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5 Ways to Craft a Perfect List


  •   2 min reads
5 Ways to Craft a Perfect List

Everyone loves a good Top 10 list. We see them in magazines, scroll through them on blogs and usually chuckle when  serve up a satirical top ten. provide a punchy way to assemble information in an easy-to-read article format. We asked writers and editors what makes a listicle work,  “Then, create specific and value-laden points and go back and edit each to make your points impactful with as few words as possible,” says Derbabian.

Rank and File

Readers like listicles, but there are payoffs for magazines and writers, too. Top 10’s usually generate quite a bit of traffic online, which can boost the reputation of the writer and the publication. Use the right keywords—and not too many of them—and you can strike gold.In addition to the right blend of keywords to drive traffic to a list online, Tighe says another way to drive traffic to an article is to create a buzz around it. She recommends that editors and writers work together to determine which criteria is necessary when doing a ranked list. This ensures the list is well thought-out with the purpose of engaging readers and, in the social media age, getting them to talk to each other about the piece.

“People will disagree, controversy will ensue, which is great for traffic,” says Tighe. “But controversy should never be the goal. Great content should be the goal.”What’s all the fuss about when it comes to driving traffic? Websites encouraging people to read listicles helps to get them to read your publication, and ultimately, to purchase your product or service.Because of the nature of listicles, they are likely to be shared, adds . her publication, she uses listicles to help identify trends, incorporate dishes and restaurants from different locations and get fresh content up quickly. “If a reader wants to know where to eat the best Chicago hot dog, a long-form piece on its history isn’t going to be much help,” she says.

“A pithy list of the 10 greatest dogs in Chicago, with representation from various neighborhoods, is exactly what readers need.”“At Mashable, if we’re talking about the top 10 ways to market your site on Twitter, we’re going to look for anecdotes, stats, expert opinions and examples to lend credence to our advice,” says Catone. “But for another site, say the personal blog of a known social media expert or someone trying to brand herself as such, just their opinions might suffice.”

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