Write an Outline For Your Post

Great blog posts don’t just happen. Even the best bloggers need a rough idea to keep them on-track. This is where outlines come in.

An outline doesn’t need to be lengthy, or even detailed – it’s just a rough guide to make sure you don’t ramble on and on about something tangential to your topic.

For example, this is the outline for this post that I sent to my editor before getting to work:

Introduction

[Quick summary explaining what the blog post will cover]

Section 1 – Planning a Blog Post

– Things bloggers should do before putting pen to paper – outlining, research etc.

Section 2 – Writing a Blog Post

– Tips on how to focus on writing, productivity tips for bloggers

Section 3 – Rewriting/Editing a Blog Post

– Self-editing techniques, things to watch out for, common blogging mistakes

Section 4 – Optimizing a Blog Post

– How to optimize a blog post for on-page SEO, social shares/engagement, etc.

Section 5 – Conclusion

– Wrap-up

The purpose of this outline is to make sure I know what I plan to cover, in what order the various sections will appear, and some bare-bones details of what each section will include.

Outlines keep you honest. They stop you from indulging in poorly thought-out metaphors about driving and keep you focused on the overall structure of your post. Sometimes I’ll write a more thorough outline (and sometimes I won’t bother with one at all), but most of the time, something like the outline above is perfectly acceptable.

Whether you write your outline in your word processor, on a piece of paper, or even scribbled on a bar napkin, do whatever works for you to keep you focused.

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