How to write a blog post outline in under an hour

How To Write A Blog Post Outline In Under An Hour

AJ Saunders Profile Picture

Written by on 30 Mar 22

Filed under: SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

As a busy business owner and marketer, you don’t have time to waste waiting for inspiration to strike. Instead, you need processes that make creating content less painful, including creating outlines. Here’s how to write a blog post outline you can give to a freelance writer.

 

By being able to quickly write article outlines, you can maximize your writing time; or ensure a freelance writer has adequate direction to create an article that drives targeted traffic to your business.

 

Here’s the big problem. If you’re a good writer or just used to doing it a lot, you’ll already have a process for sketching out blog posts that work. It can be slightly harder to write down the exact steps you follow.

 

Never fear, as I’ll talk you through how to write a blog post outline in under an hour. By the end, you’ll have a clear idea of how to best structure this critical step in your blog content creation workflow and be able to cut down the time it takes you to write a blog post.

 

 

What is one thing your reader should learn by reading?

It doesn’t matter if you’re launching a new product, rewriting a critical page, or creating a new blog post, the best starting point is the purpose or outcome.

 

Of course, the ultimate outcome is to get visitors to become customers. With that said, the purpose of your piece of content is to move them closer to making that decision.

 

Does the blog post you’re about to write:

 

It’s critical to understand what the reader will learn by the end otherwise, it’s pure entertainment. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with being entertained, but that probably won’t add to your bottom line.

 

If you’re building a template to use with your team, make this the first things they’ll see. This way they’ll be focused on the outcome from the start.

 

 

Create a list of questions your reader wants answers to

As you should be working with a content calendar, you’ll probably have a keyword you want the post to target. Your keyword will tie directly into the purpose of that piece of content.

 

There are several ways to create a list of questions that your post could answer. The important thing at this stage is not to filter your ideas. Just get as many questions down on the page.

 

Your knowledge

As a topic expert, you should know or be able to guess what question your customers want to be answered. It shouldn’t take you long to write down 10 or 12 questions.

 

Google search

For almost all search queries, Google will show a box labeled “People also ask”. Within this box is a list of questions your prospects are trying to answer. So, it makes sense to add these to your list.

 

Research

It’s worth looking at the top 10 search results and copying any questions they cover. I’d also advise copying down all subheadings. Before you think I’m advocating plagiarism, which I’m not, later you can reword these questions and headings in your own, unique voice.

 

Ask why

Think like a child and ask why! For each question you note down, ask why? or what’s next? Doing this will make you think of the next step or question and ensure you cover the topic in full.

 

 

write down common questions

 

 

Organize your questions into subheadings

By this point, you’ll have a chaotic list of questions. To turn them into a blog post outline, we need to sort them into a list that tells a story and helps the reader reach our desired outcome.

 

The first step is to sort the list alphabetically and remove any duplicates or anything similar, so you end up with a clean list that’s easy to scan.

 

Next, you want to arrange the questions into a logical sequence that breaks down the outcome into steps. Don’t worry if there is a subheading or two missing as we’ll add them shortly. Just, worry about educating your reader.

 

You then want to fill any gaps, so your list of subheadings outlines the arch of your blog post. If reading the subheading alone excites you, you know you’re on to a good, informative post.

 

Finally, it’s worth tweaking your subheadings so you have a mix of questions and statements, all of which use your house writing style, ensuring continuity between writers.

 

 

Research your topic

Even if you’re an expert, there are solutions you might not have considered. So it’s worth researching your topic and noting down any sources to include in the final article.

 

Go beyond the first page or search results and talk to people within your business or industry to gain unique insights you can use to bolster your blog post and increase its authority.

 

It’s also worth noting down other articles on your website that you could potentially link to. If you have a Content Map, this is super easy!

 

Finally, you should look for images. You could use a mix of your photos and stock images. By gathering a few images now, you speed up the process of editing them later.

 

 

Create a compelling title

According to Copyblogger, 8 out of 10 people will read your headline, but only 2 out of 10 will read the rest. So, it’s important to research and organize your ideas before you sit down to write the title.

 

Don’t be tempted to write the title first, as your research might spark an idea that produces a much better headline. So, leave it to last and let your newfound knowledge inspire you.

 

A tool I use to check my titles is Headline Analyzer by MonsterInsights. Free to use, it helps you find epic blog post titles. It rates each headline using a range of factors to ensure you write a magnetic title that pulls your reader in.

 

If you haven’t used a Headline Analyzer before, it’s worth having a play with one to see if it helps you to write better.

 

 

Headline Analyzer MonsterInsights.

 

 

Write up your blog post outline

Now for the interesting part. It’s time to create your blog post outline that will be used as the basis for your article. There’s no set format you have to use, but it’s worth building a template you can use again.

 

Even if you’re creating an outline for you to use, try to create a template that follows a logical pattern. This way, if you die tomorrow, someone else in your business can carry on with your good work.

 

How I’d structure a blog post outline:

 

 

Hopefully, my process is easy to follow and can be easily used by any writer. Remember, the purpose of a good blog post outline is to help make writing easier. It’s not to dictate exactly what should be written, otherwise, you’d use AI software!

 

 

Writing the first draft

As you now have a great blog post outline, writing the article should be far easier than before. You know what subheadings to use, sources to cite, and internal links to create.

 

You could take a few different approaches. One way is to write from top to bottom. However, my favorite is to start with sections that are easy to write. From there, I use the momentum I’ve built to make writing the harder sections that little bit easier.

 

However you write the first draft, you should find it’s much easier. You’ll want to take a break after the first draft and edit it with fresh eyes.

 

 

write first draft using outline

 

 

That’s how to write a blog post outline

You now know the exact process I use with my freelance writers to ensure they write to specification and follow my blog post outline. Again, it comes down to having good processes that make writing articles simple.

 

Don’t rely on talent alone. Instead, create the framework that allows you and your team to produce excellent content over the long term without a drop in quality.

 

Once you have a rock-solid blog post outline, it’s your job as the editor to keep it updated as your workflow evolves and your team changes.

Last month Izabela saw her search traffic from Google increase by 400% using 3 SEO tips we taught her.

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