Let me cut to the chase right at the beginning. The headline is a sham. Pigs are not yellow, and they’ll never turn yellow. Unless they jaundice like humans ( and they don’t) so why the stupid headline? Simple, to hold out a mirror and show that we would give anything a click if it had a title like this.
I’m serious, how many times have we seen headlines like 4 reasons for a healthy mind, or 6 reasons why the Chinese love math, 8 reasons to have children before your first marriage. Yea sorry I went a little overboard with the examples, but these are the kinds of blog posts we as bloggers are putting out there. Why? Well simply because these are the kinds of blog posts that we think and are told that readers like to read.
How to run a successful site? How to write catchy blogs? And how to engage the reader? These are the basic questions every blogger has while starting or running a blog. The most common answer recieved is have empathy; who reads long posts anymore? While it may make sense and actually seem to be common sense, we would all also agree that common sense is generally inadequate.
All of us have long stories to share, all of us are full of theories and concepts but we can’t expect the reader to read every line and every word of our long scripts and monologues. Hence the gurus suggested listing. Make lists, highlight content, categorise, compartmentalize, and then expand. This would do two things:
1. The not so interested reader won’t miss the gist of what you want to say
2. The interested reader – well actually it doesn’t matter to them, they’re interested so they read on.
And let’s be honest, not all bloggers are great and not all blogs are interesting, and most blogs these days are long. So the listed points help. But the lists may not always be accurate. If you notice, most of the listed blogs are not about factual topics. If someone said 5 points in the bill of rights that needs amendment. It makes sense – because it’s factual. 6 reasons why teenagers don’t want to invest in stocks is pure fantasy (unless based on a survey)
Ok did I write this to say the numbered points type blogging is good or bad? I’m sorry dear reader if you expected a black and white post. The world is in black and white only for the ignorant. In reality, while there are good things about the listed writeup, the problem arose because the classic “too much is too bad” situation.
All bloggers have started writing – why bloggers, even mainstream media houses and reputed columnists have fallen prey to this novel cause of making it easier for the reader. But the reasons on the list are completely subjective and have been conjured in the mind of the blogger. (Unless it’s a factual post)
So the next time you see a headline like 3 reasons democrats like pork or 6 things you should do before sleeping, just ask yourself: can I guess the items on the list? Or can I think of items to add to the list? If yes, then you know what to do.