10 part guide to list posts “listicles” plus a bonus part

List posts are incredibly useful to your audience member and you may be called upon to create these types of post to help boost your viewing. List articles are typically a good first article to submit to an editor when you are guest blogging because they are punchy, hit the spot, and can be marketed far more effectively. List posts are good value. Many blogs can exist simply from the practice of creating this type of post because the layout is simple and infinitely repeatable.

10 part guide to list posts listicles plus a bonus

Copyblogger suggests that this type of post is a winner down to the attraction of the headline that can be launched through social medial links. The headline is a compelling opener. “7 reasons why list posts will always work” goes into further detail about “magnetic headlines”.

Problogger featured an interesting article that certainly goes into more depth than my own but covers similar topics. “10 steps to the perfect list post” is a worthy read if you are serious about making a powerful list.

Part 1: Do not set a target number of points.

Contrary to what you are told, you should group together the best list based on only those points that contribute well. If you try and fill in or top up to a number, you are likely to throw in poor quality points with your good points and your reader may feel cheated.

What I would suggest is to create a bigger list and then chop out the lower value items when you come to review the content.

Part 2: Make sure you have all the sections numbered properly.

If you promise someone 119 ways to make pomegranate salad, make sure that your list contains 119 H2 titles for each recipe.

There is nothing more annoying than getting through a list to find it is incomplete. You may feel cheated as a reader and far less likely to trust the author as a result.

Part 3: If making a big list; try and sub-group points into logical collections.

Say if you had 30 ways to blog better and 10 of those might include social media tips, try and group those 10 points together in the flow.

Part 4: Give your reader room to pause.

A nice image or some blank space every 5 to 10 points helps keep it fresh. Blank space is not to be afraid of.

Part 5: If making a small list below 10 points, try and ensure you finish with an odd number of points.

A strange psychology will draw people closer to odd numbered points over even ones.

You can combine this with Part 10 below if you finish your list with an even number of points.

 

 

Part 6: The size of the point can be large or small as long as the content is useful.

Each point doesn’t have to be a uniform size. Some points can just consist of a paragraph and a picture. There is no gun pointed at your head forcing you to overwrite each point. Less is more but accurate is better.

Part 7: Mention others in your points.

The main aim of blogging is sharing. If you can harness some good points from other bloggers, and mention them in your work, you are likely to perform well. Links are even better. Links to high ranking information score higher with the search engines because your “listicle” is more useful overall as a guide to someone.

Part 8: Don’t go straight into the list.

Sometimes a short introduction can make or break a list post. You want to describe what the need is for this list and possibly why these points are so key, so have an introduction but don’t go too long on it.

Part 9: Be top heavy.

The attention span of readers is short at the best of times. We are busy people living in a busy world. Put some of the good stuff up front to keep them hooked because many people who consider buying books or sitting down to read something like a bit of “wow” up top (no innuendos implied). Essentially you need to hook your audience.

Part 10: End on a high.

Because ending on a high is a great way to keep a reader feeling satisfied. We read a novel because we want to experience the journey then be satisfied by the conclusion. You may occasionally get some filler material amongst those epic points but a lot of the time, as long as it feels like it belongs and has value, add it. The end however, should be one of the key tips, the “I really needed to know that” tips.

Bonus Part 11: You can add bonus points.

Another bit of psychology is the bonus point or tip. Consider it your curtain call. When you put bonus in your title, you should experience a leap in interest. Bonus is a very convincing word attached to positive value and works well in Twitter and other social media outlets as a convincer in short titles.

Because 10 + 1 is so much more than 11!

And finally…

The beauty of a list post is that you can make that list longer or shorter and make a new list post. Oh, the possibilities.

Over to you

Do you have any sage ideas for a list post? Do you love or hate them? Are you more likely to click on one? Anything I missed here?

Share in the comments below.

End of Month Traffic Report January 2015

jaguar-xkr-s-13

Jaguar XKR-S

Hello Sports Fans, its the new season and January passed like a blur (for me at any rate). January always does because that first month of the year is the one where you are crawling out of your bear cave that you hibernated in during the final dregs of the previous year. You emerge with many great ideas and do your level best to get that motor started and set the world on fire (sorry California). And here you are, February time, In Christian dominated countries you more than likely have Easter eggs already (I saw a Cadbury’s Creme Egg on the 28th December) in the shops. If you’ve got a nearby Chinatown you know they are getting excited for the Chinese New Year in February which is going to be the year of the… Goat.

I admit to normally being blue in January. Britain is not as grim as Eastern Europe for winter but the lack of daylight does get you down (trust me). I normally get a bit blue around the 20th January. However, this year I had no Christmas related ills and most things are on a happy front so apart from one day with a particularly low ebb, I was all good for January. Blog Prefect saw some good viewing too.

Shake Up

Shakeup Jan 2015 EOMTR

I have opted this month to remove the traditional artsy sexy traffic cop image. If you have any feelings on that, feel free to contact me on Twitter, Google+ or through the contact page (or even the comments below). I didn’t wish to drum up any controversy about being less “Leisure suit Larry” to my female audience but I was starting to run out of suitable images that could be easily “Sweded” :). This year is going to have some sexy cars instead because 2015 needs a new theme relating to traffic. This is the image you’ll normally see first so I hope that if you’ve been following this series you aren’t disappointed.

Goals as were mentioned in this post, are coming to the EOMTR. This is based on something that Mi Muba from BeAMoneyBlogger.com instilled with this article. I felt it was important to make use of my KPIs and hopefully give you something to base your ideas of targets from.

The core report is on vacation this month. It goes into too much detail so I’ve removed it from show at this time.

Maintaining the Status Quo

I believe that the Shout Out section has been a big boon to this post so I aim to continue with it. I also look forward to any input you would like to contribute to this feature.

Alexa Stats have earned their stripes but sometimes I forget to capture the data at the right point so please be aware that this information may occur after the fact.

Some areas to note

My traffic is low by many standards, this is mostly due to the time available to promote, and my currently capability at that promotion. In a recent comment from my Canadian Compatriot, Andrew Warner from shadeofinfo.com, I made an admission that my promotion techniques are woefully inadequate. This is a target area for 2015.

A call to arms

I need your comments and emails, plain and simple. In order for BlogPrefect.com to flourish, I need to embrace what you need as an audience member, and shape the kind of content you need. I have been reminded that blogging is a people based activity and I can’t do this without you.

Whilst I don’t respond terribly well to criticism it does help. I’ve recently had two comments that were challenging for me but I feel I responded in a way that has been respectful whilst trying to empathise with the intent.

As a final wrap up to this 2015 intro:

My apologies for taking longer with this report than my standard time frame allows. This owes to a rather punishing narrow window I’ve had to produce assignments for my higher level degree module. Over the weekend of 8th – 9th February and prior to that, I’ve been working hard on my third assignment of six. These particular modules are difficult, taxing and ultimately time consuming but the end is within sight. Officially I have less than half of the remaining days available and start my crusade to the 6th June when my final project is in. I am so looking forward to getting my evenings back, you wouldn’t believe!!! But yes, this post is late. I cannot commit to rigidity in my post schedule at this time and I apologise sincerely in that regard. It is what it is.

I have also started another blog but have been hit with a time deficit to get it where I wanted for launch. It is up at the moment but the concept needs some more thought. I love a challenge though. 🙂

Shout out:

I’d like to thank the following individuals this month for their contributions.

Mi Muba from beamoneyblogger.com, a true gentleman and a very supportive fellow. Thanks Mi for your comments and reshares, always a pleasure!

Andrew Warner from shadeofinfo.com. Thanks not only for your comment and twitter share, but for making me think more about what I’m doing and why.

Mustafa Gaziani from bloggingtechniques.com, thank you for your comment!

Alize Camp from Techfor.us, thank you for two comments this month.

Mohammad Anees from Mohdanees.net. Thanks for your Twitter reshare.

I’d also like to thank Karyn aka the Noisy Songbird and Emilliy for joining me on WordPress Reader.

Posts for January and how they did:

 

I had a surprise post this month which tore the roof off my quite low all time high for a month, it’s still low but it goes to prove that if you write about the right topic, you’ll be onto a winner. The only bad thing is that what I wrote about doesn’t really exist within the confines of this blogging niche that I exist in with BP, so it is more of a showcase piece, and the kind of article I’d like to write if I were doing more guest posts.

PostPerfJan15

My other posts performed to their standard lowly numbers but at least none were at the dreaded zero this month (woot!). Traffic is something I need to work on this year.

The Dashboard

I would have to say that this feature is my favourite to put together and I have found more acceptance by using this as the feature image. Diagrammatic information is very useful within a blog post so I recommend that if you get a chance to insert something with figures that you go for it. A nice chart, graph or diagram often works wonders to break up a sterile white page.

Dashboard Jan15 vs Dec14

As you will notice in my instinctive column, I normally have a simple few words to try to sum up the month. Don’t mention the war means, yeah, it’s going okay but there are still some issues.

The wash of red. Take into account that last month saw an unusually high spike in traffic so the wake leaves a depressed month in some areas. The purples give me a big smile on my face.

There is a dashed blue outline on Referrals. This is because I have equaled an all time high record set back in September 2014.

ATOS (Actual Time on Site) is epic so I need to keep this kind of tally up.

The 2015 Goal

Dashboard 2015 GOAL 15 PERCENT

This section is all new and based on this article for 2015, I need to generate a 15% uplift in a number of traffic stats to consider myself a winner.

Here’s how the information compares for January versus the goal:

GoalProgressJan15

The red line depicts the goal in this case. The blue line is positive in all regards where it exists above the red line except for bounce rate where the opposite is the case.

Alexa Stats

AlexaJan15

These are subjective results which differ greatly to other tracking methods I use. Alexa measure frequency far more than other sites but I feel that the Average Time on Site is more accurate than some of my stat outlets. Due to my troubled posting schedule I am down across the board. The daily pageviews is a much happier place than where I used to be.

Referral looksee

Through the ultimate trimming down of information to make this easy to manage I have opted just to show the referrals for the month. Fortunately the site where I get this information has undergone a transformation between December and January and I can now give you some better information.

JanRef2015

Conclusion

January hasn’t been all that bad. Comparatively to 2014’s January, 2015’s January has been a sterling month. There are still major things I need to address to turn the flood gates on (Besides a blowtorch). All in all, I’m stoked for 2015 as a whole. I aim to take some names. Cliche statements are us 🙂

It’s a small conclusion this time. I normally go into a bit of depth but January is the sighter for this year. I am interested to see where I go from here!

Comments welcome.