Key Blog Post Components

The Ultimate Blog Post Outline – Free Download

We all need structure, right? Structure not only helps us streamline things, it also helps us feel comfortable doing certain tasks. Blog posts are no different, in my opinion, so I thought I’d share what I consider the perfect post structure by giving you the blog post outline I use. This is my ideal outline but may not be yours so customize it in any way you desire.

First, let’s take a look at a few of the different types of blog posts and show why a one size fits all isn’t always going to be the perfect solution. I’ll list a few off the top of my head and feel free to toss in your own by leaving a comment below.

Key Blog Post Components

As you can see, a single post outline may not universally cover every blog post but I think this one will give you a decent start because it’s very simplistic and generic. Add your own personality and stick with a consistent structure and not only will you find it easier, your readers will find it more pleasing as well.


Create your own mind maps ($)

Some of the key points to cover in the outline are:

Objective

Before we write a single word we need to answer a few questions:

  • What is the message?
  • Who’s the message for?
  • What do you want your readers to take from the post?
  • What do you want to gain from the post, e.g. sales, followers, subscribers, influence?

Title

Your title is critical. Not only should you use your keyword phrase, your title need to be enticing enough to make people click to read as well as descriptive enough to bring in the right traffic to keep bounce rates low.

Preamble or Introduction

I like to start my posts with a short paragraph to let readers know what to expect from the post. This is especially important when you’re showing excerpts on your home page, search results page, category pages, etc. like we do here on Hot Blog Tips.

The Message

We know what message we want to relay because we already answered that question so now it’s just a matter of conveying that message to your audience. A few things to keep in mind are; how it’s organized (see subtitles below), keywords (but don’t spend too much time with it) and what type/s of media you want to use (see types of blog posts above).

Subtitles

We all know how difficult it can be to consume a hundreds of words, or even a thousand words that are all jammed into a single messy, never ending paragraph. Breaking our content into organized chunks or sections is very important if we want anyone to actually get something out of our hard work and effort.

Subtitles give each paragraph that starts a new mini-topic a label that help our readers digest our content that much easier.

Every paragraph doesn’t need a title (subtitle), only those that move the reader into a different area within the post subject. What I call a mini-topic, for lack of a better word.

Action Step

This is something I’ve been teaching more and more of lately…

Try to write posts with actionable solutions and offer REAL value with every word you write.”

More on that in a future post, I’m sure, but think about what posts help you, as a reader, the most. It really isn’t from those bloggers that are blowing off steam, preaching to the choir or scolding an opposing view, is it? Most of us, I think, find more value when something helps us solve a problem or teaches us something. How better to highlight that actionable point by actually calling it an “Action Step“?

Call To Action

I know, you’re a blogger but guess what? You’re a marketer too, if you want to build a top blog and profit from it. To help with the call to action, we need not look any further that the Objective section above when you answered, “What do you want to gain from the post“. Your call to action is important. You don’t want to be pushy but this isn’t the time to get bashful either. Guide your readers, they’ll respect you for it – trust me.

Alternative Titles And Copy

This is something I like to take care of while I’m writing the post and I still have that excitement we get from writing the perfect post. This content isn’t for the post, its post post. See what I did there? I know, pretty lame. lol

Anyway, the alternate titles and copy are to promote and share the content with the World when the post goes live. I like to use slightly different copy and titles across the various social networks, email lists and any median I use to promote blog posts. It’s true that most social shares will take the default title but that can often be changed but even if not, you can always include it along with your copy. The idea here is to write this while everything is fresh in your mind.

A Little Commentary (Video)

Blog Post Structure

Download Your Free Blog Post Outline

Click to DownloadI’ve included a free .pdf download of the blog post outline I use on my own articles. I’m not requiring a subscription opt-in or anything like that. If you like it, please share this post; that’s all I ask. 🙂

Your Action Step

I’m preaching what I preach and here’s your helpful action step… Download your free copy of this blog post outline, edit it to fit your needs and style and then try to deliver a consistent structure for your readership.

I Hope This Was Helpful

You see, we don’t have to call it a call to action; it just needs to be one. So if you found this post and post outline helpful, share it with your friends so they can benefit from it as well. Use the social share buttons above or below.

 

Comments


  1. Twitter: Reginald_Chan
    Hey!

    Oh man Brian. This is insane! Great information and had downloaded the pdf. Can’t wait to read it and hey, great information.

    Sardine pack indeed!
    Reginald recently posted..What Is Google+ Custom URL And How To Enable It?My Profile


  2. Twitter: CraigheadPro
    My God, so much information. I’m glad I stepped away from blogging for now. But as you said in your videos before…it’s in the blood. I can’t help but try to bring more and more people to my brand and my self. It’s just how I’m made and built. Thanks for the all the help and guidance Brian. -Scott Craighead
    Scott Craighead recently posted..TrailerMy Profile


  3. Twitter: avgjoegeek
    Some great tips here Brian. With Hummingbird out? Its vital that your not only saying something – but giving helpful information for others to take action on! I downloaded the PDF as well!

    BTW – what are your opinion on Derk Halpern’s/ Social Triggers idea of the “Perfect Post”?
    Jason Mathes recently posted..Fixing the Twitter Field for CommentLuv BlogsMy Profile


    • Twitter: HotBlogTips
      Wow Jason, You’re the second person to mention Derek Halpern to me today. I am a fan of Derek’s, I never miss one of his podcasts. I’ve actually heard him mention the perfect blog post but never seen his post on DIY Themes until I just searched for it. I’m glad I hadn’t either because I would have wanted to use the cool infographic and it really wouldn’t have fit here.

      I like his blog post layout but, like I mentioned, nothing is universally perfect for everyone. Derek is a little more of a marketer than I am, which probably explains the two call to actions. Derek uses a little different terminology but they’re essentially the same, or at least very similar.


  4. Twitter: TechWayz
    Well written mate !
    With search engines rollinng out their latest algorithms , its always important to follow the safest guidelines / outlines (as the one you’ve explained through this post) . Thanks for sharing the information mate .

    -Pramod
    Pramod recently posted..Motorola Moto G with quad core processor,3G coming soonMy Profile

  5. Some decent tips. I don’t really get the infograph though. Care to elaborate? It doesn’t make sense in my mind.
    Tim Williams recently posted..Top 5 tablets 2013My Profile


  6. Twitter: Red_Web_Design
    Hi Brian

    Some great tips here.

    Alternative titles are very useful when you promote an article multiple times via your own social media channels.

    If you post the same title over and over users could get bored and switch off. Mixing it up keeps things fresh and ensures visitors keep coming back for more.
    Mark Ford recently posted..5 Reasons Why People Unfollow You On TwitterMy Profile


  7. Twitter: TheArbazKhan
    That’s awesome Brian!
    That was a great post and you even put a downloadable pdf. Just downloaded it and can’t wait to see what’s inside the pdf.
    Thanks for the amazing post 🙂


  8. Twitter: nancybadillo13
    Very cool post! I like the way its organize step by step. This is a great info graphic to help you stay in the right track when writing your blog! 🙂
    Nancy Badillo recently posted..What is Google Hummingbird Update?My Profile


  9. Twitter: adriennesmith40
    Hey Brian,

    Excellent post and setup my friend. My goodness, when you look at it that way it just seems like so much darn work to put a post together. Whichever type of post you plan on putting together.

    Gosh, I don’t think I’ve ever put that much thought into my posts. See, I would be the worst person to teach this which is why I don’t make suggestions to people about writing blog posts. I think we all have our own styles and preferences but as far as this outline goes, you’ve definitely given everyone a clear view of what all they can do or should do to make a great post.

    I believe I’m doing it right though but no one ever gave me such a great outline like this before. Bravo my friend, bravo.

    Love the image outline and the download, great job.

    ~Adrienne
    Adrienne recently posted..How To Easily Insert A Tweet Into Your PostMy Profile


    • Twitter: HotBlogTips
      I think what you just said is so key Adrienne, “we all have our own styles and preferences”. I tried to stay pretty basic so bloggers can make changes or build on it to fit their own personalities. Your posts are beautiful and they’re all you. You also do a great job of breaking things down for us where anyone can learn from it. The content and personality should always trump structure and details. I appreciate you. 🙂


  10. Twitter: WilsonVA
    Brian, what fantastic information! And the bonuses: blog text, a video, an infographic and a PDF download to explain it all. Thank you so much for providing this expertise in all formats.
    Carla Wilson recently posted..[video] A Google+ Hangouts On Air Discussion – part 2My Profile

  11. Really ….It is a great post. If you are a newbie and want to write your first post then this stuff help you pretty much. Image you use in this post explains your post completely and helpful to understand whole post…… 🙂
    Great work……. 🙂


  12. Twitter: ErikaAwakening
    Thanks for this article. The subtitles thing is so key. It DOES make the article so much more readable. It also helps us as writers to write a better article because subtitles require focus not just rambling. Cheers 🙂
    Erika Awakening recently posted..“It’s My Cat’s Fault” … The 12 Biggest Lies We Tell OurselvesMy Profile

  13. Hello,

    Seems pretty cool guide, I’ll surely download it and schedule it for reading. The tips you’ve mentioned about outline seems informative.

    thanks for the share.
    Anirudh Karthik recently posted..LSI Keywords Research – How to do it?My Profile

  14. It DOES make the article so much more readable. It also helps us as writers to write a better article because subtitles require focus not just rambling.

    Thanks mate


  15. Twitter: BuiltInBrum
    First time here Brian,
    Such a great and inspiring post buddy!
    I particular like the idea of different blog post
    titles for different social networks. I wonder if
    there is a plugin out there that would do that!
    When promoting my posts on FB, G+, Twitter,
    LI and all those others.

    I try and spend time writing out a different
    description for each as it’s far to easy to just
    copy and paste into everyone and it seems to
    me every blogger is keen to get them published
    and promoted as fast as possible once the
    writing has been done!

    I think also staggering promoting the post
    throughout the day on different networks would
    be good as well as just promoting it all at the
    same time could make you look like a spammer.
    That’s my opinion anyway.

    I also loved how simply you wrote the process out
    and is not over complicated for newbie bloggers like
    myself. I will deffo be following these suggestions
    Brian.

    I was actually thinking of writing an eBook
    soon so the idea of a mini blog post pdf really has
    got me excited Brian! I will deffo be trying that at
    some point.

    Thanks again for such a great post and well worth
    a share, like, +1 or 2.
    Looking forward to your next instalment!

    – Phillip
    Phillip Dews recently posted..Is your Human Spirit being assaulted?My Profile

  16. I do agree with Mark adding new title and description about the article will attract more visitors to the website and can increase clicks with more organic and referral traffic to the website.

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