Before you start writing, it’s a great idea to think about what you are going to write. The writing process can be awful if you are not aware of where and how to start.
Whether you are a beginner or a professional content writer, here are the things you probably aware of:
Need to create blog posts? Just write!
Need to publish landing page content? Just write!
Need to publish a case study? Just write!
Need to send a sales letter? Just write!
Need to send a love letter? Just write! No more kidding 😛
Well, writing does not mean that you just pick up one topic and write randomly. And later publish it on a site and hoping to rank higher in Google. Earlier, I used to make the same mistakes over and over. My way of writing was simply to find a topic, then write, and later I was like what am I writing :P. Slowly, I came to know the importance of content outlining before jumping to any topic.
Similarly, writing content is not all about getting the words; it is all about finding the words you want to use and rank, which is often called an SEO optimized content.
Before you start writing any given content, I recommend you to go through proper outline first.
What exactly is the content outline?
In short, an outline is a list of all major topics and subtopics you need to cover for your article to be better than competitors that currently rank for the given piece of content. A proper content outline ensures that your flow of content is in the right direction.
Why you need a content outline for better SEO content creation?
Well, you might be wondering why the heck you need a content outline? I have a solid reason for you. Without a proper outline, it would be difficult to connect ideas with ease. It would be challenging to structure and organize content in well mannered. That’s why a content outline is an incredibly useful way to organize information.
For instance, you recently published a blog post and later realized you had forgotten something to cover topics around in an article. But with the proper content outline, you would be able to fill content or topic gaps so that you can make the content as complete as possible.
On the other hand, a stressful situation arises when you start writing, and at some point, you fail to write more. A reason is writing in freestyle without outline makes your progress SUPER slow. And, in my experience, the outcome doesn’t turn out that great.
An outline gives you a high-level overview of what you want to cover. That way, you could not miss any key points, strategies, topics, and sub-topic e.t.c.
Interestingly, the habit of content outline makes my content creation super fast and easy. I wrote this post within two days.
That’s the power of a detailed content outline.
To sum up all significance of Content Outlining, here are the points why you should outline a content before jumping right in creation:
- An outline helps to give a high-level overview of what you want to cover like topic and subtopics.
- Having detailed outlines helps to keep your content more structured and organized.
- An outline helps to fill the content gap that could be topic, sub-topic, essential steps, and strategies. Before you write a single word, an outline ensures that whether you cover key points or not in your entire content.
How to outline content?
Well, I hope you are familiar with the surface of content outlining, its importance, and why you need effective content creation? Now, its time to get pretty closer on the right way to draft content before jumping on writing. I have tested this process for a long time and it works like a charm. So let’s get started:
- Brainstorm your target topic
- Finalize your topic
- Gather and Generate Content Ideas
- Properly Structure Your Content
- Now It’s time to hit the keyboard!
Brainstorm your target topic
Now its time to jump on a topic you would like to write on. Whether it can be a case study, sales letter, blog posts, or even a research paper, and make sure to conceptualize your topic first.
You can even dive dipper for your target topics using sites such as AnswherThePublic, Quora, Reddit. AnswerThePublic is an excellent content ideas tool that helps to give you a better insight into what people are asking about your topic? Likewise, Quora and Reddit can be handy for generating tons of topic ideas on your niche.
Brainstorming could include:
- Finding topic
- Writing down all ideas
- Considering what readers want from your content
Finalize your topic
Finalizing a topic usually comes after brainstorming. In this phase, you have to make sure what is your ultimate topics, what you are going to write, and what you want to deliver.
Ensure the topic and create a title to express it. Let’s say you want to write a guide on Technical SEO. Your title should be something like “Technical SEO: Everything You Need To Know.” All outlines should reflect a topic sentence that summarizes the overall idea of the content. A topic or title should be brief, specific, and grammatically correct.
Gather and Generate Main Content Ideas
The gist here is to come up with a list of essential ideas that you are planning to present in your entire piece of content. Gathering content ideas can include such as statistics, an argument, frequently asked a question, resources list, or it could even add subtopic on how to do something.
This is how I gather main content ideas before writing so that I could later write like a boss.
Listing your main content ideas enhances to fill the overall content gap and makes your content exciting and complete.
Properly Structure Your Content
Whether you are writing blog posts, sales letters, product descriptions, or even research papers, make sure to structure your content based on topic and subtopics.
For instance, if I am on writing product description, I would structure my content following a top-down approach which would look similar to:
- Intro (Describing what the product does and who needs it most)
- Bullet list of features
- “Deep Dive” on Product Description(Benefits, Images, FAQs)
- Conclusion(Summary + Call to action)
Pro Tips: Make sure to maintain heading in hierarchical order. Using heading tags helps search engines to read and understand the overall content of your page. In addition, heading tags give google a strong signal to rank better.
Now It’s time to hit the keyboard!
Well, I hope I covered essential things before writing killer content. And I am sure you are familiar with all steps mentioned above. Go on a flow, write according to a detailed outline.
Besides, I do have a bit of exercise for you. After completion, just evaluates how long does it takes to write, how easy do you feel while writing comparing writing without outlining vs. outlined content? I bet outline content works like a charm.
The main difference between the outlined content and generic content is that the first is well written with proper structuring and formatting. And the second one is written without realizing the intent of the readers. Sadly, the second one is what most writers do. Don’t fall in such a mousetrap. Make a habit of outlining content before writing. I bet over the time you will get the pace and slowly master the art of writing SEO optimized content.
Happy Reading 🙂