31DBBB – Day 2: Write a List Post

This is Day 2 of 31 Days to Build a Better Blog, a group project 50+ other bloggers are doing together in an effort to help each other become better bloggers. You can read more about it and still sign-up to participate here.

What an awesome first day we had in this series yesterday.  I am blown away!  To see my observations from  yesterday check out 6 Things I Learned from Day 1 of #31DBBB.

Today’s lesson is about the list posts.  If you’ve been reading blogs for any length of time, you know list posts are very popular.  In fact, we have done our fair share of list posts here at Christian Web Trends.  Here are some examples…

Top 5 List Posts on Christian Web Trends

The lesson gives several reasons list posts are so popular.  They are easy to write. They’re easy to read. They break the main point up into clearly identifiable bite-size nuggets.  In fact, you could make the case that list posts are the Chicken Nuggets of blogging.  (Would you like some dipping sauce with that?)

Personally, I have my own theory for why list posts are so popular…

Geeks like numbers.

But that’s just one number-loving geek’s theory. (Full discloser: I was on the math team in high school)

Assignment

The assignment for today is to write a list post for your blog.  If you’d like some more advice about writing list posts, check out 10 Steps to the Perfect List Post

Discussion

  • Do you agree that list posts are both easier to write and easier to read?  Why or why not?
  • Of all the tips you’ve read about list posts, which do you think are the most important?
  • If you did the assignment and wrote a list post, include a link your comment.

The Extra Mile

A few other things you can do to take your blog, other bloggers, and this project even further today…

[image by fboyd]

Paul Steinbrueck is co-founder and CEO of OurChurch.Com, elder of CypressMeadows.org, husband, father of 3, blogger. You can follow him on Twitter at @PaulSteinbrueck and add him to your circles at Google+ as +Paul Steinbrueck.

302 Responses to “31DBBB – Day 2: Write a List Post”

  1. My blog – Is There An App For That? – deals with Tech's Role In Christian Formation. I have recently been advising churches about ChMS (Church Management Systems)

  2. Okay, so I was up WAY too late trying to get this one done. Just a busy day and evening today. But here is its. I tried creating a list post using the top five results from Google Trends and focusing on how to discuss these things from a Biblical worldview. I tried to position it in a way that invited conversation on the items in the list…
    http://bibledude.net/2010/05/5-current-google-tre

  3. Just under the wire….

    5 Traits of Shiney, Happy People http://deliberatelegacies.com/?p=153

  4. Wayne Anson here using Personal Transformation Opportunities as my working blog [http://guidedreflections.blogspot.com/ ].

    Elevator Pitch: Personal Transformation Opportunities provides a weekly opportunity to: Stop and Think Wisely Focused on One Thing.

    My List Post: http://guidedreflections.blogspot.com/2010/05/shu… .

    Creating an elevator pitch helped me identify where my blog has not been true to my original intentions. Clearly it would be easy to write an elevator pitch than looks great but leaves the focus undefined and the blog too broad to gain attention.

    Dynamic list posts are not always easier to write. You work hard to say something of value. Formating, however, allows for quick, memorable statements with futher elucidation following. Danger! Don't let tflexibility become an excuse for poor writing.

  5. a 3 pt list – Free fonts for your church publications http://jacklamb.name/2010/05/04/3-great-free-font

  6. a 3 pt list – Free fonts for your church publications http://jacklamb.name/2010/05/04/3-great-free-font

  7. Yeah, I missed the bit about being wordy, too. But I don't think your post was too long. If I think a post is too long, it has to be really, really engaging before I'll read it. I try to keep my posts fairly short, too. It's always easier to write long than short–for me, anyway.

    Great post, too, btw. I would say the one other thing is to just know Him. None of the other stuff matters if you know Him, because knowing Him, you know the explanation will come along eventually. It's like trusting a lover–no, THE Lover–the perfect lover of our soul.

  8. Yeah, I missed the bit about being wordy, too. But I don't think your post was too long. If I think a post is too long, it has to be really, really engaging before I'll read it. I try to keep my posts fairly short, too. It's always easier to write long than short–for me, anyway.

    Great post, too, btw. I would say the one other thing is to just know Him. None of the other stuff matters if you know Him, because knowing Him, you know the explanation will come along eventually. It's like trusting a lover–no, THE Lover–the perfect lover of our soul.

  9. Okay … I know it is late in the day but I made my Day 2 post. Check it out.
    http://livinginextremeways.com/index.php?p=1_6&am

    LISTS are fun … I was able to expose my audience to 5 different scriptures pretty quickly. SAAAAWEEET.

  10. Okay … I know it is late in the day but I made my Day 2 post. Check it out.
    http://livinginextremeways.com/index.php?p=1_6&am

    LISTS are fun … I was able to expose my audience to 5 different scriptures pretty quickly. SAAAAWEEET.

  11. My list post was already done on Monday because I am part of the Gratitude Community at Ann Voskamp@Holy Experience. Each week, we count the things for which to give thanks. The goal is to reach a 1000. But the real goal is to see how the Lord changes your focus and your heart. On this journey, my list post can be found at: http://openmyearslord.blogspot.com/2010/05/every-

    I do find it easier to do a list post. I'm a recipe-kind-of-girl. The list post helps you to focus on the important points you want to convey. And, it is easier for readers to grasp the information
    they need.

    Looking forward to your comments,

    Janis

  12. I've been doing catch-up with you all today since I got started a day late. I haven't used list posts in the past but do agree that they make the information very accessible and user friendly.

    My post used list style to layout our service planning system. I'd welcome your feedback on the use of this style for this type of post.
    http://theorganizedartist.blogspot.com/2010/05/ho

    • Howdy! I moseyed on over to your blog and posted a comment. I liked the list, and I have one suggestion. Would you consider reversing the order in which things are listed? Really, you start planning services 5 weeks out, and having elements in place, starting with the Big Idea. Reading the list in the order you've got it means that in number two, I'm reading about drilling down into details of elements that were decided upon in number three, but I haven't read three yet…. Am I being clear as mud?

    • Howdy! I moseyed on over to your blog and posted a comment. I liked the list, and I have one suggestion. Would you consider reversing the order in which things are listed? Really, you start planning services 5 weeks out, and having elements in place, starting with the Big Idea. Reading the list in the order you've got it means that in number two, I'm reading about drilling down into details of elements that were decided upon in number three, but I haven't read three yet…. Am I being clear as mud?

    • I have to agree with crispone – reverse the list order for complete clarity.

  13. Wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. Today I wrote about why your 20s are the most foundational years in your life..
    http://tinyurl.com/2679jx5

    • Good list. I commented that I thought the list could do with a 'to be continued' at the end of the post as it left me wanting to read more.

      Being from the UK I could do all those things as a teen (18 is the legal age) and because the way my life went it ended up that all bar the getting married had to be decided in my teens. And teh marriage was not long after … still here 24yrs later too.

      Ohh and welcome to the world of blogging – it's great isn't it?

    • Good list. I commented that I thought the list could do with a 'to be continued' at the end of the post as it left me wanting to read more.

      Being from the UK I could do all those things as a teen (18 is the legal age) and because the way my life went it ended up that all bar the getting married had to be decided in my teens. And teh marriage was not long after … still here 24yrs later too.

      Ohh and welcome to the world of blogging – it's great isn't it?

  14. Hello,
    This assignment was right up my alley…in fact I had been meaning to post my list for quite some time and this together project is motivating me…..thanks ALOT.

    here is my link: http://parentingtwinsandmore.com/2010/05/04/high-

  15. The first time I went through 31DBBB, my list post became far and away my most successful (and controversial) post. It is "14 Reasons to Stop Evangelizing Your Friends," and I was surprised at the response. Radio shows criticized it! I was amazed to see how a short post, with almost no explanations, could take off.

    This is my second time through 31DBBB, and I am cheating a bit because I actually spent weeks wracking my brains to come up with another list. I ended up with a piece of satire. After writing it, I wasn't sure if I wanted to go ahead with it, wondering if it's too strident, and whether responses will just tire me out. When I posed this question on Facebook, my friends (without having read it) said to go for it. So here goes nothing.
    http://www.blogoneanother.com/2010/05/the-six-dea

    • Visually, I wish I had images of Roman numerals instead of HTML numbering. It seems cramped.

    • he he – humour / satire is such an individual thing that it can be daunting to do it. I recall comemnting on a high traffic blog recently and the response from the blog author left me thinking he'd missed my point.

      So I recommented that so long as he remembers my humour is British based then all would be well. His reply came back that now he "got it".

      And yes. perhaps using Roman numerals would have helped the visual appeal but good list anyway. My vicar brother in law will like that list.

      • There, I added large Roman numerals, and my wife said, "You need to make each point larger." I'm surprised at how much more visually appealing it is! Lesson learned: Just because it's a "list post" doesn't mean you have to use an HTML list.

  16. here is ours. enjoy! it's about yummy desserts.
    http://coffeecouple.net/2010/05/04/five-desserts-

    monica

  17. Today's assignment was a challenge but a worthwhile one. I just put up my list post titled 4 Ways I Need To Be Availablehttp://oikosministries.com/archives/1073 Appreciate any feedback.

    • Rob – great list though I thought the size of the typeface was a little small for easy reading – and I still have good vision I'm told ;)

    • Rob – great list though I thought the size of the typeface was a little small for easy reading – and I still have good vision I'm told ;)

    • Rob – great list though I thought the size of the typeface was a little small for easy reading – and I still have good vision I'm told ;)

  18. My blog – Is There An App For That? – deals with Tech's Role In Christian Formation. I have recently been advising churches about ChMS (Church Management Systems)

  19. Just under the wire….

    5 Traits of Shiney, Happy People http://deliberatelegacies.com/?p=153

    • Enjoyed your list–and all your explanations. Wow! That must have taken quite awhile to write all of that information. The most interesting fact I pulled out of your list was that when we, as women, are stressed, we need to seek out family and friends. That it has a calming effect on us. Very interesting.

      Blessings,

      Janis

    • I agree with Janis on everything she said!

      Question: Have you posted on this before in short bullet points of each trait? You put such effort into each trait and they all went into one post. I was thinking that your list could be a great series, to have started it with a small list with just the headings that you used and then each day after followed up with the explanation. Great job and a great read.

  20. I was slammed yesterday and didn't have a chance to finish the list post for my personal blog. But I've posted it this morning. Inspired by Pete Wilson's new book Plan B…

    5 Myths About Shattered Dreams http://www.liveintentionally.org/2010/05/05/5-myt

  21. I was slammed yesterday and didn't have a chance to finish the list post for my personal blog. But I've posted it this morning. Inspired by Pete Wilson's new book Plan B…

    5 Myths About Shattered Dreams http://www.liveintentionally.org/2010/05/05/5-myt

  22. I was slammed yesterday and didn't have a chance to finish the list post for my personal blog. But I've posted it this morning. Inspired by Pete Wilson's new book Plan B…

    5 Myths About Shattered Dreams http://www.liveintentionally.org/2010/05/05/5-myt

  23. I was slammed yesterday and didn't have a chance to finish the list post for my personal blog. But I've posted it this morning. Inspired by Pete Wilson's new book Plan B…

    5 Myths About Shattered Dreams http://www.liveintentionally.org/2010/05/05/5-myt

  24. I was slammed yesterday and didn't have a chance to finish the list post for my personal blog. But I've posted it this morning. Inspired by Pete Wilson's new book Plan B…

    5 Myths About Shattered Dreams http://www.liveintentionally.org/2010/05/05/5-myt

  25. Okay … I know it is late in the day but I made my Day 2 post. Check it out. http://livinginextremeways.com/index.php?p=1_6&am

    LISTS are fun … I was able to expose my audience to 5 different scriptures pretty quickly. SAAAAWEEET.

  26. My wife and I are doing this together. Our blog is about coffee and to a degree – romance. While I struggle a bit with writing, Monica does not. This was a good lesson to get the creative juices flowing.

    This is our post:http://coffeecouple.net/2010/05/04/five-desserts-

  27. My wife and I are doing this together. Our blog is about coffee and to a degree – romance. While I struggle a bit with writing, Monica does not. This was a good lesson to get the creative juices flowing.

    This is our post:http://coffeecouple.net/2010/05/04/five-desserts-

  28. Hi All!

    I thought that this would be an easy assignment for me, but it was harder then I thought. In the end I think I did ok. My post is suppose to have photos and I hope to get to the today. I am doing a lot of catchup on 31DBBB and my own daily goals for my blog at the moment.
    http://knowyourstory.net/2010/05/04/day-4-of-my-o

    Thanks!

  29. Hi All!

    I thought creating a list post was going to be easy for me, but I had to re-write it a couple of times. I think it turned out ok. I still need to go back and add photos.
    http://knowyourstory.net/2010/05/04/day-4-of-my-o

  30. Hi All!

    I thought creating a list post was going to be easy for me, but I had to re-write it a couple of times. I think it turned out ok. I still need to go back and add photos.
    http://knowyourstory.net/2010/05/04/day-4-of-my-o

  31. Hi All!

    I thought that this would be an easy assignment for me, but it was harder then I thought. In the end I think I did ok. My post is suppose to have photos and I hope to get to the today. I am doing a lot of catchup on 31DBBB and my own daily goals for my blog at the moment.
    http://knowyourstory.net/2010/05/04/day-4-of-my-o

    Thanks!

  32. Yes, I do agree list posts are easier to read and write. Years ago while in business before ministry, I remember reading articles on human reading behavior and how writing short 1-2 sentence paragraphs and including lots of white space will improve the readability and amount someone will read of your document.

    Ever since, I have noticed that I do that same thing. Too many words to close together and my eyes stop reading. I look for what I can glean out of what I'm reading then move on quickly.

    Even the reasons for using lists post I stopped reading each item after number 5 and just read the list item and maybe the first line under it.

    Do you do the same? Am I just weird or were those articles I read so long ago off track?

    As for the most important items I read in that post, I'd say the instructions on "catchy" titles, consistency in formatting and material were the most helpful for me.

    Though I had not read this lesson before, my most recent blog post included a list, though I did not expand on each item as I would for this assignment. Here is the link:http://divingdeepintograce.blogspot.com/

    Now on to day 3!

  33. Yes, I do agree list posts are easier to read and write. Years ago while in business before ministry, I remember reading articles on human reading behavior and how writing short 1-2 sentence paragraphs and including lots of white space will improve the readability and amount someone will read of your document.

    Ever since, I have noticed that I do that same thing. Too many words to close together and my eyes stop reading. I look for what I can glean out of what I'm reading then move on quickly.

    Even the reasons for using lists post I stopped reading each item after number 5 and just read the list item and maybe the first line under it.

    Do you do the same? Am I just weird or were those articles I read so long ago off track?

    As for the most important items I read in that post, I'd say the instructions on "catchy" titles, consistency in formatting and material were the most helpful for me.

    Though I had not read this lesson before, my most recent blog post included a list, though I did not expand on each item as I would for this assignment. Here is the link:http://divingdeepintograce.blogspot.com/

    Now on to day 3!

  34. Yes, I do agree list posts are easier to read and write. Years ago while in business before ministry, I remember reading articles on human reading behavior and how writing short 1-2 sentence paragraphs and including lots of white space will improve the readability and amount someone will read of your document.

    Ever since, I have noticed that I do that same thing. Too many words to close together and my eyes stop reading. I look for what I can glean out of what I'm reading then move on quickly.

    Even the reasons for using lists post I stopped reading each item after number 5 and just read the list item and maybe the first line under it.

    Do you do the same? Am I just weird or were those articles I read so long ago off track?

    As for the most important items I read in that post, I'd say the instructions on "catchy" titles, consistency in formatting and material were the most helpful for me.

    Though I had not read this lesson before, my most recent blog post included a list, though I did not expand on each item as I would for this assignment. Here is the link:http://divingdeepintograce.blogspot.com/

    Now on to day 3!

  35. Yes, I do agree list posts are easier to read and write. Years ago while in business before ministry, I remember reading articles on human reading behavior and how writing short 1-2 sentence paragraphs and including lots of white space will improve the readability and amount someone will read of your document.

    Ever since, I have noticed that I do that same thing. Too many words to close together and my eyes stop reading. I look for what I can glean out of what I'm reading then move on quickly.

    Even the reasons for using lists post I stopped reading each item after number 5 and just read the list item and maybe the first line under it.

    Do you do the same? Am I just weird or were those articles I read so long ago off track?

    As for the most important items I read in that post, I'd say the instructions on "catchy" titles, consistency in formatting and material were the most helpful for me.

    Though I had not read this lesson before, my most recent blog post included a list, though I did not expand on each item as I would for this assignment. Here is the link:http://divingdeepintograce.blogspot.com/

    Now on to day 3!

  36. Yes, I do agree list posts are easier to read and write. Years ago while in business before ministry, I remember reading articles on human reading behavior and how writing short 1-2 sentence paragraphs and including lots of white space will improve the readability and amount someone will read of your document.

    Ever since, I have noticed that I do that same thing. Too many words to close together and my eyes stop reading. I look for what I can glean out of what I'm reading then move on quickly.

    Even the reasons for using lists post I stopped reading each item after number 5 and just read the list item and maybe the first line under it.

    Do you do the same? Am I just weird or were those articles I read so long ago off track?

    As for the most important items I read in that post, I'd say the instructions on "catchy" titles, consistency in formatting and material were the most helpful for me.

    Though I had not read this lesson before, my most recent blog post included a list, though I did not expand on each item as I would for this assignment. Here is the link:http://divingdeepintograce.blogspot.com/

    Now on to day 3!

  37. Hi All!

    I thought creating a list post was going to be easy for me, but I had to re-write it a couple of times. I think it turned out ok. I still need to go back and add photos.
    http://knowyourstory.net/2010/05/04/day-4-of-my-o

  38. Do you agree that list posts are both easier to write and easier to read? Why or why not?

    For me, list posts are definitely easier to write. They help me formulate my thoughts clearly. One concern that I have is how they are being used to gain visibility for bloggers too easily resulting in half-baked ideas and 'who-cares' blog articles.

    Of all the tips you’ve read about list posts, which do you think are the most important?

    Lists are scannable
    Lists look neat
    Lists can be comprehensive
    Lists can add to the ease of writing

    Here's a link to my list post: http://www.sensoryescapeimages.com/blog/2010/5/5/

  39. Do you agree that list posts are both easier to write and easier to read? Why or why not?

    For me, list posts are definitely easier to write. They help me formulate my thoughts clearly. One concern that I have is how they are being used to gain visibility for bloggers too easily resulting in half-baked ideas and 'who-cares' blog articles.

    Of all the tips you’ve read about list posts, which do you think are the most important?

    Lists are scannable
    Lists look neat
    Lists can be comprehensive
    Lists can add to the ease of writing

    Here's a link to my list post: http://www.sensoryescapeimages.com/blog/2010/5/5/

  40. I have observed a site where Christians can connect and share their Christian Life. http://www.christchosenambassadorsministry.com/ap
    In this site you have the freedom of the Holy Spirit to express yourself

  41. Awesome idea! I agree that list posts are both easier to write and easier to read. Having it organize makes it easy.

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