July 3, 2006
Liz published this at 1:34 pm
What Have You Taught Me Lately?
Bloggers are always teaching or learning something. Blogs are filled with ways to promote a blog, to build a brand, to install a new plugin. When we get a new program, instructions come with it. Sometimes we follow them. Sometimes they work. Sometimes big parts of them seem to be missing.
How-to blogging teaches something.
A how-to post could be as simple as how to a make a sandwich or as complicated as how to turn your computer into a host server for WordPress.
People read how-to articles because they want to be learning.
Therefore: Nothing is worse than a how-to post that skipped a step.
I hate information that has holes in it.
Stomping Out Swiss Cheese Knowledge
We’ve all read that set of directions. You know the one. It gave us most of what we needed, but something was missing. It’s was like getting a kit that was missing one screw. Without that part, we can’t put final product together. In no way does this endear us to the writer.
Incomplete how-to articles offer Swiss Cheese Knowledge. I’ve got plenty of that in my head already. In a how-to article, I prefer cheddar. Use this checklist to avoid offering readers cheese that has holes.
Bloggers How-to Content EditorÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Checklist
- Does the post say what the article will teach?
- Does the post give a clear reason readers will want to learn it?
- Are the steps or ideas in the order they will be completed or used?
- If it’s appropriate, are the steps or ideas written as imperative sentences and numbered?
- Is each step or idea clear, concise, and understandable?
- Does the post provide detailed and complete information?
- Is the tone confident and supportive so readers new to the topic feel they have a chance at succeeding?
- Is the word choice appropriate for the audience?
- Are technical terms explained when they need to be?
- Is there a summary of what was taught?
- Does the summary predict the benefits readers will enjoy if they actually try what the article teaches?
After you write a how-to post, use this checklist. You’ll find making your how-to complete much easier using it — as easy as counting 1, 2, 3 is. Offer readers complete information on how to do what they want learn, and you can bet they’ll be back to see you for more, and then more after that.
Quality writing and quality content is the cornerstone to a quality brand. What better promotion is there than giving your readers what they’re looking for?
Will join the crusade to stomp out Swiss Cheese Knowledge?
–ME “Liz” Strauss
If you would like Liz to help you with your writing, check out the Work with Liz!! page in the sidebar.