The internet has become the number one portal for information-gathering and research on the planet. Unless people are aimlessly surfing; they are searching the internet for very specific topics. How-to posts are an effective way to package that information.
When it comes to generating web traffic and growing your online reputation, well-written and informative how-to posts are an excellent place to start. Here are some of the benefits of creating a how-to post:
The Benefits of Great How-To Content
- You Solve A Known Problem – If someone is desperate to find a solution to a problem and your excellently researched post solves that problem, they may well link to your site to help other users facing the same dilemma. This will give you valuable backlinks and increased traffic.
- You Establish A Reputation As An Expert – As more and more people read your post, and solve their problems, you instantly gain credibility, establish authority and take important strides towards establishing yourself as an expert.
- People Will Be More Likely To Return To Your Site In The Future – As your reputation grows, people will regularly return to your site to keep themselves abreast of the latest developments. Over time you will grow a tribe of followers, keen to read your every word.
How to Write How-to Content
Hopefully, now you understand the benefits of writing How-to posts, the next step is learning how to write high-quality posts that will turn your trickle of visitors into a flood.
- The Title Is Crucial – Many people spend hours researching and writing the perfect article, and then quickly come up with a title in seconds. However, it is the title that helps people decide whether or not to read your article in the first place. If the title does not grab them, or spark their interest, they will simply move forward to the next how-to article. Invest time and effort into your title, and it will pay dividends.
- Ensure You Are In The Proper Frame Of Mind – Never write just because you know you have to. Those articles will always come across as forced and lacking the clarity and inspirational qualities you are capable of. If you are not experiencing that spark of creativity, then set down your laptop and take a break. Come back when your mindset is focused and ready.
- Complete Proper Research – Never forget that information is the reason people are visiting your site. Ensure that your post is accurate, informative, easy to follow and an interesting read. Include links to reputable sources to back up anything you say, and try to include a fact or statistic to back up what you say.
- Write for real people – You should be writing for human readers, not just for the search engines. Confirm that the solutions you are providing are the answers people are looking for. Social media, forum posts and Google searches will all give you some ideas for content
- Inspire People To Take Action – Write your content in a way that will give the reader confidence that they can accomplish the task at hand. Use simple language that is easy to follow in bite-sized steps. Don’t fall into the trap of using industry speak that your reader will not understand.
- Make Your Content Look Good – This not only means using graphics or pictures but also relates to how you layout the text. People will be discouraged from reading long, bland pieces of text. Short sentences and paragraphs will encourage people to read further. Make good use of white space and emphasize important words in bold or italic.
- Answer The Question Being Asked – This might seem a strange statement, but many times people write blog posts answering the question they think people are asking, not the actual question being asked. If your content does not solve your reader’s problem, it is totally pointless.
- Once Posted Don’t Forget The Marketing – Completing and posting your article is not the end of the process. Your next job is to market it via social media, possibly asking other websites to link to your post, and any other methods you can think of. Traffic does become self-perpetuating, but you need to kick start the initial flow.
All of the above may seem a lot of work for every individual post, but remember the beauty of blogging is that you only have to write a post once to benefit from it for many years. That’s why every new blog post to your site is a long term investment.
For more example on one of our own how-to blogs, check out 5 Tips on How to Write a Successful Business Blog. Not convinced that your blog posts are making the returns you expect, read our post, Why an Effective Content Marketing Campaign Takes Time.
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