Everybody loves Top Ten lists. David Letterman made millions from this idea, but even you can benefit from writing a list of any ten damn things you want, and people will read it!
To show you the benefits of writing a Top Ten List of things, I am going to write one for you here.
One: People love Top Ten Lists. (See how I repeated what I already said above? How annoying is that? Pretty annoying. Don’t worry. We’re just getting started). People like things that come in groups of ten. I remember when Taco Bell had tacos for 39 cents. They also had a ten pack for $3.90. What a deal! Let’s buy ten tacos!
Two: People like to know how many things they’re going to read about. “Oh, ten things? I have time to read about ten things. Now if it were eleven things, I don’t think I’d have the time. But ten? No problem!
Three: People like to feel like they’re making progress in their lives. Look! I’m already on number three. I’m 30% done! It’s not even Wednesday, and I’m 30% done.
Four: People like Top Ten Lists because their memories suck. They will probably only remember one or two things, but those two things will make them look like a genius later today when someone, who has also read the Top Ten list but forgotten it completely, will subconsciously ask a question on the Top Ten list. You will know the answer! You will look like a genius, or at least, mildly well-informed.
Five: Americans are secretly ashamed we never embraced the metric system while we had the chance. Now, when someone asks how tall you are, you say “I am five nine and three sixteenths”. We yearn for those even groups of millimeters, centimeters, meters and kilometers. Therefore we are drawn to the Top Ten List, as a means of making up for our foolish anti-ten decisions of the past.
Six: People like the same thing over and over and over (and over). If they could listen to the same pop song, eat the same burger and sleep ten hours a day, they would do it. But because we have to fill up time and make money, we come up with things like Lady Gaga (to replace Madonna) and a Quadruple Bacon Cheese King Burger (to replace the Triple Bacon Cheese King Burger). Because of this flaw in our personalities, we are drawn to Top Ten Lists. We’ve read them a thousand times before. We’re going for a thousand and one, Thank you very much.
Seven: We really think we might learn something from reading the list. But then as you keep reading on, you realize that you knew everything from number one, and you’re a little disappointed. But you’re on Seven! There are still three more reasons! Maybe there isn’t just more recycled crap in this list, but something that is actually new! (Don’t count on it). We are a hopeful species, aren’t we?
Eight: People can read Top Ten Lists at work, in little chunks. “The boss came by and I had to minify the screen and pretend I was working on the spread sheet for Thursday. But I was on eight, I remember that much. It wasn’t a very good list, but I’ve only got two to go, so as soon as the nosy bastard gets out of my cubicle, by golly, I’m going to finish the list just to get him back for riding my ass.”
Nine: Hormones, Endorphins and Pheromones are released when we read Top Ten Lists. Okay, this one is total BS, but it illustrates that:1) you can’t always count on a Top Ten List to give you accurate information, and 2) when you force someone to write a Top Ten List on a subject as stupid as this one, he’s going to start making stuff up to get to the tenth reason. But some of them were pretty good points, wouldn’t you say?
Ten: Oh My God! I made it to ten! Oh, I’m sorry. The Tenth Reason: People like to say “I read an article today” and then spout one or two of the things they learned, which makes them sound well-read, literate and interesting. Like today, after you’ve read this, you can impress your friends with your knowledge. You’re very welcome.
So that’s it. Now get out there, and write your own Top Ten List. It will probably help you get the web presence you deserve. I know I’m dominating the web with all my blogs. I think at least five people have read my blogs so far. When it gets to ten, I’m going to start a new Top Ten List just for them.