Most content writers during their content writing career have little or no experience with listicles. As a result, most content marketers either avoid creating listicles entirely or go through the motions of creating one for no reason other than to feel like they’re fulfilling their content requirements. Listicles are not challenging to write if you know what you’re doing. However, they take more effort and time than conventional articles typically require, so many marketers have a natural aversion to using them.
What Are Listicles?
Listicles are articles that take the form of a list. They may have as little as three or as many as 30+ items on the list. Although they always present their content in a highly-condensed and readable format. In other words, they use numbers instead of paragraphs to make it easier for readers to digest their information. They are the closest thing to an information-dense version of a standard article. All sorts of publishers use listicles for all kinds of purposes. Some use them to condense important news into short, easy-to-read articles that entice readers to come back again and again for more updates on breaking stories. Others use listicles to present their viewpoints on essential issues, which can be an engaging way to attract loyal readers.
Why Do Listicles Work So Well?
First, they’re eminently easy to read and follow. If you’ve ever struggled through an academic journal article that took 10 minutes to understand each point properly, then you know what we mean when we say it is difficult to read content with too many paragraphs in it! Of course, this is not to say that we’re advocating for the abandonment of conventional articles. It only makes sense to use content marketing methods like listicles to supplement your other forms of content marketing and diversity out your overall writing portfolio.
Last but not least, listicles tend to rank better than conventional articles in search engines. This is because they are highly linkable, which means that other sites can easily embed your listicle in their posts and therefore provide you with traffic. This is one of the reasons why many newspapers use listicles instead of conventional articles; this allows them to get an extra revenue stream by using content from other websites.
Best Practices for Creating Listicle Content
1. Focus on one specific topic.
While you can undoubtedly create listicles about multiple topics, your niche audience should find it easier to digest content relevant to a single topic. On the other hand, if you’re writing about topics relevant to the broadest possible audience, then your listicle can be as long as it needs to be.
2. Use large, easy-to-read text with plenty of sub-headings.
You want each point in your listicle to stand out so that readers don’t get confused or lose interest. So make sure that each sub-heading is made up of one sentence and has its visual style (boldface, underlining, etc.). Additionally, you also want the main heading for each item to be bolded so that readers know exactly what they’re getting into when they click on the link!
3. Keep paragraphs short and easy to read.
This may sound like a no-brainer, but you want to keep paragraphs short (4-6 sentences, tops) so that your audience can easily follow along with what you’re saying.
4. Use an unnumbered list.
While numbered lists are essential for ensuring some sense of order in your writing, unordered lists allow for more creativity and allow the author to rank the items by importance or choose which things go where. This makes it much easier for readers to see what they care about without having an author impose their ranking schemes on them at every turn!
5. Keep it relevant.
When writing a listicle, don’t worry about how many items are on the list; instead, focus on ensuring that everything you say is relevant to the subject at hand. The more relevance you create within each point, the easier it will be for people to read and understand what you’re trying to get across, and most importantly, the better they’ll remember it!
6. Have fun!
Keep things interesting by breaking out of traditional listicle ways and doing something unique! If you get creative with your presentation, people are much more likely to get excited about what you have to say–and come back for more!
7. Always keep them entertained.
Every good post starts with an exciting introduction that captures the reader’s interest and makes them want to read everything else. The fact is that readers need incentives just like anyone else; give them something to look forward to when they’re reading your listicle, and they’ll reward you with some of the highest engagement rates for any of your future posts.
8. Don’t plagiarize.
You must make every effort not to copy other people’s work right off the bat because if Google catches wind of such actions (by way of an automated rank-check tool), then all of your hard work will be undone! Make sure that each point in your list is unique and that it makes sense within the context of what you’re trying to say.
9. Cite sources where appropriate.
That said, there are some cases where it can help to cite your sources at specific points to add credibility to your overall argument.
10. Keep it short and sweet.
As a rule, listicles should be kept under 1000 words so that readers don’t get overwhelmed or turn off from what you have to say. While there are certainly exceptions to this rule, most of the time, keeping things concise and shorter will help people remember what they read–and come back for more!
11. Link to the rest of your articles as you go along.
It may help provide links to other articles on your site that correspond to specific points in your listicle. This will help readers who may want to learn more about subjects in greater depth or learn more about similar subjects with greater ease.
12. Make it easy to share.
Make sure that each point in your listicle is simple enough for people to share with their friends through Facebook, Twitter, or other social media platforms. Adding share buttons to your post can make it easier for people to get the word out and get more engagement from their audiences, which can help them get more traffic and improve the overall quality of their website.
In conclusion, listicle content is a popular way to attract readers on the internet because it is easy for writers to pen and readers to read. By following these tips, you can write listicles that are sure to catch your readers’ eyes and keep them coming back for more!