Use this simple, yet powerful and flexible template to create your next set of high-quality articles.
Writing a how-to article seems like an easy task, but forget one step and your “Simple Guide to Installing a Toilet” could end up as a simple guide to disaster! Spend a little time analyzing your subject matter, however, and the outcome will be valuable content your readers will love.
A Step-by-Step Guide to Writing a Great How-To Article:
- Pick a Topic in Your Niche – Think about things that you have done that require a specific set of steps, like how to install a toilet, build a bookshelf or make a 3-bean salad.
- Lead with a Great Title – What is the top benefit of your informative article? Use that as your title. Try this template: “How to [get/save/become] and [insert big reward here].” In his book, Advertising Headlines That Make You Rich, copywriter David Garfinkel gives these examples:
- How to Save Time and Get Things Done (Time Management Coach)
- How to Get a Better Job and Make More Money (Recruiter)
- How to Save Money and Retire Rich (Financial Planner)
You don’t have to use the words “How To.” You could just say “Install a Toilet Yourself and Save a Pile of Money” – or whatever.
- Begin with a Simple Introduction – Maybe relating a personal experience as to how you came to know about the topic the hard way – or, conversely, how simple it was to learn.
- Include a List of Supplies, Tools and/or Resources – If your reader is going to need something besides their wits to accomplish the task, tell them upfront so they can prepare everything in advance.
- Write Instructions in Chronological Order – Don’t make your instructions convoluted or confusing – keep it short and simple (KISS) and don’t include more than one thought per step.
- Create Mental Images – Since your article can’t include photos or illustrations, use words to paint a picture instead. Clearly describe what your reader will experience to avoid confusion … and a loss of credibility for you!
- Conclude with Cautions, Tips and Advice – This is a great place to add some goodwill and wrap things up on a positive note. It’s also a wonderful way to lead readers into your Resource Box.
Using this incredibly flexible and powerful template, you’ll be able to create article after article that will not only benefit your readers, but you as well with increased traffic, credibility and exposure.
Now put this free template to good use writing your next set of high-quality, original How-To articles. Then stop back here with a link to your article so that everyone can take a look.
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This post was updated on Wednesday, April 9, 2014 at 2:06 PM CST.