by David Tandet
1. Numbers give readers something to hang their hats on.
We humans are programmed to relate to organized categories. When it comes to learning, we process organized material faster and more completely. If the information you’re providing lends itself to being outlined, why not help your readers out?
2. People want gems they can use. You are providing those gems.
A piece titled “20 Ways to Navigate to Higher Conversions” promises diamonds. You’re going to read it.
3. Write a list and you are less likely to leave out an important point.
The last thing you want to do is leave out a significant piece of information. But if you’re writing about a subject you have some real expertise in, you can sometimes forget to mention a significant item, specifically because it’s so obvious to you. The organized nature of a list helps prevent that.
4. Provide value and readers will keep returning to your list.
You’re giving useful information. Why shouldn’t readers want to hang on to it? If you present it in a useful format, your readers will save it. And they’ll keep using the list you’ve given them for a long, long time.
5. You will approach your area of expertise in a disciplined way.
As expert as you are in a particular area, don’t you always keep learning new things about it? Forming a list is one of the best ways to kindle the spark.
6. People interested in the subject matter can take your list with them.
Cut it out, pocket it — a list lends itself to being taken along.
7. Editors love lists — they’re great for press releases.
The organized, adaptable arrangement of a list makes it a favorite with editors. No guarantees your list will get picked up, of course, but all things being equal, the list will often win out.
8. Feedback can tell you what category readers want to know more about.
When readers see a list, they can quickly focus on the part that most interests them, or the aspect of a subject they want to hear more about. Accommodate them!
9. Writing lists improves your writing: you have to be clear and direct.
You’re presenting something in an organized way. That means you have to be organized in your thoughts, and how you write them down. You will improve with practice.
10. Lists are authoritative. Just make sure you know your subject matter.
Lists are authoritative. List responsibly!