How to Write the Perfect Listicle (About Anything!)
People like listicles because they like breaking things into categories and see differences between those categories.
You can find all kinds of listicles on the Internet, ranging on all kinds of different topics.
Buzzfeed invented the listicle and things were never the same again. When it comes to blog content, this article type reigns supreme. Here’s how to write one.
What is a Listicle?
Before you start writing a listicle, you should probably know what it is.
Buzzfeed is the website that made the listicle popular, and really it’s just an article that makes a list of anything. It can be on all kinds of different topics and can be a list of any number of points.
A lot of time there is media in the post as well, like photos, videos, and GIFs.
To see an example of a well-written listicle, click here to learn more.
There’s no right or wrong way to write a listicle, but there are different things to consider to help you get more people reading your listicles.
Number Each Item
Listicles are normally a number of different items, and it’s important that you give a number to each major header. This will help break up your article and allow people to scan your article quickly rather than having to read huge blocks of text.
The numbered sections are great ways to summarize and categorize the information. Your goal is to make the information easily digestible for the reader. You want your article to look organized.
You should also decide how many numbers you want.
You should choose a number that will allow you to write about the project without having to leave out information or write fluff and filler content. This will be different based on each topic that you write about.
And for the most part, it won’t matter which number you choose.
A lot of listicles have smaller numbers to make it easier for its audience to read. But that’s not to say that large-numbered listicles don’t work as well.
As a general rule of thumb, 3, 4, 5, 7, and 10, are common numbers for listicles.
However, based on different research, it looks like odd numbered posts do better than even numbered ones. That may be something you want to consider when choosing a number.
Expand on Each Item on the List
After you make each numbered point, you should also go into a small explanation right underneath it. This is the place where you get to expand on your point.
Most people will probably scan your listicle, and if they see a point that looks interesting or important, then they will continue on to read the information underneath it.
Because of this, you should make your list as interesting and eye-catching as possible.
Make Your Article At Least 1,000 Words
The word count will also vary for different topics, but you may want to write at least 1,000 words. This will give you enough space to expand on your list. Some research has shown that now, longer content is more shared than shorter.
How long an article needs to be is dependent on the topic and the audience, but some listicles could even be up to 10,000 words if you’re ready for a challenge.
Make Your Listicle Easy to Scan
As we said before, most people are going to read your article and just look at the highlights. They aren’t going to be delving into the information unless it’s something that actually catches their interest.
People have short attention spans, and on the Internet, there is a lot of things competing for that attention.
If someone opens an article and sees only giant blocks of texts, most people will probably decide not to read that.
But if you have the same content broken up with headings, images, videos, GIFs, and lists, then you may convince people to stick around and hear what you have to say. You can also try breaking up your paragraphs so that there is no more than two to three sentences in your paragraph.
If you want to draw attention to a particular piece of text, utilize your italics, bolding, and underlining. This can also help with the headings to highlight important, extra information.
To help your reader out and make the listicle seem less daunting, you can also use bullet points and lists. This will add more white space to your page making the content seem more digestible.
Think of a Catchy Title
To get people to click on your listicle, you will need to think of a catchy or clever title. You also want to make sure that you pique people’s interest while also giving them some preview information on what they’re about to read.
Try to avoid clickbait though. Clickbait is basically a title that promises something to readers that really isn’t possible. It is basically just trying to get you to click on their link.
Users are becoming increasingly annoyed with clickbait, and you don’t want to lose your reader by misleading them.
In addition to avoiding click bait, you also want to keep it short and sweet. Again, because our attention span is short, you need to figure out a way to capture someone’s attention even with a short title.
If your title is too lengthy and describes too much, some people may not even finish reading it. Or they may feel like they have enough information as to where they don’t need to read your post.
Before you post your listicle to the web, it is important to make sure that the number you put in your title also matches the number of items you have in your article. Readers will think you’re lazy and didn’t proofread your work if they catch a mistake like that.
As we’ve been talking about, media is also helpful in a listicle. If you scroll through Facebook now, most posts are composed of photos or videos because that is what catches people’s attention.
The type of media you include will depend on your topic, tone, and audience. But you can use GIFs, videos, pictures, and even audio files. Make sure that the media you choose is related to what you are talking about so that it doesn’t look like you are adding media for the fun of it.
You can find the right media for you on Google, but make sure that you are allowed to use whatever media you find.
Write a Great Conclusion
The conclusion is the last thing the reader will read, and therefore it may be the thing they remember the most.
Because of this, you want to make sure that your conclusion is strong.
Most conclusions are just a summary of what was stated in the conclusion, but this can seem boring and redundant.
Instead, there are different ways you can spice up your ending.
- Provide unique examples of what you talked about
- Have a call to action (buy a product, read a blog, book an appointment, etc.)
- Make different suggestions
- Insert your opinion
- Tie up your argument by adding more examples
Conclusions can sometimes be the most difficult part of a listicle to write, but they are also one of the most important.
There are so many listicles available online, and Google can show you so many examples of them.
Because of this, you need to figure out how to make yours stand out.
If you want to write about 9 travel tips, your post may get lost among all of the other travel tips. Instead, you need to think about how you can give it your own unique spin.
Do some brainstorming and reflecting, and think about how you can do that. You can try making it more specific. The smaller the niche is, the less of a chance there is that there will be a listicle just like yours out there.
Instead of talking just about travel tips, talk about traveling to a certain country. Or traveling as a woman by yourself. Or 9 foods to eat in a certain country.
Keep narrowing it down, and you will be able to write an article that is solely unique to you.
Write The Perfect Listicle Today
Writing the perfect listicle won’t be easy, and it may take some time and learning. It can be along process, but once you get the hang of it, it will get easier.
With these tips, you can jump right on the trend of these types of blog posts.
Now that you have your tips on how to write a great listicle, here are 10 easy tips on how to make your writing even better.