L is for Lists

L is for Lists

A minimalist’s dream, the perfect understatement- the epitome of simplicity.

Basically, lists rule.

Why?

When writing content you might have one of those days where you stare at your monitor, desperately seeking inspiration. You re-write the same paragraph about 5 times, never happy with what you’re producing.

Just as you’re about to say FTSIQ you realise that perhaps it’s time for a new approach. So you decide to create a list based blog post.
Creating a list allows you to break down the writing process. Instead of trying to write paragraphs you’re condensing everything into bite sized information. This not only makes it easier for you to write, it also makes it easier to read.

You can of course elaborate on what you put into your list. It can be a simple no frills list where you mention the salient points and leave it at that, or it can be a list where you go into detail about the separate topics. Either way it provides a clear cut structure and helps you stick to the point. You won’t go off at a tangent and won’t run the risk of losing the gist of what you’re writing about.

Creative writing process, lists of ideas

How?

Of course there are lists and then there are lists. the internet is full of click bait articles with headings like The ten secrets you need to know about pasta that will change your life only to present you with a list full of useless information which you knew anyway.

A good list takes time. Here are a few things to keep in mind

  1. Know your facts
    Don’t get caught out. Make sure you know what you’re talking about. Verify any stats and where possible link to your sources.
  2. Length
    You can make your list as long as you want – but as a general rule try not to have a list with a random number of items – eg 23
    Go for 3, 5, 7, 10, 20, 50, 101… you get the point. These numbers look good and have an element of harmony which is more eye catching. What’s more is that writing with a pre-defined amount of points in mind helps to guide your writing.
  3. Provide useful information
    People want good content. Just because you’re writing a list it doesn’t mean you can skimp on content. If you don’t have enough to talk about for a 10 point list then just go for something shorter.

These are just the basics, there are of course other things to keep in mind based on the article you’re writing.

The results

Lists are perfect for building engagement. People naturally skim through text, so if you’re writing paragraph based articles readers will probably rush through what you wrote. With lists they’ll still skim, however with each different point you re-capture their attention.

Lists are shareable – people find them useful because they automatically insinuate efficiency. It’s almost like we look for answers to life’s biggest mysteries in lists. They increase engagement and also keep people coming back for more.

To sum up

If you’re looking for a new way to boost content engagement, or are lacking inspiration about what you should be writing, then it’s high time to dabble in the world of lists. In the meantime, why not check out one of ours?

Blog

Julia's Story.

Online strategist by day, environmental activist by night. When she’s not curating, editing, or writing content she’s scheduling and planning. Her highlighters are her friends and she’s constantly taping to-do lists to the wall.

0 comments