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Do you travel without knowing where to go?

Will you head in the general direction but not plug the address into Google Maps?

That’s cool for a little while. Kinda freeing. But eventually, you’ll get frustrated. Especially if you do that each day.

The same could be true for writing.

An outline keeps you on track.

It keeps you focused and provides a blueprint for how the article should proceed.

By thinking about this on the front end, it will improve the structure of your story, and help you think critically about how the blog post will unfold.

It saves you time, as you’ve already generated and thought about the points you want to include, which makes the actual writing much faster.

Blog Post Outline

1. Know your purpose & audience

Know the purpose of your blog post. This is often a given. It often gets skipped because many times we come to a blog post with an idea in mind. But it’s still a part of the process that needs to be acknowledged because it is frustrating when you do not have any ideas.

Knowing your purpose from the get-go makes the outline much easier. This is often missing from the outline process. If you think of the purpose as your working title, it also makes the writing process clearer and faster.

Similarly, who are you writing to? The audience may impact your purpose or at least the angle that you take when creating your post.

2. Decide on your format

Not all blog posts are created equal.

They have different purposes. They have different formats.

With that being the case, it’s impossible to outline your blog posts in the same way.

All of these are types of posts are different:

  1. Tips post
  2. Opinion essay
  3. How To Guide
  4. What Is…
  5. A Review

…And the list could keep going. A great outline will have this outline from the beginning, most don’t identify the type of post that it will be.

3. List the ideas/points to cover

This usually depends on how much you know about the topic already and the type of post that you’re doing. If you’ve completed your research, then you may already have several points in mind. I would assume that the points you list will be included in the middle of your blog post. This is what we usually think about initially, and then build the intro, conclusion or other supporting points around it.

4. Split your ideas into sections

This is the part where you begin to go deeper into the sections and your main points.

Much like the classic 5-paragraph essay from your school days, having at least 3 points for your blog post or essay is crucial. Once again, it depends on the type of post, but the Rule of 3 is a good guideline. You may want to create bullet points underneath your section headings to add flesh to your outline.

5. Add links or citations

Often during the outline process, I’ll include links or stats that I want to comment on or include within the post. It also helps to include them in the outline so they are not forgotten or neglected.

6. Make notes for your intro and conclusion

In this part, consider any anecdotes or takeaways that you would like to include. These can be illustrative, explain where the post is going, or offer more context and caveats beyond what is already in your outline.

7. Review your main points

Now is also the time to review your main points and sections to see if you forgot anything.

  • Check your notes.
  • Review your research.
  • Make additions now.

Consider this part of the editing process.

8. Rework your headline

Now is the time to rethink your headline, to make it more intriguing, creative, or engaging. I suggest listing five to 10 potential examples (good formulas in the link). This stops you from getting caught in the same patterns and rhythms.

Get This Notion Template To Help

I know writing your first few blog articles can be overwhelming. This Notion template will walk you through the steps above, providing you with an easy-to-use system and checklist to write your blog articles.

Free download.