In case you haven’t noticed, I write a lot of lists. On any given day you see me throwing out a quantity of tips, reasons and things to get you through your day. I do have good reasons for serving up lists every day. Since some folks are asking, I thought I’d provide you with a list featuring reasons I like to write lists.
Briefly(because it’s Sunday)…
10 Reasons I Make a Lot of Lists
1. It’s an easy way to organize my thoughts: Lists are like outlines or bullet points. I can organize my thoughts and arrange them in a way that makes sense. Sometimes I’d like to briefly touch on a topic but don’t have too much to say. A list allows me to get my point across in a couple of sentences for each point, instead of a blog post devoted to a single topic.
2.Lists grab attention: Which post are you more likely to read: “Bad Freelance Writing Habits” or the “Top 10 Worst Freelance Writing Habits?” I’m not so clever with the headlines, but with a list I can draw in more interest than if I tried a generic title.
3. Lists are fun: Simply put: I enjoy writing list posts. They’re fun, they break up the day and they’re well received. Why not go with a good thing?
4. People like adding to lists: One of the reasons I always liked lists is because I enjoy seeing how others add to them. I may only be able to think of ten points for this list but I’ll bet those of you who are playing the home game can think of a few more.
5. It’s a challenge to see how many items I can add to my lists: Sometimes I can only think of two or three points, other lists can go into the hundreds. Sometimes lists just write themselves because the ideas don’t stop coming. I never know the outcome, but enjoy the challenge.
6. Lists are scanable: The folks who read blogs and articles enjoy lists because they can scan the highlights without having to commit to an entire read. (However, those of us who take the time to write these posts do hope you take the time out to read it all).
7. Lists hold the attention of the short attention span crowd: Instead of one big article, readers are turned on to a bunch of smaller topics. The points on a list post are easier to digest than a regular blog post. One point, one paragraph. I can write a whole blog posts about how a list post satisfies short attention spans, but I can also sum it up in a matter of sentences here.
8. You don’t have to read the items you don’t like: Item number five doesn’t interest you? Move along down the list…
9. This community responds well to lists: The FWJ community appears to like lists too. You respond in the comments and write me to let me know you enjoy my lists.
10. Lists are a departure from the usual freelance writing job blog fare: We all need a break from rates, content sites, and marketing. Lists are like our Calgon, they take us away. We can use them to be funny or serious, but it’s an enjoyable way of getting our point across and giving our readers a few things to think about.
Here’s a bonus. Lists also help me gauge interest in a topic. When I post a list, I can tell by the response which items on each list the community here wants to talk most about. The items with the biggest response are expanded to full fledged blog posts.
I’ll also admit this: sometimes lists posts are a lazy bit of writing. There are times I want to throw out a topic for discussion and only have a certain amount of time to blog. Lists are quick to write and quick to read. As you know, I also do more in-depth blog posts. Lists help to break up my day, and, I hope, yours.
Do you like list posts? Why or why not?