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What Is a Content Outline and How to Create Them?

Digital Content



A content outline serves as a roadmap, ensuring logical organization, clarity, and coherence in your writing. This guide will help you organize ideas, identify key points, and establish a smooth flow with an SEO-friendly content outline. It will also enhance your website’s visibility and increase organic traffic, propelling your website to the top.

What is a content outline?

A content outline is a structured framework that serves as a blueprint for organizing and presenting information effectively. It provides an overview of the main ideas, subtopics, and supporting details that will be covered in a content piece.

A well-crafted content outline helps writers and creators establish a logical flow, maintain coherence, and address all key points. It is also a way to ensure the content is optimized for SEO, especially keywords.

Thanks to content outlines, individuals can save time, maintain focus, and deliver a concise message to their intended audience.

content outline

Crafting a content outline to help you stay organized

Reasons to make a content outline regularly

Creating a content outline have multiple benefits:

  • Improved organization: Content outlines provide a structured framework that helps you organize your thoughts and ideas more effectively. You can establish a logical flow, identify key points, and ensure that your message is presented coherently.
  • Enhanced efficiency: Outlining your content in advance saves time and increases efficiency during the writing process. This helps you avoid getting overwhelmed or losing track of your main ideas.
  • Enhanced clarity: Content outlines enable you to clarify your message and ensure that it is easy to understand for your audience. Mapping out the main points and supporting details will help avoid tangents and maintain a clear and concise communication style.
  • Consistency: Regularly creating content outlines helps maintain consistency across your content. A consistent structure and format will ensure that your content aligns with your brand voice, style guidelines, and overall messaging.
  • Improved SEO: Content outline plays a vital role in search engine optimization (SEO). By incorporating keywords and strategically organizing your content, you can enhance its visibility in search engines, driving more organic traffic.
  • Collaboration: Content outlines are valuable tools for collaboration, particularly when working with a team. This enables a team to put out a cohesive and well-rounded final product.
  • Easy updates and repurposing: With a well-structured content outline, it becomes easier to update and repurpose your content in the future. Outlines provide a roadmap for making revisions or repackaging the content into different formats, like blog posts, articles, or presentations.

content outline

Content outline can greatly boost efficiency

Content outline template

A standard content outline will closely resemble the following:


    Hook or attention-grabbing statement

    Background information on the topic

    Thesis statement or main objective of the content

Main Point 1

    Subtopic 1

        Supporting detail or explanation

        Examples or evidence

   Subtopic 2

        Supporting detail or explanation

        Examples or evidence

Main Point 2

    Subtopic 1

        Supporting detail or explanation

        Examples or evidence

    Subtopic 2

        Supporting detail or explanation

        Examples or evidence


    Recap of main points

    Closing thoughts or recommendations

    Call to action, if applicable

This is a basic template for a content outline and can be adapted and expanded based on your specific needs. While crafting your content outline, make sure to also include the keywords and word count you are aiming for. Lastly, establish formatting requirements for both texts and visual elements to maintain consistency between content pieces.

content outline

Content outlines can be good for all sorts of content

How to create a content outline in five easy steps

Here is a step-by-step guide that will help you create an effective and organized outline for your content.

1. Determine the article’s objective

The first step in creating a content outline is to clearly define the objectives of your article.

Ask yourself what you aim to achieve with your content. Are you looking to inform, persuade, or entertain your audience? Understanding the purpose of your article will guide the direction of your outline and help you stay focused while writing.

Additionally, consider specific goals you want to accomplish, such as providing valuable information, answering common questions, or offering practical tips. By determining the objectives upfront, you can make your outline align with your desired outcomes and effectively communicate your message.

2. Select your target keyword

One crucial aspect of creating an outline is selecting the right target keywords. These are the words or phrases your audience frequently uses when searching for information related to your topic.

Start by conducting thorough keyword research using tools like Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush, or Ahrefs. Identify relevant and high-performing keywords with a good search volume and moderate competition. Choose keywords that align with your content’s purpose and are specific enough to attract your target audience.

By incorporating target keywords strategically throughout your outline, you can optimize your content for search engines and improve its visibility.

3. Examine your keyword’s search intent and article perspective

Before diving into the actual outline creation, it is crucial to examine the search intent behind the keywords you plan to target in your content.

Understanding the intent behind a user’s search query will allow you to tailor your outline to meet their needs. Additionally, consider the perspective or angle you want to take in your article. Are you aiming to inform, educate, entertain, or persuade your readers?

By defining your article’s perspective, you can align your content outline with your intended goals and ensure a focused and coherent piece of writing.

content outline

Tips to create content outlines

4. Choose a USP and title

Before finishing, it is crucial to determine your unique selling Proposition (USP). Meanwhile, crafting a captivating title to grab the attention of your target audience should be another priority.

Your USP defines what sets your content apart from others and why readers should choose to engage with it. Consider the unique value, insights, or solutions you can offer. Once you have your USP, craft a compelling title that accurately represents your content and entices readers to explore further.

Remember, a well-defined USP and attention-grabbing title lay the foundation for a successful content outline.

5. Include headings and subheadings in your article’s outline

The last aspect of creating a content outline is the use of headings and subheadings. These elements provide an organized hierarchy, making it easier for readers to navigate and understand your key points.

Headings should be concise and descriptive, capturing the main idea of each section. Subheadings further break down the content into smaller, more specific topics, ensuring a logical flow and aiding comprehension.

Headings and subheadings of your outline create a roadmap that guides your readers and helps you avoid digression while writing.

Related insights: The differences between broad match and phrase match and how you can choose the best keywords.

Final thoughts

A well-crafted content outline serves as the backbone of any successful content. By creating a structured outline, you lay the foundation for a coherent and engaging piece of content. Additionally, a content outline helps maintain focus, ensuring that your writing stays on track and delivers the intended message effectively.

Whether you are crafting an article, essay, or blog post, embracing the power of a content outline empowers you to create impactful and well-structured content that resonates with your audience. So, take the time to outline your ideas, and let the structure guide you towards content creation success.

If you are still learning about the fundamentals of content creation, On Digitals can offer a helping hand. With our SEO services, we can help you create structured, engaging, and optimized content for search engines and users. Contact On Digitals to learn more and get started on your next campaign.

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