Do you have a list? If not, you should consider creating one. It seems everyone has a list or is on a list or is pushing a list. We have become a society of list makers. But, apparently it’s because we don’t like to read long stories any more. With all of the interruptions in our daily lives we’ve morphed into a populace that likes to keep our fast-pace going. One can even find articles about what the perfect length of a blog is in word count and the time it takes to read it on the old interwebs. For those keeping score, it’s 1000 words and 7 minutes – on average. The entire article can be read here: http://bit.ly/2dlSVdb.
We just don’t have the time to spend reading a blog that takes longer than ordering our morning coffee. The perfect blog can be read and shared to our social network from the moment we get in line, glance at our hot caffeine options on the above hand-written chalk menu board, smile at the other customers and then dig into to our mobile devices. All before we take the first sip of our hot steaming cup of whatever we ordered with room for whip.
There is even a word for this brand of quick-serve journalism spawned by our lack of attention spans, it’s called “Listicles”, and no one does it better than the journos at Buzzfeed – http://bit.ly/2cXWVOg. Buzzfeed provides daily content and an astronomical amount of lists that many of us cannot live without. There are so many lists it makes one wonder if colleges are giving out Advanced Degrees for list creation. I am pretty confident the younger me would’ve enjoyed writing college papers in this format. It seems there is a list for everything. If you can imagine it, you can list it. Credit where credit is due: At this point, I need to give a big shout out to my good friend Adam Klarer, a provider of amazing video content and is also the owner of The Visual Artists Company (http://www.visualartists.tv/), who told me about this phenomenon over the Summer.
Here are my 6 reasons to list it out:
- Lists are Quick-hitters: Reference the above paragraphs. Ain’t nobody got time to spend an entire day reading your blog. However, if your content is on point they’ll go away thinking about your blog all day. See the point there?
- Lists Show Importance: If you have created a list then those items must be really important. Each and every item is relevant, and provides valuable insight to the reader and potentially their network.
- Lists can show your creativity. For instance, how do you keep your readers attention with your list? You need to pick the top ideas and articulate them in a relatively quick timeframe.
- Choose your topics wisely and your images even more so. Don’t just randomly pick your topics. Focus on what’s trending, will your list bring value to those that read your blogs? And the images? Pick an image that brings value to your list and is interesting enough for others to want to read your blog.
- You can easily link to stories that prove the merits of your Listicle. See my link in the first paragraph.
- Don’t go out with a whimper. Finish with a bang. Don’t end your list on a lame note. There doesn’t have to be fireworks but you should be able to wrap things up nicely.
I am a big fan of lists as you can see. I like to mix things up on occasion to keep my mind fresh. I also prefer writing in this format because it’s different than other more “follow the rules” types of writing I do on a daily basis. Now I am off to search for my missing 300 or so words to make this Listicle a success as suggested by the classroom monitors at Buffer.