Creating a Post: Mindmapping

One of the first things I do when coming up with a post is to open up my favourite text editor and write down some thoughts. Usually, they end up being for a variety of posts, rather than a single post, but once I find myself done writing out my immediate thoughts and ideas, I go back and ask questions about each main point.

Ask yourself what would you like to know if you were reading about the subject? Can it be broken into sub-questions that you can answer? What keywords do you think the article should have? What is your target audience? Does it answer some if not all of the traditional “who, what, where, when, why and how”?

A good example is something broad like “blogging software”. You can write questions like:

  • what software do I use?
  • what is my favourite software?
  • what are the advantages of each package I know something about?
  • who are the authors of the different software?

Keep growing out the points you have for your article until there are around nine or so main points. Start reading back over the points and making sentences out of them, write down more questions as you think of them, do a one or two sentence answer on each of the questions you come up with. Build sentences around the keywords you want in the article. Don’t worry about format, flow, or even the rules of the english language. This is all about generating content and ideas, not getting ready to publish a fully formed idea.

The more keywords, questions, and sentences you can come up with, the easier the total article will be when you do finally compose it.

I don’t know how many times that jotting down a variety of words, thoughts and questions have made my blog posting life easier, especially now that I have written more than ten thousand posts in my blogging history.