So, you’ve decided to write a listicle, but don’t know how. Never fear, there’s a listicle for that!
Ahh, the Listicle
While the name is easy to misread, listicles are “articles” (loosely speaking) that are presented in an easy to read list.
Listicles present chopped up, bite-sized morsels of information with a healthy helping of photos, memes and gifs. They represent the perfect combination of information and entertainment. Plus, the minimal time commitment will appeal to a busy schedule or short attention span!
A Love/Hate Relationship
Now, not all listicles are created equal. Some people love them and others truly abhor them. Listicles have even been called “rubbish.” Unfortunately, many shister-writers will slap an alluring photo and catchy title such as “10 ways to lose 10 pounds in 10 days” on to a post with little to no substantive content. These con-artists simply write a listicle to garner as many clicks as possible for their advertisers. These “writers” have given a bad name to listicles and soured many to the entire format. Don’t write a spam listicle. Make sure that yours is interesting and informative, or at least entertaining.
Listicles can, and should, be fun, witty and informative. This is the kind of content you should strive to produce, when you write a listicle or any other post.
How to Write a Listicle
OK, are you ready to write a listicle?
- What to write about: Try to pick a topic that is relevant, interesting or funny. Current hot topics might include, “50 Shades of Empowered Women” or “10 Times Joe Biden Crossed the Line.”
- Who and why: Consider how you might write a listicle geared at a young audience that simply wants to be entertained. Now, how would you write a listicle about the best vacation spots for middle-aged professionals?
- Tone and format: This will be heavily impacted by your answer to the previous questions. Thinking about your audience and the purpose of your listicle, does it make sense for it to be themed or ranked? Depending on your audience you may be need to take a more formal tone. Try to be witty when possible.
- Listicle length: Use as many points as your topic can justify and no more! For some topics, 10 good points will suffice. Others may need many more, but try to stay under 5 unless you have some really good points. Apparently, researchers think 29 is a good number.
- Graphics: Nearly all listicles use graphics to enhance the content. Try to avoid using gifs of quotes unless the movement is interesting. Otherwise, don’t waste the bandwidth! Grab a screenshot and throw a caption on that bad boy.
- Proofreading: Always proof your work. No one wants to find the mistakes you were too lazy to catch.
- Happy Endings: End with a zinger! Capitalize on “Aww” or “Ah hah” moments. Make it memorable.
- And of course… Don’t forget to have fun!