Mastering Article Types: The How To

by | Mar 8, 2010 | Marketing & Selling

how to
There are plenty of templates that your articles can follow. These templates are the standard types of articles that people are used to reading, and knowing what they are can actually help you write your articles more quickly. Last time, I talked about “The Top List” and over the next few posts, I’m going to discuss a few more of the most common article types. Today, I’ll talk about The How To.

The purpose of a “how to” article is to teach the reader how to perform a specific task. And there are several ways you can approach this.

A recipe, you know … the kind you find in a cookbook, is a type of how to article. It states what is to be made (the title), it lists the necessary resources (the ingredients) and then lays out how those resources are put together (the directions).

Sometimes recipes are written as numbered steps and at other times in paragraph form. Both ways work, not only for recipes but for other types of how to articles, as well.

The simplest way to approach a how to article is to follow this formula:

1. State what you will be teaching in your title.

  • E.g. How To Write a How To

2. Start off with a summary of the task at hand.

  • E.g. In this article I will show you how to make a Christmas ornament from a toilet paper roll, some colored paper and glue.

3. Develop the points in the summary in greater detail.

  • E.g. First do this, then do that.

Be as detailed as needed to get your points across and walk the reader through the task at hand. Use each paragraph … numbered or otherwise … to illustrate each step in the process.

4. Summarize again at the end.
Depending on the how to, this part can be optional. The end of your how to also can be used to discuss any precautions that need to be taken when performing the task.

So there you have it. Follow these steps and you’ve written your How To article. At this point, I’d recommend reading it aloud and trying to follow your instructions as if you were a newbie to the task. Doing these two things will help you find any steps you may have forgotten to mention because the task has become second nature to you.

Would you like some help with your article marketing? An Article Marketing Marathon may be just what you’re looking for! I’ll hold your hand — virtually, of course — and assist you with key word research, writing headlines and writing guidance. To see when the next Article Marketing Marathon will be held, visit


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