Why How To and Checklists Hold So Much Appeal

If you clicked on this headline, then it worked because people are looking for solutions that pave the path of least resistance through an increasing number of challenges in our work and our lives in general. If you want to put your business out there as the answer to people’s problems, then you may want to consider creating content that addresses their needs.

If someone is searching online for, say, how to reset the cycle on a washing machine and you have content that addresses that challenge, you are presented as a subject-matter expert and better yet, a useful resource. I have clients in service industries that have retained me for this kind of blog writing for that very reason: they want people in their markets to find them and hire them.

How the How To List Emerged for Capturing Content

How the How To List Emerged for Capturing Content

Consider as well the Top X list’s success. More than 20 years ago, I was researching and compiling Top 25 companies lists for a local business newspaper. No matter what business sector was featured that week, the Top 25 list was always a popular item, especially for the participants who wanted to be in that spotlight in front of a targeted audience. Nowadays, we can leverage the web to find target audiences and the list format is widely popular. Granted, some so-called listicles seem silly, but they are effective in attracting readers.

A How-To primer or checklist provides utility and places the author as front of mind as an industry leader. You want to be position yourself as someone who is solving a problem, whether it is something as monumental as revamping infrastructure or as relatively mundane as a home improvement.

Perhaps you are concerned about giving away too much for free. Remember you are selling your experience and know-how, and that builds good will. Frankly, someone planning to DIY won’t buy your product or services in any event, but there is a large market of people who do not want to do-it-yourself legal, medical, construction, etc. They do want to know your approach to your product and service and a How To blog shows that you are top notch in your field and appealing. Plus, there are likely to be things on a checklist that your target audience cannot or, moreover, does not want to do themselves. A regular, ongoing blog series should be a mainstay to your online marketing presence.

For more information on blog writing, please contact consultant and editor Katharine Fraser of Adroit Narratives.