How to Write Listicles with an AI Writer [+ Bonus Video Training]
List posts are some of the most popular on the internet. They're easy to read, quick to digest, and can be a lot of fun. But writing them can be a challenge - especially if you want them to be interesting and engaging.
But what if there was an AI Writer that could help you create listicles that are both informative and entertaining? Well, now there is!
In this post, I'll show you how to use the best AI Writer - Jasper - to create your own list format posts quickly and easily. Plus, there's you a bonus video training on how to get the most out of this powerful tool.
Let's get started!
Listicles are simple to create and share.
Not all list posts are created equal. Some are informative, funny, engaging - and bridge the curiosity gap. And some… aren't!
But people love them anyway. In fact, most listicles get higher clicks than other types of content - especially if the headline is short and catchy.
Writing high-quality content as lists posts means balancing information, humor, and entertainment. And it can be challenging to get that right.
Why are Listicles so popular?
The listicle format transforms in-depth information into snackable chunks, each just a few sentences long.
That makes them easier to read and fun to flip through.
And a listicle can attract more traffic than most other types of content - especially on social media, where people like to share posts with their friends.
So what's the downside?
Sometimes you see a list post that just seems lazy or even annoying - especially if there are no visuals, poor formatting, incorrect use of punctuation… or if it doesn't make sense!
Some have clickbait titles that make you wonder what they're even about.
Crafting a listicle that's both informative and engaging can be really tough.
It can be hard to know where to start when you want to write an in-depth article but break it down into simple points, so in this post, I'll show you how I use an AI Writer called Jarvis to create listicles automatically.
When did listicles become popular?
Some of the most famous listicles began as email newsletters, reports, or rants that were later formatted into lists to become hugely popular.
One of the best-known examples is Dave Pell's Next Draft – a curation of great stories from around the web, which he regularly publishes as a list post. And it's consistently one of the most popular email newsletters in the world.
But list posts have also been around for centuries.
One of the oldest known formats is the alphabetical glossary, which dates back to the 6th-century BC. It's not clear who first used lists in print format - or when. Some experts speculate that famous authors like
Aristotle and Euclid may have used lists in their work.
We know that classification was important to the 12th-century physician, scholar, and pharmacist
John Wolcot a.k.a. Peter Pindar (1738–1819), a British poet and satirist known for his use of humorous and obscene language, used list formats to help readers remember his points.
And that provides a good lesson for modern authors who want to write an engaging listicle...
...take your time, build your case, and make it fun.
Are listicles still popular in 2022?
Yes - and no.
The listicle has become an easy way to deliver information quickly while entertaining readers at the same time. And some of the most popular media companies online have built their success from lists – from buzzfeedtasty's videos, which have been viewed over 4 billion times, to The Wall Street Journal and The Huffington Post, currently one of the most popular news sites online.
Listicles have also become a quick way to push content - especially on social media, where many people skip right over them in their feeds. Some websites no longer publish in the list post format at all since they're considered low quality by search engines and can even get you penalized for "spamming" readers.
That's why most successful list points these days are short, engaging, and funny… plus fun to share with friends. They can be especially helpful when you need to generate traffic quickly or want to get more social media engagement.
Listicle formats vary, and it can be difficult to write them so that all the points are both informative and engaging.
So how do you write a listicle that people will love?
See my top tips for writing amazing list format posts.
Qualities of a good list format post.
A high-quality listicle will help most readers remember your key points, keep them interested in what you have to say, and encourage them to share the content.
High-quality content also helps readers spend longer on your site.
But what is it exactly that makes a listicle good?
1) It's informative and helpful.
2) The content will be easy for most people to understand.
3) The content isn't just filler text or clickbait.
4) It uses statistics and facts, or personal experience, in list items to back up claims with expert sources or research.
5) A great listicle with enough points will be fun to read and share.
6) Including a unique angle on your own blog (with an introduction at the beginning) will make it even more attractive.
7) Write in an active voice
What types of list format posts can you write?
1) Buzzfeed-style lists
2) Educational lists
3) Top 10 lists
4) Explainer listicles
5) How-to lists
6) Hilarious "Worst of" posts that call out the worst offenders in a category. People love to get outraged by these!
7) Cute "Best of" posts that highlight the best of a category. These can be especially popular on social media.
8) New research and expert opinions about current topics in your industry or niche - if you have them.
How to use Listicles in Your Content Marketing?
In a nutshell, listicles are all about using the power of numbers to convince readers that they're definitely not wasting their time when reading your content.
They make it easy for people to find information quickly and organize points logically, with bullet points or numbers, in a way that makes sense.
When you write your own listicles for your personal blog, e-commerce site, or B2B blog, you can achieve "soft sell" content marketing results.
At the same time, these posts will attract a lot of clicks and social media shares from people who are ready to buy your products or services.
Writing a listicle can help you boost search traffic and engagement on your own platform. So if you want to get more people to follow your blog or make the reader click through to your landing page or sales pages, then listicles are the way to go!
My personal experience has shown just how effective listicles can be for explaining a complex topic whilst hitting a target keyword.
So whether you are tackling a complicated topic, or even a broad topic, writing a listicle for your website or blog will attract many readers and help skyrocket your content marketing results.
How to write a listicle?
First, make sure your article belongs in a listicle format.
Before you begin, make sure your article belongs in a list!
A good way to do this is to ask yourself how you would describe the post in one sentence. If your description starts with "The Top 10…" or "The Five Steps to…" then you can go ahead and write your listicle.
If it doesn't, you might want to consider some other similar post types, such as:
1) How-to articles
2) Personal stories or anecdotes
3) Reviews and opinions
4) Data and statistics (as part of a larger article on trends, new research, etc.)
5) Open letters or calls for action
6) Educational posts that explain a process or how something works
If you're still not sure what kind of post your article belongs to, chances are it doesn't fit in with lists well and might be better as another type of article.
Pick the right number of entries.
Although there is no limit to how many points you can make in a listicle, too few or too many points will ruin the whole effect. The ideal number of points depends on your topic and target audience, but it's usually between 5-10.
For example, if your article is about cars for people who don't know a lot about cars, then you probably want to include more points so they can get a general picture of what they need to know.
On the other hand, if you have a very specific audience in mind and you are going into pretty comprehensive detail on one topic anyway, your listicle will be more beneficial if it includes fewer items but with a decent amount of depth in each one.
If you're not sure how many points your listicle should have, it's best to go with more than less and add an extra point or two if needed.
You will also need to consider the length of each point when planning out your list. A good rule of thumb is that each point should be about 100-150 words and, if possible, include relevant images, videos, or other resources with each list item, whenever it makes sense.
Helpfully, Hubspot says:
"If your list is made up of examples from real people or businesses, take the opportunity to embed evidence of the example with an image, a video, or a social media post of that example. This adds additional context as to why you're including each example on your list and helps break up an otherwise text-heavy blog post with other types of content."
My top writing tips for writing amazing list format posts:
Give your article a compelling title that hooks the reader's attention.
Content creators can bridge the curiosity gap with a title that asks a question the reader might have or references the same topic they have searched for online.
What would make all of your readers stop scrolling through their feeds?
Listicles are everywhere online, so it's important for yours to stand out in order to be seen!
Make it as specific as possible - the more precise your title, the better. This increases its potential to rank on search engines and, as a result, reach more readers.
Be intriguing and start a conversation with your readers by using emotive language that portrays how you feel about the topic at hand.
If possible, include numbers or statistics to back up your points.
Fill in the blanks with words that will help readers understand what they'll discover if they click on it. Use these key terms anywhere you can to optimize your listicle for search engines.The best way to do this is by customizing your titles with words that stand out to readers (like 'how to,' 'secret,' or 'surprising'), different fonts, capitalization if appropriate, etc.
Make it shareable by using alliteration and/or rhyme.
All of these make your article easy for readers to remember. Readers will be more likely to share it with others, leading to more traffic and exposure for you!
Choose items that will surprise your readers.
Include some fun facts, trends, or stories that they'll enjoy reading. For example:
What are the ten creepiest places on earth?
Where would you never want to visit? What secrets do these locations hold?
Which of your favorite products have a really embarrassing backstory?
You may also wish to let them know what the worst product is in an industry, so they can avoid it.
Which other products share the same design flaw?
Is there something you're guilty of doing that is the opposite of what the experts suggest?
What are some things you wish you knew when you were in your 20s or 30s?
What do people not consider when buying a home or starting a business?
Be sure to avoid these three things at all costs when you're in your 30s.
Why is this person/celebrity/article controversial? Are they an expert who always gets it right, or someone who's often wrong but makes headlines anyway?
What are some of the most embarrassing moments from famous movies?
You get the idea?
Make your list posts scannable.
Make the list post article easy to skim and read by including sub headings or bullet points that cover your list points. You could even use item numbers.
For example, the way this post is divided into sections to help you understand everything from "What is a Listicle" to "How to Write a Listicle."
Write a strong ending.
A conclusion can summarize what your listicle is all about and/or give readers the "call to action" they need before they click away.
If you're feeling really creative, you could also include an actual list of takeaways or tips at the end.
How do you structure a listicle?
Let's take a look at the HubSpot formula for a listicle. Grab a copy of this formula and free ebook here.
[Blog Post Title]
Hubspot indicates that when you write a list post title, you should make sure the title starts with a number, odd numbers are best, and is up to 60 characters long.
Include a concise but catchy 100-200 word introduction that highlights:
The reason why your valuable content is important to potential readers
Who this list article is written for
What this comprehensive listicle will cover
Why is your valuable content important?
A good introduction should include keywords to help search engines discover the article. It should also give readers exactly what they're looking for and a preview of the content you have to share.
In order to do this, you will need to know exactly what your target audience wants from your content.. This will help you avoid producing an intro that doesn't clash with what follows.
Who is your list aimed at?
Your introduction should be clear about who the list article is for, and keep in mind that potential readers should be able to tell whether they are likely to enjoy or benefit from reading it straight away.
It should also highlight whether the list is aimed at novices, intermediates, or experts in the area you are exploring.
Your introduction should give readers an idea of what to expect from your article without giving too much away. If possible, mention a few points that will be covered by the article so they can get excited about reading it.
What will this list article cover?
Your introduction should also let readers know what the post is about and give them a general idea of how it might benefit them without being too specific.
The introduction should be written in a way that does not include any spoilers or information that may take away from their enjoyment of reading your blog articles.
Why is this list valuable?
In your introduction, you should include a reason why the article is valuable to readers and provide examples so they can see exactly how it will benefit them.
This could be anything from a time-saving tip, a way to save money, or a new marketing strategy. You may also wish to show what happens when readers don't follow your advice, so they can understand how it will benefit them.
What are the main points you should cover in your listicle?
Deciding what to include can often be guided by what is pleasing to search engines. Core keywords can be identified to help you rank higher in search results.
I use Surfer SEO to help me plan the outline for my listicles. Surfer is so simple to use, you don't need to be an SEO expert, or have any SEO training to get started. Learn more about this and other resources I use for my blog post outlines, along with some useful SEO tips!
Remember, all of the points on your list should be clear, easy to understand, and of course, relevant.
Your points should be written in a way that makes it clear how each one relates to the next, so readers can follow along with the particular order without being confused.
Successful listicles hold the reader's interest and remind them of the key takeaway at the end. You can do this by summarising what you've learned, including a link to your top resource, or mentioning how readers could use the information you've shared in their own lives.
After the conclusion, include a call-to-action that encourages readers to take action. This could be to subscribe to your email list, sign up for your webinar or buy something you've mentioned in your post.
Let me show you how to write list posts with Jasper!
Give it a try yourself with a 10,000 word FREE TRIAL (enough to easily write 2-3 listicles!) Get the Recipe
The way to approach listicles is very much like blog post titles - be sure to make them short and interesting while avoiding using words that are too generic.
You can also read my article on how to build and expand content with an AI Writer for more information on this topic.
I hope these quick tips help you out when producing listicles. If you have any other helpful hints, please share them in the comments section below!
Examples of listicles
Listicles are everywhere online, but not all are well-written or to the point.
I'd love to share some listicles that I've enjoyed reading recently:
How have you used listicles in your online marketing strategy?
What are three things you wish you knew about listicles five years ago?
Finally... Make sure you spend at least some time promoting your post on social media. A list post is an easy way to pick up lots of clicks - but only if people are reminded it's out there!
Now you've read my top tips, why not put them into practice by writing (or updating) your own list post?
Remember... having a list post on your blog is like getting an extra piece of content for free. Which makes it even better than recycled clickbait!
That's where Jasper comes in…you can do even more with this AI writer.
Jasper makes writing listicles (like this one) a breeze – no matter how much time you have – or what device you're using!
Recommended Read: Simplified vs. Shortly AI: How To Choose The Best AI Writing Partner.