Content 101: Four Steps to Better DIY Posts

By: Eden Hensley Photos by: Brooke Dennis for Alt Summit

Tutorials and how to's, also known as Do-It-Yourself or DIY posts, top most lists of popular and widely shared content no matter what the industry or niche. Why? Your readers have problems they need to solve, and they are looking for content that helps them solve those problems. 

DIY posts, in and of themselves, do not guarantee more traffic to your site. Here are four proven steps for creating projects that are likely to be pinned and shared:

  1. Conceive of a DIY project that includes meets these three characteristics from Victoria of A Subtle Revelry: original, easily reproducible, and well designed.
  2. Once you have your DIY project in mind, Victoria walks you through how to set up and style it.
  3. Pair your DIY tutorial with great photos. If you are creating your own visuals, follow these four steps to better photos from Melanie of You are My Fave.
  4. Before you hit publish there is one more thing you must do--a task frequently forgotten according to Melanie: edit.

The importance of quality visuals cannot be overstated. In fact, two of the above steps deal with your visuals, from setting up and styling your shots to actually taking your photos. If you want to grow your readership, you will want to invest in original, quality photography. This is why we started this series with Improving Your Visuals (if you missed it, take a moment to review it as it touches on a lot of photography and lighting basics), and why next we will be covering post-processing tips that will really make your images pop.

In addition to this series, there are other resources available for improving your photography:

  • Susan Brinson of House of Brinson will be teaching Photo Styling on Saturday, September 27th at 11:45AM PT as part of Alt for Everyone, our three-day online conference. After taking her session, you will be well on your way to making your blog the next Pinterest sensation.
  • Back by popular demand, Justin Hackworth's half-day online Photography workshop will be Friday, November 14 from 9:00AM PT to 1:45PM PT. He will be joined by Natalie Norton, Tracey of Shutter Sisters, and Brittany of The House of that Lars Built. During this half-day workshop you will learn how to improve your eye, create natural looking portraits, and take your DIY projects from zero to hero.
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Eden Hensley

Marketing creative, community engagement specialist, technophile, photographer, food and wine enthusiast, and the founder and editor-in-chief of The Road to The Good Life, a lifestyle blog about appreciating and enhancing your life by being grateful for the "haves" instead of lingering on the "wants." There you will find personal stories about my life and family weaved in with real-life, achievable entertaining tips, recipes for hearty home cooked meals, and DIY projects for capturing and sharing memories. I believe the best place to swap stories is over a shared meal, preferably a Thai-meal served family style, and teach an online introduction class to Thai Flavors and host the Family Dinners at The Station supper club in San Francisco.