Late night talk show host David Letterman has made the "Top Ten" list into a regular phenomenon. Something that the viewers look forward to on a nightly basis as part of their entertainment fix.
Their simplicity and ease of digestion make them the perfect read in these busy times. It's for that reason I've come up with the seriously ironic, "Top Ten List of Why Top Ten Lists are so Popular."
10. They're "likeability" is already established.
People know them, people like them, people read them and that makes them a statistical no brainer. All of my most read "movie" themed blogs have been top lists. Their unique views out number even the exclusive reviews by a huge margin.
9. They're promote-able.
Because of their universal appeal top ten list are an easy sell. Posting them to your Facebook wall and writing a quick tweet about your list while including a direct link back to your blog is an easy way to steer interested traffic back to yourself.
8. They can go viral.
In addition to your linking you'll find readers who like your list will also link back to them on their own pages and sites.
7. They're an easy link.
Not only can you link to you and your readers link to your top ten lists but you too can link to any great top ten lists you find. The idea of linking back and forth with other pages is a crucial element in search engine optimization. By building these types of links you increase your chances of having your blog rank better when it's searched out by potential reader.
6. They're easy to create.
We do it all the time in our day-to-day lives and not just for groceries. We've all got our favorite foods, favorite movies, and even biggest pet peeves. All we have to do to create a top ten list is focus on a topic and write our opinions.
5. They're easy to read.
Scanning down a page of bullet points is effortless and almost a pleasurable. Nowadays with the world living at such a fast pace the hunger for quick, easy-to-absorb content has never been greater. A good list delivers all this in an uncomplicated format.
4. They inform.
A good list can be the window to discovery. I can't tell you how many times I've found something new and exciting while scanning through some obscure list. Everything from software to books and useful websites to movies I've never seen. A good top list can offer a nice concentrated dose of what you're looking for but didn't know it.
3. They educate.
If done right a top ten list can uncover some very interesting facts. Regardless if they're based on heavily researched data or your opinion, a good top ten list can tell your readers something new. This should be something you keep in mind when creating your "best of" lists.
2. They're entertaining.
For all the reasons above and especially the one below, top ten lists are interesting, perceptive, and can be quite entertaining. My friends and I even use top lists as the basis for a little game we play. We each name our "top" whatever and then take turns rearranging and debating each others list.
1. They encourage conversation.
That leads us to the number one reason top ten lists are so great...they get us to talk! This can be proven by just how compelled readers of top ten lists are to comment. Everyone has an opinion and when you present them with something they feel safe critiquing, they will. I know a particular blog posting about the top zombie movies that's pulled close to a hundred comments in just days. (And those fans are monsters!)
When it's all said and done top lists can be a real traffic boosting/conversation starting tool that any blogger could use. Now throw it in your tool box and see where it takes you. It might just become one of your "top" types of blogs to write.