Writing a tutorial is a great skill for any craft blogger. According to Invesp’s Blog Rank, tutorial heavy craft blogs are amongst some of the most successful, so it’s definitely worth perfecting your technique.
There is something inherently generous about sharing your knowledge or talent with others, and in the craft world, that generosity is often rewarded by a loyal blog following. But it’s not just an effective way of building an audience. Having a few ready-to-go tutorials stored up is also useful for those days when you’re all out of blog inspiration.
Follow these simple guidelines and you’re on your way to crafting the perfect tutorial.
- Title – Needs to ‘say what it does on the tin’. Instead of a clever, abstract title you need be clear about what the tutorial will teach people to make, so be exact and concise i.e. ‘Crochet daisy’ or ‘Decoupage lampshade’.
- Photo – Don’t forget to put a photo of the finished project at the start of your tutorial. You need to engage your audience straight away and the best way to do that is to show them a beautiful, aspirational photo of what they will be making.
- Basics – List the difficulty level, materials and approximate length of your project at the beginning of the tutorial so people know what to expect.
- Step-by-step instructions – Again, there’s a need to be clear and concise but don’t be afraid to include as many steps as necessary to complete the project. Number steps for clarity, use one action verb per step, and highlight important tips. Don’t forget to offer alternatives for difficult to find materials or options for personalizing the project. Assume everyone is a beginner and they know very little. There’s nothing more frustrating than big gaps in tutorials that assume knowledge. They wouldn’t be there if they knew how to do it!
- Great pictures – Unfussy, clear photos are a must for each step of the process. Look at photos from tutorials that you like and aim to emulate them in style. For really tricky procedures a drawing or diagram may work better.
- Don’t use brand names and be aware that in the blogosphere, as in the world, there are various words and terms for products or techniques.
- Layout – Think about whether your page is easy to scroll through. Can it be printed out? Do you need to provide a separate pattern that can be downloaded?
- Remember to use social media networks to link to your tutorials and use a search engine like Find and Craft to list your tutorials and share them with a wider audience. You’ll attract new visitors to your blog and have a chance to engage more with an international craft community.
So now you know how it’s done, what’s stopping you? Start planning that tutorial today. Good luck.
Jennie Sandford is a blogger and crafter, specializing in contemporary hand embroidery. She also organizes and curates the Bearwood Handmade craft fairs and works as a Community Manager for Handmake.Me, a UK based online marketplace for customized and bespoke handmade products.