1. Put your back into it.
You’re already down, on your knees (metaphorically, of course), you may as well take the plunge without holding back.
2. Play with the residuals.
Again, if we happened to be talking about fellatio, then the residuals would be the balls. In the case of listicles, the residuals are the commenters. Much like the balls, you don’t want to forget the commenters exist. (Incidentally, by the transitive property, this would mean that commenters equal balls.)
Engage your commenters. Your article started a conversation, so go run with it. At the very least read your comments—it’s a great way to see how your article was received, and a perfect opportunity to find new listicle ideas.
3. Work the WHOLE THING. Not just the tip.
You can work all day on a viral-sounding headline, but if the content isn’t good, then your listicle wont thrive. Put differently, a headline will get someone to click, but only the content will get shares. Similarly, in keeping with the fellatio metaphor, you can feign interest all you want, but if you don’t enjoy giving blowjobs your man will notice.
4. Focus on their sensitive spot.
Your goal is to find a strong identity badge—something people identify with intimately, perhaps even veering on a touchy subject—and center your listicle around that. Think of an identity badge as the head of the penis—you want to put emphasis on this part, but not overwhelmingly so.
5. Surprise them; be unpredictable.
Throw in something that’s characteristically you. Something that will make you unforgettable to your audience. There’s no one exact formula to sucking on the listicle, which is why you should always listen to your instincts. Here’s your chance to have fun with it. Go wild! Improvise!
6. Get messy.
Don’t be afraid to get a little dirty either. Sucking on the listicle is, by definition, a contentious act. It would be a waste of your time and energy to suck on the listicle without using your hands at some point too.
7. Be a tease.
If time is of the essence, try being a tease. I’ve found there’s no easier and faster way to ensure a rapt audience. Take an identity badge or culture that you’re well-aquainted with and cut into them, deep. I did this with my 11 Reasons Jewish Boys Are The Least Dateable Boys article that I wrote four months ago and people are still tweeting about it—still…on my dick, if you will.
8. Tell them what they want to hear.
Get them where it hurts, yes, but also make sure to keep them interested by balancing that with what they want to hear too. Whether it’s “What a nice dick you have” or “I get anxious about weird things too!” EVERYONE’S a sucker for flattery. Which ultimately begs the question, “Who—really—is sucking on the listicle now?” The answer? You.