When I’m introducing text-based story forms, lists (or listicles) often come top of the … list. After which I sometimes hear the word ‘clickbait’ being muttered through clenched teeth.
My response is that lists worked a treat when I started in newspapers 40 years ago (and long before that) and they are even more effective in the digital era … for good reason. They’re easy to create, engaging to read, perfect for mobile and have bags of SEO potential.
It’s not the form itself that earned a bad name, but writers who used lists as a quick way to churn out garbage in the hope of attracting cheap clicks.
There’s nothing new or wrong with a catchy headline; the test is: does the content justify it? Just like any other style of storytelling, it’s the quality that counts.
As guides go, this has to be about the most detailed I’ve seen. A little over the top possibly, but it’s from a marketing angle (I’m not knocking that) and aimed at beginners. ‘How-to’ stories, comparisons, reviews and ‘pillar posts’ follow. (Pillar posts? 🤔)
Let’s keep things simple and stick with lists. Here are five more list stories that caught my eye this week.
Clickbait? You decide ⚖️