Starting a Blog: Idea Mapping

One of the things that happens to bloggers far too often is writer’s block. People run out of ideas, and almost always it is because they did not plan ahead.

Once you select a niche, you need to spend some time mapping out your ideas, goals, and things you need to do. For this site, I spent about two weeks creating a long to-do list of the things I needed to do to launch the site, as well as writing up around thirty sections, and hundreds of post ideas.

Some post ideas are just subjects, or titles, and others have a few sentences or bullet points to make sure I remember what I wanted to say.

Why did it take me so long?

I wanted to make sure I had enough source material to really make a go at this site. I didn’t want to be all dried up in a week, and leave you all hanging until I found something new or interesting to say.

So many bloggers skip this step and get right into producing content, and they eventually have huge gaps in their publishing, or close down their blog, and neither route will bring you closer to becoming a reasonably paid blogger.

How do you come up with ideas?

The simplest way to come up with ideas is to create a list of twenty or thirty keywords to describe what you want to cover.

Say you picked shoes as your niche. Well, brand names would be a keyword, manufacturing would be another, and you could keep expanding into sub-keywords. Some of these will become your categories, and others will just be articles within your site.

Another step that you can take is to look at competing sites. Many times you will see something your competition has missed, or their information is so old that it isn’t relevant. I have come up with dozens of posts thanks to my competition.

How many ideas do I need?

Well, this is definitely personal, but I would say that you should have enough post ideas to last you three months of posting, whatever your post schedule may be. So if you are going to do thirty posts a month, you might want to write out a list of ninety items that you want to touch on.

You don’t have to systematically go through the list you’ve created; in fact, you would be better off to only use list items when you can’t think of anything better to write about. This will mean that you will have a much longer lasting site with an idea well to come to.

I also recommend adding new ideas when you have less than a months worth left, as you never know when you will come across writers block, or a super dead news week.


So if you are going to start a site, and you want it to be successful, planning is the key, and a list of post ideas will bring you much closer to your goals as a blogger, and set you apart from your competition.

Originally posted on June 14, 2010 @ 12:28 pm

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