Top 7 Ways to Make Your Top List Articles Stand Out

I’ve written different types of Top 7 lists on Iridium Eye. These topics range from music, movies almost getting banned, documentary ideas, personal posts, and even geography in the context of cinema to name a few things. After giving some thought on the matter, I realized that I haven’t made any meta-lists for these types of posts. Maybe I should be better at giving advice to any up and coming bloggers. While I’m no blogger with a massive following, it has been great interacting with others on here when it comes to the topics of obscure movies, world cinema, documentaries, short films, and animated works. Thanks for checking things out.

I want this post to be something useful to bloggers who read Iridium Eye. Top 7 lists can be some of the most fun posts I’ve done. It was awesome coming up with different topics and seeing the interactions more often than not. Some people told me they learned a few things from these lists or knew about some things and were glad a certain topic was mentioned. Lists can be very engaging and I’ve been doing my best to have one every month if anyone has noticed over the past year or so.

For this list, I want to give some helpful tips for bloggers who make lists. They can be top 5, 10, or whatever many entries. At the same time, I don’t want to talk about my own lists unless it’s relevant to the topic. Even then I don’t want to be self-promotional. I just want to help out other bloggers.

Let’s get this started, then!

7: Make sure your lists are relevant to your blog’s content or aesthetics as much as possible.

I think this is somewhat of a given, but I think these are good words to heed. You don’t have to be an aniblogger or film critic like the stuff I cover on here. Let’s say you’re a soccer blogger for example. If you make lists about certain teams, championship matches, or even players in that sport, then that makes sense. Even a list about soccer being played in a movie or TV could work because that’s still a constant for that blog. If you make a list about curling on your soccer blog, then it does seem very weird and quite out-of-place. There are times where posts that normally don’t fit the content are needed such as talking about serious issues or some personal posts, but try to keep it as relevant to your blog as you can. It really helps with having a clearly defined identity going on here.

6: If the topic normally wouldn’t be relevant to your blog, then give it an angle where it makes sense.

This is some advice where you can use something in a fresh way where it can still be relevant to your blog. Some topics may seem irrelevant in isolation, but with a little twist, your readers will be understanding and still see how your list can fit in with your other archived posts. Let’s say that you run a blog about poetry for example. You have other interests and want to incorporate it in a list. Maybe you could try poetic references in film or making haikus about things you cooked last week. Those could be lists that could grab attention while still keeping in theme with your blog despite using outside subjects. I’ve done that before when I covered concepts involving non-actors and even indie Britwres where I talked about who should try acting and making documentaries for the latter. Those topics were in theme because I focus on films.

5: Use an unlikely number for a list.

It’s super common for people to have a top 3, 5, 10, 20 list. One could also argue 4 when you have people making a Mount Rushmore list involving the greats in whatever field as of recently. Try shaking things up by using an unlikely number which will grab attention a lot more. You can do creative things like having a certain number that pertains to the subject like a Top 11 list about Optimus Prime since it’s a prime number (please give me credit for that one if you’re a Transformers fan) or possibly a Top 8 list about the old-school screamo band Pg. 99 since they had that many members in the later years of their career (you’re welcome, skramz revivalists). That gives one a creative edge in making a list stand out when you have an irregular number for such a post.

4: Don’t use generic list concepts or overdone list types.

Sometimes someone else will have a similar list with you and it’s not your fault, but some topics are just so bland and predictable, that they just aren’t worth making. Examples that I’ve seen that are so overdone even to the point where I can guess what entries will be on there would be top anime opening themes, top Disney villains, or best movies in the MCU. Come on, blogosphere. Be more innovative, yeah? One remedy that you could try is to take on a different angle for an otherwise cliche list. Using the previous examples, you can switch things up like favorite seinen anime opening theme songs, best Disney villains who aren’t from the Animated Canon, or best performances in an MCU movie. That way you can give a unique spin on an otherwise tired subject and get more attention by mixing a super common subject with a more creative light.

3: Ties are okay, but please don’t overdo them.

If you’ve read some of my lists, then you’ve probably noticed that I’ve occasionally had a tie for an entry. There were some moments where I had a very tough time wanting to put one thing over another (my biggest example was my Anime for the Arthouse Crowd list involving two very certain Yoshitoshi ABe works). If you absolutely want to use a tie, then limit it to one per list. At the same time, don’t have one every single time, but just every once in a while. Some ties that you could justify would be something from the same creator or person involved that you think are equal more or less or maybe something with a similar theme or feel to them, if that makes sense. I try to spread out my ties every few months as to not make it a predictable thing.

2: Remember, top lists are still based on personal opinion even if you present facts.

This is something I really have to keep telling myself even when I mention that a list I make is just based on my opinion. I could present facts and evidence for something, but someone else could still agree with an entry while thinking it would be higher or lower on the list for them if they were in my position. There have been times where commenters suggested something that makes perfect sense. Either I didn’t think about that possible idea, had to make a painful cut, or I haven’t seen or known what they mentioned. There has also been a time where someone got triggered by a controversial list I made and I did my best to explain facts and my position on a certain matter. If someone is straight up trying to troll me, then they won’t get that attention. That’s all I’ll say there. Not everyone is going to agree with your list no matter how many facts you put there even if they like your list.

1: Restraints and addendums are your friends since constraints breed creativity.

Here’s a tough one to mention, but I feel that it needs to be said. If you limit the kind of entries on your list, it has an even a bigger impact. Not just with whatever numbers, but with the content of the entries. Feel free to give yourself limits with your topics or the kind of things that should be mentioned on here. If you have a list about athletes in the minor leagues, then make sure you don’t mention those with major contracts or previously played for the majors. If you have a list about African cinema, then make sure the directors are directly from the continent and not an outsider. If you have a list about shonen anime, then don’t limit it to just Shonen Jump properties unless it’s specifically about that manga magazine (or make a list of shonen anime that aren’t affiliated SJ for a fun idea).

Hopefully, my advice resonates with new or seasoned bloggers. What other advice would you give about this topic? Thanks for reading!


  1. Great tips! I used to do lists all the time way, way, way WAYYYY back in the day before I ever came to WordPress. I had fun with them, but I realized I’m not the type of person who should make lists. Every time I want to make one, I usually back out for one reason or another. Legit, not lying, I have a several years old document on my computer that is a rough draft of a list titled “Top ten reasons why I don’t write lists anymore” lol You’re awesome at making lists, though, and this is some really great advice. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Fiddletwix! I can relate to that since I had some random lists before I was active in blogging. A lot of them never ended up on the net though. Is that so when it comes to lists for you? Wow, that’s an intriguing idea for a list. If you don’t feel like writing a list again, then I respect that. You think so about my lists? Thanks. I really appreciate it and I’m glad you liked the advice there. Earlier today, I had a mini-epiphany of sorts with my Top 7 lists this year and how some of my favorite ones I made were my positive ones like the Anime for the Arthouse Crowd one, Countries I want to see sci-fi and Fantasy from, and the Indie BritWres one. I liked the discussions I had with those and most of the people I put in the BritWres one told me it was wonderfully written and were super encouraged (saying nothing about the crazy amount of UK traffic I got that week it dropped). That gave me some hope and I felt elated that it made multiple people’s day from across the Atlantic. Yes, I’m guilty of venting as well as letting out some nerd rage in some of my Top 7 lists, but I have felt prouder about my positive Top 7 lists. I’m doing my best to articulate my opinions while coming up with unique topics. This one is something new and I hoped it was educational, yet engaging enough for other bloggers.

      Liked by 1 person

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