Top 10 list of why you should not stop posting top ten lists

1. They work

2. It worked for David Letterman

3. Women’s magazines love them

4. It will help you get on Digg, Netscape, Reddit and even Sphinn

5. I can count to ten

6. It works for Lifehacker, Copyblogger, Problogger, modernlifeisrubbish.co.uk, guardian.co.uk, about.com, newscientist.com, timesonline.co.uk, time.com, bbc.co.uk, amazon.com, zdnet, cnet, etc.

7. If you can’t think of ten simply miss number 8 out, people wont notice and those who do point it out , you know to avoid them at parties.

9. It annoys people over at Sphinn

10. People absolutely love them

You build a website, write a blog. You are in the publishing business. The publishing industry was built on top ten lists. Now I’m not saying fill your site with top ten lists, unless you are a top ten list aggregator. But don’t ignore the technique because you find it a little too mass market.

Some people are getting very uptight on some social networks at the infestation of top ten lists or any kind of lists. But then you see how popular these lists are and you wonder how many people these detractors represent.

Follow the silent majority who speak with their votes.

This post is slightly tongue in cheek, but it outlines something of power and simplicity.

Comments

  1. says

    I like Top 10 lists. Lists are easy to read and what we can know from it is that, we can understand the topic in 10(whatever number) points. List posts are especially good for new blogs to rise up. I like this Top 10 post too.

  2. says

    Another good reason top ten lists are good is because it gives the post a sound structure. A lot of very talented SEOs aren’t that great writers, having a client list ensures punchy balanced structure.

  3. says

    That’s awesome Andy. I’ll give a 2 thumbs up, a big smile, and a virtual pint of your favorite ale to whomever gives me a nice link in their #8 slot, which they were going to get rid of anyways.

  4. says

    I was a little pessimistic until I read number 8 :)

    I’m always a little hesitant to post top 10 lists unless it’s something I’m really passionate about, but you’re right.

    They also result in a nice, long post as well.

    Great reminder

  5. Lyndoman says

    Wow! I never thought such a throw away post would get such attention.

    If only every post could get this much attention and be a breeze to write.

  6. says

    They are concise, simple, to the point and usually no bull

    Most of my posts resemble top ten lists without the numbers.

    And most of all they are easier to read. Especially for those who spend all day online reading.

    I cant wait for really intuitive voice interaction between humans and PC’s.

    But I might already be fully blind by then.

  7. says

    @ Andy B. – that’s too funny.

    @ Lyndo – I’ve had this debate “internally”, though I’m not a fan of the lists, it seems that they still have some punch. Yahoo even uses them daily.

    Top 10 Cities to live in – View Yahoo Real Estate
    Top 10 Worst Cities to be a Commuter – View Yahoo Autos

    They are good commercially and even for actual research / information purposes.

    Thanks for the post.

  8. says

    This gave me a good laugh – I once wrote a top 10 list that got Digg frontpaged and got equal amounts of praise and criticism; the majority of the latter coming in the form of “another top 10 list, HOW original!”

  9. says

    Ha, great post! It’s really easy to think that stuff like this is cheesy or overdone, but people keep reading them because they’re still useful. Long Live the Top 10 List! (Have I done one yet for my blog? I have not. But I will.)

  10. says

    It’s true. People do love them and link to them. There’s something about the list form that gives it a kind of gravity. Even if the items are complete crap, a list implies that that some sort of expertise or research has gone into creating it.

    Sometimes I read these things and realise that much of the list was just common sense, or it was really 3 points expanded into 10.

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