A List of 6 Reasons Why I Always Explain Things with a List of 6 Reasons (more or less)

1. I think of web readers as a bunch of drunk frat boys — just do the minimum to tease their attention then hope they look you up again later when they’re sober and can commit more interest.

2. Putting a number in the title of your post is a cheap trick to get people to click on it. Web readers have total A.D.D. and they wanna know ahead of time that they can get through an article in a surmountable list of points. It’s a cheap (and effective) trick.

3. The web is free. To me that means I’m not above using cheap tricks to get your attention. a top-10 list is too much effort for me to write for free, and top-3 list is too chintzy even for my lazy ass. I usually bring it in at around 5 or 6. And they are usually the “worst” of something, like “Worst Easter Sunday Church Signs of All Time,” because I think the worst of stuff is more interesting than the best of stuff. But maybe that’s just me.

4. I kind of can’t overemphasize the success of putting a numbered list in the title of your blog post, like “5 Worst Non-Murdering Mothers of All Time,” for a mother’s day post, or, “The 6 Most Disgusting Thanksgiving Day Dishes,” etc. It’s a sure-fire hit-boosting headline tip.

5. Web readers are not invested in a blog post like they may be in a newspaper or magazine article, they will click off your page in a second, and one way to keep them around is the expectation that if one thing on the list doesn’t interest them, the next might.

6. At this point I am just making shit up. Because I really don’t have six whole reasons (and if you think about it, #5 is just another way of saying #2), but like I said, anything under 5 is chintzy. Also, I like the alliteration of a “List of Six” better than “List of Five.” The latter kind of falls flat when I read it in my head. So it had to be six. I’m weird like that.


Typos, if any, are intensional.

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