If you crack the skill of how to write a ‘How-to' Article, you could find a customer for life, or at the very least make someone's day when you can offer them the help they need to get something done.
Think back to a time when you searched online for how to do something and you found an article that guided you step-by-step through the process in an easy to understand manner. Odds are you looked to see what else this website offered, and you may have signed up for their email list or followed them on social media.
Maybe you even purchased their product on the spot.
Writing ‘how-to' content can be ridiculously profitable because of…
High Demand – There is always a demand for ‘how-to' content because people are constantly seeking solutions to problems and looking for ways to improve their skills and knowledge.
Increased Authority – When you provide valuable information and share your expertise, you are establishing yourself as an authority in your field, giving you increased credibility and trust, which leads to more sales.
Engagement Building – ‘How-to' content encourages your readers to follow your steps and try your suggestions, leading to increased traffic and social shares, which can boost your website's search engine rankings.
Increased Sales – When your ‘how-to' content relates to products or services that you offer, you can use it to increase sales by promoting your products as solutions to the problems addressed in your content.
Evergreen Content – Unlike the latest news, ‘how-to' content tends to be evergreen, meaning it remains relevant and useful over time, attracting readers and generating revenue long after it’s initially published.
By investing your time and effort into creating high-quality ‘how-to' content, you can create a valuable asset that continues to pay dividends over time.
Here's how to create your next ‘how-to' piece of content…
…and yes, I see the irony of offering a ‘how-to” on writing “how-to” articles, but that’s just another example of why this type of content works so well.
Step 1: Think of yourself as a teacher – If your content goal is to instruct or educate your audience, it is crucial to approach the creation process with a teaching mindset. This requires detailed explanations, step-by-step instructions, lots of examples, and helpful visuals such as photos or video.
It's important to not only present the “what” but also the “how” and the “why” of the topic. By putting yourself in the reader's shoes and building their understanding from A to B, to C and beyond, you can successfully teach through your content.
Step 2: Choose and refine your topic – To find the perfect how-to topic for your content, start by considering the needs and wants of your target audience. Identify problems they may have that you can help solve with how-to content. You might conduct surveys, interviews, or use social listening to learn more about their questions and interests.
You can also find potential topics through keyword research by searching for “how to” keywords or terms such as “step-by-step guide” and “tutorial.” Ensure that the keyword you choose is not too competitive and has a high search volume to increase the chances of ranking for it.
And be careful that your topic isn’t too broad. Ideally you’re teaching one solution to one problem and no more.
Step 3: Research and plan your how-to topic for SEO and readers – To create an effective how-to guide that both resonates with readers and ranks well in search engines, it's essential to research the topic and competition first.
By studying what already ranks for the focus keyword, you can determine what works and what you can do better, bigger or differently. Consider the structure, focus, and searcher intent of existing content, and take notes on what makes it successful.
Differentiating from the competition is also crucial. Look for gaps or areas that competitors have overlooked and seek to improve upon them. Visual differentiation, such as adding photos or videos, can also help set your content apart.
Don’t look to copy others, but rather to improve upon anything already offered.
Step 4: Write with the aim of teaching effectively – When creating how-to content that resonates with your audience, it's important to keep a few things in mind.
First, you need to know your audience and their level of knowledge about the topic you're covering. This will help you bridge the gap between what they know and what they need to learn.
Additionally, it's important to put yourself in a beginner's shoes to better empathize with your readers and make your content more helpful.
Finally, avoid using technical terms or industry jargon, which can alienate readers who aren't yet familiar with those terms. Instead, aim for clarity in how you explain and describe concepts.
Step 5: Add your unique angle and expertise on the topic – The key to standing out among the millions of daily blog posts is to leverage your expertise or experience. Whether it comes from your education or your life experience, this knowledge and skill combination is fundamental to your brand and how you solve customers' problems.
Understanding and expressing this expertise in content can be a significant differentiator, and using unique stories can give extra weight to how-to content. Identify where your expertise comes from and incorporate it into your brand's content strategy.
6: Explain the ‘why' behind your points – It is not enough to just explain the “what” of a topic, but also the “how” and “why.” Explain not just how to do something, but why it is important.
If you’re teaching how to maintain an engine, then you’ll show them not just how to change the oil but also why this is crucial for the engine’s health and long life.
7: Include helpful visuals – Visuals make how-to content more engaging and understandable for readers. Use images, photos, and screenshots to help readers better grasp concepts and instructions. Imagine explaining how to do something through words, compared to words and pictures – as they say, a picture can be worth 1,000 words.
How-to content has the potential to provide immediate value to readers, building trust and affinity with your brand.
And it’s also an excellent selling tool on multiple levels. It can demonstrate your expertise, building the credibility you need to make the sale. It can show how complicated something is, and how your product can simply the process. And it can be used to build your audience, grow your email list as well as turned into information products.
Some may prefer ‘how to' videos, but personally I still like articles, as videos can be muffled and hard to understand, needing constant rewinding and trying to expand them. However, many of the tips above still apply when creating ‘how to' videos.
I just Googled “How to turn a blog post into video” and came up with this>> https://wideo.co/blog-to-video/ It's free for up to 1 minute videos, but costs beyond that. I'm sure there are other solutions – but I'm a ‘written word' person.
Cater for both types of audience.