How to Write Listicles with the Best Chance of Ranking and Converting


We've experienced a lot of success with product listicles, on both our top affiliates' websites and our own. On the HubSpot blog, this particular blog post format gets an average click-to-signup conversion rate 50x higher than the average blog post!

This is a technique that works for us, and we want it to work for you too. Here are some tips to get you started.


What is a “listicle”?

A listicle is an article presented in the form of a list. It’s a flexible and easy-to-read way to introduce ideas. Some examples:


What should my listicle be about?

HubSpot has many different features that you can promote. The best features to write about will depend on who your audience is and what is most relevant to them. Always keep your readers in mind when creating a new piece of content. Your main goal should always be to provide the most value for them.

We recommend affiliates promote products and/or features that are free and rely on HubSpot’s lead nurturing to convert new users into paying customers. It’s a lot easier to get someone to sign up for a free product than trying to get them to pay $50 or $800 upfront. This is the freemium strategy that’s been working for HubSpot (think inbound marketing), so we highly recommend doing the same.


Keyword Ideas

Product listicles typically heavily rely on SEO for traffic. If you’re feeling stuck on what to write, here is a list of some of the keywords our marketing team tries to target when writing our own blog posts:

Product Keywords

crm tools

free crm software

best crm software for small businesses

Email Marketing

free email marketing

best email marketing software

free email lead generation software

Form Builder

free form builder

free exit intent popup

exit popup software

Help Desk

customer service tracking software

best help desk software

issue tracking software

Landing Pages

free landing page builder

free one page website

free lead capture page and autoresponder

Live Chat

best live chat software

free live chat software

best free live chat software

Marketing Hub

best digital marketing tools

free campaign management software

free marketing tools for small businesses

Meeting Scheduler

scheduling software

best calendar app

meeting booking software

Sales Hub

sales prospecting tools

sales pipeline software

best sales automation software

Service Hub

best customer service software

customer support tools

customer service chat software

WordPress Plugin

best wordpress plugins

best wordpress form plugin

free plugins for wordpress

Of course, there are hundreds more keywords you could target. Use SEO content tools like Ahrefs to find more related keywords.


Best Practices

  • Be comprehensive, but write for skimmers. The list should be comprehensive but also easy to navigate and fun to read.

  • Put HubSpot first. 74% of website visitors’ page viewing time is spent in the first two scrolls of a page. This means that what you put at the beginning of your page is super important. Making HubSpot #1 will ensure that anyone who lands on your post sees your placement and has a chance to click on your link.

  • Emphasize HubSpot’s main strengths. Emphasize HubSpot’s main strengths to encourage your reader to sign up and eventually purchase. However, no need to take down other products in the process. The goal is to give the best user experience to someone doing some comparison shopping. You want to be a reliable source of information, which brings us to our next point.

  • Stay objective. One way to create a good user experience is to provide objective comparison criteria in each product or feature listed. Some objective comparison points include:

    • Price: Starting price, whether they have a free version or free trial, etc.

    • G2 or Capterra ratings

    • Quotes from product users: You can find these on review sites such as Capterra or Software Advice

    • Personal anecdotes and experiences if you actually use or have used the product

  • Add visuals. Always try to include a screenshot of the product for each tool on the list. This will make your post a lot more appealing and it will also help your readers get a better sense of each product. If you have trouble finding a good HubSpot product screenshot, feel free to reach out to us at


Listicle Template

If you’re unsure of the best way to get started, use this template as a guide to writing your own post:

Let’s break it down...


Adding the current year in your title makes your article seem more up to date, compared to other posts ranking that may be outdated.

You can use the following format:

The X Best [Product Keyword] Tools/Software in [Current Year]



Your introduction should include a draw as to the importance of the technology in question, but specifically the benefit of using the product.

A great example of this is Marcus Andrews’s help desk article where he talks about why a company needs good help desk software before diving into the list.

You’ll notice that he also goes on to list the criteria that make a good tool. For example, a good lead generation software probably has some sort of automation and lead scoring functionality. A good meeting scheduler likely has to have powerful sales integrations, such as calendar apps, sales automation software, and a CRM. You should present that information here.


FTC Disclosure

As an affiliate, all of your placements must meet FTC compliance, which means you need to disclose for every post with an affiliate link that you receive commission on any sales. Here are some examples of the disclosure language you can use:

  • “We receive commission on purchases made through links on this page/in this email”
  • “If you upgrade and make a purchase through this link, we will receive a commission”
  • “We are a HubSpot affiliate and receive a commission when you purchase”
  • “Heads up: we make money if you purchase with this link”

These are only our suggestions based on our understanding of the FTC. The examples above should not be used as legal advice in any form. Check out the FTC’s guide on how to make effective disclosures and reach out to them directly if you have questions.


Your Affiliate Link

When writing product listicles, make sure you check if we don’t already have a landing page for it in your Ads section before creating a new link from scratch. If you’re not sure which link you should be using or you can’t find the one you’re looking for, reach out to us at and we’ll help you out.



As we mentioned earlier in the best practices, you should always put HubSpot at the top of the list to ensure maximum visibility.

Always include your affiliate link in the headline and any time the product or a specific feature is mentioned. And make sure to mention how easy it is to sign up and get started for free (when applicable).



Write a quick summary of the tools you listed. This is where you can mention your personal favorite or specify which tools are best for which use cases.


Hopefully you no longer feel stuck, wondering how to promote HubSpot in a way that drives traffic, engages your audience, and converts. Start getting more clicks on you affiliate links and roll in the money you work hard for. Happy creating!