I don’t know if you’ve even noticed it because they’re all over the place at the moment, but nearly every blogger under the sun produces lots of list posts on a constant basis.
The reason why people write these posts is because everyone loves them. They generate a lot of social shares which creates a lot of backlinks. If the list is good enough, it will also get contextual links from other articles and they’re even more powerful.
In other words: creating list posts can boost your search engine rankings and it’s a great SEO tactic
There is a big problem
Now that everyone is throwing these posts around they are losing their power. Most of the list posts you see nowadays are thrown together in less than 30 minutes and they don’t help the audience.
Webmasters are basically just churning them out in the hope of boosting their rankings.
So many of them are floating around that visitors don’t want to share them anymore; other websites certainly won’t link to them inside their own articles. Why would they want to send their visitors to a useless article that offered no real value?
Don’t give up on them yet
List posts will never die, but like with anything else, you need to rise up above all the noise if you want your posts to be successful.
From now on you will need to start creating ‘Super List Posts’ if you want the same results people used to get years ago.
If you create these super list posts, it won’t matter how many terrible ones are out there because people will still share yours. Other webmasters will still link to them because they will want to send their visitors to something they deem valuable.
You just need to figure out how you’re going to stand out from the wannabes, but luckily there is a way you can do it and it will only take a little work.
It all starts with some investigative work
There is already a ton of useful content on the web and coming up with something new is tough.
When you’re creating super list posts, you don’t need to create anything new, but merely just piggyback off content that is already very popular with a huge amount of people.
Start by looking at all the other websites in your industry that have their own blog. Study their past content and look for all the list posts they’ve produced over the months or years. Obviously you will need to focus on the more recent content unless it’s evergreen.
Once you find all those articles, you need to look at the amount of social shares they received. This will give you a good idea of what the average visitor deemed worthy enough to share on their social networks.
Now come up with your own super list post
I already told you, there is no need to come up with something new, so just take something that already works and improve on it. That means if someone created a popular list post with 10 ways to do something, you would need to come up with a post that showed someone 50 ways to do something!
I know it might seem like a lot of writing, but you just need to remember it’s what people want. It’s what people are going to share, which means it’s what is going to boost your SEO efforts tremendously.
After you’ve written and published the post, the job is only getting started.
Reach out to other bloggers
If you use a tool like Ahrefs you can throw in the URLs of the popular articles you investigated and it will give you a list of all the backlinks pointing back to them.
Sort through those links and try to find all the bloggers who linked to the list posts because they thought they were valuable enough to share with their audience.
Now you have to send each of them an email saying something like:
“Hey, Mr. Webmaster; I noticed you linked to X a few months ago. I’ve recently published Y on my website and I think your audience would find it very beneficial.”
The email you send out will obviously have to be a lot more thought-out, but I’m sure you get the point. You won’t get backlinks from everyone you contact, but it’s a numbers game and you need to reach out to as many people as possible if you want optimal results.
The person who is willing to work the hardest will always win in the end.
Hopefully you already have a decent-sized audience and more of them will share your content anyway, but when you combine this with the extra backlinks you’ll get from your reach-out efforts, you’ll find the super list posts will become some of the most valuable articles on your site.
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Member since: 29th June 2014
Graham is the SEO and Social Media Marketing Manager at Cozy Digital and the editor of the Cozy Digital Blog as well as contributing content for most of our social outlets like Facebook, Twitter and G+....