How-to articles garner 55% more views than other types of articles, according to HubSpot.
It’s probably because people turn to the Internet for instructions. It’s why the phrase, “Google it” has become so popular.
Since these types of articles are successful, it certainly won’t hurt to have them on your blog.
But, before you start writing an instructional post though, check out these tips to make sure it’s effective.
Research the Topic
Don’t write how-to posts that no one will need.
That will waste your time or money if you pay someone to write it. Research what your consumers are searching for online. Learn about what they are asking that have to do with your product or service.
It might be as simple as how to use one of your products or how to prepare for your services.
Sometimes, you can ask your customers what they would like to know, or you can do a simple search on social media, forums or places like Yahoo Answers to find questions people are asking.
Grab Consumers with a Good Introduction
People want information quickly and easily.
After the headline, which should be simple and attention grabbing, tell people what they are about to learn.
It can be as short and simple as, “You will learn how to set up contacts in Outlook.” When people looking for that information read that, they will continue reading.
A good introduction is not just one sentence long. It should be at least a few. You can add to the paragraph by telling the reader that the process is easy. You can also suggest that the reader can print the instructions or watch the video that is at the end.
In the introduction it’s really important to write with good voice. Pretend you are having a personal conversation with the reader. Use a lot of you and I, and include personal anecdotes.
Set It Up in Steps
Most internet users don’t want to spend endless hours reading through articles to get the little bits of information they want.
Instead, they want to look at subheadings, get the information they need and then move on with what they need to do.
That’s why the steps to doing something with your product or service must use H2 or H3 tags. Make sure the headings provide clear instruction. No one should have to read the details under the headings to understand , at least in a general sense, what to do.
The details underneath each heading should simply give additional information. It’s for people who want more information, not people who just want to do what they need to do.
By providing clear instructions in headings and then details below, you satisfy the needs of both groups of people.
Lead People to More Information
After providing instructions, don’t just leave readers hanging. You can provide troubleshooting tips, in case readers encounter problems.
You can provide tips on how to use the products faster or more effectively. Whatever you choose to put in your conclusion, make sure it provides something your readers would be interested in learning more about.
Some people have thumbnail images at the end of their blog posts, which is an easy way to get people to read more posts.
You may want to do that along with providing additional information. It’s up to you and it depends on your consumers.
Track, Adjust, and Continue
Not all how-to style articles will interest the majority of readers.
With each article, track how much attention it receives. As you publish articles that get a lot of attention and people spend a lot of time on, you’ll learn more about what your consumers really want to know. You can then publish similar posts.
Never become stuck on one type of how-to article. Continue to research because people are always changing what they are searching for online. Over time, you’ll find that people want to know about different things having to do with what you offer.
Now that you know how to write how-to style articles, start researching topics now. You will soon have your first how-to article published helping your consumers who will likely become repeat or new customers.
Remember to break things down into easily understood subheadings, have a good introduction, and lead people to more information if they are interested.
Let us know if you have any tips for writing great how-to articles in the comments below!