Why ‘how to’ articles work
By Catriona Pollard, director, CP Communications
Writing articles is a fantastic way to gain publicity for you or your business. There are specific types of articles that work well – the ‘How to’ article is one of them but there are specific ways to write them.
‘How to’ articles can not only position you as an industry expert, they can offer topical, helpful and interesting information to readers and are one of the easiest types of articles to write because they have a tried and tested structure that works.
A great way to show off your expertise is to write up a simple article on a topic that you have a lot of experience and knowledge about. For example: How to write a media release and distribute it. This will position you as an industry expert or thought leader and can create much more business than churning out press release after press release.
How to write a ‘how to’ article
1. Know what you are writing about. When writing a ‘how to’ article make sure you do actually know how to do it. Your information needs to be backed up with real life experience and knowledge.
2. Stay on topic. The article should be objective and written in an informative and entertaining manner, but keep on topic. No editor will want to receive an article that goes off topic or becomes a promotional piece.
3. KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid). Particularly if you are writing a ‘how to’ on something complex. Avoid jargon and write in short, clear sentences, using sub headings, dot points and bolding to communicate key points.
4. Proof read it. Once you are finished, proof read it and then give it to somebody else to read. It is very common for authors of articles to miss mistakes. Allowing another person to read over the article can help. Also, by doing this you can test if your how to article is effective in communicating information to people who are not experts in the area.