… Even as I write the word, my grammar checker doesn’t know how to spell “listicle” even if it has just made the newest cut of the Oxford English Dictionary!
To most avid bloggers out there, the listicle isn’t news to them, they’ve been using this style of writing for some time and we’ve been reading them for an equal length of time without realising what the “proper” terminology was for them.
So, what is this mysterious “Listicle”?
It’s really very simple, it’s a form of blogging or writing that creates a list rather than a standard feature. Love it or hate it, this word is here to stay!
It might be listed as a bullet-pointed or numbered article and it might even be seen as a “Live Tweeting” session at an event, documenting the event within a minute-by-minute record of what’s happening and being said to keep outsiders informed virtually.
Personally, I’m a Twitter fiend and when it comes to attending industry events, I do use their specific hashtag to document my experiences. As interesting as this could be to my followers, it also doubles as a way to network during (and after) the event to connect with people within the room – it’s a fantastic way to create content.
You’ll know a listicle when you read one, these are the type of articles titled “Very definitely not dinner & a movie: 50 alternative date ideas!“, ¬†“15 ways to scare the bejesus out of your significant other” or “23 insanely romantic ways to say I love you” – they’re easy and quick to digest, allowing us to move into the rest of our fast-paced day.
So, what can we learn about this curious listicle?…
- Writing content as a listicle is a great way of informing your readers of what they are going to learn at a glance and helps them make a very quick decision as to if they want to continue to read. This is helpful if they are the sort of reader that doesn’t want to scroll through an essay to glean their desired information.
- If you really want to get into the deeper qualities of a listicle, there are different methods of this curious content form, from a ranked listicle (such as “Rolling Stones¬†“The 100 Best Albums of the Last Twenty Years”), which offers a sequenced run down & a certain caliber or judgement within the topic in question.
- There’s the thematic listicle, which offers no particular order, simply a collection of information within the feature in an order that the writer seems fit.
- And then there’s the random listicle, which is as it sounds, completely random or erratic, with no order at all.
- As a creator of this style of content, it’s all very simple to put together, especially when all you want to do is sit down, blurt out some tips…and quickly. You don’t need to consider paragraphs or what frilly bits to put in-between pointers, it’s an easy way to get that information stored up in your brain out…and fast!
- On the other side of this, just because a blogger or writer is creating a list, rather than a 2000 word feature, it does’t mean that it’s bad quality or lazy content creation, it still takes expertise & knowledge in the topic itself to educate the reader. It can still take lots of time to put together, make it readable and look great when published – it isn’t sloppy journalism, in fact, it’s much more interesting in some cases.
- A listicle can be recycled and new content could be created from it, which is great for bloggers who struggle to come up with new content on a regular basis. You can take one point from the list and develop on that particular topic as a new blog, video blog, even a podcast or you could turn the listicle into a new info graphic.
- You can read my “30 things to do before I’m 30” listicle as just one of many examples of how to make this work for you.
So, what’s your favourite type of listicle?
Have you created one or found a great one yourself?
I’d love to hear from you in the comments below with links to your favourite listicles and tips on how to create them.