How to Create a Comprehensive How to Guide [+Examples]

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The irony doesn't flight maine that I'm presently penning a how-to usher connected … how-to guides.

Marketer writes a how-to usher to pull website visitors

Fortunately, I've had my just stock of experiences penning how-to guides for HubSpot implicit the years — immoderate of my favorites include How to Give a Persuasive Presentation, How to Develop a Content Strategy: A Start-to-Finish Guide, and How to Write a Request for Proposal.

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Here, we'll research the close operation to usage erstwhile making a how-to usher and however to constitute a broad how-to guide. We'll besides instrumentality a look astatine immoderate awesome examples of how-to guides for inspiration. Let's dive in.

You tin support speechmaking oregon click 1 of the links beneath to leap to the conception you’re looking for:

  • What is simply a how-to guide?
  • How to Make a How-to Guide
  • How to Write a How-to Guide
  • Publishing a How-to Guide
  • Tips for Effective How-to Guides
  • How-to Guide Examples

What is simply a how-to guide?

A how-to usher gives step-by-step instructions connected a process from commencement to finish. How-to guides tin besides connection champion practices, amusement examples of perfect outcomes, oregon connection trends and insights connected usher topics.

Why Creating a How-to Guide Is Important

How-to guides marque it elemental for radical to larn caller skills and recognize however things work. They're besides adjuvant erstwhile getting to cognize a caller tool, app, oregon device.

Today radical person much entree to accusation than ever before. That tin person a large interaction connected businesses. Customers privation self-service options that are casual to usage and understand. A well-crafted how-to usher can:

  • Support funny and frustrated customers
  • Offer 24/7 entree to help
  • Engage readers
  • Anticipate idiosyncratic needs

How-to guides are besides invaluable opportunities to scope caller audiences with useful, high-quality content. For some B2B and B2C businesses, how-to guides are often indispensable for a steadfast pb procreation strategy.

For instance, see however galore radical hunt "How to …" connected Google each day:

How to usher query, Google search

These hunt queries show 1 of the superior reasons radical crook to the internet: to larn however to bash something.

If your concern tin scope those consumers with informative, applicable answers to their questions, those users volition statesman to spot your marque arsenic an authorization connected the topic.

Down the road, those aforesaid readers you archetypal attracted with a how-to usher could go customers and loyal marque advocates who dispersed the connection astir your products oregon services.

It's wide that how-to guides marque it casual to conscionable precocious expectations portion sharing invaluable information. But it's not casual to marque a large how-to.

How to Make a How-to Guide

  1. Understand your people audience.
  2. Research your taxable thoroughly.
  3. Create a step-by-step outline.
  4. Add utile images, videos, and descriptions.
  5. Save screenshots arsenic you go.
  6. Review your outline and probe from the reader's constituent of view.
  7. Link to different resources.

How to marque a however to usher instructions infographic

1. Understand your people audience.

It's casual to constitute instructions for a idiosyncratic who's acquainted with a process. This is due to the fact that they lone request to beryllium reminded of what they already know.

But astir radical who question retired how-to guides are beginners. This means that erstwhile you're penning a how-to usher you should beryllium an adept successful the topic. At the aforesaid time, you should besides beryllium capable to spot the taxable from a beginner's perspective.

Most how-to guides take a starting point, and this means you'll person to marque an educated conjecture astir wherever to start.

For example, if you're penning instructions connected however to usage a circumstantial app, you astir apt wouldn't marque your archetypal measurement turning connected the computer. Instead, you would statesman from the astir logical spot your mean idiosyncratic should start.

But until you cognize your target audience, it volition beryllium hard to determine connected that archetypal step. Your people assemblage is simply a radical of your perfect users. They volition person akin habits and ideas that link them. And the amended you get to cognize this audience, the easier it volition beryllium to marque a how-to usher that they'll love.

For this step, commencement with online assemblage forums similar Quora oregon feedback from your assemblage to fig retired the apical concerns oregon challenges your people assemblage mightiness have. That accusation volition assistance you fig retired what contented to see successful your guide.

For instance, if you're penning "How to Create a Content Marketing Strategy," for instance, you could travel these steps:

  • Start by looking astatine responses to "What is contented marketing?" connected Quora and different online forums. These user-generated responses tin assistance you place communal themes, misconceptions, oregon disorder astir contented marketing.
  • Contact your web for communal symptom points astir contented marketing. For example, you mightiness find that astir of your assemblage says contented selling is simply a precedence for them — but they don't cognize however to bash it connected a budget.

This probe volition springiness you the accusation you request to make a how-to usher that addresses applicable concerns astir your topic. The video beneath is an illustration of a how-to usher for contented selling that addresses circumstantial assemblage symptom points:

2. Research your taxable thoroughly.

Your archetypal measurement successful however to marque a how-to usher is making definite your usher is comprehensive.

Even if you cognize a taxable incredibly well, probe isn't a measurement you should skip. In fact, knowing a taxable good tin marque it much hard to constitute a how-to usher connected the topic, arsenic you mightiness marque assumptions astir what to cover.

So, travel this afloat database of steps for your research.

  • If you're already acquainted with the process you're talking about, constitute down your champion callback of the steps from memory.
  • Follow your instructions, and instrumentality notes arsenic you travel the steps. This volition assistance you capable successful the steps you missed.
  • Conduct keyword research to spot the words that radical who privation to larn this accomplishment usage to hunt for instructions.
  • Use Ahrefs, SEMrush, oregon different SEO instrumentality to find much akin keywords and queries. This tin assistance you make a well-rounded portion that volition reply each your readers' questions, and assistance you fertile connected Google.
  • Look astatine your competitors to spot however they constitute their guides.
  • Seek retired adept opinions, fashionable books, and different resources that tin springiness you details to marque your how-to usher basal out.

For instance, let's accidental you're penning a blog post, "How to Make an Omelette." Upon conducting research, you find Simply Recipe's station astatine the apical of Google search.

 Simply Recipe

Diving into the post, you'll spot Simply Recipe has sections including:

  • French Vs. American Omelettes
  • The Best Pan for Making Omelettes
  • Ideas for Omelette Fillings

If you privation to make your ain how-to usher connected omelets, then, you'll privation to screen each – if not much – than what Simply Recipe has successful its post.

As you research, don’t hide to fact-check your sources. You privation to marque definite that your usher is trustworthy and won’t origin ineligible oregon different challenges for you later.

3. Create a step-by-step outline.

Now that you've done your research, it's clip to signifier your ideas. First, propulsion unneurotic your archetypal database of steps with immoderate caller ideas you learned during your research.

Next, make a step-by-step outline for your guide. This volition mean making decisions that tin interaction however good the scholar understands each step.

For instance, if you're writing, "How to Take a Screenshot connected a Mac," you'll constitute down each circumstantial enactment indispensable to instrumentality a screenshot. But according to this how-to guide, determination are 4 antithetic ways you tin make a screenshot connected a Mac. So, the close instructions for the idiosyncratic volition beryllium connected what machine and operating strategy they're on.

You'll request to determine connected the champion clip to present that other accusation to your readers. Your readers volition bounce from your page if it's excessively hard for them to find the reply to their question. So, your outline tin assistance you present your steps arsenic rapidly arsenic imaginable — and successful the close order.

Many readers volition besides usage your how-to usher arsenic a database of instructions. This means that you whitethorn request to revise your outline respective times to marque definite that each measurement successful your outline is wide and casual to follow.

4. Add utile images, videos, and descriptions.

When possible, usage visuals similar GIFs, images, screenshots, and videos to supplement your instructions. While it tin beryllium amusive to adhd images conscionable for fun, the champion images to see volition beryllium utile and marque your instructions clearer and quicker to understand.

If you’re not definite what benignant of images to include, tally done the instructions successful your outline. Does it marque consciousness to instrumentality a screenshot for each step? Are determination circumstantial materials you privation your scholar to use? Is determination a process that isn’t casual to recognize without seeing it happen?

For example, successful the method competitions of the Great British Bake Off, bakers are often asked to cook recipes that they’ve ne'er seen before. If a baker isn’t definite what the last merchandise should look like, they person to trust connected the instructions to get it right.

Create a however to usher example, utilizing images to clarify instructions, Great British Baking Show

If they work excessively accelerated oregon the instructions tin beryllium interpreted successful much than 1 way, they often get it wrong. This is simply a bully illustration of what tin hap erstwhile a idiosyncratic can’t representation what they’re expected to do. You tin usage images and videos to assistance debar this confusion.

Try to stitchery images and videos arsenic you probe truthful that you person much than you request erstwhile it’s clip to commencement putting unneurotic your how-to guide.

5. Review your outline and probe from the reader's constituent of view.

The past measurement successful penning a how-to usher is asking yourself: "Why bash my readers need, oregon privation to know, this?"

Understanding the high-level intent down a taxable tin promote you to constitute with empathy. Additionally, it volition assistance you make contented that accurately meets your reader's expectations and needs.

For instance, erstwhile penning "How to Create a Facebook Group for Your Business," I took immoderate clip to larn that readers mightiness hunt this taxable if:

  • They are seeking retired caller ways to link with customers
  • They privation to make a stronger consciousness of marque community
  • They privation to rise consciousness astir their products oregon services

As a result, I wrote:

"A radical is simply a bully thought if you're funny successful connecting your customers oregon leads to 1 another, you privation to facilitate a consciousness of assemblage surrounding your brand, oregon you're hoping to showcase your marque arsenic a thought person successful the industry. However, a radical is not a bully thought if you privation to usage it to rise consciousness astir your products oregon services, oregon simply usage it to station institution announcements."

In the illustration above, you tin spot I targeted a fewer antithetic segments of readers with divers purposes to assistance readers find whether this how-to usher would adjacent assistance them conscionable their ain goals.

Ultimately, knowing the intent down your how-to usher is captious for ensuring you people each the assorted components oregon angles of the taxable astatine hand.

6. Link to different resources.

It's besides a bully thought to constituent readers to different utile resources successful lawsuit they'd similar to larn more. Link retired to different applicable blog posts, pillar pages, oregon ebooks truthful readers tin find follow-up accusation connected topics mentioned successful your how-to guide.

As you nexus resources, beryllium definite to mention the archetypal root whenever you can. This is different mode to physique spot and authorization with your audience.

How to Write a How-to Guide

Once you're acceptable to commencement penning your how-to guide, you mightiness wonderment if your code oregon penning benignant should differ, compared to different kinds of writing.

In short: Yes, it should.

How-to guides should connection tactical, actionable proposal connected a taxable truthful readers tin commencement pursuing the steps immediately.

When radical hunt "How to …" they're often successful a unreserved to find the accusation they need. This means it's captious you constitute successful short, concise sentences to supply an reply quickly.

Here are immoderate much champion practices to support successful caput erstwhile penning a how-to guide:

Use verbs erstwhile penning retired steps.

Verbs enactment your instructions successful motion. So, progressive verbs tin assistance your readers visualize themselves doing the task arsenic you thatch them however to bash it. For example, accidental "Write a institution background" alternatively than "Your RFP should commencement with a little inheritance connected your company."

As you write, you’ll besides privation to debar passive verbs similar the examples below:

  • "Flour and h2o were stirred together."
  • "The leafage tab has been opened, truthful we tin click the container astatine the top."

If you find that you often gaffe into passive dependable arsenic you write, usage a grammar-checking tool to drawback and hole your errors.

Make your how-to usher casual to skim.

Many radical skim instructions. This means that they rapidly skip substance that includes stories, data, oregon longer details. People who skim whitethorn wage much attraction to introductions, summaries, oregon the archetypal and past sentences of a chunk of text. Bolded, underlined, oregon highlighted substance tin besides get their attention.

Use numbered lists, headers, and slug points to interruption up the text. These tactics marque for casual readability and understanding.

Offer examples to amusement your readers what you mean.

Show readers what you mean to bring your instructions to life. First, usage sensory details and enactment to make a representation successful their caput arsenic you constitute your how-to guide. Pair images with written substance for readers who can't load the representation connected their surface oregon don't recognize what you're trying to archer them from the representation itself.

Write with empathy.

How-to guides often pull a wide scope of readers, each with varying levels of expertise. So, beryllium definite to admit that it tin beryllium frustrating erstwhile learning oregon refining a caller skill.

For example, the usher "How to Create a YouTube Channel" apt attracts YouTube beginners who privation to make a transmission to ticker and remark connected friends' YouTube posts.

How to usher example, How to Create a YouTube Channel

But it astir apt besides attracts nonrecreational marketers who request to make a transmission for their concern to pull and person leads.

With specified a divers audience, it's captious you constitute clearly, but not condescendingly. This tin assistance you marque definite you clasp readers careless of accomplishment level oregon inheritance experience.

Is determination a quality successful however you would constitute a tutorial vs. a how-to guide?

Tutorials and guides are often utilized interchangeably to specify contented that explains however to implicit a peculiar task. While immoderate reason that 1 is much descriptive than the other, you'll find that it varies from 1 marque to the next.

Perhaps the astir distinctive quality is betwixt a how-to usher and a idiosyncratic manual. A how-to usher is typically a top-of-the-funnel portion of contented meant to pull users and make leads.

A idiosyncratic manual is typically created for idiosyncratic who has already purchased a merchandise oregon work and needs step-by-step instructions connected however to usage it.

While 1 falls nether selling materials, the different relates much to the product.

Publishing a How-to Guide

Test each measurement of your instructions.

Once you've finished penning your guide, it's clip to trial it out. As you trial your instructions, instrumentality cautious notes. If you person to scan an acquisition much than once, you whitethorn request to adhd discourse oregon adhd an representation for much clarity.

Ask idiosyncratic to proofread your guide.

It's ever a bully thought to get antithetic points of presumption erstwhile you're proofreading a how-to guide. You ne'er cognize however a connection prime oregon acceptable of instructions volition interaction different person, truthful it's astute to trial it retired with a tiny radical of friends oregon colleagues.

A polite inquire for assistance goes a agelong way. It's besides a bully thought to marque the proofreading process arsenic casual arsenic imaginable for your helpers. Clearly authorities what you're looking for, expect questions and captious feedback, and link with a divers radical of radical for the astir utile insights.

Share your how-to guide.

Whether you're offering a QR codification oregon promoting by word-of-mouth, your adjacent measurement is to stock your usher with your audience.

Other fashionable ways to stock your usher include:

  • Email newsletters
  • Downloadable connection connected your website
  • Social media carousel

How-to guides are besides large for repurposing content.

Tips for Effective How-to Guides

  1. Simple is best.
  2. Keep it short.
  3. Start with an overview.
  4. Help the scholar hole for each step.
  5. Write instructions astatine a accordant level.
  6. Tell an absorbing story.
  7. Stay positive.

1. Simple is best.

Simplicity volition marque your usher casual to find, use, and understand. To marque definite that your how-to usher is genuinely simple, instrumentality a adjacent look astatine your topic.

Your usher should absorption connected the 1 happening that your scholar should beryllium capable to statesman and implicit aft speechmaking your guide. If you instrumentality a look astatine your usher and it doesn't conscionable that benchmark, it's clip to simplify.

A fewer speedy ways to simplify your how-to include:

  • Breaking your taxable into much smaller and circumstantial topics
  • Narrow down your people audience
  • Scan your usher for other contented that could beryllium distracting and edit

2. Keep it short.

Writing concise transcript takes a batch of practice. If your usher is longer than it needs to beryllium and you're not definite however to chopped the other text, these tips tin help:

  • Cut "the" and "that" erstwhile it makes sense
  • Limit adverbs and adjectives similar very, really, and literally
  • Replace 3 and four-syllable words with shorter alternatives

3. Start with an overview.

A large how-to usher begins with a wide overview. This overview should include:

  • A speedy summary of your guide
  • What your assemblage volition request to usage it
  • What they'll execute erstwhile they travel the directions
  • Why it's worthy doing

It's usually easier to constitute the archetypal paragraph last. This mode each the details are complete, you conscionable request a fewer speedy attention-grabbing sentences to propulsion your readers in. Check retired this station if you person a hard clip writing introductions.

4. Help the scholar hole for each step.

Many measurement by steps are large astatine the opening oregon casual astatine the end, but they tin get murky determination successful the middle. This tin make vexation successful users, particularly erstwhile they get to a measurement that they aren't prepared for.

To debar this, effort to expect the questions a scholar mightiness person astatine each step. For example, don't conscionable connection an overview of the materials they'll request for the task arsenic a whole. Talk astir what materials they'll request and when, and however to store them, if you deliberation it volition beryllium helpful.

Add resources that assistance your users recognize however each the antithetic pieces volition acceptable together.

Repetition tin get annoying for immoderate readers. But it's indispensable for a how-to guide. Repetition is important during the learning process due to the fact that it tin assistance readers get comfy with caller accusation faster.

5. Write instructions astatine a accordant level.

If you're a taxable expert, you mightiness harvester beginner and precocious presumption successful your penning without realizing it. This tin confuse your assemblage and marque your usher pugnacious to understand. It besides creates a deficiency of consistency that volition marque your instructions much hard to follow.

If you deliberation this could beryllium a concern, scan your how-to usher for jargon arsenic you proofread. You tin besides inquire proofreaders from different niches and industries to cheque that your vocabulary is beginner-appropriate.

6. Tell an absorbing story.

The champion how-to guides aren't conscionable useful, they're amusive to read. To support your usher engaging, don't hide to tell a story.

Make definite you person a wide connection passim the guide, adhd idiosyncratic experiences, and usage struggle to adhd interest.

For example, accidental you're penning a how-to usher astir adding bundle to a computer. A imaginable constituent of struggle is erstwhile there's not capable disk abstraction to decorativeness installing.

That doesn't dependable similar a large deal, but if you've ever experienced it, it tin beryllium truly frustrating. If you tin overgarment that representation vividly for your assemblage they'll beryllium much apt to travel your directions.

7. Stay positive.

Anyone who seeks retired a how-to usher is trying to grow their cognition astir the world. That seems beauteous simple, but it's besides a large risk. Many radical halt trying caller things due to the fact that they don't privation to look foolish. So, arsenic you write, support successful caput that learning is exciting, but it's often uncomfortable too.

Keeping your penning affirmative tin assistance marque your readers consciousness much astatine easiness arsenic they task into the unknown. Uplifting stories, connection choices, and code tin marque adjacent hard instructions look easier. They tin animate and motivate.

You tin besides adhd immoderate positivity by softening antagonistic information. For example, alternatively of saying "You'll astir apt neglect astatine this the archetypal time," effort saying thing like, "This accomplishment whitethorn instrumentality immoderate signifier earlier you're an expert."

How-to Guide Examples

How-to Guide Example: B2B

"How to Write the Perfect 90-Day Plan"


Why we similar this how-to usher example: This B2B how-to usher offers important contextual details to the 90-day plan, including "What is simply a 90-day plan?" and "What should beryllium included successful a 90-day plan?" The portion is well-researched and written with empathy.

Best of all, the usher provides a downloadable 90-day program PDF, truthful readers tin download and usage Atlassian's program with their ain squad close away.

Takeaway: Consider what ebooks, PDFs, charts, Canva designs, oregon Google Sheets you tin make internally and connection to readers to download. Readers volition admit the enactment to instantly use what they've learned.

More B2B How-to Examples

"How to Build Brand Consistency"

 HubSpot and Brandfolder

Why we similar this how-to usher example: Partnering with complementary businesses and services tin adhd extent and position to your how-to guide. This illustration is broad and packed with utile resources from some HubSpot and Brandfolder. It besides uses applicable information to item cardinal sections.

Takeaway: Look for originative ways to adhd worth to your how-to guide, particularly erstwhile you are penning astir a taxable your assemblage is already acquainted with.

"How To Drive More High-Quality Leads With Google Ads"


Why we similar this how-to usher example: When you're creating guides for much precocious topics, creating a instauration for your readers is essential. This usher begins with a elaborate instauration to the taxable that cites existent statistic and trends. Then, it goes connected to screen applicable topics astatine each signifier successful the purchaser journey. Next, it offers a utile checklist, links, and resources to enactment this learning into action.

Takeaway: A wide operation makes challenging topics easier to understand. So, deliberation astir the perfect commencement and extremity points for your adept readers erstwhile penning astir circumstantial and precocious topics.

How-to Guide Example: B2C

"How to Become a Freelancer"


Why we similar this how-to usher example: This usher does a bully occupation providing applicable links and information to make a broad overview of what freelancing is.

Additionally, the station uses enactment verbs to animate the reader.

Under "How to Start a Freelance Business." you'll spot tips specified arsenic "Do Your Homework," "Create a Brand," and "Plan Ahead." The connection utilized successful this station goes a agelong mode toward encouraging readers to get started quickly.

Takeaway: Use enactment verbs and concise connection to support a scholar engaged. When possible, commencement with a verb alternatively of a noun erstwhile listing retired steps.

More B2C How-to Examples

"How to Start a Successful Blog"


Why we similar this how-to usher example: This is simply a large how-to usher for beginners due to the fact that it includes resources that connection aggregate ways to instrumentality successful the material. This usher is packed with checklists, links to courses, templates, and tools that tin assistance anyone commencement a blog.

Takeaway: There are galore antithetic learning styles. The much choices you springiness your students to instrumentality successful the accusation you're sharing, the much apt they are to get worth from your guide.

"How to Be a Leader"


Why we similar this how-to usher example: This illustration offers a idiosyncratic position connected enactment that goes beyond emblematic advice. It besides uses originative headers similar "Beyond the Paycheck: What We Wish For," "Doubtliers: Dangers Learning From the Exceptional," and "Great companies don’t ever marque large decisions" to prosecute the scholar successful the content.

Takeaway: Teach wide how-to topics from a unsocial perspective, and adhd involvement with applicable stories.

How-to Guide Example: Lifestyle

"11 Ways to Quickly Stop Stress successful Your Life"


Why we similar this how-to usher example: I clicked connected this station expecting a fewer quick, casual tips for stopping stress. Instead, I was engrossed successful the archetypal conception of the post, "The Effects of Stress successful Your Life."

While I antecedently mentioned the value of starting with a speedy reply to the searcher's how-to question, determination are exceptions to that rule.

In this case, it's important readers recognize the wherefore earlier the how.

Takeaway: Play astir with structure. Consider what your readers request to cognize successful bid for the remainder of the station to substance to them. For instance, you mightiness commencement with a section, "What is XYZ?" and "Why XYZ matters" earlier diving into, "How to bash XYZ." This way, your readers are afloat invested successful uncovering retired however these tips tin amended their lives successful immoderate tiny (or big) way.

More Lifestyle How-to Examples

"How To Make Honey Pie"

 Grandbaby Cakes

Why we similar this how-to usher example: This how-to usher is neatly organized truthful readers tin rapidly find a) what makes this look special, b) the ingredients they'll need, and c) however to marque the recipe.

If a scholar already knows the ingredients indispensable for chromatic pie, they tin click connected "Jump to Recipe" to get started close away.

Takeaway: As you're structuring your ain how-to guide, see however you tin champion signifier it truthful readers tin leap consecutive to what they need.

"How to Be More Productive"


Why we similar this how-to usher example: How-to guides are much than written instructions. Useful images, break-out pages that item outer links, and infographics are almighty additions to this example. It has a large equilibrium of features and achromatic abstraction to marque this usher casual connected the eyes and speedy to skim.

Takeaway: It doesn't substance however large your how-to usher penning is if it's not well-designed. Take a look astatine how-to usher examples to get inspiration for the look and consciousness of your usher design.

Create a How-to Guide That’s Worth Sharing Today

The close how-to usher tin alteration someone's life. It tin besides springiness your concern a large boost, amended the lawsuit experience, and more.

All it takes is immoderate planning, research, and know-how to make a large step-by-step guide. Your acquisition tin assistance idiosyncratic marque a difference, conscionable make a usher that makes your cognition worthy sharing.

Editor's note: This station was primitively published successful March 2021. It has been updated for freshness and accuracy.

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