The most successful bloggers don’t find their topics one at a time. Instead, they plan ahead, coming up with categories, topics, and even individual post ideas. A mind map is a great way to organize all those thoughts in one place.
Mind mapping is a technique often used by coaches to help organize ideas and inspire creativity. At its core, a mind map is a diagram that connects various ideas to one central concept.
Why Mind Mapping
A mind map works better than an outline or traditional text notes for creative activities, like blogging, because it is non-linear. It can include color, words, and pictures, making it far more memorable than a simple list.
Mind maps also follow patterns of natural association, rather than strict categories. So if a thought involves both an influential person and a meaningful quote, you don’t have to stress over which category to put it in. Instead, just draw a line from the thought to both areas of your mind map.
Creating a Mind Map
Get a pen and paper, preferably without lines. Leave yourself plenty of space. The bigger your idea, the bigger the paper should be.
At the center of your paper, write down the concept you want to brainstorm about – like “My Blog”. You can also use an image at the center – maybe your logo or a picture of you, the author. An image conveys a much broader scope of information and gives you the freedom to think outside of the written word.
Around that center concept, write keywords or draw pictures that represent the different facets of your concept. For “My Blog” those might be:
These ideas should be big and vague. That’s okay. Now connect each facet to the central concept with a line. If you are feeling creative, make each line a different color, so they stand out on the page.
As you brainstorm, jot down each idea around the facet it applies to. Draw a thinner line from the idea to the facet. Ideas can be single words like “pictures,” images like a cup of coffee to signify that you want this to be something someone can read on a coffee break, or simple phrases like “SEO Optimization.”
As you work, your ideas will create a “radiant hierarchy” with each smaller idea tied back in to the central concept. Don’t worry about how many branches you have or how messy your paper gets. The purpose is to give yourself permission to write down anything related to your topic. You can always sort it out later.
Mind mapping is a great way to generate a lot of ideas for your blog. It is a great tool to use before you launch your website, or any time your ideas a running dry. Post your mind map someplace in your work space and use it when you write your weekly posts. You may find yourself being much more creative because of it.
Lisa Schmidt is a writer for Legal Linguist. She provides professional web content and ghost blogs for law firms and small businesses. If you need help bringing your web marketing to a new level, contact Legal Linguist today to schedule a meeting.
Image Source: jean-louis Zimmermann on Flickr.com