Listicles are a great way to grab attention and convert readers into customers. But not all listicles are equal.
I’ll show you how to write a high quality listicle that gets people reading through to the end and wins fans for life.
Here is the complete process:
This is where you narrow down the audience for your listicle. It's important to determine why people actually need this.
What value will it provide them?
Once you find that problem, you can start figuring out how to solve it.
For example, if you're writing a list called "15 Things to Pack in Your Hospital Bag":
You can determine that people are going to the hospital and don't know what they need.
Here are some questions you should ask before deciding to write the full listicle:
Here's a little-known secret about listicles: they're not that hard to write. All you need is a little direction.
The first thing you should do is pick the core answers or topics you want to cover in your piece.
These are what I call "main bullets."
Once you have your topic picked out (and know it will be valuable), list out every point you need to cover.
For example, if your topic is "How to Create a New YouTube Channel", some bullet points you might have are:
Now, you're ready to actually write with some direction and focus to provide value to the reader.
This is the most straightforward part of the entire process. Once you have your bullet points, expand on them.
Answer all the questions a reader might have about the core bullet point. That's it.
If you want a more structured format for doing this...
This is a simple framework for listicle sections, but it works.
Here are the questions to answer for each main bullet point:
Whenever you're creating content, make it easy for your audience to consume.
It's pretty simple: if you can't get people to read what you write, you're not going to convert them into customers.
Adding images whenever possible is also recommended when writing a listicle.
Images help readers visualize what you're talking about and can grab their attention.
When adding photos to your article, make sure they are relevant to the subject matter.
Here are some images you may want to include in your listicle sections:
At this point, you've written the bulk of your listicle.
Now, you need your bookends.
Let's start with writing a great intro. You need to hook readers in, get them curious, and place them in a mindset to feast on your words.
The ideal length of the intro is between 35 to 55 words. Anything longer can seem like a cumbersome paragraph.
The intro text should also include keywords related to the article topic. Write an introduction that gives an overview of the topic—don't rehash the title.
Add value by using numbers, stats, or details to make your point more credible.
Be sure to keep your readers in mind when you write this part of your listicle. You want them to keep reading, so don't make it too boring or technical.
Most of all, state the value you are hoping to give the reader by the end of this listicle.
In other words:
The other bookend is the conclusion.
This captures attention much like the intro should, but in a different way.
The conclusion should be a compelling summary, with the author's opinions baked in.
Many people follow a listicle with a summary of its main points, and this is fine.
To take the listicle to the next level, you need to add your own emotion and thoughts.
Readers should feel rewarded with your opinions on the topic of the article.
For example, if your listicle is "The 23 Best Video Editing Tools on the Planet", you could express opinions on:
Give closure to the listicle by giving opinions on the main bullets from your article.
If you have a call-to-action, include it here at the end.
The secret of listicles is to write a headline that will get people to click on it.
The best way to do that is to base the headline on real search data.
Remember: the goal is to reach the front page of Google.
If you are able to rank high enough, then your traffic will skyrocket.
This means your title needs to use a keyword with decent search volume.
If you want people to find your content, optimize your title.
Outside of SEO, there are other key elements that make up a great headline.
To write a great headline, make it:
Now you're a complete pro at writing listicles. Let's recap the simple process to writing these:
If I were to tell you which point is most important (outside of knowing whether to write it or not)...
I'd tell you to focus on outlining all your bullet points before writing anything.
That's the tip that has made the most impact for me in writing, and I know it can for you, too!
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