Some prominent content creators believe that list posts will always draw traffic.
To be honest, I have a strong dislike for list posts.
They are one of the (many) reasons I hate reading blogs run by certain people.
The way I see it, most list posts do nothing to provide value to the readers, only giving one-line suggestions, ideas, solutions or comments on a topic.
There’s generally no explanation of how /why you can/should do the things that make up the list, which leaves the reader hanging, and possibly looking elsewhere for that information.
Think about it: it’s great that there are 101 ways to reuse household goods or 50 ways to increase your savings, but what good is if those tips are simply mentioned and you don’t fully explain to people how to do those things or why they will help you?
After all, isn’t the point to keep the reader on your site, rather than guiding them toward someone else’s (unless you’re linking out to a respected site that can support or further explain your own information)?
Here’s a helpful idea you may want to try…
Create many useful individual posts, then combine those posts into one larger list post, linking out to each individual one.
How, you ask? It’s very simple.
If you want to make a list post, first come up with a headline and all of the points you want to list.
Then, instead of stopping there, turn each of those points into a separate, stand-alone blog post.
Next, write your beloved list post, but instead of adding brief, hollow points, you create links to your fleshed-out post on each topic.
This will actually accomplish 3 rather important tasks:
1. Provide more value to your readers
Rather than simply listing things without adding any other context or going into detail on each point, you will be creating entire blog posts on each subject.
Why do you think people search out blogs in the first place?
They want to be shown how to do, and told why they should be doing the those things you are writing about.
You will come out of it looking like a more trusted authority rather than a cheap source of compiled info ripped off of other sites.
People like sharing stuff with their friends, coworkers, family, you name it.
In fact, on average, list posts are shared 11k times.
Imagine what can happen when you not only create a highly popular form of content but make it even better than the common types?
Just look at yourself: would you be more willing to share information that is half-assed and requires you or those in your social networks to work in order to discover everything about a topic, or a great piece of content that hands you everything you want to know all in one place?
3. Keep readers on your site
When you only have a brief one sentence point in a list, the viewers may very well be curious about it.
But, if you don’t provide any other info, they’ll have to search the web for another resource to explain more about it to them.
You can take full advantage by having an entire blog post separate from the list that will provide all of the information anyone would need about a given point.
It’s a win-win: your readers get the information they’re looking for in one place (saving them the hassle of searching all over the web for it) and you get to keep their attention focused on your own site.
The Secret Bonus–Creating Valuable Content And Internal Links
Ah, now we get to the benefit to your blog that some people will forget about.
One of the keys to building an SEO-friendly website is to have a strong internal link structure. Another is to build a large supply of great content.
By following this example, not only are you getting the benefit of creating more useful content than you would by simply writing a generic list post, you are also building a large number of deep links within your site.
If you take it a step further, and link from each post from this exercise to yet another blog post on your site, you’re building even more links, tying more of your content together.
Plus, by adding a simple line like “discover more tips like this in my giant resource list” to each of your individual articles and linking it to the list post, you’ll not only boost the importance of that one post based on the number of internal links pointing to it, but you’ll also be able to guide readers to the large list who just happened to find one of the individual posts by chance or through other means.
Like with anything when it comes to writing a blog post, think of your audience. Actually, turn things around and put yourself in their position.
Do you like it when you see a headline then are disappointed when you see the actual content?
Are you disappointed when you read a list post that doesn’t really accomplish what the title promises?
Do you get turned off when you think you have found the information you’ve been looking for but end up having to search more because the article you thought would give it to you falls short?
Then, why would you want to put your readers in any of those positions?
Give them all the information they can possibly want and build your blog at the same time with this easy tweak to your list post writing technique.
Have a thought on what was just discussed? Think you have a better way of approaching list posts? Just want to tell me that if I don’t like them then don’t read list posts? Go for it in the comments section below!