Help:How to write a SmallBusiness.com How-to article
SmallBusiness.com: The free small business resource
Guidelines and tips for writing a SmallBusiness.com "How To"
A good title is your key to getting your How To discovered and read by users of SmallBusiness.com. It must be concise and use the words that our search engine will pick up.
- First, search for other How Tos related to your topic. Write your title and How To so that it is different from the others.
- Make sure the heading has enough information to entice the reader
- Start with the words “How To” – these will be added automatically when each article is created within this section
- Capitalize the first letter of all important and proper nouns -- but do not write in ALL CAPS.
- Do not use excess punctuation – only use punctuation if necessary
- Articles should focus on one single topic
Keep your introduction to less than 70 words. It should overview the topic in a way that encourages readers to continue.
This section is the main part of each How to page. In it, include the information for which readers are searching -- and make it easy to understand and well-organized.
- Order the steps in chronological order
- Be concise
- Begin each step with an active verb: the more direct the phrase, the better
- Avoid introductory phrases: Don't write, “In the next step,” “The next thing to do is,” “Then,” “Next,” or “Now that you have completed Step x…here is Step y.”
- Make sure to not confuse the reader with information not directly related to your How To
- Do not oversimplify to the point that the step is too difficult to follow – remember the readers are searching an area in which they have no experience and need specific guidance
- Recognize the ability to give helpful tips and warnings in other fields. Reserve the ‘Steps’ section for simple explanation so as to not crowd the individual step
- Do not write in the first person. Remember, this is a wiki and others can edit your How To.
This section allows additional explanation for a given step. Write tips like this:
- Never write in ALL CAPS
- Do not use instant messenger language abbreviations - RU OK?
- Do not use Emoticons :-)
- Do not use excessive punctuation!!!!!!
- never start sentences starting with lower case
- Check for Mispelings
This field is optional – it is reserved specifically for warnings of possible dangerous or harmful consequences and risks; or to explain any undesired results that might occur when following the steps of the relevant How To article. These can involve physical danger or risky business practices.
- If there is possible life-threatening danger, feel free to use the words “Never” or “Don’t.” Do not, however, use ALL CAPS for these terms. Simply bold the words, or leave them alone
Use this section to link to pages within SmallBusiness.com.
Use this section to link to web sources other than SmallBusiness.com. However, do not use this section for link-spamming or to link a commercial website. Link only to other reference or relevant websites.
Copy & Paste code for a How-to Entryon this guide to editing a SmallBusiness.com entry.)
Start copying here --->
Your introduction goes here and should be no more than 70 words. It
should overview the topic in a way that encourages readers to continue.
A sentence goes here that says "Follow these steps:" or something else
that introduces this section:
Opening sentence for additional steps. Then write tips as bullet points:
Write a sentence if a special warning is needed. If you need bullet points add them also:
*[[Add links to other SmallBusiness.com page]]
*[Add link to web page on a site other than SmallBusiness.com]
[[Category:How tos]] [[Category:Subject1]] [[Category:Subject2]]
<--- Stop copying here
Use this box to start your How to Article
Once you've selected the title of your How-to article, type it in this box and click the "Create a new How-to article" button. When you land on your How-to page, paste in the model Wiki markup code copied from the section above. You will then be ready to write your article. (Or write your article on a Word document and when you are pleased, paste it into the box and click "Save page."
Remember, you must be registered and logged-in to SmallBusiness.com to create or edit a page. (See below)