5 Essential tips to Create a Good and Original Listing Post

It’s easy to see that “Roundup/listing” posts are the biggest blogging trend of the year; every single blog you go to has a listing of something, the coolest this, the best of that, some blogs don’t even have any other content besides listings.

It’s very hard to be original when you have thousands of listings being posted everyday, and you don’t want to disappoint your users by showing them something they have already seen before.

Creating an original listing post is definitely a mission and in order to step up check out these 5 tips to create the best and most original listing posts to successfully accomplish the mission.

1. Have an Original Idea

Every post starts with an idea of a topic, but not every idea is a good topic. Think of a unique and original topic and check it’s availability. Check it’s availability? Yes, you heard it right. Whatever topic you’re thinking of to create a list, chances are, somebody else has already created a list about the same topic.

LightbulbBest way to find out if you should go ahead and start to make a post about this topic is to go on Google and search the topic to see how many lists you will find. The more you find the harder it gets to be original so stick with topics that have less than 10 listing posts; the user gets sick of seeing the same stuff over and over.

You did the search, and the topic you picked has only been posted 5 times before, this is alright but now you have to check when these listings were posted, to make sure it wasn’t recently. If the same listing was posted a week ago, your users will notice that your idea of a post was not original, but if the most recent list was posted over two months ago your idea is good to go.

Double check that before you actually make the post on your blog; you may be unlucky to have someone posting about this topic while you were working on your post. If that happens, save your post and use it later down the road, and if anyone posts about the same topic a couple days after you did, don’t worry, because you remain original and he doesn’t.

2. Do not Re-list

Making a list of a bunch of good posts from other blogs is the most unoriginal list you can make, and just proves that those blogs actually have content, and yours don’t. By making a list of other posts promoting other blogs; you are not posting any actual content.

Thumbs DownIt’s ok to do a re-list when you’re not listing it. What? If you are going to make a listing of posts, make it so your post is not a listing. Instead of “35 Awesome Photoshop Tutorials”, how about the “The Best Tutorials of the Month”, and so on.

Such blogs as psdtuts, abduzeedo, and webdesignerdepot have a post where they highlight content from other blogs but they don’t list it, as you can see bellow:

Psdtuts – Best of the Web
Abduzeedo – Best of the Week
WebDesignerDepot – Our Favorite Twits of the Week

That way they’ve done it there, they turned a bad listing into a good post, you could do the same.

3. Quality is better than Quantity

You heard this saying before and it’s no different when it comes to making a listing post, quality will always overcome quantity. A list of 30 good images can be a lot better than a list of 100 not so good.
Odd Man Out

When making the post you don’t have to go crazy and try to find 100 samples to make the biggest list ever. When the amount of images are really big it’s hard to keep up quality, and browsing 100 images that are not top quality will get boring and automatically turn your list into a failure. A high number of images on your post can become a very slow experience for users with older computers or slower internet connections and will also highly increase the use of your bandwidth of your blog.

A good amount of images for a listing can be anywhere from 10 to 50, that way it isn’t too small or to big. To keep the quality of your listing, always find more images than you are really going to use, or just lower the amount that you had in mind at first. Lets say you are making a listing of 30 images, when you make this selection make sure you select at least 35 or 40 images. After you have this more images than you actually want, you can start eliminating the ones that are least interesting, that way what was first set to be 40 great images can turn out too be 30 even better.

Don’t be afraid to ask outside opinions to help you eliminate the extra weight on your listing, the same way web designers test the usability of their website; you can test the quality of your post.

4. Find Original Material

Your post is only as good as its content, the most important thing is to find original content to support your list and that’s what is going to make your post either a successful post or a total failure. A blogger is like an reporter, they’re only as good as their resources, and when many bloggers use the same resources to create the same listing, it’s tough to be original.

Look

First thing you need to do is to go back on those listing posts with the same topic that you found when you were checking the availability of your idea. Open each one of them and use that as your black list. Nothing that you put on your list can be in any of those listings in order for your post to remain super original.

Where to find it?

The most common general websites to find good images are big networks like deviantart, behance, and flickr. But to overcome the competition you have to go further than that, search for communities within your topic, Google your topic in different languages like Spanish, Portuguese, Italian and so on, you will be surprised with some content you will find.

Always look for images that haven’t been seen a lot of times; if you use big networks to get your material, stay away from the most seen of all times or the featured images because if hundreds of thousands of people have seen them before, chances are your users are part of them. The idea of having a super original post is to post images that your users haven’t seen before and make those images famous because of your post instead of posting famous images.

Stick with fresh stuff, just Every topic is a crescent moving topic, eventually everyday thousands of people share images of new artworks, new designs, new photos, and so on, always aim the fresh content because your users are aiming for the same thing. Finding quality fresh work takes time, if you search your topic in such websites like deviantart, behance and flickr, start looking for the most recent submissions but remember that will take time and patience to find quality, that’s the key to success.

Remember to always ask for permission and advise the author when your post is published, it’s very important and the authors will help spread the word about your post.

5. Prepare your post for success

Now that you have all the ingredients to make a good listing, don’t blow it away by making a sloppy post. All you need to do is put everything together the right way, and make sure everything is ready for success.

Race

Starting by the title, using a noun in your title can help you better describe your list and also attract more users, but make sure you mean what you say because they will notice if it’s not true. Don’t post 20 Most Creative Ad Campaigns if they are not that creative, stay true to your word and you earn the users’ trust.

Use the best image of your list as a thumbnail and ad a good description that attracts people to see more; most of the time just the topic itself will attract all the users. Everything has to be in good harmony and remember to stay true and original with your words.

Blogging is like designing, you have to pay attention to details, it will set you apart from all the other listing posts. Provide a title for each image and also give credit to the author linking his name to his website. That is very important! They will get mad at you and ask you to not use any of their work. Always link the image back to where you first got it.

To prepare your images, download each image and re-size them all to the same width as your blog post area supports. If any of the images you selected are smaller than the width of the blog post area, don’t re-size it to a bigger size, instead re-size all your other images to the same width as the smaller one that way the post will look way more organized by having all the images the same size.

Visit 15 Useful Batch Image Processors to find more about software that bulk re-size images.

Upload the images to your own host (that’s the reason why you prepared your images) instead of getting the images straight from the source and not having the work of preparing them and not even using your own bandwidth. It can turn into a nightmare to do all this work for nothing, because if your post turns out to be a hit and gets a lot of visits, but you took all the images from all these different websites, you don’t know how much bandwidth they will support and you can end up with a post full of nothing as their host account will become temporarily out of service for exceeding the bandwidth and the images will no longer show on your post.

Using your own bandwidth will save you a lot of trouble, and it’s a guarantee that your post will remain as long as your blog is up. By doing that you also make your post a lot lighter because you actually re-sized all the images and that work will be much appreciated by your users.

Finish your post with some further resource links and some related posts, that will give them somewhere to go next after going through a good and original listing post.

Sample of good and original listing posts

Further Reading

Written By Paul0v2

Hello there! My name is Paulo Canabarro, I'm a graphic design student, blogger and freelancer. I'm a writer for abduzeedo.com and I have passion for cool and well done design. To find out more about me and my work, FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER

4 Comments

  1. Angel L.

    September 13th, 2009 at 07:39 am

    Great suggestions! It’s always easy to get caught up in the world of “list-making” that we forget to provide quality lists over quantity.

  2. Roberto

    September 14th, 2009 at 06:10 pm

    “Quality is better than Quantity”. The best one to keep in mind.

  3. Dzinepress

    September 14th, 2009 at 10:41 pm

    this is universal truth which you mentioned above.

  4. Naim

    September 10th, 2011 at 05:39 am

    Nice blog !!

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