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HOW TO: Use Mind Maps to Write Blog Posts

How To Mind Map

My mind map for writing this How To Mind Map blog post.

If you’re struggling to write blog posts, there’s an easy solution: Mind maps.

Mind maps allow you to take those thoughts floating around in your brain and put them into a concise order. From there, it’s just a matter of formatting and ordering, then writing and editing.

Mind maps are basically an offshoot of sketchnotes, which I learned a lot about from Mike Rohde.

Plan first

When you map out your post, start with your topic. I put mine at the top of the page, but you can put yours at the center or do whatever makes sense for you.

From there, it’s easy to break it down.

Each big balloon is a sub-topic, divided by subheads. In this post, the first subhead is “Plan first.”

Extend branches from each big balloon, which each branch acting as a paragraph underneath the subhead. You can add more depth to each branch when you plan or when you write.

Blogging time!

Now it’s time to decide how you will format your blog post.

There are many ways to do it, but here are a couple of examples. The reverse pyramid is typical is journalism wherein the top of the writing is general information and the specifics and details increase as the piece goes on. Or you could write chronologically, with the oldest information first and the newest last.

Mind maps are great because the framework is done for you during the mapping stage. During the writing stage, it’s just a matter of putting everything in the correct place and then adding details where you need them.

Be your editor

Before you start editing, take a break. You need to take some time away from the blog post — and this is something you should do with any post — before you start editing and whittling away useless words.

Fresh eyes are what you need for the editing process. Those fresh eyes will help you catch more mistakes and improve your post significantly.

Then, when you’re done and ready, it’s time to publish and share with your networks. It’s really that simple.

Reader Feedback: Have you ever tried to mind map before you wrote something?

  1. April 8, 2013 at 5:09 pm

    Dan I love mind maps I use a couple of different software programs but it’s great for brainstorming then organizing thoughts.

  2. April 8, 2013 at 6:03 pm

    Thanks for sharing such great tips! The concept of using mind maps when blogging is new to me, but I definitely will take this advice to heart when writing.

  3. April 8, 2013 at 6:22 pm

    I almost always use MindNode to outline projects… I confess that MindMapping for me is too detailed to overlay a good blog post into. But I do love it for bigger content projects, like ebooks, presentations, and my courses.

    I also find that rummaging through Amazon for books in my niche, the chapters, the sub-chapters, side notes, etc – makes for a great source of material for my future blog posts!

    • April 8, 2013 at 8:12 pm

      Great points. I haven’t used it for ebooks or other larger presentations, but I should. I’ve got a couple of ideas for ebooks floating around in my brain.

  4. April 8, 2013 at 6:26 pm

    Love to get off of the computer and write things out on paper (just like that pic) when doing a mind map. I find that helps…

    • April 8, 2013 at 8:13 pm

      Yes. And it’s nice because when I would blog without one, I wouldn’t have a game plan in place. With mind maps, I do have one in place when I sit down to write.

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