Yesterday we talked about the Top 10 List. We often think of a Top 10 list as positive in nature, but you can flip that around to focus on the opposite. People like to know what’s good for them, but tapping into people’s fears can be even more powerful.

When you’re building a positive Top 10 list you often have to work harder to get the same results than if you focus on the dark side. Consider two headlines for a marketing campaign trying to get people to eat more fruit and vegetables.

  • 10 Ways Fruits and Vegetables Boost Your Health
  • 10 Ways Your Diet is Destroying Your Health

People think they know that fruits and veggies are good for them, so the top title won’t work. What they don’t know is how their diet is destroying their health so the bottom title creates anxiety making them more likely to click.

Of course, you can boost the power of the top title by adding more adjectives and overstating the benefits.

  • 10 Surprising Ways Fruits and Vegetables Save Your Life

Tapping into fears and anxieties just a little can yield much better results without exaggerated writing. Here are some examples:

  • 10 Common Tax Blunders to Avoid
  • 10 Everyday Foods that Boost Inflammation
  • 10 Hidden Dangers of Cat Poop
  • 10 Hazards of Household Cleaning Chemicals
  • 10 Router Flaws Hackers Use to Steal Your Data
  • 10 Dangerous Yoga Poses for Pregnant Women
  • 10 SEO Lies That are Costing You Money

Remembering that the internet works because people want information. Present people with information they don’t know and make them a little anxious that they don’t know it with a list of things to avoid. Scaring people silly is counterproductive. Just tap into their fear of the unknown to activate their curiosity and bring them to your site.  

We’re going to focus on a different kind of list tomorrow, moving back to a positive type of list. I hope you’re enjoying this series. Please feel free to leave a comment below or share this post with others. Thanks for reading!