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How to Write a Blog Post Outline [Steps + Examples/Templates + Tools]

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The internet is now the go-to place to find information. This means that all content needs structure, which can be difficult to keep in mind when you are writing long-form blog posts. If you don’t create an outline before you start writing a blog post, you won’t even have time to breathe.

Outlines are the backbone of blogging, and successfully building them to tell stories for your audience is essential. But, creating an outline can be hard when you don’t know where to start or what your outline is supposed to accomplish.

This guide breaks down each step and explains exactly what needs to happen throughout the process. By the end, you’ll have no more questions about how it works.

Why you need to spend time creating a detailed blog post outline before writing

Writing with a plan can help you save time and produce quality content. When you have a clear idea of what you want to say and how to say it, there are fewer opportunities for distractions and procrastination.

Creating an outline for your blog post forces you to be more organized while writing, which leads to better content. That means creating a blog post outline and following it through with a well-organized post. Your readers will then have an easy time understanding and enjoying your content.

Ensuring that your readers have a great experience is essential if you want them to keep coming back or sharing your content with others online. By following an outline, you can be sure that every post will be enjoyable and easy to read.

Creating an outline before you start writing also makes the process easier – you can simply refer to your outline as you work, rather than flipping back and forth between getting your writing done and coming up with brilliant ideas. By planning out your thoughts and organizing them into a blog post outline, you will save yourself time and energy overall.

How to create blog post outlines for your articles?

Step 1: Find the seed keyword or topic to create a blog post outline

Before you can write a blog post, you need to come up with a seed keyword. This is the main keyword that you want to rank for on search engines. To find a seed keyword, start by brainstorming topics for your blog post. Once you have a list of potential topics, do some research to find a keyword that is relevant to your topic and has low competition.

Also, look at related articles to see what keywords they are using. You can also use a tool like Google Keyword Planner (free) or Semrush (paid) to find suitable keywords.

Once you have found a seed keyword, use Outranking’s AI SEO tool to create an outline for your blog post.

Find the seed keyword or topic to create a blog post outline using Outranking

Step 2: Create compelling blog post titles or auto-generate them using Outranking

To create the perfect outline for your blog post, think about what people might be searching for when looking for a blog post on this topic. What are they trying to learn or find? Use this research to create a title that accurately reflects the content of your post.

Take a close look at your competition. What titles are they using? How can you make yours stand out?

Keep it short, sweet, and to the point. A title that is too long or convoluted will lose readers before they even start reading.

Use strong keywords to help your post get found on search engines. But, beware of engaging in keyword stuffing. A few well-placed keywords will do the trick without making your title sound like spam.

Allow Outranking to simplify the whole process by generating a keyword-rich, attention-grabbing title for your blog post.

Create compelling blog post titles or auto-generate them using Outranking

Step 3: Analyze the top-ranking pages for common content themes

When determining what content to create for a website, it can be helpful to analyze the top-ranking pages for common themes. You can do this research by using a tool like Outranking.

By looking at the top 20 sites ranking for a given keyword, you may be able to find a unique angle that you can add to the conversation. Additionally, checking the “People Also Ask” section aggregated by Google can give you more ideas about common content themes and search queries to rank for.

Analyze the top-ranking pages for common content themes

Step 4: Generate a blog post outline using AI

To use AI to create a blog post outline, enter your initial topic or keywords into Outranking. The AI system can come up with ideas and create an outline for you.

Generate a blog post outline using AI

Once you have the outline, follow it to create a well-structured and researched blog post.

Step 5: Create comprehensive blog post outlines with all the content themes found in Step 4

You can take this further by enhancing your blog post outlines with relevant information and H3 subheadings for better user understanding. Outranking can automatically do this for you, based on semantically related keywords and NLP terms.

See these subheadings as an example:

Create subheadings using Outranking

Step 6: Structure your outline for the most effective content delivery and user experience

When it comes to blog post outlines, there are different schools of thought. Some people swear by them, while others find them restrictive. However, if you want to ensure that your blog post is well-structured and easy to read, creating an outline is a good idea.

There are a few different ways to structure a blog post outline. One popular method is known as the “Problem/Solution/Benefits” method. Here’s how it works:

  1. Introduce the problem that your readers are facing.
  2. Offer a solution to that problem.
  3. Explain the benefits of implementing your solution.
  4. Provide instructions on how to get started with your solution.
  5. Conclude by summarizing what you’ve covered, and leave readers with a call to action (such as signing up for your email list or downloading a free guide).
If you're looking for a way to create an outline for your blog posts, then this guide is exactly what you need. It'll teach you how to develop an outline that's optimized for SEO and user experience.

Another common approach is known as the “Inverted Pyramid” method, which is often used in journalism. With this method, you start with the most important information and then work your way down to the less-important details. This ensures that readers will get the information they need, even if they don’t read the entire article.

Inverted pyramid style – Writing for Strategic Communication Industries

Both approaches have their merits, and it’s up to you to decide which one works best for your needs. If you’re not sure, try writing a few outlines using both methods and see which one feels more natural to you.

Step 7: If possible, break your outline into more subheadings (Hint: use the H3 ideas generator in Outranking)

A blog post outline gives you a roadmap for your writing, ensuring that each subheading or H2 is relevant to the topic and provides value for the reader.

You can use Outranking’s H3 ideas generator to generate a list of valuable sub-subheadings for each H2. Once you have all your subheadings, review each one separately, making sure to include value for the reader and keep them relevant to the topic at hand.

use the H3 ideas generator in Outranking

By following this process, you can produce well-rounded and informative blog posts that will engage your readers.

Step 8: Reorder the outlines to help users understand

The Outranking AI gives you the ability to not only quickly create outlines, but also to easily reorder and move them around. You can change your outlines in real-time, which is helpful if you are still working on them or if you want to get feedback from others.

If you want to reorder an element in your blog post outline for better organization, just click on the three horizontal lines, then drag and drop it to your intended location.

Reorder the outlines to help users understand

Step 9: Add FAQ headings when needed

When you’re done with your content and have an outline, you can use Outranking AI to check if any of the topics in your content are being brought up as People Also Ask questions on Google.

If they are, add them as FAQs in your content so that you can directly answer them. You’ll stand a better chance of winning a Google featured snippet for that query.

Add FAQ headings using Outranking

FAQs provide clarification for readers and help them process the content. You can add FAQs at any time during the writing process. These are great ways to provide additional information or emphasis.

Step 10: Optimize your outlines for search engines

Good structure in a blog post makes it easy to read, and it can also help with your SEO ranking. You can use Outranking’s blog post outline generator to create a well-structured and optimized blog post, ensuring you target related keywords, NLP terms, and frequently asked questions.

Optimize your outlines for search engines

Try to optimize your outlines with many NLP terms related to your topic to stand a better chance at ranking. Outranking can suggest NLP terms to use.

Outranking can suggest NLP terms to use

If you are looking to improve your SEO ranking, the Outranking blog post outline tool can analyze data from pages that are already ranking to give you an idea of what content works best for your target audience. This can also help you save time when creating your own content.

Here is a step-by-step video guide on how to create the best blog post outline using Outranking AI:

Different types of blog post outlines with examples

List-type blog post outlines

When writing a list-type blog post, start out by deciding on the list topic. Once you have this idea for your topic, you can then plan your structure. There are many different approaches to creating a list, so choose the one that best fits your content. Finally, write your content in short, easy-to-read passages.

Typical examples of list-type blog posts (listicles) are:

  • 10 ways to knot a tie
  • 20 keto diet tips for belly fat reduction
  • 5 ways to lace a shoe (here is an example on Lifehack)
List type blog post outlines

The typical outline format for list-type blog posts is:

  • Title (H1)
    • Introduction (H2)
    • Subheading (H2)
      • Subheading (H3)
      • Subheading (H3)
      • Subheading (H3)
      • Subheading (H3)
    • Conclusion(H2)

Question-type blog post outlines

A question-type blog post is one where the majority of the content is answering particular questions. You can list questions at the beginning of the post and then answer them, or you can intersperse questions throughout the post. Either way, this format is a great way to engage readers and get them thinking about your topic.

Question-type blog post outlines

Steps-type blog post outlines

Steps-type blog post outlines are used to provide a step-by-step guide on how to do something. They are often found on blogs that offer advice or instructions on a particular topic, such as home improvement. The goal is to walk the reader through the process so they can complete it themselves.

Steps-type blog post outlines

Product review-type blog post outlines

When you’re writing a product review blog post, you’ll want to start by deciding what to review. Start with your headline, then introduce the product. Describe the features, and give your thoughts on the product. Be sure to include both positive and negative aspects.

Once you have your body paragraphs planned out, it’s time to finish up with a conclusion and any final thoughts. Then write and publish the post, and enjoy the results!

Recipe-type blog post outlines

A recipe-type blog post is a great way to share your love of cooking with others. Whether you’re sharing your favorite family recipes or giving readers a new twist on an old favorite, keep a few key components in mind.

Recipe-type blog post outlines

It’s important to have a clear and concise hook that will grab readers’ attention and make them want to read more. Second, introduce the food and give your readers a reason to care about the subject matter.

Lastly, provide key points about the topic that will be helpful for readers. For a strong ending, leave readers with a takeaway or next steps, such as pairings or variations.

Here is an example of a recipe post outline from Bigger Bolder Baking.

Example of recipe post outline

Travel destination-type blog post outlines

1. Write a catchy headline

Your headline is the first thing readers will see, so make sure it’s eye-catching and intriguing. Try to include keywords that describe your destination – this will help your post show up in search engine results.

2. Introduce your destination

Structure your first paragraph to give some basic information about your chosen destination. Where is it located? What type of climate does it have? What is notable about its history? Why did you choose to visit there?

3. Describe the journey to your destination

If you took an interesting or unusual route to get to your destination, add a heading to share that experience with your readers. You can later describe the different modes of transportation you used, any interesting people or places you encountered along the way, and any challenges you faced.

4. Share what you did once you arrived at your destination

Did you visit any particular sights or landmarks? Go on any exciting excursions? Eat any delicious food? Add a section to tell your readers all about it! If possible, you can later include photos or videos to really bring your story to life.

5. Offer some final thoughts on your experience

Would you recommend this destination to others? Would you like to go back someday? Why or why not?

By following these simple tips, you can write an outline for a great travel blog post that will inspire others to visit your chosen destination. So get out there and start exploring – happy writing!

Here is an example of a destination post outline from TourRadar:

example of a destination post outline

Conclusion

A blog post outline can be an immensely valuable tool when it comes to getting your writing process started. It can help you organize your thoughts, ensure that your final product is well-constructed and easy to read for both humans and search engines, and set you up to succeed with SEO.

Outranking’s AI blog post outline generator can be an invaluable tool to organize your thoughts and create the final product you desire. This can help you score your blog post for SEO by analyzing many important factors.

FAQs

What is a blog post outline template?

A blog post outline template is a document that you can use to plan and write your blog post outlines. This template helps you to stay on track while writing outlines, ensure that all the necessary elements are included, and format your article for SEO success. The template consists of three parts: the angle/type of article, the overall structure to provide, and a list of required elements.

Can I auto-generate an outline for my blog post?

Yes, you can use Outranking’s AI blog post outline generator to create an SEO-optimized content outline in two clicks. This tool helps you structure your post in a way that is both engaging and search engine-friendly.

What AI writer is best for writing SEO blog posts?

Several AI writer tools are on the market, but one that is particularly well-suited for writing SEO blog posts is Outranking. It uses real-time SERP metrics to understand the intent of searchers and then produce content that is both relevant and factual. This can help you to rank higher in search results for your target keywords.

Is keyword research important when building blog post outlines?

Yes. Keyword research and analysis are essential when creating blog post outlines. This task involves diving into the perceived intent of a search term. This helps to create content around posts that are more relevant and factual, and that process begins with creating a well-structured outline.

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