Mar 3, 2022

Writing a Listicle Post: Step-by-Step Guide with Examples

Suman Samal, Asst. Marketing Manager
Suman Samal
Writing a Listicle Post: Step-by-Step Guide with Examples
Suman Samal, Asst. Marketing Manager
Suman Samal
Mar 3, 2022

Writing a Listicle Post: Step-by-Step Guide with Examples

A listicle post is enjoyable and it feed our brain's desire to detect patterns. In this amazing guide, learn how to make click-worthy listicles to boost traffic.
Writing a Listicle Post: Step-by-Step Guide with Examples

Table of contents

Do you like reading about the list of “Best XYZ Products” or so? Well, everyone does.

With its increasing popularity, the listicles have increased in number.

From HubSpot's more instructional blogs like "How to Create a Cinemagraph in 7 Easy Steps" to lists like "25 Ways to Earn Money Without Working," list posts can cover a wide range of topics.

You've probably read a few listicles, regardless of how you feel about them. They are useful for presenting a huge amount of information, in short, numbered parts that are easy to read.

However, the list post (also known as a listicle) gets a poor rep in an online space where the quality of your blog posts is becoming increasingly important.

That's why we have created this post where we have shared the detailed guide on listicles and how to create a legit post.

What is a Listicle?

A listicle is a blog post that consists of a series of numbered items. The most prevalent listicle type is a brief list of 10-20 items centered on a single theme.

On the other hand, modern listicles are frequently augmented with additional information surrounding each item to make them more useful.

A listicle is intended to either educate or delight readers, and each list item will often include a few phrases or numerous paragraphs.

You may read various fun listicle articles, such as Buzzfeed's list of “Weird Comments on Internet", "The Top 10 Movies of 2020,” or something more informative, such as “7 Steps to Build a Website.”

What is a listicle example?

A listicle is simple to skim and explains what a reader may learn from the article. A listicle can assist the reader in scanning for the information they require while also reducing the amount of information available.

For example, a title like "The Ultimate Guide to Building a Home Page" can make some readers feel overwhelmed or as if they don't have time to read everything right now.

By turning the post into a listicle — "How to Build a Home Page in 10 Easy Steps" — you're breaking down complex content into digestible chunks for your visitors, giving them the impression that they have the time to read it right now.

Before we dive into listicle writing tips, here are some great examples of listicle topics:

Why do People Like Listicles?

There are many reasons as to why Google, as well as people, love listicle articles:

Easy to write: Listicles are super easy to create, especially from the perspective of content creators (especially when opposed to other blog post formats such as supreme guides and case studies). You can list out 10-20 items, and you are done. And depending on the list, you may be simply curating things that are already out there.

Easy to scan: Take the listicle format and put it on a blog post page. Like blog posts, listicles follow the same formatting standards meaning that you can write down whatever information you have on that topic. The reader can quickly scan the list of content pieces to find what they want.

In-depth and comprehensive: Listicle format blog post pages are the perfect type of blog post page to list out the information you have researched and perfected over time. In-depth content pieces are reader-friendly as they draw readers in by offering them an easy-to-digest experience, even if the article appears long or complex at first glance.

How to Write a Listicle Post?

It's simple to create a listicle. Simply open a blank document, make a list of items, and you've got yourself a listicle. But writing a listicle that drives traffic and that people actually want to read is a bit more complicated.

Here is our step by step guide to writing a listicle post for your audience:

1. Choose the Right Topic

If you need your listicle to get traffic from search engines, first step is to choose a topic that people are looking for. Because keywords frequently mirror subjects, you can utilize a good keyword research tool like Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer or SEMRush to determine so.

2. Do Keyword Research

If you want to improve your content marketing by writing a great listicle, keyword research should be on your to-do list.

Keywords are terms that people type into a search engine to find information on a specific subject. They're also the terms Google and other search engines employ to determine the focus of your blog post or website.

When you optimize your content for specific keywords, it's more likely that your page will rank and show up as a result when people search for those phrases.

3. Decide the Listicle Length

In general, the number of items on your list should roughly be the same as the number of items on top-ranking pages. After all, if the top-ranking pages are in the double or triple digits, a five-item list isn't likely to be what they're searching for.

As you see in the image below, the top-ranking pages on the SERPs for the keyword- "Best SEO Tools" have a list of not more than 30 tools.

4. Choose a List Format

There are two listicle content formats:

Basic format: Basic lists are concise and to-the-point, with 1–2 phrase summaries for each item on the list. When one or both of the following are true, use this format:

  • Your listicle will be lengthy.
  • You have a simple topic: Simple topics may fall into categories like travel destinations, artwork, DSLR cameras, content marketing strategies. Often these lists have clickbaity content, which is why listicle articles have a negative rep.

Expanded list: The expanded list post is a list post with a difference.

Most listicles skip from item #1 to item #2 to item #3 without providing much context.

You can use the expanded list when:

  • Your list will be short: If your list just has a few items, providing additional content and details about each one will likely increase traffic to your post.
  • Your topic is complex: Let's imagine you're compiling a list of SEO hints. Because SEO is such a complex topic, readers will most likely require practical guidance or step-by-step instructions on implementing each idea.

5. Brainstorm Your List Points

When producing a listicle, it's critical to come up with new and distinctive ideas.

While it may be tempting to imitate what others have done, if all you do is write a carbon copy of a typical listicle, no one will be interested in your post.

It's unlikely to gain backlinks, making it more difficult to rank in Google and attract search visitors.

As a result, you should write down your own ideas before considering what other listicles on the subject have to offer.

6. Write the Subheadings

For each point, most listicles incorporate subheadings. So extracting the subheadings from top-ranking sites is a good method to get ideas.

However, you might easily become overly inspired in this manner. If you read everything below the subheadings, your listicle will quickly become a carbon duplicate.

You can use the Scalenut AI Assistant to create a content brief and add the subheadings.

7. Create a Unique Angle

It might be tempting to just take ideas from another blog post's format and headline to get readers' attention if you're writing about a topic.

In such an instance (but only if there are no other ways), this could work fine as long as your listicle has some type of twist on the topic that sets it apart.

If there is not enough content on the blog post in which you're working, consider creating new blog posts with different angles than what was previously written about the topic.

8. Illustrate Your Points

Listicles are simple to read and understand. They're arguably even easier to comprehend when you split things up with visuals and illustrations.

The picture superiority effect makes this even more crucial when you want readers to recall the points in your list article.

It's now time to flesh out your listicle by expanding on each item. Depending on the listicle format you're going for, the level of detail here will vary.

When doing this, keep in mind the angle of your listicle. You'll want to minimize extraneous jargon and specifics if you're producing a listicle for novices.

9. Create a High-quality Article With More Details

The majority of listicles are short and to the point. That isn't always a terrible thing, though.

Some people simply want to peruse a short list quickly.

However, if you want your listicle to stand out, attract attention, and rank well in Google, you should include some information beneath each item on your list.

When you add in-depth content to each item, you get the best of both worlds: your content can give a lot of distinct advice or bits of information in a single post.

To add further content and make it more engaging, you can try these things:

  • Actionable steps
  • Screenshots
  • Extra context
  • Examples
  • Visualizations
  • Video tutorials
  • Infographics

10. Number Your Items

Lists aren't required to build a listicle, but they improve user experience. Moving down the numbered list while readers read the article gives them a sense of progress. There's a sense of accomplishment as well, which encourages people to keep reading.

It's also a good idea to number the post title, e.g., 15 Best Ways to….

For example, if you have a blog post on 15 Best Ways to Stay Healthy, then numbering each of the points is a good idea.

Numbers can make it easier for readers to keep track of their progress in long list posts. Numbering is also useful when someone wishes to share or refer to specific points. Rather than defining a portion of the article, it's easier to refer to a specific number.

Although a round number like 10 is easy to remember, odd numbers are more visually appealing and more likely to spark interest.

If all of the other posts are 10 points long, it could be beneficial to have even more, such as 25 or 30.

If, on the other hand, the majority of other listicles in your field are extremely long, a short, snappy piece would be more appropriate.

11. Add Compelling Images and Other Graphics

It's difficult to keep readers' attention with just plain text, numbered or not. Images add visual interest to your material, making them an important component of great listicles. They help to enhance traffic by improving the readability of the posts.

You can also add videos, GIFs or infographics to support a statement or create engaging content.

12. Avoid Listicle Content Clickbait Titles That Don’t Deliver

The readers will bounce off from mediocre titles that promise but don't deliver. Engaging titles that generate interest and encourage clicks are effective in capturing the attention of individuals with short attention spans.

Is there something in the headline of your listicle that you don't offer in the body of the article? Are the statements made in the headline implausible or false?

If you honestly answered "yes" to either of these questions, your title is most certainly a clickbait headline, which you should avoid. Clickbait has a terrible rep when it comes to listicles.

Sensational titles like these mislead visitors, damage your blog's reputation, and harm your content marketing efforts in the long term. Readers can be attracted to great headlines that deliver on their promises.

You can use a heading generator if you are unsure how to write a compelling listicle heading.

13. Order Each Step Logically

Just like any other post you publish, the list should flow and have a story. The theme and contents of your list will decide how you go about achieving this.

Here is a good idea to do that: Alphabetical (perfect for glossaries), chronological (ideal for step-by-step tutorials), or popularity/importance (great for top 10/20/50 lists).

14. Wrap Things up

Listicles have a habit of abruptly ending. When you reach the end, everything seems to come to a halt.

It's simple to understand why. Most listicle readers are skimmers, so a conclusion is unlikely to pique their interest. That isn't to say that one shouldn't be included. A nice ending can help wrap things up and drive the message home for those who read your listicle from beginning to end.

A great way is to keep it short and relevant.

The best way is to use the conclusion generator that keeps the tone consistent and makes sure the conclusion is concise enough. Below is an example of how the conclusion generator generates suggestions based on your input.


Q. Are listicles still relevant?

Ans: Yes. Though listicles are often chastised for being frivolous, well-written listicles remain popular. Make sure to include relevant information as well as actionable advice.

Q. How do you write a good listicle?

Ans: Find a topic that makes sense in a list style and that your audience is likely to be interested in. Research existing listicles to see what is already available, then attempt to develop a longer or more in-depth version.

Q. How long should a listicle be?

Ans: The short answer is that it should be as long as it takes to provide value to your reader. The length will differ depending on the industry and topic. Aim for around 1,000 words of useful content, but shorter is better than fluffy.

Q. How many points are in a listicle?

Ans: A brief list of 10-20 items centered on a single theme is the most prevalent listicle type. On the other hand, modern listicles are frequently augmented with additional information surrounding each item to make them more useful.

Q. Are listicles good for SEO?

Ans: Listicles are popular among both your audience and search engines. Listicles contain a lot of SEO advantages, including keyword targeting and lead generation, and you can get large traffic for different keywords.


Like any other piece of marketing material, listicles should aim to attract the correct audience to your products or services.

Great content, regardless of format, can assist boost search traffic and leads. List posts have the best of both worlds: a simple format and high-quality content that converts browsers into readers.

If you want to generate a listicle post with various points and subheadings to cover, Scalenut is the best writing tool. It would helo you pick subheadings from SERPs.

Also, the tool helps come up with a compelling intro, conclusion and blog title. You can use Scalenut to decide the length of content and the readability level for your listicle.

Create your first listicle with Scalenut for free, and be sure to follow us for more such guides.

Suman Samal
Asst. Marketing Manager
ABout the AUTHOR
Suman Samal
Asst. Marketing Manager

Suman Samal is a Asst. Marketing Manager at Scalenut. She is a technology enthusiast with a keen interest in content marketing and SEO. She truly believes that with the right set of tools every organization can improve the ROI of their content marketing campaigns. She spends her time managing content operations at Scalenut and ensuring that everything we publish is of the highest quality.

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