How to Brainstorm a Year’s Worth of Blog Topics in Under an Hour

How to brainstorm a year's worth of blog topics in under an hour

Do you ever feel like you are too close to your business to effectively write about it?

I’ve talked to a number of business owners recently who have told me that they have gotten to such a high level of expertise in their business that it’s become difficult for them to see the smaller picture in order to write blog posts about it.

This mind-mapping exercise will not only help you break down your business into smaller concepts, it will help you generate loads of post ideas in a short amount of time, and, to top it all off, you can use those clusters of post ideas to strategically post in order to support your business goals.

I used a free program called Coggle in order to do this. To use Coggle, click here.

I will show you how I generate my mind-map, from the big picture, to smaller topics, to action steps within each topic, and finally, post ideas.

Step 1: Write down your overall business concept.

Here’s mine:

Screenshot 2015-03-29 11.34.22

Here’s another example from my friend Sara who is a college consultant:

Screenshot 2015-03-29 12.24.00

 

Write down the main thing you help people do.

If you’re an accountant, you could write “Save money by doing your taxes the right way.”

If you’re a life coach, you could write, “Help people find their purpose and passion.

Step 2: Add subtopics.

Here’s my example:

Screenshot 2015-03-29 12.05.11

Here’s Sara’s example:

Screenshot 2015-03-29 12.26.30

Now take the main thing you do for your clients, and brainstorm at least 4 ways in which you help them do it.

Create branches coming out of the main idea for each of your subtopics.

Step 3: Break those subtopics down.

Here’s my example:

Screenshot 2015-03-29 12.10.19

Here’s Sara’s example:

Screenshot 2015-03-29 12.32.54

Your subtopics are still way too big to use as blog posts. You need to take them and break them down even further.

If you struggle with this, ask yourself these questions:

What do I do to help my clients with this?

How do I support them in this process?

What action steps are associated with this sub-topic?

Step 4: Take each of your sub-subtopics and brainstorm at least 3 blog posts you could write about them.

Here’s my example:

Screenshot 2015-03-29 12.15.43

Here’s Sara’s example:

Screenshot 2015-03-29 12.38.52

 

Don’t be afraid to write multiple posts on the same topic.

First of all, it builds some momentum in your blog when people know that they can come back again and again for more insights on the same topic.

Also, the more you write about the same topic, the deeper into it you are forced to go and the more creative you have to become to keep writing about it.

Here are some questions you can keep in mind while doing this:

What do my clients really struggle with in this process?

What questions come up regularly about this action step?

What components of this process tend to trip people up?

See if you can come up with:

  • List posts
  • Tutorial/How-to posts
  • Case study posts of clients you’ve helped in the process
  • Interview posts – either someone interviewing you, or you interviewing a client
  • Posts with a sense of humor

Step 5: Take your blog topics and schedule them strategically

This is where you go from just thinking of blog post topics to actually using them to drive your business goals.

For example, I can take all of my posts on blogging consistently and publish them leading up to launching a blog coaching package that helps people blog consistently.

Sara can choose to publish her college essay posts in a time of year when students are really struggling to write college essays and may be looking for a college counselor to help them with the process.

Ask yourself these questions:

1. What are my business goals for the next 3 months?

2. How can I use my blog posts to get people interested in my services/products?

How to brainstorm a year's worth of blog topics in under an hour - FB

To recap:

1. Write the main way you help clients.

2. Break it down into smaller chunks.

3. Break those chunks down further into action steps.

4. Take an action step and brainstorm blog topics relating to it.

5. Plan to publish those blog posts to align with your business goals.

 

Now, go forth and plan!

  • Janet

    Checking out Coggle now – thanks!

    • Daniela Uslan

      I hope you enjoy using it as much as I did!

  • Nicole Baute

    This is awesome, Daniela! I keep noticing how my most practical and concrete blog posts get the most love. This is a great way to dig up those topics!

  • Great breakdown! I will be sharing it with my lady friends

    • Daniela Uslan

      Thanks, Kimber! I hope you find it helpful.

  • Super helpful! Coming up with topics is always a challenge and I love this strategy!

    • Daniela Uslan

      Thanks, Lyn! I hope it helps you come up with some great blog post ideas.

  • Great post Daniela! I’ve read other posts on how to come up with blog content and didn’t know what to expect from this one, but it gave me new ideas. I like it! Thank you!

    • Daniela Uslan

      Thanks, Kathy! I’m glad you liked it.

  • Great ideas, Daniela! I didn’t know about Coggle–a helpful resource!

    • Daniela Uslan

      Thanks, Julie! It’s super fun to use.

  • Mindmapping! This is one of my favorite techniques for blog post inspiration. I also browse Google Analytics search queries to make sure I’m addressing my reader questions.

    • Daniela Uslan

      Thanks, Ashley. I have tried using Google Analytics but find it a bit too dry…how do you use it well?

  • Thanks so much Daniela. This has always been a challenge for me. On my way to check out Coggle right now!

    • Daniela Uslan

      Thanks, Naomi! I am glad we got to work through this process together!

  • This is a GREAT resource post!! Thank you so much for this; I think it definitely helps keep your blog consistent – which is something I find myself struggling with from time to time. I started blogging back when it was just to reflect on my day, what interested me, to organize my thoughts, etc. Now I’m trying to refocus my blog to teaching knit + crochet online + my etsy shop (knit + crochet accessories for home + wearables).
    Thank you so much for sharing this in the #DaringCreative workshop! 🙂

    • Daniela Uslan

      Thanks, Annie! I am glad you found it helpful!

  • will definitely be trying out coggle. This is much better than my current system of random notes in my notebook, evernote and google drive. Excited to try to put it all in one place. Thanks for this super helpful post.

    • Daniela Uslan

      Hi Kayli,

      I definitely do that, too…but I somehow never get back to those post ideas on Evernote. Let me know how coggle works for you!

  • I always love your posts Daniela, guaranteed value. Thank you!

    • Daniela Uslan

      Awww, thanks Naomi! I appreciate that so much!

  • RM

    Love it this process — super helpful and right on time!

    • Daniela Uslan

      Thanks, RM! Let me know how it works for you.

  • This is definitely a great way to brainstorm blog topics. I’ll be trying it out as soon as I’m done typing this!

    • Daniela Uslan

      Thanks, Samantha! Let me know how it works for you!

  • Rob Young

    Nice post Daniella, great way to do it and a bit different too. Good stuff.

    • Daniela Uslan

      Thanks, @therobyoung:disqus! I appreciate the feedback!

  • Daniela Uslan

    Yay, @thedameintl:disqus! That sounds super exciting! I love your blog. So much personality! What are you planning to coach people in?

  • Busy Boys Brigade

    Love, love, love!! Thx❤️

    • Daniela Uslan

      Thanks so much! I am glad you loved it!

  • Katharine

    And the smaller chunks become blog categories, don’t they! So simple!

  • Jess Chua

    Thanks Daniela, those are super helpful with keeping a blog schedule organized. Greatly appreciate your Evernote blog planning templates too, I know those are going to help me sort some things out!!

  • Thanks Daniela, I love those 2 questions about being strategic. I feel myself stumble on that a lot. I am going to take some time to go thru this process & will have to work on being really smart about when I blog about what I blog about.