We are driven by our need for answers to solve common problem and turn to how-to blogs and videos for help. A how-to blog can strengthen your relationship with readers and potential customers and clients. Take advantage of one of the Internet’s primary benefits: the ability to show and tell people how to do practical things. The possibilities are limitless.
My favorite how-to videos relate to solving some challenge using software. I’m grateful for that kind of video.
Applying the concept of a how-to video, consider the how-to blog. What can you describe in a blog that gives your audience a step-by-step process to follow?
That how-to blog blog could be a point-by-point discussion or step-by-step guide for something your company provides.
How to Blogs Provide Information Quickly
I have learned that some of the video makers get a little carried away with themselves. Too often, what could be thirty seconds of video get stretched out with small talk and a lot of “look at me” shots.
Screenshots can be the perfect accompaniment to a “how-to” blog. If you want to show some features in Word that help writers, go to a video that explains them. I consistently use Snagit, made by Techsmith, to create screenshots. Microsoft computers also come with a free tool, found in the Windows Accessories, called a snipping tool.
All you need to do is pause the video and use a snipping tool that available on both PCs and Macintosh. (Check specifics for your operating system.)
Collect appropriate screenshots from the video and give instructions below each shot. For example, if I were to make a blog post on how to check tire pressure, I might do the following:
- Screenshot of the measuring gauge.
- Close-up of the numbers on it.
- Show removal of valve cap.
- Place gauge in correct position.
- Show reading on gauge.
- Show correct positioning of air pump nozzle over valve.
- Replace valve cap.
What’s nice about this kind of how-to blog is that, as a reference, it’s much faster to scan than a video. If you forgot how to measure tire pressure, you could go to your handy bookmark and see, in about 30 seconds, how to do it.
As a benefit to your reader of the how-to blog, include a video that captures the main points.
That principle holds true for any how-to blog post. And that means a reader returning to your blog for more updates.
Your areas of expertise may involve greater complexity, but you can still break the needed actions down step by step.
Here, though, human psychology comes into play. When we identify a complex process and show step-by-step how to do it, the psychology can be “Well, you know, it’s so complex. Maybe I’d rather just pay that company to do it for me rather than for me to have to figure out how to accomplish that.”
Therefore, how-to posts always need a call to action at the end for more information. Invite them to download a video, free report, or take other action.
Pat Iyer loves to shorten her learning time by relying on how to blogs.