Archive for May, 2009

Top 10 Tips on Creating Lists of Tips

Creating top-ten lists is the meat and potatoes of internet posting.  Although I do enjoy reading them, I think making a top-ten list is lazy authourship.  That having been said, I would like to return to Canadian Fermentation by introducing for your education, Dear Reader, my Top 10 Tips on Creating Lists of Tips.

Although it may seems like there are contradictions in my list, there are, in fact,  none.  It’s a perfect top-ten list.  I hope you enjoy it and are able to take something educational away with you from the experience.


1.  Creativity and entertainment are more important than applicability, facts or actual usability.  Go crazy!

2.  Interesting visuals are nice, particularly if they include a hottie (male or female depending on your target readers), or a picture of a cat doing something crazy.  The pictures should, even if loosely, be related to the topic or tip.

cat-comstume-2The best visuals are a combination of hot babes and cats.

3. Originality is overrated.  Focus on topics that people are familiar with.  People don’t want to learn something new, rather they want their beliefs confirmed.

4.  Keep entries short.  A long entry just provides more material for other people to prove you wrong.

5.  Try to refer to at least one “expert” in your list.   Jane Spilousia, Lead Tip Master with the Tip Institute of Toronto says, “Experts give your tips acumen and authority. If in doubt, find an expert to make your tip pertinent.”

6. Don’t share personal anecdotes, and beware of using your personal experiences as proof.  Trust me   – I tried this on my last Top 10 list and it didn’t work.

7.  Borrow from historical sources.  If you become stuck for tips to share just remember that the internet is your playground.  Ignore what others have told you; there is no such thing as plagarism on the internet.

8. Maintain your authority.  If you receive critical responses to your list, either delete the responses or chastize and humiliate the person who criticized you (preferably using an alias).  This will show other readers how masterful and in control you are.

9.  Give yourself a deadline, and stick to it.  Don’t worry about having a concise, accurate list with the absolute “top 10” tips. The important thing is production; get that post on the web where it’s needed!  Be willing to embrace tip #1, rather than strive for total accuracy and relevancy.  By utilizing tip #’s  5 + 8 your list will remain relevant.

10.  Avoid being witty.  Most readers are stupid anyway, and won’t get the joke.  Don’t waste your time on them with your best work when any old junk will do.

Bonus:  Always have a bonus tip.  Why?  No one really knows, it’s just something that all top 10 list makers do.  You don’t want to stand out from the crowd, do you?

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May 4, 2009 at 2:55 pm 11 comments


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