How to Write How-To: A Tutorial With Tips

Tips… Helpful hints… Who doesn’t turn to the Internet for a little advice these days? But I’m starting to suspect the demand for know-how is greater than the information online that’s actually… oh… not so obvious that a street-savvy Pomeranian couldn’t figure it out.

Or write it.

Like an article I read recently on Yahoo HotJobs. In “What the Boss’ Body Language Says,” author Pat Mayfield lets us know that the boss MIGHT NOT LIKE YOU if s/he:
  • In groups, avoids you, sits with others, or does not introduce you.
  • Does not look at you; has a cold, glaring, staring, or glazed-over look.
  • Raises one eyebrow as if in disbelief or doubt.
  • Jaw muscles are clenched, and temple or neck veins throb.
  • Smile is stiff and forced.
  • Points or wags his or her finger aggressively.
Um, did we NEED an article to tell us this? That if the boss glares at you, you might not be his office pet?

That an angry, finger-waving, forced-smiling, vein-throbbing, glaring, staring, doubting, ducking manager-type MIGHT NOT be sending you flowers and chockies along with your next paycheck? GOSH, but it’s so SUBTLE! Thank goodness we had this article!

(I was actually surprised “Gives you the pink-slip” wasn’t on the list.)

Of course, I’m also not a nationally-published advice columnist, or self-employed business consultant, so what do I know?

Which got me thinking. Perhaps I’m just not taking advantage of an important writing market. So I’ve compiled a list of possible topics that I feel might make a real splash on the internet how-to feature circuit. They include:

“Protecting Yourself from Home Invasion: Ten Steps to Locking the Door.”

“Why I Started Surfing at the Ocean: A Learning Experience.”

“How to Increase Your SEO by 100%-- If You Currently Have No Website.”

"Teach Yourself the Kazoo in Just Five Minutes a Day."

“He’s Just Not That Into You: Why That Restraining Order Really DOES Affect Your Relationship.”

So what do you all think? Am I headed for a bright and shiny future in the-- ?

Oh... sorry. Gotta go. My Pomeranian needs to use the computer; deadline, you know.

Pomeranians write all sorts of posts over at Humor-blogs.


Anonymous said...

And let's not forget all the obviously bad advice that's on offer too. Unfortunately, no better example comes to mind than a recent BC thread that advised bloggers to trade backlinks. (I'm too much the curmudgeon to remember a funny one.)

Jenn Thorson said...

Heh, Mark- true. And of course the sheer number of "how to get traffic to your blog" articles by folks who are brand new bloggers. Who have Alexa ranks of, oh, 3,000,000. A little experience goes a long way towards that pesky credibility thing.

~Static~ said...

Ha Yahoo columnists continually do this. And it never ceases to amaze me how redundant they are. Your pomeranian could probably give better advice.

Jenn Thorson said...

Actually, I fibbed a little... I don't own a Pomeranian. But I tell you, if I ever get one, that little bugger is going to be one HECK of a how-to columnist! :)

Greg said...

Which begs the question, can a creature without a lap use a lap-top?

Sounds like you've got the topics for your next five posts! Can't wait to read some of these toe-tappers!

Threat Assessment & Response Canada said...

You did it. You made me laugh.

Don't forget the advice that actually sounds good but is total junk.

Killin' Trees Quotes said...

Very funny.

And by the way, I love the title of your blog...