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Popular Post Writing: One Secret Trick

Steven 4 responses General

Call it a Round-Up, a Mash-Up, and Pile-Up, or just a simple List post, it’s one of the most popular post around. If you hate writing or you’re just not in the mood today or you can’t come up with a good idea, give this type of popular post a shot. It’s simple to write and your readers will love it.

A List Post by any other name is still a list post and when done properly they’re the most popular posts on the Internet. Whole blogs have been structured around nothing but list posts. In fact, when you have time, check out 11Points. The blogger, Sam Greenspan, has been so successful with his 11-Point lists he’s on his second book deal already. Every single post on his blog is a list post.

How To Turn A List Into A Popular Post

There are only two things you need to remember when writing a Round-Up:

Relevancy: The list must be relevant for your readers. If you’re running a gardening blog then your readers aren’t going to be interested in a list of Top 10 Horror Movies from 1999.

Value: Your list should provide something of value for your readers, and the popularity of your list increases along with the number of readers who consider it valuable.

For example, “Top 10 Free WordPress Themes” would be a valuable list for my blog, however many of my readers use some type of premium theme for a more professional presentation. So a better more valuable list post for my blog might be, “My Top 10 Tips For Customizing Your Thesis WordPress Theme.

Don’t overlook the value of a good laugh. Some of the most popular list posts on the Internet have been humorous. At first glance they may not appear to offer any information of value, but I’ve had days when I would have paid good money for someone to make me laugh.

Some mash-ups can take quite a bit of time and/or research to put together, but here are some ideas for simple posts you can put together quickly:

  • Your own Top 10 posts from this year, last year, 1999, or whatever time-frame has the most valuable content for the list. This is a piece of cake. Just look at your analytics for your chosen time frame and pull the top 10 links. Include a brief explanation about why each one is spectacular and you’re done.
  • Top 10 favorite posts you read on other blogs this week, including a brief explanation about why they made the list and a link to the relevant post.
  • Top 10 Tweets you received this week and who sent them
  • Top 10 People to Follow on Twitter/Facebook/LinkedIn/Whatever social network you prefer
  • Top 3 Books you recommend – don’t forget to include your Amazon link
  • Top 5 comments on your blog – include a call to action to have your readers tell you their favorites, too
  • Top 5 blogs you follow in your RSS reader and why you follow them
  • Top 5 bloggers you admire and why – BONUS: Include a link to their blog so they’ll see your post and maybe they’ll link back to it. HINT: Go for the A-list bloggers!

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  1. Nice straightforward article with practical suggestions. Sadly, I often find myself in the nexus between what is popular and what I want to write.

    1. David, what about trying to address what you want to write about in a way that will turn it into a popular piece?

  2. Abdullah Hamid

    Iam a retiree and like to fill up my time by blogging. I’ve just open a blog and would like to start blogging. I am following you. Thanks.

    1. Congratulations on getting started with your blog Abdullah