Using Listicles

How to Use a Listicle to Generate Blog Content

Last Updated on by Michael Brockbank

One question I am asked often is how I come up with a seemingly never-ending stream of blog content for myself or my clients. One method that is often part of my routine is to use a listicle to expand the content.

With a single piece of content, you can create a month’s worth of work almost instantly.

Of course, that really depends on the topic and how you can dive deeper into the context. Still, using a listicle can provide a slew of content ideas, which is helpful if you’re fighting writer’s block.


What is a Listicle?

The term, “listicle” is a combination of “list” and “article.” Essentially, it’s an article that focuses on showing a list of points for any given topic. They became so popular that people started identifying them as “listicles.”

Listicles are perhaps one of the most common forms of content on the Internet. Some of the more common uses include best-of lists of products or services.

For instance, you could create a listicle of the 10 best WordPress themes for small businesses. Virtually any niche and topic can have a variety of list items, all of which are often effective at attracting an audience.

For one of my clients, using listicles makes up 4 out of the top 10 articles on their website in terms of traffic.

Even I have several on this website breaking down various aspects of freelance writing or blogging.

How to Use a Listicle for Future Content

Although list-style blog posts do quite well at attracting an audience, the article itself isn’t where the fun stops. In fact, you can easily turn that single piece into multiple ideas for future content.

Truth be told, I’ve done this a few times when creating blog posts as well as YouTube videos.

1. Do Your Research

All of the best listicles start with a strong point and a poignant list of content. Top profitable niches, best themes for gamers, or ways to cook pork are all list ideas that need a bit of context.

This is where the research comes in. It’s not enough to simply slap a list up on your website and call it good. You need to give people a reason to read the content.

Researching a bit of each case gives the reader a taste of what they can expect from any particular point you’re making.

However, you don’t want each section to be too long. Just break down each point in a quick, 150 to 200-word synopsis.

I’ve seen people using listicles that only had one or two sentences with each point. And that’s OK, depending on the target audience.

2. Create Your Listicle

Next, you want to create and publish your listicle. After all, you need something to base your future content on. Besides, it will reach an audience who simply wants a list of things for a particular topic.

When you write your article:

  • Try to keep each point roughly the same length.
    There’s something to be said about symmetry and how it affects the reader.
  • Provide the mere nuts and bolts of the point.
    You don’t need every detail imaginable for each section. Just provide a quick synopsis.
  • Don’t forget your conclusion.
    A properly worded conclusion can go a long way to finish an article without it seeming abrupt.

Using listicles can be virtually any length you deem fit for your website. I’ve seen short, 700-word lists with five items, to longer, 3,000-word articles with 50+ sections.

It’s really up to you as the creator and your target audience. This is where knowing who visits your blog and who you’re targeting comes into play.

3. Use Each Point to Create a More In-Depth Post

Once your listicle is live on your website, create new posts from each individual point. So, if you wrote an article about the top WordPress plugins for creating a contact form, write an article about each individual plugin.

10 Ways to Cook Chicken
This can provide 10 individual articles breaking down more details behind each “way” to cook chicken, such as recipes or showing nutritional information.

In reality, the single listicle can provide as many additional pieces of content as the list is long.

Once you write one of those articles, you can then find a way to link it back to the original post.

Each step in this article can easily become its own blog post later on.

4. Link to Your New Article Using the Listicle

Speaking of linking, don’t forget to go back and so some internal linking to your new article from the listicle itself. If your visitor wants additional specifics for any given point, he or she can easily click the link to read the piece.

Plus, it shows Google where to find the relevant addition to the blog.

I often go back and link to new posts from older articles. Essentially, it tells search engines that the piece of content you’re linking to is important.

Using a Listicle Can Quickly Expand Your Blog Content

Depending on the topic and the size, using a listicle as a base for additional content can provide a range of topic ideas. It’s a great way to keep yourself writing and cranking out content people want to read.

And, it’s one of the best ways I’ve found to help stave off writer’s block.

Start with an idea for a list-style post and expand. The articles can take you places that you didn’t realize were connected.

Michael Brockbank
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