A Simple Template for Faster Content Writing
Christina Gillick here – taking over The Writer's Life this week.
If you’ve been following along, you have a great start on your first paying project!
Today let’s outline your article …
I personally start with a template, because it helps overcome writer’s block and keeps me on topic.
Here’s the basic template I use:
Intro or “Lead” – Tell them what you’re going to tell them.
Sentence 1 – Grab attention. Start your article by grabbing your reader’s attention. You can do this by asking them a question, stating a fact or surprising statistic, or even telling a personal story.
Sentence 2 – Make sure your reader understands what your article is about. You might even bluntly say, “In this article, you’ll learn X.”
Sentence 3 – Add a transitional sentence that keeps their attention, makes them want to read more, and leads them into the body of your blog post.
Body of Post – Tell them what you said you’d tell them.
The “body” of your article will consist of multiple parts – with each part supporting your main idea. Often three parts is plenty, but if you’re writing a “how-to” post or “list” post, you may need more than three parts.
Here’s an outline for each part:
Sentence 1 – Introduce your strongest argument or example proving the point made in your intro. (For example, if I were writing about the benefits of raising backyard chickens, I could mention the never-ending supply of fresh eggs.)
If you were writing a “how-to” article, this sentence would introduce “Step One.” Similarly, for a “list post,” this would be the first item in the list.
Sentences 2-5 – Use a few sentences to expand on your point or explain your example. For the chicken example, I would use this paragraph to explain the benefits of fresh eggs.
Continue adding paragraphs to support your topic – using your best reasons, ideas, or arguments first.
Continue as needed. For most articles, three “parts” or points should be enough to tell the reader what you said you’d tell them.
(For a “how-to” or “list post,” keep going until you’ve covered your topic thoroughly. For instance, a how-to article could easily have 10+ steps.)
Conclusion – Tell them what you told them.
Sentence 1 – Restate your original point or idea.
Sentence 2 – Summarize the points you made throughout the body of the article.
Sentence 3 – Add something for the reader to do – such as comment, share, or click a link to learn more.
And … that’s it! Just by filling in the outline above, you’re already close to a complete article …
Today’s Action Step: Briefly outline your article. Any questions? Post them in the comments here.
Your outline doesn’t have to be perfect. You might even have blank spaces to fill in later. That’s okay … tomorrow we’ll talk about how to finish your article by simply filling in the blanks.
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