A Listicle About Listicles: Why is This Content So Darn Effective?
Here’s a list about listicles:
Forty-three percent of people skim blog posts, so listicles are awesome for breaking down large pieces of content into scannable chunks.
Our brains often categorize complicated info into lists, so we love the simplicity and structured nature of listicles.
For some still-unknown and slightly mysterious reason, odd-numbered (five, seven nine, etc.) lists perform better than even-numbered ones. So we’ll stop at three entries in this mini-list!
(Source for stats: HubSpot)
But why is writing listicles so darn effective? Here are seven reasons why you should be using listicle content for your content creation and workflow right now!
Want to know three reasons why Scripted’s incredibly talented freelancers create compelling, creative, and click-worthy listicle content for your company? Our writers are highly vetted, subject-matter experts, and can create a listicle about almost any topic in the world in as little as a day! So buy blog posts for your business from Scripted now.
Here’s Scripted’s detailed definition of the listicle:
Listicle content typically consists of medium-length blog posts, characterized by numbered subheadings counting up or down to the number specified in the post's title.
You can create a listicle about pretty much anything you like, so get creative! Know five ways to tie your shoelaces? Write a list! Want to tell the world 56 reasons why “Star Wars IV: A New Hope” is, hands-down, the greatest movie of all time? Write a list!
So long as it’s not fluff or clickbait — the best freelancer writers prevent you from falling into this trap — you can create a listicle that benefits your business in one way or another. That’s because numbered lists solve the problem of short attention spans, inform your audience about topics in a creative way, improve search engine optimization (SEO), and make your content marketing more shareable.
Yep, listicles work! But they generate even more explosive results when written by an experienced copywriter!
1. Numbers Get People's Attention
When someone sees a title like "5 Reasons to Add a Big Dog to Your Small Family," they're enticed to click. Why? Perhaps the number helps set our expectations as to how much there is to read or how long it will take us to finish. Or maybe the number reinforces how many facts, points, or pieces of information we'll receive, helping the article seem more time-valuable. We sometimes predict how long it will take us to read an article just by reading the main heading!
There are many theories about why people are more attracted to a blog post with a number in its title. Regardless of which point of view you choose to believe, there's no doubt that numbers stand out, and that's why they're so great to include.
2. Odd Numbers Are Even Better
As we mentioned in the intro, if you're deciding how many numbers to include in your listicle blog post, it's been shown that odd numbers tend to get more clicks than even numbers. They've even been associated with more attractive and authentic perceptions, particularly the number seven, so choose your number wisely for the listicle content you produce.
While there’s not a definitive reason why odd numbers work better than even ones in lists, there are a couple of theories. Some people think our brains process even numbers better than odd numbers because the latter, when prime numbers, don’t appear in the multiplication tables we learned at school as kids. There are even scientific studies that prove our brains take longer to process odd numbers for some strange reason.
Perhaps even-numbered lists resonate with readers because so many so-called ‘lucky’ numbers are even, such as seven. In Chinese culture, the number nine is considered lucky because it’s associated with longevity and eternality.
Whatever you believe, creating an even-numbered list about a complex topic — or getting one of Scripted’s freelancers to do it for you! — might revolutionize your entire content marketing strategy!
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3. Content Stays Neat and Tidy
When a reader clicks on a post, there's an expectation they will finish the piece with some new information. With a listicle blog post, they know exactly how many pieces of new information to expect. The numbered subheadings of a listicle post bring attention to specific information and break up the "wall of text" that often causes readers to lose attention and click the back button on their browsers.
With X number of subheadings, list posts are better organized than regular blog posts, whitepapers, and other content types. Each subheading might present a small factoid or statistic, with the paragraph(s) below it digging deeper into that specific point. This structure makes the list format easy to skim and read on the go, especially on mobile devices where screen space is limited.
4. The Listicle Format is Ideal for Busy Readers
These days, everyone's busy and struggling to find time for the little things. Listicle titles imply that your content will be quick and easy to digest and not waste readers’ time. When someone clicks on a listicle post, the structure (and wise use of imagery) keeps this promise, ensuring readers quickly get the info they want before getting on with the rest of their day. That’s why bloggers and websites like Buzzfeed invest most of their content resources into listicles. As well as being easy to read, it’s super simple to share listicles on social media.
As a website owner, you ultimately want people to spend time on every page, but you can't try to force readers to stay on a page when you have filler or make every article extra long. Listicle content may be skimmed quickly, but when readers come to associate your brand with high-value, no-nonsense, easily-digestible content, they are sure to come back for more.
5. Listicles Are Highly Sharable
As we just mentioned, sharing listicles on social media is a piece of cake. Whether readers are inspired to share the entire article or just one point, listicle posts help you reach new audiences on platforms like Twitter and Facebook and drive those potential customers to your website.
Listicles also produce highly-memorable content as most readers will walk away with a new fact or statistic to spark conversations with friends, family, and colleagues. How many times have you read a listicle during your commute to work and told everyone in the office about a particular fact or reiterated the main points?
When people associate your website with easily digestible and sharable information, it will grow your reader base significantly. Every time someone shares a listicle blog post, even more readers get to know about your valuable content and over time, this results in you becoming an established, authoritative, and credible source of information or ‘fountain of knowledge!’
Pro-tip: Encourage social media sharing by including a reminder at the end of your post and incorporate social share buttons on your website.
6. Listicles Spark Conversations
A reader may walk away with a new fact they'll use to break the ice later in the day, but even more immediately, you'll find listicles promote conservation and debate on your own website. If you have an active comments section, expect your listicle-style content to get more replies than any other content type. It doesn’t really matter if readers agree with your points or disagree with your list choices. All conversation is good conversation because it means people are engaging with your content!
Listicle content also sparks conversations on social channels. Whenever you share a point from one of your listicles, expect lots of comments (sometimes positive and negative!), shares, and engagement. This is yet another benefit of using listicle-style content as it brings your social channels to life and increases awareness about your brand.
7. Readers Want Listicles
While a traditional journalist may scoff at the structure of listicle-style content, your site's job is to give readers what they want. While there is still very much a place for long-form articles and in-depth guides, sometimes all a reader needs is a quick list to take them through key points or facts that they didn't already know. That’s why even the most credible news sources like “The New York Times” and “The Washington Post” now use listicles!
No matter your niche, listicle content certainly plays a role in offering the information your readers need in a format they enjoy. The trick is making sure you choose the right writer for the job. After all, the best listicle should be packed with high-value information and structured in a way that captures readers' attention and holds it until the very, very end. Hopefully, this article did the same!
Published by Scripted Writers on Friday, March 24, 2023 in Blogs, Listicle.