A how-to post is always going to lead traffic to your blog because whenever someone out there wants to know how to do something, he is almost definitely going to type in “How to -something-” in Google. Everyone needs help at various points of their lives and every call for help starts with a “how to”. It could be “How to invest in Forex”, “How to choose a good web host” or even “How to break up with my boyfriend”there are many web content strategies to help you create quality content that will please both the humans and the search engines.
You can direct traffic to your blog as well as help the community by writing a good and helpful how-to post in the seven easy steps below:
1. Choose a Topic for Your How-to Post
Of course, choose a topic related to your niche for your how-to post. If your website is all about photography, then you might want to write on “How to select a good camera”. If you write about health and organic products instead, then maybe “How to spot a fake organic product” might be of interest to your readers. If you find it hard coming up with ideas on what to write on, just put yourself in your readers’ shoes and think what would you like to know or learn. Also, don’t just think of drawing traffic to your blog but do sincerely help and benefit your readers.
2. Plan the How-to Steps
Your how-to post should not be just a crappy one written with the objective of pulling in readers; it should be one that readers would find helpful enough to revisit your blog from time to time. After all, that is what you want – return readers. As such, plan the steps well before you start writing. You don’t want to miss a step or give wrong instructions that would result in your readers losing their faith in you. If you think that some steps can be omitted or need more detailed elaboration or instructions, do so accordingly. Take some time to organize.
3. Write the Introduction
Start your article by letting your readers know what they will be learning about. Tell them what the end result should be and share with them the benefits or advantages that they would reap from successfully following the instructions step-by-step. If you think that your readers need some knowledge, preparation or tools beforehand, let them know first so that they can prepare the necessary.
Some writers find it difficult to write an introduction without starting on the article. I am one of them. So what I do is to write the article first and then come back to the introduction later on. This way, I would have had a better picture of the article’s contents and the words for the introductory paragraph would flow really easily. Thus, don’t fidget if you get stuck at the introduction; just move on and writing it will be a breeze at the end.
4. Write the Instructions
Now, refer to the list of steps that you had drafted earlier and begin writing the steps. Explain each step in detail but be as concise as you can. A common grouse among readers who try to follow given instructions is that they don’t quite get what the writer is trying to convey. As such, be clear and assume that your readers have no knowledge whatsoever on the subject matter.
It would be very helpful for the readers if you include an image or example for each step. You are actually most encouraged to try out the instructions yourself before writing so that you’ll be able to explain things better to your readers, as well as to get snapshots of the processes. Once you have done so, share your personal experiences with the readers so that they will be able to relate to you better.
5. Write a Conclusion
Summarize your article by prompting your readers to try out the steps. Motivate them further by telling them what they could do next once they have mastered this one. The most important part of the conclusion is the call to action. In a call to action, you would ‘instruct’ the readers to leave a comment, share the post on their Facebook page, read posts of similar interest or even purchase your product, whatever your objective is. Just a simple line at the end of the article would do, such as “Tried the above? Share your stories in the box below!”.
6. Proofread Your Article
Just like any article you have written, your how-to article needs to be proofread. In fact, more detailed scrutiny is needed as you don’t want to mislead your readers with missing steps or wrong instructions. Spelling and grammar are equally important too, for one would be skeptical if you write on “How to be a good writer” if your article is peppered with spelling and grammatical mistakes.
7. Give an Interesting Title
Last but not least is this important step of giving your article an attractive title. “How to be healthy” is decent enough but don’t you think “How to look younger and live longer” sounds better? You could also add a number to the title, such as “5 ways to losing weight”. People love concise lists and shortcuts to achieving their goals, so grab the attention of your readers with such a title.
After you perform some Onpage SEO, it is now time to promote each post you publish to give it s fighting chance amongst the masses out there on the internet and to grab your share of the traffic available.
This itself a how-to post, written in the seven steps listed above. If you’re reading this, it only means that it is indeed a good how-to post!