October 17, 2017

Hit list

Lists top the list of blog posts that get shared

If David Letterman taught us one thing during his tenure as host of Late Night, it’s that people love lists.

Hit list

Readers insist on lists. Write your content in this format, and watch your social media shares go up. Image by Ana C.

It’s no wonder, then, that when Fractl and Buzzstream recently analyzed more than 200,000 articles from June to November 2014, lists topped the list of top 5 types of blog posts that get shared:

  1. Lists. Break your story into bullets, add an intro and conclusion, and you’re good to go. Counting down from 10 to 1, optional. See David Letterman’s Top 10 Late Night Moments.
  2. “Why?” posts. Answer this essential reader question, and readers will spread the word. Check out The Next Web’s Why millennials don’t want you to talk like them.
  3. Videos. Some of us are readers; others are watchers. Capture your nonreaders with videos. But don’t leave out readers: Take a tip from TED Talks, such as Shawn Achor’s The happy secret to better work, and provide a transcript, too.
  4. How-to articles. Give your readers news they can use to live their lives better, and watch your post travel the world. See 7 tips for tipsheets.
  5. “What?” posts. Also known as “explainers,” these posts aim to educate readers about your topic. (That’s educate; not bore, blather on and discombobulate.) See “How to Eat Healthy Meals at Restaurants” from The Upshot, the king of explainers.

Are you still pitching your products and writing posts about “us and our stuff”? Maybe it’s time to produce the types of content that readers will actually read and share.

  • Create Content Marketing Pieces That Almost Write Themselves

    Here’s the bad news: The story structure you’re using now probably isn’t helping you reach readers online. But there’s another structure that does draw readers into your message, pull them further through the piece and leave a lasting impression. Not only does it delight readers, but it makes the job of organizing webpages, blog posts and content marketing pieces a breeze.

    Get Clicked, Read, Shared & Liked - Ann Wylie’s Social media-writing workshop on Feb. 6-7, 2018 in Los AngelesAt Get Clicked, Read, Liked and Shared — a two-day social media-writing Master Class on Feb. 6-7, 2018 in Los Angeles — you’ll learn a six-step structure that reaches readers online and in print. Specifically, you’ll learn how to:

    • Fill in the blanks to craft the best survey story you’ve ever written.
    • Use a simple template for crafting a tipsheet that almost writes itself.
    • Model the masters to a great listicle: It’s easy with our annotated example.
    • Three elements of a great lead — and five leads to avoid.
    • Five ways to avoid the “muddle in the middle”.
    • A three-step test for ending with a bang.

    Learn more about the Master Class.

    Register for Get Clicked, Read, Shared & Liked - Ann Wylie’s Social media-writing workshop on Feb. 6-7, 2018 in Los Angeles

    Browse all upcoming Master Classes.

    Would you like to hold an in-house Get Clicked, Read, Shared & Liked workshop? Contact Ann directly.


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    1. […] Or they may be the most shared type of content, according to an analysis of more than 200,000 articles by Fractl and Buzzstream. Lists topped their list of types of blog posts that get shared. […]

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