Tips for Creating a Popular Top Ten List

Note: This post was previously a thread on the since retired TheTopTens forum.

TheTopTens has many thousands of lists but the majority of those lists don't get very much attention. These tips are designed to help members create lists that will attract visitors, acquire votes, and rank well in search engines.

Pick a Well Known Topic

If you want a lot of people to vote on your list and add comments, you need to create a list about something people know about. A list of the best bands on a popular genre will usually do a lot better than a list of the best songs from a relatively unknown band. This is not to say that the second list cannot be successful, it's just that you will have to work harder on the other things listed below.

Create a List With Distinct Items

This isn't much of a problem with lists of songs or movies, but in lists like best places, best foods, best animals, etc., things can get confusing. Try to make sure each item in a list stands alone and cannot be rolled into another item. For example, on a list of best vacation locations, if you add Paris, Hawaii, London and France there are going to be problems. When someone adds a new item, should they add a city, state, or country? If they think a city in France other than Paris is best, should they add that city or vote for France? If they think Paris should be number one, do they vote for Paris or France? You can see how this gets confusing and ends up hurting the validity of the list.

Make sure all the items you add are of the same classification. If you want to add a list of places, make sure they are all cities, states, provinces, or countries and not a combination. If you want to add a list of cars, make sure to add just brand names, just model names, or model and year.

Have 10 Good Items

If you can't think of 10 solid items for a list, then either you're not the best person to be adding the list in the first place or you should spend a little time researching the topic first. If you are adding a list of the best anything of all time, make sure you have some knowledge of the history of the topic. A list of best players of a particular sport that doesn't include anyone from years past most likely won't do very well.

Write a List Description

Tell what your list is about. Prove that you know what you are talking about. Provide a little more information about the topic so people are more likely to interact with your list.Add CommentsComments will give people something to read, get people to vote on the items you think are best, and help your list do better in search engines so even more people find your list. Also, when you add good comments to begin with, people are more likely to add additional good comments.

Share Your List

Get people to come to your list by sharing it via Facebook, Tweeting a link, or adding a link to your list to blogs or forums.


It's basically telling us to do what most people here do. Some don't, I know, but most do. In short, base it on that. - PositronWildhawk

I think these are some helpful tips, especially since only one of my lists is the only list people vote not including my sister! - rainbowdashrules

My first list of worst friends ever was a blunder. This list taught me how you make an idiot of yourself by giving not much thought to your lists - Kiteretsunu