Top 5 Ways to Make a Top 10 List

August 16, 2008


None can question the influence of a “Top X” list. Organize your message into a list, and you automatically make it to the front page of all major social news sites.

It’s in their algorithms. In fact, you can’t throw a dart at the screen without hitting a list-based title.

The more stupid people visit your website, the more money it can make. So, here’s how to create a popular list sure to lure in the masses…

1. Use keyword research to determine the length of your list

For this post, I extensively probed Google’s keyword analysis and discovered which numbers receive the highest search volume.

I immediately notice high results for “Top 10″ and “Top 100″. I want to use these to my benefit, but quite frankly, don’t feel like compiling a 10-part of 100-part list. So, I went with the highest-ranking low digit number.

2. Discuss a hot or trendy topic

Right now Michael Phelps is dominating the swimming pool at the Beijing Olympics, and NBC riding his wake. The only news story that would grab more attention is if Brett Farve, Heath Ledger and Barack Obama banded together to save a burning house full of golden retrievers.

Piggyback his popularity with something like: Top 10 Ways the iPhone Helped Phelps Win Gold

Check out Google Trends and the Lycos 50 to see who’s hot.

3. Insert hyperbolic phrases

These overly-inflated terms lure in more suckers than Chris Hanson. Sprinkle in a few of these words and you’re golden:

  • deadly
  • ridiculous
  • richest
  • hottest
  • sweetest
  • most bad ass
  • without getting caught

4. Directly address a popular problem

Giving people exactly what they want or need is the ideal way to ensure success. The Flowbee comes to mind here. People in the 1980’s were sick and tired of traditional haircuts and started asking, “Why can’t we combine trimming hear with the ease and convenience of a vacuum?” A nobody by the name of Rick Hunts strapped a pair of scissors to a dust buster and laughed his way to the bank.

Check the most popular questions posed at Yahoo! Answers. Tons of people asking for ways to clear up a rash? Boom.

The 3 Fastest Ways to Beat Genital Herpes Before Your Wife Finds Out

5. Ensure you have enough content to complete your list

In this case, I had only four items worth mentioning and now forced to showcase my failure to plan ahead. Even FEMA finds my lack of foresight pathetic.

The Crawfish Rapist


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