Creating Mind Maps To Organize Future Blog Posts

Creating Mind Maps

Dynamite's MindLike most bloggers, I have many blog post drafts and ideas for future content. After a while these ideas can get a bit overwhelming. In an effort to get these thoughts organized, I’ve put together a system using several tools that seems to be working for me. I will share this system and tools in several blog posts as a mini-series. Today I’ll share the all important task of Creating Mind Maps.

Mind Maps Are Simple Ways Of Organizing Thought

The idea of creating mind maps, at first glance, can seem like just another trendy thing for geeks to do just to pass time. Mind Maps are actually just the opposite; Creating mind maps are so easy anyone can do it in minutes and the idea is to save time, not waste it.

A Mind Mapping Example

Mind maps can organize all types of thought and for this example I decided to map out future blog posts that I have already planned for Hot Blog Tips. I was Tweeting with Gail Gardner (GrowMap) when the idea of creating a mind map came to me. Thank you Gail.

[blackbirdpie url="https://twitter.com/#!/HotBlogTips/status/130362332919496704"]

Why would I Creating A Mind Map Of Blog Post Ideas?

Keeping a regular flow of content going on our blogs is important and the best way to keep that flow consistent with your blogging goals is to plan future blogging ideas. Another important reason to organize your future blog posts is to help content “flow” in the right direction and interact with other related posts in the form of internal linking. Internal linking is important for SEO and reader facilitation

The Example
Let’s take my list of future blog post ideas and turn them into a easy way to understand the potential schedule and internal linking at a glance:

Blog Post Ideas:
Developing A Continuous Stream Of Content Ideas
Following The Mega-Blogging Gurus
Keyword Research Series (Video?)
Bookmarking For Bloggers (credit: Joshua Zamora)
Mapping And Linking Future Blog Posts
Organizing Emails With Separate Accounts And Filters (Screen Video)
Common Advertising Mistakes By Bloggers
Is Your Linking-Out Policy Hurting Your Blog?
Buying Traffic Can Hurt Your Blog
Fast And Easy Writing Resources For Blogging
Safelist Marketing Experiment
Get Your Blogging Rounds On
Why Every Blogger Should Use A Squeeze Page
Avoid These Blogging Blunders
Drive Traffic From Facebook Groups
Stay On Top Of The Blogging Industry

Once I begin creating the mind map, those post ideas begin to take shape and I can see that I want to link “Mapping And Linking Future Blog Posts” to “Developing A Continuous Stream Of Content Ideas“. I can also see where past posts could easily be linked to future content. With these thoughts organized and illustrated, I can also determine the basic order and schedule of the future posts and even develop new ideas.

Resources For Creating Mind Maps

I used Freeplane to create the mindmap above, a free and open source information mapping/mind mapping software.

There are many other resources for creating mind maps. See:
List of concept and mind-mapping software
Mind Mapping Tools
Mind Mapping: Best Tools To Draw Your Own MindMaps

Share Your Mind Mapping Ideas With Us

Have you created any mind maps yet? Do you have any ideas for your next map? Can you see the benefit in mapping your thoughts into an easy to read image? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below. Feel free to link to your mind map/s.

Image Credit: فديـــت أهلي ✿
Via Flickr Creative Commons

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35 Comments (click here to leave a comment)


  1. Twitter: Ileane
    Brian, I was introduced to the concept of mind maps by Andy Bailey when he shared one on Facebook when he was creating CommentLuv Premium. I fell in love with the concept yet, I haven’t taken the plunge yet. It reminds me of the flow charts I used back in the day when I was in high school learning “Basic” programming language. (Yes I’m that old)

    Thanks for the free resource!


    • Twitter: HotBlogTips
      Hi Ileane, It reminds me of graphs and flow charts too, which I have always found pretty boring. It wasn’t until I had far too much going on in my notes (I actually carry a note book and pen) that I decided I needed a “big picture” to put everything together. The blog post mind map is just an example, I’m working on others.

  2. Brian,

    I love mind mapping. It is a great way to see the big picture and make connections that you do not notice at first. Great explanation of the practice here. Thanks. Have a great Halloween

    Steve

  3. Azwan

    Thanks for the free resources. I never thought of using mind map for organizing future blog post. Now that you’ve mentioned this, I think by adding blog categories to the map, it’ll make organizing easier rather than using the title alone.

  4. Helen

    Hi
    I’ve used mind maps for other things and even taught my kids how to do them for school but it never even occurred to me to mind map ideas for blog posts and web site content! What a great idea.

  5. Jarrod

    Mind mapping is indeed very helpful especially in internal link building. It’s like creating a plan in a form of an image. Using a software to create mind maps is advisable but i prefer to do it the traditional way.

  6. Sam

    This is a great idea. I used to use mind maps all the time at university for revision, but it never occurred to me to use them to plot out my blog. There’s a whole heap of ways this could help plot out which blog entries to post when, and how they fit together.

  7. Sheryl

    Ok, I hate to look like the dork here but…I don’t get mind maps. About 3 years ago a guy really tried to get me to use them and he showed me how/why to use them. Since then, I have seen a million of them and they just don’t make sense. I can handle a list but once you start adding lines and bubble/boxes…I get lost.

    Cait and Brad can look at one and totally “get it”. I just see a freakin mess.

    I can handle a line down or straight across…more than that is wasted effort on getting me to follow it. *Hangs head in shame*

  8. Andrew

    This is a very timely post for us Brian! We are in the middle of creating a blogging calendar, and our goal is to produce one that covers the posts for the next 30 days. Right now we are just using excel, but it is a bit of a struggle. I like the whole mind mapping concept you have detailed in this post and will check out Freeplane. Cross linking posts is something I know we need to focus on, so this should really help. Cheers!

  9. reeha

    Mind mapping is what my blogger teacher and seniors advised me because through this way we can easily organize our future plans.
    the example you described over is very useful to get to the main theme of post. thanks Brian for this valuable information.

  10. Marty

    A plan is always useful and if you want to be professional you need to have a plan when it comes to blogging. When you start a blog you need to ask yourself how far can you go and what you expect.

  11. Carina Fettverbrennung

    Having a plan for your next post is a great idea to get everything organized. Mind mapping is a great way in planning your blog post.

  12. gabby

    Good Post Brian! Minding mapping is really important in blog posting in order to be organize and to consume more time. Great article!

  13. Great tips Brian.

    What I normally do is write down the title as soon as they pop up in my head and write down the main points or sub-headings which I would like to discuss in the post. You are right, this is a great idea if we want to keep up with the flow of writing regular for our blogs.

    This will also help up to have lots of post ideas so we can easily write and use those articles for guest posting.

    Keep up the good work Brian.

  14. Sybil

    Thumbs up! Mind maps are really helpful especially when you need to write regular blog posts. Mind maps allow you to be more creative and to think of unusual topics. Before I do mind maps, I first check catalogs, books, or magazines to read about trends and new ideas. This allows me to explore a wide array of topics for my mind-mapping activity.

  15. Davida

    Although the idea of using mind maps is quite interesting, and could generate a lot of creative thoughts, I use a more techinical method, a brainstormer which generates keywords with high demand and low supply, and good profitablity – the challenge is then to wrap these keywords in to creative titles for articles/blog posts; I guess mind mapping could be usesful here.

  16. sehlig

    Mind Mapping: classic. Anybody knows Prezi for Mind Mapping? Nice and fresh tool, I like it. And very effective as well. Your recommendations are also very good, as far as I know them!


  17. Twitter: webmaisterpro
    Most of the times, I am doing this on paper, using software to mindmap article writting can be very time consuming, however I am using mindmap for my internet marketing strategy planning.

  18. Noel Addison

    The mind remembers key words and images, not sentences — try recalling just one sentence from memory! Mind maps use just key words and key images, allowing a lot more information to be put on a page. Because mind maps are more visual and depict associations between key words, they are much easier to recall than linear notes. (For example, although you may not have studied it in depth, see how much of the Home Mind Map of this site you can recall in your mind’s eye.) This then makes the post in your blogs look organized and effective.

  19. Bertha

    Thanks Brian, like most others I’ve also been doing this on paper! I’m definitely going to use the Mind Mapping Tools you’ve suggested, I can see my desk being less cluttered now…

  20. Anonymous (Read Comment Policy)

    I want people to make comments do my blog, but when I approve those comments, I don’t wish to have their website link displayed. Most of these comments are just people wanting links to their sites.

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