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7 key steps to create a content outline to write posts

In my blogging career, I have examined different strategies for writing content. Creating the content outline is one of them. 

It helps me to make decisions about what to include, what to remove. It provides me a clear idea before start writing, well understanding of writing, proper overview after writing. 

Here I shared the strategy that greatly worked for me.

What is a website content outline?

A content outline represents the overview of what will be included within your content. It could be considered the frame of content. After creating an outline, you can fill up your spaces with the necessary information easily. 

The process of creating a website content outline

1. Select the topic you want to write about

Firstly, you need to select a topic to write content for your website. You can brainstorm topic ideas and find out the topic under your niche.

You should maintain a balance while selecting your content topic. Find out if the topic is popular or not. If people are interested in your selected one, then you need to understand your competition.

If you find the topic has huge competition, you have better avoid it. So, you need to find out the one which is popular, but fewer people have written about it. Or you have a better chance to provide unique content. 

You should give more importance to topic research instead of keyword research.

Because nowadays, search engines' advanced technology understands the topic, no matter which keywords you are using. 

In nearest before, search engine machines were highly dependent on keywords, but the scenario has been almost changed and continuously changing. And still, keyword research is important for many reasons. 

2. Decide the goal you want to achieve 

Goals may depend on your website type. So, not all contents should be written under the same strategy. 

For instance, if you are running a blogging website for affiliate marketing, your intention should be emphasized users to click on affiliate links. Cleaver bloggers show links in different ways, which even increases user experiences. They place links on short descriptions, comparison tables, product names, and so on.

But while you are promoting a brand or product, you need to ensure audience engagement with your content. In such cases, you can implement a quick jump navigation system or provide hooks to keep reading.

If you do things unwisely, you have a great chance of becoming a failure even after getting good user engagement. So, decide your goal very precisely. 

3. Pick your targeted keyword and LSI keywords

Search engines always show results based on keywords. When your content matches the searcher's keywords, then only you have a chance to get ranked on search engines.

Exact keyword matching is not important, instead, it is harmful to web content. If your overall content is relevant enough to your main keyword, then you will probably get rank for it. 

Placing the same keyword many times creates over-optimization, which is definitely harmful. Just keep everything in natural ways. Search engines, nowadays, are intelligent enough to understand. 

You can instead use LSI keywords on your content headings and subheadings. 

4. Find out the search intent of your selected keyword

Find out the reason why users are searching for your selected keyword. To understand that, you can follow the search engine's result page. 

If you write high-quality content based on your keyword and accidentally gate the wrong visitors, you will instead do harm to your website.

Because when users don't find your content helpful, they will increase your website bounce rate, which has a great impact on SEO. And it causes results that will decrease your search engine rank.

For example, if you write content based on the keyword 'Instagram,' where you describe everything about Instagram, users won't find it helpful. Because by searching the keyword 'Instagram', they just want to visit instagram.com.

5. Get ideas from your competitors and SERP 

You should collect content outline ideas from your competitor's content and SERP features.

SERP stands for Search Engine Result Page. It includes organic search results, paid Ads results, Featured Snippets, Knowledge Graphs, video results, and so on.

Feature Snippets help to get sub-topics ideas, headings and subheadings ideas, user intent, and so on.

To get the top-ranking positions, you need to outrank your competitors by overall content quality. So, you need to get ideas from their websites and find out the ways how can you provide better things. 

6. Outline your article with title, headings, and subheadings 

It is time to work with a text editor. Put there your different findings sequentially. Include title, headings, subheadings, etc.

Please don’t overdo anything; just include the necessary things. If you put unnecessary kinds of stuff, your audiences will find them annoying instead.

First, include a click-bait title; try to keep it under 60 words. Then put headings and subheadings sequentially according to importance.

7. Implement your personal content structure 

After creating a basic content outline, you need to implement it in your content structure. Content structures have equal importance as content outlines.

You can have different content structures according to your need. For instance, a common content structure could include the main heading, introduction, short description, secondary headings, subheadings, FAQ, and Conclusion sequentially. 

Why you should outline your content

#1. To Get a Clear Overview Outlining your content gives you a birds-eye view of your article, allowing you to see the flow and logic of your piece before you start writing.

#2. Helpful for SEO Optimization An outline helps you strategically place your keywords in headings and subheadings, improving your content's SEO performance.

#3. Helps to Maintain Writing Flow An outline acts as a roadmap, keeping you on track and maintaining a logical flow in your content, enhancing readability and engagement.

#4. Requires Less Effort and Saves Time With a clear outline, you can write more efficiently and avoid writer's block, ultimately saving time and reducing effort.

#5. Congregate Enough Information Outlining enables you to organize and structure your research findings effectively, ensuring you cover all necessary points and don't overload your content with unnecessary information.

#6. Provides a Better User Experience A well-structured content, thanks to an outline, enhances user experience as it allows readers to easily navigate through your content and find the information they're looking for swiftly.


Outlining content is not a hard thing. Inversely, it will make your work super easier. It definitely improves the content quality and saves a huge amount of time. So why are you not using this simple strategy? 

I bet you, you will love this strategy after doing a few tasks. If you already following this strategy, that is great.

Frequently asked questions

Q1: What is a content outline and why is it important?

A1: A content outline, also known as a content blueprint, is a structured plan or layout of your content that displays its core structure, including main topics, subtopics, key points, and ideas. It's an integral part of content creation because it guides the writing process and ensures coherence and cohesion.

By outlining your content, you can:

  • Stay Focused: Outlines serve as a roadmap, keeping you focused on the main topic without straying into irrelevant information.

  • Enhance Structure and Flow: Outlines help structure your content, ensuring a logical flow of ideas that improves readability.

  • Boost SEO: Structured content is favored by search engines as it facilitates crawling and indexing. Clear, well-structured content also improves dwell time, reducing bounce rates and improving SERP rankings.

Q2: How can I effectively select a topic for my content?

A2: Selecting a topic involves careful deliberation and research. It's crucial to identify a subject that resonates with your target audience while aligning with your content goals. Here's a step-by-step guide:

  • Brainstorm Ideas: Start by brainstorming potential topics within your niche. Consider your audience's interests, issues, or problems they might be facing.

  • Conduct Market Research: Use tools like Ahrefs, Google Trends, or SEMrush to analyze the popularity and competition of these topics.

  • Evaluate Topics: Weigh the relevance, interest, and competition level of each topic. High-interest, low-competition topics are ideal as they offer better opportunities for visibility and engagement.

Q3: What are the critical considerations when picking targeted and LSI keywords?

A3: Choosing the right keywords, both targeted and LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing), can significantly influence your content's search engine ranking.

  • Keyword Relevance: Your targeted keyword should be closely aligned with your content topic and reflect what users might search to find your content.

  • Search Volume vs. Keyword Difficulty: Targeted keywords should ideally have a high search volume and low keyword difficulty. Ahrefs is a useful tool for this.

  • LSI Keywords: LSI keywords are semantically related to your main keyword. These help search engines understand your content's context better and avoid keyword stuffing penalties. Use an LSI keyword tool to find these.

  • Keyword Placement: Strategically place your keywords in the title, headers, and throughout the content. But remember, don't overdo it; aim for natural integration.

Q4: How can I identify the search intent of my chosen keyword?

A4: Search intent or user intent refers to the reason why a user is conducting a specific search on a search engine. Identifying search intent is crucial for creating content that meets users' needs. Here's how you can identify search intent:

  • Analyze SERPs: The Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) for your keyword can give you a good idea about search intent. If the top results are mostly blog posts, the search intent is likely informational. If they are product pages, the search intent is transactional.

  • Look at Keyword Modifiers: Words like "how to," "best," "review," and "buy" can give you clues about the search intent.

  • Use SEO Tools: Tools like Ahrefs can provide insights into the search intent of a keyword.

Q5: How do I outline my article with titles, headings, and subheadings?

A5: Outlining your article involves creating a skeleton structure of your content, which includes your main title, headings, and subheadings. Here's how you can do this:

  • Title: Begin with a compelling, attention-grabbing title that incorporates your main keyword.

  • Headings and Subheadings: Break down your content into smaller, digestible sections using headings (H2) and subheadings (H3, H4, etc.). These should outline the main points or ideas in your content.

  • SEO Optimization: Include targeted and LSI keywords in your headings and subheadings where it fits naturally. This helps search engines better understand the structure and relevance of your content.

Q6: Why should I consider my competitors and SERPs when creating a content outline?

A6: Analyzing competitors and SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages) is a crucial step in content planning as it:

  • Highlights Content Gaps: Competitor analysis can reveal what topics they've covered and help you identify gaps or unique angles you can exploit.

  • Provides Structure Insights: SERPs analysis helps understand what content structure and format (blogs, listicles, guides) are performing well for your target keywords.

  • Improves SEO: Understanding the keywords and strategies that help competitors rank can provide insights to enhance your own SEO efforts.

Q7: How does a content outline contribute to my content structure?

A7: A content outline plays a fundamental role in structuring your content. It ensures that your content has a logical flow, making it easier for readers to follow and understand.

A typical content structure could look like this:

  • Introduction: Briefly introduce the topic and provide a hook to engage readers.

  • Body: Use headings and subheadings to break down the main points or arguments. Use bullet points or numbered lists to present information clearly and succinctly.

  • Conclusion: Summarize the main points and provide a closing statement.

Q8: How does a content outline help in SEO optimization?

A8: A content outline aids SEO optimization in several ways:

  • Keyword Distribution: An outline can help you plan where to place your keywords naturally and effectively.

  • Logical Structure: Search engines favor well-structured content as it improves user experience, increases time on page, and reduces bounce rates - all positive ranking signals.

  • Comprehensiveness: Outlines help ensure you cover a topic thoroughly, increasing your chances of being recognized as a valuable resource and achieving higher SERP rankings.

Q9: What are some best practices when creating a content outline?

A9: Here are some best practices when creating a content outline:

  • Understand Your Audience: Tailor your content to meet your audience's needs and preferences.

  • Research Thoroughly: The more information you gather, the more comprehensive and valuable your content will be.

  • Consider SEO: Always keep SEO best practices in mind, from selecting the right keywords to structuring your content effectively.

Q10: How does a content outline speed up the writing process?

A10: A content outline can significantly accelerate the writing process because:

  • It Provides a Roadmap: With a clear outline, you know exactly what to write about, eliminating any guesswork or writer's block.

  • It Organizes Thoughts: An outline helps you organize your thoughts and ideas, making the writing process smoother.

  • It Ensures Cohesiveness: An outline ensures your content stays on track, maintaining a logical flow that makes writing more efficient.

Tarikul islam

About Torikul islam

Torikul islam is a professional web developer and affiliate marketer. Join Torikul to learn how to start a website and operate it well. He started his Web Developement career from Bangladesh Association of Software and Information (BASIS) in 2015. Later he continiued his journey to expanding knowledge and sharing it with others.

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