Ah, List Posts! Readers love them. Writers hate them. Blog owners crave for them as list posts bring in a lot of eager visitors. Especially websites that churn out celebrity blog posts filled with images from paparazzi. Oh, this attracts a butt load of prying eyes.
The internet is swarming with lots and lots of over and underbaked list posts. As writers who prioritize quality above all, you would have decided already to avoid them. But it’s bad for business. Here is how you write proper list posts without compromising your quality.
List Posts are psychological drivers. They appeal to the human psyche. In most cases, they passively tempt us into clicking on them. This is what Mr. Robert Cialdini a retired prominent Psychologist calls the ‘Click, Whirr’ response. It is caused by the influential effect of numbers on us. Seeing them in a headline tempts us at a subconscious level to click on them.
Now you might have started to wonder whether including numbers in your headlines will increase exposure of your work. It may, but ultimately there is no substitute for proper, grammatically well-structured content. If you rely solely on flashy, junk data, your readers will let go of you. OMG! You don’t want that.
Having said that, you are here, to understand how to make great list posts.
#1. If it’s List Post, Don’t Start With Numbers!
You enter the sanctity of your workspace and look forward to manufacturing some hot content that literally burns the keys on your keyboard. But when you see your job sheet, terror strikes! All hell breaks loose when you realize that you have been tasked with the creation of list posts.
You may be feeling an immense desire to log into your favorite internet hangout and express your misfortune. But you have to move on. You have to embrace list posts and accept the grim reality that ‘listicles’ or list posts are now part of your life.
After getting your bearings straight. You might open your favorite word processing app and start filling it with numbers from 1 to 10 and hope to fill it to complete your task. It’s the worst possible way to start out to write a great list post.
You have found the fiery topic which you can fuel with your words. The topic you choose should be like an itch to the audience you are writing for. An itch that requires the much-deserved scratching. Seeds of such topics can only come from your audience. Surprised!?
You cannot hope to successfully sell a killer post on aeronautical engineering to Hello Kitty cosplay enthusiasts. You got to target your niche.
You will realize your best work only after it’s written and afterward, you can reorganize it into a killer list post.
#2. Understand What You Are to
To write a killer content, you will have to solve a problem that has been a pain point for your reader. Even if the problem is pure boredom caused by the zillions of entertainment sites out there.
You are a creator. It’s your responsibility to be aware of the likes and dislikes of your audience.
What makes them cheerful? What saddens them? What they like to gain and what they like to lose? Master all these and you will make the perfect concoction to please your readers.
Wherever man is, problems aren’t far away. The same holds true for your audience. So, for you to come up with killer list posts. Research over your audience and their problems. Find solutions to those problems.
Master this and you will end up churning amazing, awe-striking list posts.
#3. Make It Fascinating
Make it useful and interesting. Achieving the first one without the later equals to ‘Wikipedia’ and that’s already out there.
Boring content doesn’t equal a killer list post even though it’s well researched and solves problems.
For example, if your audience is people with diabetes, providing them with posts on how to manage diabetes and informing them about the latest technological breakthroughs in diabetic research will make them come to you.
Make a post about the medical issues they face. Provide solutions, well-researched ones and repeat the process over and over again. You will have a dedicated following of diabetic people.
Fantastic headlines coupled with boring content will keep your audience at bay from your site over time. This is counterproductive especially when you are desiring a following for your posts.
Employ strong writing voice and your audience will follow through your post with enthusiasm. Throwing a few metaphors here and there along with storytelling makes them listen to your posts in their subconscious rather than having the feeling of reading them. These are pretty powerful stuff when it comes to content creation.
Impeccable writing ability and poetic influence make the content top of the shelf, fascinating kind.
#4. Your Strategic Goal
Being a content writer whose sole purpose is to make your advertisers happy by increasing the traffic is one of the hardest livelihoods. Marketing is a highly competitive arena.
You have to attract new visitors, keep them occupied on the site. So that you are able to feed them more and more information about the advantages of the product or service you are gunning for and aiming to sell by nurturing your clientele. So that they buy the product or service you are intending to sell to them.
Content exist for different purposes. Some are there to attract new visitors. Some are there to sustain the relationship with your existing audience and some to advocate why you are the best choice out there.
So, understand what you are aiming to achieve and attain it. Set the crosshairs on your target and gun straight for it.
#5. Make It Worthwhile To Spend Time On
Once you have something worth reading and problem solving for your audience expressed in an interesting way, add some poetic tune to it. You still have to wrap it up in a way that is pleasurable to consume.
Content as long as the Great Wall of China and audiovisual content with poor sound quality are big crowd thinners than a smoke screen. Over time, they tend to keep your readers away from you. The same thing goes for mediocre content wrapped in colorful words.
But when good content is presented with a mixture of poetry and strong narrative. It becomes unforgettable. Making it more appealing to your audience. Something worth spending time on.
#6. You Still Got To Promote
As you accomplish manufacturing content worth your audience’s time, you have to think of promoting it. This is huge. Nothing sells on its own. You have to take it seriously when it comes to promoting your content.
Social media helps in a big way. But it’s imperative to have a lot of eyes on your content. Promoting your content among targeted audience achieves desirable results.
Remember, if you have amazing content and if you don’t have anyone to read it and cherish its useful insights. It a giant waste of your time.
#7. Your Next Move?
Execute the first six perfectly. Then you have to have a plan for your audience, for afterward. You have captivated them with your writing. Feed them more engaging, informative content which helps them solve many other problems they are facing.
Target your loyal readers with ‘Call to Action’ buttons. Have your readers enroll by email for more informative and worthwhile content from you. It may be more content or product/service promotional emails. Informing your loyal subjects of the latest updates in your sphere of influence in the web.
Before you publish and promote, have your next step worked out and ready to be executed. To be a professional copywriter, master straightforward calls of action and attract more audience to you.
That’s all, good luck.