Before you learn how to write a blog post outline, you should spend the time to learn what a blog post outline is, how it works and why it will help you to start cranking out those blog posts.
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What is a Blog Post Outline?
It’s an outline but for blog posts.
Yes, that’s right, nothing new here.
Remember having to create outlines in school for essays? Same thing.
Let’s learn about using, starting, creating, and structuring an outline for a post.
Blog Post Outline
A blog post outline is a list of each topic you will write about in your blog post and the points you make to back up each topic in an order that flows naturally and makes sense.
It will list your title, headings, subheadings, main points, sub-points, sub-sub-points, and your conclusion, just like a regular outline.
But first let’s start with a blog post, what it is, and its purpose.
A blog post is a single page of content you create for readers.
You can use words, graphs, pictures, videos, whatever to explain.
As bloggers, we use posts to present content, whether it be written, visual or audible in any way that will solve an issue for our readers, they need information and we give it to them in a post.
But we need to present that information in a way that everyone can understand, in an order.
When you create a blog post, it’s just like back in school.
It needs a beginning, a middle, and an end.
Why Use a Blog Post Outline?
There are some benefits to using a blog post outline.
- It will help you to get your ideas in one spot on paper, so that you can see them
- It will help you to organize the order of your topics
- You can get all your points out on paper and add to it if necessary or take away
- You can focus on your topics and points
An outline is a visual tool to help you stay on the subject.
But using an outline isn’t going to make your post hit number one overnight or make you more money or make you the most brilliant blogger ever, some people use them, some don’t.
A blog post outline is the beginning of your post research and if you create your outline right for you, you can make it work.
Will it Make Your Post-Perfect?
No, it won’t, because you may want to go back and change it, add to it or start all over.
But that’s a good thing about an outline, you can do all of that.
It will help you to see just what you need to do.
Is it Necessary to Create an Outline before Starting a Post?
That’s totally up to you.
I read a post that said, “if you’re a serious blogger, you need to use outlines”.
We all have advice to give, that’s what blogging is about but you need to figure out what’s best for you and what helps you save time so that you can focus on getting your post written.
As a newbie, we have so many things going through our mind at one time, we’re learning one thing and then come across something new, and then we’re distracted by learning that new thing and we forget to come back to our original thing because we’re now learning a fifth new thing and it’s only been an hour since we started working.
So, yeah, having a new tool like an outline to help you is great, use it or if you figure out another method that works for you, then use that.
And know that not using a blog post outline doesn’t mean you’re not going to be successful, it just makes your life easier if you know how to use one.
Difference Between a Blog Post Outline and a Blog Post Outline Template?
A blog post outline is creating a new blog post outline for each blog post.
A template is pre-made, something that is created to go off of all the time using the exact order that was created on the template, like a guide.
You can get them free or paid from a blogger that has created one or you can create your own and store it on your desktop, word docs, google drive, or wherever you store stuff.
So that when you need it, you can print it or look at it on your computer.
Creating an Outline
Well, without having to give a writing lesson, which I’d have to go back to school for, an outline would look something like this and this is how you would create an outline for your post.
I. Introduction – opening Statement
II. Main Point
A. Sub Point
B. Sub Point
III. Main Point
A. Sub Point
B. Sub Point
IV. Conclusion – Summary
First off, what is long-form content?
Long-form content is content that is longer than 2000 words.
When writing long-form content, creating your outlines would be the same as creating an outline for short-form content.
But your long-form content may have sub-sub-points added. One, because it’s longer, and two, because long-form content is more in-depth.
Before, we go into details of creating outlines.
I want to share with you that if you’re creating an outline for your posts, that’s all fine and dandy.
But the first step, the very first important step that you need to start with is Keyword Research.
Because blogging is very competitive and keyword research is what is going to help your post rank and if you don’t know what target keywords you’re trying to rank for, you’re creating an outline that you’re going to have to redo, starting with the title.
Now you don’t have to do this, but my blog is about making your blogging life easier, right?
Do yourself a favor, no matter what you use or how you create your blog post outline, start with keyword research so that you know the target keywords you’re going to use in your blog post.
Now, moving on.
What is the Order of an Outline?
An outline contains many parts and some people may actually use every draft and maybe not, but some include what’s called a post-draft outline and this comes after your first draft is written.
The order of an outline is:
- Rough Draft
- Final draft
Outline – listing your topics and points in order in short brief descriptive words and sentences
Rough draft – a version of your outline in more detail, that’s going to need a lot of editing
First draft – the next version of your rough draft with much more detail and very little editing
Post-draft – this is where you make sure everything is in order, all your topics make sense and all your points are made and backed up
Revision – making sure this is exactly how you want it to look
Final Draft – the final piece, with no editing
Now, there are a lot of pieces to an outline and some people may use them all and some may not. But after an outline, you could create a post-draft outline and use that as your final piece.
A post-draft outline is done after a first draft, but you don’t need to be all proper with all those drafts. Again, do what works for you, this is how to create a post-draft outline:
- On a separate sheet of paper, number each of your paragraphs, if you have 8 paragraphs then you would have 1-8
- Next to each number for that paragraph, write a sentence or phrase that gives a summary of that paragraph.
And that’s it.
Look over your post-draft outline and check:
- Does the order make sense? If not, re-arrange it
- Does that paragraph need to be there? If not, move it, rename it or mark it out
- Do you need to add another point or paragraph? Complete what your trying to say
- Do you have good main points, do your sub points or sub-sub-points back it up? Always back up your work with details
- If someone read your post-draft would they know what you’re trying to say to them? Think of it as a guide and you’re trying to tell someone what to do and you’re not there with them and the post draft is all they have to figure it out and complete the mission, can they do it?
How to Write a Blog Post Outline?
You’re writing down your topics and supporting them.
You have an introduction, the main points, sub-points, and sometimes sub-sub-points, then a conclusion.
- Title – your title is only a few words long and it should tell the reader exactly what the post is about, this is your window, make the shopper stop and look in it.
- Introduction – what is your post about, why are you writing it and what’s going to make someone stick around to read it? Think of this as the price tag that will make the shopper come in and want to know more about it. Now that you’ve introduced your topic, tell what you’re going to accomplish by writing about it, what’s in it for the reader?
- First topic title – Header
a. main point – introduce what is the purpose of this paragraph
b. sub point – support your main point, why are you discussing this? use facts, graphs, examples, tell a story,
c. sub sub point – give pros/cons/ advantages/disadvantages, reasons, etc.
- Continue to do this for all your main topics
- Conclusion – summary of your main points and as a blogger this is where you add the Call to Action, tell them what to do next
Now, sub-sub-points are when you need to go into more detail when you’ve added extra detail in your sub-points.
Not all outlines will have sub-sub-points, so don’t stress about it. You can still give your pros and cons and everything else in your sub-points. It’s when your content gets too long and you still need to back it up with facts.
Tools to Help with Outlining a Blog Post
You have your basic everyday tools:
- Google Docs
And then you have:
Printables and so on are digital products you can find from other bloggers or create yourself.
Conclusion for Creating a Blog Post Outline
You must do your keyword research, it’s what is going to help your post rank. It doesn’t matter if you have the perfect outline if you have no keywords.
When writing your outline, use short descriptive sentences or phrases.
Explain it and back it up, never assume readers know everything.
Let your topics flow together in an order that makes sense in a way to tell it.
Working with a blog post outline might help you in creating a post, at first, it may take some time getting used to, and/or discovering your own way but it will get easier.
Write for your readers first and always.
There is no right or wrong way to create your own outline or template, as long as it gets the job done, right?
Did this post help you out?
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