Want Links? Make People Laugh With Lists

List BuildingI’ve been making lists of things, both serious, and funny, since my college days.  Sitting in mandatory classes that I had zero interest in, I had a knack for entertaining myself by making lists of random things.  I even recruited friends with similar boredom’s to jump in on the action, which would create the occasional “laugh out loud” (for real) and wreak havoc on the otherwise quiet classroom when something that wasn’t added to the list was added.

It went a little something like this……


“Old Minnesota North Stars”

*Dino Ciccarelli.  Mike Modano.  Basil McRae.  Shane Churla.  Neal Broten.  Kari Takko…..”  etc, etc, etc.

You get the idea.

We used to add to these lists, without consulting the Internet, and JUST when we thought the list was complete, someone would pull out a gem from way back in their brain and add it to the list.  I had pages upon pages of lists that I made that were so random they could have been mistaken for art.  Pretty much every Minnesota sports team was covered, and of course, WWF and WCW wrestlers were well chronicled in these lists.  I found that list building helped me pass time, open up my brain, and make something that I considered an asset. Plus, what better way to pass a 50 minute class about astronomy?

So you are probably thinking, “what does this have to do with Internet Marketing?”

Easy.  Lists get passed around the Internet more than sexually transmitted diseases at a Poison concert.  When you generate a list that is compelling, informative, whacky, or funny, people take notice.  They link to it.  They post it on facebook.  They send tweets, they send emails….you get the idea.

So, what type of lists are good to make?

Top 10′s always work well.  “Ten reasons to quit smoking.”  “Ten best gangster rappers of the 90′s.”  “The best eye serum.”

You get the idea yet?

It’s simple.  If your website talks about sports, you can start with the “ten best dynasties in sports.”  Of course, any good blogger knows that in order to engage discussion and create comments from blog readers, there should always be a level of argument.  So, if you are a football fan from San Francisco, you could make the argument that the 49er teams of the 80′s and early 90′s were the best sports dynasty.  You’ll draw ire from the people in Dallas, New England, and perhaps Denver, who all boast teams that won Super Bowls multiple times.

Lastly, one thing I like to do is end each blog entry with a question.  That will create an action by your blog readers and urge them to chime in on your subject. I’m going to make a post later this week about athletes whose last names connote sexual innuendos.  I’ll call it the “Athletes whose names connote sexual nature” or something like that. I’m not trying to pick on these athletes with unfortunate surnames or trying to create controversy, it’s a simple experiment that will show just how many people out there will pass along a dumb list that some guy made in his spare time.  We’ll call it the Tim Shady list building experiment exhibit A.  Your on the list, Ben Gay.  (Former Browns Running back.)

So, that said – who has a good list for me?  I’ll gladly Tweet it out to my Twitter followers.  :)