1. People like lists because they’re easy to read (the lists I mean, though probably the people who read them as well) and there really isn’t anything hidden or secret in these lists that you probably don’t already know.
2. Pick a number between 3 and 10 for your list, as 2 is too few to be a list (that’s more like a lump) and more than 10 will bore the fuck out of your readers. 7 is a good number because it’s lucky, so if you only have 5, make up 2 more to get the magic lucky 7, but if you only have 3, don’t push it, just do 5.
3. Make sure not to pitch your product in the first 2, but don’t wait until the last point especially if you’re bullshitting your way through those last few as you want to make sure they see what it is you’re selling before getting bored and clicking to the next fascinating list that promises to give them something that will change their life or at least their business or has something to do with naked women (oh, now that I’ve mentioned naked women, I can tag this post with the word “naked” or “naked women” which will drive scads of traffic my way).
4. Make sure to put in lots of hyperlinks to your product page and offer something free where you can capture people’s e-mail address so you can market many, many more of your free hot secret hidden tip lists that drive traffic to something FREE, that’s really just another blatant pitch. It’s known as marketing by wearing them down to a nub, though I’m sure someone can come up with a much better phrase, like collateral (damage) marketing or C(d)M. I don’t know, run with it.
5. Stats – use stats because people like stats, they make you sound like you either know something or at least did yer research. If you can’t find any stats that support your secret hidden hot snack-facts, make some up. You can even host your own independent site with a similar sounding name (like the New English Journal of Medicine) and post your data set (after you make it up, of course).
Bonus! Give them half-off or more from the “list” price, but over-charge the same shipping and handling charges (which should be about 10 times what it cost to ship and man-handle the merch through your fulfillment center) so you don’t throw off your profit margins.