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How to make a HOW-TO guide in a few steps

There are tons of great guides, tutorials, and how-to videos out there. So how do you make yours stand out? It seems difficult but not impossible. Take a look at this guide for making a HOW-TO that’ll attract readers and make them want to share your content.

STEP 1. Planning

  • Pick a topic to write about: Think about a problem you can fix or something you are interested in. Pick a topic that hasn’t been written about too often. Do your homework, do research.
  • Think about your target audience: Before starting your HOW-TO you should have a specific audience in mind. According to the audience, you can determine the level of detail you’ll need to create it.
  • Research about the process: Find out how other people do what you want to do. Look online for existing tutorials about the topic and annotate all the steps you think you’ll need. Don’t forget to take notes of all the positive, cool things you notice so you can implement them into your own creation.
  • Gather the materials you need: For your tutorial, you’ll need to collect all the material and information that you want to include. For example, pictures, code snippets, graphs, links to other resources, etc.

STEP 2. Building it

  • Create a great title and add an interesting image: Grabbing readers’ attention in the first few seconds is key. Choose a title that clearly describes what the tutorial is about and an attractive image to complement it.
  • Begin with an Introduction: Introduce the topic in a simple way so your audience clearly understands what you’re talking about, and why this topic will be useful.
  • Include a list of supplies, tools and/or resources: Before you start to describe the process, you may want to list what the person will need to accomplish the task. Inform your audience about any required knowledge, configuration, or useful resources.
  • Write instructions in chronological order: Follow a step-by-step approach, keeping in mind the logical sequence of events. Describe each step as clearly and precisely as possible. Use images, code snippets, graphs, short videos to help your readers conceptualize the process.
  • Conclude with tips, advice, links to other resources: Lead your audience into other resources. Add tips, FAQs, references and all you think will help them to successfully make their task.

STEP 3. Posting

  • Check again what you create: Be sure to check carefully for spelling and grammar mistakes. It may be helpful to have someone else review it. Ask for feedback.
  • Test the guide yourself: Follow the step-by-step instructions you created. Look for an obvious step that you might have missed or a step out of order.
  • Publish your guide: Once you have all the feedback and corrections, it’s time to publish it. You may want to put it on your website, blog, and/or in a publishing platform like Medium, that fits your intended audience. Check that your writing meets any specified guidelines of the site.

Don’t forget to keep an eye on your post reactions and comments. Feedback is always welcome and will help you improve not only what you have done, but also your future work.

I hope you find this guide useful. Notice you can also use it to create a tutorial video. Do you have a great HOW-TO tutorial you’d like to share? Post it in the comments below, and I’ll give you my opinion.

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