List + article = listicle. You + listicles = small business content heaven.
It’s no secret, blogging is a ruddy brilliant marketing tool for pretty much any small business – which is why I can’t stop writing about it in the Studio Cotton blog. Blogging allows you to position yourself as an entertaining and informative person in your industry – and probs most notably – can be a total SEO game-changer.
Take it from me. More than two-thirds of the time spent on this website includes viewing at least one blog article. Which means that without our blog content, my website design company have waaaaaayyyyy less traffic and waaayyyyyyyy less engagement.
But this article isn’t about why you should dive into some long form content creation. It’s about convincing you to embrace the listicle, with 6 reasons why you should write listicles; the easiest blogs for your small business.
What is a listicle? This is a Listicle.
A listicle is any article that utilises a list-style format; a big giveaway is usually having a number in the blog headline/title and numbered headings too.
1. Listicles make it easier to write longer blogs with a higher wordcount
How about I sit you down in front of a totally blank screen and tell you write 1,200 words about something relevant to your small business whilst also being entertaining and timely and professional and authentic and unique.
Not a fan eh? Me neither.
Instead, how about you pick a relevant topic you know inside out, and choose 4-7 bullet points. I want you to write like ~150 words about each of your points – and top and tail it with an introduction and conclusion.
Now doesn’t that sound a whole lot easier?!
I’m about to pop a delicious fresh cherry on top. If your listicle contains recommendations for other businesses, e.g. your favourite cafés for working in central Bristol or frightfully gothy brands for a spooktacular halloween, you can grab at least 75 of those words from the biographies and about pages of those brands’ websites.
Eugh look how much time and energy I just saved you.
2. Listicles better convey value to an audience and increase clickability
Let’s say you’re heading to a classy hen do in Bristol, but due to travel arrangements you’re arriving 12 hours early, you need to get some work done and you’re gagging for a premium latte. So you Google “Best cafés working Bristol” and you get the following articles in your search results:
- Cafés for working in Bristol
- 12 best coffee shops for working in Bristol (according to this local freelancing coffee snob)
Which are you gonna click?
Or let’s say you’ve been invited to a halloween party and want to use it as an excuse to buy some terrorific new jewellery that you plan to make part of your everyday wardrobe, and you find:
- Goth brands
- 8 alternative british, indendent fashion brands for a totally gothy halloween
Now let’s say you’re a small business and you’ve finally had enough of the Instagram algorithm pooping on your parade so you decide to find out the easiest way to start blogging, and you find:
- How to blog
- 6 reasons why you should write listicles; the easiest blogs for your small business
By giving a number in the title of your blog, you’re already conveying more value than your numberless competitors.
3. Listicles help your audience jump to the info they need
A massive content misconception is that nobody reads blogs because they’re just too long. Well, this is bullpish. Peeps read blogs all the time – you’re reading one like right now.
What’s not bullpish is that most people who land on a blog article won’t read the whole thing. Instead, they’ll scan through to find the answer or nugget that answers their question or solves their challenge.
Listicles increase scannability by ensuring your content is broken up into nice, digestible chunks, clearly marked with numbers so the reader can track their progress too.
They help keep the attention of your reader for as long as possible, and increase the chances of them latching on to your helpful content nuggets.
4. Listicles are a great way to drop in some outbound links
Google uses connections between websites to help understand the context of your content. Including examples to illustrate your points is a great way to excuse a link to another brand within your community. That’s a technique that I need to get better at using.
This is particularly useful for those coffee shop and gothy articles, as each one will contain heaps of outbound links to relevant small business brands.
5. Listicles are super repeatable
Duplicating your content over and over is bad for SEO. Don’t do it.
But if you want to write about the *basically* same thing, multiple times – listicles are a great tool for allowing you to do this. You can go down the classic route of using the ‘more’ or ‘still’ listicle, e.g.
- Why Linktree is bad for SEO (and an alternative for your website)
- 3 basic reasons why Linktree is still bad for SEO – from 2 years later
Or posting inverse blogs, e.g.
- 7 essential features for your contact page design
- 4 unmissable signs that your website’s contact page isn’t quite working
I recommend tying your content into the seasons. That coffee shop blog could easily have a summer version (adding in shops with aircon and ice lattes) and a winter version (comfy chairs and hot chocolate).
6. Listicles are easier to outsource and delegate
Outsourcing and delegating blog content creation is a great longterm goal for any small business (and here’s me conveniently dropping in that it’s a service we offer at Studio Cotton).
One of the factors that often determines the cost of your content creation services is the amount of research your copywriter needs to put in to understand the topic at your level.
Listicles can massively cut down on that research by giving you a strict format for removing that personal or expert content from your brain and popping it into your copywriter’s brain. Ok, I’ll work on that analogy.
It’s way easier to say to your copywriter, “can you write a blog on coffee shops for working, here’s my 8 picks including the reasons why I love them”; then to ask them to pitch the idea, pick the coffee shops, run those by you to get your input, and write it all up.
And that’s it. Hopefully I’ve convinced you to wade into the listicle waters and give this easy-peasy blogging format a good go. I can’t wait to see all that lovely, juicy wordy content you’ve created for your small business.
Still wondering how to write a listicle? We’ve got you covered with our accompanying blog post, 6 simple steps to writing a banging listicle blog for your small business website.
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