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Feb 28, 2017 | 4 min read

10 Types of Listicles & When to Use Them

Content Marketing

There’s a time and place for every listicle.

Listicles are fun, easy to read, and entertaining — and they come in all shapes and sizes. Here’s a rundown of our 10 favorites types:

1. Inspirational


There’s so much heavy information circulating the digital space that sometimes it’s refreshing to come across a light listicle that aims to inspire.

One caveat: motivational content certainly has its merits, but should be used sparingly, as it can lose its luster when overdone.

2. Educational


The best content offers valuable information to its readers. Educational listicles are chock full of tips and advice. The goal is simple: think about what types of problems your target audience may be trying to solve, and set out to help them find answers.

3. How-to


People love how-to listicles because they break down a complex topic into a few simple steps. When readers are trying to solve a problem, they want to know how long it’s going to take, and how much effort they will have to put forth.

As an industry expert, you likely already have access to vast stores of information that are of interest to your readers. Recycle high-performing content by turning it into a numbered step-by-step guide.

4. Advice


The advice listicle is generally written by someone who has firsthand experience with the topic at hand. It offers a solution to an uncomfortable situation or frequently encountered problem.

Content that lends humble advice is usually personal and heartfelt, building a sense of trust and communal understanding between the author and readers.

5. Opinion


We’re the first to say it: opinion listicles can be touchy. You don’t want to offend (and thus alienate) a large segment of your readership by bashing their favorite musician or movie.

However, with the right approach, an opinionated listicle can walk the delicate balance between humor and thought leadership without losing you any loyal consumers in the process.

6. Analysis


Listicles with an analytical bent usually attempt to bring clarity to complex topics. When writing in listicle form, it’s easy to unintentionally leave out pertinent information, so charts and other visual support can go a long way in succinctly explaining a complicated idea.

7. News


By highlighting a few key takeaways of a recent event, the news listicle is an effective way to clearly (and quickly) communicate the meatiest aspects of a complex story for busy readers.

Sometimes, people want to be in-the-know, but don’t have the time to read through a full-fledged report on the subject at hand. Reading a listicle helps them bypass the minute details and focus on the main ideas.

8. Curation


Curation listicles contain advice or information pulled from social media and other existing digital sources, instead of direct communication with the featured contributors.

When you don’t have the time or resources to reach out to industry experts for specific insights, try this approach and curate the most relevant articles or social media posts on the subject. Keep in mind, you should always provide a link to sources used.

9. “Best-Ofs”


The “best-of”, or collection, listicle is usually crafted with a specific interest group in mind. It makes sense: music buffs with extensive vinyl collections will likely be inclined to check out a list of the 36 all-time greatest records, validating that their favorites are at the top of the list.

10. Expert Roundup


Expert roundups feature insightful contributions from industry experts. Typically, these experts are given a compelling question or a topic for discussion and asked to share their thoughts.
These types of listicles can generate tons of traffic via social sharing, thereby boosting your authority and building valuable connections.

Think about the style, tone and purpose of your content before making a decision about which type of listicle to write. Then, choose the one that best aligns with your target audience and helps you achieve your overarching goals.

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