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  • Writer's pictureRachel Meyer

Tips and Tricks to Writing a Good Listicle Readers Will Enjoy

Tips and Tricks to Writing a Great Listicle Readers Will Enjoy

55% of bloggers have published at least one listicle in the last year. These neatly organized posts are easy to write and just as easy to read. If you’re anything like me, most posts you read are listicles in some form.

Listicles easy to create and consume nature has kind of given them a bad rap. Many people consider them lazy, boring, and poorly written.

I'm not going to say that's never the case. I've read my share of listicles that fit that description. But that's not always the case.

Listicles are one of my favorite types of posts to write, right up there with how-tos and guides. I've gotten quite good at them over the years. So today, I’m going to walk you through how to write a good listicle that’s enjoyable and valuable to read.

What is a Listicle?

A listicle is a funny-sounding term for a blog post in list format. Their numbered headings present the content in a neatly organized fashion. “5 Ways to Read More Books” or “100 Best Movies of All Time”, for example.

People enjoy reading them for two main reasons. 1) The numbered headings make them easy to skim and absorb. 2) They give you ideas you may not have thought of before. This makes them a great part of any blogging strategy, alongside more in-depth posts.

How to Write a Good Listicle

Choose Your Topic

You may already have an idea to write, or it may be time to pull out the ol’ list of blog post ideas. Look for one that will work in list form, such as ways to do something, top [blank], or types of items.

Not all topics will work as a list, and that’s okay. An idea like “taking care of candles” could work as a how-to post or as a listicle, while “buying your first home” works much better as a guide.

Make an Outline

Start by writing down all the points you want to include. Scribble them down without judgment. We'll work on weeding out the bad ideas later.

If you need to do any topic research, now is the time. See what other people are doing with this idea. Check with your competitors, if you have any, to see if you can improve on what they've written.

Then, take a minute to organize your points, if needed. If the points need to be made in a specific order or divided by category, now is the time to do so.

Make Your Idea Valuable

The biggest complaint people have about list posts is that they tend to be repetitive and dull. You don’t want them to say that about your post. You want to leave your readers with something after they finish the post. A new idea, a better understanding of a topic, or even entertainment. 

Before you write the whole post, you want to find ways to make your listicle valuable and unique. This might look like:

  • Including unique points

  • Personal insight

  • A unique point of view on the topic

  • First-hand research

Write the Post

With your idea fully fleshed out, it's time to write and edit it. I'm not going to go into how to do that in this post because I'm guessing you already know the basics of writing a blog post.

Write a Catchy Title

Numbers often catch our attention, giving listicles an advantage in search results. Use that to your advantage while writing a title for your post.

Think outside the box and try to include the benefits readers get from your post in the title. Don’t just call it “5 Ways to Care for Your Candles”. Instead, try titles like “These 5 Tips Will Make Your Candles Last Months Longer” or “5 Ways to Care for Your Candles for Maximum Burn Time”.

Listicle Tips and Tricks

Be Concise

While you want to provide value, you don’t want to waste your readers’ time. People would rather read a shorter, more valuable post than one that meanders through a lengthy list at the pace of an elderly couple driving on Sunday morning.

Also, the more list points you have, the shorter each point should be. If you’re writing about the “100 best movies of all time”, you don’t want to spend five paragraphs discussing each one.

Remove Irrelevant Points

You may want to write a long list on your chosen topic. But if that means you have three points that are practically the same, it’s not worth it.

Once you outline your post, look at your points and see if any could be combined or cut. Did you add any just to meet a certain number of points? If they're not helpful, cut them too.

Use Good Formatting

Correctly formatting your post will make it easier for readers to enjoy. Here are a few things to keep in mind.

  • Number your headings. Not all listicles do this, but it helps readers read the points quicker and makes them more shareable.

  • Make your points H2 or H3 headings. Don’t just bold them.

  • Don’t put the number of points in the URL slug. If you decide to change the number later, you’ll have to redirect the URL, which is a hassle.

Use Odd Numbers

Odd numbers are more pleasing to the eye, so use an odd number of points if possible. But like I said earlier, don’t pad out how many points you have just to reach thirteen rather than twelve. Aiming for a number while outlining can be good, but if you can’t hit it, forget it.

Don’t Be Click-Baity

We’ve all seen those posts or articles. “15 Shocking Facts About Sharks (#4 Will Floor You!)”. I don't even have to click on the post to tell you number four will not floor me.

Even if your post contains a massive revelation, a clickbait title is not the way to go. They’ll leave your reader dissatisfied and only increase the myth that listicles are no good. Instead, use intriguing but accurate wording to catch the searchers' eyes.

Using these tips and tricks, you can create top-notch posts for your blog readers to enjoy. No more poor-quality listicles for them or you.


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