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Monday 16 June 2014

Improve Your Content with Outlines

Having awesome content is meaningless without a clear direction and focused expectation for its readers. Outlines provide that clear direction and focused expectations for its readers. How does outlines improve your articles, and help to strengthen your brand image. Content written by endowed writers lose its edge without strong outlines. Reasons why outlines improve your content are discussed in the 5 points below:

Make reading easier

Having outlines doesn't just make it easier for the publisher, writer, or author. The most important person which the context was meant for benefits from this as well. Having a form of uniformity (structure) eases our minds, it doesn't require us to think unnecessarily, giving our brains space to focus on important things. Take for example chapters in textbooks, it gives its readers a set expectation of when the point stops, when the next point begins, what contents are within that particular section, and guides people in one simple direction. 

In addition, well-crafted headers cultivates interest for people to have an excuse to read on. Often a bunch of words can be intimidating, but with a gentle nudge forward with an enticing header makes the reading substance a little bit more enticing.

Provides Focus

Do you remember having a a conversation with an overly excited friend, when your friend starts talking on a topic and changing at will. Often nothing comes out of those conversations, but sometimes there is a remote chance that it may lead to something more. The point is that more often than not the information although compelling is disoriented and doesn't have much of a focus and that unfocused conversation proves to be hard work to decipher. 

As earlier mentioned outlines make reading easier, but imagine a book without chapters. You wouldn't know what to expect, where to start, or even where to stop. Poorly structured, or unstructured writings are great pieces of mess: they float, provide 'some' value, but only among meandering sentences. Outlines help remedy this confusing wild situations by giving readers a set expectation, and delivering them in a clear, and efficient manner. 

Makes your message more memorable

Case example, a blog is a place where content that is written creates value for its readers, but it isn't the only focus and certainly not its only purpose. Helping your customers, should be the ultimate goal for a business blog, and with that comes a benefit to the business where the brand is strengthened and it allows the business to have a 'proper' conversation with its customers. However, without the 'memorability factor' this effort is muddled. 

Outlines help this 'memorability factor' it helps writers write more effectively (a clear guide), it eases readers burden by providing more focused content, and the end result is an enhanced brand image that portrays various positives.

Easier Referencing

Coming back to work after a long holiday, and picking off where you last left your work sounds relatively straightforward, but as you sit down on your desk you realize the great desk pile of past work papers, and now you think to yourself that holiday was great while it lasted. What if those papers were put into labelled organizers either alphabetically arranged, chronologically arranged or through various other arranging methods. Now that great desk pile of past work papers wouldn't have existed and you could just get down to doing what matters most, without the worry of having to sort through mess.

Outlines provide a similar benefit to having labelled organizers, it allows quick access in the future. Content that is clearly structured, and points that are focused give readers, not just the writers, an easier look-back when required. Readers can look through an entire article in an efficient manner looking for what 'slipped off' their minds.

Invest in Outlines

Organizing has ample benefits, and although the task seems extremely daunting at first, having outlines give a great deal of clarity. It takes the effort off the readers and allows them to focus on actually reading the content that was meant to provide them value, and allows the initial intention of the business (to strengthen its brand image, to educate its customers, and to understand its customers better) to be realized.

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Do you think that outlines actually improve your content? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below!

image by hawkexpress


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