Planning And Outlining Tips For Blog Posts

Planning And Outlining Tips For Blog Posts


Blogging is a mainstay in SEO and content marketing. By consistently writing and posting high-quality content, you’ll be able to start working your way up the SERPs. As long as you maintain SEO best practices—like keyword research, link building, and site optimization—your blog posts could be key to a great marketing venture for your website.

That said, there is an emphasis on two words here: consistent and high-quality. You can’t just sit down, write whatever you want, and expect results right away.

Blog posts not only have to be helpful, but you also need to have a consistent posting schedule. Remember, search engines like Google love content; so, the more you post, the better for your website’s SEO.

Do You Have To Post Every Day?

So, if more content means better for SEO, should you be posting every day? In theory, posting great content every day will definitely boost your chances of ranking high. Keyword: In theory.

Doing something like that is only ever possible for huge companies with full-blown research teams, several writers, and dedicated editors. Additionally, if you force yourself to write content for the sake of volume, you’ll likely end up sacrificing some quality along the way.

So, as frustrating as it is, the honest answer is: it depends. If you’re doing this all on your own, you need to have an efficient schedule that allows you to post high-quality content without seemingly abandoning your blog for months. On the other hand, posts can go up more frequently if a few writers work on your blog.

Planning And Outlining To Streamline Your Blog Content

While you don’t have to write every day to use blogging as a content marketing strategy, that doesn’t mean you can abandon your blog for months for the sake of perfecting a single blog post. Again, you want to post high-quality blogs, but you also want to make sure you’re continually coming out with content.

The best way to do this is to make sure your research, writing, and editing process is as efficient as possible. In short, you need to stick to a method and schedule that makes sure you’re dedicating your time to creating high-quality content and not wasting it on other things.

One of the best ways is to create outlines for every planned blog post. This will allow you to organize your thoughts, sources, and arguments, so you’re not pantsing your blog posts.

Remember: poorly-planned blog posts take longer to create because of all the things you’d need to go back and fix afterward. This way, you’ll have your sources ready, and the editing and proofreading processes will be easier and quicker.

Planning And Outlining Tips For Bloggers

That said, before you even start outlining, you need to have a topic first, which will require some keyword research and social listening. If you already have a topic in mind, you can now start building your outline.

1. List Your Goals

You need to know which direction you’re going. In other words, think about what you want to accomplish with your blog posts. These goals should do either of the following:

  • Answer a question
  • Provide solutions
  • Address a problem

What is the ultimate takeaway from your blog? Asking yourself this question will guide you on what you need to include in the text to reach your goal. Again, this gives your blog post a direction instead of thrown-together paragraphs and facts along the same theme.

For example, if you’re going to write a post on “blogging,” it could fall into multiple categories, such as writing, SEO, and content marketing. Depending on which category you want it to fall into, the way your tone, sources, and writing style is going to change. Are you talking about writing tips? Or is it about the merits of content marketing through blogging?

2. Section Your Blog Post

Now that you have a goal, you need to fulfill it. As per blogging best practices, writing a wall of text isn’t ideal. This is especially true if you’re discussing complex topics or are have a usual word count of 700 or more.

The popular advice is to use headings (H2, H3, etc.) to section off your blog post. If you need an example, look no further than this blog post you’re reading. Instead of writing this entire post like an extended essay, I incorporated several headings to section the content. This also makes it easier to differentiate the different tips on this list.

One advantage to doing so is that it makes it easier for readers to find information. Again, using this post as an example, some readers might just want to get to the outlining tips as soon as possible. Since it’s sectioned off by H2 and H3 headings, they can skip the “Do You Have To Post Every Day?” and “Planning And Outlining To Streamline Your Blog Content” if they want to.

More importantly, deciding on the sectioning of your blog post allows you to draft the flow and sequence of your blog. Doing so is more convenient than starting with entire paragraphs then having to move things around during the editing process. Think of this as the bare bones of your blog, allowing you to lay out the information before you start writing anything.

3. Add Notes

After you’ve decided on your H2 and H3 subheadings, you can now start writing notes under them. Everyone works differently, but you can start by listing simple phrases that will guide you as you start any actual writing.

For example, if you have a section called “Planning And Outlining To Streamline Your Blog Content” (like the one in this blog), you can list bullet points like this:

  • You don’t have to write every day, but you shouldn’t abandon your blog for months
  • You need high-quality content
  • You need a strategy to maintain high quality and consistency

This allows you to lay down your important arguments and steer the direction of the conversation. That way, when you’re finally writing the actual meat of the content, you’ll get everything you want to say and not miss anything.

4. Include Links And Sources

For informative content like news, education, and technical tutorials, you’ll need to back up your claims. Citations help support your arguments and push you towards your goal.

For example, if you’re trying to convince someone that content marketing is the most effective strategy for small businesses, you need to back that up with a source.

That said, you should look for your citations first before writing anything. You can’t claim something and just retroactively look for sources to back you up. While there’s a chance there are pre-existing studies and articles that prove your claim; you can’t always bet on a hunch. If it turns out that nothing backs up your claim, you’ll have to either change an entire paragraph or—worse—rework an entire post.

So, make sure you attach links to your sources and citations in your outline. This will make adding hyperlinks easier in the long run.

Author’s Bio

JC Serrano is the founder of 1000Attorneys.com, one of the very few private enterprises certified to process lawyer referrals by the California State Bar. His marketing strategies have continuously evolved since 2005, incorporating ever-changing SEO strategies into lawyerleadmachine.com.