Blogs are a tried and tested means of attracting traffic to your website. However, some posts receive serious attention, shares, likes, and comments, whereas others fizzle out before they gain any traction. Many factors go into creating successful blog posts, from adding eye-catching images, to creating an extensive series, to having a good overall website design. Among these strategies, list posts are an excellent way to attract readers, drive traffic through the roof, and encourage people to share your content.
WHAT ARE LIST POSTS?
List posts are exactly as they sound! They’re blog ideas compiled into the format of a list. Whether you choose to label each component with a bullet point or number, list posts are logically structured chunks of information presented in bite-size, reader-friendly portions. Yes, sometimes it is that simple. By shifting from a jumbled and rambling format to a concise and structured one, you can attract more readers and engagement, and, hopefully, make money doing so.
WHAT SHOULD YOU TAKE INTO ACCOUNT WHEN WRITING LIST POSTS?
Before you go and convert all of your posts into neatly presented lists, know that they have their place. While in-depth science-based articles suit a traditional format involving larger chunks of text, lighthearted, instructional, and surface-level pieces are much more compatible with this format.
Whether you choose to label each component with a bullet point or number, list posts are logically structured chunks of information presented in bite-size, reader-friendly portions.
TOP 8 BENEFITS OF LIST POSTS
In case you’re not sold already, we’ve made a list post of our own to convince you of their power! Below, discover eight key benefits of adding list posts to your blogging strategy. Find out what makes them so shareable, why they attract return visitors, and how to use them as a hub for internal links.
1. LIST POSTS ARE EASY TO WRITE
If you write content for your website, this point will bring a smile to your face. If not, your writing team will certainly appreciate it. List posts are inherently easy to write. The format of a list essentially provides a default template that allows you to break down a blog into key sections. You don’t even have to work hard on weaving those pieces together.
While each list post needs a key theme, each point contains a separate chunk of information that exists independently. The theme of the list upholds an element of uniformity, leaving writers to move from one point to the next without worrying about filling in the gaps and forcing flow.
List posts are also an excellent way for writers to practise concise communication. This format cuts away the excess and encourages writers to get straight to the point. Each section must convey the main idea simply but effectively. In between lengthy tasks that require extensive research and in-depth explanations, write list posts to practise succinct language and refresh your focus.
2. THEY’RE ALSO EASY TO READ
List posts are a win-win for you and your audience. Just as they’re easy to write, readers also have an easy time consuming the information within.
Lists are inviting for readers because of their structure. The sight of numbers or bullet points, accompanied by small blocks of text and a good amount of white space, is a lot less intimidating than lengthy blocks of text attempting to convey complex ideas. They get straight to the point, serve the reader what they’re looking for on a plate, and do away with intimidation.
You should also accept that most of your audience won’t happily sit there and take in every word. They won’t brew up a cup of tea before clicking your link in preparation for a hardcore reading session. Chances are, they’re only going to soak up one or two points on your entire list. After all, they’re searching for the answer to a particular question. People that click through will scan your list until something jumps out—your skilful use of subheadings will make this an easy task for them.
Keep in mind that different readers have different queries. While every reader might only take away a couple of points, every point will serve its purpose.
3. LIST POSTS ARE SHAREABLE
View a list post as the “whole” and the juicy nuggets of sought-after information within as the parts that make up the whole. As the curator of a list, it’s your job to make these nuggets as appetite-whetting as possible. Internet users are in a constant quest for key pieces of information to make life easier—whether they’re writing an assignment, a blog post of their own, or searching for a quote to pull in traffic to their social media platforms.
If you pay any attention to social media at all, you’ll notice list posts rank high when it comes to shared blogs. Titles such as “5 Exercises To Get Jacked” and “These 10 Foods Will Change Your Life” are common sights on Facebook, Twitter, and elsewhere. These titles entice readers and scream simplicity and brevity, hence their popularity.
As a content creator, you can utilise elements of your list posts in social media marketing. Copy and paste eye-catching sections of your work alongside a link on Facebook or Twitter. Show your readers the simplicity and succinctness they can expect, as well as the value of the information you’re providing. The same goes for email marketing. Consider including a brief description for a particular post alongside a link in your next newsletter. People are likely to click on something they deem easy and fast to read.
4. THEY ATTRACT RETURN VISITORS
List posts are typically informative or instructional. They often take the form of “to-do”, “how-to”, and recipe pieces that guide readers through a particular task. Unless they have a photographic memory, chances are they’ll bookmark the link and return to it later during their project.
Traffic from new visitors is vital, but monitoring and enhancing your returning visitor rate will help you in myriad ways, including analysing the success of marketing efforts and the power of your brand in building a loyal customer base.
Somebody that returns to your site to re-read a particular post has built an association in their head. They’ll remember your content as genuinely helpful, especially if it assisted them in achieving a task or goal in the real world. Once built, that association will drive readers right back to you when they have new problems to solve, or new recipes to try.
5. LIST POSTS RAMP UP ENGAGEMENT
Something about list posts catalyses conversation. They’re presented in a way that displays the most important pieces of information on a particular topic, often in ranked order, and they’re brief. This drives newcomers to the comment section to dig a little deeper for advice. Once you spark their curiosity, having written in an authoritative tone, they’ll shoot some questions your way and likely kickstart some healthy debate below the post.
The opposite is also true. People with experience in the subject area might take issue with something they deem lacking. Not only will this lend itself to more comments and engagement, but you might decide to edit your content based on sound criticisms.
6. LIST POSTS ARE HUBS FOR INTERNAL LINKS
List posts allow you to unload your chamber of internal links. Let’s say, for example, your company sells vegetable seeds. The days are getting shorter, and gardeners across the Northern Hemisphere are wondering what they still have time to sow. You decide to write a list of the “10 Best Vegetables To Sow in August”. Scores of green-thumbed readers begin to frequent your site in search of the answers. But these curious minds also need seeds if they plan to follow through with their idea.
Following this logic, it makes sense to link every single item on the list to a seed product that you sell. Not only will readers gain the information they’re looking for, but you’ve also provided them with a shopping list. They get the answer to their query, while you boost SEO, direct traffic to numerous pages on your site, and experience a rise in sales.
But you’re not limited to product pages when it comes to internal links. Perhaps you’ve written a blog about each vegetable seed that you sell. You can link to these pages from your list posts, then divert readers to a product page from each blog.
7. LIST POSTS HARNESS THE POWER OF PERSUASION
List posts are an effective way to get an argument across. The ability to break down your points, present them in a summarised manner, and tick them off one by one makes for a very convincing form of communication.
Now, apply this to the domain of content marketing, and list posts suddenly become an invaluable means to get products moving. You could write list posts to advise your audience on the “8 Best Ways To Use…” a certain item, for example. To use our previous example, you could inform your customers of the “Top 5 Reasons Why Our Seeds Are the Best Available”.
Boldly numbering these points shows that you mean business. Presenting your argument in a concise and no-nonsense fashion generates a sense of transparency that customers are drawn toward.
8. YOUR CUSTOMERS CAN HELP YOU
You can use list posts as a form of market research, and it doesn’t cost a penny. The age of social media means you can collect the opinion of thousands of customers within a matter of hours, and at the click of a button. Platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter have poll functions that allow content creators to collect key data that can guide the creation of the best posts possible.
Are you ready for another example? Let’s say you own a craft beer company. You’re dedicated to transforming the space with your artisan venture. More specifically, you want to harness the terpene-infused power of hops and other ingredients to create blends that aren’t available elsewhere. The niche nature of your business means you’re dealing with a customer base of connoisseurs, so you’re able to get technical with your questions.
You unleash a poll across all of your social media channels, stating, “Tell us your favourite hops flavour!”, and include options such as “Cascade”, “Citra”, “Magnum”, and others. Not only are you now aware of the prevailing tastes within your target audience, but you’ve just scooped up the data you need to write list posts perfectly crafted for them.
Within a week, you’ve published a piece titled “5 Most Popular Hops Among Craft Community (in Order)”. Customers are rushing to your site, recognising your brand, and many of them end up following internal links to your blog articles dedicated to individual hops varieties.
READY TO HARNESS THE POWER OF LIST POSTS?
You’re now fully aware of the benefits of list posts. Only one question remains: when will you start writing? List posts will benefit your platform and brand in numerous ways. You’ll enjoy writing them, and your customers will enjoy scanning them for key information. List posts will drive up your returning visitor rate and help you to persuade potential customers to follow through with a purchase.
They also give you a near-endless amount of nuggets to post on social media, and you can use these same platforms to inspire future posts that appeal to your target market. Talk about winning!