Writing Tip: Create an Outline First

Posted by Lee Madaus on January 20, 2015

Writing Tip Create an Outline First

Want to have some good content for your website but dread writing? Don't worry, you're not the only one.

A great way to get past the hump is to start with an outline. It will help shape what you want to say, see the flow of the messaging, and make it much easier to draft the rest of the document.

A good outline has direction and purpose. It outlines your main ideas and doesn't stray off-topic. Here are 2 writing tips that can help you use outlining to develop an idea into a workable piece of content.

1. Word Brainstorm

Think of 5-7 words that fit into your main idea. Then go through each word and write out a few sentences on why it's important. Develop these ideas until you see a main concept that threads your content together.

2. Table of Contents

We know these things work - that's why they're in all the books we read. This tool can work on a smaller scale too.

Create the title for each concept that you need to touch on. Remember that these titles aren’t set in stone - don’t get so attached to them that you can’t tweak them later. Then go through each title and figure out each fundamental element. Why did this title come to your head? How can it be broken down and easily understood?

Both approaches are simple and help to develop ideas into focused content. In either case, it’s crucial to really focus on one concept at a time.

The biggest mistake you can make is trying to draft while you outline. If you try to do everything at once, you can get overwhelmed.

Don't talk yourself out of good subject. Let your outline be your guide.

Free Guide: Create Engaging Headlines

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