Welcome to the tutorial on how to write a “How To Article”.
In this article, I will show you how you can write a How-To article.
Do you know how to prepare a chicken turkey or any exotic dishes? Then you can write a how-to article on preparing the same.
How-to articles are the self-instruction articles that inform the reader how to progress from the beginning to the end with everything explained properly in between.
A how-to is written as a sequence that first you have to do this and then do that.
A well written how-to article is a guide that the reader will follow to get a task done perfectly. So you need to create a well-researched article that can get the task done.
And before you begin you have to have sketched out a draft of a how-to article.
The main thing in writing any how-to article is that you should have tried the same procedure and should achieve the desired outcome then only you can guide any other reader.
For example, I already have published many ebooks and novels online, and that’s why I am able to write how-to articles on ebook publishing and so on.
That’s why you should have expertise in that particular niche or topic to write a how-to article on the same niche.
Steps To Write a How-To Article
These are some of the steps that you should follow to write perfect how-to articles.
1. Select Your Niche or Topic
Find a topic that you have an interest or you have expertise then only you will be able to teach the same.
Even you can choose the topic you were learning currently. This way you can show your readers step-by-step how you achieved something and how they can achieve the same through your how-to articles.
As you already accomplished something from scratch to end result, you can write a well-crafted piece of a how-to article.
And you already have the experience of getting the required results there is almost no chance that your how-to article will not solve your reader’s problem.
But you should always start with a narrow niche rather than working on a broad niche.
For example, if you know about book publishing then go for narrow topics like how to write a short story, how to format an ebook, etc at first. Then go and write well researched how-to guides on broader topics.
This is important because you have a chance to stand out from the competition as they sometimes ignore these small topics.
2. Think About Your Audience
Now you already know how to accomplish a certain task.
Ask yourself can you teach the same process to your audience. If yes, then switch your place from expert to beginner and imagine that you will be reading this article.
Ask yourself as a reader what questions you want to be answered? Ask what are steps that needs elaborated answers and what are the steps which can be answered briefly.
Now you need to write according to your audience’s needs and not according to your experience.
Though you can include some of the tricks and tips that you might have found while working on the same.
Even you have to consider who is your audience. Is your audience male, female, kids, or beginner, advanced. You have to write according to your selected audience.
Like how-to articles for kids who search for room decoration is completely different from a designer searching for room decoration.
So having a targeted audience can make you decide how you are going to write your how-to articles.
3. Do Proper Research
A properly researched article is the soul of any how-to article.
Good research will add facts in your article and make your readers understand better what you are trying to tell.
Things that Researched How To Article should include are:
- Quotes from famous people, or Authors
- References from books and research papers
- Maybe some information from local events
- Helpful tools and resources
- References to already published articles (websites, blogs, etc)
Gather every piece of research that can back up your article as well as understood by your readers.
You may wanna do research first, take screenshots, create or download videos and tutorials, make infographics, etc and put all together in one folder.
Create a document where you can add the sources i.e, your links or you can add your research on the go as you write each and every step.
4. Outline Yout Steps
Outline your how-to article first.
Check what are the things you have to mention so that you can solve your readers’ problem.
You need to write a few introductory paragraphs, mention the problem, the reason for the problem, and how you can solve those problems.
Finally, you need to add a conclusion to your article. And in between, you have to mention the steps your readers were looking for.
You may have to redraft your articles several times to make sure everything follows the proper sequence.
The first draft you may have outlined may require a few additional steps in between when you start writing the article.
Sometimes what you have written in step 2 and step 3 may require you add few more things in step 1.
You have to write according to a beginner reader’s mindset.
And when you read your own draft ask yourself: is it working? Is it too generic or too lightweight? Is your article clears or solve your readers’ problems? Or is it unclear and choppy?
If so, comb some of your words, add a few, remove some, until your objective is fulfilled.
You can also ask your friends to read the article and give you feedback.
Apart from that, you could check your how-to article for the following things:
- Did you include all the important steps?
- Did you add all the ingredients required for completing that task?
- Is the order correct and logical?
- Did you breakdown your steps in part if required?
- Did you properly used words like first step second step…., or step 1 step 2.
- Did you warn readers about not following the correct order or sequence can lead them in trouble or so?
These few things will help you in writing the best possible how to article without any errors.
5. Write The Final How-To Article
Till now you have finished your draft. Its time to finalize the how-to article.
In this step, you have to go through each step, add required images, screenshot, videos, links, and so on.
Attached images and screenshots with marked details like “click here first then there.” You can add text on images and screenshots if the step is complicated or if required.
This will make your readers understand the instructions easily.
Highlight the important points.
Use styles like bold, italic, and underline wherever you think is necessary.
Add bullet points to break a long piece of instruction.
Use the proper headings and subheadings.
Make your how-to article as actionable as possible.
Don’t add words that are not useful and don’t skip something that adds value even how minor it seems.
6. Final Check and Publish
Before you publish your final article or send it to any magazine make sure to do a final review.
This step includes rechecking the grammar, punctuation, spelling, formatting, and styling.
You can do these steps after completing your final draft also. But even after writing the final article you will find a few errors for sure.
So it’s better to do a final check-up here.
You can use Grammarly for editing your final piece of how-to articles or some other online tools.
And if you are sending it to some renowned magazines or some famous websites, hiring a proofreader will help you achieve a perfect written how-to article.
But these things solely depends on the purpose of your work.
My Final Word On Writing a How-To Article
Writing a How-To article is an easy way to teach your reader to accomplish some task.
And you can create a perfect article for your readers if you have prior experience on completing the same task.
The main thing you have to remember is you have to think about your readers.
Step into their shoe and see if the article you have written solves the problem. If yes, your article is perfect.
And if you are satisfied with the how-to article then post on your blog or send it to any other magazine or sites. Your article will deliver the result of what it promised.