Top 10 Reasons to Have a Top 10 List

Linda P. Dessau

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A Top 10 list about a topic that your ideal customer cares about can be a valuable part of your marketing plan. It can demonstrate your understanding of their issues, provide concrete information they can use now, subtly and tastefully promote your services, and invite them to take a next step (i. e. contact you, visit your website or sign-up for your newsletter).

Here are the Top 10 Reasons to Have a Top 10 List:

They Get You Noticed and Remembered

1. You're the Expert. A Top 10 list establishes you as a credible expert in solving the problems of your ideal customer.

2. Stay on their Minds. People are much more likely to keep, share and remember useful and well-written information about a topic they care about (especially when compared to a business card or brochure that's all about YOU). For your ideal customer, a Top 10 list answers the question “what's in it for me?"

You can Build on Them

3. Foundational Material. The information in your Top 10 list can provide the structure for countless other projects – keynote speeches, presentations, longer articles or coaching programs.

4. Passive Revenue Products. Top 10 Lists can be expanded to create a series of passive revenue products such as tips booklets (write 10 Top 10 lists and you've got 100 tips!), special reports, e-books, home learning programs or manuals.

5. Create a Series. A series of Top 10 lists are especially suitable for recurring marketing campaigns such as email or print newsletters.

They're Fun and People Love Them

6. Break it Down. Top 10 lists break information down into digestible chunks that are easy for the reader to absorb. Far from “dummy-ing down" your information, it's a very savvy way to craft your ideas in a way that they'll be heard and understood by a broader audience.

7. Easy to Skim. People are busy. Top 10 lists are easy to skim and then come back to later when there's more time. Even if they only skim your list, carefully chosen titles will still deliver valuable information to the busy reader.

They Fit into a Balanced Marketing Plan

8. Online, Passive Marketing. 24-hours a day, website visitors can access your Top 10 list, in exchange for their email address. While you sleep, you're building a database of prospective customers who are genuinely interested in the problems that you can solve. You're then free to follow-up with them however and whenever you choose.

9. Something to Hand Over. As I mentioned in #2, people are more likely to hang onto information they can use. So when you've made a great contact, let them know right away that you've got valuable information to share (and more where that came from!).

10. Viral Effect. You can syndicate your articles at websites such as . These sites receive hundreds of thousands of visitors every month. The more specific your topic is, the more likely someone who's looking for JUST what you're offering will notice it. Not only will individuals find and read your article, but publishers are also visiting these sites to find content for THEIR websites and publications.

Finish off your Top 10 list with one brief paragraph (sometimes called an “Author Resource Box") about you and your products and services, including a link to your website, and/or details about a special offer you're making.

Now's a great time to get started on your Top 10 list – what ten solutions are YOUR customers looking for?

© Linda Dessau, 2005.

Linda Dessau is a writer and coach. Through her “You Talk It, I'll Write It" writing services, she helps coaches and other service professionals promote their business and create passive revenue streams with written information products. Find out more at:


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