The right way to Write a Listicle [+ Examples and Ideas]


We’ve all been there. You click on on a listicle that touts superb insights and easy suggestions, solely to be offered with nugatory clickbait. Listicles typically have a foul repute for being low-quality and offering little worth to their readers.

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Nevertheless, when carried out proper, a listicle can get each clicks and share useful insights. These well-written listicles can play an essential function in your content material technique.

In actual fact, this publish about listicles is primarily an inventory publish itself. Right here, we will dive into what a listicle is, easy methods to write a high-quality article, and listicle concepts that can assist you generate partaking content material in your readers.

What’s a listicle?

Merely put, a listicle is an article written in record format. Every record merchandise will sometimes embody a couple of sentences or a number of paragraphs to teach or delight readers. For instance, you would possibly learn a enjoyable listicle, like “The Prime 10 Films of 2020,” or a extra informational one, like “7 Steps to Construct a Web site.”

1. Make sure your content makes sense in list format.

Before you begin writing your listicle, research to ensure your topic fits into a list format.

If you search for your intended keyword and find most marketers are creating “Ultimate Guides” on the topic, it’s better to avoid a listicle format.

Google Search results for Instagram marketing

For instance, perhaps you need to write about “Instagram Marketing.”

While you’d initially planned on titling the piece “10 Best Instagram Marketing Tips,” your research has uncovered plenty of other angles you’d like to include, such as “why Instagram marketing is important” and “how to create compelling content on Instagram.”

These sections might fit better in an “Ultimate Guide to Instagram Marketing” instead of a listicle.

If you choose to create a listicle, each list item must match the topic. To create a high-quality listicle, your content must be consistent and parallel.

If you’re writing a list of best practices, you should only have best practices in your list — sneaking examples will confuse your audience.

Remember: You can always create another listicle for examples later on.

2. Include valuable takeaways — no fluff!

The most significant indicator of a lousy list post is one that contains a ton of fluff and no tangible, valuable takeaways for the reader. Here’s an example of what we mean:

3 Ways to Improve Your Social Media Marketing

  1. Be unique! Do something to stand out from your competitors.
  2. Take risks. Try out-of-the-box ideas.
  3. Measure results! Use your analytics to tell you what’s working.

What a fantastic list post! I’ve learned absolutely nothing. Of course, you should do all these things in your social media marketing. But it surely must inform you easy methods to do them.

Your listicle ought to give readers greater than only a record of issues to do and anticipate them to determine easy methods to do them themselves. It must also embody precious content material that tells readers easy methods to do every step.

A superb record publish nixes the fluff and concretely explains every merchandise intimately. Not each tip can be new to your reader.

Nevertheless, in the event that they stroll away pondering, “Nicely, I already put numbers 3, 4, and 6 into apply, however I can not imagine I have been lacking out on numbers 1, 2, and 5!” — then you definately’ve most likely acquired your self a high-quality record.

Some listicles are supposed to be extra enjoyable, however you may nonetheless embody precious takeaways. For instance, the “Prime Ten Finest Advertisements of 2020” may be primarily visible, but it surely’s nonetheless important you embody recommendation your readers can use to create higher advertisements for themselves.

Featured Useful resource: Listicle Blog Post Template

how to write a listicle template

3. Hyperlink to extra in-depth info when obligatory.

One of many methods you may add worth is to direct readers to different sources when obligatory.

Nice record posts are complete, to allow them to get lengthy and unwieldy. If that is so, take into account pointing your readers to a different place for extra in-depth info.

For instance, we just lately wrote an inventory publish entitled “Email Deliverability: 5 Quick & Effective Ways to Increase It.” The final tip within the record was “Test to see your emails’ legality” and talked about GDPR, which may very well be a weblog publish in itself. In actual fact, it already is.

Giving our readers sufficient info for that part to be really useful would have concerned copying and pasting everything of our GDPR publish into our listicle. That would not have been probably the most helpful alternative (and in addition would possibly’ve harm our search engine optimization).

As an alternative, we defined the tip in a reasonable quantity of element after which directed readers to the opposite publish the place they might discover extra in-depth info in the event that they wanted it.

how to write a listicle link to more in-depth information

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Be at liberty to do that in your individual listicles. If you need to hyperlink to an exterior useful resource as a result of you have not written the publish your self — glorious.

You have simply handed off some hyperlink love, and also you additionally now have one other article concept in your running a blog backlog.

4. Clarify record gadgets utilizing relatable examples.

Generally probably the greatest methods to adequately clarify a degree in your record is to make use of an instance to help it. In fact, actual examples are supreme, however typically even a hypothetical one works simply as nice.

When choosing or creating an instance, hold it as relatable as doable to your readers. This may be tough in case your weblog’s viewers includes a wide range of readers from completely different industries or companies (like ours). The important thing right here is to maintain your examples basic so everybody can relate.

For example, in HubSpot’s listicle “17 Fun (Not Cheesy) Ice Breaker Games Your Employees Will Enjoy,” merchandise 24 (Two Truths and a Lie) wanted clarification for readers who have not performed the sport earlier than.

As an instance the sport, I offered a private instance utilizing a hypothetical instance:

using relatable examples to illustrate listicle

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Ideally, most readers will discover this instance useful for understanding the sport’s premise and the way it works. Plus, it makes the content material extra attention-grabbing to learn.

5. Quantity your gadgets.

That is a simple one. When you’re writing a listicle — particularly once you use a quantity within the title of your record publish — quantity your record gadgets.

That is notably essential when you’ve gotten an extended record as a result of readers need to gauge their progress as they’re studying by way of the record (i.e., “solely midway to go” or “I am nearly carried out!”).

Readers may additionally wish to reference specific factors on an inventory later or share them with others.

With the ability to confer with a particular quantity fairly than saying, “I believe it is close to the underside of the record” or “It is the fourth bullet level down” is a way more user-friendly expertise in your weblog viewers.

Make issues simple in your readers.

6. Embody an acceptable variety of record gadgets.

Whereas speaking about numbers, let’s clear up some misconceptions about them. Listicle writers imagine it’s best to select a quantity earlier than writing your record and guarantee you’ve gotten sufficient factors to suit that quantity.

We disagree.

Sitting down and saying you are going to write an inventory of 14 gadgets is unnecessary. What if solely 11 strong, precious gadgets make up the record? Must you give you three lower-quality gadgets to attain your objective of 14?

Simply be complete. For instance, this very listicle how-to publish consists of ten steps for writing a listicle as a result of that is what number of I assumed had been individually precious and indicative of a high-quality record publish for this specific topic.

Initially I had brainstormed 11, however as I began writing, I reduce one out as a result of it wasn’t that completely different from one other level, they usually may simply be represented as one.

As we talked about earlier than, listicles can rapidly turn into unwieldy. So once you begin drafting your listicle, determine how granular you need to make your subject. This can assist make your record extra manageable. The title you craft may enable you keep targeted.

For instance, in case you work for a plumbing firm and need to write a listicle about how one can unclog a drain. You would possibly persist with “The Prime 4 Methods to Unclog a Drain,” fairly than writing an extended record publish masking “The 50 Completely different Methods to Unclog a Drain.”

Moreover, conduct assessments and analysis to glean some finest practices in your record posts. An inside examine of our weblog revealed that posts for which the title indicated six gadgets or fewer did not carry out in addition to when the title indicated the record contained seven or extra gadgets.

The lesson? Whereas we typically nonetheless write lists posts containing six or fewer gadgets, we do not embody the quantity within the title for these posts. We’d attempt to title it “Why Each Marketer Wants a CRM” as a substitute of “3 Causes Each Marketer Wants a CRM.”

7. Use class buckets for longer lists.

After we revealed “34 Millennial Stats That Marketers Need to Know,” we broke up the statistics into 5 sections:

  • “Basic Stats and Market Alternatives.”
  • “Social Media & Digital Habits.”
  • “Behaviors and Monetary Components.”
  • “Schooling and Work.”
  • And “Political and Societal Views.”
  • If a few of our readers do not care concerning the common millennial’s monetary state of affairs, they’ll rapidly scan the publish and keep away from that part. Excellent!

If a few of our readers do not care concerning the common millennial’s monetary state of affairs, they’ll rapidly scan the publish and keep away from that part. Excellent!

In case your listicle appears lengthy or unruly, take into account breaking it into subcategories to assist readers scan for what they’re on the lookout for and really feel extra relaxed at first look.

8. Logically order every step.

Like every other publish you write, your record ought to circulate and inform a narrative. The way you do that will rely upon the topic and contents of your record, however listed here are some nice organizational buildings to select from:

  • Alphabetical (nice for glossaries).
  • Chronological (nice for step-by-step guides).,
  • Recognition/significance, like most to least or least to most (nice for prime 10/20/50 lists).

One other finest apply is to emphasise your strongest factors firstly, center, and finish of your record to maintain readers engaged all through the article.

After I sat down and brainstormed this record, it was simply that — a brainstormed record. It was unorganized and far and wide. I rearranged the furnishings as soon as I might recognized all of the factors I wished to incorporate.

Generally your record factors will virtually organize themselves (e.g., “5 Steps to Do X”), and typically there will not be as apparent a narrative (e.g., “20 Methods to Do Y”). Simply put the time into figuring it out and ordering your gadgets as logically as doable.

9. Make sure that your listicle is constant.

I am not as strict about this one as some listicle purists, however your listicle ought to have a constant and parallel look. Failing to take action solely confuses readers.

Listed here are some useful pointers to think about:

  • Attempt to hold sections comparable in size.
  • Use the identical header model to focus on your record gadgets, and ensure they stand out.
  • Make sure that your record merchandise headers are written in a parallel trend (i.e., if it is a record of motion gadgets, every must be led with a verb).
  • Lastly, use photographs and bullet factors to interrupt up textual content when acceptable.

10. Have a transparent and catchy title.

As we talked about firstly of this publish, one of many causes individuals have at all times cherished listicles is as a result of they know precisely what — and the way a lot — they’re going to get out of them.

There isn’t any guesswork concerned, and your expectations are very clear in your readers. Make sure your title epitomizes that.

A compelling listicle title ought to accomplish three issues to entice readers really to learn the publish:

  1. Seize the readers’ consideration
  2. Clearly point out the worth or what the reader will be taught
  3. Recommend how a lot they are going to be taught with a quantity.

For instance, take into account this publish, “5 Steps to Create an Outstanding Marketing Plan [Free Templates].” Do you surprise what this publish can be about? In no way.

You realize that you’re going to discover ways to create a advertising and marketing plan (in 5 steps), and you will have templates in case you need assistance.

Listicle Examples

As entrepreneurs, we’re typically tasked with writing about drier matters to teach our viewers and entice leads. A listicle may also help the reader scan for the data they want and really feel much less overwhelmed by the quantity of content material.

Let’s discover a couple of examples to encourage you.

1. HubSpot’s “6 Secrets to Achieving Work-Life Balance, According to HubSpot Marketing Managers

listicle, tips for achieving work/life balance

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This publish from HubSpot explores how one can obtain work/life steadiness, so that you may be your finest self each day.

What we love: This publish consists of loads of quotes from advertising and marketing managers explaining their secrets and techniques. Quotes are a good way to supply worth to your readers.

2. Buzzfeed’s “24 Of The Most Anticipated LGBTQ+ Books Of 2023

listicle, book releases on Buzzfeed

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With regards to e-book critiques, Buzzfeed is aware of the proper method. The location creates listicles of each current releases, in addition to titles that can be hitting cabinets quickly.

What we love: Every merchandise on this record features a launch date for the e-book, in addition to a abstract. The listicle additionally hyperlinks to the place readers can order the e-book.

3. Southern Residing’s “Soups To Make Every Month Of 2023

listicle, soups by the month on southern living

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With regards to cooking, what’s in season modifications each month. Southern Residing blends one of the best of a cooking calendar and a listicle for this assortment of soup recipes.

What we love: This record makes use of intelligent group, ordering recipes by month. And with 12 recipes highlighted, this listicle is straightforward to digest.

4. UpgradedPoints’ “The 12 Best Websites for Booking Flights at the Cheapest Prices

listicle, cheap airfare sites

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UpgradedPoints created a listicle to assist vacationers save on their subsequent trip. This text gathers websites that supply flight reductions, together with an inventory of professionals and cons for every.

What we love: On the finish of every record merchandise, the creator features a “scorching tip” that may assist readers save much more. By utilizing icons and distinct colours with this textual content, this tidbit attracts readers in.

5. Polygon’s “The Best Super Bowl Commercials of 2023

listicle, superbowl ads

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Whether or not or not you watched the massive sport, everybody on the workplace can be speaking concerning the commercials. Polygon gathers the advertisements everybody can be discussing on this article.

What we love: It’s not sufficient to explain the advert. Individuals have to see it. This publish breaks up chunks of textual content with movies of the advertisements themselves.

Now that we have explored some examples, let’s dive into some concepts you should utilize to create yours.

Listicle Concepts

Lastly, let’s discover some listicle concepts to assist your advertising and marketing staff brainstorm extremely partaking content material in your readers.

We’ll discover a couple of extra tactical items you would possibly write for an ecommerce, B2C, or B2B firm, however we’ll additionally dive into some enjoyable, “trendier” concepts in case you work for a publication seeking to develop your attain.

Listicle Concepts For Ecommerce or B2C Corporations

  • 14 Important Methods to Construct a Timeless Wardrobe
  • The right way to Apply Black Lipstick in Three Straightforward Steps
  • 20 Issues You’ll Want in Your First Condominium
  • 13 Issues You Ought to Know Earlier than Shopping for a Couch
  • The 7 Finest Sustainable Furnishings Corporations

Listicle Concepts For B2B Corporations

  • The right way to Select a CRM in 4 Straightforward Steps
  • The 11 Finest Web site Builders
  • 5 Steps to Making a Advertising Playbook
  • 3 Steps to Create a Higher About Us Web page
  • 7 Communication Channels Your Staff Wants in 2023
  • 12 Entrepreneurs Inform Us Their Favourite Advertising Campaigns of 2023

Listicle Concepts For Publications Seeking to Pattern On-line

  • The right way to Make These 3 Meals With Solely 5 Elements
  • 10 Cool Devices You may Positively Want This Summer time
  • 7 Hilarious Movies Trending on YouTube Proper Now
  • The right way to Turn out to be an Entrepreneur, In line with 11 Profitable Ones
  • If You are a Chief, You Must Settle for Some Harsh Truths. These Seven CEOs Clarify Why.

There you’ve gotten it! Do not forget that listicles ought to serve the identical objective as every other advertising and marketing content material — to draw the proper viewers to your services or products.

Sit down along with your staff and brainstorm challenges your readers is likely to be going through, after which determine whether or not that problem may be solved with a step-by-step information or an inventory of instruments (that features yours).

Now, you are effectively in your strategy to having extra listicles in your content material technique. Completely satisfied planning!

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