The following one was inspired after clicking through the TinyUrl posts of half a dozen major bloggers I follow. They seemed to share a general approach and pattern which sort of stuck in my craw. In my ever expanding exercise of de-mystifying how the magnificent manage to remain so. . . well . . . magnificent, I'm going to share the secrets of the list masters with you now.
In a nut-shell, if you want to create a captivating post, just design a top ten list and then follow these steps to spell it all out for your readers. It's a sure-fire recipe for blog post fame. Here goes . . .
- Start with the most obvious point first. Keep it simple and short. Something flashy. Something sexy. No big words.
- The second point should be more under-stated, perhaps even a little vague. Don't give anything important away, you need them to keep reading.
- After two good points, the third should really stir the point. Something sure to incite a response is best here. Blatant offense is good if you can handle it.
- So that people don't think you're closed-minded make the next point at the other end of the spectrum. You want people to think you've really considered this crap and put a lot of thought into the order of your points.
- Now that you are over the hump, it's time to add filler. They've read this far already so start shoving in any of your points that don't really fit anywhere else.
- To keep reminding them that you've really thought about the contents of this spew this would be the place to add references to other like-minded posts, authors, or books.
- Before we start the conclusion you should try reiterating the first couple of points again. If you lump a couple together with run-on sentences it might seem like you're introducing new material.
- Here is where you start redefining words, concepts, and introducing catch-phrases and "action items". Make sure you are ready to deliver the "call to action" that's coming up.
- This is pretty much your last chance to sound like an authority, so really step it up here. Maybe try shifting into formal prose or future-tense. If all else fails you can always talk at length about the amazing results people will get if they adopt "the list".
- You have a couple of choices for the conclusion. Witty remarks showcasing your casual humor are always appreciated. On the other hand, something self-absorbed and overly personal will often inspire interesting comments from the readers who might mistakenly think their opinions will change the contents of the list.