How to Write a Listicle People Will Actually Like

Who would think that such a funny word had such a huge impact on readers online! Did you know that according to Google’s Keyword Planner this word gets astonishing 5.400 searches on Google each month? I know it’s unexpected, but that’s how things stand.

Wait! What exactly is a listicle? This interesting word is a blend of ‘list’ and ‘article’ meaning just that. A list that is explained more widely and contains paragraphs similar to the ones in an article. Makes sense, right?

Nowadays, listicles have gained in popularity so they are a vital part of a big number of blogs. If you are one of them (and I am sure you are since you’re still reading), then you know that it’s very hard to craft a listicle users will actually love and share. But worry no more as I’ll lay out everything you need to know before your eyes. Just scroll on and let’s begin!

1. Make Sherlock Holmes gasp

Sherlock Holmes Cap famous as Deerstalker, Old Key and Retro Magnifier on Grunge Wooden Table

The time of detectives and their riddles may be over, but the glorious time of bloggers is yet to come. And the basic part of it are, of course, the headlines. Back to listicles, if you want to wake a feeling of anticipation and curiosity in the readers, then make your headline mysterious, yet concise. It’s actually easier than it sounds. Just think of the topic you are covering in the listicle and describe it in a short and creative way, so that users will get an idea of what they’ll be reading about from the start.

For example, if you run a food blog, possible listicle headlines would be:

  • 15 Ingredients that make a perfect pizza
  • Everything you should know about cakes
  • Meals that are healthy and wealthy with vitamins!

See? They reveal everything without saying anything. Just the right thing that will make even Sherlock Holmes gasp.

2. Take out the algebra books

math problems on graph paper with pencil

Back we go in the school desks when you scribbled numbers in the notebooks and solved hard tasks. Do you remember the tough algebra courses, because now you’ll deal with numbers again? But don’t panic! I promise, it’s much, much easier than that. You need only a few seconds of your time to create a spell that lasts forever. I am talking about including numbers in your listicle. After all, it doesn’t have the word ‘list’ in it for nothing.

Make sure you put numbers before every subheading. People love to see that the points you’re explaining are clearly organized as it gives them the freedom to scan through your ideas. To illustrate, let’s say that you’re writing a listicle on the things you should wear for the season. Before every piece of clothing in the subheads place a number. Like this:

  1. Dresses with flowers
  2. High heels
  3. Gloves
  4. Purses
  5. Hats

I think it’s clear how numbers make everything look clearer and more concise, so use them to make your listicle likable among your readers.

Bigger is better

sport, fitness, game and objects concept - close up of different sports balls set

The true essence of a great listicle is the plethora of useful information it should provide. And those information need words to fit in. Lots and lots of words. That’s why spare nothing and pour your thoughts as long as they would go. Listicles below 1000 words are not listicles at all. That’s why go big and conquer the web with exciting and well-developed topics.

For instance, in the food blog example, make your ingredients listicle longer and write about everything you know on the topic. That way you’ll teach your readers something new and they’ll like your listicle even more. That’s what you aim at, right?

In the gallery

people in an art gallery talking about the colorful paintings displayed on walls

Give the users a ticket to the gallery and create an illusion like they’re truly in one while reading your listicle. Imagine their excited faces searching for gorgeous paintings framed in gold or silver. That’s your thing.

Adding some images, videos or infographics and literally everything that is registered as a visual is a definite must. When the eye of the reader scans through the listicle, they’ll surely be glad to see a picture accompanying the text. Strive to be more creative with each picture; wake the users’ curiosity.

For instance, if you write a listicle on foods around the globe, choose appropriate images and add them before every point you’re describing. It wouldn’t get more likable for readers than that.

Call the expert

Man dialling out on a landline telephone pressing the number 6 with his finger on the keypad in a communications concept, close up of his hand and the instrument. With retro filter effect.

Every listicle’s purpose is to be helpful for users and offer them a unique insight and advice on some matter. That’s why your words are not always sufficient to back up your opinions. You need someone else’s help. Who could that be? It’s quite easy. The experts or influencers in the field the listicle is covering. Refer to them or cite them and you have a strong pat on the back that’ll convince the readers. And not only that. Hearing the experts’ agreement on the matter will make them like your listicle even more.

For instance, if you run a food blog and you write a listicle on recipes, a good idea would be to include an opinion of a famous chef that cooks them or an example of how it would look like.
 Also if you feel like it’s too much of experts or you can’t find anyone connected to your listicle, a good idea would be to back your words with examples of what you want to say.

Now, are you ready for a massive plot twist? This post you have read is a listicle itself. Yes. Just go back to the beginning and you’ll see how all elements of a likable listicle are implemented in it. From the mystery to numbers, images, length and the references, I think it perfectly shows you how important it is to use these points and create listicles that people will absolutely love on your own blog. Go and start one right now and tell us how it went in the comments!

Free Course: How to Grow Your Following Base on Medium

Want to know the quickest way to gain followers on your Medium blog? Or get people to actually read your story?

It’s a common frustration many Medium-ers have. We know, we’ve been there. But after months of test-trying new experiments to boost our following — some to great success while others to disappointing failures — we have put together the biggest Medium course you’d ever find that will upscale your current blog to one that people can’t get enough of.

Signup here for our free course. It’s about time you get something back for your hard work, isn’t it?