Finding ways to generate interest in your products and services is one of the things a business owner has to do. Creating how-to guides is an effective way to accomplish almost any content marketing goal. How-to guides are an excellent form of content because they’re informative and actionable. That means they tell your readers what they need to do and provide them with the resources and information they need actually to do it.
Creating a how-to guide builds engagement with your audience and gives them something of value and immediately usable to improve their lives or businesses. To get started, you’ll need a topic that you’re passionate about, and secondly, you’ll need to understand your audience’s needs. Only then can you begin creating compelling and valuable content that will help them and you achieve all your goals.
Pick a topic that you’re passionate about
The first step to creating a practical how-to guide is to pick a topic that you’re passionate about. Planning and writing compelling content and staying motivated throughout the process is much easier if you like what you’re learning and doing.
To find a topic that fits that description, think about what you enjoy doing or the problems you’re good at solving concerning your audience. Then, once you have a general idea, start brainstorming specific guide topics that would be helpful to your audience.
Do your research
After picking a topic, it’s time to research. Conducting vital research helps you understand your audience’s needs and provides them with valuable information. Start by conducting a quick Google search on your topic.
The research will let you know what’s already out there and help you determine how to position your guide. Then, take some time to read existing how-to guides and see what works and what doesn’t. Finally, Google searches help you figure out what your audience is looking for and help you create a more effective guide.
Outline your guide
After doing your research, it’s time to start outlining your guide. Outlining is integral to the writing process. The outlining process helps you organize your thoughts and ensures that you’re covering all the essential points. Start by creating an outline of your guide’s main sections and sub-sections. Then, fill in each section with the information you’ve gathered from your research.
Remember to keep your audience’s needs in mind as you write and focus on providing value throughout your guide.
Create a catchy title and introduction
After your guide outline is complete, it’s time to start writing. You want the title to grab your reader’s attention and make them want to read more. Your introduction provides a brief overview of what your guide will cover and why it’s important, which will compel your audience to read it.
Write compelling content
After you have your title and introduction, it’s time to start writing the meat of your guide. And this is where you need to focus on creating compelling content. As you write, keep your audience’s needs in mind and make sure you’re providing them with valuable information.
Use simple language void of acronyms and complicated words that average folks don’t use. Then make sure your sentences are short too. Having shorter sentences makes your content much easier to read and digest. And don’t forget to include plenty of examples, illustrations, and screenshots to help your readers follow along.
Edit and proofread your guide
Once the main body of your guide is complete, it’s time to edit and proofread it. Proofreading helps you catch most of your typos or errors, ensuring your content is straightforward to understand. To edit your guide, read it aloud and make any necessary changes. Then, have someone else read it over to catch anything you may have missed. Finally, don’t forget to run a spell check and grammar check to ensure there are no mistakes.
Create a catchy conclusion
After you’ve edited and proofread your guide, it’s time to write a catchy conclusion. This should briefly summarize the main points of your guide and provide your reader with the next steps. Your conclusion should also include a call-to-action, such as signing up for your email list or following you on social media. This will help you generate leads and build your audience.
Format and design your guide
Once you’ve written and edited your guide, it’s time to format and design it. Making your guide visually appealing and easier to read ensures they’ll consume it after downloading it. Start by adding headings and subheadings to your guide. Then, use bullet points and lists to break up your content and make it easier to scan. Finally, add images, illustrations, and screenshots to help your readers follow along.
Publish your guide
After you’ve formatted and designed your guide, it’s time to publish it. You can publish your guide by posting it on your blog or website. You can easily share your guide on social media or email it to your list. The best format is a PDF version of your guide, so you can offer it in the downloadable form to build your list. This will help you generate leads and build your audience. You can also publish it right on your website as a clickable document to increase your traffic.
Promote your guide
After you’ve published your guide, it’s time to start promoting it. Share the guide on all your social media platforms. Also, don’t forget to email your list and about. Even if they’re already on your list, it will help segment them further based on interests if they download it. Don’t forget to also reach out to influencers in your niche. Finally, create a landing page for your guide and run ads to drive traffic to it. This will help you generate leads and build your audience.
With just a little thought and effort, you can create a how-to guide that will help you generate traffic, build your list, and make more sales. If you need help doing this, don’t hesitate to hire someone to help you.