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Why Lists Work - 10 Of the Best of the Best

Updated on November 14, 2015
1. Lists are easy to read
2. Lists are easy to skim
3. Smart, busy people use Lists
4. Lists are easier to share, tweet, etc.
5. Lists are faster to write or generate.
6. Headlines containing numbers receive higher responses
7. Lists command higher long-term traffic
8. Lists generate more responses from readers
9. They add authority by implying insight and knowledge
10. They can be repurposed into newsletter, posts or visuals.

Generate Web Traffic because they can be skimmed.

Personally speaking, life is messy, unpredictable and complicated, but I suspect that this is true for some of you too.

There are many choices to be made, from almost infinite options and with less than perfect information. In the real world, things seldom, add up to 10 and almost never alliterate neatly without being coerced.

Perhaps this is the reason that list-related content is so popular with readers.

As for writers, good content can be shared with fewer words and generally put together more quickly.

  • Smart people use lists, they are a proven format and thus popular with busy people.

We are told that web readers have short attention spans, keep paragraphs short and lists are the way to get your message across.

  • They are easy to skim and easy to read.

If someone is looking for a specific item, a way to do something, advice - a list is a quick way to grab their attention and hopefully visit your page as you have already done all the work.

Google search on 'lists', brings up the Ultimate top 10 Lists, Forbes Lists, and many other intriguing and fun time wasters. Whatever it is you are looking for there is bound to be a list for it.

Top Ten Songs of All Time

  • Lists are easier to share as the content is more consumable than that of a wordy post.

There is an appealing simplicity to such a list, there is a limit it's only 10 after all, you can cope with 10, you have the time to read 10, time to do 10.

Someone, presumably knowledgeable on the subject, has already chosen them for you from the millions of ideas, lists, products, articles or reviews published or produced, which cuts out a whole lot of pressure and effort.

Count me in to ten of the best, for whatever figure works.

Life would be so effortless if there were only one list for each subject, but sadly there are hundreds of them, most websites or blogs have the inevitable list, and these are the pages to which people return again and again.

The Ten Best ways to Bring up Toddlers, to The Ten Best ways to Cook Spinach, The Ten best way to Start a Blog, The Ten must Have Gadgets of the Year, Ten Great Books Overlooked This Year, and many other long and short lists.

Top Ten Meta List?

Meta lists may be a lot of work and a lot of trouble - yes possibly, but then compared to what.

If one Imagines how they got Google maps to work. Did some bright spark come up with the idea and then they put a camera on top of a car and drove around every street, in the world? No, they didn't, but seen in that light, meta-lists is a walk in the park!

  • Long-term traffic impact is higher over time with lists, they imply breadth and depth of insight and knowledge.

As only the "Top 10" or whatever arbitrary number you feel like, is presented thereby insinuating that the rest is just fluff or not worth bothering about.

  • Lists are easy to extend for greater value

If you are looking for content, a Top Ten List, could be broken into ten posts or expanded with visuals.

As lists usually elicit a higher response rate with readers adding their own ideas to those already enumerated, this can lead to a really meaty, valuable post which draws long term traffic.

Top 10 Unnecessary Top 10 Lists - Jacks Films


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    • SaffronBlossom profile image


      5 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Great hub! I recently started writing lists and not only are they more enjoyable and easy to write, I have been seeing good traffic as well!

    • moonlake profile image


      5 years ago from America

      I have list all over the house. My biggest problem I lose my list before I leave home. I think you are right about lists and I voted up.

    • Joy56 profile image


      5 years ago

      useful great hub well done

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 

      5 years ago from North Carolina

      I love lists and am a dedicated list maker. A very useful hub here and I'm sharing it-

      1. because it's useful

      2. because it's interesting

      3. because other people can benefit from reading the helpful tips

      4. because it is an effective organizer for those who don't know where to start.


    • CyberShelley profile imageAUTHOR

      Shelley Watson 

      5 years ago

      BillyCBay, Thanks so much for the visit and the great comments.!

      The rhyme from Mother Goose is:

      "Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers:

      A peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked.

      If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers,

      Where's the peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked?"

      I tried it 3 x fast and I had to concentrate to say it correctly!

    • BillyCBay profile image

      Billy Bay 

      5 years ago from Florida, USA

      Hi Shelly, Glad I'm not alone on the Lists...Without them I wouldn't make it out the front door most days... ;-) Thanks for the great post!!!

      Oh, I always heard it as: Peter Pepper Picked A Peck of Pickled Peppers...How Many Pecks of Peppers Did Peter Pick? 3x's fast of-course...Haven't heard that in awhile :-)

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      5 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Yes that is correct lists are very helpful to any individual.

    • CyberShelley profile imageAUTHOR

      Shelley Watson 

      5 years ago

      carol7777, Great to have you visit. Most of us know about lists, but a gentle reminder to give ourselves a jump start at the beginning of the year, hopefully won't go amiss. I appreciate your support.

      Hi Lou, thanks for the 'picture comment'. That word does tend to be somewhat of a tongue twister, something like the peck of pickled pepper Peter Piper picked. Ha ha.

    • LouTucci profile image


      5 years ago

      Shelly, forgot to mention I love your new picture! You look so authoritative! My brain hurt just from typing that word....


    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 

      5 years ago from Arizona

      This is really helpful and I also thank you for great comments. I know that these lists can really work. We all like to know there are a certain amount and much more apt to read. Voting up and Sharing...

    • epigramman profile image


      5 years ago

      Good evening CyberShelley - this is the definitive 'list' hub and some really great points are made here - thanks to your wonderful ability to communicate your thoughts and ideas - and I often use the famous David Letterman top ten list idea to drive home some of my points as well in comments to others - so nice to meet you and keep up the great work - sending you warm wishes and good energy from lake erie time ontario canada 11:29pm

    • LouTucci profile image


      5 years ago

      How else is he going to determine - who gets coal and who get diamonds*

    • CyberShelley profile imageAUTHOR

      Shelley Watson 

      5 years ago

      TRICIA1000, Thanks for stopping - glad to hear your list article does so well.

      LouTucci, I know the Elves love lists, but I'm not too sure that Santa reads the naughty list!

    • LouTucci profile image


      5 years ago

      Right on cybershelley! I've been making and following lists for years! As a matter of fact, I told my kids recently that I've been summarizing the most important list of all - who's been naughty and nice this past year! (I told one of my kids to expect coal!)

    • Tricia1000 profile image


      5 years ago from South Africa

      My one top 10 list article generates a nice income at Squidoo based on only Google traffic.


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