If you see the word “listicle” and feel confused, you’re not alone. A listicle is an article or blog comprised of a list (just like the blog you’re currently reading). The quality of listicles can vary. For example, this Buzzfeed article about hedgehogs is cute, but not really helpful in any significant way. In addition, listicles aren’t appropriate for every audience. Before taking any of the following tips on how to write quality listicles into consideration, check your brand strategy to make sure this type of article is right for your audience.
Listicles can be great way to reach your audience. People like to categorize everything, and lists make it easier to do just that. In general, lists are a great way to break down and simplify complicated information because they are easier to process. They provide a visual way to tell a story or share an experience. Listicles can also be used to lighten the mood after a series of serious posts. Whichever reasons you have for writing a listicle, make sure you follow these guidelines.
Most listicles include pictures or gifs to help make a point while staying entertaining. Choose these visuals carefully, as they should be appropriate for the point they are trying to make, but also interesting enough for the reader want to wait for their phone to load.
Every blog needs to hit a word count in order to be considered useful by Google. There is some controversy about what exactly this number is, but the general rule is that the longer the blog is, the better it is for search engine optimization (SEO).
Nobody wants to read a play-by-play list of how awesome you are (sorry, but it’s true). Make your listicles about a topic people actually want to read (without reverting to nothing but cute animals, of course). Again, consult your company’s strategy in order to pick the most relevant topics for your audience. You can write a listicle about almost any topic, so the possibilities are endless!
This may seem like common sense, but numbering the items in your listicle will help your readers keep track of where they are. It will also work as a reference when your readers share the post, such as, “number four is soooo true!”
The human brain can be weird sometimes. Studies have shown that readers are more likely to click on an article that has an odd number of items. Creating a list with an odd number of items will likely mean more engagement, likes and shares, so why wouldn’t you do it?
Every item in your listicle should be related to the title and the topic. Don’t give into the temptation to go on a sidetrack just to make a funny point. If you find yourself straying off point in order to reach the number of items you have promised on your listicle, stop and think about why you’re writing the listicle in the first place, and if it’s worth writing.
Some pages make listicles so that you have to load a new page every time you want to see the next item on the list. While this may help with tracking analytics, it can be very frustrating for readers. Formatting a listicle so it is on one page for the reader to scroll through is more user and mobile friendly.
Earn originality points for creating your own gifs and memes for your listicle. There are plenty of programs on the internet that will allow you to make your own gifs for free. If you would prefer not to use the online programs, there is also a way to make gifs using Adobe Photoshop.
Maybe you find an online gif that you love. Maybe you don’t have the time or the creativity to make your own. Either way, it is absolutely acceptable to use gifs that you find online in your listicle…as long as you properly cite them! Not only is it proper etiquette to give proper attribution to creative work, but it’s also against the law not to.
Listicles are fine every once in awhile, but they’re more about quantity not quality. While they may be more entertaining for readers, listicles don’t usually provide much meaningful information. Go ahead and write a listicle or two, but don’t forget about traditional blogs!
As with any other blog post, you should always measure the analytics of the post. How many clicks and impressions did you get? How did readers get to your blog and where did they go after that?
Thanks for scrolling! If you have an opinion on listicles vs blogs, your favorite listicles, or anything else, please feel free to contact us through our website and let us know what you think!
Treefrog Marketing is a marketing agency focused on small business and located in Lafayette, Indiana. We specialize in strategic marketing and advertising, graphic design, web design, social media, SEO, and more. For more information, please visit our website. You can also connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram.