Blogging: Do List Posts Really Get the Job Done?

Blogging: Do List Posts Really Get the Job Done?

How often do you use lists in your blog articles?

Lists are irresistible to both writers and readers. Nick Kellet from estimates that as many as 30% of all posts are lists. And why not? They’re easily digestible and often very practical.” – Andy Crestodina from Copyblogger

The weather up here has felt more like fall than the beginning of August. Are you experiencing fall like weather, too? This cooler weather is making me crave apples and warm soup!

Today, I want to start a discussion about list posts. List posts are the bread and butter for bloggers, aren’t they? I love using lists because they are,

  1. Easy to read
  2. Easy to write
  3. Easy to understand

List Articles

Recently I came across an article by Andy Crestodina at Copyblogger in which he questions list posts. In this article he interviews Loren Feldman, Small Business Editor of The New York Times. Loren does not prefer list articles and here’s why.

I think list articles tend to be overdone and to have limited credibility. I’m not sure it’s convincing to just say, “here are the five things you need to do to improve your SEO.” I think it’s much more valuable to take more of a case study approach — which allows you to see more of the person’s thinking, what works and what doesn’t. I’ve found that things rarely go perfectly on the first shot — but maybe that’s just me.”

It got me thinking, since I write on any given week 9+ articles and I use a lot of lists. They help me to stay organized, they make sense to me, and honestly they make my articles look good. However, if Loren Feldman is going to challenge the list article, it might be worth challenging it as well.

Story Articles

Instead of the list article, Loren talks about the case study or a story articles. I remember my brother-in-law telling me about how he got his job today because someone remembered a story he told years back. People remember stories, people identify with stories, and people care about stories.

So, what do you think? Please let me know whether you’ve been blogging for years or just started.

  • Do you prefer list articles or story articles?
  • How often do you write list articles?

Please leave your answers below in the comments section. I cannot wait to hear what you have to say.

Christine King is a staff writer at R & R Web Design LLC. She is passionate about writing and loves what blogging and businesses can achieve. Armed with her degree in social work, she brings the unique ability to motivate readers in every blog article she writes. She specializes in creating content and writing blog articles for a variety of businesses at R & R Web Design LLC.

24 comments on “Blogging: Do List Posts Really Get the Job Done?
  1. Debra says:

    Thanks for a good, thought-provoking article. Lists and stories have different strengths that I hadn’t really considered before. Now I’ll remember to choose the format that will make each of my posts most effective.

    • Debra,
      That’s a great point. Depending on what you want to communicate through your article a list might be perfect or a story might really get the point across. Thank you so much for sharing!

  2. Charles Andrews II says:

    I just started blogging in July and I have yet to use a list in my blog. Everything that I’ve written has been in a story format explaining what I’ve done and why I did it the way I did. However, that’s not to say that I will never use a list in my blog. I just haven’t had the opportunity to yet. The reason I write in a story format is because I find it easier for me to express what I’m trying to get across.

    On the other side of that, I do enjoy reading list blogs a lot more. Sometimes they are just more to the point without trailing around the main point just to fill up space. If the story is good, the blog is good. If the story is just to fill up space, then I find myself clicking out of the window.

    • Charles,
      First let me say congrats on starting your blog! I’m looking forward to reading your articles. Thank you so much for commenting because you are bringing up some great points. When we have an engaging story that highlights our amazing content, the story format is a great way to go. I think you’re right, there are time that a story can almost be distracting from the content. Thank you again for sharing. 🙂

  3. Great article! I’ve been blogging seriously for the last 2 years and like both…the stories and lists. Although I haven’t used “lists” often in my posts, I do see the benefits…something to think about in the near future. Thanks so much for bringing it to my attention.

  4. I like to write them once in a while but I prefer story posts! When I read them I really like it when they go back with a paragraph about each point!

  5. Kathy Robinson says:

    Christine, I sometimes use list articles on my blog, on another site I listed 10 illnesses cats can get with brief descriptions then expanded on them in other articles. I got 11 articles out of that one idea.

    • Kathy,
      That’s awesome! With the need to produce new and creative content so often, I bet it really helped having 11 article ideas out of 1 article. Thanks for sharing this!

  6. I love the story writing blog and have only done a list once – for the most read posts in 2012 and am now pondering about doing a quasi-list post on a theme. I must admit, too many list posts on the blogs I visit mean I bounce off if I don’t have time to click on the links. Every thing in moderation is a better approach, unless it is a technical blog where list posts would be more efficient for the blog visitor.

  7. Norma Doiron says:

    I like list posts for the most part, as I usually am teaching something in my articles. BUT, if it was something that I was sharing from a more personal viewpoint I would probably go with stories. Both have value! 🙂

  8. Keri Kight says:

    This is a very interesting post. I’ve created lists before on my site, but it’s never solely a list. I also add some other substance to the list, with explanations before and after the list. I know that readers love to hear about stories, so I try to incorporate them in most of my posts.

  9. I have been doing more and more lists for all of the reasons you stated. Easier for me and the reader. But do I think they are the most thought provoking and eloquent things, no… But they do seems to get more attention.

  10. Lorii Abela says:

    Nice post. The use of lists and stories may vary for every topic you wish to write. Have you thought of writing story articles now as well?

  11. Excellent article! Made me stop and think a little about the format of my posts – I think that a blend of story telling and lists is a good way of educating people!

  12. Mike Gardner says:

    I have been blogging properly since the beginning of the year and tend to use a mixture of list and story blogs, both tend to work well as I am trying to get very specific information across to my readers