Listicles allow your readers to scan essential pieces of information in a short time. As a result, you have to pack a powerhouse of data into a brief, crisp, easy-to-consume format that needs minimal effort to read. In a world of overwhelming input, the perfect listicle helps readers scan what you have to tell them quickly yet remember it easily!
What Is a Listicle?
Also known as list posts, listicles are digital content pieces formatted like a list. For quick skimming, listicles typically come with numbers and bullets. The most common listicle type is ‘Top (X) Lists.’
Why the Listicle Format?
The listicle format is great because –
- Listicles present information in an easy to read and remember approach.
- With a listicle format, you can tell the audience what to expect right from the title.
- Listicles break information into readable chunks.
- It eases information absorption and speeds up learning about complex subjects.
How to Write a Perfect Listicle
1. Get a Powerful Title
It really is worth spending 5-10 extra minutes to think of a title that’ll jump out of the screen and grab the reader’s attention. Why? Because in an Internet world filled with information, your listicle needs to stand out. Appeal to your audience by using curiosity, humor, or utility to get them clicking.
2. Number Games
Use numbers to help people estimate how much time they’ll spend on your listicle. If this shows up in the title in the form of numbers, like 5 ways to write the perfect listicle or 7 things to do before bedtime, you give your audience a chance to estimate how challenging this information is to execute.
Pro tip: For advice/learning/difficult topics in your listicle, don’t go over 5-6 points. Keep it simple, and do multiple listicles if need be. However, for fun topics/shopping/recommendations, you can go as high as 30 if your content is excellent.
3. Match the Title with the Listicle Content
Tell your readers what to expect right from the title, and see it through with your content. When a reader clicks on your title, it’s because (s)he wants to know more. So don’t get spammy or clickbaity, instead deliver what you promise in a fun listicle format.
4. Create a hook
You want to hook your readers, and you want Search Engines to hook onto your listicle, right? The perfect listicle is easy to read, has valuable information to the reader, has a few unexpected bonus nuggets of knowledge, and uses keywords and meta-tags so that search engines love it.
5. Easy to scan, easy to remember
You already know you’ve got about 3 minutes with each reader of your listicle. So how do you make it count? You format well – break information about each point on the listicle into paragraphs, make it conversational, fun to read and highlight the topics you want the reader to remember.
Another pro tip? Use a mnemonic or a memory tool to help readers remember the points of your listicle. Let them know what it is right at the beginning of the end, and what you say will stay with them. Of course, this only works for short listicles of less than 9 points!
Did you notice that I included a mnemonic device to help you remember how to create the perfect listicle? NTHEM (It’s almost an ANTHEM to ensure clicks to your listicle!), which means you play the Number game, get a powerful Title, create a Hook, make it Easy to remember, and Match your title to your content.
In a nutshell, a great listicle provides all the necessary information in one go. Your readers don’t have to wade through long paragraphs to get what they need. Instead, one glance through the content, and they’re good to go. It’s quick, easy, informative, and effective. Jazz it up with excellent SEO, and voila – you’ve written the perfect listicle.