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Blog Exercises: Top X Tips – The Numbered Post

Blog Exercises on Lorelle on WordPress.One of the traditions in blogging is the numbered list post.

You’ve seen them. “The Top Ten Software Programs.” “9 Things to Do with Clay.” “The Best 99 WordPress Tips of All Time.” “Top 13 Cities to Attend a WordCamp.” “Seven Ways to Find Love.”

Numbered post titles and topics work. Want proof?

Examples of numbered post titles and topics on Mashable.

I did a check when writing this post and Mashable, famous for numbered post titles, featured so many, I stopped counting after 24. I’ve put a collage of them in the graphic above as examples.

The rule of thumb for numbered post titles are to use odd numbers with even numbers divided by 5. The sequence is 5, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 15, 17, 19, 20, and so on. Big numbers are 25, 30, 50, 75, 99, 100, 101 and so on.

There are always exceptions such as “12 Reasons Why You Need Lorelle’s Blog Exercises for Your Blog.” Maybe you could only come up with twelve.

Still, I have found that if you use odd numbers such as “11 Reasons,” your readers will give you number twelve. Or give them 12 reasons and only publish 11, leaving them to fill in the blank. All easy-to-do gimmicks that work for web publishing and traditional media.

Many bloggers will do a “Top X List” for a specific year or month, such as “18 Best Cat Videos for 2013” or “Most Popular 29 WordPress Tips for February.”

The general post title structures include:

  • The Top X…
  • X Reasons…
  • X Ways to…
  • X Tips…
  • X Favorite…
  • X Things to Do…
  • X Things You Can Do With…
  • X Places to…
  • X Most Popular…
  • Guide to the X Top…

And variations thereof.

Blog Exercise Task from Lorelle on WordPress.Your blog exercise today is to write your own numbered list.

It may be a list of links, programs, tips, tools, places, or ideas.

Things I Wish I Knew When I Started” is an example that could have been a post with a number in the post title such as “9 Things I Wish I’d Known When I Started.”

To create your numbered post and are unfamiliar with making lists, see the blog exercises on how to make a list and the sequel on making creative lists in HTML.

Remember to include a hat tip link back to this post to create a trackback, or leave a properly formed link in the comments so participants can check out your blog exercise task.

You can find more Blog Exercises on . This is a year-long challenge to help you flex your blogging muscles.

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Copyright Lorelle VanFossen.


  1. Posted September 16, 2013 at 4:56 am | Permalink

    I knew the numbered list work, and I use them, but I had never seen anything about using odd numbers rather than even. It follows though. My 5 Tips on dialog got 3X as many views as my 8 markets post. Thanks, Lorelle

    • Posted September 16, 2013 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

      @Debra: Excellent example! It’s odd but they don’t work unless divisible by 5, except for 12. Twelve seems to work. 18 occasionally, depending upon the content. 18 Naked Women will get more traffic no matter what compared to 18 iPhone Covers. LOL!

    • Posted September 16, 2013 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

      Hi Debra and Lorelle,

      Once in a while, do try the (un)lucky 13, being odd, prime, Fibonacci and the Baker’s Dozen all at once!

      • Posted September 17, 2013 at 12:22 am | Permalink

        Actually, 13 words but again. It is a context issue. If the 13 thing relate to math, science, luck, fate, failures, and lifestyle, it can work. Other topics, not so much.


  2. Lilian Druve
    Posted September 16, 2013 at 5:28 am | Permalink

    I´ve used odd numbers and for me too, that works better:-)!

  3. Hazel L Cottrell
    Posted September 16, 2013 at 6:41 am | Permalink

    As a content writer I love the numbered list articles, these work really well for me when I get writers block!!!

  4. Posted September 16, 2013 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    From singing to dancing, now Lorelle is into collage. Is there an end to Lorelle’s trivial pursuits these days?

    p/s: Hayao Miyazaki’s My Neighbor Totoro is superb.

  5. Posted September 18, 2013 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

    This just gave me a great idea since I have a number of ideas swirling in my head and I’m still focusing on all of them I don’t know what to do yet, but this will help clarify.

3 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. […] Letters from China series was inspired by Blog Exercises: Top X Tips – The Numbered Post by Lorelle VanFossen. You can find more Blog Exercises on Lorelle on WordPress. This is a […]

  2. […] my Doctor Who marathon, I’ve decided to list my favorite movies (in no particular order). The blog exercise by Lorelle inspired this post and I’ve tried to follow it as closely as […]

  3. […] Blog Exercises: Top X Tips – The Numbered Post […]

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