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As a tech VA/service provider, I totally understand not seeing the value/point in blogging. Sure, you can write about productivity, systematising, etc, but what’s the point? There are a million blog posts out there about that. Your posts will just go into the void.
I used to think like this. I didn’t write my first blog post until 18 months after I started as a VA.
It turns out this was an error.
In 2017 so far, 22% of the traffic on my site has come from Google. That’s over 1,600 new visitors! And nearly all of those people found me on Google thanks to tech tutorial blog posts.
They had a problem. They went to Google. My blog post appeared.
Below I’m going to cover the whys, whats and hows of writing popular tech tutorial blog posts.
As I’ve already said, the number 1 reason that I think tech tutorials are the bees knees is free traffic from Google(/Pinterest/other social media). Do not underestimate the gratitude, love and general goodwill you will receive when you solve someone’s tech problem (for free!)
If that’s not a compelling reason for you though to put in the upfront time it takes to write a tech tutorial post, here’s a few more:
- Build your list
There’s a ton of different ways you can do this – generic forms at the bottom of blog posts, content upgrades, popups, welcome mats, etc. If people have found your blog post helpful – they’re going to be happy to hear more from you in future.
Example >> In Defence of the ConvertKit Tag (Content upgrade form for tags cheatsheet at the bottom)
- Affiliate marketing
If you’re talking about/recommending specific tech tools in your blog posts, and showing exactly how to use them, then including (properly disclosed) affiliate links can be a really great way to build some passive income.
Example >> Selling your first product with SamCart in under 29 mins!
- Weave in paid services and products
There’s all sorts of ways you can link to your paid services and products from blog posts. Sometimes it can be just a mention of “I was helping a client recently” (and you link to your 1:1 services page), or it can be a more clear pitch at the bottom. You can offer related services, or specific services on the exact content of the post.
Example >> How to Clean Your ConvertKit List (The Unscary Way!) (at the very bottom I pitch a related digital product)
- Positions you as an expert
This is especially true of more comprehensive tutorial blog posts. If you can write the ‘bible’ about doing something, then people are going to come back to that again and again, and will think of you as an expert in their head.
Example >> How to run multiple businesses and projects from one ConvertKit account (check out some of the comments!)
What are you going to write about? I get inspiration everywhere for blog posts. For reals – I was making some tea (#british) and the idea for this post just popped into my head so I literally came running up to my computer to get going whilst motivation/inspiration was at 100%!
Here’s some other places to look for ideas:
- Once you’ve answered the same question 2-3 times, particularly problems/troubleshooting – write a tutorial blog post!
Problem Answering Example >> 3 ways to put videos into ConvertKit emails
Troubleshooting Example >> Ask Welmoed’s Why is my ConvertKit Sequence not Sending?
- If someone asks you ‘is it possible to ______?’, you test it and figure out that the answer is “yes!” – write a tutorial blog post!
Example >> How to add (responsive) video to a ConvertKit landing page
- Re-purpose other content. Did you do a Facebook Live or a guest expert training? Re-purpose that into a tutorial blog post!
Example >> The top 3 mistakes people make with ConvertKit forms! (originally a Facebook Live!)
- If you’ve got strong (slightly controversial) opinions on how best to use the tech system – write a tutorial blog post!
Example >> In Defence of the ConvertKit Tag (I go through and disagree with all ConvertKit’s advice!)
- If you regularly see people struggling with a specific help article because it’s not clear enough – write your own tutorial blog post!
Example >> Melissa Thorpe’s How to add multiple ConvertKit modal forms on one page
- If you’ve got something to add to the software’s own help article on a particular process – write your own tutorial blog post!
Example >> How to Clean Your ConvertKit List (The Unscary Way!)
- If you regularly do a particular task for clients, or you know a lot of people use the tool to do something, write a comprehensive tutorial blog post on it.
Example >> How to Run Challenges in ConvertKit
A couple of quick notes on what to write about:
- Don’t steal someone else’s exact content or ideas. In the example above, I wouldn’t write a blog post about how to add multiple modal forms on one page. What I could do though is write a blog post allll about modal forms and link to Melissa’s blog post at the relevant point.
- Do write tutorial posts even if there’s a fairly comprehensive help/knowledgebase article about it already. People are usually going straight to Google for answers. They may not search the knowledgebase. If yours comes up below (or even above!) in Google search results – they may well prefer yours because it’s by a real person, is talking about real experiences and has a bit more personality 🙂
- Do write tutorial posts even if they’re only going to be relevant for a very, very small number of people. In my experience, these will often give you the biggest fans because no-one else was able to help them. My How to run multiple businesses and projects from one ConvertKit account very much falls into this category.
Most of my tutorial blog posts roughly take the following format which I’ve found to work really well:
Here I usually spend a couple of sentences talking about why I’m writing this blog post (if it’s inspired by a paid service/product client – make sure you link to it!). I’ll usually talk about why this topic is important and I may also touch upon what they’ve already tried to resolve the problem.
- Main Content
This is where I acually put the content of the blog post. Sometimes this will be the steps to follow, sometimes 3 – 5 specific examples, tips, ideas, things to look out for, and sometimes the content will be a bit more in a block.
- Important/Interesting/Additional Notes
I’m not quite sure why I started doing these, but they work really well. Most people will just skim read the main post, but adding some additional notes allows you to give information about other things more advanced or interested users may want to consider or factor in. Most of my tutorial blog posts now have these – and it’s an additional way for you to position yourself as an expert who’s going beyond the basics.
Written or video? For tech tutorial posts I tend to prefer written, supported by video where appropriate. The reason for this is that most people are going to look at your tutorial and then look at their tech software, look at your tutorial and then look at their tech software. Video pausing and rewinding complicates that. Additionally, when they return to a blog post later they may want to just skim to look for a specific bit of information that they remember was in there – this is trickier for video. One advantage of video though is that you can also put it on YouTube and get traffic from there.
Example >> 3 ways to put videos into ConvertKit emails (In here I have 2 videos for specific processes)
Suggestion: Use ConvertPlayer to collect someone’s email address in order for them to watch the video. I’ve had 32 subscribers come through ConvertPlayer as they wanted to watch a tutorial video in a blog post. I recommend only using this where the video is bonus content and not the meat of what the blog post promised to help them with.
Suggestion: Use a ‘Popular Posts’ plugin in your sidebar or have other recommended posts at the bottom. I’ve found (from watching my LiveChat) that website visitors often go from blog post to blog post – so do make this as easy as possible for them!
Example >> All my blog posts and my blog page
Writing in-depth tech tutorial blog posts is a really great way to get more (relevant!) visitors to your website, position yourself as an expert and get more clients. But it’s just one of the ways to becoming the go-to expert in your tech niche. From positioning and marketing yourself to packaging your services and diversifying your income – there’s loads of different things you can do.