A “how to” blog post does exactly what it describes… it teaches the reader how to do something by breaking things down into a series of steps. These types of blog posts draw us in because we assume we’re going to learn how to do something faster, cheaper, or better than others.
What can you teach your audience how to do?
Once you’ve figured out what you want to teach your audience/readers, the 9 Steps below can help you break down the process in written form.
PLAN YOUR BLOG POST
Take several minutes to plan out what you want to write about so that you can stay on topic and keep your readers engaged.
Step 1: Identify Your Audience. Whom are your writing this blog post for? It’s best to write with one person in mind.
Step 2: Identify Your Key Takeaway. What do you want your audience to learn or know how to do after reading your blog post? This is the takeaway.
Step 3: Brainstorm Some Possible Blog Post Titles. You don’t have to pick the perfect title before your blog post is done, but it definitely helps to jot down a few ideas to help keep you focused during the writing process.
Once the post is completed, you can finalize the title to ensure that it accurately reflects the post content, grabs a prospective reader’s attention, and contains keywords that your target customer would search for.
Step 4: Create Your Outline. The typical how-to blog post consists of:
• An introduction – Sets the stage for what you plan to teach your readers how to do.
• A body – Explains every step involved in learning how to do that thing.
• A conclusion – Wraps up your post with a brief statement that’s reflective of what your readers just learned.
Ask yourself, “What are all the things you need to cover in order to introduce your topic/subject, explain it in detail, and remind the reader what they just learned?”
Step 5: Write the Introduction. When writing your intro, you want to keep this question in mind: How can I establish credibility and empathize with my audience to introduce my topic? You can start off with:
– Questions: “Are you tired? Warn out? Feeling like you’re all alone? Today, we’re going to… Or perhaps this real life example: Have you read #GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso yet? Once I started reading the book, I couldn’t put it down…
-An explanation of the problem or how you’ll fix the problem by teaching the reader how to do something. For example: I wrote a post ‘5 Ways To Grow Your Instagram Following Fast’. I talked about being a newbie on Instagram, but I was willing to give it a try and see if it is a good tool for my business (and yours) to generate sales.
-A statement. For example: Marketing without the basics is like trying to convince your husband that you must buy that Cedar Street Maise Kate Spade bag that costs $298 when your budget is only $50… it’s frustrating, a waste of time, and you probably won’t get the results you want!
Step 6: Write the Body. The body follows through on what you promised in the intro AND is the ‘meat’ of your post.
Your body copy can be written in paragraphs, with bullets, numbered lists, using subheads or a combination of all of these.
The key: Make sure you answer this question, “What are all the steps I need to explain in order for my reader to understand and not feel confused?” and “Are there any visuals that will make learning/understanding easier for my reader?”
I like to outline the main takeaways and list each step involved. Then I simply explain each step (as seen in this post!) with more detail.
Step 7: Write the Conclusion. This is where you’ll paraphrase or sum up the key takeaway you outlined earlier and/or prompt the reader with a question or call to action!
Step 8: Choose an image or images. Pick an image or images that visually go along with the post (and your brand).
Step 9: Copy and paste your blog post (and images) into WordPress. Edit. Publish.
So there you have it, 9 steps to creating a how to blog post. Hopefully, you will create blog posts that your readers will love…and keep coming back for more!
Main image via Wonder Forest, Cover Design by Your Marketing BFF.