As I was reading over the data for the articles I write it occurred to me that my most popular articles fell into six categories:

  • Lists
  • How to
  • Planning
  • Training
  • Leadership
  • And Temperament

Now, the last four topics, I understand, because those are my areas of specialty. It is the first two that puzzled me.

So, I did a little research. It isn’t just my work that gets a lot of attention when the format is listing and how to. It is everyone. It is a regular phenomena.

Take a look at the data from your own site and see if this doesn’t hold true. If you don’t track your data (and you really should) with something like site meter, do some surfing around and click on the little multicolored cube on the sites of other people. Then click on their referrals link and scan what you see in the search engine results. It’s impressive to say the least.

It seems that people will read, ping, link, quote and revisit most anything that is written in one of these two forms.

Now, all we need to do is figure out a way to make our content meaningful in these formats and we can retire from our advertisement funds. No…? Well, at least we’ll get a better handle on what our readers are interested in.

I tested my theory on my own site with a series of “10′s” articles.

Here are my findings. The numbers did not, in fact increase. If anything there was a slight down turn. On the other hand, my profitability increased significantly.

However, since I was concentrating so much on this experiment, I didn’t do two things I usually do that bring in traffic to my site.

I did not contribute heavily to Lifehack.org and I did not leave many comments on other sites. Those are two things folks like Seth Godin say are good ideas.

It is interesting to note that even though my numbers dropped, the target articles made up five of the top ten articles visited on my site.

The puzzle for me is, if numbers were down why was profit up?

I’d really like to know how the impact is viewed on the larger scale. Do you notice the same trends in the popularity of the posts on your own sites? What about profitability? Do certain article topics increase the profitability of the advertisements on your site?

Reg Adkins writes on behavior and the human experience at (elementaltruths.blogspot.com).

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