5 Great Examples of How to Create a Complete Reference Guide
Reference and “how-to” guides are some of the most sought after and read content on the internet today.
If you want to know how to do or accomplish something, you are likely heading to Google for answers. More often than not… the first page of results is loaded up with useful resources and reference guides.
With such a demand for walkthroughs, tutorials and reference guides to do pretty much everything, it’s simply one of the best ways for content creators, businesses and brands to reach new audiences – while also providing a ton of value in the process.
However, not all reference guides and
tutorials are the same. Some have straight text, others have video and the best
ones will have a compilation of each. No matter what method you go with, giving
your audience what they are looking for is key.
In fact, providing your audience with the exact information, tools, and resources to meet their needs is a huge business in itself. If you are offering any type of service or solution online, a complete reference guide might be your best bet for generating new high-quality leads and customers daily.
To help with this process, I’ve hand-selected some of the best resource and reference guides out there, while also highlighting what makes each of them so special.
#1. SEO and ranking sites on Google
If you’ve ever had a website, blog, or an online business, you’ve definitely spent some time researching how to rank in Google and take advantage of free search traffic. At the same time, if you are doing anything related to marketing on the internet, SEM and SEO is something you are likely keeping an eye on at all times.
However, can you remember the first time you dove into the world of SEO and how confusing it all really was? Now just imagine how complex it is for everyone today who is launching a new site or business of their own. With so many different resources and outdated guides out there, it’s tough to find which are best, updated, and most reliable.
This brings me to the first example of a great resource guide, which is a complete reference guide on how to rank in Google, that was created by none other than Neil Patel.
With so many different sites and blogs out there talking about everything related to SEO, what makes Neil’s one of the best out there? In short, it’s all about the visuals, examples, and updates that Neil is constantly adding to his site.
As we all know, Google is changing all the time and if you aren’t staying up to date with all of these latest trends and algorithm changes, your site rankings will surely be affected. The same applies to Neil’s site and the quality of content. His tutorials and resources are always being updated all the time.
#2. Investing and stock trading
With everyone always having a focus on their financials and having the ultimate dream of being rich and famous, many people look to the stock market. The Dow and Nasdaq are two of the most popular ways to buy and sell stocks, but they are often for longterm investing, 401k accounts, and retirement.
However, these two financial markets
aren’t the only games in town. For risk-takers and those who are willing to
study and master the art of day trading, the OTC (over the counter) might be
your best option.
It’s riskier, faster-paced, and has much larger swings in shorter amounts of time – all of which continue to attract new investors and individuals looking to get rich through penny stocks.
But just like anything else, if you want to find success with something, it’s going to take a lot of work and you will need to completely understand what it is you are doing. Millions of people are searching Google, social media, and forums daily to learn more about OTC and penny stock trading… which leads us to our next example of a resource guide that is laid out just perfectly.
This example is all about learning and mastering the art of knowing which penny stocks to buy. And no matter what your current level of investing is, you will quickly discover everything you need to know, as they’ve done an excellent job at creating their tutorials, giving visual examples, and also providing video case studies and guides for you to follow along.
When reading through tutorials and
resource guides on any site, be sure to also check reviews and testimonials
found in Google and on other sites. In the case of Warrior Trading, their case
studies and learning tools have been extremely useful to thousands of site
readers and students around the world.
#3. Web hosting and starting a blog
The majority of content and articles found on Jeff Bullas’ blog are all mainly about content creation, marketing, and running successful websites and blogs online. With that in mind, do you remember when you were starting your first website? If so, you’ll be able to relate to this next reference guide example all too well.
When starting a new site for the first time, you need to pick a domain name, web hosting, understand how to use WordPress, and also learn the basics of content creation and promoting your site. Sounds easy enough if you are already a seasoned site owner, but imagine getting all of this thrown at you with no previous knowledge? It’s quite overwhelming.
Just like the other examples in this article, every month millions of people are also searching for information on how to start their own website, blog, or eCommerce site for the first time.
With this in mind, Jeff Bullas has created an excellent guide on how to start a blog.
One of the many reasons why this reference guide stands out from the crowd and competition is because it walks the user through every process step by step – while also being taught from an industry expert. His tutorials are loaded with visuals, examples, and reasons to back up every step and recommendation Jeff makes for would-be site owners.
If you ever needed an example of success
and inspiration to follow when starting a new blog, you can’t do much better
than Jeff Bullas. And don’t forget… all of your favorite bloggers started off
with just a domain name and a blank WordPress slate at one point.
#4. Video marketing and going viral
Of all the content on the internet these
days, nothing compares to video content. Just take a look at YouTube and the
massive numbers they are pushing through their site daily. In fact, just the
amount of video content uploaded today would take several years to watch!
With so much video content being created and published on a daily basis, it’s not enough to simply create and push it out to the masses. Instead, content creators and brands need to know what it takes to rank video on Google content, create eye-catching thumbnails for YouTube, and also how to start getting more views and social shares through social media.
We’re sure there are plenty of tutorials and reference guides for each of those methods, but in this example, we are going to focus strictly on video marketing through social media.
In this how-to go viral with video on social media reference guide you will find a useful 9-step tutorial that is loaded with resources, tips, and actions to take in order to create high-quality video, how to increase user engagement, finding the right keywords to promote and much more.
As with all tutorials and reference guide
examples in today’s post, it’s all about providing the most useful information
to your audience at all times. This resource is a perfect example of not just
telling a user how to accomplish something, but also covering several
associated factors as well.
One of the most important takeaways here is to make sure you are following a resource site that actually practices what they preach. In the case of Famoid, they are constantly creating new blog content and videos, which attract millions of social media users every month.
#5. Getting funding for your business
The internet has completely changed the way we all live and connect with others in the world today. It has also changed the way we find information and buy things from stores that we would traditionally have to visit in person.
With all of this in mind, the internet hasn’t just changed everything about the world we live in, it’s also changed how people can make money or start a business online as well.
However, even with how the internet has
made a lot of things a whole lot easier, you still need to have money to fund
With money now being easier to get access to and different funding options available, this is something everyday people and would-be entrepreneurs are searching for daily… but with so many different resources and reference guides available, which is most reliable?
A great example of how to cover everything related to funding your new business idea can be seen in this visual slideshow article from Entrepreneur.
As mentioned, the topic of finding new ways to fund your business is something that has been talked about and rehashed a million times over. Entrepreneur Magazine knows this all too well, and to provide that extra layer of value and engagement, they created their own slideshow full of visuals, resources, and valuable options for the end-user to consider.
This is just one of the many different
resource guides and visual slideshows that Entrepreneur offers on their site.
Being that Entrepreneur is one of the most well-known and legitimate business
information brands in the world today, you know you can trust the content they
offer on their site.
How to create an authority reference guide of your own
Now that you’ve had the opportunity to explore what’s working for many other authority sites, brands, and websites already, it’s time that you consider creating a detailed step-by-step reference guide of your own.
Before getting started, make sure you go
through each of the examples above.
Once that’s been completed, it’s time to make a rough draft, where you can also outline the focus of your reference guide and make sure you are hitting all of the necessary data points and needs of the end-user.
Most importantly, be sure to provide them with calls to action throughout the article that will provide them with the necessary tools and resources to complete their tasks, while also generating leads for your site or business as well.
Lastly, promote the heck out of your reference guide when it’s completed. It’s one thing to pull all of the amazing content together, and it’s another to rank in Google and have it being shared through social media.
Guest author: Zac Johnson is a world-renowned blogger and entrepreneur with nearly 20 years of experience in the online marketing space and has helped his readers generate millions of dollars online. He shares his story and guidance at ZacJohnson.com