Last week I talked about your to-do list, but this week I want to talk about using lists in your writing. We’ve all seen the articles: “Ten tips to lose weight by summer,” “Three ways to get that raise,” and so on.
Why are lists so popular?
What compels authors to write this way? Here are five reasons why using lists make so much sense:
- They’re great marketing. The title of an article or a blog entry is basically an advertisement. It needs to grab the reader’s attention. Lists say “simple” and “quick.”
- They’re psychologically compelling. Lists appeal to our sense of value. Our brain tells us that we can read an article and receive a certain amount of valuable information.
- They don’t over promise or underperform. Lists give the reader exactly what they say they will—no more, no less.
- They’re catchy. What sound better, “Three ways to get that raise!” or “How to ask your boss for a raise”? The first sounds snappy, quick and easy, while the second sounds dull and cumbersome.
- They make it easy on the reader. By organizing the information into a numbered or bulleted format, the article becomes easier to read. The information is easier to glean quickly.
So, just like that, I’ve given you five reasons to use list in your next article, in less than 250 words. Give it a try next time!