Yesterday I announced our ‘How To…’ group writing project and issued readers of ProBlogger with the challenge to go away and write a ‘How to‘ post for their blog.
On Twitter a number of people told me that they were having a little trouble with writing a ‘how to…’ post because it wasn’t their normal style of writing on their blog so I thought I’d jot down a few tips for writing ‘how to…’ content (something I’ve been creating for 10 years now on my blogs).
How to Write ‘How to’ Content on your Blog
What follows is how I personally tackle writing ‘how to’ or ‘tutorial’ style content. By no means is it the only way to do it – if you do it another way, please tell us about how you approach it in comments below – I’d love to learn from you!
1. Start with a Problem
Perhaps the best advice I can give on writing effective ‘how to’ posts on a blog is to put some time aside to identifying the problems that your readers have because the most effective how to posts are written about actual challenges that your readers might face.
As I’ve already written 11 tips on how to identify reader problems I won’t rehash them all here again – read this post!
2. Break it Down
With a problem in mind I generally take a little time before I start writing to come up with a list of steps to overcome the problem. I personally do this usually but jotting down some bullet points in a notepad (retro of me I know) or in a text document on my computer).
If the problem I’m writing about is more complex I also occasionally will break down the process for solving it using a MindMap (I use MindNode either on my iPad or computer).
I find by identifying what I want to write about before I start writing that I’m much more effective in writing the post because I know where I’m headed!
I also find having this helpful because as I’m actually writing I will often have other ideas for the post (or for followup posts)