We’ve all done it. Started a search in Google or some other search engine with the words How To. Yet, how many of us have been disappointed when we click the resulting posts, articles or resources? You go expecting an answer to your confusion and instead click away even more confused. Well, there’s a way to avoid your How To post being that How To Post. Here are 3 Tips ForWriting A Useful How To Post that lead to success – not confusion!
Why A How To?
Why write a How To
post? The answer is pretty easy: no one knows everything. For everything I don’t know there’s someone out there who has it down pat. If I happen to be that someone I want to be able to share that information in the best way to make it accessible and useful to those who need it.
As a Blogger, there have been too many times to count that I’ve needed a quick and easy to follow guide to get something done. PlugIns, Widgets, YouTube, WordPress. Whatever it is no one wants to take more time then necessary to figure something out. As a Mom, I’ve searched How To for math, projects, games – you name it I’ve searched it and unfortunately not always with the best results.
It wasn’t long before I realized that finding results that actually give me a useful How To process isn’t as easy as you would think. That’s when I started writing my own. I wanted to take the stuff I had to figure out from the bad ones and put them into a few good ones.
See What I See
I’m a visual learner. I love words but in certain situations I need to see what I need to do. Click here, Type that, Move this. I need to see it to do it. I think the biggest key to writing a useful How To post is sharing the information in a way that allows people to see what you see.
So when I put my How To posts together the first thing I work on are my images. Whether I use Screenshots or create an InfoGraphic giving my Readers a way to actually see what it is they need to do is always the first step to giving them the best guide to getting it done.
When you select your images be sure to include them in the ideal sizes to encourage your post to be shared. That means Twitter, Facebook and most importantly Pinterest. There’s no secret among Influencers that Pinterest can be the hidden gem when it comes to exposure for your content. So making sure you have images that are Pinterest friendly also makes that post reader friendly.
Do What I Do
I know this may seem rather obvious but I’m going to say it anyway. Don’t try to create a How To post on something you haven’t actually done. When you’re sharing the steps and process of doing something I’ve found sharing it in the way I do it tends to make it easier to understand.
You want to person to do what you did which means you have to do it. When I write a How To post I normally do whatever it is before I start writing. Even if I’ve done it a hundred times before – I do it again. The difference is as I do it for the post I take notes. I write what I’m doing in the order I do it and how I do it.
Doing this ensures that as I write my post things are in order and make sense to someone trying to follow along with the tips. It help me not to miss any key steps and still give the important details for how to do it. Think of your How To as a recipe but instead of the end result being an amazing tasting dish you want your result to be the successful completion of the task.
Make It Plain
Don’t try to get to technical. Explain or guide in your own voice. If a person needs to click the first button just say ‘click the first button”. If they wanted a technical guide they would just use the one that came with whatever they’re doing. Most times the reason a person is searching ‘How To’ is because that didn’t work for them and they want to see/read things from the perspective of a regular person who actually did it – successfully.
Trying to sound too technical or logical it can get confusing to you and the reader. I’ve had a few times where I had to read a How To post 3 or more times just to translate it from techie to real person terms so that I could put it to good use.
Don’t take a How To post as an opportunity to show off your vocabulary or ability to use every technical term possible. Talk to them the way you would want someone to explain it to you. Simple, easy to follow, easy to do terms.
BONUS: Be sure to include a bit of an Insider Tip for how you were successful in what you did. Readers love feeling like they’re getting a bit of know how they couldn’t have found in the manual and most times sharing that will make them look to you the next time they need a How To question answered.
Lifestyle Blogger, Brand Ambassador, YouTuber & Media Influencer
Tiffany is the ‘ Tee’ behind TheMrsTee - a Lifestyle Blog created as a place to share her love of all things Faith, Family, Fashion, Food, Fun, Tech & Travel. Tiffany has established her influence within both the Blogging & Vlogging Communities. As a Brand Ambassador, Tiffany has the opportunity to promote and support the brands she loves the most with her own unique perspective. Tiffany has extended her presence beyond her URL to Television as a Panelist for the MomsEveryday TV Show for 2 Seasons and to the stage as a Cast Member of the Finale Season of The Listen To Your Mother Show. A 2016 BlogHer VOTY Award Honoree, Contributing Author with Modern Social f/k/a iBlog Magazine and BlogHer. Growing herself as a Brand and Influencer are always at the center of Tiffany’s passion.
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