A blogger’s mind is often a tangled weave of post ideas, half-formed intros and thoughts on how to further engage their audience. Getting all of that stuff out of the brain and onto digital paper, however, is rather tricky.
Unfortunately, the inability to untangle all of the thoughts and ideas in our heads means that some of our inspiration never sees the light of day. What could be a fabulous, visitor-grabbing blog post is simply lost forever.
If you’re a wordsmith and this all sounds rather familiar, I’m about to help you make a fantastic discovery. It’s called the ‘mind map’ and it could transform your blogging productivity.
Mind mapping is a technique for visualising thoughts. You may have seen them before; think numerous circles with interconnecting branches and colour coded notes, and you’re on the right track.
Mind maps are used for all manner of purposes, but in this post I’m going to delve into the significant benefits they offer bloggers.
Any experienced blogger will tell you that the key to online publishing success is in keeping a constantly evolving roster of post ideas in your back pocket. Many will never see the light of day, but by keeping such a list, you’ll never miss an idea and can simply pick out the best when required.
By using a mind map to capture blog post ideas, you can visualise the various subject matters your blog covers and group titles into their respective categories. Rather than a boring list, you’ll have a living, breathing, visual representation of your post ideas.
One of the worst feelings as a blogger is staring at a blank page and waiting for inspiration to strike. Usually, it doesn’t, and therefore panic ensues. Writer’s blog is a frightening thing, but by brainstorming with mind maps, bloggers can head it off at the pass.
By dedicating part of your week to the task of brainstorming post ideas, you can really put mind maps to work. Circle half-baked ideas and begin plotting the ways in which you could flesh out the content. Mind maps make brainstorming the fun and creative process it should be.
Mind maps as visuals within posts
Visual content is still one of the web’s top performers. In fact, research performed by Xerox found that people’s willingness to read a piece of content increased by 80% if visuals were included. The great news for bloggers, is that visual content is a powerful way to convey complex information and thoughts.
By using a mind map, you could combine your traditional blog post with a visual depicting your thought process behind the piece, or expanding on the central topic with branches containing concepts and keywords.
Make complex ideas digestible
We’ve touched on this above, but by integrating mind maps into your blog posts, you can help your audience more easily digest the topic you are covering. Sometimes, words may not be enough.
Mind maps are particularly helpful for highly technical or scientific material where complex ideas need more than words for the subject matter to be conveyed accurately and in an engaging fashion.
Effectively use the ‘5 Ws’
The ‘5 Ws’ is a timeless technique employed by journalists to help them write the perfect opening to any story. They are: Who? What? When? Where? Why? And, while they won’t be appropriate for every type of post, they are often used by bloggers, too.
Unfortunately, sussing out the 5 Ws for a piece can be rather tricky – unless you use a mind map. Simply pop your post title or central theme in a bubble and branch out to each of the 5 Ws (brainstorm multiple ideas for each if you wish). In no time, you’ll have the killer opening paragraph for your next blog.
By using the tips above, you’ll discover that mind maps will often be the much-needed knight in shining armour when inspiration feels in short supply. If nothing else, the visual appeal of mind mapping can be a brilliantly productive distraction for bloggers. Why not try it today?