Intro: How to Get "Featured"
Kiteman, Tetranitrate, TimAnderson... these guys are just a few of the Instructables veterans that you see on the front page.
But wait! How do I get featured? How can someone like me, an average Joe, with bare minimum tools and random junk, have his own Instructable make a first-class appearance on the front page?
That, my dear Watson, is exactly what I plan to show you. This Instructable will offer several tips, tricks, and more tips on how YOU can hit the headlines!
Step 1: Have a Good Idea
One of the easiest ways to get featured is simply by having a good idea. Of course, it doesn't hurt to know your audience. hehehe...
Remember that only the big guys at Instructables HQ(and then a select few) can feature someone. It might help to know what they're into. View their Personas, check out their interests, browse through some of their Groups and Favorites; kind of get a "feel" for what they like.
However, there are many "big guys" at Instructables, and almost all areas of interest are sure to be covered. In fact, it's probably best to just make an Instructable over an area of interest that appeals to you, and hey, you never know, you may inadvertently be featured.
So what is a "good idea", exactly?
Well, what defines a good idea is a prime example of what we call an opinion. However, even though it can be argued that all ideas are good ones to someone or another, there are a few "ideas" that probably should not be written about in an instructable. These would be the common knowledge ideas, instructables that have already been published*, K'Nex guns (hehe, just kidding guys =P), etc.
*Note: To see if an instructable similar to your idea has already been submitted, try a search. And remember, if someone has published an instructable on your idea, you can always publish your own with variations or improvements, just remember to credit the original author and post a link on your instructable ;]
Need a good idea? These guys are chock full of 'em:
Peruse their instructables for inspiration.
Step 2: Make a Great Instructable
WHAT??Whaddaya mean, make a great instructable??
What do I mean? Well, precisely what I said. One of the things that I've noticed is that it takes commitment to make a great instructable. Those who appear on the front page often do so because they put their blood, sweat, and tears into their work. They take their time not only to develop their idea, but also to take many helpful photos documenting every step, taking care and precaution in everything they do, checking for errors as they go along, correcting any mistakes in the build process, and finally, actually writing the instructable.
Now, if it's tips on the actual writing that you expected help with, I'd recommend going here.
If you want my personal opinion, here it is: observe the unique writing styles of others. Yes, quite simply, that's precisely what I did to develop my own "style". Skim through some of the Featured instructables, taking note of the authors' uses of different tools. Ask yourself questions: why did he bold that item? why did she italicize that phrase? why is there a horizontal dividing line in this spot? Asking yourself these questions will help you to understand the authors' motives for doing each action, helping you to develop your own opinion of what you should do.
Here's something to get you started: a self-analysis of my own writing style:
- I almost always bold the first word or phrase in a new paragraph. It helps to draw the reader's attention to the new paragraph.
- I also bold or italicize important words or phrases.
- I provide links wherever possible.
- I like to keep my paragraphs nice and short, because I have poor eyesight and often lose my place in long paragraphs.
- I ALWAYS use proper grammar and utilize Firefox's spell check ;]
- And of course, it never hurts to throw in a dash of humor; I've noticed that most users tend to implement humor into their image notes.
Oh! And one more thing! Don't know how to make horizontal lines, or lists, or smaller text, etc? Fear no more ;)
Some fantastic writing styles, and overall superb instructables: