List Post, Listicle, List articles, whatever you want to call them, this type of content is very popular on the internet and for good reason. It’s simple to follow and fun to read.
In this tutorial I will show you my method for how to write a list post, and I also share my personal Listicle Template.
Here’s what you will learn from this article.
- What is a Listicle
- How to Write a List Post Article
- Different Types of Listicle Format
- Listicle Template
Let’s do this!
What is a Listicle?
At its core, a Listicle is just a list post article.
These web articles provide information in list type format. You’ve probably seen this type of content shared on social media quite often.
What a Listicle tries to achieve, however, is awareness and inspiration. It lets people know about ideas, concepts or products and services relevant to the topic in question.
A list post is great for people who like to scan through articles instead of reading in detail. They can just go through the main sub-heading of each list subject.
Listicle format articles are easy to read and consume, and as such, they tend to be very shareable and do well on social media.
TIP: Since List posts are shareable types of content, they can be a good source for you to get links to your site. Remember links coming to your site from other websites, is a good sign for google that other people like your article and are referring to it. This will increase your SEO juice and help you rank higher in google and other search engines.
Buzzfeed is a prime example of a brand that produces a lot of listicles, and these get shared widely on Social Media channels like Facebook, LinkedIn and twitter.
A lot of these type of articles found, on listicles websites, cover gossip type subjects, such as, ‘16 of the Best Memes from the Olympics’, or ’17 Celebrities who don’t know how to Drive’.
However, Listicles do not have to be synonyms with clickbait posts.
You can write list articles that give your readers useful and actionable information relevant to your niche.
Listicles can be sequential, such as steps required to do X, or they can be organized in ranking, such as 7 methods of doing X ranked by fastest.
How to Write a List Post Article
Listicles are probably the easiest form of articles to produce. This is why I recommend newbies try and start writing content of this type.
Having said this, remember that you should only write list articles if and where it makes sense.
You shouldn’t be racking your brain trying to find list ideas to write. Instead, decide whether you will be writing a list article or not based on the topic or keyword you are targeting.
As I explained in the Writing Guidelines post, let Google help you understand what type of article to write.
By searching your Keyword or topic in google you can easily understand if listicles are ranking in google for that particular query and therefore if this is the type of article you should be writing also.
Different Types of Listicle Formats
I like to categorize List posts in into 3 types of listicle templates:
1. Simple Listicle Format
These web articles usually have a one paragraph introduction, and then head straight to a list.
Each item on the list consists of an H2 title, followed by an image, and 1 or 2 paragraphs of explanation on that item in the list.
The article is then closed off with a one paragraph conclusion.
2. Detailed List Format Articles
The concept of this is similar to the simple list, however this type of article delves into more detail on each point in the list.
In fact, you could say that for each of the list ideas the content writer produces a mini article, with various sub-sections, images and a few H3 and H4 sub-headings included.
These detailed List Format articles are obviously not as easily digestible for readers, and maybe not so shareable. They are, however, appreciated in the more professional and technical niches, such as engineering sites, accounting sites etc.
These tend to be read and shared by people who work in that particular industry (on Social platforms such as LinkedIn).
Detailed List Format articles are also read by people who are looking for expert advice on a certain subject, such as Marketing, Management, Finance, etc.
3. Roundup Listicle Type Articles
In this type of article the writer has actually interviewed people, especially authority figures, for their top tips, suggestions, experiences or opinions, on a certain topic or subject.
A common way to structure Roundup Listicle Articles is to put the sub-topic headings in the form of a question and then have the answers by the different experts listed underneath each sub-topic question.
List Format Example
Here are some list format examples of articles from the web, to help you understand the different ways they are structured.
- www.contentpowered.com – ways promote blog post
- www.buzzfeed.com – people who got called out online
- ahrefs.com – seo chrome extensions
- bestlifeonline.com – declutter
- bonjourparis.com – how would you spend 24 hours in paris
Now that you understood what a Listicle Article is and when you should write a listicle, it’s time to set up your template for all the List Posts you will be producing in your WordPress website.
The template you use should ideally include 3 sections;
- The Introduction: This should be a short sentence to explain what the article is about.
- Body: this will contain the bulk of your content. Including all the elements of your list, where each point would be explained in as much depth as necessary.
- Conclusion: Here you conclude your list post, and you might want to insert a Call-to-Action, where you ask your readers to take further action on your website, such as, read another article on your site, or subscribe to your email list.
The below is the Listicle Template I use for my WordPress sites. Feel free to copy this and share it with your content writers:
Listicle Format Article Intro
The intro to do list post should include the following elements.
- Brief sentence or two explaining what the List Post is about. In this sentence you should try and include your main Keyword, and what you will be delivering, such as, ‘here are the 7 tips for …’.
- Establish trust. Explain to the reader why they can trust your listicle. In this sentence of the intro write a few words to communicate why they should listen to what you have to say. Such as ‘after trying to do X for over 5 years I can safely say that these are the best 5 ways to go about it’, or ‘I just spent a week researching the best recipes for X. Here are the 7 most delicious ones’.
- If the topic is vague or complicated, it might be good to include a few sentences where you clarify the method you used to come up with your list.
- If your article is very long and detailed, it might make sense to have the abbreviated list displayed in the intro as a table of contents layout.
- Finally, a short sentence to transition into the body part of the article where you dive into the list. Such as ‘let’s dive into the 7 recipes I recommend’.
Try not to include too much fluff in the introduction so that you get to the list as fast as possible. After all that’s what the reader came to see and you don’t want them to click the back button.
Listicle Format Article Body
In the body section of the List Post include the following sections for each item in your list.
- Heading, which includes your main Keyword. This should be an H2 or H3 heading for each item in your list.
- An image for most points on your list.
Keep in mind that if you have a very long list of items, like more than 12 items in your list, then it might make sense not to have an image for every post, especially if the written content for each point is not long. In this case you might want to insert one picture for every two or three points on the list.
You decide what looks best. It will also be based on the list you are presenting. If this includes items which are not very common, then an image can help explain what the item on the list is.
- A Detailed description for each list point. Here you dive deeper on each on each point in your list.
Tip: After all the points are listed you might decide to add some extra content that is relevant to your list. So go into any further subsection in your article with relevant details, as necessary.
Listicle Format Article Conclusion
In the final part of your article wrap up the Listicle by suggesting to your readers what to do next.
You might want to mention your favorite item on the list, or encourage the to leave a comment stating what their favorite part of the list is, or what other items they would add to the list.
You can also add a Call to Action. This could be to read another article, or go to a partner site, or subscribe to your email list.
This is not a necessity, especially in the beginning when you don’t have an email list or plenty of related articles where to direct your readers to. However, as you grow your site, remember to come back to these posts and add any call-to-action you think might fit well here.
This part should not be more than 3 paragraphs long.
Listicle Format Article Template Examples
In the final section of the Listicle Template, I like to add a few examples of List Posts that I find on the web.
This can help you understand better how to structure your Listicle.
In the future, if you outsource your content writing to third parties, these examples will help you convey better how you want your Listicle to be structured.
In order to ensure any writers you hire follow the structure you want for your articles you will need to provide them with this template. So having examples of other types of content that you like, even ones from your own website that you would have created yourself, will give them a better understanding of the structure you want and the way you like your articles to be written.
Listicle Template Done. What Next?
Keep in mind that the above Listicle Template is the outline I created for my own List Posts Type Content. Obviously, you don’t need to follow this template exactly. Feel free to experiment and adapt your template with new ideas or methods which you feel comfortable and confident with.
Now that you have your Listicle template planned out, try your hand at creating your first List Post and publish it on your site.
For those of you who are new at creating websites, then check out my WordPress Step-by-step tutorials that will show you how to create a website from scratch.
If you are following my content creation module, then in the next tutorial I will show you how to do a proper research before writing your web articles.