Resource lists are one of the most popular methods of generating traffic from social media, and they are universally successful on almost every social media site. While a resource post will not display your writing ability or necessarily even your knowledge, they can give your blog exposure that it has never received before. Best of all, anyone can create a killer resource list, it just requires a willingness to dedicate some time to the project.
Here are some keys for creating a successful resource post:
1. Be Original
Original ideas that haven’t been done before will you the best chance of success. However, the idea doesn’t always have to be 100% unique. Many ideas have been rehashed or improved with great success. If you are going to create a resource list similar to something that has already been done, do whatever you can to make yours bigger or better than the other(s). Don’t include many of the same items on your lists that have been used on a similar list.
If you see another blog beating you to the punch with a resource list, wait a while before you publish yours. Go back and make some improvements so that yours won’t be seen as a rip off, and after a while you can go ahead and publish it in most cases. By waiting a little while most people who see your list won’t even remember that it’s not a totally original idea.
2. Brainstorm Ideas
Coming up with the right idea for a resource list is one of the biggest keys to success. Take some time to jot down some ideas that your audience might appreciate. What types of resources do they use on a regular basis? How could you make their lives easier by gathering a collection of links or resources? The best ideas will hit you and you’ll immediately know that you are on to something big.
3. Use a Number in the Title
With resource lists, using a number in the title is a great way to get the attention of potential readers. As your page is listed on social media sites, the number will often help to increase the amount of people that click through to your page. Also, for some reason people remember numbers very well. On several different occasions people have been talking to me about one of my resource lists and the part that they remember right away is the number that’s in the title.
4. Use a Keyword in the Title
One of the primary goals of most resource lists is to draw new inbound links. Most links that are created will use the title of the post in the anchor text, so give careful consideration of what words and phrases are used in the title.
5. Focus on Saving Time for Your Readers
The main reason that readers and social media users like resource lists is that they are convenient and they have the potential to save time. For this reason they are great with bookmarking sites like del.icio.us. Most people are eager to bookmark pages like this that will put a number of valuable resources in one location. It also helps to focus on resources that will save time for others. My most successful resource list focused on resources that can save time for web designers.
6. Don’t Publish it on a Weekend
Most bloggers experience somewhat significant drops in traffic levels over the weekend. The same thing is true with social media sites. It will not only be harder for you to rack up votes on the weekend, but making it to the front page of a social media site will have sub par results on the weekend.
7. Take the Time to Find the Best Resources
Obviously, your list will only be as good as the items on the list. You can really improve the quality of your list by doing a little bit more research to find the right resources. If you provide some of the best resources and introduce people to a few new resources that they weren’t aware of, you’ll increase your chances of success.
8. Link to Yourself if Possible
Including internal links to yourself can be valuable for a few reasons. First, internal linking is obviously good for search engine rankings. Second, if your resource list draws huge amounts of traffic, some of that traffic will then be transferred back to your other pages. Third, if someone steals your content and publishes it on their own blog you will at least be getting some links.
9. Categorize Whenever Possible
Resource lists draw a lot of attention because of the convenience of having everything in one place. You can make your post even better by effectively categorizing the list to help people find what they are really looking for.
10. Add a del.icio.us Badge
My resource lists have had the best success with del.icio.us. I’ve really liked the results of using the tagometer badge provide by del.icio.us that shows how many people have bookmarked the page. Visitors are encouraged to bookmark when they see that many others have already done so.