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Write a ‘How to' Post
Without a doubt, one of the most popular blog post styles on the internet is the ‘how to' post.
How to content is one of the main reasons that people go online. These days when someone has a problem, wants to learn something, needs help with something, or need advice, the chances are they go to Google or social media. As a result, how to content can be a great source of traffic for you. ‘How to' posts tend to rank well in search engines and they can be very shareable and evergreen in nature.
If you teach someone something and you do it well, they will remember you. You literally have the chance to change someone’s life by teaching them something. It can have a massive impact upon them and also builds your credibility. These are just a few of the many reasons why ‘how to' content can be a very good thing to focus upon.
How to present your ‘How to'
‘How to' content can be presented in many forms. Video content is great for walking people through anything where you need a bit of visual help. It’s really helpful to see where exactly how to do something as it's happening.
Screen capture video can be really good if you are wanting to teach someone something that you want to do on your computer. A series of images can work really well. You can put those images together into a GIF. You could produce a slideshow and put it up on Slide Share, you can do a podcast, you can create an infographic. All of these things are valid and helpful in terms of teaching people how to do something.
What Kind of ‘How to'?
First thing, you might like to do a post on is on a something that you personally regularly do. What I have found is that many of the things that I do everyday I take for granted. I do this stuff every single day, I don’t even think about what I’m doing, and I assume others do it as well. Many of those things actually are really interesting to other people.
As an example, maybe the way you schedule your newsletter emails is something that could teach other people. Your readers may say “I probably need to learn how to do that, I’m hopeless at newsletters.” You may have a system in place where you could actually teach them how to create newsletters and get them sent out on time.
If you don’t usually do teaching content and you don’t think your readers are really going to respond well to a ‘how to' type post, maybe share a story. Tell the story of how you did something, how you achieved something, or how you failed at something and how you’ll do it differently. Those are still teaching posts. People can apply the lessons that you learned or the things that you did to their own situation.
Another approach you might want to take is to write about how someone else does something. Lessons that you can learn from another person. You might want to interview that person and involve them in the creation of your content, or you might just write about your observations of what other people do.
In a similar way, you may choose to do some research on a particular ‘how to' topic. You might do some research and find five other articles that people have written on a topic and make your post more of this is what other people’s approach to this issue is or you might even find a piece of embeddable content that someone else has produced that teaches, like an infographic or video.
This is called curated content. You don’t even need to write all the content. If you can find relevant content that is available to be embedded, maybe that can be just as powerful as creating something yourself. Why do you have to write a whole post when someone else might be teaching it just as well? Of course, you want to acknowledge the source, you want to link back and give some love back to the content creator, but this can be a really great way of teaching your readers something. They’ll thank you for it but also delivering some useful content in a way that perhaps isn’t too onerous on you.
- Base your how to on a real world need – base it on a real need that you see people having, a pain that they have or a gain that they want. Include that pain or that gain in the introduction. You want to give people a reason to read your blog post or watch your video or interact with your content.
- Base it on an FAQ – You can choose a topic that’s based on a frequently asked question. What do people frequently ask you about?
- Break it down into steps – As you’re creating your content, really try to break it down if you can into steps. Most things that you’ll teach can be broken down into stages, steps, the parts of a process.
- Show as much as possible – Show as much as possible if you can. That’s why video works so well, but simple images can work as well also.
- Anticipate questions – Try to anticipate the questions that someone might be asking. As you’re writing, ask yourself what would a beginner be asking at this point in the post? Then, try to build those answers into the post itself.
- Add a call to action – challenge them to do something and come back and share. Leave a comment or ask questions.
- Add depth – As you’re about to publish your blog post or video, ask yourself how could I add a bit of depth and how could I polish this? Really pay attention to the formatting of your post, the visuals, but also give people some further reading – whether that be archived post that you’ve got on your blog or on someone else’s blog.
Hop to it!
- Write and publish a how-to post. Remember you can do it as a written post, a video, a podcast, infographic, anything you like.
Here’s to Your Success,
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