How to Write a Blog Post Outline (as a Beginner)

Okay. You just finished writing your blog post and hit SUBMIT.

Now you tweet it, share it on LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+, Facebook and wait.

Nothing. No one is biting.

How to Write a Blog Post Outline (as a Beginner)

Why is no one is talking about your wonderful best blog post?

I mean you’ve spent time figuring out what to call your blog post, used examples to improve your content, used an awesome photo and even linked to other sites and old blog posts of yours.

If you’re one of many who started a blog and is wondering why no one wants a taste of your content, maybe you are missing a key ingredient, which is how to write a blog post outline.

Yes, a blog post outline when you’re a new freelance writer doesn’t have to be hard.

Find out how to write a blog post outline so that you have a blog post that every reader can’t resist.

Writing a Blog Post Outline the Right Way

When writing a blog post outline, the thing to remember is that you can always go back to your blog posts and change them.

Nothing is set in stone.

When I write a blog post outline for a client, I constantly rearrange my subtopics and move things around until I’m satisfied with my blog outline.

As well, if you start a blog and write blog posts on your own blog, you can go back at any time and change your blog post. I usually go back to old blog posts and add more because after years of making money writing, I have learned a thing or two to improve my writing.

Let’s go through some blog formatting and writing process ideas to help you with your blog post outline.

1. Blog Format: Easy to Read Blog Paragraphs

One of the biggest mistakes new writers make when writing a blog post is blogging like they are writing a paper for their college professor.

Growing up, we learned that a proper paragraph is 5-6 sentences and that it should always include a topical sentence on what you will be writing.

If you write like this on your blog, don’t expect your readers to stick around. Only 16% of readers actually read word for word.

That means 84% of your readers only scan your entire blog post that you so painstakingly poured over for hours. To gain more readers, make it easy for them to scan by using these bite sized tips:

  • Break up your paragraphs throughout your blog post. Make a break after 2-3 sentences. Mix up your paragraph lengths and sometimes stick a 1 sentence paragraph in your post.
  • To break up your writing, try to include bullets and numbered lists (do you notice how I did this with my blog post? If I were to just make these into sentences my post would seem long and boring to read).
  • Use attractive headings in your blog. Brian Clark, the owner of Copyblogger, wrote to make your scanners into readers, you need to lure them into reading the next sentence. You can do this effectively by using headings that will highlight the benefit of what they will be reading next.

2. Write a Blog Post With Clarity

When writing a blog post, it can have the most profound piece of information that everyone needs to read, but no one is reading it because of how it’s written.

You don’t understand because you made sure to edit for spelling, grammar, length, and redundancies.

No matter how long you spend checking over your blog post, you could be missing simple things to make your readers want to nibble away at what you wrote.

Take a look to see if you are using these extra toppings  to enhance your blog post.

1. Deliciously Decorate Your Blog Post With Bold Text

When you bold key words or phrases, it helps draw the eye to important information in your blog post.

It also helps the 84% of readers who scan by giving them the most important information in headings and bold text.

If you are a scanner, you’re probably only reading the headings and nothing more. At least with bold phrases, you can be alerted to informative content.

2. Cut Away Clichés to Make Room for Metaphors

What are clichés? They are sayings that automatically come to your head when you are writing and usually appear when you can’t think of anything else to say.

They bore us because we’ve heard them used too many times, but as a writer, it can sometimes be hard to think of original content and you may not even know you’re using them.

Here are 10 clichés to avoid:

  1. Begs the question
  2. At the end of the day
  3. Moving forward
  4. As I’m sure you know
  5. Been there, done that
  6. Busy as a bee
  7. A little late in the game
  8. A twinkle in (his,her) eye
  9. Moral of the story
  10. I couldn’t care less

If you want your readers grabbing for more of your writing, try using metaphors instead.

Metaphors use parallel ideas to help get your topic better understood. They are often used for complicated ideas or as a way to spin an old idea in a new way.

Let’s use my blog post as an example.

My overall idea, how to write a blog post, is an old topic that has been written about and spun many ways. I focused on making your blog post memorable and sharable. From there, I wanted to use a metaphor to give this old topic a fresh perspective. I decided to use food as a way to describe how to write a memorable blog post.

3. Make It A Simple Dish To Read

There are many topics you can write about but if you’re using technical jargon and big words, you may be losing readers.

It’s important to know your audience before you begin to write your post. If you are writing about the latest fashion trends then using college level writing won’t attract the right audience.

Similarly, if your blog is about mental health issues in women, using slang would be inappropriate for your reader base.

Generally, keep your blog simple and if you need to write about something more technical, you can always use metaphors!

3. Make Each Blog Post Highly Valuable

Everyone who is a blogger wants some sticky content when writing a blog post. It’s a post that gets shared on multiple social platforms and gets readers to keep coming back for more of what you are serving. How can you make your blog post oh so sweet and sticky?

1. Provide Helpful Content

If all you write about is how your cat spends his days with you, people won’t be interested. They aren’t learning anything new from your blog posts.

When you solve problems and present new ideas or old ideas in a new way, readers will get value out of your blog.

Always think, how can I add something new for my readers that they will learn from?

2. Engage With Your Readers

Darren Rowse, owner of Problogger, wrote about his wife’s new website and was pleasantly surprised by how she was able to gain a following. She did this by starting a conversation with her readers.

She always:

  • Answered any comments left on her blog or social media accounts. This lets her readers know she heard them and that she values their input.
  • Always ends her blog post with a call to action. It’s a question or action plan for your readers. It invites a conversation and is considered good blogging etiquette.

Another way to make your blog posts engaging to your readers is by being personal.

As a freelance writer, I want other new freelance writers to learn from my content, but also a little more about who I am and why I chose this profession. That’s why on my blog I write about myself and my career along with how to improve your writing.

How to Write a Blog Post Outline

Here’s how to write a blog post outline: a simple formula to follow.

1. Headline

You’re headline is one of the most important pieces in learning how to make an outline for your content pieces.

You need a headline that can grab the attention of scanners on social media. The attention span is only 2 seconds long!


You only have two seconds for people to read your headline. Some tips:

  • Have the most important words in the front of your headline
  • Use numbers as this gets people excited for lists
  • Use odd numbers. For some reason people like odd numbers
  • Use superlatives like Best, Worst, etc..
  • Add emotional based words like: Ridiculous, proven, simple, easy, etc.

For more help, check out my video on creating copywriting headlines:

2. Subtopics

Next in how to write an outline for a blog post is to think about the body of the blog post or your subtopics.

This is the main part of your blog post and what clients want out of a writer.

This shows your credibility in your writing skills as well as your knowledge of the topic/industry at hand.

As I mentioned, I take my time writing my subtopics for my freelance writing work.

Here’s an outline I created for a client of mine.

How to write a blog post outline template sample

The arrows in my image are the subtopics I came up with. This will not be the final outline but it’s my working blog post outline.

3. Siting Sources

One thing I do in my outline template is to also add or site my sources.

I generally do my reteach alongside making my blog post outline so I just add them to my outline (the red box).

Learning how to research for your freelance writing job is an important skill to have.

4. Write the Post and Use Grammarly

Once I have my blog post outline created, I get to work on writing the introduction.

I have a top-down writing process, which means I have to start at the beginning.

Other writers might write the subtopics first and the intro/conclusion last. I cannot do that!

Once the post is written, I then use Grammarly to edit my content.

How to Write a Blog Post Outline

There ya go!

Interested in becoming a freelance writer? My course Write Your Way to Your First $1k goes into great detail about blog writing and formatting your posts for your clients. Wow your clients and enroll in my course today!

Is there any more bite sized tips I have forgotten?

Hs this post on making a blog post outline helpful? Please share your answers in the comments!

Hi I'm Elna and I'm a freelance writer and mom blogger. I help people just like you become a profitable freelance writer. Within 6 months of starting my freelance writing business from scratch I was able to earn a full-time living as a part-time freelance writer while taking care of my twin toddlers. Check out my free email course Get Paid to Write Online and learn the steps you need to take to be a freelance writer.

Leave a Reply


Hi Elna, Thankyou for being so caring to create a website to help people who wish to write for the first time and without cost. I wish to do your course however I run a busy cleaning business and on Sundays I spend the day trying to honor Jesus and so do nothing in the way of work. How can I do a six day course in the same way others can do one? Thankyou & Kind regards, MelissaReply to Melissa
Hi Melissa, The six day course is an email course so you could feasibly wait until all six days are delivered and then take your own time to take the course! Good luck!Reply to Elna
Hi Elna, Your content is definitely “sticky”, easy to digest, and always leaves me hungry for more. Thanks for your hard work, especially for us newbies.Reply to Ann
I have enjoyed reading about your journey to become a freelance writer. I recently graduated with a BS in Management and Finance. I am looking for ways to make money and work from home so this article gives me a potential angle to consider as I move forward in the future.Reply to Kathleen
Hi Kathleen, Happy to hear my story inspired you! Yes, working from home does take a little bit of grit, passion and motivation so hopefully you got that! Good luck!Reply to Elna
I am so glad I found this website. I have been tossing around the idea of freelance writing for about a year now, as I’ve been writing trail reports and other posts on my blog for 2+ years now. Might as well give a shot at seeing if I can make any money, right? I’ve searched all over Google for information on how to get started (as I have no connections) and you stand out the most. I’m excited to start saving up for your course! 2020 will be the year I start taking chances.Reply to Alex
Hey Alex, Thank you so much! Glad the posts on my blog is helping you navigate being a freelance writer! Good luck and have fun being a freelance writer in 2020!Reply to Elna
As someone who is building a career as a freelance writer, I loved how this article got right to the point and (as you said in your third), called me to action. So excited to use this info in my upcoming blog posts!Reply to Hannah
Hey Hannah, Thank you so much! This is an old post I wrote when I was brand new. Glad this is still helpful!Reply to Elna
Thank you! I’m loving your Write to 1k course and learning so much. This is another post packed with crucial info for those of us just starting out. I hope my Gravatar is working…for some reason my pic isn’t showing up on my end-will keep trying!Reply to Monica
Hey Monica! You’re welcome! Sorry your Gravatar isn’t showing on this post! Try updating it for sure 🙂Reply to Elna
Hello Elna, The information you are sharing is valuable and practical, thank you very much! I have one question: Where can we find credible sources/references that we can use in our articles/blog posts? Thank you!Reply to Rania
Oh my goodness, Elna. Your writing here: superb. I’m learning so much from you every day. Bravo.Reply to Catherine
Hello Elna, Wonderful content and engaging as well! I am new to writing and feel lost. Would it make sense to use my own samples that engage on my WordPress site?Reply to Mandy
Hi Mandy! Yes, you can use your own blog posts as samples, but make sure the are ready to attract clients 🙂Reply to Elna
Thank you! will do!!! (:Reply to mandy
Oh boy! This is going to be fun. I am just starting my research and laying out a plan for diving into freelance writing. I am 45, divorced, with young adult children and I am so looking forward to start writing since being on a very long creative hiatus. I cannot thank you enough for you honesty and great advice. Let’s give this thing a try and see where it takes me!Reply to Stacy
Hi Stacy! That’s awesome you want to start freelance writing! Great. Glad you found some good tips for writing online!Reply to Elna
Thanks Elna for another great post. I am very new to both blogging and freelance writing so your advices are invaluable to me! Thanks again!Reply to Mylene
Hello Elna, Thanks for the tips. I didn’t know I should avoid to use “At the end of the day” … I say it a lot.. oops.Reply to Tony
Hi Tony, It’s up to you if you really want to use that phrase! It’s just a saying that shouldn’t be used for your paid blog posts!Reply to Elna
Hi Elna. Your post inspired me to not give up after batting zero on gigs for a new freelancer. I’m sure now it’s part of the process and I’m gonna trust it.Reply to Lacy
Hey Lacy, Thanks for stopping by. I’m glad that this post gave you some hope and motivation!Reply to Elna
So glad I found you Elna. I am just getting started with freelance writing and your posts are so helpful. Thanks for being an inspiration to this newbie.Reply to Tamara
Elimination of cliches and decorate with bold text: check. Lure the readers to the next sentence: OK. Is the widespread recommendation of 1,500+ word posts somewhat at odds with the 84% who just scan the entire post? Or is the focus of a 3,000-word post on the 16% who check it from stem to stern? Somewhere I read some challenging statistics about the percentage of people who just read the title to see if they want to go any further. The interesting part of freelancing is the challenge, so long as a person is learning.Reply to Joe
Hi Joe, Not sure about the length in words for the 84% of people scanning, but I gather it’s for any length of content online!Reply to Elna
Very helpful and informative post. I agree that the ability to write in a conversational tone suited to your target audience is more suitable that a degree. Yet there are plenty of job adverts out there asking for Journalism degrees or English degrees.Reply to Paulene
Nice post Elna. I used to write a blog post of minimum 1500+ words. I don’t forcefully make it longer, after putting my all resource and my thought it becomes that much. But I keep it scannable, My readers can know what I have written just reading the headings, and bold texts. I also add relevant images. I agree only 15% people read word to word, I believe only long posts are scannable. what can you scan from a short post? It’s already short. But all of your points are true. It depends on the audience, you are writing for whom that what exactly matters. Thanks for sharing 🙂Reply to Sameer
this is great advice! Thank you so much! 🙂Reply to Hayley
Hi Hayley! I’m glad you liked this post! Knowing how to maximize your blog posts help in making it more memorable and shareable! Thanks for stopping by! ElnaReply to Elna
This is such great advice! You want to keep your readers entertained but you also want to help them or teach them something too.Reply to Julie
Hi Julie, Thanks for the wonderful comment! I’m glad you learned something new! Teaching new bloggers and freelance writers is my “thang.” This blog post was really my first in getting the blogging thing done right. Then I thought, why not write about how to blog? Viola, the post was born. Glad you liked it! ElnaReply to Elna
Great advice! Thanks for the tips!Reply to Paula
Thanks Paula for the great comment. I hope to help anyone interested in creating great blog posts that’s easy to read!Reply to Elna
Oh my goodness. I found myself horrified at the rookie mistakes I’d been making. Right in front of my face. I never considered that writing paragraphs was a fools errand… I always skim and skip everyone elses! Thanks for writing this super helpful and enlightening post Elna! Hugs N’ Health <3 TabithaReply to Tabitha
Hi Tabitha! Don’t feel bad for your rookie mistakes. I was in the same boat as well. Reading other blog posts helps with seeing what the standard is. I’m glad this helped you!Reply to Elna
Hi Elna Great post, and a delicious read! Re paragraphs, I agree with you and think it’s really interesting that although the rules we were taught to use when we wrote at school and at university might have been “proper”, they just doesn’t apply as much when blogging and writing online. I also love your formatting tips, and usually use most of them. After reading your post though, I made a slight change to one of the titles in my second to last blog post to “highlight the benefits” of my top tips – thank you for the reminder! I would say the tip that gets me the best feedback is when I provide helpful content. Readers are bombarded with so much info these days, they need to get value out of their time they spend online, and learning something is a great return on that time. Once again, excellent post and happy to share on Twitter! Marcia 🙂Reply to Marcia
Thanks Marcia for the kind response to my blog post. Blogging is quite different than “school writing” and knowing this can take your blog from being read to a few people to being one where many people read, respond and share! Thanks again!Reply to Elna
Hi Elna, This is awesome advice. I am a print media journalist but I’m finding that what works for newspapers, for example, may not work as well online. So this is valuable advice. Thanks. I would love to continue to get your posts etc., as long as they are free. Sorry about the cheap-skate comment, I’m just getting started! Regards, Robyn.Reply to Robyn
Hi Robyn. I’m glad you found this useful. I’m new to writing in general, especially online. It is quite different from traditional writing. Anyways, thanks for your support and yes my blog is free! Good luck on your endeavor!Reply to Elna
A really well written post in a way that demonstrates your ideas and skill as a blogger. I wish you well with your blogging.Reply to Roland
Thanks Roland. I appreciate your feedback regarding my post! I am new to this world of freelance writing and I hope to use my blog as a place to hone my skills as well as write about things that interest me.Reply to Elna
Thanks! Great articleReply to Rob
Thanks Rob! Hope I can help!Reply to Elna
Hi Elna, Nice Blog. That’s quite useful post for blogging starters. We always need to learn and improve in Blogging. Things keep on changing. We evolve and survive. Keep blogging, please. Would love to hear from you again…Reply to Hassaan
Thanks Hassan I am new to freelance writing and love to blog as much as I can. I’m glad you agree with my starters for blogging! I’m trying to follow them as well! Thanks again!Reply to Elna
I love this post. It had me glued to the page. Everything you said is so true. We need to think more about the audience we’re writing for. But it’s so easy to get carried away and write for ourselves instead. Thanks for sharing. 🙂Reply to June
Thanks for your kind words June! And thanks for following me and retweeting my post! It goes without saying that my blog post on blogging works! Thanks again!Reply to Elna