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Tips For Writing A Great How To Article

Tips For Writing A Great How-To Article
Written by Craig Warren
http://www.craigsonlinetips.com/goto/sfi/

If you are using articles to help drive traffic to your
website you will need to come up with ideas for articles
that people will want to read and publish. The quality
of articles found on article directories can vary
significantly so it is important that yours are among the
best available for your article marketing campaign to be
successful.

There is no end to the subjects you can write about and
you can use any style you wish. However, it has to be
something that people will want to read. How to articles
are very popular with both website owners and readers and
can be a great way to get your article marketing campaign
underway. Basically, the purpose of a ‘how to’ article is
to explain to a reader how to do something.

Of course, you will have to have a good knowledge of how
to do the task yourself before you can think about
instructing anyone else how to do it, so stick to what
you know. There are many possibilities. If you have
experience in networking you could write a ‘how to’
article on how to set up a router at home, or if you love
cars you could write an article on ‘how to service your
car’. There are endless possibilities for ‘how to’
articles, in fact you are reading one right now.

So let’s get started. When you are writing a “how to”
article, remember that you are the teacher so write in an
authoritative tone. You are sharing your expertise with
someone who may have little knowledge of the subject at
hand. So keep your writing style simple and your
instructions clear.

At the beginning of your article tell your reader what
their goal is and summarize how it is going to be
achieved. This will prepare them for the task ahead. You
should also inform them of what, if anything, they will
need to have to hand to complete the task. Going back to
the setting up a router example, you would need to tell
them that they will need their computer, router,
instruction booklet and perhaps and ethernet cable to
complete the task.

Also, you must start at the beginning and work through
the task step by step. Sometimes it may be beneficial to
use bullet points to help give the impression that it is
a step by step process. Alternatively you can link the
steps with words like ‘next’, ‘and then’ or ‘now’. If you
are new to writing the bullet points option might be best
for you as it keeps things simple and helps you avoid
complex grammatical structures.

As you write, re-read your text every few paragraphs and
try to read it from the reader’s point of view, assuming
they know nothing about the task at hand. As an expert on
the subject it can be too easy to make things over-
complex because the task is second nature to you. Try to
imagine you are doing it for the first time and instruct
the reader accordingly. Going back to our previous
example, will the reader actually know what an ethernet
cable is, or what a router is for that matter?

If a particular stage in the task is complex you may want
to repeat the instruction, or ask the reader to check
their progress so they are sure they have followed your
instructions successfully.

With longer articles it is important to do this regularly
so the reader does not lose track. Summarize what they
have done so far, tell them what should have already been
achieved and ask them to check that everything is as it
should be. If a reader finds that the project does not
look like what you have described, they can then retrace
the last few steps and see where they went wrong.

If you work through your article in this manner you
should be left with a clear, concise ‘how to’ article
that takes the reader through each step of the project
to completion. Read it again, at least twice, to make
sure that it is well written and that instructions are
clear. Wrap up with a concluding paragraph congratulating
the reader for a job well done.

And finally, the icing on the cake, the headline. This
does not necessarily have to be done at the end. It can
be done before you write the article but you may find
that headline ideas will come to you as you write your
content. Be sure to spend some time perfecting your
headline as this can be the difference between the
success and failure of your article.

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