The basic outline of an SEO article is really simple - Identify the problem, offer tip #1, tip #2 and tip #3, wrap it up and send the reader to the link. But, is that enough to produce high quality content? In my opinion it's not, and this is why I do detailed outlines.
The Advantages Of Outlining
Making outlines for your articles takes time. It's another step in the process, which may include keyword counting, article submitting, summary writing and a bunch of other annoying stuff that's not writing. However, I've found that its benefits are well worth the time it takes.
Well outlined articles are more coherent and to-the-point. When I was first learning to write SEO articles, I didn't outline. I wrote long, rambling, "what's the point" type articles that I doubt anybody read all the way through. Making a good outline first cuts down on filler and rambling nonsense.
The information is better organized for the reader. When you're making an outline, you can actually see the "parts" of the article. I know, it's only 400 words, but still it has parts. Seeing the structure of the article helps you to make it more organized and relevant.
Each article will be unique. If you're writing 20 articles on underwater basket weaving, you've got to make each of them cover a slightly different aspect of it. If possible, I do all of my outlines before writing. This allows me to make sure I don't repeat myself too much.
You have more control over the articles. This goes along with the first two points about organizing information. Basically, you shouldn't spend too much time covering one point or going off on tangents, and making good outlines allows you to be in more control of your article's flow.
Now, as I see it there is just one disadvantage - the time it takes to make outlines. If you don't feel like spending all this time, you can always hire a ghost writer for your article writing. That way you can leave all the work to somebody else.
I don't make extremely detailed outlines. There are no full sentences. For example, I put down a heading and all the points to support it. It's very simple and straightforward. Sometimes, you can end up getting too detailed and actually over-research. Then, when you write the article and hit the word count button, you've got a 900-word epic on your hands. In that case, break it up into two articles, or a series of parts 1 and 2.
It may seem like making outlines takes time away from writing. The truth is that it doesn't take any time at all, and it actually makes writing easier. If you do about 10 minutes of good research, you can probably hammer out the article in just 5 minutes. The point is that researching makes the actual composition quick.
Outlining also gets faster as you do it more. It becomes easier and easier to find the exact information you're looking for online and organize that information into something good. For me, it's a skill that's just as important as researching and writing.
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