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How to Write a ‘How I Do It’ Blog Post to Grow Your Readership

Today’s episode is all about how to write a very simple but extremely powerful style of blog post – the ‘How I Do It’ post.

In This Episode

You can listen to today’s episode above or in iTunes or Stitcher (where we’d also LOVE to get your reviews on those platforms if you have a moment). In today’s episode:

  • Why ‘How I Did It’ blog posts are more powerful than other posts
  • The powerful difference between ‘How I Did It’ and ‘How I DO It’ posts
  • Real life examples of successful ‘How I Did It’ and ‘How I Do It’ blog posts – from my own blogs and others
  • How to come up with ideas and write your own ‘How I Do It’ blog post to grow your readership

Further Reading and Resources for How to Write a ‘How I Do It’ Blog Post to Grow Your Readership

Tips about writing different types of posts (these are previous podcast episodes):

Examples of ‘How I Do It’ blog posts:

Full Transcript Expand to view full transcript Compress to smaller transcript view
Hi there. This is Darren from ProBlogger and welcome to episode 47 of the ProBlogger Podcast. Today, I want to give you a writing challenge. It’s been a while since we’ve done one of these and they’re always popular. Today, we’re going to talk about creating a how I do it post. You can find today’s show notes at

It has been a while since we’ve done a writing challenge. In fact, the last time we did it was in episode 28, which was day 28 of the 31-day challenge that I ran at the start of the podcast series. We’ve actually done five of these in the past. If you want to go back and listen to some of the previous podcasts, you can go back to episode 2 where we talked about writing list posts, episode 7 where we talked about writing link posts, episode 19 where we talked about writing opinion posts, episode 23 where we talked about writing a call to action post, and then in episode 28 where we talked about writing review posts.

I will put links back to all of those episodes in today’s show notes. The thing I love about these particular episodes is that a whole heap of ProBlogger readers went away and did the challenge. They created a post on a particular type of post. We had a whole heap of people sharing their list posts and their link posts in the comments on those show notes. That’s what I want you to do today. Today is not a theoretical podcast, it’s a challenge. Are you up for that challenge or not? If not, you might want to stop listening, but if you’re up for a challenge and you want to write a post today and then come back and share that post with us, then here’s what I want you to do.

Write a post that is a “how I do it” or “how I did it” post. There are two variations really today. This is a very simple style of post, but it’s a very powerful one as well. It’s actually what I’ve built a lot of my business around is showing people how I do things, showing people how I’ve done things. Post that work and walk people through a process like this go down really well. They can go down a whole heap better, in fact, than just a normal how to do it post because they’re more personal. This is how I do it. This is how I’ve done it, but they also go beyond giving someone the theory of a topic and showing them how to apply it and how you apply the theory.

In general, there are two types of posts that you might want to try. The first one is the “how I did it” post. This is how I did something, a one-off thing in general and it’s something that you’ve done in the past. This really could be anything depending upon what your niche is, so it could be a post on how you lost weight, or it could be a post on how you made a dining table for your family out of wood, or it could be how you wrote your first book, or how you overcame your fear of heights.

What I want to do today is give you some examples. I’m going to link to all of these examples in today’s show notes. The first example I want to give is a post that my wife, Vanessa, wrote. She’s got a blog called Style and Shenanigans. One of her most popular posts is a post she called Traveling to Bali with Young Kids. I’ll give you the link in the show notes. It basically shares tips from our own experience as a family of going to Bali with our kids last year.

In it, she walks readers through the choices that we made with accommodation, what to pack, how to get around, where to visit, where to eat, all of the things that we did. It was basically a recap of our holiday. That was a good holiday. We enjoyed that holiday, but it actually turns out that it’s really useful content for other people who are thinking about going to Bali.

It wasn’t necessarily a step-by-step post. It wasn’t “do this, then do this,” but it’s amazing how many people we’ve had email us, telling us that I did exactly the same trip. They went to the same restaurants, they stayed at the same place. They did the same activities. It’s amazing how many people pretty much replicated our holiday, which might sound a little bit creepy, but that post made going to Bali so much easier for so many people.

Most people didn’t replicate the whole thing but might have replicated the restaurants that we ate at and all the activities that we did. Vanessa has actually done similar posts on a trip that we did to the US last year, as well. Our time in New York, our time in Los Angeles and what we did. Again, we’ve had people let us know that they pretty much followed our footsteps when they went to New York. This is the benefit of doing this type of post is you’re actually making life easy for someone by outlining what they should do, or what you did, and then it’s their choice as to how much of it they do and how closely they follow your steps.

A variation of this might be “what I learned” post, so rather than what I did, or how I did it, this is what I learned by doing something. A good example of this is a post I wrote back in 2009 on ProBlogger, which was basically the lessons I learned in launching my first ebook. I think it was eight lessons that I learned as a result of launching my first ebook. It was a case study of sorts. I’ll give you again the link in today’s show notes. It was a recapping of what I did, but more importantly, what I learned and what I would do differently.

These, how I did it posts are one approach that you might take today. You might identify something that you’ve achieved or something that was a big thing in your life that you did, that you might find your readers interested in.

Now, the other type of posts that you might want to do is a “how I do it” post. This is similar to the last one but it’s more how you do something that you do regularly. This might be walking your readers through a process that you use in your life. Many of these things will be things that you take for granted that other people may actually be interested in. I want to give you some examples of this again.

Example number one is a post I wrote on ProBlogger earlier this year, I think it was in February, and it’s called how to build an efficient social media workflow to increase traffic to your blog. This was actually a post that included a ScreenFlow video of me using my social media workflow, of me actually walking through how I update my Facebook page every night. This is actually a process I do every night. It usually takes me about 20 minutes and I captured it in a video.

Now, something I almost take for granted, I just have this rhythm that I go through, but I realized one day while I was talking to a friend and describing the process that it was actually useful to other people. So I captured it and I shared it in a blog post. Actually, it was one of the most popular posts on ProBlogger this year.

Another example very similar to this was a post that I wrote on ProBlogger called a powerful exercise inside Google Analytics to set up for a successful year of blogging. This one some of you will remember I did it at the start of this year, I think it was January this year. It was a process that I go through with Google Analytics.

It’s a fairly simple process and it’s something that I just do intuitively, but I captured it. I didn’t capture it this time in video; I took a whole heap of screenshots of what I did. I gave my readers a step-by-step process to go through to unearth things in Google Analytics that will be useful for them as bloggers. Again, I’ll share the link in today’s show notes. Both of these were either screenshots or ScreenFlow video capture of what I do.

Another example is Vanessa’s blog. She published a post which was called how to style your bed. This is a little bit odd for me because it actually shows my bed, the place I sleep, which was a little weird when I saw it on her vlog but it’s actually something that she takes for granted every day.

She does it every day. Our bed has lots of pillows on it. It’s always doing a cover on it. She styles it beautifully. I don’t have anything to do with it. I make the bed, but I don’t style up, but it’s something she gets comments on all the time from friends when they’re over. It’s like, “Oh, how do you get your bed looking so styled and put it all together in that way?” So, she wrote a post, how to style your bed. It’s a post that her readers really enjoyed. I looked at this morning, it had almost 40 comments on it, which is a lot for her.

Another example that we use on Digital Photography School (my blog) is what we call A Step-by-Step Guides. We’ve actually learned that when we use the words “step-by-step guide” in the title of a blog post, they do really well with our readers, our readers love step-by-step guides. Particularly, they like it when we’re talking about post-production, so Lightroom or Photoshop. This is the type of thing that can overwhelm some people. Some people look at Lightroom and they go, “It’s too complicated,” but if you break it down into steps, do this, then do this, then do this. That is something that people can achieve.

We do it in other types of posts as well. For example, we have a step-by-step guide to doing a headshot on a white background, which is a technique type post where we actually talked about the set-up of the shot, we talked about the lighting and how to set up the lights, and we talked about how to pose your subject. That particular post has lots of pictures in it, pictures of the set-up of this particular headshot type thing.

It actually has an animated GIF as well of the set-up, so you can actually see how the same changes. I’ll include links to that and also include some links to some other step-by-step guides, particularly in our post-production area.

The last example I’ll give you is a friend of mine, Nicole Avery, who has a great blog called Planning with Kids. Nicole does these “how I do it” posts all the time, and they are of things that you would, at a glance say, “Why would you write a post on that,” but they’re actually really effective posts. She’s got a post for her family’s morning routine, which might seem a little strange. It might sound just a little bit basic. I don’t need a family routine.

Nicole actually has a fairly large family. She’s got five kids. In the post, she actually walks through what the family routine is in the morning. She’s got another one on how she prepares food for her five kids’ lunchboxes each week, which I think is a pretty remarkable feat. As the person who doesn’t know how to generally make lunches, I actually found that post really interesting.

These are things that Nicole probably takes for granted. She doesn’t really put a whole heap of thought into it, because she’s just got her system. The fact that she developed the system is really interesting, and other people would learn a lot from it. I guess the question I’m trying to lead you towards here is what routines, what workflows, what systems do you have in your life? What things do you do every day that other people might actually be interested in seeing?

You could capture these in all kinds of ways. You could just write them up, but you could also take pictures of them, you could create a video of them. If it’s on your computer, do screen captures or do a ScreenFlow. You might talk people through it in a podcast. There are all kinds of ways that you can talk people through something that you do.

Here’s the exercise I’ve got for you today. Brainstorm ideas for a how I did it or a how I do it post. The how I did it one is something you’ve done. It might be a one-off thing that you could talk people through or how I do it thing is where you talk people through an ongoing thing that you do regularly. What are some of the big one-off things that you’ve done, but also what are some of the things that you do every day that perhaps you take for granted?

Here’s the hint, pay real attention to the questions that you regularly are asked by your family and friends or your colleagues about how you do things. Think about those things that people ask you about. For Vanessa, it’s how do you style your bed or how do you put together an outfit? They’re the type of question she gets asked all the time. There are some of her most effective posts.

Think about the big things that you’ve achieved and how you did those things. For us going to Bali, that was a big thing. It took a lot of work, took a lot of energy, and we get a lot of questions about it. “Where did you stay? Where did you go? How did you get there?” Those types of questions that you get will reveal some of the things that people will be interested to be talked through.

Once you’ve chosen your topic, come up with a title, come up with an outline. I actually find these types of posts, it’s best when I start with an outline. I usually start with bullet points of here’s the process that I go through to do it, then I write a paragraph or maybe two paragraphs on each point, and then I try to find a visual to illustrate each point as well.

Take it step-by-step in writing it and then include some visuals. I think it’s really important to include some visuals because people want to see what you are talking about. If you can do that it’s really powerful.

The last thing I’d encourage you to think about is can you weave a story into it? If you’re talking about how you did it, or how you do it, can you actually show people why you did it or why you do it, and how you felt along the way of doing these things?

I guess how it changes your life to do these things as well. If you can weave yourself into it, it actually personalizes that a whole heap more. It will take your post from being a theoretical post on how to do something to being how you do something, and that’s more relatable for people.

I hope you found today’s exercise helpful. I’m really keen to see the posts that you write. I really don’t want these podcasts to be something that you just listen to and say, “Yeah, I might do that.” I want this podcast to stimulate action, and this is really what the ProBlogger podcast is all about. I want to see the posts that you write as a result of this.

It doesn’t have to be a long post. It could be quite simple. In fact, sometimes the most simple posts that walk people through, something very simple are actually the most effective posts, and they’re the posts that people find most useful. Don’t think that you’re how I did it post is too insignificant. You can actually couch it, introduce it as something that you find quite basic but you hope others might find useful.

When you’ve written your posts, go to, which is where today’s show notes are. I’m going to include all the examples that I’ve given you in this podcast there, but I also would love you to leave a comment and just drop a link there, maybe the title as well of the post that you’ve written, and check out the post that other people are writing as well.

You might want to come back to the show notes in the next couple of days and see what other people have written. You might just find that you find some really interesting content that you can share on social media there. I encourage you to support one another as ProBlogger readers, but you might also find some ideas for posts that you could write from the approaches that other people take. So, go to 47, where you can get today’s show notes and share your post with us.

Thanks for listening. I’ve got a couple more ideas for these challenges, which I will drop into this podcast in the upcoming weeks. Do subscribe to us on iTunes. Just search for ProBlogger. You’ll find us there and you’ll get updated with all the future episodes of the ProBlogger podcast. Thanks for listening. We’ll talk to you in episode 48.

How did you go with today’s episode?

What did you learn from today’s episode? Have you already written a ‘How I Do It’ or ‘How I Did It’ blog post? What ‘How I Do It’ or ‘How I Did It’ blog post will you write and share next? We’d love to see it!

We’d love to hear from you in the comments below. Don’t forget to share a link to your blog.

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