Blog Readers, Like Letterman, Like Lists

David Letterman’s Top Ten Lists were such an effective way of organizing content that NBC tried to claim ownership of the idea when Letterman moved to CBS. (The talk show host still finds lists make for good content strategy, and they’re now called the Late Show Top Ten; Stupid Pet Tricks is the name of another list series on the Late Show.)

That lists and bullet points in general are a good fit for blogs is actually something I stress in corporate blogging training sessions.  By most accounts, search engines like lists and bullet points.  Even more important, I’ve found over the years, lists help keep readers – and writers – on track (especially the writers).

Fellow blog content writer Brian Clark advises keeping bullet points symmetrical.  He means keeping all the points in a group approximately the same length, and also using the same grammatical form throughout the group.

“People love lists, and just about any kind of list is bound to attract traffic,” says Susan Gunelius in her “20 Ideas for Writing a Blog Post”. She suggests starting with a number, then taking it from there, with. Top 10 lists, 5 things not to do, 3 reasons I love something, etc.

Continually creating new content can pose quite a challenge for busy business owners and professionals, and, I’m sure, for talk show producers as well. One type of re-purposed content that can be very helpful to blog writers and extremely valuable to readers is “best of breed” resource lists. Using material from former blog posts, newsletters, and even email, collate references on different topics.  The idea is that your blog can become the “go-to” when readers want more complete information on any topic you’ve discussed.

Blog readers, like Letterman fans, like lists!

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