Saturday, June 15

Writing a listicle: A guide

Even though creating listicles might be simple, by using these pointers, you can make them more interesting and captivating.

The humble listicle is one of the most often used forms for written web material.

Read More: Listicles

In the past year, 55% of bloggers claim to have written a listicle (only how-to articles score higher).

However, the reason for its popularity is because people enjoy reading lists.

Because list headlines are so precise and establish a presumption about the content of the post, we like clicking on them. We are aware of what awaits us, and it is gratifying to see.

Because our brains are designed for this particular kind of information sifting, we adore reading lists.

You’ll like creating listicles once you’ve finished reading this post.

Listicles: What are they?

An article and a list are combined to create a listicle, a sort of content.

Put simply, you offer information in a listicle in a thorough list style. Every list item often has a few paragraphs of description to aid in understanding, provide context or history, or clarify the significance of the item.

The format of listicles is fairly strict; a numbered subheading is used to identify each item in the list.

An excellent illustration may be found in this Reader’s Digest selection of the 100 Greatest Books Ever Written. The title of each book appears as a header in the list, denoted by a numbered point. Each list item has a synopsis of the book, the reason it was included, and an endorsement for you to read it underneath it.

Reasons for writing listicles

For a variety of reasons, listicles are among the most popular content forms.

They simplify a subject into little, readily absorbed chunks.

Readers may more easily locate the information that matters most to them since the list style is simple to scan.

Listicles, when written on a topic related to education, aid in the explanation of difficult concepts and procedures.

Complicated subjects and lengthy explanations become more approachable and less daunting when presented in a list style.

Reaching your brand content and SEO objectives may also be accomplished by creating and releasing listicles as part of your content plan.

People are more inclined to click on listicles when they see a typical title since they tend to receive high levels of interaction.

The most engaging stories began with a number, such as “10 of the greatest books of all time” or “7 original ways to decorate for the holidays,” according to a BuzzSumo analysis of the most shared headlines.

Writing listicles that captivate readers

Listicle writing is a really simple process. But by adding these steps, you can elevate your listicles to a new level.

1. Select an excellent listicle topic

First things first: not every topic is suitable for a listicle; be sure the one you chose can be turned into a list.

The most effective listicle themes are simple to organize into a list. You should refine or reconsider the subject if, after sorting, you are left with material that is ambiguous and doesn’t belong on your list.

This post you’re reading, for instance, might have been a listicle, but ultimately, everything I intended to say (like what a listicle is and why you should create one) wouldn’t fit nicely inside the list format. These “danglers” undermine the format’s innate neatness, simplicity, and enjoyment while ruining the list.

In summary, you shouldn’t create an article as a listicle if you can’t fit all of the content inside a list.

2. Compose a concise and precise listicle heading.

Your listicle headline shouldn’t be clickbait, but thankfully it should write itself.

Hyperbolic headlines tend to overpromise rather than fulfill. This indicates that although your title seems intriguing at first, your reader is let down as soon as they click through and begin reading.

Get explicit and precise about the contents of your piece to avoid this. Indicate it in your headline, along with the precise number of steps or points in your list.

For instance, I might phrase it like this in a listicle on the top eco-friendly apparel brands:

“10 incredible eco-friendly apparel brands for shoppers who care about the environment”

Or, if I were putting together a list of ways to reduce the cost of heating and cooling:

“5 easy ways to reduce the cost of heating and cooling your house”

Although they don’t overpromise, their headlines are detailed. The list’s point total is likewise front-loaded upon them.

3. Count the steps or points and outline them.

Then, arrange each phase, point, and item in your listicle. Simply list them down and assign a number to each.

This is your outline, a highly useful stage that lets you quickly scan the whole post and make sure it makes sense when seen from a larger angle.

Make sure that the things on your list are arranged as logically as you can at this stage.

If the items on your list are steps in a process, arrange them in the sequence that’s required to finish the work.

List the most important things or points first—those that your readers will care about the most—if the order of your list items isn’t determined by logic.

For instance, Baking Kneads provides 13 cake-baking techniques in this listicle. The advice is arranged logically, with the proper frosting method coming last and component preparation coming first.

4. Avoid binding oneself to a set amount of points

When you’re drafting your listicle, avoid saying things like, “I have to write 13 points or else.”

That will undoubtedly result in an incomplete list. What happens if you possess even more important knowledge than that? What if you could quickly jot out a list of twenty-five useful points?

But what if, after item number 7, you find it difficult to think of anything further to add to the list? You’ll wind up with pointless filler because the rest of your arguments are probably not that important or engaging.

Rather, allow your topic dictate the length of your list and the amount of information you need to include to satisfy readers.

Investigate potential topics on Google to find out what other people’s lists have contained.

Consider your brand expertise and provide what you believe will be beneficial based on your experience and understanding.

Try to think about what your audience needs to know and deliver it to them.

Never increase the amount of things on your list in an attempt to meet a deadline or fill it completely.

Excellent illustration: Many may advise you that your listicle will be more interesting and receive more clicks and reads if it has a specific amount of items. Some advise using just odd numbers, some only multiples of 5, and still others only create lists of one to nine items.

5. Make each step or point worthwhile and evident.

Make every point or list item as important and understandable as you can if you want to publish a genuinely helpful list article. This calls for being precise, useful, and evocative.

It would be simple for me to be ambiguous while creating a listicle of autumn gardening advice, for instance:

Grow bulbs

Trim

“But hold on!” readers with green thumbs would think. What bulbs should I plant? What should I prune?

These actions simply address one goal: they are doable. But they also need to be precise and detailed in order to be helpful and understandable. I would alter them like this:

Plant tulips, daffodils, and garlic as spring bulbs.

Prune woody herbs and hardy perennials.

Indeed, you may explain these steps in the language of the paragraph. However, improving clarity at the list level will increase the value (and optimization) of your overall list. This is quite helpful, especially for the scanning reader. It also facilitates the understanding of the topic of your content by search engine crawlers.

6. Format a listicle appropriately

For each listicle you write, follow the same format every time.

Of course, you might omit the formatting and proceed whichever seems most appropriate. But keep in mind that the numbered list style of listicles is exactly why they are so popular. That explains why they’re so captivating and eye-catching. Therefore, why alter a tried-and-true norm?

The general guidelines are as follows:

Give each item in the list a numbered header.

For every point in the list (all H2s, all H3s, etc.), use the same heading level.

Explain every thing on the list. Explain to the reader why it’s on the list, why it matters, and, if necessary, how to take action.

Logically arrange your points by putting the most important ones at the front if there isn’t a clear ordering system, or by using chronological order if you’re describing steps in a process.

Include visuals to further support each argument, if appropriate. (Each book on the aforementioned list of the “best 100 books” has a picture of the cover, for instance.)

Are you set to pen your listicle?

While writing your listicle, avoid becoming overly ambitious. Even if there are a ton of little nuances that might improve the way your content ranks and attracts more readers, you most likely already possess the ability to compile an excellent list.

Just consider this: How many listicles have you eaten in the previous week alone? the previous month? It’s probably a lot more than you realized if you’re anything like the majority of web readers.

Incorporate all the aspects you like about listicles into your writing. Stir in these instructions and advice. In no time, your content schedule will be ready for your impactful listicle.