Guide to writing good blog outlines for better SEO.

Blog Post Outline: 8 Easy Steps To Write One

Tamara Danielyan

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As a content writer, the scariest thing when getting ready to write a blog is not knowing where to start. But this is exactly when blog post outlines come to the rescue!

These are the key players if you want to write a blog that has a good flow and reads well. They not only help readers move through the post seamlessly but also help writers organize their thoughts.

Since blogging is not going anywhere, at least not in the near future, the best you can do is make sure the quality of your blogs is perfectly aligned with the needs of your readers and of the market.

Moreover, a recent study shows that blog posts still remain the most popular content format and 9 out of 10 marketers use blogging as a way to achieve their content goals. This number once again proves the impact blogging can have on your business.

So today, we will explore what a blog post outline is, why it’s important to plan for your posts and the eight easy steps you can follow to create the perfect blog post outline.

What is a blog post outline?

A blog post outline is a simple document that consists of the structure of your blog post. It’s basically the skeleton of the blog post that you are about to write, meaning it includes all the key points that you’re going to address in your article.

There are no strict rules on how to write one or what it should include. Some prefer to have the title, the angle that they are going to cover, and the structure, while others prefer to include headlines as well. It all comes down to preferences.

Why is it important to plan your blog post?

If you are writing a blog, whether it’s for yourself or for a brand you probably have something to say. But unless your writing is easy to read and follow, your post will completely lose its purpose and the reader will quickly move on from it.

A simple blog post outline will help you avoid this situation by thoroughly planning out and clarifying what you want to say before you even start writing. It’s also really easy to forget what you wanted to say in the first place, so having a place where you can start dumping ideas and then sorting them seems like the perfect solution.

8 Easy Steps to Start Writing Your Blog Outline

Now that we have established what a blog post outline is and why it’s important to have one, let’s get to know the process of doing this a bit better.

Here are 8 steps on how to write the perfect blog post outline.

Select a Topic

When writing a blog post the most dreadful, yet fundamental decision you need to make is the selection of a topic. Your chosen subject should be of interest to your target audience and align with your blog’s theme.

Currently you are reading the blog of a professional link building agency, so it wouldn’t make sense if we wrote a blog post about fashion, right? Yes, technically we can do that, but what are the chances someone who visits our website will want to read about fashion rather than the world of SEO?

Besides aligning the topic with the brand theme and the audience’s needs, you should also choose something of value, something insightful. You can either select a topic in which you have some kind of expertise or if the topic is out of your league consider interviewing someone who has more experience in that particular topic. If you want your blog to perform well you need to give people something they can learn from.

Research Your Topic

Thorough research is the foundation of any successful blog post. Before diving into the outline, take your time to gather information, facts, and relevant data on your topic. Even if you think you know everything about it you might stumble upon some new uncharted lands during your research.

It’s also instrumental to check out what other well-performing blogs are saying about the topic, so make sure to conduct a proper competitor analysis as well. What I like to do is go through the top-ranking articles on Google and take notes of what points they talk about.

Moreover, consider conducting keyword research to optimize your blog post for search engines. Identify relevant keywords that resonate with your topic and audience and separate them into categories – primary keywords and secondary ones.

Tools like Ahrefs can assist in finding high-traffic keywords and understanding their search volume. Let’s take a look at how it’s done.

For this blog, I knew that I had to write about writing a blog post outline, so the first thing I did was look up the keyword “blog post outline” on Ahrefs’ Keyword Explorer to check its keyword difficulty and global search volume.

In this case, I Iiked both of these metrics, so I kept this keyword as my primary one. As you can see the KD was 19 (medium) which is good and the global search volume was 800.

The KD shows how difficult it might be for you to rank with this keyword. If you are just starting your blog, I would suggest avoiding using keywords that have a high KD as your primary keyword. Instead look for keywords similar to it that have a lower KD. However, if you think your article is truly valuable, it’s okay to go for the keywords with a high KD.

As to global search volume – the higher this metric the better. It shows the sum of the keyword’s monthly search volumes across all regional databases.

Basically, you need to look for a perfect balance between these two metrics. The KD should not be too high, and the global volume should not be too low.

As you can see in the screenshot above this tool also gives you ideas for similar keywords, so if the one you initially searched for does not correspond to your needs consider using these suggestions. You can also use them as your secondary keywords.

This step will enhance the credibility of your content and provide valuable insights that can make your blog more informative and engaging. Make sure that your information is up-to-date, use reliable sources and explore different perspectives.

Brain Dump

Okay, so now that you have gathered lots of information it’s time to brain-dump! Splash all your ideas, points and even the tiniest details related to your topic. This step is all about getting everything out of your head and onto the screen (or paper).

Remember, more often than not, it wouldn’t make sense to anybody else, what’s important is that it makes sense to you. When I write my blog post outline, so many ideas randomly pop into my head, but I prefer to write them all down anyway, because who knows maybe they’ll be useful when I actually start writing the post.

This is usually the step when you’ll start visualizing the content you want to include in your blog and it all slowly starts making sense.

Separate Headings and Subheadings

This one is probably my personal favorite. With your brain dump in hand, start organizing your ideas by creating headings and subheadings. This step helps establish the overall structure of your blog post.

Headings are a roadmap for both you and your readers, guiding them through the main sections of your blog post. That’s why if you mess up here, it will definitely affect your end result the most. So, to avoid that, make sure that each heading is clear, concise, and directly relates to the overall theme of your blog.

Furthermore, read your headings and subheadings in the exact order that you plan on writing them and see if they are logically connected. This is essential to make your content easily digestible to the readers.

For instance, imagine that at the beginning of this blog, I put the heading “Why Is It Important to Plan Your Blog Post? ” before “What is a Blog Post Outline” it wouldn’t be very logical, would it? Because in the “why” I am already talking about the blog post outline, but the reader must know what it is in order to understand why it’s important.

Makes sense right?

Here is a part of an outline I wrote for an article about building a strong backlink profile. Now look at the headings and subheadings. You can see that it’s easy to move from one heading to the other and although there is no text yet, it’s evident that they are logically connected.

Start Filling Out the Sections

Now that you have a structured outline with headings and subheadings, it’s time to start filling out the details.

Take each section one at a time and expand the points you want to cover. You don’t have to go in-depth, so simply use bullet points and short sentences, just so later on you remember the key information you wanted to write about. Your brain dumb will be useful here as well!

This approach will help you focus on the content without worrying about perfecting the language or polishing the prose. It’s not going to be perfect and it shouldn’t be! Not at this stage at least.

The 3Rs of Content Writing (Revise, Reorganize, Remove)

The previous step should have left you with a well-detailed outline that captures the overall essence of your blog post. So, now it’s time to bring in the 3Rs of content writing – revise, reorganize, remove.

This is the part where you should turn on your inner critic and review your outline.

  • Revise: Go over your sentences and headings and ensure they are clear and concise, as well as correct any grammatical or spelling errors
  • Reorganize: Rearrange sections to enhance the logical progression of your ideas
  • Remove: Discard any information that feels irrelevant and lighten the content by trimming unnecessary words or phrases

After you’re done with this you are almost at the finish line of a well polished final draft.

Compose the Intro and Outro

Composing the intro and outro aren’t necessarily part of writing a blog post outline, however, some content writers, myself included, like to write them beforehand.

The introduction is often considered the key part of the blog. This is where you have a chance to either immediately grab the attention of a reader or lose them. It should include what the reader must expect and establish the relevance of your blog post. The conclusion, on the other hand, should summarize key points, offer a resolution, and encourage readers to take action or share their thoughts.

By composing these two sections of your blog post, you essentially create bookends that frame your content and leave a lasting impression on your audience.

Additionally, make sure that the title of your blog is also catchy because neither the intro nor the outro will matter if the reader doesn’t click on your article. So consider looking up examples of blog titles to truly understand what usually hooks your readers.

Use a Template

For those of you who prefer a more structured approach, consider using a ready-to-use template. Such templates ensure consistency and help you stay on track throughout the writing process.

Whether you like a basic outline template or a more detailed blogging one, having a predefined structure can save time and make the writing process more efficient. Templates are particularly useful for people who create content regularly, as they provide a structured skeleton that can be used for each post.

There are many websites and tools you can use to find templates that best correspond to your needs. One of my favorites is HubSpot’s blog templates which are all collected in one doc and you can easily download them and edit your own version.

They provide a “How to” Blog Post Template, Infographic Blog Post Template, List Blog Post Template and many more so you can choose the one you need for your specific type of blog post.

In this screenshot, you can see how they suggest writing a “How to” blog post.

Conclusion

The journey to a well-structured and engaging blog post always starts with a solid blog post outline. By following these eight easy steps, you can make your writing process so much easier and ensure that your content is informative, coherent, and captivating.

Whether you ended up here as an independent blogger, a content writer or just someone who’s passionate about writing, make sure to use these steps the next time you open your laptop and are stuck staring at a blank document not knowing where to start.

Happy writing!

FAQs About Blog Post Outlines

What makes the best blog post?

While there is no one answer to this, one of the most important factors is to clearly define the purpose of your blog and to make sure the content you post is perfectly aligned with it.

Where do I post my blogs?

There are so many platforms where you can post your blogs starting from social media to sites like Medium or WordPress. Just find the one that best suits your needs.

What are the 5 types of blogs?

The 5 most common blog types are personal, business, affiliate, niche and news blogs.

How long should a blog be?

It all depends on the type of blog you are writing, however, generally, a good blog should be somewhere between 1500-2500 words.

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