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Writing Tips

Create a Blogging Mind Map & Never Run out of Blogging topics again!

When you first start blogging, coming up with fresh, unique blogging topics is going to be one of your biggest challenges (unless you are a constant stream of blog posts..I’m jealous). Sure at first you may have a dozen or so topics & headlines you want to use..but after your first initial brain dump, coming up with fresh blog posts can be tough.

One of the tricks that I use to generate more blog topics is to create a mind map, which is a form of brainstorming! Essentially I start by writing down the main topics of my blog and then continue to break those topics into sub-topics. At that point, I break out all of the sub-topics and create a handful of headlines for each one.

1. Start by writing down your main topics. These are the topics that you write about most often and the topics that your readers have come to expect from you. Got them written down yet? Depending on what niche you are in, you may only have 1 main topic or maybe you write about many. You’ll want to start with at least a couple to get you going.

For example: My main topics are Blogging, Motherhood, & Entrepreneurship.

BLOGGING-MINDMAP

2. Now that we’ve written down our topics, it’s time to create our mind map. Take a sheet of paper and write down your topics down the middle like in the picture above. Leave some space around your topics because you are about to get all mind mappy up in here and you’ll need some room for all of your brilliant ideas!

blogging-mindmap2

3. Start with your first topic & write down some sub-topics. These will be anything that falls under your main topic. Topics that your readers care about and are aligned with your blog’s mission.

For example: My main topic of blogging has the following sub-topics: Social Media, Traffic, Monetization, Hosting, etc. These are all sub-topics that I cover on my blog.

subtopics

Once you’ve got the sub-topics written out, you will want to expand on those sub-topics into micro-topics. Don’t worry, this is the last step before we start the real brainstorming. So once again, take your sub-topics and break them up into 2-3 micro-topics.

mindmap-final

Now that you’ve got your micro topics, it’s time to brainstorm. Now that you’ve narrowed down your field you can get laser focused on content for that particular micro-topic. I usually create a list of 5 titles for each micro-topic.

using-buzzsumo

Now if you are completely stuck, you can do a couple of things to find out what articles people are reading and sharing in your niche by looking at the following websites:

BuzzSumo: In the Buzzsumo search bar enter your micro-topic and click submit. Buzz sumo will display the most popular blog articles in that niche. Take a look at the articles and see if there are any in there you can expand upon or make better.

You can search by timeframe (i.e. Last 6 months) and search by Social Network. For example, by sorting by social network you can see what type of content does well on Facebook & what does well on Pinterest, or Twitter.

Seeing this information should spark a few blog topics. So head back to your mind map and write them down before you forget.

using-quora-to-find-blogging-topics

Quora: Quora is a website that people go to ask questions. These questions are then answered by other members. If you are having trouble coming up with blog content, you can head over to Quora and do a quick search for your micro-topics. This should bring up a list of questions that other people have asked about your niche. Read through the questions and create a blog post for the ones that strike your fancy! Heck you could write a blog post based on every single question if you wanted to.

using-pinterest-to-discover-blogging-topics

Pinterest: Whenever I get stuck with content ideas, I go to Pinterest and to a search for a micro-topic and take a look at what’s been written before and which ones are getting lots of re-pins. This almost always sparks some creativity!

If you do go with either of those strategies, makes sure that you are inspired & don’t simply copy someone else’s compelling headline. It’s always best to be original and fresh when writing headlines & blog posts.

Ok…so guess what ladies (and gents!) if you’ve followed the steps listed out above you should have yourself a good 20-30 blog post ideas. Plop those headlines into a calendar and BOOM…you now also have a content calendar. Pretty easy right?

I try to do this mind map thing once a month to keep things fresh.

BLOGTOPICS

Chrystie is a mom of 3 kids and wife to one. She's sold 4 blogs in the last 10 years and now helps other women start their blogging empire. Her love for really bad reality TV is only trumped by her love for margaritas without salt. Her other addictions include spray painting everything gold and embarrassing her kids at the bus stop. #thatmom

This article has 64 comments

  1. Amanda

    Really great ideas! I’m going to use this for my blog!

  2. Jessica

    Love this idea!! I want to say I learned this many years ago when I was in high school. I have no idea why I didn’t think to use it! I just recently started a blog post journal where I write all my ideas down. It’s been working for me great so far, but this would be great to use for the writing of the actual post!

  3. Stephanie

    Thanks for the ideas!! Love this!

  4. Erin

    Thanks for the tips!! I will be sure to use these!!

  5. Renee

    Great tips. I am keeping this one…thanks!

  6. NYG@NaughtyYogaGirl.com

    Wow – what a great resource! Thank you so much for putting this together – I’ve never tried mapping OR heard of these websites. I’m excited to give it a try. :) Have a great weekend!

  7. Brittany Putman

    Great resource! Right now I have a little notebook that I carry around with half lists, random phrases, and titles. It works for me but it isn’t very organized.

  8. Kiara Catanzaro

    This is such an awesome resource to use when you’re running out of ideas for content! There have been a few times throughout the year when I get into a blogging rut and feel like I don’t have new content to put out! Thanks so much for your tips and tricks!

  9. Amanda Shuman

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  10. Cara

    This is really smart! I did something similar but in a less pretty, messier way-haha. Thanks for all the great tips!

  11. Nicole

    Tools and ideas like this are very beneficial to me. Sometimes having a new way to think helps me generate new ideas.

  12. Shannon

    Oh this is such a good idea! I definitely need to take the time to do this because I hate when I come across days with nothing to post. It would be nice to be able to avoid that altogether.

    Shannon
    Clothes & Quotes

  13. kristen

    these are great tips!! I carry around a little notebook at all times, but I like building it off common themes!

  14. Lindsay

    Wow this is a great idea!! Thanks for sharing, I’ll have to look into this more!

  15. Rachel

    This is such a genius idea!!!!! I never even thought about mapping out my topics and post ideas, I just always scribble things down on random pieces of paper. Can’t wait to try this out this weekend!

    XO, Rachel

  16. Becky @ Disney in your Day

    Don’t be jealous but I do seem to have a constant list of ideas for posts and not enough time to write them all! But many of my ideas come from unconsciously doing some of the things you mention. Like I’ll see something while just browsing on Pinterest and it sparks an idea for a post, or I’m talking to someone about something and realize it would make a good blog post!

  17. Crystal // Dreams, etc.

    I love this idea! I’ll have to do this during my next brainstorming session.

  18. Erin

    This is brilliant! Definitely using this tactic for my next brainstorm session! I have done fairly well the last year or so with keeping a list of topics on hand, and when in doubt, Pinterest!

  19. Daria

    I love this and it will definitely help with my blog! I will definitely incorporate this into my world! Thanks for sharing!

  20. Candy

    Yours works better, so changing to yours. Thanks

  21. Chrisy @ Homemade Hooplah

    Great resources! I can see myself using BuzzSumo quite a bit 😀

  22. Andrea

    Love this! Pinning, bookmarking and printing:) This is an area where I struggle. Thanks for the great ideas.

  23. Ariel @ Keys to My Life

    This is a great idea! Definitely using this!

  24. Erin @ A Welder's Wife

    This is a great post! Thank you so much for sharing this idea! I can’t wait to incorporate it into my blog planning!

  25. Jenny

    Wow I’ve never thought of using something like this.
    Such a great idea!
    I love BuzzSumo too — I just need to get the paid version already.

    xoxo, Jenny

  26. The Southern Thing

    This is such a great idea! Every time I get an idea, I write it down, but that doesn’t really help much with coming up with new topics.

  27. Kimberly

    I really love the organization and your logic and method working through this. I will have to bookmark this and use it in the future. Right now, my blog is so new that I have soooo many post ideas that I can’t write them fast enough. But, I know it’s because we’re just a month old. So, I will have to remember to reference this in the future once my ideas are all used up :-) Thank you!

  28. Sarah - Live Eat Learn

    This is such a great idea!! And so simple. Awesome, thanks for the ideas.

  29. Jenn Slavich

    Love it! This is so great I learned a ton reading this. Pinning this post for later so when I need to get some posts together I will know what to do. Thank you!

  30. Francine from Callaloo Soup

    This is great! I’ve tried mind mapping before, but I’ve never really drilled down that far. Looks like I need to schedule some brainstorming time soon!

  31. Lindseey

    This could not have come at a more perfect time for me! Thanks for the great idea!

  32. Eloise

    This was helpful, I’m in the mist of trying to figure out about Affiliates and sponsors, and just how to make my blog turn into a money maker for me… It is overwhelming and time consuming, this should help a little more. thanks!

  33. Maris (In Good Taste)

    Great idea. You must be so organized – I always mean to do more planning and then life happens.

  34. Denay DeGuzman

    I love this post on mind mapping! It provides endless ideas for spectacular blog posts. It’s how I go about it too. But your mind maps are so much more beautiful than my chicken scratches in a notebook. And Buzzsumo is an excellent resource that I use every day. :-)

  35. Mariah

    While I’m not sure if this method would work for me, I can see how it would help a lot of people! It reminds me of the ‘webs’ we did in school as pre-writing for essays!

  36. Marlynn @ UrbanBlissLife

    Great ideas!! I have to admit, I never understand when people say they run out of ideas to write about, but I think it’s also maybe niche-specific…? I have the opposite problem and always have way too much to write about! I’m about 2-3 months out on my editorial calendar right now and regularly overwhelmed. Mind mapping is such a great concept and you outline it so well.

  37. tina

    This is a wonderful tool. I always get nervous about running out of ideas. It would be a great idea to have a filled with future blog ideas.

  38. Rhi

    I haven’t done any mind-mapping for ages!

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  40. Becky @ Project Domestication

    This is really helpful…and motivating. Totally pinned.

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  43. Casey

    Thanks for this. I still haven’t figured what content i want to write in my blog.

  44. Ashton

    Genius! Thanks for the great tips. I am definitely making a mind map now.

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