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How To Write A Blog Post Outline

Posted by Peyton Henderson on Jan 7, 2021 11:15:00 AM

Blogs are becoming more popular every day. And because of their rise in popularity they have become an essential part of many marketing strategies. 

There are around 70 million blog posts published every month by WordPress users alone. And blogs are rated the 5th most trustworthy source for gathering online information. 💥Tweet This 💥

That in itself is pretty powerful. 

Writing blog posts can get pretty overwhelming, and the entire process can take a lot of time.

Especially when you are an entrepreneur or business owner juggling multiple roles at once, it's hard to find more hours in the day to write a blog post.

And it can be dreadful when you have to write thousands of words on a topic that isn't that interesting to you. 

Trust me. I get it.

That's why I'm writing this blog post -- I found a way to make writing blog content simple and easy.

I found a way to take all of the stress out of writing long-form content.  

It's a simple seven-step process that will make writing so much easier. 

All you have to do is identify who you are speaking to and work the creative side of your brain before you try to write thousands of words.

 

FREE Download!

CUSTOMER AVATAR WORKSHEET

Download this FREE worksheet that will help you identify the perfect customer avatar for your business.

 

Why Create A Blog Post Outline? 

Before we dive into creating a blog outline, let's go over why it's essential.

To get you in the right mindset, I want you to think about these questions for a moment: 

  • Do you struggle to get your ideal audience to read your blog content?

  • Do you struggle with picking topics to write about?

  • Is the writing process painful for you?

  • Are you inconsistent in writing blog content?

  • Do you miss deadlines?

  • Are you getting a low click rate on your lead magnets in your blog content? 

  • Do you need more readers?

  • Are you unorganized?

  • Does your blog content get first page rankings on Google?

  • Are you even marketing your blog posts?

These are many problems that I have personally experienced and trust me. I know how bad it sucks.

When I first started writing blogs for our company back in 2017, it was a pretty overwhelming process. I found myself overwhelmed daily. I was missing deadlines and never knew what to write about.

I just couldn't keep up, and I was miserable.

We tried dozens of different processes before we found something that worked magically for us. It took us years to get this process to run smoothly for everyone involved. 

And when it worked, it really worked.

This process has helped our blog grow from 0 readers to around 40,000 readers a month. That number is still drastically increasing every day.

Just take a look for yourself.

 

Organic search growth

 

I promise a blog outline can do more for you than you realize. 

Here Are Four Reasons You Should Create A Blog Outline:

Reason #1: It Saves You Time

This may seem counterintuitive, but I promise it saves you a ton of time later.

Plus, it keeps you way more organized.

Often, when we go to write a piece of content, distractions come up or create distractions for ourselves because we dread writing the content so much.

When you create a blog outline, there are fewer opportunities for distractions and procrastination.

Think about it -- It's hard for our brains to be in a 'creative' state and a 'take action' state simultaneously. Most of the time, we are either creators or doers -- they typically don't mix.

So, if you do the creative work upfront and brain dump all of your best ideas and thoughts, then you don't have to overwhelm your brain and do both all at once. 

That's the step that slows us down the most, trying to flip back and forth between getting things done and coming up with brilliant ideas.

When a business or personal brand is writing long-form content for the search engines you want to make sure your blog content is neatly organized -- includes whitespace, and isn’t a bunch of random thoughts scrambled on paper.

That's where the blog outline comes into play.

It's essential to give your readers a great user experience -- you need them to keep coming back for more.

When you organize and plan out your thoughts before you start writing, you know what to write, which leads to this beautiful piece of content that didn't cause you that much stress to create.

And it saves you time on the back end.

Reason #2: You Can Outsource Your Work

Hallelujah -- the church bells are ringing!! When started outsourcing our blog content, it was a magical transition for our business. 

Here's a little back story on why we decided to outsource our content.

I spent too much time writing blog content -- I'm talking about days and weeks of my time to write one blog post.

I love the idea of writing a blog post. There's something about it that brings me so much joy and satisfaction.

But it was taking me so long to produce a single piece of content that I started missing deadlines and letting my business partner down. 

I get so excited by the idea that my words and blog have the potential to impact millions of people around the world.

My brain goes into an instant state of overload with so many thoughts and ideas that I can't adequately organize them on paper. So, I would stay in that creative state/overwhelm for days until I found myself waiting until the last minute to get the blog finished. 

I spent so much time trying to perfect my blog content that I couldn't even publish a blog on time, and that was a big problem. It's really a problem that I see many entrepreneurs and business owners face.

And the most simple thing solved all of these problems --  a blog post outline.

A blog post outline acts as an S.O.P. so you can have someone else replicate the work and tasks you are doing. It gives them the relevant information and expectations they need to produce a high-quality piece of content. 

You have to evaluate how much money your time is worth.

Now I can take the time I was wasting, and delegate it to something that is much more impactful to my business.  Which is very important for the growth of any business or personal brand. 

You have to be able to delegate daily mundane tasks that prevent you from making a bigger impact.

Reason #3: Get Better Search Engine Rankings And Conversions

When you create an outline, you have the opportunity to become more specific in your word choice.

You have time to create a well-thought-out content marketing plan that speaks to your target audience where they are in a way they understand.

So make sure to use your resources to figure out the exact terms your audience is searching for so you can get those top page rankings in Google.

Once you understand this you can also strategically place lead magnets and call-to-action's in your content for your readers to engage with.

When you create a piece of content, you want to have an end goal in mind that is paired with a killer marketing strategy to see the best results. 

Reason #4: Prevents Writers Block

This was a big one for me. I have probably spent hundreds of hours staring at a blank screen.

I have spent so much time trying to get words to flow out on paper -- just one word and nothing happens.

When you have a blog outline you don’t have that stress as much because everything is laid out in front of you.

You have your main points laid out in front of you and now all you have to do is elaborate on them more and add a touch of personality. 

How To Write A Blog Post Outline In 7 Steps:

There is one key thing we must discuss first -- your audience. 

  • Who are you talking to? Is it your ideal customer?

  • When will you talk to them?

  • How will you reach them? With this blog post or in more ways?

  • What platforms is your audience on? Facebook, Instagram, Clubhouse?

  • What time is your audience active online?

  • Are they interested in what you have to say?

  • Can you help them?

  • Can you solve a problem or need with your blog post?

⭐ Related Blog Post: What Is A Target Audience?

Audience research is key to a successful blog.

When writing content online it's important to know who you are speaking to before you create any piece of content and you must also have a goal in mind.

You must know exactly what actions you want people to take with your content. Then you want to know what steps you want them to take after they engage with that piece of content -- you want to take them for a ride down the buyers journey.

And this doesn't only apply to a blog post, it applies any piece of content you put online.

You can create blog posts or other pieces of content to meet your audience at each stage of the customer journey. Make sure you are using the #R3MAT Method to reach them where they are.

 

Customer Journey

 

If you need help finding your ideal reader or help discovering your customer avatar make sure you fill out our worksheet. This worksheet will help you define exactly who your dream customer is. 

There is also a blank version that you can download for free that will allow you to fully customize the customer avatar worksheet specifically to you!

 

FREE Download!

CUSTOMER AVATAR WORKSHEET

Download this FREE worksheet that will help you identify the perfect customer avatar for your business.

 

Now, here are the seven steps to create a blog post from start to finish:

Step 1: Perform Keyword Research

Keyword research helps you determine the title of your blog. What is relevant to you may not be relevant to your ideal audience. 

The goal of keyword research is to pick a title that your audience is already searching for.

If you are unsure who your target audience is then check out our customer avatar worksheet above.

Here are three ways to perform keyword for your business -- one free option and two paid options.

We use each one every time we create a blog post. This helps us determine what our audience is searching for and gives us an idea for what type of context the blog should have as well as the length.

Free Option: Use Google

Google is a fast and free way to find the hottest and most relevant questions that your audience is searching for.

All you have to do is go to Google and type in a word that is related to your business or personal brand.

Once you type in a word or question, Google will show you the top searched questions right away. Each one of those listed are potential blog titles. You could write a blog post on each question if you wanted.

 

How to blog Google example

 

You want to type in your keyword or phrase and look at the top 10 search results.

You want to get a feel for the main points and subtopic headings (H1, H2, H3 headings) that these blogs use and take note of the length of the blog. This is something the algorithm leans heavy on.

This can also help you get ideas for lead magnets and marketing opportunities.

There are a lot of people on the web who are masterful at producing high quality blog content so make sure you learn from the best. 

Paid Option #1: 

One of my favorite tools we use is ahrefs.

Ahrefs is an SEO software suite that contains tools for link building, keyword research, competitor analysis, rank tracking and site audits.

Most of the features inside of Ahrefs are designed for marketing professionals. Ahrefs is a popular SEO tool that bloggers and marketers use to get higher Google rankings.

You can start a 7-day trial for $7.

 

ahrefs blogging example

 

Paid Option #2: MarketMuse

This tool is full of data that you can use to improve and fully optimize your blog content. 

MarketMuse uses AI and machine learning to help you build content strategies, accelerate content creation, and inform content decisions. They specifically help you see what keywords and phrases you should add into your blog to get the highest possible rankings.

It shows you where you have content gaps as well and the top content that ranks on the web. 

MarketMuse does have a get started free option that follows with a subscription based on your company size. 

 

Markmuse content planning strategy

 

Also, listen to where your audience is active and listen when you are active on social media. 

The new app Clubhouse is hot right now for business owners and entrepreneurs.

If you are short on ideas to write about go check it out. It’s the place where you learn what everyone is asking and wanting to talk about right now.

Step 2: Identify What You Want To Accomplish With Your Blog Post

Now that you picked a topic phrase (title) that your audience is searching for you want to identify what your goals are with this blog post. 

What is your main goal? What is the purpose of this blog post?

For this step I like to create a Google document that includes everything we want to accomplish for this blog post -- this puts all of our important metrics and goals in one organized place.

Here is my blog outline template: 

 

How to create a blog outline example

 

We document this information because we evaluated what metrics and data was relevant for our audience and business. Which also makes it helpful for your team because they can see exactly what is going on at any point and time.

I like to start by identifying my goal of the blog and then identify any relevant information I want to include.

This is information like: 

  • The working title of blog

  • The word count or length of blog

  • Any costs associated with blog (relative if you outsource content)

  • The actual link to the working blog post outline

  • Keyword research

Then I make sure I understand who I am writing the content for -- this is such a critical part of your writing.

You can see in the example that our audience is a mix of DIY marketers, mentors, coaches, entrepreneurs, influencers, and students.  

Remember every blog post will be slightly different and will need different goals.

Step 3: Organize Ideas And Research 

There is where you want to lay out everything you know about this topic. This is where you want to put all of your research together and start forming your blog outline.

You can do this any way you like.

I create a google doc and use post it notes to organize my most important pieces of information -- I know this may sound weird but it works!

I use the post it notes because I can write down any important subtopic information and move it around until I find a place where it fits in perfectly in my blog outline. This makes it easy to get the right flow in your content so your blog is easy to read.

I am going to walk you through my exact process to creating a blog post outline. This is actually the same outline I created for this blog post. 

First, I start with listing the most important keywords and key phrases that I want to include in my blog. 

In this example, these are the orange post it notes.

This is what I would consider my H2 headings -- the other big keywords that I also want to rank for.

 

 

Google pulls the text from headings and if your headings are also highly searched key terms then you have more opportunities to rank for multiple topics for that one blog post.

You don’t only want to rank for the title of your blog.

You want to rank for multiple short-term and long-term keywords, maybe even dozens at a time.

That’s when your content has the opportunity to rank on the first page and get read by thousands and thousands of people.

Second, I fill in any additional details that I find relevant. This is more of the meat of the article and can contain more of your opinions.

 

 

In this example, this is the blue post it notes.  This section explains how to do something, give a detailed answer, opinion, or clarify the topic of the blog. 

Third and final step, add in any marketing material.

For this example, this is the pink post it notes. 

 

 

In this last phase, this is where you plan and add any lead magnets, CTA’s, or affiliate links into your content. 

This is the time when you want to figure out how you're blog can make money or lead someone further down the sales journey.

Remember you can do this process anyway you like! You don't have to use post it notes or anything like that. You can write it down on paper or type it out on your computer.

Whatever is easiest for you!

If you do love my way please let me know! I would love to hear your story about how you are creating content! Just shoot me a DM here.

 

🔥🔥 PRO TIP 🔥🔥

Have conversations with your partner and teammates to see if they have any additional ideas to add into your blog post.

When I have conversations with my team I record them and upload them into Searchie.io where it fully transcribes every one of my conversations. This means I never have to waste time going back and listening to hours of conversation to find one key point.

It saves a ton of time and makes content creation so much easier!

Check it out if this sounds cool to you!

 

Step 4: Put It All Together

After I organize my thoughts and key points the way I like, I type up all of my new information into a Google document and assemble my data together in one hub.

Here is a screen recording of what my blog post outline looks like when I am finished. 

 

720P

 

Once we have our blog outline complete, we assign roles to our teammates. 

We use Asana to assign roles and keep up with all of our blog content we are producing.

 

Asana example

 

Asana allows our writers and teammates to communicate in one place. And our teammates can also see what stage someone is at with a task without ever having to ask for an update!

This eliminates the annoying question: Are you done with that yet??

Step 5: Get Writing!

Now that you have everything put together it’s time to write your blog!

And if you are tired of writing blogs, send out your outline so someone can write it for you!

That's the beauty of creating this outline! 

The blog creation process may take a few hours or up to a couple of weeks depending on your goals and the complexity of your blog topic.

This is the time where you want to optimize your blog for the best user experience. At least make sure it looks pretty and is formatted correctly.

Our turnaround time to get a blog post written (the text) is one week.

It takes us about two weeks to create a blog post from start to finish -- from the blog outline to the promotions.

 

FREE Download!

CUSTOMER AVATAR WORKSHEET

Download this FREE worksheet that will help you identify the perfect customer avatar for your business.

 

Step 6: Create A Marketing Plan

Why spend all of that time writing a blog post if you don't get anyone to read it?

That's where a good content marketing and social media marketing strategy come into play. This is essential to get the biggest bang for your buck. 

Try using the #R3MAT Method as your marketing strategy and watch how well your audience consumes your content. You can seriously watch your engagement levels rise when you get your messaging and timing aligned with your audience.

 

R3MAT - the right message to the right audience at the right time

 

Run social media ads and use your blog post as one of the stepping stones in your buyers journey to move people further down the sales funnel. You can even create audiences of people who are just like the ones visiting your website now.

A blog post could be used as a way to solve a problem or plant a seed for the future because people usually take seven touches before they make a purchase.

Make sure you include social sharing icons on your blog so your readers can easily share it to their social media profiles. That is a great way to get your blogs exposed to a bigger audience. 

Just think if you could get one person who has a following of two million people to share your article. Just think what that could do for your business. 

Social media is a huge part in any marketing strategy. 

So make sure you put your content on the social media channels that your audience is active. For example, you could go ive and talk about your new blog on the new Clubhouse app if your audience was active there.

There’s nothing better than word of mouth marketing!

Try to think of ways you can have less one-on-one conversations and more one-to-many conversations.

That’s really when you can save time and make an impact with your content! 

⭐ Related Post: How do Facebook Ads work?

Step 7: Publish + Promote

Hit publish and make sure to spend more time promoting your blog posts than you do writing blog content. This is super important for the success of your blog.

When you do that you can create less pieces of content and get the same amount of value, if not more. 

Try to remember the 80/20 rule.

This is where you spend at least 80% of the time promoting blog content and the other 20% creating content.

There are other people who say promote 90% and create 10% and many other theories, but the point is to make sure you spend more time promoting your content than you do creating it. 

You want to find a happy flow that maximizes the success of your business. 

 

80/20 Rule

 

If you need help getting more people to see and engage with your content we can definitely help you with that. 

That’s actually where we really shine -- building a bigger audience for your business or brand. If you would like to chat hit us up below!

 

 

Final Thoughts + Resources

Don't forget to schedule when your new blog post will be coming out, so you can build up the hype around your new masterpiece. There's nothing better than people seeing you excited about your own work. 

And make sure you are using the #R3MAT Method as your marketing strategy to perfectly align your messaging, audience, and goals.

It's important to give your readers exactly what they need.

Additional Resources: