Try this: Consider your website (or your computer if you don’t have a site) and put together a FAQ (frequently asked questions) page all about your site. Don’t forget a guide to how to use the site as well as the purpose for it being there. Study a few other FAQs to get ideas.
This is what I wrote as the new writing exercise for HerCorner. What do you think? Could you write a FAQ for your website? You should be able to. In theory at least, your site should have a theme, one main idea or purpose, right? So, it seems reasonable to expect a FAQ could be forthcoming.
Anyway, I like the idea. So tonight I am putting my fingers where my mouth is and I am creating a FAQ of my own for HerCorner. I might even do one for my personal site. But, I freely admit my personal site is not a great example of sticking with one idea.
So, getting down to the FAQ of it. What do you need to include in a FAQ? Likely you’ve read a few or skimmed them as I tend to do. Which is a good point, actually. Your FAQ should be skimmable when you get it into HTML. Do you know how to set up targets? Targets are those clickable points in the middle of a page. You can read a table of contents and find a clickable link to that exact section of the large body of content. If I sound like I’m gabbling send me an email and I will hunt out a link to demonstrate this target idea for you. Most FAQ’s will use this, if you check for examples on your own.
Now, the meat of the matter. What does a FAQ need to include? I think the first thing is a statement of purpose. Someone reading this sentence (or short paragraph) should be able to understand what your site is about. But, this is a time to keep it simple. Just the basics. If it appeals to them they can dig into your FAQ for the details and specifics.
Next, explain the parts. Think basic and plan out what you really need people to know. Put it all into logical order, sort of a learn as you go thing. Read it back, try to think like someone who doesn’t already know the answers. Did you miss anything?
Do your best, ask for feedback at the end and don’t try to be some computer melded brain. It’s almost certain you will leave something out that someone else will pick up on later. You are not the world’s most perfect writer, you’re just someone trying to be creative and share their FAQ with the world.
Now go get FAQ’ed!