There are many reasons that people blog, sometimes for business reasons and sometimes for pleasure. Whatever is driving us to create a blog, we first have to do some planning. Firstly we want to be absolutely sure that it’s properly organised so we’ll do as good a job as possible. Secondly, we’ll get a lot more writing done if we’re interested in the topic we’re writing about, and planning helps us figure that out.
Before you get started working on the nitty gritty of your plan, it’s a good idea to try and lay out your basic ideas first. One useful way to do this is to use the process of mind mapping.
The Meaning of Mind Mapping
Let’s begin by defining what mind mapping is. Simply put, it’s a way to create a visual diagram that outlines ideas and information. You start with a keyword placed in the center of your page and then branch out with associated words and concepts.
How Mind Mapping Helps in Blogging
Mind mapping is a very powerful way of plotting ideas. There are times when you have too much information swirling around in your head and you just don’t know where to start. A visual representation of your thoughts allows you to chart everything out and find structure to it all. Begin with your general idea and expand on it. Coloured pens will allow you to keep categories together and generally stimulate your mind more.
Mind mapping is very useful whether you’re thinking about starting a blog and wonder what you should be writing about. It is imperative to thoroughly think through the topics of your new blog before you buy the domain name and start to build it. The technique is also handy if you already have a blog, but are a bit stuck for article and content ideas. It’s a great way to catch as many ideas as possible.
Blogging can get to be quite hard work. Stories fuel a blog, but simply reproducing them will not get you many followers, instead you need to add your own comment and point of view. This is where mind mapping becomes useful. It will help you uncover your thoughts on a subject you’re interested in and provide some structure for your article. After you’ve made your mind map you should have enough ideas to write a thoroughly considered article. You can even get ideas for several blog posts from a single session - each coloured strand of ideas can make up one article.
How to Mind Map
You will discover loads of blog posts each time you use mind mapping.
- Start with paper and pens in at least three colours.
- Write down the thing that’s really bugging you in the centre of the page in black.
- Create a little branch out to your first idea with a coloured pen.
- Figure out whether your next idea relates to the last one, if it does then create a new node in the same coloured ink.
- If your next idea doesn’t relate to the last couple, then start a new branch of ideas in a different colour ink.
- Create your own method for highlighting important ideas (box, underline or highlight them etc).
- Take care to leave enough space for your ideas, so they are not too cluttered and you can still read them easily.
- Once you’ve got your map, then you can sort out which ideas will work with future topics and save them.
Each coloured thought strand should give you a topic for your new blog to cover or an idea for a new blog post. Mind mapping can help you clarify your ideas, solve problems and even help with decision making. The idea in the centre of the map is the most important, and it normally takes some time and thought to work out what that will be. But once that’s complete you should find that a mind map will help you structure your thoughts, and should make your blog a lot more interesting.