When you take something for granted that means it’s subconsciously assumed. In the movies, the husband doesn’t even think about what’s going to happen to his socks when he drops them on the floor. He takes his wife for granted and automatically assumes she’s going to pick them up. When she doesn’t, he’s eventually going to run out of clean socks and then he’ll have a problem.
What Are You Taking For Granted?
In my early days of blogging I bought quite a few of those Make Money Online guides and I used to get very upset because they never really revealed every “secret step.” It seemed like there was always some reason I’d have to go find another guide to fill in the blanks or do some searching on Google.
But then it occurred to me, the bloggers who created these poor-quality guides weren’t purposely leaving out steps to protect their secrets. They were just taking for granted that I’d know what they were talking about.
Every blogger will write countless How-To posts during his blogging career. But here’s the problem… Most bloggers are not trained educators, and there’s a knack to teaching. If there weren’t, if anybody could be a teacher, then there’d be no need for a teaching degree.
Because we’re not trained as educators, it’s easy to take it for granted that our readers understand what we’re talking about. It’s easy to automatically assume they know they need to thread the needle before they take a stitch, or boil the potatoes before they put them in the salad, or get a Twitter account before they start posting links.
But you know what happens when you assume…
At the very least, when you take something or someone for granted you’re setting everybody up for potential problems:
- Your reader won’t be able to follow your directions and, like me, he’ll think you deliberately left out a “secret” step.
- You lose credibility because the reader doesn’t get the promised results when he does follow your directions
- You miss the opportunity to make yourself look like an expert
- You miss the opportunity to improve your SEO
- You miss the opportunity to provide more value for your readers
- You weaken your entire brand and online reputation
- You damage your SEO with poor quality content
Don’t Take Anything For Granted
If you’re crafting a How-To post, don’t leave out a single step, no matter how trivial it seems to you. That’s not to say you have to include every single detail.
For example, if you would normally assume the reader knows he needs to create a Twitter account and not include that in your how-to post – don’t. But, don’t make your post too long or distracting by including the directions for setting up a Twitter account. Put those directions in another post and link to it. Like this:
Step #8: Now all you need to do is copy and paste your link in a Tweet. (For information on setting up a new Twitter account, read my post “How To Create A New Twitter Account.”
Many of your readers are going to be beginners and they’re taking it for granted that you’re going to give them expert advice and guidance. Make your content more useful for your readers by not taking it for granted that they know what you’re talking about.