How to write a typical clickable Buzzfeed listicle

Step 1: Crafting a title. Creating an effective, click-magnet title is not as hard as you think! Simply pick a topic, a catching adjective, and a number, and BOOM, a perfect title. Here are some perfectly clickable examples to get your brain juices flowing: “9 Lame ‘Castles’ that Prove Tourists are Total Plebeians,” “17 Surprising Things Hamsters Can Fit in Their Anuses,” “37 Real-life Ethnicities You Wish Didn’t Exist.” For a good example, let’s go with “15 Things John Cena Bears as a Crushing Burden.”

Step 2: Take a break, you deserve it! After all that work, it is good to recharge your quality writing batteries by pondering deep, philosophical thought. Listen to some music by Tay Tay Swift, smoke a fat dube, and release a single balloon into the sky, only to see if it will actually make it to space.

Step 3: Writing. Writing is hard. Period. Fortunately, a quality listicle is a lot closer than you think. If you find writing meaningful prose to be too difficult, make sure you add in a photo for each point. Your readers will appreciate the aid in visualizing what can sometimes be abstract and metaphorical concepts, such as basic nouns and verbs. Besides, a picture is worth a thousand words, meaning your 15,000 plus word piece will easily dwarf your friends and their most meticulously researched papers.

1-4: Your first few points should be obviously true things that not only work to establish credibility, but allow you to connect with the reader in a relatable way. In our case, something like “Losing his 2012 match to the Rock” or “Oodles of cash, physically” should work quite well. These points will leave the average college student thinking: “Jeez, I couldn’t beat the Rock my first time either!” or “Wow, I totally feel the burden of by my parents’ millions of dollars too.”

5-7: Now that the reader trusts you, it is time to venture into more questionable territory. The next several points should be obscure, interesting and otherwise semi-true things. Don’t be afraid to compromise some truth in the process of entertaining your reader. “An intense attraction to animated, japanese teens” fits this criteria pretty well. Cena-san is known to be a big fan of japanese animation; is he also attracted to underage, animated teens? Yeah, sure.

8-10: Is it true? Who knows. Certainly not you. At this point, exploiting your reader’s faith and interest should be your goal. The best of listicle writers will understand when truth ceases to become a necessary component. “A fateful night in 2004 when a flock of raven stole his dignity in front of a smokin’ babe. The real shame was that one raven survived. It haunts him to this day.” Likely your reader won’t know what’s going on, but I’m sure they’ll understand the poetic reference to Edgar Allan Cena.

11-15: Let loose, who gives a shit. If your reader has made it this far they clearly have too much time on their hands. Chances are they are some dipshit that sits on the web all day, so they’re probably going to believe this trash anyways. “John Cena is Atlas, bearer of the world.” There you go. Happy? Have a great day you worthless filth.

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