How to Quickly Create a Blog Post Outline

The concept that “content is king,” made famous by Bill Gates over two decades ago, still applies in 2022. Every digital marketing plan needs a consistent stream of fresh content, but not at the expense of quality. 

Your content’s clarity, readability, and overall value will contribute to your success. Taking the time to craft quality posts could be the difference between someone leaving your site after less than a minute and returning in the future. 

So, how do you craft the perfect blog post every time — one that’s well thought out and structured? 

You start with a strong foundation. And that foundation is a great outline.

Here’s how to write a blog post outline in 30 minutes or less.

Related: How to Structure Your Blog Posts for Maximum Readability

What Is an Outline?

An outline is a general plan that encompasses the order of topics, their relevance, and their relationship. It’s essentially a blogging blueprint with several connected parts. The goal of this outline is to flesh out a main topic and angle. 

Creating an outline can be simple or complex depending on the type of post you plan to create, the amount of detail you need to include, your goals, etc. Feel free to be as detailed as you see fit, always focusing on the primary objective — laying out a list of main points to better plan the structure of your post. 

Regardless of how detailed your outline is, it should always be strong yet flexible. Meaning it should be solid enough to provide support but malleable enough that it can adjust to various blog scenarios. Taking this approach will help you save an immense amount of time, as you can refer back to the same starting template each time, tweaking it as necessary. 

The bottom line: When it comes to blog posts, nothing is worse than poor flow. Luckily, an outline is a simple and effective solution that will help you keep your thoughts organized. The more outlines you create, the quicker and more efficient this process will become. 

Why Should Every Blog Post Start With an Outline?

If you’re trying to write the most content possible, you may think that taking an extra step to create an outline works against you. However, planning an outline will save you time and allow you to create a more polished final blog post. It helps you work more efficiently. Think of it as a map that will help you avoid writer’s block by staying on a clear path. This “map” will allow you to craft a logical flow as you move from one main point to the next. 

Creating an outline will also allow you to:

  • Plan ahead, organize your thoughts, review your data, and more. It’s a way for you to prepare a polished post that will be more successful. An outline aims to take your “aha” idea and flesh it out.
  • Develop the structure of your post, focusing on your intro, body copy, and concluding idea. This process will help you include the most relevant, valuable info while eliminating ideas that lack substance. 
  • Save time, thanks to the points above. For example, by pinpointing the necessary ideas in your outline, you won’t waste time writing content that doesn’t belong. Your outline also acts as a blueprint, allowing you to stay on track so that you can finish your blog post in a timely manner. 
  • Outsource your ideas so you can focus on other aspects of your site. You can send the outlines you create to freelancers or an agency so that you can work on building your website or doing what you love.

The bottom line: Creating a blog outline will help you plan and write with intention. That way, you don’t get stuck halfway through a post — or worse, you write a disjointed piece that makes a reader feel like they just wasted their time. 

How to Write a Blog Post Outline, Fast

Although there’s no “right way” to create an outline, there is a basic structure you should follow. Once you get the hang of the basics, you can apply a more flexible version to your content when needed. The key is to develop a template or two that works for your content and writing style while staying mindful of SEO strategies.

For example, every basic blog outline should summarize the main topic, followed by the main sections and subsections. Depending on the complexity of your outline, you may also want to incorporate keywords and other SEO details based on the topic and your research. 

Here’s an example of the outline creation process:

1. Identify Your Topic (Add This to Your Title)

First, pinpoint your core topic — what is the focus of your post? For example, the topic of this post is creating a blog post outline. Since this is the main topic, it’s included in the title so that readers know what they can expect when they click on the post. 

Again, this is why the quality and structure of your posts matter. If readers take the time to open them, it’s because the title is intriguing to them. Once you have that visitor on your site, it’s your job to keep them there. If your post is poorly written and lacks clarity, the reader will quickly lose interest and leave. 

So, although this may seem like a straightforward and obvious step, don’t underestimate the value of selecting the right topic and, more importantly, portraying that topic in an engaging and informative way. 

2. Identify Your Angle (Work This Into Your Intro)

Next, decide on your angle or purpose. The main points of your article should all support this angle. For example, the angle of this post is how to create a blog post outline fast — and why you should care. Make your angle clear in your intro. When a reader skims the introductory section of your post, they should be able to determine what’s next. 

Once you determine your angle, develop your main points and subpoints to support that idea. Remember, you want to create a cohesive, connected piece of content. 

Think about:

  • Who will be reading your post, and what you want them to take away from it. 
  • What questions you need to answer, and how you’ll convey the answers.
  • A final call to action (CTA) if your post is set up as a problem and solution post. 

3. Identify Your Main Points (Use Each as a Subheading)

Now for your main points. These points are what lead the reader to a final conclusion and overall understanding of your topic. Each should stand on its own, but when presented together in a carefully planned order, support the angle of your post. 

You can summarize each point with a subheading — which is basically a mini title for that section of the article. Think of these subheadings as a summary of what you want to write. You can change them in the final post — right now they’re just a guide to help you write.

Below each subheading, include notes on the concepts you want to touch on, especially if you have specific research, data, or product information to incorporate. 

4. Put All Your Subheadings into Chronological Order

In what order will your subheads make the most sense? Order the subheads in your outline so that they flow from the “big idea” to the end goal. Also, think about the intent behind your content. Is your goal to educate, persuade, or sell? 

When you get this order correct, it will also make it easier to write your post because the ideas you want to present will flow into one another. By including this order in your outline, you’ll stay on track during the writing process. The whole point is to cut loose irrelevant ideas from your outline so that when you’re writing your post, you don’t get led astray. 

So, for this post, examples of subheadings are:

  • What Is an Outline?
  • Why Should Every Blog Post Start With an Outline?
  • How to Write a Blog Post Outline, Fast

5. Identify Two to Three Subpoints for Each Subheading

Your subheadings can likely be broken down further to help summarize the “ideas within the ideas” of your article. They’re the ideas that support your main points, while adding more specific tips, information, examples, etc. 

These help break up long paragraphs of text and allow readers to more easily skim and understand the entire concept of your article. 

Consider the following while creating your outline:

  • Depending on the topic, 2-3 subpoints are ideal. These points are what support the subheading — which is essentially a smaller, narrower topic that enforces the core topic.
  • If in doubt, ask yourself if a subpoint is relevant. Does it provide value to the reader? Does it offer an opportunity to present unique research or include an internal link?
  • Ideally, you won’t go over 300 words per subheading. It’s better to flesh out 2-3 subpoints — providing high-value content — than stuff a bunch of poorly supported ideas into a single subheading. Remember, clarity and readability matter!

Copy and Paste Blog Post Outline Template

The following basic blog post outline template can be used to craft your next blog post or guide you as you create a more thorough outline. This template is just one example — it’s not intended to be overly prescriptive. Adjust as you see fit, focusing on a similar structure. 

Start with your main points, turning them into hypothetical headings. From there, you can take all your ideas and supporting data, moving them under the heading that makes the most sense. If something doesn’t fit, eliminate it or use it in another post. This process is the whole point of your blog outline. You’ll be ready to confidently start your draft when you finish fleshing it out.

Sample Blog Post Outline Template

  • Introduction (what’s the angle of this post?)
  • Main point 1
    • Subpoint 1
    • Subpoint 2
    • Subpoint 3
  • Main point 2
    • Subpoint 1
    • Subpoint 2
    • Subpoint 3
  • Main point 3 
    • Subpoint 1
    • Subpoint 2
    • Subpoint 3
  • Conclusion
    • Optional CTA

How to Outline a Blog Post — Make It Your Own

Everyone has a different workflow and writing style. So, while there are certainly some fundamental tips and tricks, you must create an outline that works for you. If a simpler outline is best for the way you work, take that route. However, you may thrive with more detail, and that’s okay too! Speed and productivity are essential, but so are the effectiveness of your outline and the quality of your writing. 

New to blogging on WordPress? Check out this guide to blogging for more info!

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