What In The World Is A Blog Post Template, And Do I Need Them?
Frankly I find it confusing too.
Depending on who you ask, blog post templates are entirely different things.
Some people see them more as style guides — basically a checklist for creating consistency across your blog content. You might include instructive items like:
- Short sentences and paragraphs.
- Bullet points where applicable.
- Headers every 200–300 words to make the article scannable.
- Two to three images in every post.
And style guides are certainly good to have.
Others basically look at them like a skeleton of a blog post — a document containing the framework of the post.
It might contain headings like Introduction, Conclusion and Support Points #1 through 3, and so on. You would obviously delete, customize or modify these to fit the piece.
I don’t think either of these paradigms are wrong. But let’s get to the core of the matter.
At base, a blog post template is any document that enables you to work more efficiently on the content you’re trying to create.
There, is your mind at ease now?
Does OBC Use Blog Templates?
(When I say OBC, I mean us, Outsource Blog Content).
As I think about the work that I do, I realize that I don’t have blog post templates for every type of post I create.
I create a tremendous amount of written content from week to week, and simply thinking about creating templates for each post type is exhausting.
But upon further reflection, I realized that I do keep certain templates on hand.
For example, I have a client for whom I creates podcast show notes. He wants documents delivered the same way every time, so I once saved a half-finished show note document as a separate template. Every time I go to create another show note document, I open the template and get to work. I don’t have to go to his website to figure out the format all over again.
So yeah, templates do come in handy. Do you need them for everything? Naw.
But the more efficient you think you need to be, and the less you want to mess around when creating new content, the greater the need you have for blog post templates.
Do I Need Blog Post Templates?
I think I just answered that question, but if you need more convincing, let me flesh out the answer a bit more.
Whether you’re setting up a business or creating a blog for the first time, the part that tends to be a little haphazard is making a plan.
I’m not advocating taking a huge amount of time to plan and analyze, because a lot of people stop themselves from taking action on their otherwise good ideas.
But a blog can become a disorderly mess pretty fast if you don’t have a plan. I’ve been there.
If you’re a hobby blogger, maybe this is an entirely different matter. But as a content marketer, you should be constantly thinking about auditing your content to re-purpose and get more leverage out of what you’ve already created. We talked about this in an earlier piece.
So yeah, they’re good to have, but like I said, I get paid for what I do and I still don’t have templates for everything. It really depends on how much work you’re doing and for how many blogs and channels you’re publishing to.
If you find yourself staring at a blank cursor in front of your screen a lot, then you definitely need to stack the deck in your favor. Make a few templates so that you don’t have to start from scratch every single time. I don’t seem to have that problem, as my mind is always running wild with ideas.
Then, get better at capturing ideas. You can only hold onto what you take the time to write down.
I hope I’ve been able to simplify this sometimes confusing concept. It shouldn’t be complicated, but there are a lot of differing opinions out there, not to mention non-standard terminology referring to different aspects of blogging and content marketing.
For the sake of productivity and efficiency (and let’s face it — speed is really of the essence these days), it’s worth creating blog post templates that suit your own needs. I don’t subscribe to the idea that there are one-size-fits-all solutions here.
And if you found this helpful, we’ve prepared more on this subject for you here. Take a look and let us know your thoughts.