How To Outline Your Blog Posts For Maximum Results

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.

Outlining Basics

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.

Work Quickly

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.

Final Thoughts

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!

Comments 10

  • Thank you for this lovely article on How To Outline Your Blog Posts For Maximum Results.

    I personally feel that outlining the header for the blog post is one great way to write an article.  It creates a general flow for the author to spill his ideas across his article.

    What makes an article captivating if it is accompanied with beautiful images and famous quotes.

    Setting a time limit is something which I am still trying to master.  I am still not very consistent in this area which I am working on to improve it.

    I look forward to more articles from your website on copy writing. 

  • Exactywhat I needed. Thanks for this post. I always have writer’s block from time to time and it is getting rather annoying these days since it is directly affecting my blogging. The problem I have is what you have outlined on this post—writing an outline before writing. I don’t usually make use of an outline before, I only write my posts based on the flow of thoughts. It only makes sense for one to wrote down and structure the flow of thought before doing the real writing to be published. Thanks so much for sharing this article

  • This is just the kind of guidance I need: short and to the point about just one thing. I’ve been trying to “just write” blog posts but can see that this isn’t really working as a method. I think your idea of scheduling time each day for writing outlines, then leaving them, writing other posts based on earlier outlining work, and then coming back to them, is really good advice. I also really like the idea of creating templates to smooth the writing process. Thank you for an inspirational and motivational post.

  • I think this is a good idea but I do think a lot of people have their way of writing. Sometimes I do outline my post but other times I just write. I am not entirely sure if I am more efficient when I just write but there are times when I start typing I just can’t stop until I have gotten everything out I want to say. Outlining things first might just end up slowing down the process. I do know outlining ones work is really important so I am going to try to incorporate this into my writing.

  • This information is topnotch and very valuable. I like how you have explained everything here. I am a student who will soon be starting final projects which if you know is a very long stage of writing. I think outlines can be my lifeline. What is important is for me is to get everything as concise as possible. Tha k you for putting out steps on outlining here. You spoke about making use of templates, how can I get them?

    • You can create your own templates in Google Docs. There are templates in the Wealthy Affiliate writing platform as well. Watch the video, I show you how to use them in Google Docs. 

  • I couldn’t agree with you more, having an outline keeps the bigger picture of your blog post in perspective. To me, starting off without an outline is like having a blank mind…nothing really surface for me to put on paper. I’ve ended up wasting way too much time in cases where I didn’t have an outline before starting…it becomes a struggle to even write. 

    But with an outline, I could write to a point where I have to subject myself to a specific number of words..things really flow smoothly. Gotten some tips here….thanks for the information. 

  • Hi Melinda, 

    Thanks for the post. I think that writing an outline and having something visual to follow would help your writing.

    I have found the use of templates to be good too. I don’t always use them, but it sets a bit of a goal to try and follow and keeps you on track.

    Thanks for sharing these handy tips!

    Stevie

  • Nice and informative post about improving your outlines. I have had difficulties to write fast enough or to concentrate to be focused enough. And, after reading your great article, I figured out it may be missing outlines. I have just started to write after having keywords, basic thoughts about the topic and some sort of guess how my article may look after its finished. I’m pretty sure I would have much better content if I start to make clear, simple outlines. Thanks for article, I will take a further look at your website.

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