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Writing a listicle that goes viral is every content marketer’s goal.

If you are a content marketer looking to write a listicle article that gets millions of views, likes, and shares? You have come to the right place.

Like any piece of art, taking time to plan your work is essential in creating a high-value listicle. 

Writing a listicle that goes viral happens way before the actual writing starts.

Your listicle will compete with lots of information on the internet. 

Thus, you must get the planning stage of listicle writing right, to get your expected results.

Choose Your Topic

Choosing a topic is the first and most important stage of listicle writing. Choose a topic easy for you to write about.

There are certain topics that are not fit for presentation as a listicle. Academic and scientific topics, for example, are best written in prose.

Write a listicle only on something you can explain well and easily. Listicles are easy to read. Therefore, choose a topic whose content you can break down into small list chunks that are easily digestible.

Consider the following questions when coming up with a listicle topic.

Where do your interests lie?

What are you an expert in?

Answers to these two questions will help you narrow down a suitable topic for your listicle.

As a content marketer, your content should help you get new customers and create more awareness of your product. It should also create engagement with existing and potential customers.

You should, therefore, create a listicle whose topic is your product. Make it fun and easy to read to achieve its intended purpose.

Choose And Research Your Topic Keyword

When you have a topic, the next thing is to find out who your audience is and what they want to read.

What solutions would you provide for them in a listicle?

Carry out a keyword survey to find out what interests your audience. It will also help you come up with fresh content in your chosen listicle topic.

Keywords are words that your intended listicle audience is using to search for content related to your topic on Google.

With over 4.4 million blog posts made every day, proper keyword research and use make it possible for your listicle to rank on Google.

As a result, your audience will easily find your listicle on the internet.

Keyword research is an important and intense step in the listicle planning stage. There are many methods to carry out keyword research.

One keyword research method you can use is writing your topic on Google and checking out the results on the first page. The results on this page are the most relevant to the search query, according to Google. 

To know how to use your listicle keyword similar to the first page results, look at the content on this results page. Check out the headings, content structure, keyword use, and the information in the articles. You can then come up with content to rival your competitors.

The other easy method to use for keyword research is Google autocomplete.

On your Google search bar, enter a few words of your topic. As you make your search, Google autocomplete will automatically provide search suggestions for you. These auto-suggestions are what your audience is searching for in your chosen listicle topic on Google.

Also, check out these auto-suggestions to identify if you can create your listicle around them. Some may not have a lot of content, which would provide you with an opportunity to rank on Google quickly.

As part of your keyword research, don’t forget to check the bottom of the first page of the Google search results. You will find searches related to your Google query. Incorporate the phrases in these searches in your listicle as part of the main keywords or use them for additional keyword research.

There are other advanced keyword research methods.

Use keyword research tools such as SEMRush, Moz KeywordPlanner, Google Analytics, and Ahrefs for easier identification and proper use and placement of keywords.

After thorough keyword research for your listicle, you are ready to write.

Create a Catchy Headline 

study desk
Image from unsplash by Nick Morrison

The secret to attracting readers to your listicle is a catchy headline.

80% of readers will read only the headline of the copy and leave the rest. You must take your time to craft the best headline you can for your listicle.

A catchy headline increases the chances of your listicle getting more readers.

Tips to write a catchy listicle headline:

  • Make it fun
  • Add an element of surprise
  • Use numbers-odd numbers in your headings
  • Avoid clickbait
  • Add a sense of urgency
  • Make it unique
  • Make it clear

Besides the catchy headlines, provide relevant and valuable content to your audience.

Outline Your Listicle

With your headline ready, it is now time to build up your listicle.

Create a foundation for your listicle by listing the ideas that will make up your list.

Research what other articles in your topic talk about and give yours a unique perspective. To stand out, let your listicle contain missing or new information around your topic.

Brainstorming and thorough keyword research will help you with this.

Make your listicle content fun, scannable, and flowing easily. This will attract more readers, likes, and shares that are the currency of the internet and social media. They show that there is value in your content.

You will also need to determine the length of your listicle. Establish the number of points you want in your listicle.  This will depend also on your topic and the purpose of your listicle.

Also, decide on the type of listicle you want to create.

Common types of listicles that you can use.

  • Standard list. A listicle that offers a list of items with a brief explanation in it.
  • Definitive List. An in-depth research-based listicle.
  • Advice list. A how-to-do something kind of article.
  • Editorial list.Listicle on trends.
  • Mega list. A listicle with many points.

You Are Ready to Write Your Listicle

man wearing blue long sleeve writing notes
Image from Freepik by lookstudio

You are now ready to write your listicle.

Before you write, create a unique perspective. Present your listicle to your audience from this perspective.

Use images to make your listicle easy to read and understand. Use relevant images to illustrate the points in your listicles. Also, make sure you have permission to use the images you choose for your listicle.

When writing your listicle, make sure you stick as close as possible to your outline. The outline makes it easier to write a clear and focused listicle.

Finally, remember to make a strong conclusion for your listicle. Don’t offer great value only in your content. Also, make a strong and memorable conclusion tied to the central theme of your listicle.   

Ease the Pressure of Creating the Perfect Listicle

As a content marketer, you have many targets to meet and pieces of content to create.

Follow the above guidelines on how to ace your listicle planning stage. You will make great listicle content all the time.

Check out Copysmiths if you are looking to ease the burden of creating easy to read listicles.

We deliver high-quality listicle content that connects and engages with your target market.

Get in touch today for fresh content and growth in your business.

Photo by katemangostar / CC BY

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Small Revolution

I'm Katrina McKinnon, founder of CopySmiths and Small Revolution. I'm using my 20 years' experience in building and operating online businesses to create engaging educational materials that helps others become successful online workers. Find me on LinkedIn and Twitter.