How to Write Great Knowledge Base Articles (+ Free Templates)

Lawrence Barker
February 13, 2022
min read
November 21, 2023
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Learn how to write great knowledge base articles to engage customers and improve support efficiency. Get free templates, tips & best practices to streamline your process.
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Knowledge base articles are an effective way to help your customers quickly get the answers they need without having to engage your support team.

A knowledge base article is a comprehensive piece of content that provides information, instructions and solutions to common problems or questions.

The majority of your customers expect a knowledge base70% of customers expect a company’s website to have some sort of self-service section.

In this guide, you'll find a comprehensive list of knowledge base examples, tips, best practices, and free templates to streamline the process for you.

TL;DR: Knowledge base articles

  • A knowledge base article is an online document that offers solutions to frequently asked questions or guidance on resolving common customer issues.
  • To create effective knowledge base articles, the process involves understanding customer needs, using simple titles, structuring content for easy reading, breaking down complex processes, incorporating videos, suggesting "next steps," testing articles, and creating templates.
  • Best practices include prioritizing clarity, making articles searchable, asking for feedback, keeping content up-to-date, and offering easy contact with customer service.
  • The benefits of well-crafted knowledge base articles include increased customer engagement, on-demand support, improved support efficiency, consistency, scalability, and enhanced user experience.

What is a knowledge base article?

A knowledge base article is an online document that answers frequently asked questions or instructions for solving common customer problems.

Knowledge base articles can be published on your company's website, help center, or in an internal knowledge base. It serves as a centralized repository of knowledge, accessible to both customers and employees, to help them find answers and resolve issues efficiently.

Automate your knowledge article creation for free ➜

6 types of knowledge base articles & free templates

Here are six common types of knowledge base articles and free, customizable templates you can copy and use right now.

1. Knowledge base template

Try this knowledge base template to build a framework and structure for organizing and presenting your information in a user-friendly way.

‎Create a centralized repository of knowledge that can be accessed and updated by anyone in your organization.

2. Informational article template

Use this template to build clear and concise informational articles that educate and inform your audience.‎

Quickly and easily create visual articles that are educational and engaging for your audience.

3. How-to article template

Try this free how-to article template to create step-by-step instructions on how to perform tasks.

Use our free how-to guide template

‎Create clear, concise, and user-friendly guides that are easy to follow and can help others complete any task or process successfully.

4. Troubleshooting guide template

Use our free customizable troubleshooting guide template to help users identify and solve common problems.

Get started with our free troubleshooting guide template

A troubleshooting guide is valuable for diagnosing and resolving technical issues quickly and efficiently.

5. FAQ template

Answer frequently asked questions about a product or service with our free FAQ page template.

‎Provide quick and easy access to FAQ questions to improve the user experience and reduce support workload.

6. User manual template

Provide detailed information about a product's features and functionality with this ‎user manual template.

Building a product knowledge base helps users get the most out of your product by providing clear and concise guidance on using it effectively.‎

How to write a knowledge base article

Knowledge base articles are a valuable resource that provides users with the information and guidance they need to solve problems and accomplish tasks independently. Follow these helpful tips to write knowledge base articles that help your customers find answers, fast.

Step 1: Find out your specific customer needs

Building a knowledge base is like building a product. Start with research to understand how to address customer pain points:

  1. Check your with your customer support team. Use your support tickets to help determine common customer questions and issues. What trends do you see? Are there customer frustrations that can be easily addressed? Which of them can be solved through an article? 
  2. Ask your best customers. Proactively reach out to your best customers. Ask them what’s confusing about your product or what would have helped them learn the ropes faster.

Step 2: Use simple titles

Slack’s Getting Started page is an excellent example of straightforward titles.

Slack’s Getting Started page - knowledge base articles
(Source: Slack)

The clear titles tell you exactly what you’ll learn by clicking the link.

Click on “Email template for introducing Slack,” and you’ll get an email template for introducing Slack! Plain and simple. Don’t confuse your customers.

A sure-fire way to simplify your titles is to use common phrases like:

  • How-to…
  • Video walkthrough of…
  • Overview of…
  • Help with…

You can also use your customers’ exact questions as titles:

  • How do I reset my password?
  • Where can I update my account settings?
  • How do I change a user’s role?

Step 3: Structure the articles to make them easy to read

Structuring your articles for skimming helps prevent customers from getting stuck at different points during longer, step-by-step processes.

Including a table of contents and anchor links makes it easier for your customers to jump around as needed. Budgeting company YNAB is a great example of a knowledge base article structure:

YNAB - knowledge base article
(Source: YNAB)

Optimize your articles for easy scanning by adding headers and using short paragraphs. If you have a list of steps, use bullets. Call out important info by bolding text. And use images or GIFs to illustrate as needed.

Step 4: Break down complex processes

Step-by-step guides can be an effective way to organize and present information in a knowledge base. Step-by-step procedures are particularly useful for complex tasks or processes that can be difficult to understand from a simple explanation.

By breaking down the task into smaller, more actionable steps, users can easily follow the instructions and complete the task without getting lost or confused.

Scribe is the fastest way to create step-by step guides for knowledge base articles

Scribe uses AI to help you automatically write step-by-step guidelines and generate visual knowledge base articles in minutes.‎

Simply turn on the extension or desktop app and go through your process. Scribe captures your onscreen actions and auto-generates a guide with text and annotated screenshots. Here's an example of a Scribe showing how to count cells with text in Google Sheets:

‎With Scribe, you can quickly break down complex, multi-step processes into step-by-step guides, which you can then share or embed into your website or other platforms. Use Scribe's AI-powered features to:

  • Add custom edits, add helpful tips and alerts, adjust sections and add text to your article.
  • Ask the AI to write your knowledge base article, then use Scribe Pages to combine your step-by-step tutorials with videos, images, and other media to create impactful visual articles.
  • Create professional knowledge base articles branded with your company logo and colors.
  • Blur employee or customer data from screenshots.
  • Easily access your Scribes in a central, searchable repository for your team.
  • Share your Scribes with one click or embed them in an existing tool or wiki to build out a robust knowledge base.

Build knowledge articles in seconds with Scribe ➜

Step 5: Add videos to relevant knowledge base articles

Some things are easier to teach and learn through video.

In order to cater to different types of customers, consider including knowledge base videos at the top of relevant articles. This allows the customer to choose how they want to learn. 

Slack does a great job of adding videos to knowledge base documentation in its help center: 

Slack adds videos to knowledge base articles
(Source: Slack)

‎Step 5: Have a “next steps” section

A “Next Steps” section at the end of your knowledge base article is a great place to include links to related topics. For example, if they’ve just gone through creating their profile, the next logical step may be to complete the setup of your product. You can guide them by providing handy links to related articles. 

Step 6: Test your articles

Before you publish an article, have someone else review it to make sure that it is accurate, complete, and easy to understand.

Ask your colleagues to read your articles carefully and let you know if they find any errors or have any difficulty understanding the instructions.

You can also test your articles with real users. Ask a few of your customers or users to try to complete the tasks described in your solution articles. Ask them for feedback on the instructions, making sure they are accurate, complete and user-friendly.

Step 7: Create your own article templates

As you create a knowledge base, several different types of articles will pop up over and over. These include how-to’s, FAQs, user guides, overviews, and more.

As you learn what works well for your company, consider creating knowledge base article templates for your collection of articles. This serves two different purposes:

  • It makes the writing process quicker, saving you time.
  • Your customers will be familiar with the format. 

Creating templates is also a great way to empower other members of your team to easily contribute to knowledge sharing. Scribe's Gallery of free customizable templates can help you get started.

Build knowledge articles in seconds for free ➜

Knowledge base article tips & best practices

There are a few best practices for writing a knowledge base article that will ensure your knowledge base article is—and stays—as effective as possible. 

1. Don’t reinvent the wheel

One of the best ways to write effective articles is to see what kind of knowledge base documents are working for other companies. You can even look at your competitors for ideas on what they do well and where you can improve.

For example, X and Facebook both have great knowledge base examples on how to help users change their account settings.

X - Knowledge Base Article
(Source: X)

‎These articles include jump links that lead directly to a user’s settings page. ‎The links make it easy for customers to perform the instructions taught in the article.

Facebook - knowledge base article
(Source: Facebook)

Doing some research beforehand can also help ensure you format your articles how your customers are used to seeing them. It’ll also save you some time since you don’t have to develop anything new.

2. Prioritize clarity

There’s an old saying that says, “Your customers don’t want a quarter-inch drill bit, they want a quarter-inch hole.”

Your customers don’t want your knowledge base article, they want the solution the article will give them. So keep your customers’ end goal in mind as you write. Here are some tips to help:

  • Ask yourself “What is this article trying to accomplish?” What end goal do you want your customer to achieve after reading this? Organize everything around helping them achieve that goal.
  • Short is good. You want to get your customer from point A to point B as easily as possible. Some articles may require a long format to do that, but it’s alright if others are short. 
  • Avoid jargon. Avoid industry jargon that customers won’t know or understand about your product or service. Talk like your customers talk.

3. Make your knowledge base article searchable

A searchable knowledge base makes it easier for users to find the information they need quickly and easily. Include a search function and optimize your articles:

  • Use synonyms, related terms and search-engine-optimized keywords in your article titles and content.
  • Use categories and tags to organize your knowledge base articles.
  • Provide links between related knowledge base articles.
  • Use metadata to provide additional information like the topic of an article, the author, and the date it was published.

4. Ask for feedback

Your knowledge base is an evolving thing. That’s why it’s essential to get customer feedback on your articles even after they’ve been published. There are a few different ways you can do this. 

Dropbox asks for a rating from their customers by showing the following at the end of their help articles:

Dropbox - knowledge base article
(Source: Dropbox)

Clicking on any of the emoji-like options causes a text box to pop up underneath to tell them why you chose your answer.

Slack has a simpler option:‍

Slack user feedback - knowledge base article
(Source: Slack)

Like Dropbox, selecting either option on a Slack help article will open a text box prompting the customer for more information. 

If you’re using knowledge base software, chances are it includes some kind of feedback mechanism like this. 

5. Keep your articles up to date 

As your customers’ needs and your products and services evolve, chances are you’ll need to make some updates to keep your knowledge up to date.

A good knowledge management baseline is to review each article quarterly. 

To make this easier and less time-intensive, rotate which articles you’re reviewing every month. If you find that there aren’t many articles that need updating, move to a six-month review process. 

6. Make it easy to contact customer service

In a perfect world, your customer service knowledge base answers every question and enables all customers to self-service. But we don’t live in a perfect world, so it’s important to make it easy to contact your support team.

Offer whatever support channels you think are best, but aim to make it as smooth as possible for your customers.

Create knowledge base content in seconds with Scribe ➜

Benefits of knowledge base articles

There are several key benefits to writing great knowledge base articles:

1. Customer engagement. An effective customer service knowledge base helps get your customers the answers they need quickly. They train and educate customers, increasing engagement with your products, services and business.

2. On-demand customer support. By providing detailed instructions and solutions, knowledge base articles empower users to resolve common customer issues independently. Self-service customer support reduces the need for contacting customer support, saving time and resources for both parties.

3. Customer support efficiency. Effective knowledge base articles reduce how often customers need to contact your support team. This lower ticket volume enables teams to concentrate on providing top-notch customer support for the issues your customers can’t solve themselves.

A great knowledge base allows you to create a better experience and scale your support team more efficiently. Win-win. 

4. Consistency and accuracy. Knowledge articles ensure consistent and accurate information is provided to users. By following standardized templates and guidelines, you can maintain high quality across your articles.

5. Scalability and efficiency. Online knowledge base articles can be easily updated and expanded as new information becomes available. This scalability allows you to efficiently address evolving user needs without increasing overhead.

6. Improved user experience. Well-written knowledge base articles enhance the user experience by providing clear and concise instructions. Readers can quickly find information, leading to higher satisfaction and increased customer retention.


What are the four sections of a knowledge article?

The four sections of a knowledge article are the introduction, body, conclusion, and references.

  • Introduction: Provides an overview of the topic and sets the context for the article.
  • Body: Contains the main content of the article, where the information, explanations, and solutions are presented in detail.
  • Conclusion: Summarizes the key points discussed in the article and may provide recommendations or suggestions for further action.
  • References: A list of the sources used to gather information for the article, with links readers can use to explore further.

What is an example of a knowledge base document?

Two examples of knowledge base documents include:

  • Troubleshooting articles provide step-by-step instructions for resolving common issues, including explanations, screenshots, and links to additional resources.
  • Product manuals provide detailed information about a product, including features, specifications, and instructions for use, as well as troubleshooting steps and frequently asked questions.

What might you use a knowledge base article for?

A knowledge base article is a versatile tool that can be used to troubleshoot a problem, training, onboarding, and self-service support.

  • Knowledge base articles provide step-by-step instructions or solutions to resolve issues or errors.
  • New employees can refer to these articles to learn about company policies, procedures, and best practices.
  • Customers or users can access these articles to find answers to frequently asked questions or troubleshoot common issues on their own.
  • Knowledge base articles can save time and effort by providing a comprehensive guide.

Wrapping up: Knowledge base articles

Customers expect answers quickly, and an effective knowledge base article gives them what they need, increasing their satisfaction with your product and brand.

By leveraging the power of knowledge base articles, your business can enhance customer support, improve user experience and streamline operations.

Scribe makes it easy to take action and get your knowledge base article up in running as efficiently as possible. Sign up for Scribe today and get started!

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