As a content marketer, do you often feel stuck when writing the first draft of your blog post? Do you often face a mind-numbing writer’s-block while writing a critical piece of content? You’re not alone.
Most marketers and content creators have doubts and fears about every new piece they publish.
Skip ahead to: How to Create a Blog Post Outline (6 steps)
But here’s the good news. You can do away with all the inhibitions related to any upcoming content piece. How?
A blog post outline ushers in a fresh dose of confidence when creating blog content.
Before getting to how you can create a post outline for your blog content, let’s understand some of the key benefits of writing an outline for your blog content.
What are the Benefits of Writing a Blog Post Outline?
- A post outline helps you arrange your thoughts and ideas in a logical sequence that will complement your digital marketing campaigns.
- It lets you stay focused on the core message and prevents you from being off-topic.
- An outline acts as a map for your writing.
- With an outline, you can identify the key points that require research. Hence, an outline saves time by guiding you through the content creation process.
- It reduces the chances of a writer's-block because, with an outline, you get clear direction from the very start.
- By writing an outline, you can ensure you address all audience pain points related to a specific topic. By doing that, you can write content that ranks on Google.
- An outline helps you manage complex topics for longer blog posts by breaking them into manageable sections. Moreover, it prevents you from getting overwhelmed. It also ensures that you cover each aspect thoroughly.
- Whether you’re a blog writer or a social media creator, planning and preparation, help you keep the creative juices flowing.
Now that you understand the benefits of a blog post outline, let’s look at some actionable tips to create such outlines for your blog content.
How to Create a Blog Post Outline (6 steps)
- Start with a working title
- Find a unique story angle
- Write the hook
- Identify the subtopics
- Briefly explain the conclusion
- Include other details
How can you create the perfect outline for your blog post?
Whether you’re writing a blog post yourself or assigning it to a writer, creating an outline removes the confusion around what goes into a post.
That’s why an outline is a magical tool for creating blog content. Here is a blog post outline template:
Let’s now take a look at how to write a comprehensive outline for your blog content for each step.
Start with the working title
Simply head over to your content brief and look for the primary keyword of your article. Use it to write a title for the content piece.
That’s because a title defines the main idea of a content piece. It lets you decide the flow of an article.
Nick Eubanks, founder of From the Future, says,
“The title is the most important part of an article, in my opinion. Why? It's the first thing the audience reads, and most people decide there and then if they want to keep reading. The title should evoke an emotion in the reader’s mind — urgency, FOMO, curiosity, trust, or some other emotion.”
Next is the story angle — let’s now learn how you address this part of your post outline.
Find a unique story angle
The story angle depends on the content type you’re planning on publishing. For instance, are you looking to pen a listicle, or are you looking to publish a how-to-post?
There are various blog post types you can explore at this stage:
- An expert round-up
- A personal anecdote
- A trend story
- An opinion piece
An excellent way to finalize the story angle is to align it with the customer purchase journey.
Bonus Tip: Try to pick up a unique story angle — something that none of your competitors have published so far.
Once you have the story type, you can tweak the title accordingly. Plus, you’ll know what you wish to cover in your content piece.
Write the hook
A hook or the introduction of a blog post sets the tone of the entire content piece.
- You can start your post with a question about a critical pain point.
- An excellent way is to start your post with a metaphor or a simile.
- Quotes and statistics work as great hooks as well. Take a look at this example:
- Start by sharing your personal story.
- You can showcase your authority on the topic by talking about your experience.
An introduction can draw the reader’s attention to a specific problem. Don’t forget to use this section to convey the benefits of reading the post until the end.
After writing the article's hook, it’s time to work on the subtopics.
Identify the subtopics
Again, you need to head over to the keywords section of your content brief and look for queries related to your main topic.
Another way to find subtopics is to look for related keywords in Google.
Also, check out the “People also ask section” of the SERPs.
This way, you will understand some of the critical audience pain points you can cover in your article.
The next step is to put all of these in chronological order.
Briefly explain the conclusion
The conclusion of your article paves the way for you to offer a definite resolution to the readers.
In this section, you can summarize your argument and give a relevant takeaway to your readers.
The conclusion is a precious section where you can write your call-to-action and direct blog readers to a relevant product trial or a free consultation page.
Alternatively, you can offer them a free newsletter subscription or a content upgrade such as an e-book download.
Be specific about what you want as the concluding part of your blog post.
Include other details
Finally, it’s time for you to put all the miscellaneous details in your article.
You can place links to reference articles and data in this section of your outline. Use this part to mention examples or case studies that you want the writer to include in the content piece.
Don’t forget to mention the exact places in the article where you want such examples added.
Also, you can add all the relevant internal links you wish to include in the content piece.
Add questions you wish to include in the FAQs section of your article. Remember, FAQs are critical for your content to find a place in Google’s SERP features.
Once ready, you can share the outline with your writer. Are you excited?
The blog post outlines put your writers in a zone of creativity and productivity.
Besides open windows and sunshine, they need well-written outlines that guide them through the writing process.
And that’s why your blog post outlines an integral part of the blog publishing process.