How-To Guides are very common these days. The wealth of information and open communication channels, as well as the fact that people have more free time to learn and acquire new areas of interest have supported the growth of this market.
This genre of books has seen success in both printed form and especially in electronic form. Notable examples include the "For Dummies" printed book series and an endless variety of e-books on the Internet – with many new authors offering their guides on everyday or obscure subjects.

This series of articles will serve as a basis for my own upcoming How-To guide – on "How to write a Great How-To guide".

First – let us take a look at some common reasons that might encourage you to write a How-To Guide by yourself. In reality, you might find that several of the reasons listed below fall in line with your own goals and purposes. In any case – the reasons that you find relevant will and should be a major consideration in thinking about the format and content of your How-To guide.

Reason 1: Selling the guide as a stand-alone product
This is the classic reason for writing a book in the first place.
A how-to guide could simply be seen as a stand-alone product. As such – it could be sold in various formats. It could be published as a printed book, sold as an e-book, or converted into other formats – such as a series of audio recordings or videos.
The major incentive in this case would be to gain a profit from the sale of the How-To guide.

Reason 2: Promoting other products or services
A How-To book could be a great platform for promoting other products or services. These may include technical products, software products, business services and many more. The promotional focus of this type of How-To guide means that you would at least mention options and advantages of using the chosen products or services within the guide.
Such a How-To guide may be given away for free or for a low price, or as a bonus to potential clients of the promoted products and services.

Reason 3: Building your reputation and name, and gaining expert recognition
If you wish to build your status as a guru on a specific subject, writing a comprehensive or effective How-To guide is a good strategy. You may wish to do so in order to generally promote your business or personal opportunities – regardless of specific products or services you might be able to offer on the subject.
This could create interesting opportunities such as invitation to be a keynote speaker, offers for professional co-operations, and so forth.

Reason 4: Sharing your knowledge with colleagues, co-workers, or even strangers
This reason is less centered on the commercial reasons for writing a how-to guide, and more on sharing and teaching others your hard-earned practical knowledge of a certain subjects. The incentives may include building the professional skills of people in your team or workplace or even the entire profession, or even the noble wish to make humanity more knowledgeable and capable.

Reason 5: Structuring and organizing your own knowledge
If and when you will endeavor to write a How-To guide, you will soon realize that in order to clearly transfer your knowledge, you must structure and organize what you know about the subject. This will help yourself in understanding the subject-matter even better than what you thought you did before. This could be very useful for making your own practice more effective and powerful.

Reason 6: Improving your own skills
In many cases, when writing a How-To guide, you will also need to learn knew things to complement your existing knowledge. The writing of the guide will push you towards expanding your mastery of relevant subjects. Another plus is that every kind of writing, and specifically the writing of a practical How-To guide, is bound to improve your writing skills.

Practical Writing Tips and Tools:
This part includes tips and tools to help you on your way to writing your own How-To guide.

Tip 1: Define the purpose of your How-To guide
A. Your Purpose: Look at the reasons for writing How-To guides listed above, and consider other possible reasons, and then write down your own reasons for writing and publishing the How-To guide you are thinking of.
B. Readers Purpose: Think of the potential readers of your How-To guide. Write down the reasons they would choose to read (and perhaps purchase) such a How-To guide.

Tip 2: Choose a "working title" for your How-To guide
The final name of your How-To guide should be decided when it is nearly finished. However, by choosing a working title at the outset, you will be directing the focus of your content and style of the How-To guide. Play around with different possible titles for your How-To guide, and choose the one that conveys the essence of your intention.

Author's Bio: 

Amir Elion is a training and organizational development professional, with extensive experience in facilitating management skills workshops and courses. He also specializes in creativity and innovation tools and techniques.
Resource related to How to Write a Great How-To Guide may be found at: His Practical Creativity website is at