Sunday, September 26, 2010

Top 10 Reasons to Write Top 10 Lists

10. They’re fun to write. More fun than say, articles about dust mite allergies or zebra mussels. Although you could probably come up with a pretty amusing Top 10 list about dust mites. Go ahead, I dare you.

9. People seem to like numbers. Not as much spelled out, though. “3” is sexier than “three.” Don’t you think? Why else is the TV show “Numb3rs” spelled with a “3” instead of the “e?” Oh, those crazy TV people…

8. Because Top 10 lists more engaging, you’ll probably get more reader comments, possibly including suggestions for additional numbers to tack onto your list. Which can be fodder for your next Top 10 list. Let your readers become part of the process and they’ll be more likely to bookmark you. Or secretly hate you for ripping off their stuff. You’ll never know, will you?

7. Many of us are accustomed to making lists: shopping lists, to-do lists, bucket lists, lists of people you shouldn’t have slept with if you weren’t drunk and feeling sorry for yourself. You’d be slipping right into a format that a lot of people already find comfortable. Especially when drunk, feeling sorry for themselves, and probably surfing the web anyway cyber-stalking their old hook-ups.

6. Double duty! Some professionals, citing the public’s decreasing attention span, suggest ditching the Top 10 list for the Top 5 list. Write them all out, and then tuck half in your “repurpose” folder for days when you can’t get your eyes to focus in the same direction.

5. David Letterman was probably damned frustrated to learn that he couldn’t copyright the concept. Revel in your freedom!

4. Top 10 lists come up higher in Google searches. Usually among the top 10 listings.

3. You’ll have something cool to post on

2. The organized structure makes them more appealing to read, and for your readers to share with their friends. Then they’ll share with their friends, and so on, and so on, and…hey, maybe even David Letterman will see it and hire you and…nah, wait. That was the dream I had last night. It involved a Top 10 list about why he should hire me, and a restraining order.

1. If you plan your Top 10 right, you can write it fairly quickly and then move onto that article about dust mite allergies or zebra mussels.


  1. Great article! I see you're putting good use to some of the information we got yesterday at the International Freelancers Day.