Writing a How-To Guide

Supplier: MedicalSearch
05 March, 2019

Articles are a great way to drive traffic to your Storefront and our data shows ‘How-to guides’ generate interest and enquiries on MedicalSearch. How-to guides are informative articles that instruct readers on how to perform a task with step by step instructions.

Writing a how-to guide lets you share practical skills and knowledge with medical buyers, demonstrating your company’s expertise in its field and building trust with customers. Well written informative articles are featured in our NewsWires.

Example How-to guide Topics

  • How to correctly store Vaccines
  • Guide to sterilising your dental instruments
  • How to safely use a patient lifter in aged care

 

Selecting a topic

  • Choose a topic that is in your company’s main area of expertise and of interest to your target audience.
  • When you’ve come up with some subject ideas, check to see if they’ve already been covered. It’s ok to write a guide on a subject that has been done, but if you do try to offer something new to the reader.

 

Your how-to guide could be about how to:

  • Perform a specific task using tools or equipment you supply
  • How to maintain the type of equipment you supply
  • Set up a work environment eg: clinic or examination room

 

Planning


Consider your audience

You should have a specific audience in mind when you begin writing a how-to guide. Your target audience will determine the level of detail you need to provide and the type of information you should cover. Many of the readers on MedicalSearch are professionals so will likely already have some knowledge of what you’ll be writing about.

Research

While experience is the best basis for a how-to guide, it’s a good idea to supplement your experience with research. Search the topic online to see how others perform the task your guide is about. You may want to integrate other approaches into your guide or suggest a different method. Be sure to credit any sources that you draw directly from.

 

Writing and formatting


Try to write simply and clearly

  • Don't use long and complex sentences.
  • Use relaxed natural language that people enjoy reading.
  • Use the language of your readers, if it’s more general guide try to avoid too much industry specific jargon.
  • Be informative, not salesy, If people learn from you they'll trust you.

 

Label each stage of the process with a heading

Break up the content as much as possible into easy to read chunks. Some readers may skim your guide, or rely on the headings to guide them, only reading more detail if they are unsure about how to perform a step.

  • Use headings and subheadings to break your guide up
  • Give each step a heading that describes what the step is about
  • Make sure you write the steps in the order that they should be carried out
  • Use numbered lists or bullet points

 

Images and Video

  • Use visual media, such as photos, diagrams and videos, to support your written content, not as a substitute for it.
  • MedicalSearch supports video hosted on YouTube and Vimeo

 

Finishing up

Test it out

Follow your own guide. If your how-to guide is about a process you are very familiar with it can be easy to gloss over a step that is second nature to you but not so obvious to someone doing it for the first time.

Proofread

Be sure to check for any spelling or grammar mistakes. Also, be sure that your writing is clear and simple. If you can have someone else proofread your article, they may spot something you might have missed.

Final Checklist

Does your  guide cover the following:

  • Did you adequately describe the supplies/tools needed to complete the task?
  • Did you include all the important steps with sufficient detail?
  • Is the order logical?
  • Did you warn readers of possible difficulties that may arise and what to do about them?

How-to guides that generate the most traffic and enquiries address a particular issue unique to your target audience. Focus on providing useful information. Links to your own website or products on our platform are great but don’t create a guide specifically focused on selling your product. In order for a how-to guide to be successful, it must provide genuine value to the customer.

 

Did you know?

In your Supplier Panel you can now cross-link related articles and products to inform and educate buyers.