Our ‘top ten’ lists are one of our most popular features – yet they’re just a list with photos! So what makes them so entertaining?

Writing lists is all about the simple interaction of image and words. An image gives more detail to a concept or it contradicts the words and makes it funny. Lists are also used to make people laugh like the You know you work in a digital marketing team when… list, to give advice like the ‘6 essential things to get right BEFORE your content goes viral‘ list, or to get people thinking about the subject matter like 9 reasons to use an independent book shop. 

How will YOU write lists to attract customers?

How you create your list will depend on the way you think and learn. If you’re a visual learner you’ll have images in mind, if you prefer expressing yourself with words more you’ll probably write the list items first.

Either way works – although try doing a quick image search to find the perfect image to sum up an item and write words around that.

Your title is THE most important part of the list!

A funny or intriguing title means more people click on your list and read it. Check out this article on on the science of writing compelling headlines to get more traffic to your list.

Your number one aim is for people to look through ALL of your list and like it enough to share it with their friends. Some useful tips for this are:

  • Less is more – A picture paints a thousand words so find the right image for each point rather than writing lots of text.

  • Start strong – Start with a good point or image that grabs the user’s attention and makes them want to read more.

  • Don’t pad a list out – Lists with less items often do well as people are curious to know why there are fewer items. Each item should add something significant to the list.

  • Finish with a bang – Your last item should help the user decide to share your list. Riddles are really easy to share or to insert into a blog. Getting your list shared will massively increase your audience or go ‘viral’.

  • Edit – When you’ve finished the list, check through it and see if it can be improved. Is there a funny angle you missed? Can you use less words to say the same thing?

When you’re finished there is just one thing left to do. Share it! Use the Riddle share buttons to put your list on social media and your blog. Encourage your friends to pass it on. You’ll be amazed at how popular a list can become if it’s featured on a blog or starts a conversation on Facebook!

Image to open people's eyes to writing lists via a quiz makerPersuade visual people to open their eyes to your list

Sometimes you need to explain something step by step to a potential customer. Many people are instantly put off by lots of text on a web page. They want images; examples, graphs. Don’t give them an excuse to leave your site! Entice them to stay and discover more about you with a step-by-step visual list.

This example gives some fun reasons to visit Germany.

Encourage interactive folk to interact with your list

Some people like to interact with information and our ranked lists let them do just that. Encourage your customers to rank items and get valuable feedback while you’re getting your sales message across.

Here’s an example by the BBC looking at the most annoying novelty songs of all time! 

Start your list now and get a boost in your traffic today!