This post is part of a series documenting my efforts to work through the book 31 Days to Build a Better Blog for four of my sites.

Writing list posts

Today’s exercise is “write a list post” and it’s one of the steps I remember from starting this book last year. In fact, back then I actually started a list post for Chiagu that was meant to work for pre-Christmas 2010, but that I only ever finished for pre-Christmas 2011! The post is this one: Free Stuffed Animal Knitting Patterns and it’s now the 7th most popular page on my site. Wowzers!

Unlike yesterday’s step, I have no qualms about this one. I love it when other sites write list posts and I do them myself pretty often! On my cooking blog, I write list posts for any cooking magazine issue that has a lot of recipes I want to try. I also write list posts for cool cooking-related things I’ve come across that I might buy. Those posts are some of the most popular (and have led to the most affiliate commissions).

On the brand-new WordPress Hound, I’ve already written three list posts, each of which gathers social media icons and categorizes them together. I wrote those lists posts literally because I wanted them as a reference for myself! Most other posts on icon sets just dump everything together, so when I knew I wanted, say, a round set, I had to dig through a mish-mash to find them. Since I had started saving them in categories for my own use, I figured others would want them categorized too.

For the other two sites, Chiagu and Inside the Alley, I don’t tend to write list posts as much. I have ideas for both of them and will start writing list posts for them, but don’t intend to post them for a little while. For Chiagu, I’m working on a post of “most useful knitting tools” that will be an ode to my favorite knitting gadgets. For ITA, I want to write a post with a list of startups that have good social media proof regarding working there, but I’m nowhere near having enough data to write it yet.

This step’s list posts

The book says that the list post doesn’t have to go up today, and I probably won’t put any of mine up today myself. But this list will become links once the posts go live:

  • Chiagu: The Most Useful Knitting Tools
  • A Chef’s Daughter: Basic Cookbooks Every Home Cook Should Own
  • Inside the Alley: Startups with Social Media Proof about Working there (title needs to be fixed!)
  • WordPress Hound: 5 Plugins I use on Every WordPress Site

I think each of those posts has real value to my readers and might even go viral . . . we’ll see!

Step 2 Summary

Todays’ exercise was quick and easy for me, probably because I’ve been blogging for so long (it’s been 10 years, have I ever mentioned that before? Crazy!) and didn’t actually finish writing any of these posts today. I can usually put together a list post in about an hour, depending on the number of items included in it and the subject matter. So by the time I finish writing all these I will probably have used about 5 hours.

Further Reading

I realize this post doesn’t really give you much info on actually writing a list post, but there’s tons of information in 31DBBB to help you actually write your own post. There are also two free resources offered by ProBlogger: 10 Steps to the Perfect List Post and 301 List Posts Submitted by ProBlogger Readers.

Oh and today’s tag is #31DbbbDay2 if you want to search for others who’ve done a more thorough job than me at explainging this step. I don’t blame you if you do!

*photo credit to giveawayboy