3. Lists look ‘neat’ – I don’t know about you but when I surf onto a site that is full of messily formatted text – I don’t tend to stick around long. Lists on the other hand can be quite visually pleasing
  4. Lists are easy to link to – most of the links to the link above simply summarize the list (giving the keypoints) – bloggers seem to like linking up in this manner
  5. Lists can be comprehensive – Piaras covered 12 points in the above list
  6. Lists are persuasive – if you want to mount a case for something quickly presenting numerous arguments in a list can be quite convincing
  7. Lists can add to the ease of writing – I like writing in lists because they break down my thoughts into bite sized pieces which is good not only for readers but me as a writer as I consider how to express myself
  8. Lists as Memes – I’m not quite sure how to describe this – but lists can start epidemics of ideas. For the above reasons (and others – bloggers seem to love linking to lists and as a result they have the ability to spread quickly

There is obviously a pretty good case for using lists in your blog writing. Of course you can use them too much – sometimes a topic calls for something a little more meaty and in depth than a list – but overall I’d recommend that using lists on your blog as part of your writing mix is an worthwhile strategy.

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
  1. I couldn’t agree more especially regarding point number 2. I do not like long lists.

    Chris L

  2. […] Submit linkable articles to social news sites […]

  3. […] because they firt in so good. You’ll have to warn me if I over do lists. So here is the page: 8 Reasons Why Lists are Good for Getting Traffic to your Blog. He got the idea from this article on tips for writing content. I think both are good, but like […]

  4. Best advice money didn’t have to buy!!! My webmaster (luckily a friend) sent me here. Glad she did…she costs $75 and hour!!!!

  5. The more you know about a subject, it seems, the less valuable these blog lists are. They enforce clarity and a kind of discipline, but they also encourage superficiality.

    A list like “Five great e-books on SEM” sounds good and helpful, but not “Five Ways to Attract More Readers.”

    I’m getting burned out on this format, but at least they are easy to scan and then discard.

    Remember the thing Mark Twain said about I would have written shorter but I didn’t have the time? Bad writing really shows itself in this format.

  6. WOW! This is a really good little tip! I am a web designer by trade and very new to blogging… Like many, I have read hundreds of blogging tips that repeat the same old “keep posting”…. “Keep posting some more” line. Well we are all doing that already! LOL

    Your tip is some of the first usable info I can leave a site with and implement right away.. Very cool..


  7. Darren Rowse (My Idol blogger) has a even better list at his site located here: 8 Reasons why lists are good for getting traffic to your blog

  8. Thanks for your article. I’m a niwbie and still have to learn much for making money through a blog. Once again thanks. Please feel free for visiting my blog. Gbu

  9. I must agree with creating lists, my entry page at Elvis Presley News offers just that and it is the most hit page. Thanks

  10. Hope to to increase traffic,thanks.

  11. LoL.. I’ll give this ago on my blog soon

  12. Never thought of it myself. Definitely going to try to put in more lists henceforth. Thanks man.


  13. neat but great reasons, i like list but not long list, :)


  14. Aashni says: 03/29/2008 at 8:12 am

    Thanks a lot! This post really inspired me to write my own list on what to do with your ipod nano… If you would like to read it, and leave a comment, here’s the link – please don’t be too harsh as I am still new to the whole blogging world, thanks :)


  15. hey…sorry, posted the wrong link earlier…
    it is actually: http://aashnisblog.blogspot.com/2008/03/what-to-do-with-your-old-ipod-mini.html

  16. nice list, perhaps I could write about the best 10 lists on the net

  17. And you also have a list here. Great thoughts..

  18. my new blog at balootisme.com always practice with listing.

    listing can make me got new idea and easy/fast reading for my blog visitors.

    from my poll at malaysian forum community, many people love listing because it makes them read faster and can scan fast to search for what is the ideas of that articles.

    thanks for this ideas darren. i use it on my own post.

  19. […] The viral nature of lists Some of my most popular articles have been lists. Lists are easy to scan, and they just have a power to them. People may disagree with a few items from the list, but overall they seem to agree with much of them. So they are easy and popular to pass along. Read 8 Reasons Why Lists Are Good For Getting Traffic to Your Blog. […]

  20. This is it, I am going to work on the list tomorrow, check it out and let me know what you think. Again, Darren, thank you very much and God bless

  21. Never thought of it myself. Definitely going to try to put in more lists henceforth. Thanks man.


  22. i reckon you can write a list and then eaceh week expand on the single tip to get them coming back

  23. Thanks a lot! This post really inspired me to write my own list on what to do with your ipod nano…
    i reckon you can write a list and then eaceh week expand on the single tip to get them coming back

  24. For so many yeard i have tried http://www.crawlingthenet.com and i’ve got great ROI with their traffic.

  25. those are some good points. do you think that creating a numbered list is better than a list with bullets?

  26. my blog http://jojobanjo.blogspot.com has such a list also with less list and more paragraph content, does that distract from the effectiveness of the list?

  27. Darren, Keep up the good work. You are the man. I recently wrote 5 steps to a better you. I hope you enjoy it. http://hoomancan.com/blog/?p=16

  28. List is very good, because it is more easily to read such posts.

  29. Where can I find more information on the lists?

  30. Definitely listing distinctively highlight ideas in your post. Readers would just be concern of your ideas, not so with your lengthy explanation. They look upon your generalization and some basis.

  31. This article:
    1) is informative
    2) touched on aspects of lists I hadn’t thought about, such as the “lists as memes” philosophy
    3) has reminded me to use lists more often on my own blogs

    Thanks, Darren! :)

  32. useful tips…..I learn more from this articles today…thanks

  33. […] List – the ‘list’ format of post is a classic way of getting a post to go viral. Find out why in my post – 8 Reasons Why Lists are Good for Getting Traffic to Your Blog. […]

  34. Thanks Dareen,
    Useful tips for Tech Blogger like me.

  35. Great Idea. I tried it in a post and immediately got feedback. Excellent.

  36. Happy New Year!

    We had several lists before about our niche that we submitted before to article directories but had not thought to use them for linkbaiting.

    Now that I understand that list can give you inbound links I will have those posted on our corporate blog and hopefully people in our industry will link to it as I believe these are premium articles on our niche.

  37. Of Course !

    Dot points are so much easier to read.

    This is why I do my posts in dot point form.

    Here is one example


    Hope it helps


    Gerry Walter

  38. Many many thanks Darren, very useful tips. Totally agree with you!

  39. Wow, this is definetly something that I needed as I am just starting up to earn online. Can’t wait to read more, thanks for your help, and keep up the good work.

  40. I agree…we try to use lists and numbered points as well. It seems clearer for the reader and tends to get a better response. Take a look at our blog or check us out on Twitter /trybpo

  41. List of ideas, points and resources are neat, detailed and more precise than reading an article delivered through never ending explanations and sequence of sentence sometimes circling round and round. Thats the big difference of it, so I guess it is better to have something thats straight to the point than reading something you don’t know where it’s heading.

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