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In Praise of Listicles: Thousands of Years of Helping Readers Organize Their Thoughts

Content marketing experts have been saying for years that listicles are a thing of the past. This sentiment often appears in the context of an incitement to embrace the latest trend, whether it is the podcast, the tweet, the e-book, or the short form video. From reading these pieces of advice, you might think that the listicle was a short-lived fad that emerged in the 2000s as blogs replaced email forwards and ended as people’s attention spans grew too short to read an entire list, no matter how short its items might be. According to James Vincent, the author of Beyond Measure: The Hidden History of Measurement from Cubits to Quantum Constants, listicles have been around for much longer than the Internet has, and they help fulfill humanity’s need to organize complex information. Adopting the listicle format for your legal blog content could help you communicate clearly with your audience and convince them to contact your law firm.

Is Writing Listicles the World’s Oldest Learned Profession?

According to Vincent, the world’s oldest texts are lists; he argues that writing originated as record keeping, as professional scribes in some of the world’s oldest agricultural societies (in China, Egypt, Mesopotamia, and Mesoamerica) made lists of agricultural produce. It was a way of making sure there was enough food for everyone in a city-state with a population in the tens of thousands. Over time, the pictographs used to represent quantities and types of produce developed into syllabaries and alphabetic scripts, but lists did not lose their importance. A scribal manual from ancient Egypt is little more than a list of 610 items about which scribes needed to know, ranging from foodstuffs to members of the royal family to districts of the empire to cosmological and metaphysical concepts. In other words, the list reminded the society’s most educated people of everything they needed to know.

Lists Can Help Your Prospective Clients Bring Order Out of Chaos

Fast forward 4,000 years, and listicles and bullet lists on law firm blogs can still help remind your prospective clients of everything they need to know. If you are going through a divorce, suffering financial hardship due to an accidental injury, facing criminal charges, or managing the administration of a recently deceased family member’s estate, it is easy to feel overwhelmed by all the details. Sometimes a checklist is just what you need. Listicles on law firm blogs can reassure prospective clients that their situation is manageable. They can also help them organize their thoughts to know what questions to ask during their first consultation with you.

Writing an Effective Listicle Requires Expertise

The best person to write a listicle that will be meaningful to your prospective clients is a professional content writer who knows about the legal profession and your practice area of law. The professional legal content writers at Law Blog Writers can create listicles and other types of online content for your law firm.


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