Using a Listicle Format for Digital Content: 5 Reasons to Use Odd Numbers

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Using a Listicle Format for Digital Content: 5 Reasons to Use Odd Numbers

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One of the most popular – and readable – blog formats is a “listicle.” This word, coined from combining “list” and “article,” describes a list of similar themes or objects. The quintessential listicle is David Letterman’s famous “Top Ten” which he enjoyed presenting for 30 years.

Using a listicle in a blog and including the number of items in your title ensures that:

  • Readers know right away what to expect and can zero in on the numbers.
  • It’s an easily readable format and breaks up large segments of text.
  • Readers save time as they can quickly skim the content to find what they are looking for.
  • Because readers enjoy the quick read in this format, they share it often.
  • It’s shown to be a format that attracts more organic traffic and interaction.

5 Reasons to Use Odd Numbers in a Listicle

Believe it or not, odd numbers work best in a listicle title and blog!

Studies have shown that odd-numbered lists trigger certain responses from readers:

  1. They are more trustworthy because no padding was added to make a balanced (even) number.
  2. They make our brains happier because it’s more decisive, as we tend to split outcomes and don’t like a “tie” (with an even number).
  3. Although even numbers are symmetrical, odd numbers are more interesting and therefore easier to remember.
  4. Grouping content in blocks of three or five helps readers to absorb the information more easily.
  5. Superstition even comes into play! Many superstitious people believe that even numbers are unlucky because they are divisible, therefore reducing their power. Odd numbers can’t be reduced like this and so are more powerful. For example, the number “3” is favored by Chinese culture.

Does the listicle format, especially with an odd number of items, appeal to you? Try incorporating it into your practice’s blogs, e-newsletters and social media posts and watch your click-through rates climb!

Ask Us About Our Comprehensive Digital Marketing Strategy

Blue Orchid Marketing offers custom-written marketing elements designed to increase your bottom line.  We also focus on external marketing by placing your practice on more than 70 local online directories and writing weekly custom blogs and social media posts to ensure your practice is found on internet searches.  That’s more than 40 posts a month … it’s a service you need to stay competitive!

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To learn how our internal marketing solutions can put money in your pocket and our internet presence solutions and websites can help you to attract new patients and clients, please call us at 203-746-5901 – ask for Danny – or send an email to We’ll create a package that’s right for you!