Thursday, October 9, 2014

5 reasons lists are passé

Blogs. Landing pages. Magazines. Newsletters. Brochures. All make use of a tried-and-true story format that has become, well, tired and worn-out.

I’m talking about lists:
-- 3 Signs Your Boss Hates You
-- 6 Strategies for a Wealthy Retirement
-- 5 Ways to Overcome Shyness
-- 4 Tricks to Lose Belly Fat

We’ve all seen them. And, if we’re writers, we’ve all used them. Over and over. For years and years.

Now it’s time to stop – and here are 5 reasons why:
  1. Everyone, and I mean everyone, is doing it…and doing it to death.
  2. List items are often based on FOBOs – flashes of the blindingly obvious.
  3. Who can retain so many points anyway? I’m good for one or two, tops. The rest make my eyes glaze over.
  4. C’mon, we’re adults here. Don’t we deserve cogent arguments and reasoned writing? Let’s leave the learn-by-numbers approach to the early childhood educators, where it makes sense.
  5. Some points are a real stretch, included only because another item is needed to reach that magic number promised in the headline.
The way to make your content stand out is to stop firing off bullet points and tell a compelling story.

Leave your lists for their best-suited purpose: going to the grocery store.

1 comment:

  1. Amy

    Nice blog posts. Yes, I am tired of them too - both writing them and reading them!