What the heck is a listicle?

Listicle; noun; a piece of writing or other content presented wholly or partly in the form of a list.

You’ve probably seen a Buzzfeed article at some point, and clicked it simply because the title was too ridiculous to pass up. Aside from news stories or quizzes, articles typically follow the format of: [insert number] [insert plural noun – often involving animals or desserts] that will LITERALLY make you [verb]. So why should you care?

Because those silly lists are what go viral. 

If you operate in a highly technical niche or have an extremely professional, no-nonsense brand, then maybe listicles aren’t for you (you can pretty much stop reading here).

For the rest of you- listicles can be a powerful yet fun way to share your content in a manner that’s much easier to digest than a typical essay.

Let’s say that I’m looking to share some of my favorite kitchen tips- everything from spraying a measuring cup before measuring something sticky, like honey (thanks, internet!) to letting cupcakes cool fully before you frost them. Which of the following titles is more likely to grab your attention?

A. My Time-Saving Kitchen Tips
B. 12 Kitchen Hacks that will Drastically Improve Your Life

If you chose B, like most people, that’s because up front, you know to anticipate a list that will allow you to skim for what matters to you. If you never bake, then you don’t care about my cupcake cooling tip- but you may care about another one. Rather than having to read through a dense essay, you can quickly cherry-pick out which information is relevant to you.

If you chose A, you’re a dirty liar.

It’s simple really – usually people like information that’s easy to digest (depending on what the information pertains to), which is why listicles cater to a wide audience. Given that more and more people do their reading on the web (and often on their phones), it may serve you well to condense your thoughts into a listicle.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s