I told you a little bit ago about some useful blog topic brainstorming ideas to get you started on creating killer content, remember? In this post, I want to go a bit in depth on a blog writing method utilizing outlines.
I know not every single blog post you publish necessitates a framework. When I write a lot of my blog posts (during moments when I’m inspired), I usually do it in a flurry of free-form writing. But when I’m looking to create some amazing and super-sized content that will help people for many months (or years) to come, you better believe I’ll outline it.
Another excellent time to outline a blog post? When you notice that an individual article template performs REALLY well! So, for example, your “Top 10 Bathing Suits for Summer” might have gotten a ton of engagement. So did your “Top 10 Places To Visit Before You’re 30.” Check the post format and copy a rough outline of their structure to use as a template for future posts. This part of the blog writing method will ultimately save you time.
What’s this blog writing method about?
We’re going to talk about those meaty “one-off” posts that keep getting you tons of traffic. The general structure can be used for any post you’d like, and it might help you compose several blog topics every month quickly without wasting too much of your time on research of details. It will help you stay focused, preventing your wandering mind from going down the rabbit hole when writing.
If you subscribe to my newsletters, you already know the importance of picking a niche and your unique voice. The Blog Resource Library contains a niche finding worksheet if you’re still confused about your blog’s niche.
That said, before you write ANY blog post, you should always be directing your writing to the audience you pre-defined. Not only should you know who you’re speaking to, but you should establish what you would like to solve for your readers (and teach them) before writing.
How to Outline a Blog Post
1. Start off with your topic.
Write down your main subject and the headline of your post. Use a tool like CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer to test out different headlines and their rating. I use CoSchedule as my editorial calendar, so the headline analyzer automatically analyzes my blog post ideas as I schedule them into my calendar.
2. LIST out what you’d like to mention in the post.
Break down your topic into subsections and make a list of them. Include anything else you’d like to mention. List this out underneath your main subject that you wrote down in the previous step. Also, include things you may need to research in this list. You don’t have to go into detail. Keep things high level.
3. Write down a sentence or two for every listed idea.
Write as many semi-coherent (or entirely coherent if you’re chock full of ideas) sentences or phrases under each listed item from step two. Obviously, these sentences and phrases should relate to each listed topic.
4. Formulate the intro.
Pitch the idea you’re tackling, tell your readers you’ll solve their problem, and give them a preview of how you will solve it for them. Place your keywords in the intro.
5. Write out your CTA (Call To Action).
The CTA can be anything ranging from signing up for an e-mail list to asking folks to follow you on a social media platform or clicking to buy a product. A CTA can also be a question, so you get feedback in the comments section. It should somehow tie into your article and be relevant to the information you’re providing.
6. Walk away for a bit and do something entirely different!
This is your time to take a break until you go back with a fresh perspective and start finalizing your article.
7. Do a final edit.
Tie all your sentences together and include transitional phrases between your paragraphs.
Format your post and schedule it out! You’re done!
Basically, the more you use the method, the easier it will be for you to get your ideas down quickly without getting too lost in the details. Perfection is your enemy when you’re writing your first draft!