Some bloggers are recommending list posts, mainly because they have had a very good experience using them on their own websites. But are they really that good? Or can it get to much as well?
Writing on the internet is about creating useful content, this can include linking to other peoples content, or recommending useful tools – like done in Brugbarts Web-designer tools list – but it can also become spammy and annoying, because almost everyone are doing it.
These posts will often look similar to the titles listed below:
- 10 ways to create great content
- 5 ways to easily rank in the search engines
- 8 places to submit your links
- 20 writing tips for bloggers
I could easily make up more titles, because it is so easy to write posts like that. But often they also quickly become outdated, because adding new stuff, or removing outdated information will have to mean that you have to alter the title.
The problem with list posts
Another problem is that a couple of web-celebrities has recommended them for their users, because they are so easy to make – this now means that a lot of bloggers are creating list posts, to the point where people are getting tired of seeing them. You don't even have to know much about a subject on your own, you can just link to other peoples content.
You often can't update these posts with new information, or remove old information, since you would have to update the title, and in some cases the URL. This is no problem if the post have not been shared, but if it has been shared on other websites, and you then edit your post; the title would have become incorrect on those sites where it has been shared.
Consider the content of your post
Before writing new content on your website, always consider the title and url of that the page is going to have. You would often want to be able to re-edit and update your content later, so that it continues to be relevant to people finding it through search engines – or even your own users, given that you got decent navigation on your website.
List posts can also be useful, but there's always the question, why only list ten of something, when you can list twenty, or hundred? Some list-posts are really boring to read – though that can also be said about other post types.
When are list posts useful?
List posts can be useful if you don't know what to write about, and if you really need to release new content to keep your readers coming back to your website. But they can also be useful as persistent content, though you should typically avoid numbering your Titles or URLs in that case, because you would want to update the post when required – though some posts won't need to be edited.
List posts are typically very easy to make, because you can just link to other peoples content. However, writing useful content on your own will always beat these list posts, because such content will most likely easily rank in search engines.
You can also give away advice. I.e. 10 ways to create great content – which would also qualify as original content. You may however want to consider removing the numbering, the post most likely won't perform worse because you don't include a number in its title.