7 Steps for Writing Engaging Blog Posts

 How to Write an Effective Blog Post Outline

Are you a planner or a haphazard thinker? In the world of fiction writing, there are two types of authors: those who plan and plot their stories (planners) and those who write by the seat of their pants.

The same principle applies to blogging. Do you start writing your blog posts right away, or do you create blog post outlines first?

As a former blogging pantser, I'm here to explain why blog post outlines are so effective and how you can create one in just seven simple steps.


Why Do You Need a Blog Outline?

"Why do I even need a blog outline?" you may be wondering. "All I want to do is start writing!"

Creating an outline may appear to be an unnecessary step and a waste of time... However, after years of blogging and writing hundreds of articles, I've realized that outlining a blog post before you begin is absolutely necessary.

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blog post outline template


Give Your Blog Post Structure and Flow

A good blog post is made up of many different components. A strong writing style, good grammar, and the ability to cover all of the important information surrounding the topic are all required.

Above and beyond the things mentioned above, having a strong structure and good flow can elevate your blog posts from good to great.

What does this mean exactly?

Have you ever read a blog post that seemed rushed? It jumps from one point to another before returning to the first. Or it just sounds like stream-of-consciousness writing, and it's difficult to understand the writer's points. Perhaps the information is presented haphazardly, making it difficult to follow along.


Worse, have you ever clicked on a link, read a blog post, and then received nothing in return? It's a little deflating to read an article in the hopes of learning something new or picking up a new skill... but then realize that the blog post lacks any meaningful substance.


In today's world, where there are millions upon millions of blog posts, writing good blog posts isn't enough – you need to write great blog posts.


Making a blog outline will undoubtedly assist you in developing your ideas and adding structure and flow to your blog posts. Outlining allows you to organize your thoughts and lay out the information you want to convey to your readers in a clear, cohesive manner.


This means that when your readers read your blog post, they will find it easy to follow along and digest the topic... It's also simple for them to leave and put what they've learned into practice.


The bottom line is that creating a blog outline will allow you to provide value to your readers... which is what will keep people returning to your blog.


Assist You in Creating the Best Piece of Content (and Outranking Your Competitors!)

In relation to the first point made above, one significant advantage of outlining a blog post is that it can assist you in producing the best piece of content on the subject.


To rank well on Google, your blog posts should be comprehensive articles that answer the readers' questions about the topic.


With a blog outline, you can plan how to write an article that will outrank your competitors while still providing value to your readers.


Put yourself in the shoes of your reader and consider the topic from their perspective. Consider what they want to learn, what information they require to take action, and what could make their lives easier or more convenient.


When you outline your blog post, you can ensure that it contains valuable information rather than just fluff that your readers will skip over.


A blog outline can assist you in organizing all of this information in an easy-to-digest and understandable manner... As a result, you will solve your readers' problems and become one of the go-to resources on the subject!


Begin Your Writing Process

Do you ever have one of those days where you sit in front of your laptop, an empty document open... but the words just don't seem to come to you?


This is a common scenario if you want to make blogging a part of your life, believe me! I've definitely had days when I didn't feel motivated to start writing or, worse, didn't know where to begin.

This is where having a blog outline can come in handy. If you don't yet have a blog outline for a planned post, working on one can help jumpstart your writing process.

For one thing, you're not writing in detail, but rather looking at the chosen topic in a broader context. This approach may help you break through your writer's block as you conduct additional research and consider what exactly this blog post should include.

The outlining process is a simple way to get your writing engine going, and before you know it, you'll have a complete outline and be eager to start writing!

If you've already outlined your post and are feeling unmotivated, having a blog outline to work from will help you break the task of writing down into smaller, more manageable pieces.

With an outline, you can begin working on a section that is easier to write and save the more difficult sections for later.


Stay Concentrated and Save Time When Writing

Writing a blog post without an outline often means losing momentum as I try to figure out what should come next on the fly. It's even worse when I get stuck and don't know how to move forward!


I've discovered that having a blog post outline makes the writing process so much easier because it allows me to focus solely on the ideas in the outline. There's no need to think right now because I've already done so during the outlining.


Instead, I can concentrate on fleshing out those concepts and determining the best ways to convey the information that I want to convey.


Because of this clarity, I save so much time writing! I can stay focused on the subject at hand, and I know exactly what will happen next.


Working from a blog post outline basically puts me in a flow state when I'm writing.


Whether you're blogging full-time or on the side, time is a valuable commodity for all of us. Instead of agonizing over a blog post for days on end, try first creating a blog outline before you begin writing.

In 7 Easy Steps, Outline a Blog Post

Now that you're (hopefully) convinced of the value of blog post outlines, it's time to learn how to outline a blog post.

Here's a step-by-step guide to creating an outline from scratch. I'll also include a working blog post outline so you can see the process in action. Let's get started:

1. Choose a topic and keywords for your blog post

If you've been reading our Businessbea blog posts for a while, you're probably aware that we're big fans of developing a content strategy based on keyword research.


So it's not surprising that the first step in outlining a blog post is to conduct keyword research to determine the topic and keywords for your blog post.

Keyword research is a surefire way to ensure that you're writing blog posts that your readers are interested in, and it'll help you identify the problems that your audience is looking to solve.

Although there are a lot of tools available on the Internet, we recommend using SEMRush as it is one of the best and most accurate marketing and research tools that provides you with everything you need to get your site on the first page of search results. It is a paid tool, but there is a limited free plan.

H-supertools is one of the best free tools that offers many services in SEO, including searching for keywords, clicking prices, and many distinctive services that outperform most paid programs.

2. Examine the Top-Rated Articles

After you've identified the keywords to target for your blog post, the next step is to look at the content that's already ranking.

The benefit of using a keyword tool is that you can also get back-end data on the sites that are ranking on the first page.

In this case, if you look at the DA (Domain Authority) column, you'll see that only the top three sites have high DAs, while the rest have average DAs. This means that there's a chance that this article will rank well if I include a lot of useful information for readers.

Note: If you're a new blogger with a low DA, don't be disheartened! We've seen great articles outrank blogs with high DAs as long as they have good SEO and subject authority.

 

If you don't have a keyword tool, an easy peasy way to do this is to simply enter those keywords into Google (I'd recommend doing this in an incognito browser window) and see what comes up.


Continue reading the top three articles. Take note of the blog posts' structure, the type of information they cover, and how comprehensive the article is. You should also make a note of the article titles at this point, as this will help you later in the writing process when you need to come up with a catchy headline.

I enjoy looking at the top ranking articles for the keywords that I target because it gives me a good idea of how good my own article needs to be in order to rank on the first page as well.

On the SERPs page, there's one more important piece of information: the "People Also Ask" section.

The questions here provide direct insight into what your readers are struggling with and what solution they require! This can aid you in your overall writing process.

Each article's goal is to satisfy the user's intent or problem. By taking into account all possible questions that readers may have about the topic, you can ensure that your article will provide them with all of the information they require.

3. Specify what you want your readers to get out of your post.

It's now time to open up Word or Google Docs, or, if you're a pen-and-paper writer, your notebook. It's time to put on your thinking hat.

At this point, you should answer one question: What outcomes do you want after the reader has finished reading the post?

There are numerous possible answers to this question, and it all depends on the topic and keywords you've chosen.

Using the keyword "blog post outline" as an example, the goal of this blog post is to persuade you of the importance of a blog outline and to teach you exactly how to create one in an easy-to-follow format.

So, take a few moments to jot down the two to three key takeaways you want your readers to get from your blog post. They will assist you in providing direction as you flesh out your blog post outline.

4. Make a list of the important information you should include.

Now that you've gotten a sense of the big picture, it's time to zoom in. In this step, you will brainstorm the information that will go into your blog post. This is where putting yourself in the shoes of your reader comes in handy. What kinds of questions would they have?, What information would they require to solve their problems?, What little tidbits and tiddlywinks could make their lives a little more convenient or easier?

 Consider what information would be useful to someone who is completely new to the topic and has no knowledge if you're sharing something in which you're an expert. What can you say to broaden their knowledge and comprehension?


You should also consider whether any external data or authoritative information sources should be included to strengthen your blog post.


There may be questions that you don't know the answers to at this point. That's fine – it's natural for a blog post to require some research to fill in any gaps in information.


When I was at this stage of outlining for this blog post, these were some of the questions that came to mind:

  • Is there any advice on how to outline more effectively?
  • How long does it take to create a blog outline?
  • Is an outline always required? If not, in what circumstances can a blogger do without one?
  • What is the significance of outlining?
  • What tools are required (if any) during the outlining process?
  • What are the various steps to creating a blog post outline?

During this stage, I also like to revisit the top ranking articles for the keyword to see what information they have and if anything is missing. If there is, I will make sure to include it in my post!

5. Begin Planning Your Blog Post

Now it's time to start working on your actual blog outline! After you've nailed down the big picture of the article, it'll be much easier to organize all of your ideas and begin deciding on the flow and structure of the blog post.


When it comes to creating the outline, I like to start by organizing the article's main ideas by phrasing them in possible headings and then arranging them in a logical order.

Each heading should cover one major idea, and then you can delve deeper into each of them.

The skeleton for this blog post started out looking like this:
  • Topic
  • Intro
  • Why...?
  • How...?
  • Conclusion
Remember that the goal of a blog outline is to help you organize your ideas and thoughts so that you can write the best possible article on the topic. So, choose the path that is most convenient for you!


6. Go over your blog post outline again

Congratulations on completing your first outline! But, before you go, take a moment to go over it again. Here are some ideas for how to go about it: 

  • From beginning to end, read the outline: Consider whether you missed anything important or if any new ideas have come to mind.
  • Return to the top-ranking articles: Compare your outline to theirs and determine what else you can do to improve yours. Maybe it's more logically organizing the information, including more helpful information, or answering questions that aren't covered in those articles.
  • Finally, revise your outline as necessary. Trimming points that do not add to the main topic, removing anything repetitive, or changing the order of the headings could all be examples of this.

7. Create a Blog Post

Now that you've completed your final blog post outline, you're ready to begin writing your blog post. With this skeleton in place, you'll know exactly how to approach this article from beginning to end, and you'll breeze through your writing in no time!

It takes some planning ahead of time, but I've discovered that having a blog outline saves me so much time, keeps me focused on the topic of the article and the valuable information I want to share, and ensures that I produce a top-notch article every time.


How do you write a good blog article?

  1. Choose a topic.
  2. Recognizing Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  3. Making an outline
  4. Use images to express your point of view.
  5. Make the material debatable.
  6. Read it again and again.
  7. Tell them what to do.
  8. Make use of social media.

To be honest, it takes some effort. However, I believe that the benefits you will receive will far outweigh the costs.

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