Web design templates have been around for years. Some business owners (and even a few professional designers) use them to save time while creating WordPress sites, landing pages, and other common tools. Lately, content writing services have been getting in on the act. They have started offering blog post templates that are designed to help you pump out articles with less time and stress than ever before.
We are seeing these blog post templates everywhere, which means you’re probably coming across them as well. But should you be using them for content marketing?
To find the answer, let’s look at the good and the bad of blog post templates.
The Positives of Blog Post Templates
As with web design templates, starting with an article outline offers some advantages.
- Blog post templates get you writing quickly so you don’t have to worry about creative blocks or staring at an empty screen.
- Using a writing template gives you a structure you can follow, which can be important for those who have trouble organizing their ideas.
- Often, blog post templates start with a simple idea that you can duplicate or adapt to virtually any industry.
- The templates are based on popular article styles so the resulting post should theoretically be something readers will be interested in.
To sum these up cleanly, you would say that when you start with a blog post template, the hard work of writing is done. That’s a huge positive, especially if you’re the sort of person who has trouble being focused or motivated enough to sit down at your keyboard. However, there are a few downsides.
The Negatives of Blog Post Templates
In our business we often note that web design templates can be constraining. Blog post templates have some of the same drawbacks.
- The topics and outlines you find in blog post templates are all very similar and generic. That makes it easy to crank out content, but hard to write something that stands out.
- In some ways working with a template can stifle your creativity. It’s hard to generate an original portrait when you’re painting by numbers, and the same holds true when you’re writing from a list of predefined bullet points.
- If you don’t do enough with your blog post templates, then you could end up with duplicate content on your website, causing Google to ignore the content you’re creating (which sort of defeats the purpose).
Those are some pretty big downsides. That brings us back to our original question.
So, Should You Use Blog Post Templates?
Blog post templates are kind of like training wheels for content marketers. There is nothing essentially wrong with using them, but you shouldn’t expect to compete with the leaders in your industry by filling in blanks, either.
Our advice? Give them a shot and see what kind of results you get—particularly if you’re someone who has struggled to create written content in the past. Over time, as you develop your own voice and rhythm, you can stop using them and move on to more effective content marketing habits.