I blogged about listicles, ooh, aaaages ago (well, 18 months ago), and the listicle is still going strong as a popular blogging method. Here’s why I like the listicle.
1 A listicle is an easy format to write
If you’re feeling a bit constipated words-wise, it’s usually possible to come up with a few points you can talk about, and write up in list form.
For example, if you sell potatoes (and yes, this is a made up example), 5 Favourite Potato Recipes is an obvious blog post. 7 Surprising Facts About Potatoes. The 8 Best Chip Shops in Britain… You get the idea. Think of an angle first (everybody loves potatoes), then jot down a few bullet points as to why you think your statement is correct (there are lots of ways to cook them; they come in many varieties; they turn into chips).
2 It’s more engaging than a simply sales-focussed article
It can get quite tedious and predictable reading about the services a company offers. After all, the website should be making this clear in the first place. Opening up the subject is more engaging for readers, as well as increasing your authority.
If you’re writing for your hotel in Devon, a simple post could be “10 great family events in Devon this summer”. It’s not time-consuming or tricky to come up with ten events, write a few words on each plus provide a link, then neatly segue into how handy your hotel is for all these, contact us etc etc etc.
3 Brainstorming a listicle leads to great ideas
I often come up with stupidly long lists, and then prune them. Sometimes silly ideas turn out to be pure genius, and give your article a unique slant. It doesn’t matter how long the list ends up, as long as the points you choose are genuinely interesting or helpful, and not just filler.
4 They reduce headline headaches
Writing a clever headline is not easy. Writing “31 Ways to Cook Potatoes” is easy. Plus, apparently we all respond to headlines that are a mixture of letters and numerals, so we’re drawn to this sort of header. A more random-sounding number can attract attention.
5 But, you get to write lots of sub headers…
In addition, the listicle structure naturally leads to several sub headers, which are appreciated by both readers and search engines. Have a look at this post by Yoast to find out more about this.
6 Busy people like to read short snippets
Settling down for the Long Read can feel a bit of a commitment. A listicle article is the snack of the blog world – quick, digestible, fun. The crisp, rather than the Dauphinoise. The obvious listicle structure highlighted by the headline lets the reader know what to expect.
7 You can adapt the amount of listicle points to suit the subject
Stop when you’re ready. Like this. Don’t carry on for the sake of it.
(Oh no, but it’s 7. A lot of people don’t like 7… Don’t overthink this one.)
If you’d like to write some lovely lists together, please get in touch.