How to Write a List Blog Post: Planning, Formatting and Tips

There are many different types of blog posts, but a list blog post is one that has an ordered list with items. They are typically used to share tips and information in a concise way. If you’re looking for some inspiration, this post will cover how to plan and format your own list blog posts as well as provide tips on what to include!

What is a list post (a.k.a listicle)?

A list post is a type of blog post that has an ordered list with items. They are typically used to share tips and information in a concise way, which makes them easy to digest for readers browsing on the internet.

What can be included?

List posts can include anything from lists filled out by one person (i.e., who is writing the list) to collaborative lists with other people. The list can include anything under the sun, but typically it’s used for sharing tips and information in a concise way.

Planning your post

When planning your list post, think about what you want to cover as well as how many items there will be on the list. When thinking of content around each item, you want to be able to write enough to make the post engaging but not too much that it becomes long-winded. You don’t want your readers to lose interest after reading the first sentence of a list item, so think about what’s important for them and what they would find interesting

Understand what problem you’re solving

Another important part of planning a list post is to think about what problem you’re solving.  Are you helping someone find five options for the best email marketing company?  Or ten of the best releases on Netflix this year? 

Knowing what you’re solving for will help guide the content of your list, and make it more valuable to readers.

What’s the strategic goal with the post?

The final part of the post is to think about the strategic goal of the post.  Most commonly, you want to get this type of post shared on social media.  They may not be the best for organic traffic but people love to share and comment on them.  You can also use them as a lead generation tool, by including an email capture form at the end of each list post.

What are the benefits to your audience? 

The other reason for planning posts is understanding what you’re going to offer readers in return for their time when they read it. Are you sharing insider tips on how people do a certain thing or what they love most about something?  These types of posts are about building trust and credibility with readers.

Writing your list post

Once you have a basic idea of what you are writing about and why, there are a few core elements you need to include to make it a great list blog post.

An attention-grabbing heading

Headlines are super important for any type of blog post and lists are no different.  You always want the number of items on your list in the post along with your main keyword for good SEO.

A solid introduction that keeps them reading

An introductory sentence or paragraph that explains the list and why you’re writing it 

This is probably your most important part of the post as this will be what gets readers to keep reading. You want them hooked from the first sentence or they’ll just scroll right on by. This is where we get into a general idea about how long each item on the list is going to be.

Keep the list organised logically

Some lists can be a bit random in their order but others want to be organised logically.  If you are writing about 25 new books released this year, you might want to group them by category such as romance or horror.

Alphabetical lists can work if there’s no clear logical or you don’t want to seem like you are favouring one entry over another.

Useful and in-depth content

How in-depth you go with each item of your list depends on the purpose and style of list.  But you always want to be sure the list is useful and that the reader gets some benefit from it.  You could use this as a spot to add affiliate links such as to an Amazon product for a book you discuss or for a free trial for software you are mentioning.

Make sure there’s a call to action

Lastly, add a call to action or CTA that tells the reader what to do next.  Is it to buy a product or subscribe? Or do you want them to leave their email address so they can be notified when the next list is released?  Even to comment below or share with a friend can be a useful CTA to add.

Editing the post

The final step is to edit the post and make sure the format is good.  Aside from the usual checks you would make for any blog post, there’s a couple of best practices for list posts to consider.

How to make it scannable

With list posts, it is always a good idea to make sure it is scannable.  That means using good heading structure and bullet points where possible such as explaining the pros and cons of something or the basics facts about it.

Use good heading structure for longer lists

If the list is longer than one paragraph, it can be helpful to use good heading structure.  This way readers know what they’re reading about and don’t need to read every sentence of a list item in order to understand what’s being said.

Harness the power of the listicle

The post includes a list of items that should be included in the list blog post. It also provides formatting and stylistic tips to make your posts more shareable on social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter as well as how to plan for it. Now get started writing your own high quality, informative and shareable lists by following these steps!

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