You’ve heard that content is king. That’s true, because not only can you use it to engage your audience, but you also use it to drive even more traffic to your site.
Simply put, good content gets shared.
So what is good content? It’s anything that is novel and/or extraordinarily useful and/or entertaining to the reader. The actual words you put on the page are up to you.
However, I’m going to share with you this one type of content called “List articles” that will engage your readers and get them sharing your blog posts and other content with their friends.
What is a list article?
A list article is just what it sounds like you – you create a list of the top resources, tips, secrets, strategies, or anything else. Your list might include five, ten, twenty, or more items. You might even create a “Top 101” list.
It’s no secret that list articles are extremely popular. Just look at the cover articles of big magazines, and you’re sure to see titles such as, “10 of the Best Campgrounds for RVers” and “15 Surefire Ways to Improve Your Marriage.”
Or scan the front page of Buzzfeed on any given day, and you’ll quickly see that some of their most popular articles are lists.
Simply put, people love lists. And now you can take advantage of their love of lists by creating your own list
Here’s how in four easy steps…
Step 1: Come up With the Topic
I’m going to assume you’re already writing in some specific niche, right? So now you just need to come up with a topic within that niche.
What you want to do is choose a topic that’s really popular with your readers.
Here’s how to uncover that sort of topic:
- Look at your own blog to see which topics are popular (e.g., which ones get a lot of traffic and comments).
- Browse your competitor’s blogs to see which topics generate a lot of interest.
- Check niche forums to see which topics get plenty of views and replies.
- See what topics are selling books well on Amazon – if people are buying the information, then you know it’s in demand.
- Check Buzzsumo for popular list articles in your niche.
Once you pick a popular topic, then move onto the next step…
Step 2: Choose a Number
Next, you need to choose the number of secrets, strategies, tips, tricks, etc that you intend to share in your list.
Quick Tip: Odd numbers perform really well when it comes to list articles.
Popular numbers include 3, 5, 7, 10, 15, 20, 21, 27, 30… and multiples of five and ten all the way through 100, plus 101.
You can use these popular numbers, or you can stand out by using a number such as 11, 12, or 18.
Step 3: Create a Title
The next thing you need to do is create an attention-getting title.
This is the most important part of your article because if the title doesn’t grab attention, no one will read the article.
You can create an attention-getting title by doing one of two things (or both):
- Promise a benefit (such as “7 Ways to Lose Weight”).
- Arouse curiosity (by using a word like “secrets”).
Here are 10 title templates that promise a benefit, arouse curiosity, or both:
- [number] Secrets of [getting a benefit]
Example: 7 Secrets of Housetraining a Puppy
- [number] Surefire Ways to [get a benefit]
Example: 10 Surefire Ways to Lose 10 Pounds
- [number] Amazing Ways to [get a benefit]
Example: 3 Amazing Ways to Improve Your Marriage
- [number] Things [people] Don’t Want You to Know About [topic]
Example: 10 Things Car Dealers Don’t Want You to Know About Buying a Used Car
- Top [number] Ways to [get a benefit]
Example: Top 5 Ways to Find Your Soul Mate
- [number] Little-Known Tricks for [getting a benefit]
Example: 17 Little-Known Tricks for Selling a House Fast
- [number] Surprising Things You Didn’t Know About [Topic]
Example: 21 Surprising Things You Didn’t Know About Your Pregnancy
- The [number] Absolute Best Ways to [get a benefit]
Example: The 3 Absolute Best Ways to Get Bigger Pecs Fast
- [number] Weird Tricks for [getting a benefit]
Example: 11 Weird Tricks for Looking 10 Years Younger
- [number] Startling Facts About [Topic]
Example: 15 Startling Facts About Remodeling Your Home
Once you have your title, move on…
Step 4: Complete the Article
Now you need to write the article, which consists of three main parts:
This is where you whet your readers’ appetite by hinting at what’s coming.
You can promise a benefit, such as, “You’ll discover a weird trick for getting rid of belly fat!”
This is the bulk of your article, where you list your secrets, strategies, facts, etc.
Be sure to stick with a light, engaging and conversational tone to keep folks interested.
Here you quickly summarize what readers just learned. Then you provide a call to action.
- Telling people to take action on what they just learned.
- Clicking a link.
- Buying a product.
- Subscribing to your email list.
Be sure to also format your article so it’s easy to read, by using subheadlines, bulleted lists, and plenty of white space.
Once your article is complete, then it’s time to review & publish it…
As I already mentioned, list articles are wildly popular. People love them.
Your next step should be promoting your article as much as possible. The more people it reaches the more chances of it getting shared.
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