One of the most shared types of content online is the tutorial. Teaching your blog’s audience to complete a task not only establishes you as an expert, it also makes your readers smarter and more loyal.
How-to articles are only useful if they’re understandable, though, so let’s talk about how to write amazing tutorials.
Start With the Very Basics
Bloggers make the mistake of assuming their readers know where to start. The result is a tutorial that’s too complicated for beginners to understand, or that is unhelpful because it starts in the wrong place.
Pretend that your reader is an absolute beginner on your topic, and start with the very first step needed to achieve a goal. For example, if you’re writing a tutorial about using WordPress, start with logging into the WordPress admin dashboard and go from there
A good proofreading technique it is to pretend that you’re explaining the process to your mother.
Be as Thorough As Possible
Your tutorial will always make sense to you, but the key is for every step to be clear to your readers. Don’t skip around or breeze through parts that seem “easy.” Slow down and describe every key action in detail. Users who truly “get it” will just scroll past those. Beginners will be thankful for the extensive advice.
Use Screenshots & Images to Guide the Reader
A lot of people are visual learners, so use screenshots to illustrate the process you’re trying to teach. These pictures don’t have to be complicated.You can sometimes get away with one good picture of where a setting is found or what an option box looks like.
If you have a copy of Photoshop, blur out parts of screenshots that aren’t important and highlight the area of the program/webpage you’re talking about in the tutorial. The added focus will make your image even better.
Sub-Headings Are Your Friends
Breaking a tutorial up into separate sections (as opposed to a giant wall of text) makes it easier to read and much more user-friendly. Give each step in the process it’s own heading and then use sub-headings to further explain tips or sub-directions.
Make the Difficulty Level Clear
Make sure that readers know the level of knowledge required to accomplish that task you’re describing. User error can cause serious headaches if someone inexperienced tackles a big project too soon. Linking to basic tutorials is a good way to prepare your readers for the transition from basic to intermediate to expert, respectively.
Tutorials are a staple of content marketing, so get out there and start writing some today.