Note that if you're stuck on how to plan your post, then it's best to use this guide FIRST: How to: PLAN a Tips and Guides Post
In this article, I explore the requirements of writing a guide for the Community and how you can use these requirements to benefit your writing.
A typical guide to doing something usually includes paragraphs like Requirements, Methods and potentially how using this method has improved the writers life – with little tips and pointers along the way that will increase coherency and include what the writer has found on the way w
hen they used the method themselves. Also, maybe a little intro and conclusion to sum up what the guide is supposed to allow the reader to achieve.
Therefore, I’ve done just that with a post I’ve recently been working on so you can see how I do it and steal some ideas to use in your own posts!
1: Elaborating on points I made in a plan I made earlier
In this case, I've used Word to create the content which I'll copy and paste over to the giffgaff editor after it's finished. But, you can always use just the giffgaff editor if you wish to. Also, I've taken parts from a plan I made earlier and elaborated on them more (How to Plan)...
2: Error Checking
After getting to the stage above, I make sure all the information is accurate and clear using the red text, which saves me from having to search for any mistake
s manually. I proofread the content a couple of times to make sure it's coherent and elaborated to a good standard - this saves time as I don't need to revisit the content and correct errors after it's posted on the forum.
I simply copy and paste it into the giffgaff editor on the Tips and Guide board when I'm using Word (as sometimes the words don't format correctly after pasting it to the editor. So look out for that if you use Word). After this, I think of a suitable title. This is quite important as it's what community members see before they click on your post. So, it's a good idea to make sure you state the topic you're talking about in the post (like the words 'Steam Link' as I'm writing about the Steam Link in the post) and without the caps lock on!
Finally, I make sure that all of the above is correct and accurate.. then hit Post.
4: Communication with readers - content aftercare!
Every so often, I check back to see how the post has gone down with the Community. This is when I reply to any comments that have been left. This is an important part as it allows communication between you and your target audience, so readers are more likely to view your other content as they know their comments have been read and that the time they've taken to write the comment hasn't been wasted. Also, you can learn something from the comments to improve your content!
5: Deciding if the content was 'successful'
After a while, I determine if the post has done ‘well’ in terms feedback, kudos and if I've enjoyed creating the content on that topic overall. If I think it has done well, I may make more content related to that topic as it looks like the Community enjoy that type of content. If I don’t think the post has done very well, I think of ways it could be improved and sometimes make another post around that topic that improves on the previous by seeing what the Community enjoys through viewing other content that's like mine that others have made and seeing what they've done well and what could be improved.
Though, it's important to remember that ideas of success are different for different people. Some may think of success as getting loads of kudos, others may think comments decide success. Don't be disheartened if you receieve little activity on your posts, it doesn't mean that your content is bad, it just
means that your target audience (or in this case, readers) haven't found your content.
That's pretty much it, really. As long as you write in a clear structure without many errors (as long as the content is correct in what it's trying to achieve then spelling doesn't really matter but it does help to make it a bit clearer), designating a sensible title and providing communication with your readers then you should have a good piece of content that you can say you've made and be proud of.
Disclaimer: This is only a guide on what you can produce, you can make it on any topic (deemed fit for the forum), in no way am I saying my guide/technique is the best and everyone should follow this way to make a post - so you can add some originality to your posts if you do so wish. This is only designed as a guide and can be made into whatever you choose - as long as it's community friendly!