The Fastest Way to Write a Blog Post Outline- Step-by-Step Guide

Having a blog outline is a great way to structure your content to make it easier to write the blog. However, blog outlines can be time-consuming. And if you are a small-scale business, you certainly don't want to waste hours creating a simple blog post outline.  So if you are facing a similar problem, we got you covered. Today we will show you how to write a blog post outline in just 5 minutes with our proven trick. 

What is a Blog Post Outline?

A blog outline is basically a rough framework of the article that outlines the topics you will be covering in the blog, in a more structured way. It also explains the blog’s purpose, approach, target audience, and special instructions that might be required to make the blog stand out. 

One of the main strategies to creating a content outline is to do research on what kind of content your competitors are ranking for, look is actually ranking. This means you will have to select a trending keyword or topic, generally considered the main keyword, and look up what your competitors are writing on the same keyword, and plan out the content accordingly and create a better blog post. 

The aim is to give the readers exactly what they are looking for but better than the top-ranking articles. 

How to Write a Blog Post Outline in Under 5 Minutes

Before you begin to create an outline, you obviously have to know the topic you are planning to write on.  Now, there are two ways to decide upon a topic. You can either decide on a topic that you want to talk about and then find a relevant, high-ranking keyword, or, if your main goal is to rank on search engines, simply choose a high-ranking keyword and create a topic around it. 

Here is the step-by-guide to help you learn how to write a blog post outline in 5 minutes:

Find the Right Keywords

As we just mentioned, the first step to creating a blog for your website is to find the right keyword that goes with your topic. The easiest way to find the best keywords in your niche is to use a keyword research tool like SemRush or WhatsMySerp.

For example, if you are using SemRush for your keyword research, all that you need to do is log into their website, enter the primary keyword you are trying to rank for, and click on “Search”.

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The next page will give you detailed information about the following:

  • Search volume in your preferred location
  • Global search volume
  • Keyword difficulty
  • CPC
  • Total results on this keyword
  • Keyword variations
  • Related questions
  • Related keywords
  • SERP Analysis
  • Keyword ad history

Here is a glimpse:

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If there is a specific country you are trying to rank for, you can filter down to that location to help refine keywords that will rank for that specific area.

Check the Kind of Content that is Ranking

In order to create great blog content, you need to look at what Google and other search engines consider worthy of ranking. The best way to do that is to review the top 10-20 articles and see what they are talking about so you create something better.

But the key to creating an outline in 5 minutes is to minimize the manual work and automate the process. You can use various tools like Surfer SEO, Frase, and Outranking

For example, if you pick Surfer SEO, all that you need to do is head over to their SERP analyzer and the keyword you are planning to rank on. 

Surfer SEO SERP Analyzer

The next page will have a tab named on the top right side named “Select competitors”.

Surfer SEO Select competitors section

There you will find the link to the articles posted by your competitors on the same keyword. 

You can also find related keywords, search volume, and overlapping websites that have published content around the same keyword with Surfer SEO’s SERP analyzer. Another great way to understand what kind of content would do well is to know what your target audience is looking for. 

If you look at the “People Also Ask” section in Google, you will find a list of questions that your target audience is looking for. If you answer these for people, not only will you get one step closer to creating a great blog post, but you will improve the chances of your blog ranking for a lot of different terms.

If you don't want to do it all manually, you can use the “People Also Ask Questions” feature of Outranking. Simply enter your primary keyword and hit “Search”.  Outranking will soon show you all the relevant questions related to your keyword asked by people along with their search volume so that you can decide upon their relevance. 

Determine What Topics Need To Be in H1, H2, and H3 Headers

By now, you have the basic idea of the keywords you will be writing about as well as the points and questions your content will be based on. The next step to create a blog post outline is to give your content a little more structure by deciding on the H1, H2, and H3.  Breaking up your article with appropriate H2 and H3 will improve its SEO score and readability. This should be part of your on-page SEO strategy for each outline you create.

It will also make it easier for people to understand straight away what each section of your article talks about. Remember, people these days do not have the time to read through an entire article. They will simply scan through it and read the section that’s relevant for them.  You can easily plan out your H2 and H3 headers with Surfer SEO. First, you need to head over to the content editor tab, enter the primary keyword, and hit the “Create a Query” button.

The page will load into a new page where you can directly write your content. Now, to the right of that page, you will find a section called “Content Score” which measures your content on various parameters and prepares a quality and SEO score. 

In this section, you will find the number of headings in your article and the ideal number of headings that an article of that length should have. 

Useing the content guideline tool in Surfer SEO

The keyword section under that will have a list of suitable keywords both for your article as well as the headings. Toggle to the heading tab to check out the list of keywords that you should use in your H2 and H3 headers. Basically, using these keywords will improve your SEO score and your chances of ranking high on search engines. 

Once you have the keywords for the headlines, you can easily create an H2 and H3 around them. 

You can also plan out your H2 and H3 headers with Outranking. Once you open a new editor page and enter the title you want to write on, an option to create an outline will pop up on the right side of the screen. 

Outranking content creation tool - content outline creation

Once you click on that, it will give you a list of headings to choose from. You can select the ones that go best with your content and copy them to your outline. 

Outranking content creation tool - content outline

To plan out your H3 headers and determine what your competitors are doing, click on the “Sections from Serp” tab. 

Outranking content tool - concept builder

This tab will show you the headings and sections of the top-ranking blogs on your primary keyword, which you can copy into your outline. 

Include Links to Your Examples and/or Data for Each Section

Now that you have a good blog post idea as well as a logical flow of the topics that your readers will understand, the last step is to include w, you simply need to structure everything you researched into an outline format for the writer to read through.  If you are planning to outsource the article or hire a writer to write it on behalf of you, you need to take a few extra precautions to ensure the content matches your tone and is at par with the original purpose.

To help the writer understand the type of content you are expecting, add a few links to your previously written articles or a standard sample.  You should also put in detailed comments and data for each section to explain what exactly you want to talk about under that topic.  For example, if you are writing an article on inside sales for Saas companies and there is a section that talks about selling strategies, you should tell the writer what exactly you want to be written for that particular section. 

Your comments should include:

  • The approach of the intro to the section
  • The subheadings of the section
  • Aim of the section
  • Any special instructions (if required)

This will ensure that the writer’s ideas and your visions remain on the same page, reducing the number of revisions and edits. 

Blog Outline Example

The blog outline aims to help you structure the article better and make it easy to write it. Also, having the research done beforehand will help you focus on the writing better instead of dividing your attention between creating an engaging blog post and researching for the same. 

Here is a list of things that every blog post outline should contain:

  • SEO Title
  • Meta Description
  • Purpose of the article
  • Parent website name
  • A Dos and don'ts checklist for the writer
  • Estimated word count
  • Keywords
  • Visual element requirements
  • Examples and samples
  • Other requirements

Once the basic information is provided, make sure you write down the structure of the article. This will include all the headers and subheadings.  You will also need to write brief instructions on what you aim to cover under each header. You can also share links to similar articles for each section to reduce the research load of the writer. 

Here is a <MDXLink href="" template" rel="sponsored"/> to help you create an outline for your next blog post. 

3 Reasons to Create a Blog Post Outline

Now you might be thinking that writing a blog post itself is time-consuming, so why would you take the extra responsibility of creating an outline? Well, simply typing in words isn't enough to churn quality blogs. It needs to be well-targeted, to-the-point, and engaging.

Here are the top 3 reasons why you should definitely create a blog outline before you begin writing:

Save Time

Writing with an outline is the best way to save time and improve your efficiency in turning in blogs. When you already have the detailed structure of the blog, the ideas, and concepts that would be covered in it as well as the resources to elaborate those ideas, you can offer your undivided attention to writing it well. 

On the other hand, if you do not have an outline, you will be wasting a lot of time brainstorming new ideas and researching them. This will make the whole process of writing unnecessarily tedious and complicated. 

Helps Best When You Want to Outsource the Work

As a brand, you must have a consistent voice, tone, and style throughout all the blogs that have been published on your website. However, when you are outsourcing, you need to help those writers to write your words in your own signature style. Usually, this would require a lengthy training process, but with outlines, the writer can quickly adapt to your style. 

Since the outline already mentions the topics you want to talk about, the order you want them in, and the usual voice that your brand follows, the writer will have a much easier time living up to your expectations. 

Prevents Writer’s Block

A writer’s block in the midst of writing a vital blog will undoubtedly disrupt your content calendar. In a business, you just cannot afford to miss out on publishing dates because you have writer’s block and are running out of ideas. The best way to avoid situations like this is to have an outline ready before you begin to write.

When you already have a list of topics to cover along with instructions and resources on how to approach the topics, you hardly have to brainstorm ideas for your blog. The outline will ensure that you never fall short of ideas or be uncertain about how you should proceed with the blog. 

Final Thoughts

Outlining your blog posts helps the writer stick to the topic and cover all the essential points that the brand requires in their own language. For long-format blogs and outsourced content, outlines are indispensable. 

While many brands despised the tedious process of creating these outlines, tools like Surfer SEO and Outranking have made the process super easy. Following our blog outlining guide, you can now craft the perfect outline for every article within 5 minutes!

Greg Tucker

Written by

Greg Tucker

Founder & Editor-in-Chief of Oncore

Greg Tucker is the founder of Oncore. With a background in digital marketing and many years of working with small businesses, he is creating and curating content on Oncore to help others build their own startups.

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