What are 5 Tips for List-Type Blog Posts?
Today, more and more businesses are turning to content marketing as their preferred digital marketing strategy. If you are going to compete, you will need to develop high-quality content for your website, blog and social media presence.
A list is a great format for a blog post. It is an easily scannable, concise and comprehensive way to convey information. The problem is that there are many list posts out there offering the same basic information. If you are going to do a list post, you want to spice it up so that it attracts the attention it deserves. Here are five tips for an exciting and valuable list post.
1. Find a Focus
To identify a clear focus, you need to know your audience. For example, if your audience is marketing managers that need to be convinced to invest in social media marketing, then a list of the benefits of social media marketing might make a great list post.
Once you find a theme, you need to maintain laser-focus. It is easy to drift, so test your ideas to see if they really belong together on your list. If your focus is the benefits of social media marketing, you should eliminate something that is more of a best practice for social media marketing.
2. Brainstorm Your Best Ideas
A good list must get beyond the obvious. You will need to brainstorm a bit in order to generate good blog titles that are truly unique. Mind mapping is a great brainstorming technique for generating list items for your post.
Once you have done some brainstorming, you might want to search the Internet for posts that are similar to your own in order to make sure that you are not just repeating what is already out there.
You need to generate more ideas than you need so that you can eliminate the obvious. Be ruthless about what ideas make it into your final post. Keep only ideas that offer real value.
3. Go Deep
Good blog titles and headlines might add some humor and interest to your post, but what really holds people's attention is valuable content. Providing information that really helps your audience is a sure way to get engagement. That means you have to go deep and be a valuable resource. This is more important that being cute.
For example, if you have real estate blog, everyone knows that looking at the school district is a necessary step in evaluating a property if you have children. Your post should offer the reader a more in-depth list of ways to evaluate a school district that are not immediately obvious. You want to help your reader to actually conduct an evaluation of a school district and not just the vague idea that such evaluation is necessary.
Another way to go deeper is to provide links to other posts with more information about that specific point. If you had a post listing factors in evaluating a property, you could instruct readers to examine the school district. Then you could provide a link to a post listing items to ask about the local schools.
4. Be Unique
Pick a topic and search the web. You are going to see the same information repeated by different authors. You want to offer a unique perspective on your topic to make your post stand out. One way to do this is to find an issue where there is some controversy and pick a side. Then you can engage in a conversation with thought leaders in your field based on your unique perspective. People in your field who are following the conversation will see that you have something to contribute.
5. Tell a Story
People like stories. It is possible to tell an engaging story and still maintain the list format. If you want to list the benefits of social media marketing, you might invent a character like Bill the Personal Trainer. You could then tell a story about how Bill grew his business through social media marketing by listing the benefits that Bill obtained through using social media. Small business owners will see themselves in Bill and wonder if they could obtain the same benefits with social media marketing. The story help the list points to be more concrete. If you can't tell one story, make sure you use practical examples to establish the points on your list.
List posts are still great formats for blogs. These tips will help your lists stand out from your competition. If you want to learn more, check out our white paper, "How to Use Creative Blog Titles to Boost Your Visibility."