10

Numbered list posts are popular with blog readers according to both internet discussions and my own experience on the Brainzooming blog. Analyzing recent posts with PostRank demonstrated nearly all the most popular blog posts on Brainzooming incorporate a numbered list and feature the number in the blog title.

There are some pundits who even recommend making blog posts with a numbered list as long as possible to increase the impact they have with readers.

It was this point Barrett Sydnor and I were discussing one day about whether it’s true that people really want to read long numbered lists. While I’ve had outstanding response to some long lists of strategy articles, there was a Stepcase Lifehack post I wrote with 15 steps which a commenter said was too long and should be simplified.

In answering the question, Barrett hit on two great points:

  • When it comes to a set of sequential things to do, people want short numbered lists with as few steps as necessary to accomplish a result.
  • When it comes to an array of options to pick from, people want long numbered lists with as much variety as possible.

While there are obvious exceptions (since too much variety can simply bog down decisions), these two general principles are helpful whether using numbered lists in blogging, business, or personal life. They’re also a great add on when considering the best ways to aggregate long lists to make them more usable for others.

Is there anything else you’d add to these two reminders? Mike Brown

 

The Brainzooming Group helps make smart organizations more successful by rapidly expanding their strategic options and creating innovative plans they can efficiently implement. Email us at brainzooming@gmail.com or call us at 816-509-5320, and we’ll list out how we can deliver these benefits for you.

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Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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10 Responses to “List Posts – 2 Tips for Creating More Popular Blog Posts”

  1. Jim Joseph says:

    I wonder if there’s a pattern to the number. Like I notice there are often lists of 3, 7, 10, or 12. Is there really a pattern there and is there a number that gets consumed better than another? Very interesting. Jim Joseph

    • Anonymous says:

      Well certainly, all the number you highlight have ancient Biblical meanings. This may be a project for our friends at Spiral 16 to do an analysis on what numbers show up most frequently in list posts and what gets the most activity on the web.

  2. Eric Melin says:

    Well, we can see who is linking to what in terms of a specific topic, but identifying a number trend among posts – not an easy calculation! Being able to create your own data subcategories would make it easier to measure the amount of links and comments for each one…

    Eric Melin @Spiral16

  3. Liz says:

    @Brainzooming – Excellent post, Mike. How about bulleted copy? Is that as good?

    • Anonymous says:

      Bulleted copy seems to be easier for people to read Liz, but it seems like calling out a number of “steps,” “tips,” “ways,” etc. really does seem to increase traffic, at least from personal experience.

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