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How-To Articles: What they are and how to write them

How-To Articles: What they are and how to write them

Whether you want to show off your company’s expertise or drive traffic to your website, a how-to article is a great way to do it. But what makes a good how-to article? In this blog post, we’ll look at some of the key elements that go into creating an engaging and effective how-to article. So if you’re looking to create content that will really engage your audience, read on!

Statistic: Most popular blog content formats according to bloggers worldwide as of September 2019 | Statista

According to a poll of bloggers, 77 percent of respondents said they had posted a how-to-article within the last year, making how-to-articles the most popular blog post format. And there’s a good reason for that! How-to articles are a great way to show off your expertise while teaching your audience something new.

How-To articles are one of the most popular content types from the various content buckets because they are consumable by both B2B and B2C customers without being too salesy. They also serve as a form of evergreen content, which means that they will continue to bring in traffic long after they are published.

When creating a how-to article, there are a few key things to keep in mind:

1. Make it easy to follow. One of the biggest mistakes that writers make when creating how-to articles is making them too complicated or confusing. When people visit your website or blog looking for information, you want to make sure that they can easily find what they’re looking for. So make sure your article is easy to follow, with clear instructions and step-by-step instructions.

In this top-ranking how-to blog post, that has earned the featured snippet on Google, the author explains how to add music to an Instagram video in a clear, easy-to-follow fashion.

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2. Start with the basics. If you’re creating a how-to article on a complex subject, it’s important to start with the basics and build up from there. That way, even people who are new to the subject will be able to follow along.

For example, Home Depot published an article on how to install Vinyl Plank flooring. Their steps are numbered, with visuals, and as a bonus, they included a video.

3. Keep it concise. In order to keep your readers engaged, it’s important to keep your how-to articles concise and easy to read. Nobody wants to slog through a long, complicated article just to find out how to do something simple. So make sure your points are clear and easy to understand and get right to the point.

Recipes are often the worst forms of how-to guides today because food bloggers are monetizing their recipes with ads. Rather than simply giving you the recipe, they have to create long-form content that is rather annoying for the user as to display enough ads for profits.

MacRumors did a good job with their how-to article that teaches you how to reset AirPods.

4. Use visuals. A good way to help your readers follow along with your instructions is to use visuals. This can be anything from photos or diagrams to videos. By using visuals, you can help your readers understand what you’re trying to teach them and make the process easier for them.

In this article on how to make a bow tie, the author includes both text instructions and a video tutorial, which helps her readers follow along more easily.

Canva is a fantastic tool that offers templates for visuals. With canva, you can create pie and bar charts, infographics, slideshows and so much more.

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5. Be helpful and informative. Above all, when writing a how-to article, you want to be helpful and informative. After all, that’s why your readers are coming to you in the first place! So make sure your article is packed with useful information and helpful tips.

In this how-to article on propagating succulents, the author provides a wealth of information on the subject, from the types of succulents that work best to the different ways to water them.

6. Use personal stories. A great way to engage your readers is to use personal stories in your how-to articles. Not only will it help keep them interested, but it can also help them connect with you on a more personal level.

In this article on how to be a morning person, the author shares his own personal story of how he learned to become a morning person.

7. Make it interesting. Finally, one of the most important things to remember when writing a how-to article is to make it interesting. Nobody wants to read a dry, boring article that doesn’t hold their interest. So make sure your writing is engaging and fun to read.

In this article on how to build a real estate team, Lori Ballen (That’s me by the way) keeps it real and interesting by giving the truth about building a real estate team.

8. Be sure to test your instructions. One of the best ways to ensure that your how-to article is accurate and helpful is to test the instructions yourself. Make sure you try them out before you publish your article, and that you have someone else try them out as well. That way, you can be sure that your instructions work and that your readers will be able to follow them without any trouble.

This how-to guide on How to make a simple Origami Rose was tested by the author before it was published.

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7. Use helpful resources. If appropriate, you can include helpful resources in your how-to article, such as links to products or tools that your readers might need or

These are just a few of the key things to keep in mind when writing a how-to article. By following these tips, you can help ensure that your readers will be able to easily follow your instructions and learn everything they need to know.

References:

Orbit Media: 2019 Annual Blogger Survey

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