Creating Effective How-to Articles for Content Marketing

When it comes to content marketing, the formula for success is simple: send out the right kind of article to the right places. Content creation and distribution are entirely different things that require your attention. Let’s talk about content creation today and one type of article you can work on.

How-to articles can generate a lot of buzz online. In the simplest sense, a how-to article explains how something is done. If you’ve ever written down a recipe or created a step-by-step instruction for your child, you should already be on the right path.

How-to articles are written in sequential order. When writing a how-to article, start from the very beginning (including any prep work that needs to be done prior to actual steps of what you’re writing about). Then, just continue to ask yourself: “what’s next?” When you’re done doing the 1-2-3 and beyond, you’ll have in your hand your first how-to draft.

But before you start, let’s go through a few things to make sure your how-to article gets the attention it deserves:
1. When writing any article meant for public distribution, make sure it addresses a need. With access to information just one click away, your precious how-to article may just be one of one million. Choose your topic carefully, think about what your audience actually wants to read and make your how-to as specific as possible. For instance, instead of writing about how to remove ink stains, take a much more specific angle by focusing on how to remove ballpoint pen ink stains using only items from your pantry.
2. Choose a clear title that reflects the content of your article. You may be tempted to use a title that grabs attention but does not really reflect what’s in your how-to article. Try not to do this. Not only does it discredit you as a writer, but readers find it annoying. Here’s a tip: focus on how your audience will benefit from your article.
3. Write a good introduction for your article. Excited as you may be, do not jump right into the steps of your how-to. Write an introduction that summarizes what your article is about and its purpose to your readers. In most cases, readers will skim the first few sentences of your introductory paragraph to find out if they want to continue reading or just close that browser.
4. Do your research. As with any good writing, a little research can go a long way. Pepper your simple how-to with statistics, definitions, quotes and even references to other sources.
5. Be as exhaustive as possible. Think about your first how-to as you would a recipe. Writing down very specific details would only mean the chef following your recipe would be able to get the exact taste / outcome you want. This means you should adequately describe the key ingredients of your how-to, include all the important steps and write it logically.
6. Include any helpful tips. This is a good way to end your article. Any tip you share (beyond the steps you’ve given) that would ensure the reader’s success when following your how-to is like icing on the cake.


About David Henderson

David Henderson is the CEO and Founder of Unwired Web Solutions, The Find Network & Defiant Media. David is also the Co-Founder of Having spent his entire career in sales and marketing with comapanies like Blackberry, Auto Trader, Yellow Pages Group, Mediative and others. David decided he wanted to bring his passion for internet marketing directly to the people running their businesses & working how to understand how the web can work for them. Our mandate is to provide services, platforms & development at a client level. Henderson has over 25 years in sales marketing leadership.

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