Today, I just realized that though I write a lot of How To articles in the course of my work, I have never really come across a good article that tells people how to write the perfect how to article. As for me, I learnt by myself, by trial and error, but if you are new to the field, I could give you some valuable tips on how to write a how to article.
A how to article is just what the name suggests; it is an article that tells your readers how to accomplish something. Here is how to write one.
1. Decide on a topic
Pick a topic you know something about. Make sure it is a topic that others would be interested in, and would actually like to learn. Preferably, do not pick a common topic, there will already be a hundred articles for them.
2. Choose your title carefully
People search all the time on Google about how to make this or how to do that. Make sure your title matches the language of the search query, so that you are thrown up ahead in Google searches. But your name should be attractive to the searchers and not just the search engines.
3. Write an introduction
Your introduction should be brief, and it should tell the readers what they are about to find in the article. You can add a personal touch, but don’t start a long story. For instance, see the introduction at the beginning of this article.
4. Provide a list of supplies
If your how to article needs supplies, give your reader a list of them at the very beginning. This is so that they will be able to decide if they have the logistics required to carry out the project in the first place.
5. Give clear instructions
Number your instructions, and keep only one step in each number. Make sure your steps are in chronological order. Use the second person to address your readers rather than the first person. Ask your reader questions, so that you can get them to be more involved in the article.
6. Add some extra tips
Is there any other way your how to project can be carried out? Is there a very wrong way to do it? What are the most common mistakes that people make while trying to carry out the instructions? Offer all these additional information in your article.
7. Give a precaution
If there is any element of danger in your instructions, specify that here. If your how to is for kids, always write that the steps should not be carried out without the presence of a parent.
8. Give credit
If you have taken information for your article from another website or article, be sure to give credit and link back to them. Not only does this create goodwill, it also protects you against charges of plagiarism.
A how to article with spelling and grammar error will cut a very sorry figure in front of readers. Make sure you enable your proofreading software, or manually edit your article, before you hit ‘Publish’
10. Add pictures
It’s a good idea to show your readers exactly what you mean by including a photo for the most important steps. The photo should show the state the project should be in that particular step.