Tips to Create Lists Worth Sharing

We get asked a lot what makes a good list. What makes a list worth sharing. Building a community around Listly has demanded we get involved. We make lots of lists ourselves by way of being our own best customer. We need to be super familiar with our own tools, but more importantly we need to help you create effective content, so you get a great experience.

Lists that don’t engage are not fun for anyone.

So my simple answer is to talk about “Social Space” and the three components of creating social space.

  • Content
  • Community
  • Engagement

You can read more about this philosophy in the link above, but let’s get back to making cool fun engaging and valuable lists that people want to share. How do you do that?

It all begins with great content. You content needs to be a fit with your community. And you need to leave room for your community to get involved. For example leave Pele of a list of Top Soccer players. Let your community own the result. Let your crowd get emotionally involved. Let them help in order to secure their emotional engagement. That’s what makes a great list.

Soft Launching or Pre-Launching.

Think of your list as having a beta phase. What do I mean by this? Well share your list with your immediate connections before your promote it to the world at large. The hardest thing to do it to get the first 10 contributors. Does anyone like go into an empty restaurant or be first to comment on a blog? Lists are no different. Once you are beyond 50 people see that other’s are helping so why shouldn’t they. So make this process easier for them by pre-launching your list to people you know can help, people you know who care about the subject matter, people who you know will invest emotionally with your list.

Unique Content or Unique perspective. Take a Stance

Start by trying to find unique content or a unique perspective. Listly is not built on the premise of different lists fighting for the same audience – it happens, but we don’t encourage and Google helps the most popular list retain it’s crown. Crowds tend to gravitate to something new and fresh. If they have seen your content before then you are fighting against the flow of attention.

So find yourself a new niche or a new angle. Take a fresh look at something old. Google is a great place to begin. You may was well think around the terms that people are looking for, but don’t let this divert you from your path. It’s just worth knowing. It may just shift your thinking a little.

For example I was surprised that “Sharepoint Lists” and “Python Lists” were so popular. So look for content and keywords in your domain and see what lists exist in those domains.

Morst of all just stick to your social space. To amplify you need content to multiply with community to multiply with engagement. That’s when the magic happens.

Trends, Fads & Ambulance Chasing

Hot topics are great, but chasing attention is hard. It’s best to let the attention find you. I coined a term – List Ambulance Chasing. It’s like catching a wave – you can’t catch a wave that has passed you. You have to wait for the next one. When I ambulance chase lists I do it to engage with the original author, I don’t do it to get traffic. I do it to let the original content author consider riding her next wave with Listly.

I love the expression – Marry Trends, Date Fads. In looking for your content to create lists for it may not be obvious, but look for trends. Trends mean there will be lots of waves to catch. Repetition means you can learn. I certainly would not make 1 list and wait. I’d make many and learn. Watch your lists. Learn how people respond to your different lists and try different ways of sharing. Where do you get most engagement. There is no right way – it’s all based on your starting point. Your content, your community and your engagement. What emotion can your stir inside your community. Words are the best triggers for emotion. So experiment.

Using Public/Free Data Sources

There’s lots of places to look for data. Google is one. “List of Lists” was one term that took me by surprise, so I created this list. A List of Lists for people to contribute to

Top Google List Searches:

Rising Google List Searches:

Top Google Lists Searches:

Rising Google Lists Searches:

I extracted the trending Lists topics on Google to a list (so it probably won’t match the current trending terms).

 REPORT
Nick Kellet Nick Kellet
Owner
Listly Curator Listly Curator
Curator
Listly Listly
Curator
9 items   5 followers   1 votes   919 views

Google's Top List search insights based on "Lists"

Source: http://www.google.com/insights/search/#q=lists&cmpt=q

May 19, 2012 - google.com - 166
Google's Top List search insights based on "Lists" | Sharepoint lists

Insights for Search aims to provide insights into broad search patterns. Several approximations are used to compute these results.
The Insights for Search map is intended for general analysis of volume patterns. Borders are an approximation and may not be accurate.

May 19, 2012 - google.com - 162
Google's Top List search insights based on "Lists" | Facebook Lists

Insights for Search aims to provide insights into broad search patterns. Several approximations are used to compute these results.
The Insights for Search map is intended for general analysis of volume patterns. Borders are an approximation and may not be accurate.

May 19, 2012 - google.com - 142
Google's Top List search insights based on "Lists" | Twitter Lists

Insights for Search aims to provide insights into broad search patterns. Several approximations are used to compute these results.
The Insights for Search map is intended for general analysis of volume patterns. Borders are an approximation and may not be accurate.

May 19, 2012 - google.com - 140
Google's Top List search insights based on "Lists" | Google Lists

Insights for Search aims to provide insights into broad search patterns. Several approximations are used to compute these results.
The Insights for Search map is intended for general analysis of volume patterns. Borders are an approximation and may not be accurate.

May 19, 2012 - google.com - 133
Google's Top List search insights based on "Lists" | Craigs Lists

Insights for Search aims to provide insights into broad search patterns. Several approximations are used to compute these results.
The Insights for Search map is intended for general analysis of volume patterns. Borders are an approximation and may not be accurate.

May 19, 2012 - google.com - 151
Google's Top List search insights based on "Lists" | Python Lists

Insights for Search aims to provide insights into broad search patterns. Several approximations are used to compute these results.
The Insights for Search map is intended for general analysis of volume patterns. Borders are an approximation and may not be accurate.

May 19, 2012 - google.com - 175
Google's Top List search insights based on "Lists" | Court Lists

Insights for Search aims to provide insights into broad search patterns. Several approximations are used to compute these results.
The Insights for Search map is intended for general analysis of volume patterns. Borders are an approximation and may not be accurate.

May 19, 2012 - google.com - 175
Google's Top List search insights based on "Lists" | To Do Lists

Insights for Search aims to provide insights into broad search patterns. Several approximations are used to compute these results.
The Insights for Search map is intended for general analysis of volume patterns. Borders are an approximation and may not be accurate.

May 19, 2012 - google.com - 139
Google's Top List search insights based on "Lists" | Proxy Lists

Insights for Search aims to provide insights into broad search patterns. Several approximations are used to compute these results.
The Insights for Search map is intended for general analysis of volume patterns. Borders are an approximation and may not be accurate.

Of course the best place to begin is to explore other people’s list. See what works. Engage with the community. Ask for help. You’ve just go to keep learning.

For example, I found an interesting feature on Alexa. I learned who’s winning the traffic on three keywords.

This was very interesting. Perhaps you could use this to see who’s winning attention in your area.

Who is winning attention for List Queries?

Who is winning attention for Lists Queries?

Who is winning attention for Listly Queries?

NIck Kellet (130 Posts)

Nick’s ventures range from a visual segmentation tool sold to SAP, to an award winning board game. Today, Nick is co-founder of Listly, raising the profile of lists to be on par with Slideshare & YouTube.