One of the cardinal rules of blogging is to blog regularly. But how do you find the time to blog when you’re too busy to devote proper time to it?
People who blog regularly have to make the most of their time. They creatively find ways to shorten the amount of time spent on each entry. One of the most effective ways to save time on writing blog entries is to use an outline.
Outlining takes about 5-15 minutes, depending on how long or how in-depth your posts are. Outlines are better for longer posts with a word count of 500 or higher. If you’re just writing a general post less than 500 words, you can still use an outline.
Why You Should Outline Your Blog Post
An outline is simply short notes listed in logical order. Public speakers use outlines to simply guide them through their speech. Outlines make speeches sound more natural. The speaker is not reading off of the paper word for word. He’s simply using his notes to remind him of what he’s going to say next.
If you’re taking a road trip, you need a map to guide you along the way. Before you take the trip, you want to map out the route you’re going to take. That is what an outline is: it’s a map. And if you know what you’re going to do beforehand, execution is much easier than just jumping in and hoping you finish.
An outline for a blog post is the same as an outline for a speech or a map for a road trip. Planning out your post beforehand ultimately saves time, keeps you focused and helps your posts to sound more natural. You’re not writing down how you’re going to explain your information. You’re just writing down the information in logical order. You can fill in the blanks later.
How to Outline Your Blog Posts
There is no right or wrong way to take notes. However, as a general guide, here’s a blog post outline. Feel free to tweak it or change it to suit your needs.
- Intro: What’s your post about? Why does the reader need this information? What purpose does it serve?
- Headline Title: Place your headline title here.
- Point 1: List your first point here.
Explanation: Briefly explain your first point here. List any consequences, benefits or any other information the reader needs to know. Be sure to keep all information presented tied into the main topic of the article.
- Point 2:
- Point 3:
- Conclusion: Wrap up your blog post in a few sentences. Write down the main points your want your audience to take away from your article or a nice call to action.
Filling this out may seem complicated, but it’s really not. It takes a short while to fill out, and it helps keep you organized.
The best way to use this outline is to fill it out at least 24 hours before you plan to write your post. You can do multiple outlines for multiple articles in the span of an hour. Keep them labeled. Then, you can come back later and turn your notes into a full blog post.