Creating an outline for your blog posts is part of the writing process. Some people view it as an extra step, but it is a step that makes the whole process more smooth. I find that outlines help me write faster and alleviate some of the writer’s block that can creep up when you don’t have a goal or target.
When creating your outline, you’ll want to make sure that you have your target market in mind and some keywords to focus on. Create a working title and 3-4 headers to focus on.
Under each of the headers create some logical subheaders that you can write about. Make notes under your headers with important points that you want to touch on.
Include some resources that you may want to reference – pictures, statistics, quotes and case studies are great.
You should write your outline quickly. Don’t spend more than half an hour on your blog post outline. Remember, whether you are writing for a client or your own blog post, this is a business and time is precious.
If you can’t think of things to write for one subheading, move on to the next one. Often this will keep the creative juices flowing and you’ll come up with topics to add later.
Remember, this is an outline. It is your FIRST DRAFT. It isn’t meant to be seen by anyone else. A FIRST DRAFT outline shouldn’t be perfect. In fact, your first draft will often be crappy.
“I always like to have a basic outline, but I like to leave some things to be decided while I write.” –J. K. Rowling
If the author of Harry Potter, one of the most popular children’s books, uses an outline, then it definitely shows that it is good practice to write with a basic outline. But also, don’t be afraid to add things as you write. The outline isn’t the final draft.
Schedule Outlines Into Your Writing Day
Set a time limit for your outlines. Plan on spending the first half hour of your writing session on an outline. This will ensure that you actually get your outline done and that you don’t waste a lot of time on it.
Great planning and outlines help to prevent writer’s block. Therefore, you’ll want to ensure that you’re doing them consistently.
“If you do enough planning before you start to write, there is no way you can have writer’s block. I do a complete chapter by chapter outline.”-R.L. Stine
Use a Template
Templates can help you stay on track. They guide you through the writing process. A basic template can be created in Google Docs or through the Wealthy Affiliate writing platform. The template will remind you to come up with a variety of topics and encourage you to meet a word count goal. The rest is up to you.
Writing with a template can also help to keep the document organized. You will create headers and subheaders and can jot your notes down within the framework before you edit it and expound on the knowledge that you are sharing.
Use an outline even when you are writing a short blog post. Your readers will appreciate that you thoughtfully put your ideas together and used headers and subheaders. Your writing will be more cohesive and enjoyable to read.
I hope these tips have helped!