Skip to content

Don’t set out just to write a list

‘List posts’ are commonplace, and they’re a very readable way of presenting a story. However, it’s unlikely that we’ll get a good list-based article if we simply set out to write one.

Instead, it should result from a realisation – while writing an article that needed to be written – that a ‘list presentation’ might be what the article has developed into.

If the eventual result of the article is a title reading ‘X ways to…”, then the value for X should only be apparent once the article has been finished. It’s fatal to begin with a list of numbers and try to fill in the points next to them.

We see the list post used to attract enquiries from new prospects, and we see it used to educate or support existing customers. It works really well. But don’t begin with a list of numbers. Just bear in mind that it’s a possible presentation when you’re writing something that needed to be written anyway.