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The 7-Step Process to Writing a Great List Post

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What is a list post? A list blog post, or “blog-post,” is a blog that takes the form of a numbered or unnumbered list. List posts are popular because they’re easy to digest and follow. So when you start writing, the first decision is: Will this be a list blog post or something else? Some blogs like an opinion piece aren’t suited to be a list post. Let’s get into how to write the perfect list post.

1. Choose the right topic, an interesting one

A list blog post should be about a set of items that are related to each other. The best way to create an effective list is by choosing something you’re passionate about and know well. If you’re not sure where to start, try brainstorming the topic for different ideas.

When you’re brainstorming ideas, think about what the people reading your list might be interested in. What problems do they have? Is there something that interests them like increasing sales or how to optimize their funnels? Keep these things in mind when coming up with topics.

The first thing you need to do is figure out what topics are interesting to your readers. Once you know this, all next steps will be easier.

2. Write the most original content you can think of

A lot of list posts write articles that have been published before. If you want to impress your audience – that needs some originality. There’s no excuse for not being original. You can start with a personal experience and then go on to create your own list of advice or things you recommend. Or start with advice you’d  give to friends and family.

And otherwise you can use a  general list type of article but make it your own with original tips, images and examples. 

3. How will you organize your list post?

When writing a list post, you have multiple formats (e.g., how to’s, tips for…) If you want to create a good list post, pick the right style, because you don’t want to change that halfway.

Here are 5 types of list blogs:

  1. How to’s
  2. Top Ten Tips Lists
  3. Trends
  4. A New Way to Do Things
  5. Story + lists

That last type, a story filled with lists. These are usually personal stories or those that give advice on how someone overcame adversity in their life. Examples include Oprah Winfrey talking about her favorite things; Stephen King telling us what books we need if we want our summer reading list spiced up; Carl Safina explaining his “top ten” reasons he believes Americans should be more concerned about climate change…etcetera.”

I personally suggest using the “question + answer” style of leading questions. I recommend starting with the “question + answer” structure because it’s very easy to write. So let’s dig into that a bit more:

4 Tips for writing good questions and answers 

Let’s say you want to make a list about starting a small business, for example. You can ask yourself: what are some interesting questions that someone has when they are starting their business? They might be thinking about picking the perfect name, how to start a blog and promotion with marketing etc.

5. How to make your own list more interesting

The list should be more interesting, now how to do that? The first sentence should set the tone for your post and make it interesting enough to keep people reading. The first sentence of each list item will set the tone for so it is interesting enough to keep people reading, but what else?

  • Make a list of 7 or 9, but don’t make it too long. You may also want to break up your list into smaller sections, but in that case, just use subheaders.
  • The list content should be specific or the reader, with examples they recognise. Otherwise they may not understand what you are trying to say.
  • Consider using at least one visual per list item to break up the text and attract attention.
  • The list post shouldn’t only be informative but also entertaining to keep readers interested.
  • Keep it snappy: It’s important not only for you but also your readers’ sanity if they’re reading this in its entirety to be concise, readable and relevant. Instead of scrolling down from top to bottom or up from the end. To make it easier for readers who are getting tired (or just lazy) at any point in time while reading your long form content, pausing where appropriate. Cut down on overly long sentences.

6. Wrap up the blog post with a final tip!

Include all of the previous tips in your blog post. Include one final tip for that you haven’t mentioned yet. You can also add a good quote to wrap up your blog post with, just make sure it is relevant and doesn’t seem too out of place so readers feel like they are reading something separate from what you had originally written about. Be creative with this – try adding a funny or motivational quote at the end of your blog post to really inspire people.

7. Give a Call to Action and attribute sources

To make it all perfect , make sure you have a call to action at the end of your blog post. This should be short and concise, telling people what they can do with this information (e.g. “Sign up for our monthly newsletter” or “Visit our website for more info”). To make your CTA line brief or concise, you can make use of a summarizing tool. It can immediately condense your long-form CTA to a short one.

It’s also important that you provide sources so readers know where to find links and additional resources on the topic if they need it. Your images need to be  sourced too.

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