I write tutorials on occasion. I visit a lot of blogs, simply because of the tutorials they have and they really do seem like a good source of traffic. Everyone loves viewing tutorial posts! There are definitely good things about them, and there most certainly are bad things. Here is the good and bad of writing tutorial posts.
Increase Your Traffic with Tutorials
Yes, you can increase your traffic when writing tutorial posts. Any time anyone ever gets stuck on something, most likely the first thing they’ll do is head over to Google for a “how to”. Hopefully your site will come up, and you’ll get a click.
Even though you’ll increase your traffic, you’re much more likely to have an incredibly high bounce rate. Your tutorial page is a one-off for whoever is searching for it. They click on the link, visit your site, and if they see what they needed, GREAT! Then they leave. You’ll have some people who will stick around or revisit, but the high bounce rate is pretty inevitable.
Things get updated
Software is always getting updated. Genesis just recently released version 2.0, Thesis had a major update last year, even WordPress had some major updates. All these updates mean that you get to update your tutorial posts with some fresh new content, which will get your pages re-indexed, and then found by users.
I hope you don’t have too many posts that need updating, otherwise it’s going to take a while. Updates occur, and suddenly your awesome tutorial is out of date. I’ve even written a disclaimer on my blog saying that some things may be off on older posts. I have over 100 posts, I don’t have time to edit and update each tutorial to a new set of coding standards. Imagine if I had 1,000 tutorial posts, ouch!
You become an expert!
Who doesn’t want to be considered an expert at what they do? If you’re posting tutorials on how to do something, you’re putting out there that you know your stuff, and that is awesome! People will look to you as an authority on that topic and that’s GREAT for business.
You’re now a target =). You’re going to get lots of questions and. believe it or not, people will put you under a microscope. You need to make sure that your tutorials are working. and that you have the time to help people with their questions. After all, that’s why you made the tutorial in the first place, right? I guess this isn’t such a bad thing, just something you should consider if you’re thinking of starting a tutorial blog. You don’t want bad code or outdated posts to make you look bad.
Tutorial Post Tips, Avoiding the Bad
Here are two things you can do to your tutorial pages to avoid the “Bad” mentioned above:
- Create A Series of posts – This will invite people to come back to get the latest post, and if the series is complete, it gives the user an excuse to visit more pages on the site.
- Add a next step – Try to add something on the tutorial page that will keep your user engaged. Most people have “similar articles” on the bottom of the post, but you can also do something like, “If you like this article, check these out” or link to anything that is associated with that tutorial. Give the user something to do.
- Update as needed – Check your analytics to see your most visited pages. If your popular pages are out of date, definitely spend the time to update them. Other pages can wait—you want your main articles to shine.
Do you have any other tips you’d like to share regarding tutorial posts? I’d love to hear in the comments.