If your blog posts tend to revolve around one topic/subject, then working from an outline can help ensure that everything gets covered without missing anything important. There’s nothing worse than spending hours writing a tutorial only to find out at the end that there was another crucial step that should have been included.
We’ll explain how to create a blog post outline, what elements need to be included in the body of your work. We’ll also give you some valuable tips on how best to proceed.
Research an Effective Title
When creating an outline for your blog post, it’s best to include the main points you will discuss. This means that each point should cover one specific topic or idea and not go into any extra detail than is necessary.
To choose an effective title for your blog post, research similar articles ranking high on Google SERPs. To do this, plug your topic into Google’s Keyword Planner and use the search volume function to see how many times per month people are searching for that term or phrase on Google Search.
Be sure not to choose a title that is too broad because it will be difficult for readers to know what they can expect from clicking through. If you have any doubts about whether an idea would make a good post, think of similar blog posts first and compare them with yours before choosing a title, as this could save you time later in writing out the body content!
Do Keyword Research
Though this should be done when researching your title, it’s equally important to do keyword research when writing the post.
To get the most effective keywords for your title and blog post, you’ll want to research two groups of keywords:
- Long-tail keywords: These are highly specific and often very long phrases that describe your topic in detail.
- Short tail keywords: These keywords tend to be more generic words related to your niche, which can help readers get a better idea of what the page is about even if they don’t click through.
Once you have some good ideas for both types of keyword terms, write them down on a list or keep notes somewhere where you can easily access them when it’s time to start writing!
Rough Outline Your Post Content
Once you know how many posts you plan to create, create a basic outline with an introduction paragraph followed by three points you plan to cover. Structure your copy into multiple headings and subheadings.
As far as an intro, a simple lead-in is best. No need for novel summaries here! Just give the reader enough information to understand what you’re going about, so they don’t have to read through all your examples and data before getting into the good stuff.
Being too vague can leave readers confused or bored with no reason to continue reading this post rather than somewhere else on the internet where their attention span isn’t being tested by boredom.
Include Appropriate Headings and Subheadings
The headings in your post should represent what the reader will get out of your content. These headings can be:
- Questions that are answered
- The benefits of a product or service
- Common problems and their solutions.
If you’re choosing a question for a heading, then your formatted subheadings underneath would be their answers. A similar format would apply to problems and solutions. For example, your heading (H2) could be “Why Should Streamers Use a Ring Light?” and your subheadings would be the answers to that question, based on your research.
Properly Format Your Headings
Your headings should be formatted as proper H-tags (Header tags). Heading tags include:
- Heading 1
- Heading 2
- Heading 3
- Heading 4
As discussed above, your blog’s main points should be Heading 2’s, and the supporting evidence should be Heading 3’s. Titles and Heading 1 are interchangeable and Heading 4’s can be used occasionally to break down your supporting content further. The rest of the content should be formatted as regular text.
Make it Easy to Read with Bulleted Lists and Numbered List Items.
Every good blog post has at least one list item, whether a bulleted list or numbered list. These lists:
- Help break up long chunks of text into more manageable pieces.
- They also help to guide the reader and keep them on track!
- Your copy should always be broken down into smaller chunks of text.
A blog post should never be one huge block of words – it’ll look messy and unprofessional. You want to make your copy easy on the eyes. Numbers and bullets will help your readers follow along with your ideas more easily.
You can use both numbers and bullets in the same list item, or you can choose between them – it’s totally up to you!
The point is that using these two formatting tools will make your blog post easier for readers to follow along with. They’ll be able to scan down a bulleted/numbered list much faster than reading long paragraphs of text.
A reader should never have to re-read every sentence again because they missed something the first time around. It also makes it easy for readers skimming through your content on their phones (in other words, most people) to catch critical points quickly without having read all of the details!
Include Links to Your Examples and Data.
Including links and sources is vital to a good blog post! It shows that you did your research, and it’s more likely to be shared if readers can see the data for themselves. If possible, add links directly from where you got your examples and information, so people don’t have to search for them.
Interlinks and anchor text are a great way to add more context and keywords for search engines. To include a link and anchor text in Microsoft Word or Google Docs:
- Highlight your anchor text
- Press (Ctrl+K) to bring up the link menu
- Copy the URL for your cited source
- Past it in the link box.
Once complete, your interlink and anchor text should look like this. These links can drive traffic to the blog site and help it rank higher in search engines.
Insert an Image (optional)
If you don’t have access to any images, consider using screenshots from Google instead! This way, you won’t need to create anything new, and they’ll still be helpful for most posts without taking up too much space on their own. If possible, try to resize them, so they don’t take up more space than necessary.
Insert a Video (optional)
Videos are also great for blog posts, but make sure you only use the time it needs to be relevant! If you have an entire video that can be summed up in 30-60 seconds or less, consider sharing excerpts instead of full videos on your site. Use screenshots if possible and link out to where readers can watch the rest of it!
When it comes to your blog post, remember that less is more! Building a great outline will lead to an effective blog post! You don’t want people skimming over or scrolling past the entire thing because there’s no clear information in your headlines.
Last but not least, make sure you’re using proper grammar and spelling throughout your post.