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Wednesday, November 6, 2013
17,469 Reasons To Read This Blog
We all see blog posts headlined with a number:
·6 tips to…
·5 strategies for…
·7 ways to…
·Top 10 reasons why…
·3 things you must do to…
These headlines tell us the things we must:
What is the right number?
If it’s too low it sounds insignificant and less powerful. If it’s too high, will people be intimidated
that they need to learn so much?
Some numbers sound lucky, such as seven. I think odd numbers sound better than even
numbers, though 10 is probably the most commonly used number.
Should the headline highlight a positive or a negative? For instance, the headline: Avoid These 7
Personality Types When Looking For A Nanny.
Is that more effective than saying the affirmative? Look For These 7 Personality Types When
Hiring A Nanny.
Do people like “steps” over “keys,” or “ways” over
“strategies,” or “tips” over “taboos”? Or
do we like big-sounding things, such as “laws,” “commandments,” and “pillars?”
Putting a number next to a headline makes it seem like
something concrete and achievable. Six
steps to something sounds within our grasp, doesn’t it? But we often find that such steps are not so
simple and really contain many mini-steps within them. As a rule of thumb, triple the number
listed. Six steps is more like a dozen-and-a-half
The thing with the biggest number attached to it is likely
your “to-do list.” It’s a never-ending
list, right? Just remember, you have 168
hours in a week—or 10,080 minutes—or 604,800 seconds. See, more numbers to say something—or
My blog post should be titled: “No reason to read this blog,”
but I thought a huge number like 17,469 reasons would get your attention. I guess it worked. You can put a number on your next post and
watch your numbers rise. If not, you can always do a 10-step plan to quite your social media addiction.