The Discovery Phase: The Importance of Outline Building

Outlines help to organize your ideas and get clear on your objectives, but they're not always the most thrilling item on your checklist, right?

Transcript & mp3 file 👇

Oh hey! Fancy meeting you here! Danni, here, from Surfer. I'm so glad you came back. Thank you for joining me.

So, in the last lesson I introduced you to our content editor tool. We also talked a bit about keyword research.

I don't want to bring back any childhood memories of having to write outlines before writing a book report, but outlines are really important for organizing your writing.

why do you even need to create an outline?

Creating an outline can help you: gain control over the scope of the article, plan out the headings and subheadings, answer all the real, community-asked questions, And determine your chances of covering all the necessary topics and keywords.

Most skilled writers rely on outlines to keep their writing targeted and focused, organize multiple ideas, and it’s great to share with team members or clients so that they get the main idea without you having to present a finished draft!

They help you cut the clutter, and when you use Surfer’s outline builder, they also serve a second purpose of SEO optimization.

There are two versions of Outline Generator. With the free version, you simply type in some more information about the topic of your outline, and then you’ll receive suggested headers and one AI-generated paragraph you can include in your post.

You’ll also be able to: Pick a country you aim to rank in with the article (to get the most related data!) Select or deselect the headers you find most relevant And finally, share the outline with all the suggested H1, 2, 3, and 4 with the click of a button...

But… for Surfer customers, you’ll receive not one, but as many paragraphs as your heart desires. For each suggested outline header, there is a text that you can edit for tone and voice and add to your article to get a jump start on the writing part!

Let me show you how it works in an example.

First I choose my location, and then type in my keyword. Let’s try to create an outline for the keyword “no follow links”.

I can see a variety of H1 examples like Follow vs No Follow links: what you should know. That sounds important and relevant, so I’ll use it!

In the free version, there’s a paragraph that has been generated for me that I can use in my text. It’s been checked for plagiarism too.

Do you see these purple boxes on the left? I can click or un-click the ones I’d like to include which is a nice feature. Simply click where it says “copy selected” to make sure you get exactly what you want in the final outline.

Lastly, in order to make it easy to share, you can simply copy and paste the link! Working in Asana? No problem. How about Notion? No worries. The link makes it easy to communicate and share progress with your team.

Here are the main differences between the free and paid versions of outline builder:

Free version:

  1. Create basic outline with headlines suggestions

  2. Generate one unique paragraph (for first headline)

Paid version:

  1. Ideas for title/h1

  2. Full outline with h2s, h3s etc + unique paragraphs for each

  3. Topics and Questions to answers (with unique answers)

  4. Easily customizable directly inside Content Editor, Google Docs, Wordpress, Webflow or Jarvis.

Obviously there is more to see and do with the paid version, but if what you need is to start garnering ideas and create some structure for your article, Surfer’s free AI-driven outline generator is an amazing tool and a great place to start!

I was able to generate dozens of headings in a matter of seconds, and I don’t even have to guess if they’re relevant or not as the algorithm did the hardest part for me!

Ok, so that's that! There's one more aspect I'd like to cover in this Discovery Phase but it's a doozy. So, I want you guys to go take a drink of water, take a walk outside if you can, and I'll meet you in the next lesson. Until then, happy Surfing and I'll see you there!

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