Mastering Article Types: The Top List

by | Mar 5, 2010 | Marketing & Selling

top list
There are plenty of templates that your articles can follow. These templates are the standard types of articles that people are used to reading, and knowing what they are can actually help you write your articles more quickly. Over the next few posts, I’m going to discuss five of the more common article types, the first being The Top (put a number here) List.

This type of article lists the “top” or “best” things within a topic. Some examples include:

  • The 5 Best Ways to Break the Ice at Networking Meetings
  • The 10 Top Restaurants in Austin, Texas
  • 3 Most Common Reasons Businesses Fail … and How to Avoid Them

Basically, you are promising list out a specific number of top, best, most common, most relevant things that pertain to the topic.

The format of this type of articles usually goes like this:

  • Opening paragraph explaining what the list is about.
  • A list of each item, often with a paragraph explaining why it is on the list, and perhaps why it is in the spot on the list it holds (if ranked).

Sometimes there is also a closing paragraph that sums up the main thrust of the article.

I believe there are two reasons why The Top List is a such a common format for articles.

First, they are easy to read and scan. Readers will scan through the list and only read the paragraphs belonging to the items they find most interesting.

Second, they are easy to write. Once you know what you want to include in your list and in what order, the article pretty much writes itself.

Would you like some help with your article marketing? An Article Marketing Marathon may be just what you’re looking for! I’ll hold your hand — virtually, of course — and assist you with key word research, writing headlines and writing guidance. To see when the next Article Marketing Marathon will be held, visit


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