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Group Writing Project: Write a ‘How To…’ Post

Posted By Darren Rowse 19th of March 2013 Writing Content 0 Comments

Update: the competition aspect of this project is over. I’ve listed all the posts submitted (and the winners) here.

Years ago here on ProBlogger we used to run ‘group writing project’ where I’d nominate a style of posts and then all readers would go away and write a new post in that style to practice their blogging… and then would come back here and leave us a link to the post.

The Project had a few benefits:

  1. first and foremost it gave us all a chance to practice a certain style of writing
  2. secondly it was an opportunity for bloggers to show off what they could do
  3. bloggers reported seeing more traffic arrive on their blog
  4. bloggers reported making great new connections with other bloggers

So… it’s time for another group writing project!

This week we’re going to do one of the most popular ones from the past – the theme is ‘HOW TO…‘.

Yes – your challenge is to write and then come back and share a link to a ‘How to…’ post. Update: I’ve since published a 7 step guide to writing How to content on a blog.

Please note – for this project to be of any real benefit to you as a ‘writing’ project it is about writing a new post – not just sharing a link to an old ‘How to’ post that you’ve already written.

Feel free to write a ‘how to’ post on anything that is relevant to your niche.

Prize

To give you a little added incentive to participate I’m going to put up a little prize for one participant who submits a NEW post (sorry but you’re ineligible if it is an older post).

One person who writes a new post and who shares a link to it in comments below before Friday 22nd March at midnight (US Eastern time) will be randomly drawn to win the full library of 6 ProBlogger eBooks (worth $250 if you bought them all separately).

Here’s How To Participate

Here’s how to participate and put yourself in the running for the prize (please note – one entry per person – not per blog and please only submit NEW posts).

1. Write a ‘how to’ post

  • Be as creative as you’d like – take it in any direction you want – it can be on any topic (keep it clean and ‘family friendly please), it can be any length, it can be serious, funny, it can be a list post, a rant, an essay, a pictorial or video post… etc
  • Give your post a good title. Once all the posts are listed it’ll only be your title that sets it apart from others. It doesn’t have to have the words ‘how to’ in the title – but if can if you wish.
  • Feel free to write your post in your own first language – I’ve previously included a number of non-english posts and am excited by the prospect of making this a multi-lingual project.
  • Please consider putting a link back to this post on your post so that your readers know you’re participating. You don’t have to do this – but it’d be appreciated to help grow the project.

2. Let us Know about your post

  • Once you’ve posted your How To post let us know about it by leaving a comment below. Please make sure you include your name, your post title and the URL to your How to post.
  • Comments must be received by midnight on Friday 22nd March to be included in the prize draw.

3. Surf Surf Surf

  • This is where the project has potential to get pretty cool. Surf the submissions received in the comments. Leave comments, make connections with other ProBlogger readers and enjoy reading what others have to say. By surfing each others links you’ll hopefully find some cool new blogs but also make some new connections (which may well lead to people visiting your blog too!

4. Link, Tweet, Share

  • There is no formal ‘judging’ of the ‘how to posts’ received as this is not a competition. Instead – I encourage you to surf through the links left in the comments below and not only comment but share those with your own network that you like the most. Link to them on your blog (you might even like to write a ‘top 5’ post), Tweet out some links to the ones you like or share them on Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn etc. Share a little love and you might find it comes back at you!
  • Probably the best part of the last group project was the amount of inter-linking I see happening between participating bloggers as a result of their posts. It’s obvious that people found new blogs through it and that the benefits of participating was way beyond getting a link here on ProBlogger me but flowed on to a lot of new connections and links between other bloggers.

5. Prizes

  • Over the weekend after this ends I’ll randomly draw a winner and announce them on the blog. Depending how many submissions we receive I may even try to compile them all into a list (although last time we had ALOT so that may be beyond me).

I can’t wait to see how this week’s project goes – your time to start writing starts…. now! Have fun!

Update: the competition aspect of this project is over. I’ve listed all the posts submitted (and the winners) here.

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.
Comments
  1. Great idea Darren! I’ll get started ASAP and I can’t wait to see what the rest of the community comes up with!

  2. Here’s one from one of my secondary blogs:

    How to Lose Weight the Reliable Way

    http://weightramblings.blogspot.com/2013/03/how-to-lose-weight-reliable-way.html

    • Totally agree..I’ve been counting calories with myfitnesspal for over 2 months and doing P90X and have successfully lost weight. You are right on that you don’t have to starve yourself. I was actually on a plateau and talked to a trainer who said I was actually eating too few calories for the amount of exercise I was doing. I added more calories–carefully–and sure enough, more weight dropped. It really is finding what your body needs and give it just that!

    • I had fries for dinner. Now wishing I didn’t.

      Well organised post and very easy to read with the headings. I would have liked an image.

  3. interesting, I may take part in this project!
    best regards!

  4. I was thinking of writing a “How to” article today, so this project came at the perfect time. Thanks!

    Here’s my entry: How to Manifest a House

    • Really liked your post. I added to my post so my readers could find you. I 100% believe in the law of attraction but have a hard time practicing it. I am also looking for a house for September. I will be using your tips.
      Thanks! Paz

    • HI Elizabeth

      I like it – short, sharp and to the point. I also liked the evidence you provided with the story of your own experience. I found the advertisements, particularly the small ads between the house photo and lower part of the text distracting. I’m following you on Twitter now so I can read your future posts.
      Thanks

  5. Cool! I’ll take part in this, thanks for hosting it!

  6. I wanted to get involved as I have learned so much from your blog and of course would LOVE the books.

    Learn How To Love Yourself – http://www.therealsupermumblog.com/2013/03/how-to-love-yourself/

  7. I have recently written a post about “How To Get Massive Traffic From Reddit To Your Website”.
    http://trendblog.net/how-to-get-traffic-from-reddit/

    The title was chosen for two reasons: organic traffic (ranks pretty good I must say) and interest.
    I tried to keep the structure as clear as possible. Please let me know what you think about the post.

    Cheers,
    Daniel.

    • I really like your entry! :) I like how you write it from your own perspective, and aren’t afraid to tell about your first (failed) reddit attempt. Thanks for your post!

  8. AHA! I posted mine this morning. Great timing and I think your idea is awesome too! Thanks for doing this. I write a humor blog, so you’ll see that shine through on my posts. I hope y’all enjoy!

    http://www.funnylifestories.com/2013/03/18/how-to-make-great-lasagna/

  9. Great idea. Thanks Darren.

  10. I may be cheating *just a little* as I wrote this one at about midnight last night ;) So it is a brand new post, and coincidentally fits the brief!

    http://www.somewherearoundhere.com.au/2013/03/how-to-get-started-in-roller-derby/

    Looking forward to joining in with future ‘assignments’.

  11. Hi Darren,

    I just wrote my ‘How To’ post and published it on Sunday. It could be a while before I get to writing another, so is it OK to share this one?

    The title of my post is “Create a Vision Board: A Place for Your Dreams, Hopes & Plans”.

    Here’s the link: http://theinspirednotebook.com/2013/03/17/create-a-vision-board-a-place-for-your-dreams-goals-plans/

    Looking forward to reading some great posts here!!

  12. Getting ideas right now this sounds like fun

  13. Very cool idea, I will give this a shot.

  14. Perfecto! I had this post brewing anyway!

    Make Gmail Work For You: Using Filters to Manage Your Inbox
    http://permissiontoperuse.com/2013/03/18/how-to-use-filters-in-gmail-to-manage-your-inbox/

  15. Thank you for the invitation and opportunity. I didn’t want to overthink it. Here it is raw and real: ‘HOW TO’ Reject Fear, Embrace Failure and Try One More Time… http://maxthatmarketing.com/how-to-reject-fear-embrace-failure-and-try-one-more-time/

  16. Here’s mine! How to Write a Novel (When You’re Really Scared You Suck).

    http://deborahbaudoin.com/fiction/wp/?p=66

  17. Off to write my new post “How to win a Group Writing Project by writing a post on How to win a Group Writing Project”…=)

  18. Great idea :) … and here is my post:

    How to Housebreak Both Puppies and Adult Dogs: http://www.spockthedog.com/how-to-housebreak-both-puppies-and-adult-dogs/

  19. Fun! (though I just remembered about the ‘give it a good title’ bit now… too late!!)
    Here’s mine: http://tamaraprotassow.com/2013/03/19/how-to-know-your-own-voice/

  20. Hi! Spanish blogger here. I found this idea very interesting and I wanted to take part in it. My post title is “Cómo descargar subtítulos automáticamente con Subliminal” (“How to download subtitles automatically using Subliminal”). I wrote it in spanish since it’s my first language, but I could write a translation if it were necessary.

    http://eckelon.net/informatica-e-internet/how-to/como-descargar-subtitulos-automaticamente-con-subliminal.html

  21. Awesome idea Darren! I was working on a How to series.

    There’s a strange change approaching…Doing a diet detox.

    http://www.worklifewhat.com/doing-a-diet-detox/

  22. This would be the most interesting contest where everyone would try to hike over the mount everest of the creativity and this would be a winning point for those who would stay over their dear motherland and cover the ground realities to make their post interesting.
    I recently wrote a how to article How to be creative in 24 hours

  23. Love this idea Darren! Thanks for the opportunity!

    Here’s My Post:

    Create Online Videos Stress-Free by Writing a Video Planning Checklist

    http://melissaburkheimer.com/2013/03/video-planning-checklist-1/

  24. Thanks for the writing assignment!

    I wrote a blog post on how to “Use your Ninja Powers to Survive Unemployment”: http://savvycareer.wordpress.com/2013/03/19/unemploymentsurvive-unemploymentjob-search/

    My blog, Savvy Career (How to Survive Unemployment and Thrive in the New Economy) is dedicated to providing information and resources for people who are unemployed, underemployed, or in a career transition. http://savvycareer.wordpress.com/

  25. Thanks for the prompt! Here’s my post:

    3 Big Questions on the 1855 New York State Census and How to Use Their Answers — http://brandyheineman.wordpress.com/2013/03/19/3-big-questions-on-the-1855-nys-census-and-how-to-use-their-answers/

  26. Awesome. This is just what I needed to break through my writer’s block.

    How to Love Marketing and Get Great Results
    http://www.kimaverycoaching.com/how-to-love-marketing-and-get-great-results/

  27. This was so wonderful! In reading through your comments I found some amazing and helpful posts! They inspired me to move forward with mine and I am so happy I did!

    http://crazyyummy.com/how-to-grocery-shop/

    yay!

  28. Thank you very much for this opportunity.

    How to Install Google Chrome Extensions on FireFox as well as Safari..

    http://www.arungudelli.com/2013/03/how-to-install-google-chrome-extension-on-firefox.html

  29. Here is my How-To post:

    How To Pour A Perfect Pint. Cheers!

    http://craftbeeracademy.com/how-to-pour-a-perfect-pint/

  30. Thanks for the prompt Darren – more like this please to get our grey matter working!

    Here you go: http://www.painful-feet.com/how-to-relieve-foot-pain/

    I would be interesting in partnering with any other bloggers out there in a similar niche.

  31. Great, this post was going up anyways!

    How to Make a Windowsill Herb Garden: 9 Easy Herbs to Grow

    http://www.thefrugalette.com/2013/03/how-to-make-a-windowsill-herb-garden-2/

  32. Thanks for the assignment!

    I wrote about how to “Use Your Ninja Powers to Survive Unemployment” at:
    http://savvycareer.wordpress.com/2013/03/19/unemploymentsurvive-unemploymentjob-search/

    Savvy Career (How to Survive Unemployment and Thrive in the New Economy) is a blog dedicated to providing resources and support to those who are unemployed, underemployer or in a career transition.

  33. Hello!

    For a while, I had been thinking about writing a how-to post on Shooting on a Green Screen. Your post just helped me take action on that. Thanks for the writing exercise!

    http://youngcreativeministry.com/4-steps-to-shooting-a-great-green-screen-for-beginners/

  34. Owen Linderholm says: 03/20/2013 at 10:58 am

    Part of a series we started about starting a business – I’m aware that we don’t really count as a blog but this really is a good how-to post and doubles as useful advice for your readers.

    http://smallbusiness.yahoo.com/advisor/the-yahoo-smart-and-simple-guide-to-starting-a-business–part-1–goals–values-and-ideas-232433063.html

  35. How To: Create an HDR Bracket Using One Image in Lightroom

    http://www.banakasdesigns.com/2013/03/19/lightroom-bracket

  36. Thanks for setting up this contest. My post contains 13 tips on becoming an indispensable team member. In all my assignments, campaigns and projects, I have always kept an eye open for that solid team member, who can shoulder higher responsibilities. I believe that by becoming a solid team member, you can become an effective leader. Here’s the URL for the post:
    http://kaylead.com/becoming-an-indispensable-team-member/

  37. I wrote a post about how to use the central message of Christianity to motivate you to become the person you want to be. http://www.armchair-theology.net/living-the-bible/how-to-use-the-gospel-to-pursue-holiness/

  38. This was an excellent idea – definitely got the creative juices flowing!!

    Here’s my contribution: http://choosingtoeat.wordpress.com/2013/03/20/im-all-lost-in-the-supermarket/

    Thanks so much!!

  39. I thought I was all out of how-to posts but then I realised I knew the answer to how to curate a list of all the posts entered into the writing project fast. It took 90 minutes to put the blog post together and 5 minutes to curate the list… :D
    http://www.sarkemedia.com/how-to-use-list-ly/

    And everyone is welcome to add their how-to post to the list here http://list.ly/list/3ka-how-to-post-list I’ve added the first 12 so far.

  40. Hello,

    My blog actually produces How To articles so for me to share one article will not be easy anyways here is the one I think you might like to read:

    How to Start your Own Web Hosting Business
    http://realtimetricks.com/web-hosting-business.html

    &

    How to Add Facebook Page Promoter Lightbox on Blogger Blog
    http://realtimetricks.com/add-facebook-page-promoter-lightbox-on-blogger-blog.html

  41. Hello,

    I run a lifestyle blog so I’ve got good freedom if it comes to style of posts, however a how to posts are quite rare in my case. I enjoyed this challenge and as I was writing my post I realised that to make it useful I had to really narrow it down. Now I have another idea for a how to post! I will certainly write them more often form now on.
    I’d love to know what do you think of my first conscious attempt.

    Her it is: How to shop for a foundation, to get it right and not look like an Umpa Lumpa!
    http://www.socialbeautify.co.uk/?p=2477

    Eva

  42. What a great idea Mr Rowse!

    We are Caroline & Davina

    Our Post title is: Google Plus Cover Photo March 2013: How to crop to any size

    http://usefulgraphicdesigntutorials.com/google-plus-cover-photo-march-2013

    We look forward to reading all the other ‘How to’s here :)

  43. Hey Darren,

    Your Group Writing Project is fun!

    I have crafted ‘How to take charge of your Writing Pace‘ from my experiences at my work place.

    Hope you enjoy it.

  44. Thank you for the invitation and opportunity. I didn’t want to overthink it. Here it is raw and real: ‘HOW TO’ Reject Fear, Embrace Failure and Try One More Time… http://maxthatmarketing.com/how-to-reject-fear-embrace-failure-and-try-one-more-time/