You might have thought that you left mind maps behind at school, after you’ve finished revising for that all-important test, but mind maps are actually commonplace in the world of work regardless of the industry you might be in. Even dentists, warehouse owners, marketers and engineers will find mind mapping useful, but in this context, mind maps are incredibly advantageous for us content creators. Whether it be an article or a podcast, a video or an infographic, mind mapping your content is essential to relevant idea generation and sterling content production. Here’s everything you need to know about mind mapping your content:
Mind maps are visual aids that are designed to display a series of information to the user. There is usually one central topic or idea that is branched out from with other related ideas or information. Mind maps are used by a wide range of different people. No one industry uses them more than another and it’s not just confined to use within a business.
People at home can use mind maps to help them with a variety of different things, including design ideas for a kitchen renovation or as a revision tactic for an upcoming exam. They work visually to remind someone of information and how something might need to be laid out, but at the same time, they display the information as a whole.
Mind maps are used by everyone, not just content creators, everyday. Whether you’re a student doing some studying or are carrying out market research on your latest product launch, mind maps are a great tool for anyone who is looking to jot down their thoughts, ideas, facts and statistics. Here’s what mind maps are generally used for within content production:
In the early stages, mind maps become something that everyone can use to note down their ideas. Where it does take some organisation at some point, it might be that multiple mind maps will need to be produced before ideas really do come together and hold water. One mind map could just be a cluster of thought processes, jotting things down that immediately come to mind as to ideas that have been researched for. You then might have another mind map that contains keywords and another with some eventual article titles. See mind mapping as a gradual process where you might well need more than one to be able to get your valuable ideas off the ground.
Mind maps are ideal for idea generation. It’s usually useful for more than one person to be involved in its creation as it’s a chance for everyone to get their ideas on the table in a fun-yet-effective way. It might be that someone else has thought about something that you haven’t, and vice-versa. This is where the identification of hot topics and on-trend subject areas happens and content creators are always looking to be as up to date and relevant as possible.
Once you have your ideas in place, then use your mind map to make notes about scheduling and organisation. You should look to group certain ideas together, but schedule them to go live in such a way that it provides the reader with something new to read, view, listen to or watch.
For example, if you’re writing for a company that sells coffee beans, don’t publish three articles in a row about coffee machines. Instead, publish one about coffee machines, then another about the best beans to buy if you like strong coffee and then another about how to use a percolator, for example. Give your readers some variety but without deviating from the major topic or subject.
Mind maps can be used to repurpose content that might need updating or rehashing. Instead of having a topic in mind in the middle of the page, have the title of the content that needs to be repurposed. Analyse its contents and see where the updates need to happen. It might be that a statistic that needs to be changed or perhaps a certain thing isn’t referred to in that way anymore.
Use a mind map to jot down the places that need some edits and branch off that with some new, innovative ideas instead. Could a list of things be turned into an infographic, for instance? What would be included in that infographic? Keep thinking about new ways that things can be used and updated and get those ideas down on paper in the form of a mind map.
Mind-mapping content might seem like a straightforward feat, but there’s actually a lot more to it than you might have otherwise thought. For instance, it’s one thing to sit and jot down all of your article ideas about home furniture, but actually, you should be breaking that topic down in order to get as many ideas down on the page as possible.
You don’t have to just note down ideas on a mind map. You could also use it to prompt you should you need extra ideas on the topic in the future. We’ll show you an example of a mind map where that opens in just a moment, but for now, let’s discuss how you can mind map your content yourself.
You need to think about the topic you’re going to be writing about first. This could depend on a number of factors depending on how much free reign you have in terms of creativity. Some industries provide content creators with the opportunity to delve into a wide range of different topics, whereas others are very specialist and so the focus cannot drift away from that. This is where you should be starting before you even think about producing any content.
Once you have your major topic, then think about breaking it down into more manageable chunks. It’s very difficult to think of ideas and produce content if you’re thinking too broadly to start off with. If you’re writing for a client who is able to fit kitchens and bathrooms, then split the content between the two. You could even split these down even further.
Under kitchens, you could have: worktops, cabinets, appliances, taps and tiles. Under bathrooms, you could have: tiles, sinks, cabinets, showers, bathtubs, shower screens and taps. Once you have your subtopics, you’ll find it much easier to generate article titles and ideas before you actually sit down and produce the content you’re looking for.
Once you have your subtopics, use this as an opportunity to jot down any relevant ideas, thought processes or accurate information surrounding the subtopic. The reason why this sort of thing is branched out from the subtopics is because it’s far more specific which, in turn, will make your content a lot more relevant no matter what you might be writing about.
For example, a client of yours might own a flower shop and they want some content for their blog that, of course, talks about flowers and plants in general. If you’re going to create a mind map, then start with “flowers” in the middle and then branch off from there with things like: “occasion flowers” and “seasonal flower”.
You can then branch out from “seasonal flowers” with: “summer flowers”, “winter flowers”, “spring flowers” and “autumn flowers”. Those subtopics are good to start you off with both seasonal, scheduled content and evergreen content (content that can be used all year round). Eventually, your mind map will look something like this:
Just like when it comes to research or planning, you will need to take all of your ideas and everything that was taken into account on your mind map and use this as a tool for actually creating the content you had provisioned for. Much like how a scientist will formally write up an experiment they have done using lab notes, you’ll take your notes and produce your content based on that, using the planning to flesh out the bones of your initial ideas.
It might be that you do not take into account everything within your mind map, especially seeing as they can actually become quite extensive, but you should see it as a way of underpinning your content as a whole, which is why it’s such a valuable and favoured technique amongst content creators. Once you have written or produced your content, work out a schedule for it to go live. The more you do it, the easier and more straightforward it will become.
Kumo is an innovative, forward-thinking digital marketing agency with over two decades of experience in the industry. We’re able to provide you with expertly-written content of the highest quality, both from a written and SEO perspective. If you’re wanting to increase leads and set yourself apart from your competitors, then look no further than Kumo. As well as dedicated content writers, we also have SEO specialists and PPC professionals at the helm of everything we do, so we can work together to propel your business into the spotlight. For further information about how we can help you today, get in touch with a member of our friendly, knowledgeable team today – we’re proud to serve clients throughout the UK.
As an experienced Copywriter, Lorna enjoys creating varied content for an abundance of different industries and sectors. From detailed, informative articles to creative infographics, she's always looking to inject originality into the work she produces. When she isn't working, Lorna runs her own lifestyle blog, plays the guitar and loves to take part in charity runs.