How to write a blog post outline

how to write a blog post outline

It is important to create an outline before writing your blog post. An outline helps with structuring and planning the actual blog post. This way you can focus on content while writing, without having to worry about formatting, links or images.

The best way to get started with your blog post is by creating a basic outline containing the usual sections: introduction, main body, and conclusion. You can add subsections if needed, such as additional introduction or conclusion paragraphs.

The next step is adding the actual content for each of these sections. The easiest way to do this is start by thinking about what you want your reader to take away from your article or what action you want them to take after reading it (e.g., If this article is about how people can make money blogging, then you might want them to sign up for your free course).

Decide on a topic.

The first thing you should do is choose a topic. (If you already have one, great! You’re ahead of the game.)

Try to come up with something you know or want to learn about, as opposed to having a title in mind and then writing around it. That way, if your post takes an unexpected turn while you’re outlining and writing it all out, the change won’t throw the whole thing off track because your title isn’t directly related to what your blog post is actually about.

Consider who your readers are and what they might want to read about. If you already have a blog, look through past posts for ideas that might resonate with your audience.

Make a plan.

After you have chosen your topic and identified your audience, you need to make a plan for your post. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by a big project like writing a blog post from scratch, so break the process down into smaller steps that you know you can accomplish.

The first step is to set yourself a deadline (or deadlines). Identify the time that you have available between now and when you want to publish your post. Consider how long it will take to write the content itself versus how much time it will take to research or source supporting materials like images or quotes. You may also want to consider whether or not this is something that needs to be written in one sitting, or if it’s possible to write a bit at a time until it’s complete. By breaking down the work into smaller chunks, you may realize that what seems like an overwhelming task can actually be accomplished in bite-sized pieces over several days or weeks.

Look at similar style articles, but dont copy!

Before you start writing, take a peek at some of the other articles out there. While it’s important to not just copy what’s already been written, it can be useful to see how the best content creators structure their articles and what topics they cover.

Once you have a good idea of what style of article has been successful in the past, try to emulate that framework for your own piece, while adding as much unique value as possible!

Write your blog post outline in a spreadsheet.

Once you have the main topics, subtopics, and keywords mapped out in your outline, it’s time to move on to the next step: writing. The outline will eventually become your guide for writing a blog post of substance and clarity.

For some, a simple text document might be the best way to get their thoughts down in an organized fashion. However, I like using Google Sheets for my blog post outlines because I can add links and images directly into my outline as I work on it—which means that all of my resources are in one file instead of scattered across documents. A spreadsheet also makes it easier to rearrange ideas when necessary as well as share an outline with others. Here’s what mine looks like:

Edit your content.

  • Edit your content for spelling and grammar. This is basic stuff, but so many people mess it up! You don't need to be a Pulitzer-winning editor, but you should go through your blog post with a fine-toothed comb and fix any typos or grammatical errors that you catch. If you're still unsure about your editing skills after reading the post over yourself, consider hiring an editor from Upwork (previously Elance-oDesk) to look it over for you.

  • Edit your content for structure and flow. Is the order of your content in the best interest of readers? Does each section make sense in the context of the other sections? Does every section build upon the previous sections naturally? These are questions to ask yourself as you edit for structure and flow.

  • Edit your content for clarity. Make sure that everything is clear to readers by defining any jargon or industry terms that may be unclear to laypeople.

Outlining a blog post takes just a few minutes and can make writing easier.

Outlining a blog post takes just a few minutes and can make writing easier.

You can use outlines to:

  • Make the process of writing your blog post easier and more fun

  • Structure the content in a way that flows naturally and logically

  • Keep you from getting stuck by providing clear next steps while you write

  • Make sure every paragraph is focused on one specific point

Conclusion how to write a blog post outline

A blog post outline helps guide you in writing a blog post. To write a successful blog post, you need to know your audience, have an impactful title, be organized and create relevant content. The outline can help ensure you are staying on track by giving you key points of reference.

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