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How to Create an Outline for your Article/Blog Post

How to Create an Outline for your Blog Post_Article

Are you going to write an article?

I assume, yes, then wait! If you really want to write amazing article then this post specially written for you!

It doesn’t matter whether you want to write an article for publication, white paper, company blog or any other forum. A good outline can help you a lot to put your thoughts into very interesting and unique way. Now you may have questions – how to create an outline for your article, blog post or paper? How exactly a good outline looks like?

Wait a Second! I am giving away FREE outline template at the end of this article completely FREE. 

How about outline which I’ve created for this post itself? 

Make sense? Keep reading…

What is an Outline and Why it is so Important?

An outline allows a writer to think, organize their content, validate intent and flow of an article before actually start with writing an article. It has been seen many times, writers lose their original flow in between writing process and unknowingly they start adding irrelevant stuff into it. It mostly happens when you do not have boundaries set for your chosen topic.

It is very important to create an outline for a blog post/article to restrict your thoughts which goes beyond your selected topic. It’s good to be free mind to come up with an interesting content but your thoughts should revolve around the topic. Sometimes, people start writing on cricket, then they add football in between and end up with talking about tennis.

When you try to attempt to write a long post or articles such kind of mistakes can happen. I hope, you know why people prefer to write a longer post or article?

An outline play major role in deciding the flow of your article and it helps to keep intact with your selected topic. You can use that outline while preparing for presentations, making videos on Youtube, group discussion or promoting your blog post on social media or any other medium you choose to highlight/promote your content. 

#6 Easy Steps to Create An Outstanding Outline!

#1 planning: Planning phase is very crucial part in writing. If you want to write good article then you should have end-to-end clarity on the process. Process may vary person to person but basic things always stay there! You should prepare yourself to writing on any specific topic.

#2 topic research: If you are going to write an article or white paper or a blog post then you would have already decided topic to write. Otherwise, it’s time to invest as much as possible to come up with a topic which you are really interested. Select your topic wisely so you can convert your time & efforts into something valuable.

If you are passionate blogger and want to share knowledge with people or expand your online presence in blogging field then you should choose topics related to Blogging only. It gives you maximum ROI- Return On Investment.

#3 keyword research: This is the most critical part in the planning if you already know SEO (Search Engine Optimization). You have to select most commonly searched phrase and use that phrase to target your article. It helps to deliver strong & concise message. It also helps to appear in the top search results.

#4 number of words: Google or any other search engine generally like long content. It has been observed that long content appears easily in the top result and leaves a positive impact on readers mind. Definitely you may write short content if your topic really demands to keep it short. I usually write longer articles with more than 1000 words, exactly like this article but sometimes few articles I finish in 300-400 words. Before you start writing an article you should have an idea, how many number of words you are going to write under any specific topic.

Take a look at my long & short articles.

#5 Title: Once you have decided your topic, done with keyword research then it’s time to think about TITLE. It is highly recommended to focus more on title, take out some time, think again and again. You can do some brain storing sessions, write down important words you are going to cover in your article and list down at least 5-6 possible titles.

You can definitely adjust your title later, after completion of you entire article but it’s important to list down few alternative titles before you actually start writing. Your title is extremely important in order to attract readers to click on your article link when they see your title. Study shows that most of the articles do not get positive response or do not get clicks just because of irrelevant, boring or bad titles. Show some creativity and grab attention. Most important – do not forget to use your key phrase in the title which you want to target.

Pro Tip: Negative title works amazing! for ex. 4 things you may NOT know about blogging!

#6 Headings & Subheadings: At first glance when people land into your post or article, they read titles and then decides whether to read description or not. If you have bad/boring headings or if you do not have headings at-all then people do not want to read your article. It doesn’t matter what quality of information you have written if you do not present well.

When you decide your topic, you should have some basic idea on what you want to cover in your article. Write down your headings in the form of words or complete sentences. Once you have your headings then start adding subheadings. Subheadings can be bullet points in words or multiple sentences. Dynalist or Workflowy gives you more flexibility to arrange your headings and subheadings.

I highly recommend to write little bit description whatever comes first in your mind against headings and subheadings. You can convert those short descriptions later into one or multiple paragraphs.

Pro Tip: Use LSI words in your headings and subheadings to grab the reader’s attention.

I hope, now you must have a complete understanding on how to create an outline for your blog post/article.

But

Wait!

Are you going to draft your Outline on paper?

Nope! Writing on paper is old fashioned and time consuming process. Avoid that! Use something else that is most convenient to you and should not be time consuming.

Use Free Mobile Apps/sites to Create an Outstanding Outline

There are many FREE good platforms available to draft your outline. I would like to introduce you, two such platforms which I personally use to write my articles.

1. Dynalist.io

2. WorkFlowy.com

The great thing is, they have free mobile applications available for iOS and Android devices. So you can work on your article using your mobile phone. It is not required to use a computer to draft your outline.

Dynalist WorkFlowy
Getting started with Dynalist by Mayur Jadhav

There could be other good alternative applications might have available in the market. If you know one, then let me know in the comment section. I will make sure to add in this list.

Is your outline only limited to use for writing an article? I do not think so! You can use it for multiple purposes – you should be- as you are going to invest your time on it. What are those use cases?

An Outline Use-Cases

Use #1 Of course for a blog post or Article

If you want to write well structured, organized and meaningful article then you must create an outline first. It helps you to make boundaries for your topic to deliver quality content within that selected area. Otherwise, you will start walking in the forest and end up in the middle of the desert. You should write under some discipline and outline really helps you.

Use #2 Content Promotion

Those who are in the content writing field for a longer time knows how important is to promote your content. There are many good write up available but those are not yet outreached just because of bad marketing or promotion strategies. It’s your responsibility to tell the world that you have something to offer.

Nowadays we have multiple social media platforms where we could easily reach out to many people at one go. But you can not just share the link and hope to get clicks on it. You must summarize your content so people can read it. If they like your summary then they will definitely hit the link.

An outline plays a very important role here. You can simply use your outline to put forward your thoughts in front of people and appeal to read your article. If you do this sincerely then you will grab the reader’s attention.

Visit my LinkedIn profile to know how I promote my articles on social media platforms.

Use #3 For making presentation:

Let’s assume, you have already published your white paper on some forum and you are invited for conference to present your paper. You do not need to start from the beginning to prepare for your presentation. You already have your outline created for your paper. Refer that outline and you will come up with an interesting paper presentation. It also helps you to prepare to speak in the conferences in a better way.

Use #4 For making youtube videos

If you are a blogger or may be IT professional- just like me! And you want to try out Youtube then it’s very convenient to speak in the video by referring points from outline. You do not need any special script for that. Many top YouTuber-blogger use this trick and save their time.

As I already told you, here is the FREE outline example which I’ve created for my technical paper using Dynalist. I have used this outline to write my article which has grabbed attention!

Sample Dynalist outline template
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