Choosing the right topic for your how-to post can make all the difference.

Readers seek clear, actionable advice, and how-to posts meet that need perfectly. These posts engage, inform, and drive traffic to your site, making them essential to any content strategy. But… Picking the right topic for your how-to post can make or break its success.

In this article, you will discover:

  • Mini-guide on keyword research using Ahrefs and Answer the Public
  • Importance of how-to posts for engagement and SEO
  • Common mistakes to avoid

Let's explore how to choose the perfect how-to topic.

Mini-Guide on Searching for Keywords Using Ahrefs or Answer the Public

Keyword research is essential for choosing the right topic for your how-to post. Using tools like Ahrefs and Answer the Public can help you identify valuable keywords that will attract traffic and meet your readers' needs. Here’s a detailed guide on how to use these tools effectively.

Using Ahrefs Keyword Generator

The Ahrefs Keyword Generator is a powerful free tool for keyword research. It helps you find relevant keywords for your content by analysing search data. This tool provides insights into keyword difficulty, search volume, and related keywords, making it easier to optimise your content for search engines. Oh, and it's dead simple to use, plus you don't need to sign up for an account.

The Ahrefs keyword generator is easy to use.

1 – Choose your search engines. I suggest you start with Google, but also check You Tube and Amazon. Remember, Amazon will show you “buying” keywords.

2. Add your keyword

3. Choose your location

4. Click “Find Keywords”

How to use ahrefs keyword generator for your how to post topics

Yes, Ahrefs Keyword Generator is that quick and easy to use.

Here are some tips on getting the most from it:

1. Enter Broad Keywords

Start by entering a broad term related to your niche. This helps generate a wide range of relevant keyword ideas.

Example: If your blog is about gardening, you might start with “plant care.”


  • Think of general terms that encapsulate your blog's main topics.
  • Use everyday language that your audience would likely use.

2. Check Keyword Difficulty (KD)

Keyword difficulty indicates how hard it is to rank for a particular keyword. Aim for keywords with moderate difficulty to balance competitiveness and search volume.

Tip: Look for KD scores between 20-40 for a good balance of challenge and opportunity.

Example: A KD of 35 means you have a fair chance of ranking if your content is high quality and well-optimised.

3. Explore Question Keywords

Question keywords are phrases that people enter when looking for specific advice or solutions. These often align perfectly with how-to content.

Example: “How to care for indoor plants” is a question keyword that fits well with a gardening blog.


  • Use the “Questions” filter in Ahrefs to find these keywords.
  • These questions often reflect the exact needs of your audience.

4. Analyse Search Volume

Search volume indicates how many times a keyword is searched per month. Choose keywords with enough volume to ensure there’s interest in your topic.

Tip: Aim for keywords with at least 500 searches per month to ensure adequate interest.

Example: A keyword with 1,000 searches per month suggests a good level of interest and potential traffic.

Using Ahrefs Keyword Generator effectively can greatly enhance your content strategy. By entering broad keywords, checking keyword difficulty, exploring question keywords, and analysing search volume, you can find the most relevant and valuable keywords for your how-to posts. This approach ensures your content is optimised, targeted, and engaging, helping you attract the right audience and improve your site's performance. But that's not the only tool available to help you find the perfect how-to topic.

Using Answer the Public for Your Keywords

1. Enter Your Topic

Type in a broad topic to get a visual representation of related questions and phrases. This tool provides a plethora of ideas based on actual search queries.

Example: Enter “baking bread” to see a variety of related questions and topics.


  • Start broad to capture a wide range of questions.
  • Use common terms your audience might think of.

The response is huge… So you will have to narrow it down.

How to post topic answer the public

2. Look for Popular Questions

Identify common and frequently asked questions that people are searching for. These questions can guide your content creation.

Example: “How to bake sourdough bread at home” might be a common query among baking enthusiasts.


  • Focus on questions with high relevance to your niche.
  • Consider the popularity of the questions to gauge interest.

3. Refine Your Search

Narrow down your search by focusing on specific aspects of the topic. This helps in targeting niche areas with less competition.

Tip: Use questions with high search volume but low competition to maximise your chances of ranking.

Example: Instead of just “baking bread,” refine to “baking gluten-free sourdough bread.”

As with AI tools, be careful with what you choose. You can see that there's bake a cake baker's man at the bottom of the Answer the Public screenshot. That's an English nursery rhyme called “Pat a cake”. It's not an actual search for a baker.

Little-Known Tips for Using These Tools

1. Filter by Region

Tailor your search to specific regions to find keywords that are most relevant to your target audience.

Example: Keywords popular in the UK might differ from those in the US, so adjust your settings accordingly.

2. Use Competitor Analysis

Check which keywords your competitors are ranking for. Identify gaps where you can provide better or additional information.

Tip: Look at the top-performing pages of your competitors to understand what works.

3. Leverage Long-Tail Keywords

Long-tail keywords are more specific and often less competitive, making them easier to rank for.

Example: Instead of “baking bread,” use “baking gluten-free sourdough bread at home.” This specificity caters to a niche audience looking for precise advice.


  • Long-tail keywords often have lower search volume but higher conversion rates.
  • They reflect specific search intents, which means readers are looking for precise information.

Effective keyword research using tools like Ahrefs and Answer the Public can significantly enhance your how-to posts. Remember to:

  • Start with broad keywords and refine your search.
  • Check keyword difficulty and search volume.
  • Explore question keywords and long-tail keywords.

By following these steps, you’ll choose topics that attract traffic, meet readers' needs, and boost your blog's performance.

Importance of how-to posts for engagement and SEO

How How-To Posts Drive User Engagement

They Meet User Intent: People search for solutions to problems. A how-to post directly addresses this need. For instance, “How to Fix a Leaky Tap” attracts users seeking a solution to that exact problem.

Building Trust and Authority: How-to posts showcase your expertise. When users find your advice helpful, they trust your site more. This trust encourages them to return for more information.

Encouraging Interaction: How-to posts often lead to comments and shares. Users may ask follow-up questions or share their own tips, increasing interaction on your site. For example, a post about “How to Bake Sourdough Bread” might spark a lively discussion about different techniques and experiences.

The SEO Benefits of How-To Posts

Higher Search Rankings: Search engines favour content that meets user needs. How-to posts do this effectively. When your content is useful, it ranks higher. For instance, “How to Save Money on Groceries” might rank well because it provides valuable advice that users search for frequently.

Increased Dwell Time: Users spend more time on your site when they read how-to posts. This longer dwell time signals to search engines that your content is valuable.

More Backlinks: Quality how-to posts attract backlinks. Other websites link to your post as a resource, improving your SEO. For example, a well-researched post on “How to Start a Vegetable Garden” could become a go-to resource for gardening blogs.

Common Mistakes When Choosing a Topic for Your How to Post

1. Choosing Overly Broad Topics

The Problem with General Topics

Choosing a general topic can lead to unfocused content. It’s like casting a wide net but catching nothing substantial. For example, “How to Cook” is far too broad. It lacks specificity and doesn’t solve a particular problem. Readers looking for cooking advice might feel overwhelmed or unsatisfied. Instead, narrow it down to something specific like “How to Cook a Perfect Steak.” This gives a clear, concise answer to a common question.

Why Specificity Matters

Specific topics are more beneficial for readers. They address precise problems and provide detailed solutions. For instance, someone searching for “How to Fix a Bike Chain” wants step-by-step instructions, not a general guide on bike maintenance. Specific topics are also easier to optimise for SEO, helping your content reach the right audience.

Let’s consider another example. A post titled “How to Plan a Wedding” is too general. Breaking it down into “How to Choose the Perfect Wedding Venue in Essex” makes the content more targeted and useful. This specificity helps you stand out in a crowded market. It also builds trust with your readers, as they see you as an expert in that particular area.

Choosing overly broad topics can dilute your content’s effectiveness. Focus on specific, detailed topics to provide real value to your readers. This approach not only improves user engagement but also enhances your SEO efforts.

2. Ignoring Audience Research

Understanding Your Audience

Writing without audience research is a common error. It’s crucial to know who you're writing for to create relevant content. For instance, if your audience consists of new gardeners, a post on “How to Grow Tomatoes in Pots” is more suitable than one on “Advanced Hydroponic Techniques.” Tailoring your content to the right audience ensures it resonates and provides value.

Use Tools and Feedback

Utilise tools like Google Trends and surveys to understand your audience's needs. Google Trends helps identify what people are searching for, highlighting popular topics. For example, if you see a spike in searches for “easy home workouts,” you know there's a demand for this topic.

Engage with your audience directly to gather insights. Comments on your blog, social media interactions, and direct feedback are invaluable. For instance, if readers frequently ask about “easy composting methods,” it indicates a strong interest in this area.

Surveys are another effective tool. Create short, focused surveys to ask your audience what they want to learn about. For example, you might ask, “What gardening challenges do you face most often?” Their responses guide your content creation, ensuring it’s relevant and useful.

Ignoring audience research can lead to missed opportunities and less effective content. By understanding who your audience is and what they need, you create posts that engage and satisfy them. This approach not only builds trust but also improves your site’s performance and reach.

3. Overlooking Unique Angles

Avoiding Common Topics

Writing on saturated topics without a unique angle is ineffective. General topics like “How to Lose Weight” are overdone and often ignored by readers. Instead, find a unique angle that stands out. For instance, “How to Lose Weight with Intermittent Fasting for Beginners” is more specific and appealing. It targets a niche audience interested in a particular method, making it more engaging and useful.

By focusing on unique aspects, you differentiate your content from countless others. This not only grabs attention but also improves your SEO by targeting less competitive keywords. For example, instead of “Healthy Eating Tips,” try “Healthy Eating Tips for Busy Professionals.” This specificity caters to a distinct audience, increasing the likelihood of engagement and shares.

Highlighting Your Expertise

Leveraging your unique expertise adds value to your content. If you're a chef, use your professional experience to write a post like “How to Make Restaurant-Quality Pasta at Home.” Your insider tips and tricks provide readers with information they can’t easily find elsewhere, making your content stand out.

Consider an example where you are a fitness trainer. Instead of writing a generic post on “Workout Routines,” focus on “Effective Home Workouts Using Minimal Equipment.” Your professional insights make the post authoritative and trustworthy. Sharing personal anecdotes or professional experiences can also make your content more relatable and engaging.

Highlighting your expertise also helps build credibility. Readers are more likely to trust and follow advice from someone who clearly knows their field. This trust can lead to higher engagement, repeat visitors, and more shares, all of which boost your SEO and overall site performance.

Remember, the goal is to provide unique, valuable content that stands out in a crowded market. Avoid common topics without a fresh perspective and leverage your unique knowledge and experience to offer something truly valuable to your readers.

Choosing the right topic for your how-to post can make all the difference.

Readers seek clear, actionable advice, and how-to posts meet that need perfectly. These posts engage, inform, and drive traffic to your site, making them essential to any content strategy. However, picking the right topic is crucial for success.

In this article, you discovered:

  • A mini-guide on keyword research using Ahrefs and Answer the Public.
  • The importance of how-to posts for engagement and SEO.
  • Common mistakes to avoid when choosing your topic.

Effective keyword research using tools like Ahrefs and Answer the Public can significantly enhance your how-to posts. Start with broad keywords and refine your search, check keyword difficulty and search volume, and explore question and long-tail keywords. These steps ensure your content attracts traffic, meets readers' needs, and boosts your blog's performance.

Remember, how-to posts drive user engagement by meeting user intent, building trust and authority, and encouraging interaction. They also provide SEO benefits, such as higher search rankings, increased dwell time, and more backlinks.

Avoid common mistakes like choosing overly broad topics, ignoring audience research, and overlooking unique angles. Focus on specific, detailed topics, understand your audience's needs, and highlight your expertise to create valuable and engaging content.

Happy writing!

Sarah x


Sarah Arrow

With over 20 years of experience, Sarah Arrow (me!) knows the ins and outs of effective blog writing, which is why she makes her excellent at website copywriting, or, as a blog copywriter. My expertise ensures your blog will captivate readers and deliver your message effectively. Experience? This spans various industries, giving me a unique perspective and a wealth of knowledge to draw upon. This extensive background means she can adapt her writing to fit your specific needs and audience.

Ready to elevate your website or blog? I am the writer you need. My experience, skill, and passion for online writing make me the perfect choice for your blog copywriting needs. Contact me today and see the difference a professional content writer can make.

What Sets Me Apart?
Human Touch: My writing resonates on a personal level. I understand human psychology and use this to create content that connects.
Attention to Detail: Every post is detailed. Grammar, style, and accuracy are important in my work.
Consistency: I deliver high-quality content consistently, ensuring your website blog remains fresh and engaging.

If you're ready to get started join the free blogging challenge and do it yourself, or call me on 07816 528421 to do it for you.

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