6 tips for crafting list articles, blog posts
People love listicles. Lists get attention, reach skimmers and scanners, get remembered and shared.
No wonder you see so many communicators write listicles and long-form list posts for their social media and content marketing streams. But not all listicle formats are created equal.
What format works best for listicles? No matter what type of listicle you’re writing, use this six-step template for formatting high-quality listicles and list articles:
1. Show the parts.
Add bold-faced lead-ins so skimmers can see at a glance what the list items are:
2. Show the whole
OK. Now I know what the items on the list are. But what is this a list of? Add a subhead so skimmers can see the whole as well as the parts:
How to wash produce
- When preparing any fresh produce, begin with clean hands. Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and warm water before and after preparation.
- Cut away any damaged or bruised areas on fresh fruits and vegetables before preparing and/or eating. Throw away any produce that looks rotten.
- Wash all produce thoroughly under running water before preparing and/or eating, including produce grown at home or bought from a grocery store or farmers’ market. Washing fruits and vegetables with soap, detergent or commercial produce wash is not recommended.
- Even if you do not plan to eat the skin, it is still important to wash produce first so dirt and bacteria are not transferred from the surface when peeling or cutting produce.
- Scrub firm produce, such as melons and cucumbers, with a clean produce brush.
- After washing, dry produce with a clean cloth towel or paper towel to further reduce bacteria that may be present on the surface.
Now this list is a free-standing information package. Flippers and skimmers can get the gist of that message without reading every word.
Lift Ideas Off the Screen
Most readers spend, on average, fewer than 15 seconds on a page, according to a study by Chartbeat. Getting your message across to skimmers, scanners and other nonreaders may be the most important content marketing strategy there is.
Would you like to learn which words they’re reading, and how to put your key messages where their eyes are?
If so, please join me at Get Clicked, Liked & Shared — our 2-day content-writing workshop on Feb. 5-6 in Durham, NC.
You’ll leave with tips and tricks for tearing down the obstacles to reading your post.
Save $200 when you book by Dec. 31.
Plus: Get a free book if you’re one of the first 5 to register.