Blog posts can be some of the most rewarding promotional assets to your business or project. However, they must be written well.
Creating a good outline for your blog post helps for it to be found in search engines. It also assists the reader to understand your message and offer clear channels for product conversion.
This article will help individuals and teams shape outlines that will streamline your writing process, create better content, and deliver an overall engaging blog post.
How Is This Article Going to Help Shape a Blog Post?
The article will help shape impressive blog posts by helping everybody in your content team understand how to create an outline.
The results will give the writers the ability to produce high-quality content in any business niche. You’ll be able to curate blog posts assured of helping to gain traffic to your website.
So, let’s get to it!
Is There Anything I Need Beforehand To Write a Great Blog Post?
A sharp, keen mind, a sprinkle of creativity, and clear writing skills are needed to write great blog posts. However, the one essential element is keyword research knowledge.
This practice helps create a clear, target keyword for your blog posts – or the search term that will guide traffic to your page. The importance of keyword research knowledge is explained more in this article here.
Once you understand keyword research knowledge, you can get started on your blog post outline. Why is this important, you ask? Here is a bit more of an explanation.
Why is a Blog Post Outline Important?
All the content you write for your blog post is analyzed by search engines for its effectiveness with internet readers. Blog outlines help pre-define your content, so it’s well-understood and palatable for the algorithms of these search engines.
Content that hits the right marks for the search engine means it will rank higher. When someone types a relevant question into a search engine, the more likely your post will come up on the results page.
Consistent blog content, excellent standard, and readable – continually raises the chances of top rankings. That means significant growth in the number of people visiting your website!
Where Do I Make a Blog Post Outline?
There are plenty of apps you can use to make blog post outlines, but the best ones are where it will be easily accessible by your content teams. Google Docs, Google Sheets, and other 3rd party apps based in the cloud are preferred.
Do I Need To Do An Outline With Every Blog Post?
If you want to keep your content ever-ranking higher – you will need consistently high-quality content. A blog post outline ensures that standard is maintained to keep your traffic growing.
Who is in Charge of Implementing Blog Post Outlines?
Any team member who oversees your organizations content should create and implement blog post outlines. Trust us that these outlines serve as content assets for the present and future!
How Do I Set Up The Environment for a Blog Post Outline?
Don’t get overwhelmed in the details when setting up a blog post outline. There are plenty of tools to help you shape sublime content.
Some of these tools include checking for eye-catching headlines, general readability, and title tags. Don’t worry, all of these are free. A couple may require registration for a free trial, though.
Without further ado – here are the most effective platforms to set up your blogging environment:
- Sumo Headline Generator
- Readability Test Tool
- Moz Title Tag
- Sumo Power Words
- CoSchedule Headline Analyzer
After you’ve opened these tabs, you’ll then need to open this outline file and copy it. This will serve as the foundation for every blog post.
Following your copy of that, open the ‘popular content analysis’ worksheet here.
Now you’ve loaded your toolbox with your outline assets – your blogging environment has been planted!
Now It's Time To Set Out Your Objectives and Keywords for Your Blog Post
Now that you’ve set up the foundation for your blog posts, we need to create the staples that will hold all the content together. Those will be your goals, keywords, and searcher intent.
For example, we will use the subject of ‘Hair Loss Treatment’ to demonstrate creating a relevant blog post outline. The process is as follows:
- Give your blog post outline a title relevant to the topic. Using the example, we’ll give the name – ‘Outline – Hair Loss’.
- Where you see the field to fill in the ‘Outline [blog post topic]’, write in the heading of your choice. You will then see a second heading titled, ‘General Blog Post Checklist. This will apply to all your present and future blog posts.
- After that, it’s time to write your objective for the post. This is a definition of what message you want users to gain from your blog post and why it will be valuable.
- Finally, write down your target keyword. If you’re still unsure about how keyword research works, check this article to understand better. It’s essential to have relevant keywords throughout your blog post!
Once the objectives and keywords are set, you can put your analyzing hats on!
Next is the Popular Content Analysis!
Now we move on to the popular content analysis to help research your competition. We will continue to use ‘hair loss treatment’ as the target keyword as an example. So, let’s proceed!
1. Log on to Buzzsumo and type in your keyword. In this case, it would be ‘hair loss treatment’, as seen in the picture below.
- When you get the results, make sure that they are filtered by ‘number of shares’. View the results and select the top 3 – but double check they are relevant to your target keyword.
- Sometimes the article might feature the keyword but not be aligned to your blog post outline.
- Open the top 3 relevant results in new tabs by right-clicking and ‘open in new tab.’
2. Now we will check what Google search is offering as the top results. Go into incognito mode on Google (CTRL + SHIFT + N) and type in your target keyword – ‘hair loss treatment’, in this case.
- See what top 5 results come up that most resemble a blog post. You’ll see that in the ‘hair loss treatment’ result – there is a Wikipedia article. That is more of an informational piece than a blog post, so you can leave that one out.
- Again, open the top 5 relevant results in new tabs – so now you should have 8 relevant articles open.
3. Open up the Popular Content Analysis worksheet mentioned above, and complete it with all the open fields with information from the 8 articles.
- The titles and keywords that these articles use are some of the most significant aspects to analyze. Make sure those are written on the worksheet, including their URLs for quick reference.
- The picture below shows other keywords and striking phrases to catch reader attention – note these down!
- Give the text of each article analysis and select an option from the drop-down, as shown below.
- It’s also important to remember that your article needs to be as readable as possible. A good starting point would be to think that you’re writing for a 6th grade (11-12-year-old) level.
- The Readability Test Tool is a great way to check an article’s readability score. Try pasting the article URLs into the platform to check its readability. See the example below.
4. Bring up your General Blog Posts Checklist, and compare a couple of these articles to see how many boxes are ticked. If they aren’t addressing them all, that can help give your blog post a competitive advantage! See the picture below to get a reminder of what the checklist looks like.
Let's Write Some Headlines That Will Grab Attention
Now that you’ve analyzed the popular content that your blog post is up against, you can begin the outline by writing some compelling headlines. This is the opportunity to make them much better than your competitors!
1. Write between 10 and 20 different headline ideas for your blog post.
- The Sumo Headline Generator Tool can be your friend in developing some fantastic headlines. We can show an example by using the ‘how to’ type.
- You’ll be presented with a bunch of fields to help generate headlines – make sure you fill them all in! If some are skipped, there may be several headlines generated that don’t quite deliver the message of your blog post. The image below demonstrates how it shows.
- It is important to remember that the returned headlines are only suggestions – some or all of them may not quite strike the iron for your blog post. The tool works well to inspire, but you don’t need to use the exact headline returned.
- Look at the headlines and consider if you would click on an article link with that title.
2. Got your list of 20 headlines? Great, let’s check how effective they are with the Moz Title Tag tool.
- First, use the tool to check the length of your title. It should be under 65 characters. Otherwise, it won’t be in full view of the search results.
- The best headlines incorporate a few traits listed below:
- Numbers, statistics and data.
- Content is written in the second person.
- Target keyword in the title.
- The headline sums up the entirety of the blog post.
- Includes some powerful words – check this article to discover some practical power words.
- Use of active verbs.
3. Now look at your headlines and review them against the General Blog Post Checklist. Using an example title among the subject of hair loss, ‘How To Reverse Hair Loss Without Cosmetic Surgery’, you’ll see it has 4 of the 6 characteristics. Check which of your headlines has these traits, and pick the 10 with the most.
4. Open up the CoSchedule Headline Analyzer to put a score to the 10 selected headlines. You can see in the example below with the ‘How To Reverse Hair Loss Without Cosmetic Surgery’, it received a score of 68. That’s not bad, but it could definitely be better.
5. Test all your headlines in the tool – picking the top 3 with the best scores.
- Keep trying to improve each headline, aiming to score at least over 70
- Test the headlines again
- The final choice will be the one that has the highest score
Add the Finishing Touches to Your Blog Post Outline
You’ve got your title – now let’s complete the blog post outline by sectioning it. This will ensure that it flows well for your reader and maximize the impact of the articles.
The finalization process is as below:
1. Return to the outline file and create sections for your blog post. Make sure each section highlights the information the user will want to read. In the example of the ‘Hair Loss Outline’, we can section it like this:
- Known causes for hair loss.
- Scientific research.
- Showcase the treatment.
- Add some extra information about minimizing hair loss.
- Wrap up the post with a conclusion.
2. Now the sections have been outlined, you can start with your blog post lede. A lede is the opening sentence or paragraph of an article that summarizes the content. The best ledes adopt the following criteria:
- The lede describes precisely what the blog post is about.
- A good ledfae will tease the reader into wanting to follow through with the article.
- Keep your lede short and sweet – 1-2 sentences will usually do the trick!
- The lede should contain the target keywords and core statistics/data.
3. Have a look at the example below that demonstrates a lede for ‘Hair Loss Outline’.
4. Planning your content even further can be very beneficial and advantageous for the final article. Some extra bits you can add into your outline are:
- List every bit of information that needs a definition to ensure your reader fully understands the content in your blog post. If there are any scientific words or jargon, these should be explained!
- Write down a simple Q&A about your post – what kind of questions do you think the user will be asking? And how would you answer them, so they understand?
- Give your article a general overview, then get into the specifics of what it’s trying to achieve. Highlight the problem with a simple approach, and get more into the details as the content progresses.
5. Refer back to your General Blog Post Checklist, and note down any ideas that you think could make your blog post better than your competitors. See the example below on how the tool can highlight things you could add to give your article an advantage.
- As seen in the image, your competitors have a couple things missing that you could add to your post:
- A call to action
- Product testimonials for people who have tried the hair loss treatment
- Bonus material and information for preventing hair loss, or relevant giveaway
- A video about how to use the product
- Some high-quality visuals that easily define the process and results of this product
6. Now you’ve reached the final part of the outline. That entails deciding where all of your fantastic ideas will go in the blog post. All you will need to do is assign each concept to your blog post sections, as demonstrated in the picture below.
Review Your Outline To Make Sure It's Already Intriguing
Congratulations, you now have a workable outline that helps deliver an exciting blog post for your readers. All that’s left to do is give it a review against the General Blog Post Checklist, ticking off the characteristics featured in the mix.
And there we have it – an awe-inspiring blog post outline that will help you write excellent content for the many articles to come. Any article you have planned, just whip this process up – and your final product will result in a blog post for users to enjoy.