HowTune

Compose Your Article

Hero plan

Getting Started

We find that there are 2 common approaches to writing articles: Start with the instructions or starting with the photos. If you start with photos first, go through all the photos and videos you took and select the best ones. Upload them then add instructions around them. If you start with instructions first, write everything out and add photos to help make each step crystal clear to your readers.

While composing your article you may realize you missed a critical step or your article could be clearer with another photo. Don't be afraid to take more pictures if you need to. You can also always edit your article after it's been published to improve it.

Article Layout

Every HowTune article has a defined flow with these sections:

You might not need every section. The important thing is to know what each section is there for. Read on for tips to get the most out of each:

Overview Section

A brief plain English description that summarizes the task at hand.

The 2004-2009 Mazda 3 a/c cabin air filters are scheduled to be changed every 20,000 miles and they are hidden sort of deep in the dash.

Many early models like the 2004, and 2005 didn't come with filters, however they can be installed in those years too. I didn't find this out until I took the whole dash apart, so it was a bit of a surprise to pull out those empty plastic trays.

If your Mazda 3 a/c has a funky smell it's possible that your filter needs to be replaced.

For the 2010-2012 Mazda3, this is much simpler. The filter is located in the same area, however you do not have to remove the glove box or fuse panel.

You may want to add common symptoms here as well, for example:

You may notice your brake pedal feels spongy or that you need to press the brake to the floor for it to be effective. If so, then you may need to change your brake fluid...

When your article is linked to from Google search, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, or any other social media site, the overview text is shown below the link!

Make sure the first 2 sentences of your overview will appeal to people who see links to your article on social media sites.

Required Tools Section

Add any tools they'll need, and don't forget optional ones. Be sure to add Amazon product links to help your readers find exactly what they need.

Required Parts Section

Everything needed that's not a tool. For example: Transmission Fluid (Honda MTF or Pennzoil Synchromesh), Brake Cleaner, Fill bolt washer - Honda part #94109-20000. If you can include multiple good options and provide any specific part numbers. Again, linking to Amazon products can help readers get done faster.

Step by Step Instructions Section

This is the main section for all the how-to steps and photos in your guide. This section contains a whole bunch of different content modules for different purposes.

Headings

A typical repair article will describe how to remove parts in the way, then how to replace that part in question, and then what it takes to bolt everything back up. Breaking up your instructions with headings allows readers to quickly skim your article and locate the step their currently working on.

A good article will divide each primary task into headings with multiple steps each. For example, your article might look something like this:

  • Jack up the car
  • ...
  • Drain the oil
  • ...
  • Replace the filter
  • ...
  • Put in new oil
  • ...
  • Cleanup
  • ...

Steps

Steps help your readers keep track of where they are and break up individual tasks. Here's a few tips for writing a well-made step:

Write this:

"1: Remove the 3 x 10mm alternator mounting bolts (A in photo).

On my car these required quite a bit of force, so you may want a breaker bar.
"

Not this:

"remove bolts, pull alternator"

Images

The more images you have the better. Add photos of specific parts, bolts, processes, and tools. Don't worry about uploading the same photo multiple times - if it helps the article, go for it.

Image annotations are AWESOME

You can make your images even better with annotations. Once you've uploaded an image hover over it and click 'Annotate'. This will let you point out parts of your image with text or label items with letters, which you can reference in your article.

Repeat bolt sizes and torque specs in image annotations so they won't be missed.

Honda s2000 oil change supplies with labels

Conclusion & Wrap Up Section

Add a plain English wrap-up to conclude your article. Include any notes about follow up procedures. You can be funny too - this is your article after all.

Sizes, Torques & Specs:

If you specified any wrench sizes, part numbers, or torque specifications you'll also want to add it here. Think of this as an appendix in a book but it's filled with just the specs for anyone who has already read your article and just needs a quick lookup.

  • Transmission drain plug: 14mm at 32.5 ft-lb.
  • Front Differential drain plug: 21mm at 51.6 ft-lb. (note that later years use a T-70 torx)

Source Section

If you used any other resources like photos or a similar howto, be sure to provide provide links to them here.