This is one of the first types of post a business blogger will cut their teeth on.
It’s just the matter of breaking down a process into small digestible chunks that your reader will understand and be able to undertake. The how-to post is excellent for demonstrating your expertise in a subject
A common worry for people writing how-to posts is that they are giving away information that they could charge for, and that scares them. Put that thought to one side for the moment, by demonstrating your expertise at something you’ll show your reader that you know how to do it.
They may also (now) know how to do something, but that doesn’t mean that they want to do it themselves or can do it with any degree of expertise.
Often these posts are high converters for a similar service that you are offering and will build your subscribers.
Post title : How to create an effective How-to blog post
This headline is simple and effective as people type questions into search engines. The more specific you are the more likely you are to be found by your target reader.
- How to write an affective how-to post (targets bloggers looking for better conversions).
- How write a compelling how-to post (targeting bloggers who are motivated by strong content and powerful writing),
- How to write a how-to post for the real estate industry (targeting real estate bloggers).
- The headline can be hacked up a little so it looks like this – Realtors: How to create a how to post that sells / Estate Agents: Sell more with a how-to post
Targeting your audience in your headline is a powerful tactic to attract the right kind of reader.
An introduction is vital if your reader is to know what this how-to post is about. What equipment, ingredients, resources or prerequisites are required (if any) and where they can be located. This may involve linking to earlier posts in a series or equipment on Amazon.
If you are inclined to, give an indication how long this process will take to implement, and what your reader can expect at the end of the process.
Example - at the end of this post you will be able to create how-to posts that convert their socks off, cure male pattern baldness and enable you to lose weight in your sleep.
Which ties nicely into not overpromising or hyping this paragraph to the hilt…
Step 1 – Title of the Step
Where appropriate explain what step one entails. Include an image and use a tool such as Snagit or Jing to add an arrow or highlight a specific area. Depending on your audience you may want to detail things such as “then click okay”, but it depends on the capability of your target market.
Step 2 – Title of the Step
Continue with the explanation of the next step. Again add an image with the explanation and arrows and highlighting where needed. You can give timings in your steps – this step usually takes 10 minutes to complete.
Step 3 – Title of the Step
Continue till the process is complete. Again adding an image and explanation of that step.
At this point run through your steps to make sure the process works. In the past I’ve missed this step and there’s nothing more embarrassing than a comment highlighting that you’ve missed something.
Note – each of these steps should be in H2 title or bold font – it makes the post easier to scan.
Conclusion or summary
What has your reader achieved? In this section explain what their achievements are and any additional resources such as complimentary posts and additional reading from other bloggers.
This section can also point out that you will answer queries (or not) in the comments and that you also provide this service if the reader wishes to outsource the task.
How to posts can be re-purposed very easily into different formats and promoted in different locations. You may wish to vary your call to action in each location.
- Add them to your auto-responder as they tend to be evergreen, timeless content.
- Create a slide deck and share it on Slideshare.net.
- Use the presentation to record a video and then upload it to You-Tube.
- Convert the post to a PDF and upload to document sharing sites like Scribd.
- Turn the post into an infographic
A good how to post can also generate links and other kinds of traffic back to your site. No matter who your audience is, everyone appreciates a great how-to post every now and then.
Over to you – how did your first how to post go and add a link to it in the comments section.