Today’s task in the Rediscover Your Blogging Groove project is to write a list post.
I find that one of the easiest ways to write a blog post is to write a list.
- Lists are Scannable
- Lists keep Posts succinct
- Lists look ‘neat’
- Lists area easy to link to
- Lists can be a comprehensive to tackle a topic
- Lists can be persuasive
- Lists add to the ease of writing
- Lists can start memes and go viral
The above reasons for writing lists was taken from – 8 Reasons why Lists are Good for Getting Traffic to your blog
There are a few different types of ‘list posts’.
1. Simple Lists – the above post (8 Reasons Why Lists are Good….) is a fairly simple list post.
- There’s a small introduction to the topic (A couple of sentences)
- There’s a short summary at the end (a paragraph).
- The points are all short and quite succinct
- The list makes up the majority of the post and really speaks for itself.
Simple lists are often shorter, sharper and to the point. They can be quite powerful and make a real impact.
2. Longer List Posts – the majority of list posts that I write are slightly more complex lists. I like to introduce a topic, explore a need, give some examples and then launch into a list.
Once I start the list itself I then like to expand upon each point along the way. This suits my style which is a little more long winded.
A few examples of my own include Wedding Photography – 21 Tips for Amateur Wedding Photographers and How to Take Great Group Photos.
In actual fact these sorts of posts border on being more essay like – but are broken up and formatted with headings for each point to make them a little more digestible and scannable to readers.
3. Lists as Parts of Posts – lists can also be used within posts quite effectively.
These lists might help to make one of numerous points along the way or there may even be multiples lists within the whole post (like this one).
Be a little careful not to overwhelm readers with too many lists and sublists (lists within lists can be confusing). But don’t feel that a list needs to be the only thing within your post. If you’re looking at an example of this type of post – you’re reading one. This post has numerous small lists in it with other commentary between them.
OK – so enough theorizing about list posts – it’s time to go and write one. The hardest part is probably going to be picking a topic to write your list about. A few ideas (and another list):
- 10 Ways to Use a….
- The most common mistakes….
- How to be an effective….
- The most popular 17…..
- Reasons why I love (or hate)….
- The most beautiful (ugly, fascinating, crazy)….
- 5 Steps to achieving….
If you want more examples of list posts check out the Lists Group Writing Project which has over 300 examples of list posts.
Go write a list. Post it and come back here to share a link to it in comments below so we can see what you came up with.
I enjoy reading lists and writing them occasionally. The only problem is when some people decide to write a massive list involving usually 101 different items. They struggle to make the number, and either continually repeat themselves, or the quality of the suggestions just drops as the list continues. If you can’t write 101 quality suggestions or tips, then simply reduce the number until you can.
I’ve been thinking for a while about writing a series of posts on super-easy things you can do to improve your health. I realise some of the more broad-scale health and diet stuff I talk about can seem daunthing, so I wanted to juxtapose that with quick grabs for my readers – simple steps they can take immediately. So, I’ve just posted the first one: 5 ways to improve your health today.
First time commenter. I love this blog. It is so helpful for me as a new blogger. I took your challenge and I only had a few minutes to do a post today but I managed to pull it off rather quickly and I know that I could go back and make it much better when I have more time. But writing lists turns out to be really great for pushing out a quick post. Check it out sometime:
Thanks for this series!
I’ve been having a serious case of writer’s block for the last month or more.
I feel like it might finally be coming to an end.
I just published my list a few moments ago.
Okay, here it is in long form. http://gscottage.blogspot.com/2007/07/blogging-7-things-undone.html
Absolutely agree with Russ. A solid single digit list post is way better than a 101 list of lousy, overused ideas.
This is starting to be another Group Writing Project.
Making a list was not easy, perhaps because my niche is subject to much scrutiny. But it’s a good tool. Thanks for the suggestion. Here’s my list.
I got inspired by this post.. today, I post my new list post titled :
“Help! My mother in law / father in law is a monster!!”
Do check out and leave your 2cent…
See you around
As accesible as a list is for the reader, I think one aspect of list that is neglected is the fact that they are easier to write. A list gives the writer a structure and limits to work with too, thus making it easier to play around within that framework.
I’ve written only a couple of list posts on my blog, but they are very popular. I thought it would be best to point those out before I dig into new avenues. Here they are:
5+1 Simple Ideas For Brainstorming With A Dictionary
Top 5 tricks for taking professional looking photos with your digital camera
Here are my lists:
I love lists but due to an annoying line height bug in the Blogger platform I have not used them in my blog, until I have read the problogger advice. After a Google search I have learnt that many fellow bloggers have the same problem and have tried hacks, but these are ugly and time-consuming. After a closer look at the style sheet I have found the solution and I have posted a list how to fix this bug in five steps: http://medjournalwatch.blogspot.com/2007/07/blogger-line-height-bug-fix.html
thanks for the suggestions…
Great to be able to participate in a community idea/task. Here is my contribution, you might learn a bit about Singapore too. Enjoy.
top 10 reasons lists are rubbish:
I think 1 type of lists which really result to good amount of readership is ranking. Rankings not only give details about the topic, but also say something about the author, particularly his priorities.
I wrote a post on the Top 10 Issues I’d like to see candidates address in next years US elections. Each point ended up being a paragraph. They could each actually be expanded to an entire blog post later down the line. From list to series…
Creating list posts are something that I haven’t really explored, but maybe should have. I’ll try and write a list for my next post.
List is great! It’s
– easy to be written
– easy to be read
– and if you’re selling, it converts better.
Would like to welcome you on my latest ‘list’ entry:
10 new things I learned from the movie Transformer.
I’ll begin with a long overdue Thank You! for all your help to a fledgling blogger. I plan on following your Blogging Groove series from start to finish, beginning with my list post today.
This is so awesome, and so timely! I’ve been feeling in a blog slump, and this really is helping me “rediscover my blogging groove.”
Here are my lists:
Thanks for starting this awesome series!
My wife and I just started a different kind of list: a running list of post ideas. As we get ideas that we know we won’t be able to get to in the next few days/weeks, we add it to the list. This is a published, publicly-viewable list, so you can see our ideas. As we get things written, the idea will be “crossed off” in the form of a link to that post.
We hope it will help us to get into a better rhythm of writting down ideas (by adding them to the list), then it will also be easier to write an entry when there’s no inspiration… because we’ll already have a whole list of inspired ideas.
The Earl List: http://www.danandsherree.com/categories/the_earl_list/
having a list is definitely a clear way to present an idea or concept. It is visually more appealing thus encourage the readers to read on. Here’s mine on 7 tips to Choosing The Right Shoes: http://dorisgoshopping.com/2007/06/04/choosing-shoes/
Here’s my list of three more annoying linguistic habits we should break:
i blog at several places but my personal blog sucks big time. I am going to try out your thing and see how it works.
Thanks Darren for the tips. I have tried it and it’s really cool!
And, what I did is come up a list of lists to write about on my little note book and get back to it whenever I felt like I got nothing to say. Somehow it works! : )
This is a great idea. Here’s mine:
7 Tips for Making the Most out of a Commute
This topic came at just the right time for me to find. (From my perspective the Law of Attraction does work.)
Here is my list that I’ve been working on and finaly got the inspiration to complete as part of this project.
List of Games to Play with the Law of Attraction
BTW, thanks for this blog because I really get lots of good ideas from ProBlogger.
I wrote a list of why I’m sick of lists
Darren this is a great post idea thanks for the writing idea. Here is my list
7 ways to avoid the blog basement
I’ve only just started my blog, and am finding this series such a useful way resource to familiarise myself with different kinds of writing. Hopefully this’ll stave off that dreadful blogger’s block I’ve heard so much about.
My List Post:
Top Five Tips for Writing a Killer Bio
Hi Darren, Great timing on this series, my blog was lag-g-g-ing behind a bit -I’m sure this will help re-energize me and my writing!
my post is 10 reasons why we must change perceptions of the nude
I liked this idea so here’s my version of lists as parts of posts:
Clearing the air on formaldehyde
I love lists. Here’s one of my most recent:
How to Make Money Management a Family Affair
These lists are always good to research. Often you find material for five more lists.
Thanks for the nice and helpful tips Darren Rowse. It help me a lot to optimizing my blog post. Still reading the series of “7 days to rediscover your blogging groove” and implement it. :)
Keep up the gud work…..
Hi Darren – i seem to have fallen over this well over a year after you ran it, but def going to put my self through it anyway. My groove shrivelled up and died almost a year ago, so thinking this will be good for me! much appreciated
I’ve never tried posting a blog aside from Twitter until I got a feedback from a link posted by 4entrepreneur.twitter.com. Thank you very much for the tip. I never imagined I would be able to start blogging.
Would appreciate any feedback from you regarding by blog.
How do I also get people read my blogs, make comments and subscribe?
Thank you very much!
Done for my last post in latvian language blog in post 7 thing meme – http://www.rolandinsh.lv/blog/2009/03/11/septinas-lietas-7-thing-meme/
Just need time to translate and put in english version too