Recently, someone pointed out that I don’t do many list posts. I don’t know if that what a criticism or just an observation, but that person was right. Looking back, I haven’t done many list posts.
You know the kind of posts I mean: 5 tips to add colour to your writing or 8 ways to make your blog stand out. That sort of thing. It wasn’t a conscious choice. Mainly apprehension.
Why apprehension? While I have nothing against list posts, I see both the pros and cons of them. And I spend more time weighing those pros and cons instead of trying to write a list post.
The biggest positive is that list posts can be quick and easy to write. Just grab a topic, come up with any number of points about that topic (10 or fewer, preferably), and offer a brief reason or explanation. Wham, bam, done.
It’s not always that easy. You definitely have to put some thought into a good list post, and you need to practice writing that form.
Another positive is that a good link post is quick and easy to read. Remember that you’re writing not just for the sake of writing something, but so that someone will read it. While I do like to read (and write) in-depth posts, sometimes I just don’t have the time to read them. A good list post can get me thinking or, at the very least, give me a quick hit of information.
There are people who say that the list post is dead. If not dead, then either dying or should be put down. They’re hackneyed, they’re cliched, they’re overdone. And, to some extent, that’s true.
I think that there are far too many badly-done list posts out there. Many of those are just SEO bait trying to draw in readers to bad content.
On top of that, I think that too many bloggers use list posts as a crutch. They can’t think of anything really thoughtful to write so they dash off list post after list post. Over time, that can promote laziness. It’s easier to dash off a bad list post than to write something interesting or insightful.
I think I’ll hold on to my apprehension about list posts. I like the occasional list post, as long as it’s good and it’s original. But finding good ones is getting to be harder and harder. And I don’t think I’ll be making list posts a staple of this blog any time soon. I’m still not comfortable writing list posts, and often don’t see the point.
So what’s your take on list posts, as both a writer and a reader? Feel free to leave a comment.