10. Putting things together into a list seems to connect them. Surely you’ve seen lists where some elements don’t quite seem to fit—or where the organizing principle seems forced. Not a problem. It’s a list. The title connects individual elements, even if that connection is artificial. You can be philosophical about this: Bogus lists encourage people to think about possible connections. Or you can be realistic: A lazy writer spots 10, 15, 25 or 42 items that can fit under a title, no matter how ill the fit.
9. Lists are quotable, searchable, Tweetable. Honorable bloggers, Tweeters, Facebookers, and FriendFeeders will link back—but they’ll probably use one item at a time. Great! Just make sure topic phrases are less than 140 characters long and paragraphs run less than 140 words. You’re on your way to big-link love. A good 20-item 1,600-word list probably results in 10 times the links of a single discursive 1,600-word post or article and probably takes less than half as long to write.