7 Reasons Why Blogs Include Numbered Lists

numbered lists

Numbering Like We Had in 'Nam... NOT

People will read “5 Ways to Lose Abdominal Fat” or “10 Reasons to Bring an AK-47 to Work” while ignoring an article entitled “Reading This Could Save Your Life.” But why?

1. There is an end in sight. If there 10 ways to cook a skunk, you can be sure that after #10, it’s over.

2. You can read the items in any order. Skip around. The subject won’t change.  You won’t get lost.

3. White space. People love white space. It helps them feel like they are reading more than they are.

4. You don’t feel obligated to get to the end. This isn’t great literature. It’s a list. The 7 best practical jokes may be listed, but you can stop at #3 and go buy a whoopie cushion.

5. You always know how close you are to the end. Web pages—and blogs—can go on forever. Numbered lists? Not so much.

6. By item #6, you know if there is any point in continuing. Maybe the author provided 5 really lame reasons to sleep with pigs, but if reason #6 is lame too, you can close the window. {Wait! Don’t click on that little X up in the corner. You only have one more to go.}

7. Our world is chaotic. Numbered lists give a sense of order to the universe. If there are 10 ways to salvation, all is right with the world. If you have to struggle through a Bible, a Kuran, or stone tablets—oh wait, that was a numbered list. Anyway, life is unpredictable enough. Who needs unending stress?

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