15 Simple Reasons Why Everyone Loves Listicles

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Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

1) There are plenty of subjects

One thing many writers struggle with is subject matter. I know I frequently have a hard time thinking of a list of articles to write for the coming week. Once I have an idea, I can run with it, but when it comes time to sit down and write my idea list, that’s when writer’s block sets in.

Until I think of listicles.

Then the ideas pour out; 10 things I like about that and 3 things I hate about this. Any subject can quickly grow into a dozen when you start playing with variations of listicles.

2) Listicles are easy to write

I don’t think of myself as a lazy writer. Some of my editors do, but I don’t. Once I start working on a piece, I will dig into the research and scope out the article, writing until it’s complete regardless of the word count
But if I have to choose between an easy article and a difficult article, which one do you think I will write?

3) Listicles are easy to Read

Even if the audience is going to read the whole thing start to finish, listicles are easier to read than regular articles. Readers are grabbing and devouring information in small, easily digestible chunks. Kind of like the hors d’oeuvre section of the buffet rather than meat and potatoes.
And knowing they are easy to read, people are more apt to open a listicle than something more hearty. Someone reading on their phone while they wait for a doctor to finish making golf reservations is more likely to click on, “3 ways to avoid doctors,” than, “The history of gynecology.”

4) People have short attention spans

People writing for social media celebrated a couple of years ago when Twitter expanded to 280 characters. They initially underestimated the number of characters it took to convey a cohesive thought. But what they didn’t underestimate was people’s attention span.

5) Clickbait

Told you. But it’s true. Listicles are clickbait, but wait, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Back in 2006, when Jay Geiger coined the phrase in a blog post, it was more of a literal description. Something that lures someone to click on it and open the page, site, or article. Only later, with the proliferation of Pay-per-Click (PPC) ads, did clickbait develop a bad reputation.

6) Familiarity

Listicles are like an old pair of slippers. You know, the ones you put on when you are done for the day and don’t expect anyone to see you wearing them. Listicles are easy to slip on and off and aren’t likely to make you uncomfortable while you are reading them. You know what to expect and are rarely surprised when you open one.

7) Organization

We love organization. We like things in proper rows, alphabetized, a place for everything and everything in its place.

8) Listicles are short

Listicles are shorter in general than traditional articles. It doesn’t matter how many things are on the list; there is a lot of white space in listicles. The number of actual words you have to read is fewer. The time it takes to read the article is less.

9) They are easily scannable

Most people don’t read most things anymore. Not all the way through. Often, we don’t even admit this to ourselves, much less others. I read it cover to cover, more often means; I skimmed the table of contents.

10) Mobile devices

Like Common says in the new Microsoft ads, “Look Around!” Everywhere you go, everyone you see has their face buried in their mobile device, most often a phone. These tiny gadgets deliver most of our information, content, and entertainment.

11) Validation

Listicles are great for validation. Confirmation bias drives a lot of web traffic. We want to believe something and are looking for an article to confirm that we are right.

12) Easily sharable

Hand in hand with validation, listicles are easily shareable. You read it quickly and easily, and it confirms what you wanted to see, so you share it. You are much more likely to share a simple, to the point listicle, like 7 reasons to buy new shoes than say, The biography of Euripides.

13) Easy to remember

Listicles are easy to remember. You do not need to extract facts from a long, dry treatise on a subject. You just need to grab the bullet points. Plus, the human brain is inclined to remember things in numbers. A short list of numbered headings will be remembered long after the actual content of an article.

14) Everyone is impatient

I can’t believe you had the patience to read this far. Social media and cellphones have created an extremely impatient world. Us Boomers can remember a time when you had to wait until six o’clock just to find out what the weather was going to be tomorrow, much less if the world going to end.
Today’s world is such that everyone knows everything right now. Waiting for an article to get to the point just isn’t going to cut it in this century.

15) People love numbers

Finally. Number 15. The last one. But an important one. People love numbers. We gravitate to numbers. If we see two signs across the way, and one of them has a list of numbers, that’s where we are going. We scan for numbers; we seek numbers, we love numbers.

Photographer & Writer-I shoot what I see-I write what I feel. Top writer in Photography, Art, Creativity, Productivity, Self Improvement, Business, Life Lessons

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