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‘HowTo’ Article Template: How To Write a ‘HowTo’ Article in 7 Easy Steps
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Article marketing is all about providing readers with educational articles, and what better way to educate and inform than to write a HowTo article?

As we discussed a few days ago, How To articles provide a number of perks for authors, just a few of which are:

  • HowTo articles allow you to establish yourself as an expert in your niche.
  • HowTo articles satisfy the DIY desire of many internet users.
  • HowTo articles are easy reading (if you do them in list form).
  • HowTo articles are even easier writing.
  • HowTo articles are reader-centric and are not usually sales-y or promotional.

But how do you write a HowTo article? It’s actually not that hard when you break it down into steps.

Here’s how to get started:

1) What will you teach your audience?

  • Think about reader questions.

Example: A question that I get a lot is “What should I write about?”, and that question is a constant springboard for new article ideas. (And in fact this blog post is a product of that frequent reader question also.)

  • Think about basic things that you try to teach customers/clients every day as part of your job.

Example: If you’re a financial planner, you might routinely give folks advice on how to create budgets. If you sell windshield wipers, you might routinely tell folks how to install them themselves. If you are a physician, you might routinely tell folks the best ways to protect themselves from illness.

  • Think about any obstacle that might be standing between your client and making a purchase.

Example: If you have an online store that sells pet products, you might write an article called “HowTo Choose The Best Pet Bed For Your Small Dog or Cat”

2) Write down your steps.

Every ‘HowTo’ is a series of steps done in a specific order. That is what makes a ‘HowTo’ article different from a list article. Although a ‘HowTo’ article can be a list (with steps numbered 1,2,3 etc), not every list article is a ‘HowTo’.

This is actually the easy part–just quickly jot down your steps. No need to wax poetic at this point; you’re just trying to make notes of your steps.

I find that it’s easiest to remember all the steps by quickly writing them down at the get-go, because if you start with Step 1 and then write out your procedure for that step, it’s easy to forget some crucial steps along the way.

3) Flesh out your steps.

Read back over your article and make sure everything makes sense.

If you’re telling someone how to do something, it’s a great idea to leave a very clear trail of breadcrumbs so that the instructions are easily followed.

4) Write your intro and concluding paragraphs.

Now, with a HowTo, you can make the intro and concluding paragraphs short and sweet–but I think you must have at least one sentence for each. You don’t just want to abruptly launch into Step 1 of a HowTo without any preliminary or abruptly cut off at the end. You need an intro and a concluding paragraph.

5) Watch your spacing.

As with all articles you want to be sure that your article has adequate space in between paragraphs and that the paragraphs are short, but especially with a ‘HowTo’ article you want to be sure that each step is clearly delineated.

So, make your paragraphs short and sweet–if a paragraph looks kind of chunky, don’t be afraid to make it into several paragraphs. Sometimes a paragraph can be just one sentence. Having smaller paragraphs makes the article more readable.

6) Number your steps.

With a HowTo article it’s not a must to have numbered steps, but I think it helps with readability. Plus it helps you craft a great title–you can do something catchy like “HowTo Write a HowTo Article in 7 Easy Steps” :-)

7) Craft your title.

You have 2 options with a HowTo article–you can just make your title be “How To [thing that you're showing them how to do]“.

For example– “How To Write Articles… Even If You’re Not A Writer!”.

I use that sometimes, and I think just having HowTo at the beginning is eye catching–that is enough to tell folks that you’ll teach them how to do something in the article.

Or you can get more specific and tell the reader how many steps your HowTo has. I am a fan of this tactic.

The perk of telling the reader how many steps you have is that it’s a bit of a lure–notice with this post how I said “…in 7 Easy Steps”

That let’s the reader know that not only will I tell you how to do such and such, but it’s also easy, and it only has 7 steps. I don’t know why but for some reason telling the reader how many steps (especially if it’s 5, 7, 9, 10, or something like that), it’s more catchy.

And that’s it! HowTo articles are the backbone of my article marketing campaign, and I couldn’t get by without them. I encourage you to give them a try!

Question for you–How often do you write HowTo articles, and if you don’t, do you think you might try it?


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13 Responses to “‘HowTo’ Article Template: How To Write a ‘HowTo’ Article in 7 Easy Steps”

  1. very good tips and perfect timing to as i am just starting a new niche and need a fresh approach!

  2. James B Byrd says:

    Hi,
    Thanks for the great info on how to write how to articles. It was simple and really showed how anyone who writes can easily write an how to article.

    James

  3. Thanks For The Lessons,
    Its really an Enlightening Lessons that all
    article writers must follow, i have been writing
    several how to’s articles on several sites and it really has been a great help to my online business.

  4. Neil says:

    Thanks for the helpful article.
    I think that a great many web searchers are looking for answers to “how to” questions and writing that type of article is a great idea.

  5. Jason Lamure says:

    Hi Steve,

    I’ve written a couple of articles on SEO and Traffic generation and now plan on writing more articles on a regular basis…using the steps you outlined here of course.

    Best regards,

    Jason

  6. [...] 5 Steps To Writing A Killer ‘How To’ Article – explains why ‘How To’ articles are so attractive to readers and outlines 7 steps for creating a ‘How To’ article, starting with your article topic. [...]

  7. [...] Focus on writing articles that teach specific things. Think of yourself as a teacher. It’s hard to go wrong with ‘How To’ articles. [...]

  8. [...] 5 Steps To Writing A Killer ‘How To’ Article – explains why ‘How To’ articles are so attractive to readers and outlines 7 steps for creating a ‘How To’ article, starting with your article topic. [...]

  9. Bruce says:

    Hello:
    You are amazing…you make it seem so easy for a newbiee who has never written an article before start from scratch & have their first article posted in no time.I live in the great white north(canada) & today is our first major snow storm, what better time to stay inside & write an article because it’s too nasty to go out.
    Thank you very much for all the great tips, you’ve just become number one on my list!
    From the bottom of my heart, thank you,
    Bruce

  10. [...] Here is some more detailed info on how to write a “How To” article. [...]

  11. Nosa says:

    This is a very fascinatting topic about articla writing. I just started to take some lesson on article writing particularly on How To articles and having read this post has become more confident in my ability to become a successful article writer. You have finally broken the myth surrounding “How To” article writing. How can I get more resources on this topic

  12. Tawat says:

    Thank you very much, yours step encourage English 2nd language like me to boost up my brain for build up a good “how to” articles.

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