Magazine Article Formats That Readers Love


Are you looking for ideas on the right magazine article format for your content?

Sometimes, the struggle isn’t finding the right idea for your next article. The tough part is figuring out the correct format to present your content in.

Different article formats trend at different times. Sometimes it can be fun to try out the latest content style, but it isn’t always the best way.

In today’s guide, we’ll share some ideas for content formats to inspire you.

Long-Form Magazine Content

Long-form content is growing in popularity.

For a time, it seemed that the world of content was trending towards light, bitesize articles that could be quickly understood, scrolled through, and shared. Think Buzzfeed.

Naturally, the one size fits all approach is wrong. Just as there are plenty of people who want something quick and easy to scroll through, there are plenty of others who want to immerse themselves in quality, long-form articles.

Specialist sites exist to curate and share the best long-form magazine articles out there.

So how do you know if this type of article format is right for you, and how do you go about creating it?

  • Length. There is no hard and fast rule for what constitutes longform content, but 1,000 words seems to be the absolute bare minimum. Another way to look at it is reading time. In our experience, articles that take at least 15 mins, but often up to an hour, to read tend to go down well with long-form fans. Can you write at this length without becoming repetitive or using filler? If so, long-form content might be right for you.
  • Topic. There are different types of article topic suited to the long-form style. Perhaps you want to narrate a story over a long period of time. Perhaps you want to share different people’s perspectives on a topic. No matter which approach you take, you need to ensure there is enough material to keep it engaging.
  • Reader Expectations. Do your readers want a long-form article? If you know the type of publication you are writing for, you can gauge whether long-form content is something that is well received by their audience. You can also check out whether your intended topic tends to be covered in longer or shorter articles.

When done well, there are few things more pleasurable than quality long reads paired with a beverage of choice. Could this style work well for your next article?

Opinionated Takes

At the other end of the content spectrum from longform reading is an opinionated take.

These are very much the product of the time in which we live. In the era of clickbait and sharing, being controversial and opinionated is very much in vogue.

Although this trend may well die down in the future, there will always be a place for strong opinions.

So what are some factors you should take into account when considering whether to produce an opinionated take?

  • Topic. Is the topic you are considering writing about truly worthy of a strong opinion? Obviously, there is no hard and fast rule as to what is and isn’t worthy. But does it feel right to you? Are you truly passionate enough to have a genuinely forceful take?
  • Impact. It’s easy to get caffeinated or liquored up and ragefully smash out hundreds of words on whatever’s on your mind. But what will the impact be? In today’s age, content is immortal. Do you want to be associated with your strong views years down the line? What will your readers think?
  • Freshness. Opinions are dime a dozen. Do you truly have a take worth hearing, or will you come across as an imitator? Opinionated content is at its best when the take is genuine and fresh.

Opinionated takes are effective when written in the right way. They can get a lot of shares and attention. Just think it through before hitting publish!

Informative Guide Article Format

Often, the best type of content is that which helps people out.

If you want to write informative content, there are many different types of information suited to this style.

Teaching people how to do something is a great way to write useful content. Just be sure the information is actionable.

What are some things to keep in mind when considering writing informative content?

  • Adding value. What other informative content on a similar topic is already out there? How can you make sure your own is better? Perhaps you can provide fresher information, or more detailed, actionable steps. No matter how you do it, be sure to find a way to be more helpful than the other options out there.
  • Topic. What kind of information are you looking to provide? What makes you the right person to help people out with this? With the wealth of content available online, you need to make sure you are a credible source of help. If not, people are unlikely to find your guides valuable and worth reading.
  • Media. One way you can quickly add more value is by using appropriate media which other, alternative guides are not using. Screenshots are a great way to add value, as are short videos.  

Helping people with their problems and pain points will never go out of style. Just make sure your guide adds extra value compared to the other options out there!

Listicle Content Format

Lists, or listicles as they are known, tend to divide opinion.

This article format is very easy to browse, and often gets a ton of clicks and shares. However, depending on the audience, it might produce the result of eye rolling. A lot of people would love to see almost anything other than a listicle!

So how do you decide if writing this type of format is right for you?

  • Location. Where will your content be published? Writing in a listicle style is likely to annoy most editors who don’t publish this type of article. Do your homework to make sure it’s a suitable format before taking the time to create it.
  • Audience. What are the audience expectations for your content? Does the type of thing you are writing about have a track record of working well as a listicle? Sites like Cracked are perfect for listicles, whereas The Atlantic absolutely isn’t!
  • Content. Listicles tend to be suited to topics that aren’t incredibly serious. If you are writing about a subject which has emotional weight to it, consider avoiding the listicle. It might come across as insensitive or disrespectful otherwise!

Final Thoughts On Formats

There are many styles of magazine format out there. Don’t be afraid to experiment and try something new.

Often, switching up from your usual way of writing can be a breath of creative fresh air. If you’re feeling stuck, why not choose a new format?

Also, keep an eye out for content you admire. What format does it take? Could something similar work for your own articles?

Make sure to have fun in the process, and you’ll be finessing your formats in no time!