Before I started blogging, I attended a 1-day course in blog-writing. (Honest. I paid to do this.)
The two points our instructor stressed were:
- The title of your blog post is the most important element. If it isn’t good, you won’t get read.
- Using lists as the focus of a blog post drives more traffic to your blog.
I suppose she was correct. Have you noticed how many articles on the Internet are written as lists? Such as:
- 7 Meals You Should Never Order on Tuesdays
- 4 Questions to Always Ask on a Job Interview
- 5 Must-Have Wardrobe Essentials
- 10 Easy Desserts Made with Instant Pudding Mix
- 37 Tips to Housebreaking a Gerbil
- 5 Foods to Reduce Belly Fat (Be honest–you click on this one when it pops up on your computer screen, right?)
I have seen job postings for writers to create such articles. They want you to crank out 20 articles a day on any topic and are willing to pay $2 or $3 dollars per article. How great is that job offer? All you need to do is work for multiple clients so that you can write a total of 500 posts each day–and now we’re talking about some real money from writing!
List-based posts have become trite staples on sites such as LinkedIn, where, if you subscribe to a blogger’s jobs-related post, you can see lists, lists, lists, every day. Lists (or slide shows) show up on web sites such as your Internet provider’s Home page (I’m talking about you, Comcast). You never actually complete a slide show for a list because you either get bored or your browser gets weighed down with pop-up ads and who-knows-what spam.
If they are of no value, then why are they so popular?
Because they’re easy to write. Only one or two sentences per item!
Try it yourself.