16 Tips For Writing Effective How To Guides

personal writing self indulgent

By Prebuilt Sites Team

February 9, 2022

EDITOR’S NOTE: How to guides make up a good portion of blog posts on the internet, and for good reason! When done well, how to guides break down the solution to your reader’s pain points in a simple step by step solution. When you are able to solve your audience’s problems, you’ll not only gain the trust of your readers, but also build search engine authority. In order to write an effective how to guide, you need to choose topics that will resonate with your readers by asking them and/or the search engines by conducting research. Relay the information in a clear, concise way that is interesting to look at and easy to follow. Include real life examples on how you overcame the issue. If you have any questions about content writing or want us to take care of it for you, reach out to us at Prebuilt Sites or The BBS Agency. We’d love to help you out!

How-to guides are everywhere! People consume the sheer amount of how-to articles every day. But have you ever wondered what it takes to create content that will reach thousands of people and address their pain points?

We have a fair share of experience creating how-to guides for multiple companies over the past ten years. In this blog, we will explore 16 tips that make this “complicated” process simple.

What is a How-To Guide?

How to guide instructs people to fix problems and meet their curiosity. It is an effective way to share knowledge about an existing issue.

Who Should Write a How-To Guide?

If you have enough time and resources, you can write the article yourself. Also, if the internal team has enough expertise and writing skills for producing the guide, they will handle the task. Another option is to hire an agency or a freelancer. 

Why Should You Create How-To Guide?

People come up with problems and need to find solutions along the way. Internet users ask search engines for help, and if you support them, you will boost brand awareness and gain trust. That is why incorporating how-to guides in a content strategy will help you spice up your content.

Also, if there is anything else that goes down well on the search engines, that are how-to guides. Adding them to your content strategy will benefit you a lot.

Backlinks

Backlinks are one of the critical factors when it comes to SEO ranking. An in-depth resource like how-to guides can turn into backlink generators. Commit to creating helpful pieces, and then you will have the chance to get noticed by another website that naturally starts linking to authoritative sources.

Ranking

If anything storms down the search engines, it is a how-to guide.
Do you know the challenges of your target audience? If no then do the research. After that, thrill content with helpful guides.

Google values the relevant content providing the exact answers that customers are looking for. That said, initially, you should find out what your customers are searching for and then produce the content that resonates with them.

Gain Trust

Trust is the crucial element for succeeding and improving the brand value. Some say the formula of earning trust is unknown. Though, we think content bonds companies with customers.

You can consistently provide readers with valuable content and turn them into brand advocates, the ones who spread the word about you. People see all efforts steered to share relevant information. If they notice you care for their problems, customers will give back their trust and loyalty.

Build Authority

Brand authority stands on the secured trust a business has received. How-to guides will show the depth of your expertise and help you gain trust.

How to Pick Topics for Your How-To Guide?

Choose Topic Related to Your Expertise

It would be good to check out your content and see what’s missing. Also, don’t forget to analyze what your competitors are covering. Decide your topic following your expertise and profile.

Conduct Keyword Research

Keyword research assists you in discovering audience intentions. It’s more than finding popular words and cramming them into the content, as it hints you what subject to target for the upcoming content production.
Furthermore, by researching and targeting the most relevant keywords, you create the opportunity to rank highly in search engines for that specific topic.

Pick Trendy Topics

Companies have a niche that unites several topics. You have to choose the one with reasonable search demand and value.

Ask Search Engines

Go to google, type How to add the potential subject, and then see related topics. Now you can see the popular topics people are searching for.

How to Create a How-to Guide?

Research

No wonder research is the first step. No matter how qualified you think you are, do the research. It will help you to see the global picture and organize your copy.

  • What do I know about the topic?
  • What’s missing?
  • Research General Information
  • Analyze Competitors
  • Check F.A.Q
  • Look for Data
  • Evaluate Sources

Collect the Information Fast

At this stage, try to gather everything that looks relevant in one place. You can put your headings and subheadings together, and attach possible sources with links.

Filter the Information

Prioritize and filter your information. Once you narrow a list, do detailed research around the subjects.

Write Clearly

Explanations are not everyone’s cup of tea. When you are guiding readers through, interact like a dummy. The topic is unknown to readers, so you should try to keep it simple and shift their minds on the issue.

Include Images and Screenshots

Include images and screenshots to support readers digest better. They grab readers’ attention and maintain them to stay on the line. We can illustrate the necessary information that readers have to take away too.
On top of that, we are visual creatures and agree that “A picture is worth a thousand words.”

Involve Real-Life Examples

Using examples show readers that they are not the only ones. Others have faced the same problem and thrown it away. Also, case studies are an excellent way to bolster the arguments.

How to Write Awesome Copy?

Read

Great writers are diligent readers too. The more you read the quality pieces, the better you get used to concise writing. Reading out loud is like a training drill and you will be able to look at your works from the reader’s eyes.

Practice Writing

You will get into excellent writing shape because practice makes everyone better. Writing workouts will master your skills. You will get better at transforming thoughts within your head into firm drafts.

Avoid Using Passive Voice

You should avoid using the passive voice because

  • The structure is complex
  • It makes sentences wordy
  • Blurs the message

Compare it, and see what’s better.

1) The blog was optimized by the content manager
2) The content manager optimized the blog

Break up the Content

Break up the content to improve the readability of your copy

  • Use Headings and Subheading
  • Make Bulleted Lists
  • Include Snippets
  • Split Content with Images

Do not use qualifiers and intensifiers too much

The overuse of qualifiers and intensifiers could be distracting sometimes. No worries, you can always replace qualifiers with a single word.
For example: “The knowledge is spreading very fast.” change it to “The knowledge is spreading rapidly.”

Remove Redundancies

Don’t write similar sentences.
When describing, avoid using different words with the same meaning.

Do you want to take your content to another level?

Our experts will be happy to advise you.

Originally posted on Great Content.

Prebuilt Sites Team

Prebuilt Sites are the perfect medium between a DIY solution and a custom built website. We handle all of the tech, so you can concentrate on running your business. We are happy to help if you have any questions or need assistance our USA based support team can be reached via our Contact page