10 Ways to Use Mind Maps to Grow Your Blog

Mind mapping software is not only useful for outlining articles, reports and other forms of content. It is also a powerful tool for planning and managing many aspects your blog business.

As a blogger, you must manage a prodigious amount of information every day: content ideas social network strategies social network content, people with whom to network, monitoring competitive blogs, identifying opportunities for new reports and resources of value you can provide to your readers, identifying potential collaborators and much more.

In short, to run a successful blogging business, you must gather, analyze and make decisions about a mountain of information, ideas and opportunities. In addition, you need to elevate and differentiate your thinking and your blog’s content to capture the attention of potential readers and customers.

To do all of this effectively, you need a tool that can efficiently gather, organize, distill and communicate information with a great deal of flexibility. Mind mapping software enables you to handle thinking, planning and basic project management tasks in ways that aren’t possible with any other type of business software. It also works the way your brain does – by associating ideas, concepts and information in a visual hierarchy, which means it tends to be fairly intuitive and easy to use.

10 Ways to Use Mind Maps to Grow Your Blog

Mind mapping software also helps you reach clarity faster on complex business issues, make better informed decisions and be more productive. In surveys of the readers of my Mind Mapping Software Blog, users of it say that it increases their productivity by 20-30% – the equivalent of gaining an extra day per work week of productive working time.

In addition, over 59% of survey respondents indicated they wouldn’t be able to create the same quality of work if they didn’t have mind mapping software.

Mind mapping software enables you to take a more strategic approach to blogging rather than just hacking away at projects haphazardly. Most importantly, it can help you develop a tightly integrated approach to build a strong, distinctive online brand. No, it’s not a panacea. It won’t make you better looking or help you find a cure for cancer. But it does bring some unique capabilities to your work that no other productivity software can match – capabilities that are ideally suited to your needs as a blogger. If you’re not using mind mapping software in your blog business, you should be.

What can you do with mind mapping software?

A-list bloggers like Chris Brogan, Darren Rowse (CopyBlogger), Chris Garrett and David Risley (Blog Marketing Academy) make it no secret that mind mapping software is their preferred power tool for thinking and planning.

Why?

Because it helps them see information and ideas from new perspectives that tend to be invisible in linear documents and outlines. Based on what they have written about it, you would think the only way that bloggers can use it is for brainstorming blog post and information product ideas. But it can be used for far more – it’s actually a powerful tool that can help you manage your business and operations more effectively.

10 Ways to Use Mind Maps to Grow Your Blog

I have identified 10 ways bloggers can use mind maps to grow your business:

1.    Brainstorm, capture and organize ideas

2.    Conduct competitive intelligence

3.    Develop reader personas

4.    Develop a blog content plan

5.    Search engine optimization and keyword research

6.    Develop and manage a blog marketing plan

7.    Track key influencers in your niche and plan how you will interact with them

8.    Outline longer writing projects and information products

9.    Track what you’ve published – content management

10.    Perform a SWOT analysis and do strategic planning to help drive your blog’s growth

How does mind mapping software compare to traditional information management?

Consider for a moment how most bloggers manage information. Typically, it’s stored in text-based files, such as Word or Evernote. It’s scattered in e-mails and files that are stored in numerous folders. Chances are, you waste several hours a week hunting for information you need.

What if you could do away with that, by being able to see a higher-level view of all of your project and blog assets, and could organize them and link out to all of the supporting information you need? Mind mapping software enables you to do that. You can attach numerous types of content to individual topics, and add links to web pages and other assets. When you rearrange the topics, these assets follow along. In other words, each topic acts as a “container” for information. This enables you to centralize all the information, data and resources you need to manage your blog’s operations in one place, which can save you countless hours of time and a eliminate a great deal frustration.

Software-produced mind maps can incorporate almost any kind of digital data – everything from Excel spreadsheet ranges and Outlook e-mails to links that help you keep project files and supporting information well organized, only one click away. Think of it as a “visual database” of your ideas and information.

In addition, most mind mapping program enables you to export your visual maps to other popular file formats, such as Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and Project. This enables you to do your thinking and planning in visual outline form using your mind mapping software, and then transfer your ideas and information to other applications to continue the process of refining your ideas and adding details to them.

Now think about the way in which you write plans. If you use a popular tool like Microsoft Word, how do you know that the structure of your plan is complete? How can you tell if something is missing, or if you have completely thought through all aspects of it? How do you decide what’s superfluous and can be eliminated? It’s difficult at best. Why? Because the structure of your document is hidden within its sentences and paragraphs.

In contrast, mind mapping software can help you to see a higher-level view of your information and dig down into the details when you’re ready to do so. You can work with the forest AND the trees, so to speak. You can move topics around at will, grouping and regrouping information until it makes most sense to you. You can perform “What if?” analyses with ease. You can see how all of the pieces of your plan fit together. Ultimately, it can make you a better, more strategic planner. And that, in turn, can make a major difference to the success of your blog business.

Light-weight project management

From a project management standpoint, mind mapping software can help you do everything from the “front end” work of projects (envisioning what you want to create, setting the scope of the project and determining the people and resources you’ll need to accomplish it) to managing its implementation (collaborating with others, creating, assigning and monitoring tasks and monitoring project progress by creating a visual “dashboard” to see clearly what’s going well and what isn’t) – all within a flexible visual interface.

Better thinking – better results

In short, when it comes to growing any kind of business today, better thinking tends to lead to better results. Most of us are blogging in niches that are increasingly crowded. In order to survive and grow your blog, you need to differentiate and elevate your thinking. Mind mapping software can help you to do that.

As you’ve seen, mind maps enable you to see information and ideas from new perspectives that tend to be invisible in linear documents and outlines. It isn’t just a powerful thinking and planning tool, its light-weight project management capabilities make it a great tool for managing your ideas from “birth to death” – from ideation and development to implementation and tracking of progress and results.

In short, mind mapping software can help you to manage your day-to-day tasks with greater efficiency, which can free up more of your time to think about strategic opportunities and ideas to help you grow your blogging business.

When you switch to thinking and planning mode, it can be your companion there, too, helping you to capture, organize and refine your ideas into winning solutions that meet the needs of your blog’s readers and help you to capture their minds and hearts. It can help you to extend your thought leadership in some exciting ways and can help you build a more innovative and successful business. If you want to play at the A-level of blogging, you need to up your thinking. Mind mapping software can help you to do that.

Learn more in this webinar recording

In mid-August, I conducted a 70-minute webinar where I described how to use mind mapping software to manage each of the blog management tasks I have described in this article and the benefits of doing so. A recording of it is now available.

As part of this information-packed learning session, you will receive 11 mind map templates, which you can use to get started using these techniques immediately. They will save you many hours of time and will help you benefit from this webinar faster. Not only that, but instructions are embedded in the templates that will help you understand how  to use them.

Click here to learn why one webinar participant said, ““This is excellent. You covered everything I hoped you would – and more. In a world of useless webinars, this was definitely worth the time and money.”


Article by

Chuck Frey is the founder and author of the Mind Mapping Software Blog, the leading online source for news, reviews, tips and tutorials for utilizing mind mapping and visual thinking tools and techniques. He also founded and managed InnovationTools.com, the world’s largest website focused on innovation, creativity and brainstorming for 10 years, from 2002 to 2012, when it was merged with another innovation website. He has been blogging for 11 years and has 16 years of experience in online marketing

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11 Comments so far add one

  1. I love using mindmaps, I just never thought about using them for my blog.

    In order for me to keep track of the content I post, I use Evernote. I am not an expert in it, but I love how it lets me keep track of organizing things.

    I may have to consider using mindmaps. About your seminar, it sounds great especially since I would love to know more about how to make better use of mindmaps, will it be recorded or do you have to attend live? The time just does not work out for me.
    Susan Velez recently posted..How To Segment Your List In GetresponseMy Profile

  2. M Nirmal Anandh says:

    Hi Chuck,

    Thanks for sharing such a wonderful article about “Mindmap”. Mindmap is one of the best concept, we should have to implement in our business, career, blogging, even in our day-to-day life.

    You believe or not, yesterday only i thought about this concept “mindmap” to post in my blog classiblogger.com. But you did it. I will come with different topic about mindmap in few days. Thanks for sharing this man.
    M Nirmal Anandh recently posted..Have you ever seen a walking house?My Profile

  3. Awesome post dude….Iam looking for a perfect post about improving a blog….I hope this will help me…
    vinay recently posted..Best way to Increase your Internet Speed and Download SpeedMy Profile

  4. Really Good Tips on Blogging…
    As You said Better Thinking better results it’s very true……

    I will Revisit Your Blog Everyday keep posting these kinds of nice articles.

    Regards
    Arshad Majeed
    Arshad Majeed recently posted..Download Sindhi Songs – Full Sindhi MP3 & Sindhi Video SongsMy Profile

  5. Hi Chuck,
    I’ve been really glad about your article because I had been searching for some useful stuff or info about mind maps and other possibilities for my fresh designs and projects. Really interesting and some kind of shocking facts about the actual scene, I’d also call it a trap for dummy users. I’ve just started my 3D printing blog and I’ve already uploaded some of my designs for free but I’ve got really bad experiences… t the beginning, I thought that I will blog just for passion about my 3D printing enthusiasm but now I got deeper into the blogging scene and I’ve already learnt a lot about SEO and other online marketing strategies. And from this point of view, I bet that mind maps can be an effective way to find the right direction in which I want to move with my blog. I want more unique visitors, and I want a better conversion rate as well, so that’s why I thank you for sharing this useful and informational/inspirational article;)
    Peter recently posted..Parametrikus tervezés és digitális gyártásMy Profile

  6. Hey Chuck.
    I have seen mindmaps used a lot in the corporate world, but I also had not thought about applying this software and the related techniques to blogging. Of course these maps are a great way to organise your ideas, and that is what blogging and a lot of small business work is all about.
    thanks for sharing
    ashley
    Ashley F recently posted..TweetAdder Review – Find More Twitter FollowersMy Profile

  7. A well documented post with such valuable points for blogger and content marketers. the article was so long however the content flow and the information it provided kept me till the end.

    Thanks for share Chuck, and going to look the software now ;)
    FERNANDO BIZ recently posted..Sri Lankan Web Designing company helps Studio Vimukthi rank on first page of GoogleMy Profile

  8. Hi Chuck,

    These 10 points are very crucial and in fact no one should should miss single point which may cause hamper in the growth of your blog. So, it is required to be focused on each and every points.

    Regards
    Siddhartha Sinha
    Siddhartha Sinha recently posted..Buy Hostgator Hosting with just US$0.01 OnlyMy Profile

  9. Hi Chuck,

    Mind-Mapping tool integration with blogging is very innovative technique. Never even though of it earlier. I hope it delivers effective and promising results

    Thanks
    Gautham Nekkanti recently posted..Top 3 Best Free Download Manager for ChromeMy Profile

  10. Mind mapping is most important for every bloggers. It’s not fact who are part time worker or full time. Must need to maintain every blogs by mind mapping. Overall great post and I will surely try this . :D

    Regards,
    Mohammad Reaz
    Reaz recently posted..Upcoming SEO Trends 2013 & 14 – Calculation & planMy Profile

  11. I just recently discovered mind mapping and have been using it since to increase my productivity. It is definitely one of the best ways to do more in less time and stay extremely organized.

    Do you have a favorite mind mapping software program that you use?
    Denis D. recently posted..A Brilliant Plan of Achieving Financial SuccessMy Profile

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