August 2016

5 shocking reasons list headlines work online

Blog Top 5

There is a never-ending stream of list-based headlines floating around the Internet.

If you’ve spent even a few moments online today you most likely have been seduced by headlines such as: 10 reasons cat people are better than dog people, or, 20 things that smart people do every day.

The popularity of this headline approach is hard to deny and many bloggers report that list headlines get dramatically more hits than factual traditional style headlines.

So in deference to the power of the list, here are 5 shocking reasons list headlines work well online.

  1. People like to agree or disagree and list headlines make it clear, before they click, that an opinion is going to be shared that is either going to be wrong or will be 100% right if they agree with it.
  2. The promise of a list is like a little flag waving that says, “I’m going to be easy to read”. People like easy.
  3. Carefully chosen and shocking adjectives that promise to reveal amazing truths that will shake you to your core and change the way you see everything in the world. Listing that promise to unveil something new about something you’ve grown used to can be irresistible.
  4. Share-ability. It’s easy to forward a list and say “Hey, Joe! Number 7 is so right!” as opposed to “Joseph, if you read to the second line in the third paragraph…”
  5. See number 1.

All kidding aside, lists can be effective marketing tools, but they must be of interest and provide some kind of value or you will quickly lose your audience. If you disagree with anything in this blog post, please feel free to list your heart stopping revelations in the comment sections.

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