The Ultimate Guide to... the Ultimate Guide!

You’ve probably seen more than a few ‘ultimate guide to…’ and ‘five top tips about…’ on a myriad of subjects, available to download from various websites you’ve browsed.

So why shouldn’t your website have one, too? After all, creating an e-book or a downloadable guide is a proven method of attracting people to your website. From there, they might be tempted to sign up to your mailing list, or even buy something from you.

There’s just one essential: you have to make sure your guide is well-written and informative. Otherwise, not only will people not bother with it, they probably won’t share it – and they’ll more than likely make a mental note not to bother contacting you, either.

So just how do you create the ultimate Ultimate Guide, then? Having written a fair few of them myself, here’s my very own Ultimate Guide to ultimate guide-writing:

Don’t worry if others have been there before you

You might have been put off writing a guide because there are so many others out there already. It can be hard to think about what else you could add that would be of any value.

Consider, however, that nobody else has your exact take, and the way you see and do things could be of help to others.  

This is your starting point. Drill your business right down to the finer details – is there a small but interesting part of what you do that you really love; that you can’t stop talking about? Why not write about that?

In case you’re feeling daunted, remember that your guide doesn’t need to be too long. A few pages of A4 will be fine, unless you’ve decided to tackle a more in-depth e-book.

Do some research

What are people currently talking about in your industry? Could you add an alternative take? There may already be a few popular pieces out there that you could add some more detail to, or fill in anything that might be missing.  You could even start a social media poll, asking people what they'd like to know more about...building up an appetite for your guide in the process!

Speak to the uninitiated

Have a chat with a friend or family member who doesn’t know your business or industry inside out. Is there anything they’ve always wanted to know? What sort of questions are you constantly asked by new customers or site visitors?

Follow the process yourself

Whatever you’re advising people to do in your guide, make sure you’ve actually followed the process you’ve written about. Not only so you know it works, but also so you can understand any questions that might come up… then address them in your guide!

Include some anecdotes and real-life examples

Most people love a good story, and they love well-told ones even more. A few personal tales sprinkled here and there will make your guide unique, as well as informative.

Don’t forget to add a call to action at the end of your guide. Make sure you know what you want people to do when they finish reading, then all you need to do is point them in the right direction.

Don’t forget to shout about it

Once you’ve painstakingly constructed your guide, it’s time to promote it!

For a quick marketing method that works, turn it into a PDF document available to download from your site, blog about it, and then share, share and share again. Then ask your friends and clients to do the same.

Haven’t got time to write your own Ultimate Guide? I’ve written plenty that have helped clients increase their mailing list sign-ups and website visits almost overnight. If you’d like to talk about doing the same, just let me know

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