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How to create an article through outlining

Outlining an article before writing it is an established technique. Start with a title, break down the article being created into a series of blocks, then break these down into subheadings, and continue to break these down. Some writers do this all the way almost to individual paragraphs.

Content Outlines: How to Write Better Content Faster on the ahrefs blog is a particularly nice guide to the technique, with the bonus that it takes into account search engine optimisation. It suggests using the following five steps, where the first four are the preparation:

1. Decide on the goal of your article
2. Pick your target keyword
3. Research your keyword’s search intent and article angle
4. Decide on a USP and title
5. Outline your article with headings and subheadings

What happens when we use this keyword-based approach is that we can take advantage of all the SEO tools out there which give us the questions people are asking. In turn, this will help guide the outline we create. If it all sounds a bit tiresome, it shouldn’t be. The process will quite likely result in a time saving; unlike a ‘just get writing’ approach, there’s no time wasted rearranging and rewriting content. But more importantly, the eventual article should have a logical, coherent and persuasive structure.