A well-structured article is a pleasure to read.
But does the flow come naturally every time you start writing? Some topics demand more research, but frequently shifting to references disturbs the writer’s flow.
Outlines are the solution in this case. With an outline, you are ready with your content already. This is a time-saver and also has a positive impact on the writer. This way, you can achieve a compelling piece of writing easily.
Read further to learn about blog outlines and how to prepare one effortlessly.
What Is a Blog Post Outline?
An outline document gives an overview of the contents of your blog. It is an arrangement of thoughts and ideas in a logical sequence. It includes the topic and the various sub-parts of the topic.
A look at the outline gives a clear idea of what is in store in the blog and brings to notice any omissions. The preparation of an outline makes the task of a writer easy.
Why Do You Need An Outline For Your Blog?
An outline is like a warm-up for the writer. It is a plan document. All that they want to cover in the blog are listed out here coherently.
Since this is the planning stage, the writer browses through many references and arranges the topic flow into various subheadings. This reduces the burden of frequently searching on the web during the writing process. The benefit is a better quality of writing.
An outline is especially needed if your blog is long. Organizing the ideas helps structure a long-form article better. It ensures that you do not miss out on any important detail in the topic.
Also, if you are writing for a client, an outline reduces the chances of reworks since they are made aware of the contents through the outline.
Outlines help save considerable time while writing. The research process gives you a clear idea, and you will be able to complete the blog faster. Sometimes, while writing on topics you do not know much about, there is a chance of including a lot of irrelevant information. This can be reduced greatly with outlines as they help you stay on track.
An outline helps you maintain a logical sequence in your blog article writing. A well-written blog sustains the interest of the reader. If you wish to create a mark with your writing, an outline helps.
Now you know the importance of writing an outline. No doubt outlines are of great help, whether you are writing your blog or for a client.
There are some steps you can follow while creating a blog outline. Follow the steps listed below to create a coherent piece of writing.
Steps to Create a Blog Post Outline
Learning the step-by-step process to prepare an outline makes the task a breeze. Refer to the below-mentioned steps to get an idea about the process. You may add more to these too!
Step 1: The Topic
Are you writing your own blog or for someone else?
If you are writing for someone else, you should already have a topic on hand. If it is for your blog, choose a topic you wish to write on. The topic is the central aspect of your blog, around which you weave the rest of the parts.
While choosing the topic, you may assign a heading too. While some writers prefer to write the heading after completing the article, some may do it initially to get an idea for the blog.
What topics do you usually write about in your blog?
You may share your travel diaries, kitchen stories, motivational thoughts, inspiring incidents, finance-related updates, automobiles, etc.
Decide on what you want to write, and that will be your topic. Once you are done choosing a topic, it is easier to move to the successive steps.
Step 2: Research
Getting to know more about your topic will be your next step. You know what you want to write about but still will need many details to make the blog interesting and useful for the readers.
Research helps you in this process. Pick out all ideas relevant to the topic and informative to the reader. If your writing does not arouse interest, your readers will go past it to another, better one.
For example, if your topic is: How to save effectively for your future? You should research and identify all suitable means and include sections on the taxability of your saved income. You could also explain how to avoid falling prey to unauthorized institutions in haste to make money.
Adding links to interest calculators and the rules and regulations of the central banking authority will be another plus to your article. Effective research will bring to light even more points on this topic.
Research should also be for keywords. If you intend to write SEO-oriented articles, keywords play an important role. List out the top-ranked keywords for the topic in the outline. This proves highly useful while writing the article.
Step 3: Determine Each Section
Identify the various sections of your blog. Each section will have a subheading and will be detailed further. The number of sections will also depend on the word count of your blog.
For a small article, you can limit it to the most important aspects of the topic. If it is a long-form article written for a startup, you can add several sections like tips, dos, and don’ts, pros and cons, best practices, etc.
For example, suppose you are writing about the Top 20 tools for freelancers. In that case, you could include sections on the benefits of tools, the importance of using tools, and tips for choosing the best tools, in addition to listing 20 tools.
Determining the sections will give a deeper view of the topic and lets you provide more information to the reader. Assign each section a catchy subheading to attract the readers. Listing out the sections makes the writing task easier.
Step 4: Introduction And Conclusion
Your introduction should engage the readers and compel them to read further. Plan this section to be short, crisp, and interesting. Determine the optimum number of words for this section according to your topic.
Include a conclusion or key takeaways for your blog. If it is a long article, the key takeaways section will be a gist and let the readers recollect important points that were discussed.
Step 5: Headline
Assign a headline for your topic. You may choose more than one headline and then finalize the most suitable one after completing the blog.
A headline gives you proper direction and helps you stay on track. It reminds you of what is to be included in the blog.
Suggest more than one headline if you are writing for a client. You can go with the one they consider most fit for the topic.
Never should your headline be misleading. It should be a clear indicator of the content and guide the content flow accordingly.
Step 6: Include Case Studies
This section of your outline depends majorly on your topic. Not all topics can be supported by a case study. But, adding a case study for relevant topics adds more value to your blog, especially for a SaaS blog.
Add a section for the case study before you write your conclusion. You can also support this section with links to these studies.
Adding case studies provides in-depth knowledge about the topic. This is like supporting your topic with real-time examples.
For example, suppose your topic is about Cost-effective measures to improve sales. In that case, you could include a case study to show how replacing old technology with automated software reduced costs drastically.
Choose a study that supports your topic well and include this section only if you find it suitable and not for the sake of increasing the word count.
You can read one of our case studies here: How SocialPilot Used Our SaaS Content Writing Services to Boost Their SERPs Rankings?
Step 7: Include Images
You can add a section in your outline for images. On your outline, you can mention the subheadings under which you will add images or infographics. Images are a great way to attract audiences.
This will make it easier for you while write the blog. You can download the images while preparing the outline and add them while writing. Note the source links, as these should go along with the images.
Step 8: Add FAQs
If your blog demands an FAQ section, add it to your outline. Frame all crucial questions to be added to the outline.
Keep the answers ready so that it is easier to write when you are through with the outline. FAQs answer prominent questions that arise in the mind of the reader. It should not be a repetition of the blog’s contents but must seek to address additional points that add value to the readers.
Write out 5-6 questions in the outline so that it gives an idea of the aspects to be covered.
Step 9: Analyze Your Outline
Once you are done with including all the sections, check the outline to see if you have covered everything on your mind.
Checking will let you know if there are any misses. You can also include sections that you think are more appropriate for the topic.
If your outline is for a client, wait for their review and suggestions so that you can implement the changes as desired. After all this, your outline is ready for you to begin writing.
Example of An Effective Blog Outline
Now that you know the steps to make a good outline, an example would improve your understanding.
Let us take the topic How to Do an SEO Audit: A Complete Guide.
<H1> How to Do an SEO Audit: A Complete Guide
This section will be an introduction to the topic and what the blog is all about.
<H2> What is SEO Audit?
This section will introduce the reader to the concept of SEO audit.
<H2> Importance of SEO Audit
- To check overall site health
- Confirms if the site adheres to the search engine’s rules
- Competition analysis
- Checks if the site is indexed
<H2> What Does an SEO Audit Include?
- Keyword density
- Latent Semantic index
- Analyzing problematic codes
- SEO rankings of competitors
<H2> Types of SEO audits
- <H3> SEO content audit
- <H3> On-page SEO audit
- <H3> Off-page SEO audit
- <H3> Technical SEO audit
- <H3> Local SEO audit
<H2> SEO Audit Tools
- <H3> Google Analytics
- <H3> Google PageSpeed Insights
- <H3> SEO Report card
- <H3> Browseo
- <H3> Semrush tool
- <H3> Google Webmaster tool
<H2> Steps in SEO Audit
- <H3> Complete scan of the site
- <H3> Check page speed
- <H3> Test site construction
- <H3> Check the backlinks and tags
- <H3> Check for duplicate versions of your site
- <H3> Do a position ranking for the site
- <H3> Check compatibility with mobile
- <H3> Check for compliance with HTTPS
- <H3> Check for orphan pages
- <H3> Identify thin content pages
- <H3> Analyze indexation
- <H3> Clean the sitemap for zero errors
- <H3> Fix duplicate content pages
- <H3> Fix broken links
Blog Post Outline Template
The above example gives you a good idea about the blog outline for a specific topic. However, keeping an outline template ready is a great way to simplify your task. You can customize the outline depending on your topic. All you have to do is, copy and paste this outline and insert or omit sections as needed.
- Subsection 1
- Subsection 2
- Subsection 3
- Subsection 1
- Subsection 2
- Subsection 3
- Subsection 1
- Subsection 2
- Subsection 3
- Subsection 1
- Subsection 2
Case Studies(If Any)
Conclusion/ Key takeaways
Some writers get stuck when they begin writing straight away.
Blog outlines help them come out of this block. Even if you can easily start without an outline, we suggest you prepare one to see the difference it can bring to your writing.
We hope you use the steps mentioned above to guide you through the process of preparing outlines. You can start the writing part after you are confident that the outline has been well-researched. Keep creating captivating blogs with all the tips you have learned.
If you have any content-related requirements, you can get in touch with us and we will be happy to serve you!