Mind Mapping Tips

I think it’s safe to say that pretty much everyone working in Search Engine Optimization and, in particular, working on content marketing and link-building campaigns has, at some point, struggled with coming up with new content ideas.

Various brainstorming techniques and tools are designed to help you with this task. We will discuss mind mapping here today, or, more specifically, how to use mind maps to brainstorm content ideas.

 

What is mind mapping?


A mind map is a diagram used to organize information visually, just like the example below.

Mind Map

The term mind map was coined by British author and TV personality Tony Buzzan

Mind maps have multiple uses, you can use them to take notes, to study, brainstorm ideas or even plan a new website.

 

Tips and Tricks


Before we start, a few great tips and tricks for brainstorming collaboration tools with mind maps effectively exist. If you follow and remember these little pieces of useful information, you will surely have no trouble when it comes to brainstorming.

 

  • Have a clear idea of what the topic is.
  • Define your desired outcome.
  • The subject title should be the mind map to remind you what you are brainstorming.
  • Add branches, topics, and sub-branches with their sub-topics without worrying about the organization for now (you can organize it later).
  • Brainstorming is all about letting the idea flow freely from your mind.
  • Take a break when you run out of ideas or become tired from concentration. Return to it after a short break.
  • Once you have collected your ideas, you can start structuring and organizing them.

 

Brainstorming content ideas with mind maps


Here’s the part you’ve been waiting for eagerly – how do you brainstorm content ideas with mind maps? Well, once you have followed the steps for preparing your mind, all you need is some paper and colored pens or some mind-mapping software.

 

Here is how you can brainstorm ideas using mind maps.

 

1) Place your main topic in the center of the page.

2) Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and let the ideas come to you.

3) As the ideas form, draw arms for your mind map and label them.

4) As your ideas become more detailed, make sub-arms from the key ideas and write short notes. As you think of content ideas, consider all the questions your audience may ask. Look at your keyword research spreadsheet and include these in your mind map.

5) You can continue expanding until you have explained and described your ideas to the best of your ability.

6) Out of quantity comes quality. You can now pick up the best ideas from your mind map.

Your final result should look like the example below.

 

Content Ideas

Group brainstorming with mind maps


If you are brainstorming in a group, ensure you have someone to record the ideas and a ‘leader’ for the session to keep things organized and under control. You will also want the group to be small.

 

Mind mapping tools


There are a lot of tools available online and in the App Store both paid and free or you could simply use pen and paper. I suggest you try a couple (using free trials) and pick the one which works for you best. Some of the tools are very simple others can let you add links, images and attachments to your mind map.

 

To get you started here is a short list (in no particular order).

  • mindmapfree.com– quick and easy to use, free, browser based tool.
  • MindNode one for Apple fans, available for Mac, iPad and iPhone. Very nice, clean design.
  •  SimpleMind  – available on Windows, Mac, Android & iOS.
  • iMindQ – available on Mac, iOS, Web, Android and Windows.

 

Summary


Mind mapping is an amazing and versatile method that allows us to be creative and get our ideas down in an organized and highly structured manner. I hope this post will inspire you to try mind mapping and help you brainstorm your content ideas.

 

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