Marketing August 26, 2011 134 Reads share

Five Reasons You SHOULDN’T Use A List

Some months back I wrote a post here on how to avoid bring boring with your blog.  While this is not a direct follow-up, I have noticed that blogs such as ’10 ways to make your blog a success’ etc. have completely overtaken the more traditional storytelling approach.

While there are advantages to lists, I personally think they are more suitable for an instruction manual or Lapland and here’s why: simply put, who actually wants to read a list!

Admittedly, I have used them a lot in the past myself as I thought they were concise, easily-followed and had the advantage of an almost step-by-step logical flow.  However upon talking to consumers who read blogs but don’t write them, many are fed-up and tired of this almost obligatory approach to creating a post and expect more from us, the wordsmiths.

It is with a hypocritical tear in my eye, that I write the final list post I shall ever write as both an ode and “sayanora” to playing it safe – Five reasons you shouldn’t use a list in your post:

  1. They don’t flow well – we speak in conversation and unless your blog is purely instructional, you shouldn’t write it as a list
  2. It’s creatively lazy – lists generally require little creativity – therefore it’s unlikely to spark the imagination of your reader.  I once heard a journalist say that lists are ‘lazy journalism’ – is it any different in the blogosphere?
  3. Lists are associated with boredom – outside of Santa Claus, I can’t remember ever getting excited about a list.  I associate them with routine and apparently many others do too!
  4. They become redundant – depending on your topic, very often a list will be become quickly out-of-date especially in the digital world

and finally in my view the most important reason…

If SSSSOOOO many blogs are using lists, the minute you put one together you are going to find it hard to be unique with your blog.  Blogs are an opportunity for us to write freely and openly – it’s hard to get a personal sense of the writer through a list!

Since the dawn of civilisation, storytelling and creative writing have been an artistic and useful way of communicating morals, educating people and ensuring people can actually relate to what you are trying to say.  As I said above, I write this as a hypocrite, but I’m turning a new leaf.  Fair well oh list – it’s been short but sweet.

Am I being too hard on lists?  Have you asked any of your readers what they think of your lists?

Connor Keppel

Connor Keppel

ME: Marketing Manager, SaaS; co-founder of; Social Media Junkie; MSc in Strategic Management; Opinions my own and they may offend (not intentionally of course).

Read Full Bio