Skip to main content

How to Write Listicles That Captivate Your Audience

Discover the art of creating listicles. Engage and captivate your audience with shareable content.

If you are looking for a way to create engaging and effective content for your website or blog, you might want to consider using listicles. There's just something about the list post format that people love. A listicle can cover practically any topic and present that topic in a way that's easy to read, digest, and share.

These article types have proven themselves as successful ways to drive traffic and engage audiences. Here's a look at what listicles are and how you can leverage them as marketing tools to increase engagement, increase traffic, and improve your SEO ranking.

What is a listicle?

A listicle is a type of article or content format that presents information in the form of a list. The term itself is a portmanteau of list and article. You will typically find listicles online as a blog post or article. Listicles also show up quite a lot on social media platforms.

You don’t have to look too far before you see that a listicle can cover a wide range of topics, including top 10 lists, best of compilations, how-to guides, and tips and tricks articles. And those are just a few ideas of some of the formats a listicle can make use of.

Understand that using list posts to impart information isn’t a new thing. Nevertheless, it’s important that you create high-quality listicles that draw people in rather than low-quality clickbait types that drive people away in droves.

Benefits of writing listicles

So, what benefits can you obtain from listicles? Quite a few. Here are some of the major benefits.

Listicles are easily digestible

A list offers organized and scannable copy that’s easy to navigate. The nature of the listicle format makes it a concise method of delivering bite-sized chunks of information in a pleasing way that a reader can quickly scan.

Those smaller pieces will make the copy easier to read and readers will have a higher likelihood of reading the whole thing for that reason. Readers can quickly find what they are looking for and retain the information better.

Additionally, listicles work well for people new to content marketing who may still need to learn how to write a blog post.

Listicles are highly shareable

The listicle format lends itself well to online sharing. You will find many listicles and links to listicles across social media. Listicles appeal to readers' emotions, curiosity, and preferences.

Listicles also tend to have very catchy titles, condensed information, and often include images or other multimedia elements that make them visually appealing. Of course, social media and online sharing can help put your brand in front of more eyes and increase traffic.

Listicles attract more clicks and traffic

Listicles tend to grab the attention of people more readily than other types of blog posts or articles. Many listicles rank well in search engines like Google, as you can optimize them with relevant keywords and phrases. More clicks and traffic mean higher visibility, brand exposure, and potential conversions for your website or blog.

Listicles are good for SEO

Not only are listicles good for search engine optimization (SEO), you can optimize them specifically for that purpose with relevant keywords and phrases. You may have noticed that many search engine results pages (SERPs) tend to show lists in the featured snippets, knowledge panels, or the people also ask sections. This all serves to increase your content's visibility and drive organic traffic to your website.

Listicles are versatile

A listicle can cover a wide range of topics and cater to different reader interests. So don’t assume your listicles have to conform to one type or another. You can use listicles to inform, entertain, persuade, or inspire your audience. You can also use different formats for your listicles.

How to write a high-quality listicle

The benefits offered by listicles requires you to do your part to create high-quality content. It’s not incredibly hard to write a listicle, but you don’t want to just write a listicle, you want to write a well-written listicle.

Here are some simple tips to help make your listicles stand out and perform for your brand.

Identify your target audience

Before you start writing your listicle, you need to know who you are writing for. Who is your audience? What are they interested in? What problems can you help them solve? What would they want to share on social media?

This works no differently than any other types of marketing. Knowing your audience will also help you tailor your tone, style, and language to suit audience preferences and expectations.

Choose a topic

The topic should be relevant to your niche, your audience's needs or interests, and your goals. A few methods of finding good listicle topics include:

  • Brainstorming ideas based on your expertise or experience
  • Researching popular or trending topics in your industry or niche
  • Analyzing what types of content perform well on your website or blog
  • Using keyword research tools to find what people are searching for online
  • Checking out what your competitors or influencers are writing about
  • Asking your audience directly what they want to learn or read about
  • Note that not all information breaks down easily into a listicle format. Always strive to offer value when it comes to your listicles.

Decide on a format for your listicle

The format you write listicles will determine how you structure and present your list items. Various formats exist for listicles and here are a few to consider:

  • Countdowns: Lists that rank items from lowest to highest or vice versa.
  • Tips: Lists that offer advice or guidance on a specific topic or problem.
  • Ideas: Lists that provide inspiration or suggestions for a certain activity or goal.
  • Examples: Lists that illustrate a concept or point with concrete cases or scenarios.

The format you choose should match the purpose and tone of your listicle. Format will also affect the number of items you include in your list.

Aim for at least five and no more than 20 items in your list posts. Too few items might make your listicle seem incomplete or uninteresting, while too many items might make your listicle seem overwhelming.

Research thoroughly

To create truly engaging listicles, you need to gather relevant and reliable information, facts, statistics, examples, quotes, and sources that support your main points. People love to share points that come up in listicles, so you want to make sure you’re giving them the right information.

Evaluate the credibility and accuracy of your sources and cite them properly in your listicle. You might want to dig deeper into the topic, your competitors, and the best SEO practices for your field. You can then incorporate that information into your listicle to make it that much more engaging and authoritative.

If you’re completely lost, you can always look at blog post examplesto see what others do to create popular listicle articles.

Create a catchy title

The title is the first thing potential readers see and it determines whether they will click on your link or not. However, it’s imperative that your listicle delivers on the promise made by the title.

Some tips for creating a catchy title include:

  • Use numbers: Numbers attract more clicks and shares than words. They also make your title more specific and clearer.
  • Use adjectives: Adjectives can add emotion and excitement to your title. They can also make your title more descriptive and appealing.
  • Ask a question: Questions can spark curiosity and interest in your readers. They can also make your title more conversational and engaging.
  • Incorporate keywords: Keywords are words or phrases that people use to search for information online. They can help you optimize your title for SEO and reach your target audience.

You can also make use of software, apps, a content optimizer, or an online site specifically designed to help you create catchy titles or transform your titles into more relevant ones.

Outline your points

Before you start writing your listicle, outline your main points and subpoints. This will help you organize your thoughts and structure your content logically and coherently. You can use bullet points or numbers to outline your points.

Each point of your numbered list should include a summary of what you want to say and any supporting information or examples you want to include. In this way, you can create well-written listicles that perform for you.

Write in a clear and engaging manner

You should always strive for clarity in your listicles. Simple language works best when you’re trying to illustrate points and keep your reader's attention. Understand that clear language doesn’t mean you have to dumb down your content.

Use examples

Examples can help to illustrate your points and make the content more relatable to your readers. For instance, if you are writing a listicle about healthy eating habits, you can include examples of healthy snacks that your readers can try.

Examples can also help to make your content more memorable. When you provide real-life examples, readers are more likely to connect with the information and remember it later.

Link to in-depth information

One of the challenges of writing a listicle is that you often have limited space to elaborate on each point. However, if you need to provide more information on a particular topic, you can link to in-depth blog posts or articles on your website. This allows you to provide your readers with additional resources without cluttering your listicle with too much information.

Add relevant images and visuals

Images and visuals are important elements of any listicle. They can help to break up your text and make your content more visually appealing. In addition, images and visuals can help to illustrate your points and make your listicle more engaging. When you choose images and visuals for your listicle, make sure that they are relevant to the content.

Review and edit

As with all writing, it’s important to take some time to go over your output, review it, edit it, and polish it. You want a listicle free of errors and ready to go. Also, make sure your listicle conforms to the rules or formatting schemes dictated by the platform where you plan to post it.

Include a call to action

Your listicle should include a call to action (CTA). Make sure it’s an actionable CTA. Instead of suggesting or saying something general, tell your audience exactly what to do next. What that entails depends on your goals. Do you want them to click a link or visit your website? Do you want them to share your listicle or sign up for your email list? Tell them directly in your CTA.

Add listicles to your content marketing strategy

List posts are a great way to add variety to your content marketing and content strategy. Use the list format to promote, educate, or entertain. These types of articles also work well for those just starting out with content marketing as they’re typically easier to write while remaining very effective for marketing purposes.

Having the right marketing tools to help you craft, display, and post your listicles to online platforms can help you realize the many benefits of using this type of content. To that end, check out some of the many marketing solutions offered by MailChimp. To organize and maintain all your digital marketing assets, check out our Content Studio.

Share This Article