Top 10 Things Not to Do in Top 10 Lists

The easiest to write and most unfulfilling to read, brazen clickbait articles that exist on these internets are inexplicably rife despite their transparency and often how far from completing their objective of delivering to you the top ten somethings they have fallen.

In unclear ratios of irony, parody, and biting truth, herein are outlined the Top 10 techniques you apparently never must employ in said Top 10 lists.

1. Don’t accurately describe the list in the title.

You don’t want to get too specific and have people to know how dull and pointless your list is. So keep it snappy and get some good buzz words in there, something provocative like ‘celebrity’ and ‘secrets’. Definitely don’t entitle it ‘An arbitrary number of my ill-educated opinions’.

2. Don’t include the true top ten.

Some may not suit your agenda. If you sell bottled water and you’re listing the top ten most unnecessary expenditures, it wouldn’t bode well for you to include bottled water, even though it’s blatantly number one. Everyone’s got an agenda so there’s no impartial top ten on anything.

3. Don’t list the conclusive unarguable top ten.

That’ll invariably be written somewhere better already i.e. Wikipedia.

4. Don’t ensure longevity.

If there’s a trend for ephemerality (which there is), then you’ll be off-trend if you make your list able to stand the test of time. You actually might as well add to the title “as of today’s date. And not for long either”, or throw in a mess of topical humour; Breaking Bad references never get old do they?

5. Don’t make every single number interesting.

You can probably only think of 3 or 4 worth reading so just pull several more out of your mind’s bottom. And definitely don’t save the worthwhile ones for last, get them out of the way at the beginning.

6. Don’t put them in the correct order.

People love surprise. “Ooh there’s what I’d have had for number one at number 5, this is so exciting!” Don’t even worry about it; even if people agree with the content (which they aren’t likely to) they are even less likely to concur with your order.

7. Don’t forget to use bad pictures.

If it’s not just straight up celebrity click bait, then make sure it’s at least pixelated watermarked google images with a contrived relevance to barely any of your Top Ten.

9. Don’t not miss one out.

From what I can gather it must be in the handbook to forget a number. Like some clever meta-comedy I don’t understand. I mean it just looks like unforgiveable amateurish writing to me.

10. Definitely don’t conclude properly.

If you have a solid number one and then a good finishing paragraph then you’re gonna stick out like a sore thumb. In order to not arouse suspicion you’ll fare much better if you just tail off weakly and make people wish they’d either stopped reading at number 4, not clicked on the article in the first place, or just drank a pint of bleach with breakfast.

If you budding copywriters need even more tips then visit

The following two tabs change content below.

Guest Author

At we welcome contributions from diverse individuals with experience in digital media, social media marketing, usability and web analytics. If you're interested in contributing a post, get in touch!
Did you enjoy this post? Sign up to get our best content sent by email.

There are no comments yet. Be the first and leave a response!

Leave a Reply

Wanting to leave an <em>phasis on your comment?

Trackback URL