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How to Write a How to Article

By Edited Oct 27, 2013 7 15

Since Infobarrel .com features nearly a thousand how to articles and how to guides, I figured it would probably be a good idea to go over the basics on how to write a successful how to guide.

1. The Topic

The first thing you should do when writing a how to guide, is decide what topic you want to write about. Try to write about topics you know people will search for, this will increase your chance of your article getting natural traffic from Google. Also, try to make your topic similar to what you would type in when looking something up in Google. If you are writing a guide that teaches you how to brush your teeth, your title should be 'How to Brush your Teeth'.

2. Opening Paragraph

Next, you will want to create your opening paragraph. The opening paragraph should be clear and concise and tell the reader exactly what your how to article should help them accomplish. In this paragraph you should set the reader's expectations. Make sure you don't promise them the world if your guide can't deliver.

3. Materials Required

In order to not waste your reader's time, the next paragraph should outline all the materials needed to perform your guide. It is annoying for the reader if they get half way through your guide and realize they don't have something needed to complete the project because you forgot to list it.

4. Warnings/Tips

If there is anything hazardous about performing your guide, you should give your reader a heads up in the paragraph following the required materials. This is also a great place to outline a few basic tips or things to look out for while following your guide.

5.Numbered Steps

Next is the meat and potatoes of your article; the steps. Outline each step with a number to make your guide easier to follow. Make each step short and easy to understand. Don't assume the reader has any background in what they are doing and cover every last tiny step.

6. References/Resources

If you have taken information from books, websites or other sources, make sure you credit them before the article is complete. References are always great to support any arguments from reader's who disagree with your methods.

7. Conclusion

Finally, wrap your how to article up with a conclusion that talks about the final product. There should be no confusion about what the reader just accomplished; they should leave with a solid understanding of whatever it was you were trying to teach.

That is it folks! Stick to these simple steps and your how to articles and how to guides will be helpful and provide value to the reader.


Aug 30, 2009 1:07pm
Obviously it is worth noting that these are only guidelines! I have had issues with the provided how to layout on Infobarrel as materials required is a section which needs to be filled in, but since the how to articles are based on online activities, I felt it would seem a bit silly to include this as other than a computer and internet connection which presumably they have as they are reading my article, not much more would be needed!
Oct 12, 2009 3:06am
Very useful tips, especially about getting Google traffic.
Nov 13, 2009 2:47pm
Any tips on how to add pics to the how to articles. I can't get mine to show up when I preview my article so I assume they are not going to be there when I publish it, correct?
Nov 16, 2009 3:50pm
Hey Bestmommy,

Are you using IE? If so there was a bug last week that was preventing images from showing in Internet Explorer. This has been fixed and images are showing correctly now.
Jan 2, 2010 7:37pm
Kevin, A lot of my images show up in the article but always have a red x on the side panel. Also on a couple of my articles I add a pic in article but a completely different pic shows in the side panel.
Joey said theyd look at it but havent heard any more since. Thanks for allyour help. oh, does infobarrel accept all formats or mainly jpeg. Sometimes I have use gifs, which is acceptable mainly.
Jan 4, 2010 2:12pm
Hi Eileen,

We are looking into the picture issue. Its been pretty backed up here over the holidays, but we are getting back up and running now.

As for the image formats, we accept jpgs, gifs and pngs.
Apr 18, 2010 9:56pm
I am trying to delete a picture and move it to a different section of the article, but there doesn't seem to be an option to delete it from the first step. So, I'm just kind of confused as to how to remove it, so I can place it somewhere else. Can you help?
Apr 20, 2010 3:07pm
Hi Crystal_Widger,

We'll look into it for you and send you an email about how it works.
Apr 20, 2010 11:24pm
Thanks, I just deleted the whole article and pasted all of the information back in. But, I would like to know why I couldn't delete the picture to more it. Thank you.
Jun 9, 2010 2:58pm
Thanks for the great tips on writing. :)
Jun 10, 2010 8:15am
Great tips especially for those who want to write about how to's.
Mar 6, 2011 8:16pm
Great tips.
Jun 14, 2011 11:07am
Dear WriteUp,

Thanks for these How To Tips. They will surely help me out in my next article or future articles. I have seen some articles which comes with step by step pictures as well as video clips too. These help me too when it comes to How To's.

Aug 31, 2011 9:10pm
This articles really helps anyone who's target are "how to" articles...
Mar 18, 2013 7:47am
A great tip for starter, am thankful for this great tip, in order to start writing for infobarrel.
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