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How To Write A Popular How To: Part 1
Why How to?
"How to" articles are some of the top articles found online today. Both because they are the searched for the most, and because they are often the easiest to create. We all need to know how to do things we don't yet know how to do, and we all know how to do things that others would like to learn.
With all this in mind, it makes sense that you would like to write a how to that is regularly searched for. By knowing which how to's are searched for the most, you can not only help millions of people, you can also bring in more revenue.
So in order to help you hone your how to skills, I'm going to create some hubs that will show you how to write a popular how to using free Google search tools. In this first hub (Part 1), we'll go over a basic use of Google's Sktool.
How to How to.... using Sktool's
Google's Sktool is a useful (and free!) tool that you can use to help create search friendly hubs and articles. It can be a bit confusing to understand at first, though after you've used it a few times, you'll find that you can use it to increase your search sightings and bring in more genuine traffic.
If you're an online freelance writer, this will be of extra value, as the only way to earn a decent living, is to make sure your work shows up frequently. Having great writing skills is the other part of grabbing attention, though you'll find that some of the more lucrative online writers have very poor writing skills. They get so popular through choosing niche topics that are popular or that bring in consistent traffic every year.
Now, I don't know specifically how those writers do it, though I can guarantee you that if you learn to utilize the free search tools available online, you too can find your fortune in online freelance writing.
The focus of Part 1, is to get you involved with Google's Sktool. I've already started up a search for "How to", which you can see here. If there is nothing search for, simply type "How to" into the word or phrase text box. Type in the captcha and then hit search .
The first thing I would like you to do, is choose the option for "sort by global monthly searches". Once you've done that, the list will update to show you which words or related phrases are searched for in one month, by a global level.
You'll see that the phrase "how to", is search for 338,000,000 times a month around the world! That's more searches then the total population of America. The irony is, that the majority of people who are searching for how to's, are mostly from America.... You can see proof of this if your location is set to "united states". In the states alone, the phrase "how to" is searched for 185.000,000 times.
So we know that the phrase "how to" is going to be popular, but the real gold nugget you want, is what word or phrase to add after "how to". That's where things are going to get a bit tougher. With sktool, it will show you which words are most commonly placed together with your search word or phrase.
We see that the top 5 most popular searches after "how to" itself, are "english", "french", "spanish", "kiss" and "language". So we could guesstimate that some of the more popular searches could be english how to, how to kiss, language how to or how to spanish . It's important to remember that not every searcher is going to be using correct grammar or spelling.
Now, if you choose to create any of these how to's, you are going to bring in a pretty hefty load of search traffic. If we created an english how to , we'd have a chance at bringing in a chunk of both the global monthly searches for "how to" and "english". Even just having a piece of 406,000,000 searches is something you can be proud of.
You could reap more traffic benefits if you can find a way to combine multiple hot keywords in your title. You could try How to Speak the Language of a Kiss , which would grab "how to", "language" and "kiss". This could give you a piece of 408,000,000 searches. There is only one draw back to doing this though, as you are likely to start out lower on the search pages. This is due to a longer title. Though if someone were to specifically look for anything that included all of your keywords, you would be raised up in the search engines.
Another great way to avoid being ranked lower, is to look at the "competition" bar in sktool. After each phrase or word, it shows you how much competition you have for particular keywords. You can see that "how to make a website" has one of the highest levels of competition, while "how to twitter" has less competition. The less competition you have to deal with, the more chances you have of ranking up on search.
While that is a worthy route to take, I prefer the challenge of search terms that are a bit more competitive. The less competition there is for any particular search word or phrase, means that you have a chance at less traffic from search engines. So you don't want to take something that is super low competition, while remembering not to compete in the highest keywords (unless you are an expert in one of those subjects).
If I were to be using my sktool to search for which "how to" to write, I would choose from how to draw, how to videos, how to learn or how to crochet. These are subjects that I know about, as well as subjects that turn up a decent amount of traffic with a mid level of competition.
So long as I have done my job correctly, you should be able to use the sktool in the same way. I would suggest trying it out with your current search phrase. Though if you want to get a bit more complex or narrow it down to a specific niche, you can do so by adding another keyword or phrase under "how to".
So you could search for:
Then take a look at what pops up on sktool. It will show you which phrases are more popular between what you entered, as well as searches that are similar. This is a great way to hone a how to title for a particular niche topic. You're also going to see more realistic numbers of the search pie you can get.
What do you say? Give it a try