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The 10 crucial elements of lists of 10 crucial elements

Making lists is a sure-fire way to tease your audience into reading your blog, and will catapult you relentlessly towards trending stardom. Here are the key things you need to know:

1. Make bold promises – a recipe for world mastery in 10 easy steps is a good start.

2. Use only superlatives, especially in your title. Elements must be crucial, fundamental or essential. Lessons must be the hardest, easiest or most deadly.

3. Always use a famous historical figure in your supporting anecdote. Napoleon visualised his strategy in drawing and put it under his pillow before going to sleep on the eve of his greatest victories. No-once can check whether this actually happened, so don't be afraid to make it up.

4. Authority derives from being polysyllabic.

5. Make sure that you give conflicting advice: successful leaders must be unwavering and extremely flexible. The key to success lies in the big picture and in the details. This way, no-one can actually follow all your advice and complain when it doesn't work.

6. It's imperative that you back up your advice by sound academic research. As Harvard Professors Feldenkreis and Bhavatti have conclusively shown, there will always be a study that supports your claim. Google your conclusion and take your pick from prestigious research departments.

7. Be brief.

8. Don't forget to surreptitiously plug your own website – the most effective technique for this can be found at www.karimbenammar.com

9. Never use 10 elements. Who has time for that? We know that highly effective people have 7 habits, that there are 5 myths about president Obama, that Sun Tzu's art of war lists 3 golden rules, and that according to Steve Jobs, there is always only one more thing.

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