How to write killer tutorials – A five minute primer

 

Writing a tutorial for the internet needs to be specific and focused on the exact activity you will be providing education on. In this brief tutorial I am going to show you how to write killer tutorials. Having some good subject matter expertise in the area is also a must. Knowing how to structure your article for the maximum index value is also very important, as you want to show up in relevant pages on Google and other search engines.

Making a tutorial game plan and execute

Every How-to needs to have a game plan, which is best to outline in brief notes prior to your actually writing or producing a single sentence. Use this outline to keep topic items close to the original topic and don’t stray more then one or two logical jumps from the main topic. Stay relevant. One of the best ways to present your information is with a “top 5” or a “top 10” list that will provide some usefulness to readers who skim rather then reading details. To create these you can use the Unordered list or Ordered list HTML tags. Be sure to give the list a title and make it in a H2 or H3.

Tutorial Length and relevancy

Keeping your article or tutorial on topic and to the point is important but creating an article that has length is important for your indexing value as well. I recommend that you Google other tutorials on the topic your writing about and check the length of those articles and try to match or beat their length. At a minimum you should have 500 or so words in your article  that will help to create a great basis for search engines to parse. While length is important do not focus solely on this. You need to establish a personal feeling for your readers.

Things to avoid in your tutorial

One of the main things people do that is a complete backfire is to copy and paste infomation off other websites. This is not unique content and the search engines are very sophisticated and will pick up on this. They will not index your tutorial as a result very often or if they do it will be far back in the search results. It is not worth the time to copy and paste something when no one will end up seeing it, so keep it very unique and personal. Share your experiences with the topic in a personal manner to help establish your credibility and be yourself.

Appeal to visual learners

Visual learners are the majority of learners and it pays to cater to their needs. Do this by including short and relevant pictures, videos, audio-clips, and downloadable content. Make sure to use at least one if not all in your tutorial. Screenshots that have annotations are excellent for relating difficult to explain concepts. Screenr is a great video recording tool that is free 🙂

 

Top Ten must haves for a killer tutorial

  1. Create an quick outline to start from
  2. Incorporate pictures
  3. Use Video when you can
  4. Provide downloadable content if it adds value to the reader
  5. Establish your credibility, be human
  6. Use H1-H6 tags. Only 1 H1, 2 H2, 3 H3 ect
  7. BoldUnderline, Italics important keywords and concepts in your article
  8. Provide Examples
  9. Take feedback and respond to it
  10. Ensure meta tags are accurate and short. Very to the topic and point

Some of the technical details are above that will help to give your tutorial extra value. Make sure to incorporate as many of these tactics as you can to have a good search value and actually make something that is useful for the web. People can have negative reactions to sites that just spew information that is neither novel nor relevant.