ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How To Write A How-To Article In A Dazzling and Efficient Way

Updated on September 23, 2013

The Possibilities Are Endless

Everyone thinks I dislike recipe articles. Not true! What I dislike are poorly-written recipe articles and that is a huge difference.

Hey, I love to eat just like everybody else, and I am always interested in learning about new ways to prepare foods; on the other end of the reading spectrum, my time is valuable and I don’t like to waste it reading drivel. Thus I write this article. My hope is that by writing this article I will see better-written recipe articles and other how-to articles in the future, thus giving me information I want and need and at the same time entertaining me and not wasting my time. See, this is a purely selfish article! J

How to baste a turkey….how to change the oil in your car…..how to re-decorate your house….how to host a sewing party….how to sew a blouse…..hundreds of thousands of these how-to articles flood the online theater daily, but not all of them are written effectively and really, isn’t that what you want…an effective article that people will read, enjoy and keep coming back for more?

Let’s take a look at how to write an effective, interesting how-to article that will have people returning to your site again and again.

This old teacher has a few things to say so listen up
This old teacher has a few things to say so listen up | Source

Advice to consider

SELECT A TOPIC AND NARROW THE FOCUS

Most magazine articles and really, most effective online articles, should be between 700-1200 words; anything longer than that and you risk losing your audience. Think of the attention span of a fruit fly and then add about two minutes for the average reader.

With that in mind, you need to choose a topic that is focused enough so that it can be effectively covered in 1000 words. If you decide to do a how-to article like “How to re-decorate your house” you will never be able to do it justice in 1000 words because re-decorating an entire house is a huge job. Try an article on how to re-decorate the kitchen instead.

I recently had a customer ask for a 1000 word article on how to rebuild an automatic transmission. I told them it was impossible to write in 1000 words, but I’d be glad to do it in three articles and they agreed. We need to narrow the focus enough so that we can do a thorough job of explaining the process.

DAZZLE WITH A GREAT INTRODUCTION

Let’s say you are going to do an article on how to bake a chicken. Well I have some bad news for you: there are currently millions of baked chicken articles on the internet. What is going to make your article stand out and demand that the reader spend time on it?

First, the title of your article better be an attention-grabber and second, your first paragraph better be a doozie. Remember the attention span of a fruit fly? If you don’t grab your readers in the first ten seconds then I don’t care if your name is Ernest Hemingway, that chicken article is going to die in the oven.

If you want to guarantee failure begin like this: Now I am going to tell you how to bake a chicken!

Just shoot your audience and put them out of their misery.

WHAT ARE THE NEEDS OF YOUR READERS

Factoring in millions of people when I'm writing a song is not a good idea. I don't ever do it.
Taylor Swift

Who is your audience? Who are you trying to reach with your how-to information? Once you have answered that question then you can ask this question: what questions would your readers like answered by your article?

Put yourself in the shoes of your audience and figure out what they want to know when they are reading your article. Ask those questions and then move on to the next step.

How-to articles need to be thorough
How-to articles need to be thorough | Source

RESEARCH THAT TOPIC

Once you know what your readers are interested in, then do research and find the answers. Research will give you facts, figures and a solid foundation, and you should include those facts and figures. Some things to include in your how-to article are:

  • Statistics that support your statements
  • Quotes by famous people
  • Definitions so your readers are not confused
  • References from other media
  • Anecdotes that will bring life to your article and support your statements

Include some or all of these and you will have a solid article that can withstand the tightest of scrutiny.

STREAMLINE AND REVISE

Once you have done your research you may need to revise your first draft, or you may see the need to incorporate new facts and figures. Keep the original questions in mind during this stage. What is it that your readers want to learn? As long as you keep that question in the forefront of your mind you will not drift off-task while you are writing.

BE THOROUGH

There is nothing worse than a how-to article that leaves out a couple steps in the process. Your readers want to have a complete understanding of the process when they finish your article. They do not want vague and they do not want incomplete. When they finish your article they should be able to complete the how-to task perfectly without doubt or hesitation.

If you are writing a how-to cooking article, and a single male who knows very little about cooking reads it, then you cannot say “toss in a pinch of oregano.” The average guy has no clue what a pinch is, but he can definitely figure out how to toss in a half-tablespoon…provided he knows what a tablespoon is. J

Remember my example earlier about the how-to rebuilt a transmission article? It was impossible to be thorough in 1000 words, and re-building a transmission is an important task that needs detail in the instructions. Remember that as you write your next how-to article. Did you cover everything in detail?

ASK FOR FEEDBACK

Your article is finished and it is now time to publish. WAIT A MINUTE! Read your article to a friend and ask the following questions:

  • Did you adequately list all the ingredients and supplies that are needed to complete the task?
  • Are all important steps listed?
  • Is the order of your information and steps logical?
  • Did you warn your readers of possible problems and how to deal with those problems?

If your friend says you have accomplished all of those tasks, then move on to the next step in the process.

How to have a frugal birthday party?
How to have a frugal birthday party? | Source

Was this article helpful?

See results

PUBLISH

Publish it online and pat yourself on the back for a job well-done. You have covered all the bases and written a how-to article that would even pass my critical inspection, so kick back and treat yourself to a guilty pleasure like ice cream or a double-tall non-fat mocha. Congratulations!

Wait just a minute! This article is, in fact, a how-to article now isn’t it? Well, have I passed my own test?

Did I narrow the focus? Was my title an attention-grabber? How about the introduction? Did I meet the needs of my readers? Were all questions answered? Oops, what about research? Did I provide adequate support material? Not really! I gave you a quote and I read some supporting material, but I decided not to bog this article down with references and footnotes, so sue me. J

So there you have it. Get started on the next recipe or craft how-to article, and I hope your next one is the most popular to date. If these suggestions help you to achieve that lofty status then we will both be happy and I’ll celebrate with you.

By the way….this article is 1300 words. Do as I say and not as I do. J

2013 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 3 years ago from New York, New York

      Bill, so true about readers wanting to be dazzled with a how to article, because there as so many out there. They really are a dime a dozen so often now. So, we must grab the audience from the onset and have a great introduction. So, yet again (surprise, surprise) couldn't agree more. Thanks as always for sharing and hoping your week is starting off good now!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Janine, it seems so obvious to me, but how many recipe articles have you read that were just the recipe and nothing substantial after that? There are some writers who are really missing the mark.

      Thank you my friend and Happy Monday!

    • VictoriaSheffield profile image

      Author Victoria Sheffield 3 years ago from Georgia

      Great informative article. I write recipe articles so I will keep information handy!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Glad to hear it Victoria! Thanks for stopping by and thank you!

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 3 years ago from Central Florida

      The questions to ask yourself when your article is complete are good ones. Especially with regard to alerting the reader of any problems that may arise in the how-to.

      One thing I like to see in recipe articles is a printable recipe. I quite often consult the Internet for new ideas for, say chicken, fish or even tofu. If I come across a recipe that has a story behind it, I don't want to print the story - just the recipe. Printing highlighted text doesn't always work; either it won't print at all or you get the whole article anyway. It must be an online thing. Also, with recipes, it's a good idea to point out suitable substitutions, such as non-fat Greek yogurt can be substituted for sour cream without compromising flavor or texture.

      I've written several how-to articles for clients (how to replace your garbage disposal, repair siding, etc.). One thing I always try to include is how to determine that the item actually needs to be replaced, before going to the expense. Check breakers, shut off valves, etc. Then, when I write the how-to part, I make it technical because it's vital that each step is done in order and with the proper tools. However, I put myself into the article by having fun with the intro and the close in order to have create a relationship with the reader. But when it comes to the nuts and bolts or flour and water of the article, it needs to be precise and right on point.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sha, that's a great point you made at the end....is this even necessary to do? I've done a ton of these articles for pay and there is always a way to make them interesting.

      Thanks lady; have a great day!

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      I needed a good belly laugh and you gave me one with the quote below. I just wrote a "how to" article. I hope my focus was narrow and my point made.

      ""If you want to guarantee failure begin like this: Now I am going to tell you how to bake a chicken!

      Just shoot your audience and put them out of their misery."" That is one of my favorite pet peeves.

    • stephhicks68 profile image

      Stephanie Hicks 3 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      I will never again be able to write an article without thinking about the attention span of a fruit fly. ;-)

      You are so right in all your points, Bill. What makes YOUR articles so interesting is that your personality shines through. Its never a bore to read what you've written.

      Cheers, Steph

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      It is mine as well, Eric, and yet I see it daily on HP.....sigh! LOL...thanks buddy and I hope your day is a productive one filled with love.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Steph, thank you so much for taking time out of your always busy day to comment....have a great Monday my friend.

    • cleaner3 profile image

      cleaner3 3 years ago from Pueblo, Colorado

      I am saving this write Bill .along with the many others of yours I have .. you are a source of wisdom and knowledge for all writers .. thanks Bill once again.!

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 3 years ago from sunny Florida

      Hi Bill Had to stop in to see what you are up to...

      How to write a how to....say that five times fast :D And

      of course I am not disappointed....you have shared the finer points, the ones that get your STUFF read in such a way that no one can pass it by...I am so glad you unselfishly share what you know

      Many Angels are on the way to you my Friend ps Shared and voted up up and away

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Michael, you are very welcome. Thank you so much for your kind words and have a great Monday!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      PS, thank you! I have been gifted with a writing voice that people relate to. Not sure where it came from but I'm very happy I found it. :) I love reaching people and writing in such a way that they feel it is a personal conversation just between the two of us....it's a high unlike any other I have experienced.

      blessings and a hug coming your way

      bill

    • CraftytotheCore profile image

      CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

      Very good suggestions. Sometimes I write too abstract for people to understand.

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 3 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      Bill, if only I could write with such savoir faire.....you do it with such ease and of course you are right. Another one to keep.

      I hope you're all well, my best as always.

    • btrbell profile image

      Randi Benlulu 3 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Thank you, Bill for another good one, and fun, as well! Ironic that we both used Ernest Hemingway in our hubs!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Well, Crafty, so far I've understood everything you have written, so I guess that makes me abstract. :)

    • Radcliff profile image

      Liz Davis 3 years ago from Hudson, FL

      I thought "How to Host a Sewing Party" said "How to Host a Swing Party". Now that would be an attention-grabbing title.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Shoot, Jo, I'll have to go look that phrase up and see if you are complimenting me. LOL

      I'm kidding....thank you so much. Funny thing is...I don't see anything special about the way I write. :)

      blessings to you my loyal and kind friend.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I thought so too, Randi! Great minds and all that. :) Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I would definitely read that article, Lizzy. LOL Thanks for stopping by my busy and nauseous friend.

    • profile image

      DJ Anderson 3 years ago

      Great information for "How-to" articles.

      I have to confess that I thought Bev was a genius making

      cupcakes for you and putting vowels on the cupcakes.

      How appropriate for a writer!! There is an "E" and lower case "a".

      I imagined that the other vowels were lying down on the cupcakes.

      I give you this real example to give insight as to the brains you are

      trying to work with. Kinda makes you want to throw in the towel,

      doesn't it??!! LOL

      DJ.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      LOL...I literally laughed out loud at your comment, DJ! I am fully aware of what I am up against and I concede defeat happily. :) Thanks for the laugh my very funny friend.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 3 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Totally awesome dude! lol (liked that) You got my vote and sharing!

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 3 years ago from Northern California, USA

      At one time, I was a technical writer in the computer industry. The subject matter experts I wrote for weren't keen on "dazzle". Now, writing for the general public, I have to admit that I tend to fall short in that area.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      LOL....cowabunga, dudette! I love it, Jackie. Thanks!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Marlene, it's hard to break old habits. I do content in the mornings for companies and it is hard for me to switch gears in the afternoon and do my thing. Hang in there my friend. I know you can do it. :) Thanks for stopping by and blessings to you always.

      bill

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 3 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Bill,

      Love how you give us guidelines that still allow for plenty of our own unique creativity...in your own recipes for writing, if you will.

      Just coming in from class where I told my adults ( nurses) they could write a particular assignment 'as they liked...' and it freaked most of them out. My only criteria was it had to be a 'creative reflection'. I know the products will be amazing.

      Have a peaceful day, dear friend. Love, Maria

    • Barbara Kay profile image

      Barbara Kay Badder 3 years ago from USA

      I have a how to article that is almost 2000 words. I guess maybe I should divide it into two. Thanks for another great article.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Barbara, the length of an article is ultimately your choice. I know for a fact that most magazines prefer something between 700-1000 words because of lack of space in their publication. Newspapers even smaller than that. On the other hand, HP encourages articles over 1250 and they really like 1500. My thoughts...if you envision ever selling it to a magazine then shorter is better and yes, make it two articles. :0

      Thanks for stopping by.

    • CrisSp profile image

      CrisSp 3 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

      "Do as I say and not as I do."--love that line Bill!

      And, here's hoping I truly got the readers attention with my Quick Chicken BBQ recipe. I can't make that hub any longer than 150 words, otherwise, it won't be quick anymore. :)

      Cheers!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Maria, I love the assignment you gave your class. I wish I had you as a teacher. I didn't love writing until I was able to escape school and be free.

      Thank you dear lady and blessings to you always.

      love,

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      LOL...great line, Cris! Yes, you are kind of boxed in with that "quick" claim, aren't you? I love it!

      Thank you my northern friend.

      love from Oly

      bill

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 3 years ago from Massachusetts

      Some great tips Bill. I think my attention span might be a mere 5 seconds or less so I know what you are saying when you tell us we have to grab the readers attention pronto. The other thing I need to think about is how many articles are out there about what I'm writing about. Perhaps it pays to write about the obscure and less popular sites? Thanks for the education. Have a great week.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Bill, that is a judgement call my friend. Perhaps a book that says "Little Known Italian Treasures" or something like that, and write about towns most tourists would never think to visit. :) I know you can do it.

      Thanks buddy and have a great week yourself.

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 3 years ago from San Diego California

      I'm looking foward to seeing the billybuc hub pages cookbook, now that you are teaching us not only to write, but how to bake chickens. Incidentally, if someone doesn't know what a tablespoon is he shouldn't be anywhere near a kitchen, for his own safety. Great hub!

    • hawaiianodysseus profile image

      Hawaiian Odysseus 3 years ago from Southeast Washington state

      Bill, I learned a different lesson from others with this one. What I gained was a wonderful example on how to revamp an old article, cut the fat out, add a few new thoughts, and voila! Great success! A good writer has to do this every now and then because the times change, and the publishers (or online literary sites) have shifting expectations. More than anyone else I know, you adeptly find ways to window dress a familiar theme and keep us readers enthralled. Thanks for sharing (and, more personally, helping me realize that TIA episode or not, I still have a few memory banks working)! LOL! Aloha, buddy!

      ~Joe

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      LOL...Joe, excellent my friend. You hit it right on the head. I love that you saw that. Just another reason to call you my brother.

      Have a great week buddy!

      Aloha,

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Shoot, Mel, now you've banned me from the kitchen. I always get tablespoon and teaspoon confused. LOL

      Thank you and have a great week in San Diego!

    • epbooks profile image

      Elizabeth Parker 3 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      Another fantastic hub. You're right, I definitely have the attention span of a fly and not a minute more! If I don't get the jist in the first second or two, it's lost on me and I won't continue reading. Your tips are floating around in my head and that's a good thing. Thank you for providing these much needed hubs and advice!

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

      Lol, I liked how you did write a "How to do something" hub with humor, now that is how to keep one reading!

      Good advice Bill as always. I thought I was having Déjà vu here, as did Joe.

      Hugs and blessings, Faith Reaper

    • grandmapearl profile image

      Connie Smith 3 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

      Billy, only you would come up with a How-to on writing How-to's! I love it! I'm adding this to my 'billybuc's Official Writers Handbook' bookmark. Thank you kind sir for this funny and engaging How-to ;) Pearl

      Voted Up++++

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Liz, I love hearing that the tips are floating around in a reader's head. Thank you for that and thanks for your loyal following.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Faith....learning is all about repetition. I just keep trying to find a new way to say the same old thing. :)

      Thank you and blessings are coming your way

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Pearl, it is always a pleasure my friend. Thank you for your kind words. I hope all is well with you and that you have a great week.

      bill

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 3 years ago from England

      Hi billy, you did it again! got my attention, taught me loads and totally engrossed me in reading, so yes you are the best teacher for this, and I need all the help I can get sometimes! lol!

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 3 years ago from The Caribbean

      Another great meal to digest. Every point you make here is important, and trust me, I'm learning. Thank you.

    • nArchuleta profile image

      Nadia Archuleta 3 years ago from Denver, Colorado

      Just goes to show you -- people think teaching is so easy. And what's a "how to" article but an attempt to teach?

      I couldn't agree with you more about needing to be specific. Over a dozen years of teaching I have discovered that the one way my instructions can be taken wrong is exactly how ~25% of my students will take them!

      Great article. What's your position on numbered steps, btw? (The only, tiny, suggestion I would make.) Voted up, and thanks for the info!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Nell, I think you do fine, but thank you so much for the kind words. :) You are appreciated.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Yes you are, Dora, and I love having a willing student. Thank you and blessings to you my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      nArchuleta, great comment. I was a teacher for eighteen years and I guarantee you I have lost count of the number of lessons I tried that were missing an important step. LOL You would think I would learn eventually. :) Thank you and yes, numbered steps are important. In fact, that is one of the recommendations for SEO content articles as well.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 3 years ago from SW England

      I'm still smiling; I love to be entertained on a drizzly English Tuesday morning. My recipes are my bug-bear; I only do ones I've found my guests loved but I've gone back after publication and found that I'd missed an ingredient or a step in the method (what a sin!) even though I thought I'd checked it. So I'd add, 'check it more than once!' especially if your name's Ann. I think it's useful having been a teacher and having had to produce lesson plans under scrutiny - it's a great discipline. Having said that. my most successful article is a recipe and the second best is a how-to; impressed or what?!! Have a great day. Ann

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 3 years ago from Arizona

      This is no easy task as you know. Dazzlingthe audience is a daunting task!!!! However what you write here rings true and to be successful it must happen. I know from personal experience..if I am not dazzled I ...doze.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 3 years ago from Wales

      Another wonderful hub Billy and thank you as always. I take all your advice on board and can I assure you that it is also put to great use.

      Here's to so many more hubs for us both to share on here and I share this one onto My Brand New Dawn.

      Lots of love.

      Eddy.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ann, now I'm smiling. Of course I'm impressed.....some of my travel articles are my best views and I put the least amount of work into them...go figure. It might just be I don't know nearly as much as I think I do. LOL

      Thank you my friend and I hope life is good in SW England.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Carol, I am the fruit fly with an attention span measured in seconds. I don't have time to waste on drivel. Sorry but that's the truth. Now, if most readers are like me, that really drives home this point.

      Have a great Tuesday my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Aww, thanks Eddy. I have the feeling we will be sharing many more works and celebrating each other's successes.

      blessings and love always

      billy

    • Suzie HQ profile image

      Suzanne Ridgeway 3 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Bill,

      Well this is right up mu alley eh??! I am sure some of mine are too long, in fact, I know they are! Unintentional but sometimes I go with something and waffle which I have certainly tried to cut out. The reader will get bored as you say. Answer the questions in your own head, I always try to think of what I look for when researching and try to apply it to my own "How to's". Your words on intros, taglines I have applied and see others doing the same, your words do matter my friend and can make such a difference. The proof is in the pudding! Thanks for another epic full of great tips for all writing this style of article or book!

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 3 years ago from Chicago Area

      It is ironic that when you narrow your focus, you expand your market. And the fruit fly stats are spot on. 'Nuff said. BTW, I'm waiting for the frugal b-day how-to article (mine's coming up in November). Was the pic from a recent b-day for you? If so, hope it was frugal, but fun. :)

    • Michael-Milec profile image

      Michael-Milec 3 years ago

      Hi Bill.

      Awesome. It's inappropriate for me to disagree with you, however "everyone thinks I dislike recipe articles..." excludes me.

      And to be privileged to stay included, I'm not" going to do as you do..." Sigh; when time comes . . .

      Have a wonderful day.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Suzie, the length is subjective. Magazines have a specific limit....HP wants longer...bottom line is if you are interesting and informative people will hang in there no matter how many words you write...and you are interesting and informative. Keep doing what you are doing and thank you for your kind words my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Heidi....that was last year's birthday I think....and it was definitely frugal. :) That's the only way we fly in this household.

      Thanks my marketing guru! Have a great day.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      LOL...Michael, great comment my friend. You had me laughing. When the time comes indeed, and I will be here to witness that moment.

      blessings to you my friend

      bill

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thanks for sharing some more good suggestions, Bill. You have such a huge collection of knowledge and advice to help writers!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Alicia, if it helps anyone then great. There is no sense in having knowledge if you don't share it. Thank you!

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 3 years ago from New York

      So, now you have an amazing audience full of fruit flies all trying to expand their attention span by reading billybuc how to's!

      More seriously we need to write for those who read. Sure its nice to create something you like but it will only gather dust if no one else likes it. Do you know my Pinterest Board for writing is filled mostly with your articles? Another great one.

      Voted all the way across, shared but this time added to my "How To" Pinterest board.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mary, I am honored...thank you! Fortunately, or unfortunately, what you say is true...we have to write to an audience or starve trying. :) Great point.

    • vkwok profile image

      Victor W. Kwok 3 years ago from Hawaii

      Great how-to hub for how-tos.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks vkwok....that about covers all the how to's, don't you think? :)

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Even though the article was 1300 words, it had enough chutzpah to carry it through. Even though my attention span is much longer than a fruitfly, I think everyone will be able to read it.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      LOL..thanks Deb! Love that word 'chutzpah'.....your article will be out Friday by the way. :)

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 3 years ago from south Florida

      It's true, Bill. Your average 'how-to' reader may have the attention span of a fruit fly. And when you add to that, the intelligence of lint, you are in BIG trouble. Thanks for a very interesting take on the how-to subject.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      LOL....fruit fly and lint. Not a very pretty picture my friend...and frighteningly accurate. :) Thanks drbj!

    • rdsparrowriter profile image

      rdsparrowriter 3 years ago

      Very helpful article Bill.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 3 years ago from Wales

      Interesting and so useful once again Billy. Voted up and shared.

      Enjoy your day.

      Eddy.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you RD...I'm glad.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I will enjoy my day, Eddy, and I hope you do the same. Thank you!

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      MizBejabbers 3 years ago

      Good instructions, Bill. I would like for you to cut out your first paragraph under your heading of “Be thorough”, and send it to EVERY tech writer of computer manuals. If they followed your advice, they would put computer classes out of business. And about the recipe how-tos, isn’t it frustrating to pull flat saggy bread from the oven only to discover that the writer left baking powder off the ingredients, and in the instructions said to “put the dry ingredients in a bowl”. Real fine instructions.

      Also, I think the advice about length holds true for any type article. Our Sunday newspaper always has a long feature article on something of interest, and sometimes I read the whole thing. But most of the time, the article could have been written in half the words, and I lose interest. Ironically, I took a class under the editor of this paper, and he emphasized not making feature articles too lengthy.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Miz B....I think HP has convinced far too many writers that articles need to be more than 1250 words and in the real world that is just too many words. No editor is going to accept an article that long. 1000 max and less is better. Thanks for giving your input on that. :)

    • christryon profile image

      christryon 3 years ago

      After all of your instructions, you forgot to tell us, "How to publish our article or more importantly, where to publish it." I think you need to write a couple more articles to explain.

      (For the record, I'm being sarcastic.)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Chris, I like sarcastic....and I have written those articles. LOL You'll have to wade through my 590 to find them. LOL Thanks for stopping by and for the following.

    • Mark Johann profile image

      Mark Johann 3 years ago from Italy

      Hi my friend, billy. It seems to me that I have read this article before but in some different tune and expression. I like your hubs here. I am your fan. How do you write your hubs? Do you have a book or do you do your research on some books and rewrite or write your understanding to it?

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mark, ideas just pop into my head. They can come from anywhere....another article, a book, just a walk in the woods....something will trigger an idea and an article is born. :) Yes, this has been touched on before, but the main points need to be reinforced so people will remember.

      Thanks buddy!

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

      Great instruction on "how-to" write this type of topic. I love your photo of the frugal birthday party. The cupcake idea is fantastic.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Dianna! Yes, the cupcakes were fantastic. :)

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 3 years ago

      Well I have to admit I love writing "how to" hubs. Maybe it's the organizing fanatic in me...I don't know. I sometimes think I go overboard with my steps, but you nailed it in the be thorough section of your article. Nothing is worse than doing a project, getting halfway done, and then realizing that you don't know how one of the steps gets finished. Really really useful hub.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Glimmer, I don't think you can overdo it when explaining how to do something. Your articles are always complete and detailed. Keep doing what you are doing.

    Click to Rate This Article