How to Write a Killer "How-To" Post That Brings Tons of Traffic

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Problem solving milestones.A 'How-To' tutorial is probably one of the most common post types used by almost every professional blogger. Inherently, such type of posts has immense potential to bring tons of readers to a blog. A typical step-by-step tutorial almost always promises to deliver a solution for the reader. That's what makes it alluring and attractive. This user-friendly guide will outline a basic framework to write such type of posts with minimal efforts. Initially, you may struggle a bit (if you're a newbie), but once you get the basics right, you'll be able to write how-to posts on a consistent basis. Even if you're running a hobby blog with a little scope for such type of content, do once give it a go and see the results. I'll also share few published how-to posts to let you analyze some real-world examples of the same. Some of the blog content writing principles discussed in this guide can be applied to other types of articles too. Let's get started and learn the effective and working strategy to write magnetic how-to posts in a professional way. Here we go!

Problem solving milestones.

Pro Tip: A good how-to post almost always include quantifiable and practical tips for a mundane problem.


Write a Problem-Solver Article

Ideally, every how-to tutorial should be a problem-solver article providing a unique solution to some of the most common questions of the readers. Anticipating readers' expectations and capitalizing on it will make you an ideal solution provider.

People want quick and easy solutions to their problems. Identifying your readers' grievances and providing the right answer to their questions in the form of how-to posts can make your blog—a big hit in no time.

Black and white illuminated bulb sketch.
In other words, after a reader finishes the how-to article, he should leave the page with a practical and feasible solution to his problem for which he initially landed on the post.

If you, as a blogger, is fulfilling that in every single how-to post, you're not only taking good care of your target audience but also making the web—a better place. Here's an example delivering a solution in a clear and concise way to the readers.

Structure Post Title - The Right Way

The title of a how-to post carries the weight of the whole article. You claim to deliver a solution—a promise in your post title—that tempts a visitor to read it.

Titles of such posts are like honeypots crafted to perfection to attract the readers from different sources. Having said that, one must keep in mind the negative implications of not fulfilling the promise done in the post title.

The more alluring is the title, the more responsibility is on your shoulders to match that headline with equally good content.

Structure of a how-to post title.
The title of the how-to post can be broadly divided into—two distinct parts. The first part states the solution to a pressing problem and the second part declares the advantage or a positive result one gets after implementing the proposed solution.

To understand it in a better way, let's see some of the examples of such how-to post titles.
  • How to Write a Killer "How-To" Post That Brings Tons of Traffic
  • How to Build a Low Budget Home Gym to Get a Perfect Athletic Body
  • How to Uninstall a WordPress Plugin in a Clean and Permanent Way
  • How to Build a Simple Search Bot in Just 30 Minutes
You can clearly see that all the demo post titles (see above) follow a simple solution-benefit structure to allure the readers.

If you follow this simple rule while crafting post titles for the how-to posts, rest assured you're going to get decent (CTR) click-through rate from the search result appearances.

Take a Step-by-Step Approach

Divide the path towards the solution into clear and manageable steps and move ahead by taking one step (no overlapping) at a time.

Sometimes, readers are not able to pick up the right progress thread and mix different stages of the solution in one place leading to confusion and frustration.

Staircase graphic.
Use the power of bullet lists (ordered or unordered), sub-headlines, and short paragraphs to make the flow of tutorial clear enough to be grasped easily by anyone.

If possible, you can also include the count of steps in the post title, especially when the number of steps is low. This strategy can attract more clicks to the post page.

Use the 'KISS' Principle

The KISS (Keep it simple, stupid) principle states that things should be kept simple to yield better results instead of complicating them. This principle can be applied to almost any process.

Remember, the solution provided by you is going to be read by intellects as well as by those who are completely ignorant of the subject discussed in the tutorial.

KISS principle emblem sketch.
Use the KISS principle to make it readable and easy-to-understand for every group of readers. The simpler and to-the-point is your tutorial, the more it will be popular. Avoid use of rich complex terms that may confuse some of the readers.

If there is an easy and alternate way to complete a step, include that alternative too—without any hesitation. Here, simplicity doesn't mean long and boring paragraphs. In this context, simplicity means to present your solution in such a way that even a layman can grasp it—easily.

Add More Weight with Images and Illustrations

A good how-to tutorial is incomplete unless you include the necessary images and illustrations in it. These images not only add a visual appeal to the article but also makes it more readable and easier to understand.

If there is a scope, use them liberally to make your readers better understand the solution. Remember, in the enthusiasm of using images in a post, make sure that you do not overdo it else the readers may feel overwhelmed and may leave the page—prematurely.

Read Also:
How to Create Unique and Eye-Catching Images for Your Blog Posts


If you already have a good working knowledge of at least one photo editing program, use this skill to the fullest to pimp up and enhance the images.

You can find good use of images in a how-to article here and in this tutorial.

Provide Supporting Resources

If your how-to post has the scope of providing demos or downloads, nothing can be better than that. For example, let's assume you are writing a tutorial about creating a website navigation menu.

Naturally, it's going to be—a technical article—which inherently demands a working demo of the final result. In such a case, just providing a screenshot of the same is not enough.

Pinned paper sheet.
Create a couple of demo pages and provide links to these pages. Package the code in a zip file and provide this download to your readers to help them get started with their own version—in an easy way.

If you do so, your readers will simply love it and may spread the word about it among their contacts giving you more and more traffic in the long run.

Be Ready to Answer

No matter how well you package your solution, you are bound to be bombarded by readers' questions in the form of comments and emails. Be mentally prepared for the same and prepare some common FAQ drafts to speed up your response.

Sometimes, an average how-to tutorial goes viral simply because you are answering every question of the readers. It may also happen that one of your readers provides a better solution than yours. Acknowledge the solution provided by your reader thanking him for adding his valuable input.

FAQs and question mark cube blocks.
While answering the readers' queries, you may notice one or more shortcomings in the post which are triggering the questions from the other end.

This process directly helps you in correcting and optimizing the article to create a better version of the same. Answering readers query also help in gaining returning visitors who appreciate and consume your blog content—on a daily basis.

Promise to Deliver Again

While writing a how-to post, do not forget to indicate your readers about delivering similar kind of stuff in the future. If you have any relevant semi-prepared draft in your dashboard, do not hesitate to tell about it to your readers.

In fact, with every delivered solution there are several sub-problems related to that topic. You can pick these sub-problems and can promise to publish solutions to those problems.

Eyes with glasses on.
But, be aware that it may backfire too. If you've promised to deliver related solutions in future, do actually fulfill them. Failing to do so may leave a bad impression among your loyal readers.

Use the last section of the how-to post to make such promises. Be precise and clear as to the details of what's coming ahead for the readers.