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
I'm a friendly and professional writer, reviewer and editor who works with warmth, humour and flexibility.
Maybe you haven’t done anything with that idea yet, because it’s just too vague.Read more
Explaining what’s blatantly obvious to you, could turn out to be advertising gold.Read more
Don't let spelling and grammar fears stop you from writing.Read more
...they were learning how to express their true feelings in words, and the results were honest, uplifting, and totally magnetic.Read more
This is a blog post unlike any other.Read more
Where's the value in empty business gurus?Read more
"The right person will help you come across as yourself, but in a prouder, more polished, 'look what I’ve achieved' kind of way"Read more
"If you like someone, you might be tempted to look for excuses to work with them, even if their particular skills aren’t what you need."Read more
Focus on telling interesting business stories that reflect your ideal customers’ lives back to them.Read more
Keep your summer content fresh and updated to be remembered all year long.Read more
How to become every freelancer's favourite client!Read more
How setting a speaking challenge forced me to talk confidently about the work I love.Read more
Finding the 'what's', 'whys' and 'hows' of your business will help people connect with you.Read more
It takes time to craft compelling
November means #NaNoWriMo - so whatever you're working on, it's time to get it done!Read more
Ironically, it's when you're writing about yourself that you will sound least like you. Hiring a writer to do it for you can bring a whole host of benefits.Read more
Writing books is big business - or at least it can be, if you get it right. For starters, this means not rushing the process!Read more
Headlines are always difficult to write, so here's an easy way to craft something original for your personal and professional profiles.Read more
Standing up and presenting to a group of people is something that strikes fear into the hearts of even the most confident people - so if you're an introvert like me, it can really be the stuff of nightmares! Here's how I tackle my nerves head-on, with some careful preparation and relatable content.Read more
You don't have to be a professional writer to discover a unique writing voice that speaks to its readers. Finding your own voice is often easier than you might think, and it all starts when you write from the heart.Read more
Did you know that so-called 'job-hopping' can be an asset to your career search? Whether you prefer stability or excitement in your career, planning your next move is all about packaging your skills and making the right kind of approach.Read more
Going freelance doesn't mean you have to accept every piece of work that comes your way. Being discerning with your time and effort will help you reap the rewards of being your own boss...and you'll get to work with some great people too!Read more
Are you reading this over coffee, or maybe as you wait for a late train? Blogging for business is a handy way to keep in regular contact with your followers and show them the human side of your company, but it can be difficult to keep it going once you've started. It's worth it, though - so here are a few tips to keep your blog posts consistent and entertaining.Read more
Writing a CV is tough enough when you've got years of experience under your belt, but when you're just leaving education it often feels like you haven't got anything to shout about. Here's how to write a first CV that will stand out from all those bland lists of education dates and shop jobs!Read more
There's a new trend sweeping Silicon Valley - giving honest and direct feedback to your colleagues. Before you go rushing in, focus your message by writing it down first...your colleagues and your career will thank you for it!Read more
All those celebrated business gurus had to start somewhere...and the most successful ones know how to tell their stories in a relatable way that inspires others to act on their dreams and ideas. By writing a business book, you can do just that yourself!Read more
Writing a recruitment ad is often a rushed activity, with the words used ones you've read many times before ("dynamic" anyone?) Here's how the Banks children managed to recruit their ideal candidate - Mary Poppins! - by using clear and creative words that stood out.Read more
'Greatest Hits' countdowns are rife at this time of year - so now, here's one featuring the best CV advice. This list will give you the ultimate steer if you're looking to get your CV on track for the new year job hunt. Wishing you a very happy 2017!Read more
If you're stuck in a job you don't particularly like, mindlessly searching job boards for something else, it can be hard to dredge up any enthusiasm to make a change. But that little bit of rest time between Christmas and a brand new year beginning is perfect for considering exactly what you want, and how to take the very first step towards making 2017 your happy work year!Read more
Have you ever thought that making a few tweaks to your working life would help make living it much easier? Harness the power of well-chosen words to state your case and win better work-life balance in the process.Read more
Are you often left with the feeling that you don't quite know enough about all the online tools you can use to promote your business? How about website analytics...shouldn't you be checking them every five minutes just like the experts say? Relax - here's how to take advantage of all the advice available online, by defining exactly what YOU want to know.Read more
Looking for ways to sound consistent and authentic in your written communications? Here are a few tried, tested and original ways to do just that.Read more
BOO! Like a ripe pumpkin Hallowe'en has rolled around yet again, so what better time to extol the benefits of ghostwriting, definitely not just the province of bargain-bin bound celebrities.Read more
Are your online profiles a bit lacklustre? Don't waste a perfect opportunity to speak directly to the boss or partner of your dreams - use the power of personal copywriting to describe what makes you, you - and get ready to reap the rewards!Read more
Regular blog posts - especially if you run a business - can drastically increase your following, as well as helping you beat the competition by describing how you do things your way. Read on for a few more great reasons why you should join the blogging revolution!Read more
Great speeches vary in tone and content, but they all consider the same elements - who they're for, what they're about and why they're being heard. Here's how to plan yours effectively, so you can conquer any nerves and make your speech memorable for all the right reasons!Read more