Listicles: Soul Sucking Content or Brilliant Blog Idea?
The listicle, or the numbered blog article, love them or hate them, the listicle is one of the most popular formats for blogs. When it comes to freelance writing tips, you’re going to find a lot of helpful information about writing listicles. And there’s a ton evidence to suggest that listicles get clicks. Even if they are unoriginal, incredibly pandering, and produced solely to get readers to well keep reading, the listicle is king of the internet now.
Short attention spans mean you need to get your content in as concise and condensed package as possible. Or you need something to get people to stay on your website for as long as possible. So articles with titles like “11 Ways to Make Money with your Blog Right Now” will get people clicking and reading to the end. This is the major battle with most content based websites, not only getting people to click but getting people to stay.
Here is one of the most popular formats for creating a stellar, SEO based, blog article that will get clicks, get you noticed and keep people reading to the end.
1. A Quick Intro Is Everything
You want to write a listicle. Maybe your client needs a top numbered article about how to budget for your wedding, or who Is flaunting the best summer look with celebrities, or the top Marvel movies to see in 2017. No matter the listicle, you’re going to need a quick intro that hooks your reader, explains the listicle and gives the reader a reason to keep going. 3 or 4 sentences should do the trick. Remember, we’re giving tips for basic listicle format here.
2. Find a format and Stick with it
Not into numbers, maybe you want to have bullet points, or simply include subheaders, either way, find your format of choice and stick with it. Consistency is one of the best ways to keep your blog polished.
3. How much is too much?
How much content should each numbered section contain? A good frame of reference is the paragraph. You want to keep it a little shorter than your average paragraph but juicy enough as to merit its own section.
4. When to break out the Listicle
You can write up a listicle for almost any article. But it’s best used for tips, tricks, hacks, information overloads, and when you need a guaranteed way to keep people reading. Basically, almost any content can be transformed into a listicle, but not all listicles could be regular articles.
5. Streamline It
The listicle is most aptly used as a vehicle for delivering lots of information quickly. As tempting as it may be to write in depth with each subheader, think about the most poignant information and keep it short and sweet. Even if you’re an expert in home decorating, if you’re subheaders are starting to look like entire articles on their own, it’s a good idea to really shave off the excess.
6. Keep it Odd, or Even or Surprising
You’ll find most listicles today try and go above the top ten. They’ll say “Top 11” or “Top 21” or “6 Ways” because people like to feel like they are getting more, even on the subconscious level while reading. Whatever you decide, just make sure that each of your points, numbered items, or subheaders has enough to merit its own section.
7. The Closing Paragraph
Tried and true listicle formats have a beginning paragraph, stating the subject, what to expect and any relevant keywords. After you’ve completed your numbered sections, finish it off with a neat closing paragraph that sums everything up. A keyword sandwich if you will.
Listicles are a great addition to any blog or website. They are practically a necessity when it comes to blogging. And these writing tips will help you establish a tried a true listicle format to impress your clients and keep your audience engaged.
What about you? What are your thoughts on the listicle? Are you a fan or prefer to keep your content in paragraph form? How many is the perfect number for your articles? Let me know in the comments. I’d love to hear from you.